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Mystery Shack Lookback

Jan 5, 2022

Charley and Ella are rejoined by fan studies scholar Abby Kirby ( to watch and discuss "Sock Opera." We talk the return of Bill Cipher, the cultural and historical influences on the story, and why this episode is considered iconic and forever changed the fandom.

Check out Abby's Gravity Falls anniversary zine project:

Read Abby's master's thesis, "The fan/producer duality in microfandoms: Examinations of collaboration, creativity, and capital" (vague Gravity Falls spoilers within):

Read Abby's fanfiction envisioning the unproduced Labyrinth episode:

Read Abby's article about the show and its paratexts (MAJOR Gravity Falls spoilers within):

Support us on Patreon at

Watch Gravity Falls episode 24 "Sock Opera":

Download the theme song:

"Hall of Conspiracies" theme by

Theme song instrumental and Stan voice-over by

Gravity Falls score by

Audio cleanup by

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Email us if you have well-archived experiences in the original Gravity Falls fanbase:

Abby's citations:

  1. Piatti-Farnell, L. (2014). What’s Hidden in Gravity Falls: Strange Creatures and the Gothic Intertext. M/C Journal, 17(4).
  2. Porter, A. (2017). Satanic humans: Using satanic tropes to guide and misguide the audience. Journal of Religion & Film, 21(1).
  3. Mäyrä, F. (1999). Demonic Texts and Textual Demons: The Demonic Tradition, the Self, and Popular Fiction.
  4. Lester, C. (2016). The children's horror film: Characterizing an 'impossible' subgenre. The Velvet Light Trap, 78.
  5. Troutman, M. (2019). “It's Alive… Again: Redefining Children’s
    Film Through Animated Horror.” C. Hermansson and J. Zepernick (eds.),
    The Palgrave Handbook of Children’s Film and Television,