Bill Cipher is a triangular dream demon formerly existent only in the mindscape who wished to gain access to the real world. He has been running amok in Gravity Falls, Oregon since being summoned by Stanford Pines over thirty years ago. He is known for his mysterious demeanor and sadistic humor. He is the main antagonist of Gravity Falls.
While not being able to solve any of the mysteries of Gravity Falls, Ford became desperate. He stumbled across a cave that contained an inscription regarding something all-knowing. Even when the inscription warned him not to read it, Ford recited the incantation out loud, but nothing happened. Later that day, Ford went to sleep in the woods and comes across Bill in his dreams. Bill claimed to be a muse who chose one great mind to inspire every hundred years, and told Ford that he had chosen him. To Ford, Bill seemed to be a very friendly guy. They made a deal: for the rest of Ford's life Bill could possess him whenever he wanted to, and in return Bill gave him plans to make a portal to unlock many more mysteries of Gravity Falls. While Ford was testing the portal, Fiddleford McGucket accidentally got sucked into the portal and saw what Bill was actually planning behind Ford's back. Ford then decided to shut down the portal to prevent Bill's plan, and ever since, Bill has been biding his time, waiting for the portal to reactivate.
Bill and the symbol he's based on, the Eye of Providence, appear frequently in Gravity Falls. He was the unseen creator of the cryptograms in the online game Rumble's Revenge. His name and existence is deduced by taking all the capital letters in the cryptograms from Rumble's Revenge, to form the message: "MY NAME IS BILL."
A picture of Bill is shown briefly at the end of the opening theme. A similar picture is seen in the entry about him in Journal 2. Encircling him are various symbols that link to various characters in the show. Most notably, when he appears physically for the first time, he refers to Dipper, Mabel, and Soos, as "Pine Tree, Shooting Star, and Question Mark" respectively. The entry also makes special note of the glasses symbol, the author of the book seemingly having been alarmed by this. Underneath "Name: ???" is the text: "This odd, triangular being has appeared in my dreams every night for weeks."
His full name appears in his entry in Journal 3. Behind his name is a message encrypted with a symbol substitution cipher; when decoded it reads: "Liar Monster. Snappy Dresser." There are various notes scattered about the page, such as "Is he watching me?" and "Bill has proven himself to be one of the friendliest and most trustworthy individuals that I've ever encountered in my life. What a guy! I honestly can't trust him more. Not evil in any way, Bill is a true gentleman." However, the latter note is crossed out and below another note reading "Can't Be Trusted!" can be found written in red ink. On the next page, a diagram of a human head and various aspects of its mind is shown, its top being opened up for a drawing of Bill to enter it. In the lower right corner of the page "DO NOT SUMMON AT ALL COSTS!" is written in large, red letters. The rest of the page is spattered with a dark red substance.
"Dreamscaperers" is the first time Bill is directly addressed and introduced in the series. Gideon Gleeful, in an attempt to take over the Mystery Shack once again, summons him. Gideon tells him to steal Stan's safe combination directly from his head, so that Gideon can steal the Shack's deed. Bill agrees once he knows it's Stan, but in return Gideon would have to help him in his own plans, which are not revealed to the viewer. Gideon agrees immediately and the two shake on it. Unbeknownst to Gideon, Mabel and Soos witnessed the deal in the forest, and get Dipper's help to follow him into Stan's mind.
Once inside Stan's head, Bill confronts the trio, and brags that he knows what they're all thinking. To prove his statement, he summons Xyler and Craz from Mabel's imagination. He tricks Mabel and Soos into looking for the memory of Stan's safe combination first, knowing they'd lead him straight to it. At some point Soos is separated from everyone else, and Bill takes his place. Once they find the correct memory he takes it and nearly escapes with it. But while he reads the combination out loud to Gideon (to whom he was connected), Mabel shoots the memory door into another memory of the bottomless pit with a nyarf dart. Gideon breaks off their deal, to Bill's fury. Bill turns his anger toward Mabel and Soos by bringing their nightmares to life and killing Xyler and Craz.
Dipper returns in a timely manner and tells Mabel and Soos that while they are in Stan's mindscape they can do whatever they want. They battle Bill and he is nearly defeated. And just as though it seems he will be forced out of Stan's head, he puts a stop to everything instead. Impressed, he decides to let them go, and after warning them of a mysterious darkness that will change everything they care about, he tells them that he'll be watching them. He leaves in a wheel almost identical to the one that appears in his entry in book 2.
Bill reappears again in "Sock Opera" for the first time in Season 2, when Dipper is trying to figure out the password for the Laptop from "Into the Bunker." He offers the laptop's password in return for a favor he wants, but Dipper refuses the offer. Later, at the moment the laptop is on countdown for complete data erasure after too many failed password entries, he appears again and Dipper accepts the deal of trading a puppet to obtain the password. Bill takes over Dipper's body as his "puppet" and destroys the laptop. He then follows Mabel to her puppet show in pursuit of Dipper's journal, which is being used as a prop in the show. After Mabel has been informed of Dipper's body having been stolen by him, he finds her with the journal as she is retrieving it for Dipper. He almost swindles her out of it but ends up in a fight with her. He ends up losing because Mabel uses Dipper's physical weakness and exhaustion to her advantage. As he collapses, he is thrust out of Dipper's body.
Bill possesses the Dipper puppet afterward and says that he will return. However, Mabel activates the pyrotechnics, destroying the puppets.
In "Northwest Mansion Mystery," he appears on a tapestry hovering over a forest fire with two men either begging for mercy or worshiping him while skeletal corpses are underneath them, foreshadowing bad events.
At the end of "The Stanchurian Candidate," after a prison-bound Gideon fails to get his father elected mayor, he is shown to have drawn Bill Cipher's wheel on his cell wall and hidden it behind a cat poster. He tears the poster away and completes the drawing with the eye before telling it he's ready to make a deal.
In "The Last Mabelcorn", Bill appears in Ford's dream, taunting Ford and telling him to keep the interdimensional rift safe, lest terrible things happen. He then appears in multiple flashbacks revealing his past with Ford and again at the end claiming that while he can't possess anyone inside the Mystery Shack, he can still choose someone from the outside. In the past, Bill and Ford were partners. Bill could enter Ford's mind at any time, and with his help, Ford built the portal. However, after Fiddleford came out of the portal, traumatized by the horrifying things he saw, which were Bill's actual plans, Ford realized Bill had lied to him. He confronts Bill, who reveals his plan to merge the Nightmare Realm he comes from with the real world, causing the apocalypse. Ford breaks off the partnership then and there. In the present, Bill watches as Ford and Dipper manage to block him from entering the Mystery Shack. Undeterred, Bill decided to possess someone outside the shack.
In "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future," Bill approaches Mabel by possessing Blendin Blandin, recognizing Mabel's wishes of wanting summer to never end. Bill (as Blendin) convinces Mabel to give him the interdimensional rift, which he says can be used for making a "time bubble" that can make time stop. Mabel gives Bill the rift, which he promptly smashes with his boot. Bill reveals himself and leaves Blendin's body, knocking out Mabel and initiating Weirdmageddon - the end of the world.
In "Weirdmageddon Part 1," after opening the rift, Bill gains physical form and imprisons Mabel in a bubble. He introduces himself to the people of Gravity Falls, claiming to be their new ruler as well as introducing his friends to the people. The townsfolk rebel against Bill but Preston Northwest welcomes him instead, offering to be a "Horseman of the Apocalypse." Bill thinks about the offer but instead decides to disfigure Preston's face, creating fear in the people. He summons the Fearamid afterwards and begins "redecorating" the town and welcoming Weirdmageddon. Bill recreates the opening theme song in the process. When Bill and his friends prepare to cause havoc, Ford attempts to shoot Bill back into the rift but misses. Bill notices Ford and Dipper and blasts the clock tower, he then approaches Ford and thanks him for helping with the creation of the rift. Bill offers Ford to join his friend but Ford refuses, Bill then tricks Ford with a riddle, turning Ford into his golden backscratcher in the process. Dipper attempts to stop Bill using the journals but Bill simply taunts Dipper, Dipper then attempts to attack Bill but Bill simply deflects the boy's attack. Bill then offers 8 Ball and Teeth Dipper as food while Bill and the rest of his friends party at the Fearamid. As they party in the Fearamid, Time Baby and the Time Paradox Avoidance Enforcement Squadron attempt to arrest Bill but Bill simply destroys them all ( even Time Baby ) except Blendin Blandin, who time travels away. 8 Ball returns to tell Bill he and Teeth failed to eat Dipper and worries about Dipper freeing Mabel. However Bill simply worries little over the problem as he has someone assigned to take care of the problem.
Bill is an eccentric, insane (according to Gideon), possibly psychotic, and physically irreverent demon who finds most things amusing (although no one is really sure why). He's outrageous and outlandish, as well as a quick talker and thinker. Though he may come across as simply annoying, he's not to be taken lightly; when angered, he's a force to be reckoned with.
Bill is not one who believes in rules. Instead, he follows his own philosophy which means doing whatever he wants without care for the consequences. He thinks of laws and physics as senseless and displays an irresistible urge to break those rules down by causing absolute chaos however he can. The lives he ruins hold no merit to him and he finds amusement in tormenting and turning people's worlds upside-down.
When possessing Dipper's body, Bill is shown to be rather masochistic, hurting himself in various ways for the thrill of it, finding pain "hilarious." He seems to have little knowledge about the human body—specifically its physical limits.
Bill is a yellow, triangular creature that bears a strong resemblance to an Egyptian Pyramid and the Eye of Providence. He has a single large eye rimmed with four short black lashes on its top and bottom. He moves around mostly by floating about, and rarely actually stands on his own two feet. He has thin, black limbs, wears a small, black bow tie, and has a tall, thin, black top hat that floats just above his head. His arms do not seem to be in any fixed position, and can be moved along his perimeter without any difficulty. He has also been seen carrying a small, black cane which turned yellow in Season 2. When he gets mad, he turns red and his eye glows a light red. His exact age in the show is unknown, although Ford describes him as "older than our galaxy, and just as twisted".
To summon Bill Cipher, one needs a picture of their victim. The eyes must be crossed out and the picture must be surrounded by eight candles in a circular formation. Then the following incantation must be recited: "Triangulum, entangulum. Meteforis dominus ventium. Meteforis venetisarium!" Your eyes will glow blue. The sky will turn grey as you enter the mindscape. You'll say "backwards message" backwards 5 times (Asetnoheptus Asetnoheptus Asetnoheptus Asetnoheptus Asetnoheptus). A triangle appears. One eye opens and it turns into Bill's normal appearance. However, it is shown that Bill has the ability to temporarily pull other beings into his plane of existence, if he so pleases, as seen in "Sock Opera."
Preventing Bill's chaos
In order to prevent Bill's chaos inside someone's mind, one must light nine candles and place their hand on the victim's forehead. Say the following incantation: Fidentus omnium. Magister mentium. Magnesium ad hominem. Magnum opus. Habeas corpus. Inceptus Nolanus overratus. Magister mentium. Magister mentium. Magister mentium. If spoken the reciter of the incantation's eyes will turn blue and will be brought to the victim's mind on how they picture, where they have to find a way to stop Bill themselves.
There are also three known preemptive methods to stop Bill from entering minds. The first known method is a shielding spell that involves moonstones, mercury, and unicorn hair. The second method is placing a physical barrier around the mind, such as Ford's metal plate, though Ford stated it's not the safest method. The last method is "encrypting" a subjects thoughts, making it too difficult for Bill to read. It is safer than the second method and more mobile than the first, but very time consuming.
The Cipher File
Stanford Pines has a file containing information on Bill Cipher and various sighting of him throughout history. The file contains pictures and a page ripped out of a book, with images of a pyramid (presumably in Egypt) and the Eye of Providence. Another page in the file is titled "Alligans Contractus" (which is latin for "Binding Contract" with a picture of an old man shaking Bill's hand, both of which are surrounded by a blue flame, signifying the man is making a deal. There is also a trifold paper with three titled: Our World (with a drawing of a human head), Mindscape (with a drawing of a person and Bill and the coded message: Black and White), and Nightmare Realm (with a picture of Bill).
The page ripped out of a book ("book excerpt" on images to the right) reads: "Pyramids, also known as square-cones, are found all around the globe and have deeply mysterious origins. Modern engineers marvel at their seemingly impossible construction, but many don't realize they're actually just the skeleton remnants of an ancient race of large triangular dinosaurs who had very blocky bones. The Cycloptostoneosaurus was a feared predator and roamed the plains of North Africa where it subsisted on a diet of warthogs and meerkat, is made tender by their carefree lives and trouble-free philosophies. The reign of the pyramid continued well into the 18th century where a young George Washington once saw one on summer vacation and swore that he would found a nation with the sole purpose of putting an image of it on the back of dollar bills. Pyramids today are mainly tourist attractions and setting for conspiracy movies. Like that one where the guy has to steal the declaration of independence. You know the one, "Conspiracy Hank Goes Overboard". If you ever get a skateboard go to Egypt and try riding down the side of a pyramid. I hear that's really encouraged."
Bill's abilities are focused around the mind and mental manipulation. He's described as a "dream demon" and displays some of the characteristics of a demon including creating contracts with his summoner. When he is summoned, he appears to put everyone and anyone observing into a trance-like dream. The effect is that the world seems to turn colorless, and he can effect the surrounding environment however he likes, as demonstrated by pulling out and returning a deer's teeth. The people observing are unaware they've fallen asleep until Bill leaves and then they realize their eyes have been closed during his whole meeting. Bill can enter people's minds through their dreams. Once inside a mind he can manipulate anything, including his shape and form and changing the landscape. He can communicate with his summoner like a video call, using his body as a window. In fact he can use his whole body as projector and display images. His body also seems to lead to a pocket space and runs in a slightly different time. (e.g., Mabel jumps into Bill's body and several seconds pass before she reappears, none the wiser.)
Once inside of a mind he can also easily pluck information from any others who are also inside and bring those ideas and images to life. The conjured images seem to take a life of their own such as the case with Xyler and Craz.
Bill is also at least close to omniscient. He knows "lots of things," including the truth of many well known conspiracies as well as future events, such as the destruction of Gideon-bot and that Gideon Gleeful would go to prison.
Bill also has the ability to remove people's souls from their bodies, and take possession of the body afterwards. The person who is removed from their body is stuck in a ghost like form in the mindscape, unable to affect the rest of the world, unless they find a vessel. This vessel doesn't have to be a living thing, as Dipper, who was a victim of this, used Mabel's sock puppets to warn her.
Bill is also known for having godlike abilities, such as being able to see things from the eyes of any image of himself. This explains why throughout the show he is pictured in almost every episode.
At first, Bill's abilities were limited to the mindscape, requiring him to possess someone to interact with the world. After smashing the rift, he can exist and freely use his powers in the physical world, rendering Mabel unconscious with a snap of his fingers and unleashing the Weirdmageddon.
When he gains his physical form during Weirdmageddon, Bill demonstrates the use of his powers in Gravity Falls' dimension when before he could only use within the Mindscape, making him virtually omnipotent and capable of reshaping reality however he sees fit. Ford states in his Journal 3 that if Bill gains a physical form "then all is lost" showing how much power he has attained.
The following are sightings of Bill and the Eye of Providence outside his physical appearance
|"Gravity Falls Main Title Theme"|| Top left of the scrolling page.|
For a brief flicker at the end of the opening.
|In a page of book 2, hidden in one frame at the end of the intro.|
|Multiple episodes|| The 'A' in Mystery Shack over the main entrance.|
First seen in "Tourist Trapped."
| On the rug in the Mystery Shack's gift shop.|
First seen in "Tourist Trapped."
| The red stained glass window on the main attic floor.|
First seen in "Tourist Trapped."
|"Headhunters"||The window in the room which stored the forgotten wax figures, and melted Wax Abraham Lincoln.|
|"The Hand That Rocks the Mabel"||"Bill Jar," a glass jar holding Gideon's paint brushes. In upper right corner of the image.|
|"The Inconveniencing"||The window under Wendy's hangout spot.|
|"Irrational Treasure"||On the right side of the negative twelve dollar bill.|
| "The Time Traveler's Pig"|
|On the back of playing cards.|
|"Fight Fighters"||On the screen of an arcade game.|
| "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel"|
|Carpet pattern, such as under the chair and to the front left of Gideon.|
|"Summerween"||On Dipper's shield.|
|"Carpet Diem"||On a tube of makeup-gel.|
|On the top of the spine of Boy Cray Cray.|
|"Scary-oke"||On the top left corner of Dipper's Big Mysteries board.|
|"Society of the Blind Eye"||Old Man McGucket tents his fingers to resemble him.|
|"Northwest Mansion Mystery"||On a tapestry in the Northwest Manor.|
|"Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons"||His name is displayed on the cash register.|
|"The Stanchurian Candidate"||Drawn on a wall in Gideon's prison cell, behind a poster.|
|"Roadside Attraction"||Carved in the wooden fence on the far left.|
- Intro: "Gravity Falls Main Title Theme"
- 101. "Tourist Trapped" (pictured)
- 103. "Headhunters" (pictured)
- 104. "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel" (pictured)
- 105. "The Inconveniencing" (pictured)
- 108. "Irrational Treasure" (pictured)
- 109. "The Time Traveler's Pig" (pictured)
- 110. "Fight Fighters" (pictured)
- 111. "Little Dipper" (pictured)
- 112. "Summerween" (pictured)
- 113. "Boss Mabel" (pictured)
- 114. "Bottomless Pit!" (pictured)
- 116. "Carpet Diem" (pictured)
- 117. "Boyz Crazy" (pictured)
- 118. "Land Before Swine" (pictured)
- 119. "Dreamscaperers"
- 120. "Gideon Rises" (pictured)
- 201. "Scary-oke" (pictured)
- 202. "Into the Bunker" (pictured)
- 203. "The Golf War" (pictured)
- 204. "Sock Opera"
- 205. "Soos and the Real Girl" (pictured)
- 206. "Little Gift Shop of Horrors" (pictured)
- 207. "Society of the Blind Eye" (pictured)
- 209. "The Love God" (pictured)
- 210. "Northwest Mansion Mystery" (pictured)
- 211. "Not What He Seems" (mentioned)
- 212. "A Tale of Two Stans" (mentioned)
- 213. "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons" ( )
- 214. "The Stanchurian Candidate" (pictured)
- 215. "The Last Mabelcorn"
- 216. "Roadside Attraction" (pictured)
- 217. "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future"
- 218. "Weirdmageddon Part 1"
- 219. "Weirdmageddon 2: Escape From Reality"
- Oddity Creator (pictured)
- Mystery Shack Mystery (pictured)
- Postcard Creator (pictured)
- Fright Night (pictured)
- Rumble's Revenge (pictured)
- PinesQuest (pictured)
- Villains Unite!
- Gravity Falls: Legend of the Gnome Gemulets (pictured)
"Deer teeth. For you, kid!"
"It's funny how dumb you are!"
"A darkness approaches. A day will come in the future where everything you care about will change... Until then I'll be watching you! I'll be watching you..."
"Look kid, you've been getting way too close to figuring out some major answers. I've got big plans comin' and I don't need you gettin' in my way. Destroying that laptop was a cinch. Now I just need to destroy your journal. Race ya' to the bottom of the stairs!"
"For one trillion years I've been trapped in my own decaying dimension, waiting for a new universe to call my own. Name's Bill! But you can call me your new lord and master for all of eternity!"
- He is based on the Eye of Providence, which is most commonly seen on the back of the American dollar bill.
- His name is a combination of Bill, possibly referring to the Eye of Providence, which appears on dollar bills and cipher, which is the algorithm for encryption or decryption.
- His name may also be an allusion to the Beale ciphers, a set of three ciphertexts, one of which allegedly states the location of a buried treasure of gold, silver and jewels estimated to be worth over USD $63 million as of September 2011.
- It may also be a reference to the names Lou Cipher (Lucifer) and Bill Zeebub (Beelzebub), which are common pseudonyms for Satan. Beelzebub is also viewed by some religions as one of the seven princes of hell and is known as the Lord of the Flies.
- His name is a combination of Bill, possibly referring to the Eye of Providence, which appears on dollar bills and cipher, which is the algorithm for encryption or decryption.
- On the page about Bill in Journal 2, the −$12 bill says "semper vigilantem," which in Latin means "always watching."
- Bill has been shown to ignite a blue flame in his hand in order to seal a deal with one of his clients.
- Both Journals 2 and 3 contain sections on Bill, but whereas Journal 2 contains instructions on how to summon Bill, Journal 3 contains instructions on how to stop Bill if he is summoned.
- Additionally, Journal 2 states that his name is not known, while Journal 3 gives the name Bill Cipher.
- In the game Rumble's Revenge, one of the translated cryptograms says "I will be returning to Gravity Falls….," foreshadowing his appearance in "Dreamscaperers."
- When Bill Cipher states that "reality is an illusion, the universe is a hologram," he is referencing both Einstein and The Matrix. This is also the ending message of Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger.
- In "Dreamscaperers," Gideon summons Bill with an incantation or spell of some sort. In reverse, Gideon is simply saying "backwards message" repeatedly.
- In "Sock Opera," when possessing Dipper, he states "It's been so long since I've inhabited a body!" suggesting he's either had a body before, or has taken another's body before.
- He was most likely referring to Ford, as shown in "The Last Mabelcorn."
- David Lynch of Twin Peaks fame was originally offered to voice Bill, but when he declined the offer, When voice acting as Bill Alex Hirsch just did a "bad impression of him."
- A code from "Sock Opera" says that he is made from pure energy, not skin and bones which was also said by Bill when chasing Mabel.
- He was mentioned by Li'l Gideon in a Creepy Letters from Lil' Gideon.
- Bill Cipher appeared at Comic Con before the preview of Season Two.
- When Alex Hirsch had originally conceived Bill's character, he had planned for him to be green as opposed to yellow, though he eventually switched to the latter after the appearance was too akin to a leaf.
- In Dipper's and Mabel's Guide to Mystery and Nonstop Fun!, he began talking about his "nightmare realm" bringing forth something. He then stopped, saying that he's getting ahead of himself. He also shared the following knowledge:
- Chairs have feelings and feel pain whenever you sit on one.
- The lunar landing was faked to hide the fact the moon doesn't exist. It's a two-dimensional disk hiding alien space surveillance.
- Western democracy is a sham propped up by an elite cabal of the super rich.
- It was stated by Alex Hirsch that, "Time Baby and Bill do not like each other, if they saw each other at a party they would be doing that 'awkward circle thing' where they're making eye contact but they're not talking to each other and everybody's like 'Do they know each other? Do they have a history?'."
- This rivalry is later shown in "Weirdmageddon Part 1" when Bill vaporizes Time Baby
- The reason why Bill wanted to destroy Journal 3 in "Sock Opera," is that he wanted the portal between his and Gravity Falls' world to open, but Dipper just having the journal could have jeopardized his plan. In fact Dipper almost did.
- Bill is at least one trillion years old.
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