If you’re new to the blog or just want to revisit from the beginning, click HERE to read the review for “Tourist Trapped”.
Previously on Gravity Falls:
Dipper and Mabel Pines are sent to Gravity Falls to spend the summer with their Grunkle Stan, who runs a tourist trap called the Mystery Shack. Dipper finds a journal in which the enigmatic Author has chronicled some of the unusual happenings and inhabitants of the town, and he vows to follow in his (or her) footsteps to unravel Gravity Falls’ mysteries while bonding with his wild sister and cranky Grunkle.
It’s another busy day in the Mystery Shack and while Tyle Cutebiker is distracted choosing a puma or panther shirt, Grunkle Stan closes the shop and takes Dipper and Mabel out for pancakes. I can only imagine how Tyler will react when they return.
Unfortunately for Dipper and Mabel, Grunkle Stan’s skinflint attitude rears its ugly head and he orders salad dressing and ketchup instead of an actual meal. Dipper sees a test-your-manliness game that rewards you with free pancakes if you win and wants to go for it, but Mabel and Grunkle Stan find the idea laughable. Mabel admits that Dipper isn’t exactly manly, and Grunkle Stan points out his lack of muscles and brings up an incident where he walked into Dipper singing along with a CD of BABBA (a clear riff on the band ABBA) while in the shower. This only makes Dipper more determined to prove them wrong and he tries the test…but barely makes it above “Wimp”. Dipper claims it’s rigged until Manly Dan comes along and wins with barely a nudge. Dipper leaves, humiliated, while Mabel discovers Grunkle Stan has a soft side after all – turns out he’s got a crush on Lazy Susan (Jennifer Coolidge), the woman who runs the diner. Mabel’s matchmaker instincts kick in and she decides to turn him into suitor material.
Dipper is set on proving his manliness but has no idea how to go about it. After wandering through town he goes into the woods and exercises for a bit, yet has no chest hair by the end to show for it. On taking a beef jerky break he hears something rumbling in the forest. A thunderous roar sends animals fleeing in the opposite direction. Even Manly Dan is terrified of whatever’s approaching. Dipper screams as manly as he can as the creature approaches.
This is Chutzpar, the man-otaur (half-man, half-taur, uh, bull), and he was lured to Dipper by the scent of his jerky and his emotional issues. Despite acting like a spokesman for every Old Spice/jerky/wrestling ad in existence, Chutzpar listens to Dipper’s problems and takes him to his man-cave to see if he can school him in the ways of manliness. After meeting the smelly, violent and loud man-otaurs who also reside there, Dipper introduces himself as Dipper the Destructor and begs them for help. The man-otaurs huddle and their disagreements on whether or not they should turn into a dogpile.
Yeah, you can tell what the theme of this episode is by now, can’t you?
Anyway, Mabel starts tutoring Grunkle Stan in the art of love with Wendy and Soos’ help.
At the same time, Dipper is denied his request but gets the man-otaurs to teach him by questioning their manhood (catches on quick, don’t he?) His and Grunkle Stan’s training are intercut via montage because those make everything quicker and cooler. Plus, the song played over it is sung by none other than Wakko Warner himself, Jess Harnell, so it crosses the line between silly and awesome multiple times.
Dipper now has one trial left to be considered a man. He is brought before the man-otaur’s leader, Leader-ar, who declares he must climb the highest mountain and bring back the head of the man-otaur’s enemy the Multi-Bear. The idea of monster-slaying makes Dipper nervous, but he can’t back down in front of the man-otaurs. After making an impossible trek through the forest and up the mountain, Dipper faces the Multi-Bear.
By the way, the Multi-Bear has the voice of Alfred Molina (that would explain the extra arms). Using all his cunning and training, Dipper is surprisingly able to defeat the monster. He’s ready to show no mercy, but the Multi-Bear asks him for one last request before he is killed – to die listening to his favorite song. Dipper is nice enough to press play on the boombox – and he learns that he and the Mutli-Bear share similar tastes in music. He likes BABBA as much as Dipper, and they sing along together and become friends. After hearing that the man-otaurs make fun of him for enjoying Icelandic disco music also, Dipper cannot go through with killing him. He returns to the man-cave and calls the man-otaurs out on their bull (and also their ways of determining what makes a man). They respond in kind by calling him weak and leaving to do more “man stuff”.
Mabel is ready to give up on Grunkle Stan as he’s no better than he was when they started…in fact he’s even worse. Wendy tells her he’s as fixable as the diner’s broken rotating pie freezer that Lazy Susan’s always trying to repair, which gives Mabel an idea. She takes Grunkle Stan to the diner and flat out tells Lazy Susan nothing needs more fixing than he does. Lazy Susan leaves without giving Grunkle Stan an answer…and returns with her phone number and some pie.
Dipper returns to the diner feeling down and tells them about what happened. To his amazement, Grunkle Stan is proud of him for doing the right thing. Standing up for what he believed in despite no one agreeing with him makes him manly in his book. To prove his point further, Mabel discovers he’s grown his very first chest hair.
Yeah, the review is kind of short, but that’s mostly because I didn’t include even half of the jokes that are in this episode. “Dipper vs. Manliness” isn’t one I return to often, but there’s some good humorous moments that I forgot about, especially with Mabel schooling Grunkle Stan. Alfred Molina is a nice surprise, and he delivers his lines with such dignity it makes them all the funnier. The message about toxic manliness and stereotypes is blatant, but I feel it’s worth repeating in this day and age. The man-otaurs, like the teenagers in “The Inconveniencing”, match every manly cliché in the book, but they’re also exaggerated enough so that they’re not completely intolerable. All in all, a decent episode. Not great, but not the worst.
And the Internet Went:
MORE. WE WANT MOOOOOAAAAAARRRR…
End Credits Craziness: Grunkle Stan quickly regretting reaching out to Lazy Susan as he’s bombarded with messages from her and her cats asking him to call.
Callbacks: Mabel’s scrapbook from the first episode makes a return as she places Grunkle Stan’s “before makeover” picture and Dipper’s chest hair in it.
Crowning Line of Hilawesomeness: Mabel’s way of getting Lazy Susan to consider Grunkle Stan, mostly because it’s immediately followed by this line: “Also, women live longer than men, so your dating pool’s small and you should really lower your standards.”
Mabel SWatch (Sweater Watch): Green with mushrooms.
Dear Princess Celestabelleabethabelle: I’ve learned that manliness is not judged by your bloddlust or how many beers you can chug in a day, but by your character and courage (also fedoras should only be worn by badass whip-wielding archaeologists and not condescending women-haters).
Where’s that wacky triangle at?
Next time, it’s double the fun with “Double Dipper”. See you then!
25-15-21’12-12 14-5-22-5-18 7-21-5-19-19 23-8-1-20 19-15-14-7 6-18-15-13 13-21-12-1-14 20-8-5 13-1-14-15-20-1-21-18-19 12-15-22-5. 20-8-1-20’19 18-9-7-8-20…18-5-6-12-5-3-20-9-15-14.