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The Bill Cipher Theory That Would Change Everything On Gravity Falls

Alex Hirsch, creator of Disney's animated series "Gravity Falls," loves to mess with his fans mentally even if he has a touching real-life inspiration behind his characters. He pretended to be the enigmatic Bill Cipher for a Reddit AMA, added translatable codes into episodes for audiences to dissect, and even leaked a fake twist in the storyline to ensure no one ever felt safe in theorizing. And yet, none of his antics stopped fans from trying to connect the dots. If anything, Hirsch only fueled the fires. 

He, of course, probably knew that. What he didn't know (probably) was how wild and varied the fan theories would be. The series ended over five years ago, and new ideas are still cropping up, suggesting everything from Gideon secretly being a vampire (thanks for that one, Tumblr) to everything is a hallucination caused by rampant mushroom usage (courtesy of Reddit). Most theories center around Bill Cipher, the sentient murder triangle himself. Is he secretly inside Grunkle Stan's mind? What about Dipper Pines'? Is he secretly Time Baby? 

Wait, that last one's a theory? 

Bill Cipher and Time Baby are the same entity

In a subreddit dedicated to "Gravity Falls" fan theories, u/ManFromMissouri laid out their hypothesis for why Bill Cipher and Time Baby are the same. The Redditor calls to mind the partially canon (more on that later) tie-in book "Dipper and Mabel and the Curse of the Time Pirates' Treasure," in which Dipper interrogates the deific, extra-dimensional Axolotl. In response, the Axolotl says, "Sixty degrees that come in threes, watches from within birch trees, Saw his own dimension burn, misses home but can't return, Says he's happy he's a liar, Blame the arson for the fire, If he wants to shrink the blame, he'll have to invoke my name, one way to absolve the crime, a different form, a different time."

Translation? This means that Bill Cipher ruined his dimension and that, should he want to escape repercussions for his actions, he should recite the Axolotl's name. In doing so, he would be sent to a different time in a new body. 

The Redditor adds that at the ending of "Gravity Falls," Bill Cipher cries out the name of the Axolotl backward. Here's where the theory starts. "The question is, what different form did Bill take and at what time," the user said. "I believe that Time Baby is our man. 1, Time Baby is a ruthless dictator just like Bill aspired to be. 2, Time Baby is from 207012 and is a giant baby, which is definitely a different form and a different time. 3, Time Baby goes back in time to try to get Bill to stop Weirdmageddon, which if he were Bill, he would know that Weirdmageddon would bring about his death."

It's actually plausible

Now, remember that book mentioned earlier, the one that's considered partially canon? In 2016, Alex Hirsch tweeted, "The book is essentially non-canon (since it has many different endings), but it contains one enormous *canon* secret." Again, he loves taunting his fans. The ordeal with the Axolotl may be that secret, especially since Bill Cipher calls out its name in his final moments. Does this inherently mean that Time Baby is the new form and 207012 is the latest time? Not necessarily; there's a second precedent for Bill Cipher having survived the "Gravity Falls" finale. 

In a 2017 interview with The Mary Sue, Hirsch was asked about the Axolotl and Bill Cipher's final action. He responded, "In terms of Bill's secret message ... I like stories that complete their emotional arcs but still leave some lingering threads to chew on. It gives the fans something to theorize on and gives me a window back into that world if I ever choose to return to it."

Hirsch went on to say that, while he has no current plans to continue "Gravity Falls," if the creative urge struck him, he'd move forward in whatever medium he could, ultimately saying that he would love to see a feature film in which he could answer more of these questions.