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When Gravity Falls's holiday, Pioneer Day comes around, Grunkle Stan, Dipper, and Mabel stroll through town, looking at all the out-dated activities and ceremonies. Later, Sheriff Blubs calls the town to a meeting where Pacifica Northwest makes an announcement about her great grandfather, Nathaniel Northwest. Pacifica asks for volunteers to say something about themselves. Mabel comes up, but Pacifica makes Mabel feel bad by telling her she's too silly, and Mabel decides she should be more serious by taking off her nacho earrings and her sweater. Dipper then finds an article in 3 that says Nathaniel Northwest may have been a fraud. Enclosed was a map, with the triangle symbol. Behind a statue, Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland hear Dipper and Mabel's plan. He tells an anonymous figure with several cameras.
Dipper and Mabel head to the library to look up the symbols on the map. Dipper finds a symbol that means fire and is the same shape as the picture on the documents. Dipper thinks they should burn the document, until Mabel makes a hat out of the paper, which shows them a map to Gravity Fall's Museum of History. Dipper dramatically says they're going to have to break in! Dipper and Mabel head to the Museum where a lady says "Here's your free Pioneer Day passes and balloons, blue and pink!" Dipper then dramatically says, "We're in!"
There's an abstract painting shaped in a triangle, and when Mabel turns upside down, it reveals an pointing angel, and she comments that she saw that statue in the cemetery. Once at the cemetery, Mabel sees the statue, and she pretends that the statue is picking her nose. She bends the statue's finger, opening a secret passageway. Mabel and Dipper enter it (after Mabel realizes that her nose is on the finger), and Dipper says to watch for booby traps. Mabel then laughs at booby traps. They go down the hallway when Mabel steps on a button, which triggers tranquilizer darts. They dodge the darts and go down a hallway revealing many top secret documents (e.g., Abraham Lincoln's hat was covering up a hand on his head; Ben Franklin secretly was a woman). They come across a document called the Northwest cover-up, and it is revealed that the true founder of Gravity Falls was Quentin Trembley. Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland reveal that they have been following the twins and had been tasked with finding Trembley, playing a film for Mabel and Dipper showing the truth about Gravity Falls. Sheriff Blubs then says he must ship them off to Washington, D.C., revealing that Quentin Trembley had encased himself in a peanut brittle capsule in the hopes it would keep him alive.
Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland get on train bond for Washington D.C., having placed Dipper and Mabel in a giant crate along with the still encased Trembley. Mabel, in sadness thinking that she caused this, eats part of the peanut brittle, freeing Trembley, who miraculously survived as a result of the peanut brittle's "life-sustaining properties" (as said by Mabel). They escape, but are caught by Blubs and Durland. They climb to the roof, where Trembley recalls that he never signed a resignation, and that he ate a salamander and jumped out the window instead. Trembley then orders the cops to stop, pretend none of it ever happened, and take a vacation.
When Dipper, Mabel, and Trembley head back to town, Trembley decides to make Mabel a Congressman and gives her a hat. Dipper gets the President's Key, which can open any lock in America. Back in town, Mabel accepts her silliness and doesn't care if Pacifica knows the truth or not, but Dipper shoves the proof in Pacifica's face, calling her family a 'sham' and telling her to 'deal with it'. He then says to Mabel that revenge is underrated and that it felt awesome.
During the end credits, it shows Quentin Trembley and the babies of supreme court. They are trying to discuss things but apparently it's hard with four babies, and commenting it is a "dark day for America".
Home video releases
- Gravity Falls: Even Stranger
- The title of the episode is an allusion to National Treasure. Dipper's "We're in" line is also inspired by this.
- The Depants-ipation Proclamation is an allusion to the Emancipation Proclamation made by Abraham Lincoln.
- Footage of Quentin Trembley's speech makes an allusion to the famous line "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" made by former president Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first inaugural speech.
- This may also be an allusion to the "First president conspiracy" that holds there was a president before George Washington, who was erased from history as he was not a member of the free masons.
- The cryptogram decodes as "E PLURIBUS TREMBLEY" (Latin for "From Many, Trembley), a play on the phrase "E PLURIBUS UNUM" (Latin for "From Many, One") found on the Great Seal of the United States.
- Stan screaming "PIONEER DAY!!!" at the sky is likely a reference to Dan Vs., in which the titular character did this at whatever he was angry with in each episode.
- When Grunkle Stan says "I will break you, Little Man!" to To be Determined, the line between his eyes (part of his glasses) disappears.
- When Sheriff Blubs is speaking into the microphone saying that the speech will begin, the microphone is there. When it zooms in a little bit, it is gone. But in the next scene where Pacifica is speaking, the microphone reappears.
- Pacifica pulls the pen and paper out of nowhere when she hands it to Stan.
- The pen in Grunkle Stan's mouth disappears after Pacifica reads the note he wrote.
- When Dipper is going through the slides in the library, one says "Numerology" but contains astrological symbols.
- Mabel's mouth doesn't move when she laughs when Dipper says to look out for "booby traps".
- Trembley says "and then he spanked me with a paddle for like, 3 hours" but people didn't say the word like in the 1800s.
- In the video, they cover the picture of with a picture of William Henry Harrison. Above Trembley's picture it says "8th President" even though he succeeded the 8th president. The picture shows above that he is the 9th president when the video is about to end.
- In the top secret document that reveals Quentin Trembley as the founder of Gravity Falls, in the second paragraph, the "Falls" in "Gravity Falls" isn't capitalized.
- In the document, it says there are 6 babies, but there are only 4.
- While watching the video, Mabel's eyebrows raise in surprise at the revelation that Quentin Trembley was once president. Her expression then shifts to confusion and her left eyebrow curves down onto her eye, but the surprised eyebrow is still on her face, giving her three eyebrows.
- When the twins and Trembley climb the ladder to the top of the train, they are in the rear car. However, when they emerge on the top of the train, there are more train cars behind them.
- While Dipper and Mabel read about the conspiracy in front of the statue, the bottom of Dipper's shoes change from white to black.
- When Quentin Trembley is inside the block of peanut brittle, his expression changes throughout different scenes.
- When Dipper is running towards Pacifica to tell her about Quentin Trembley, Mabel's headband disappears.
- Quentin Trembley says George Washington chased him around and spanked him, however George Washington would have either been dead or too old to chase Trembley at the time Trembley was president.
- Viewership: The episode's premiere was viewed by 3.87 million people.
- Gideon makes an appearance dressed as a humble tomato farmer.
- Part of the secret documents read, "A time devouring baby is trapped in a glacier in Antarctica." This is probably a reference to the Time Baby who appears in the next episode.
- The triangle creature appears on the negative twelve dollar bill.
- On the additional paragraph on the secret of The Northwest Cover-up document reads:
- Thomas Jefferson was actually just two kids in an overcoat standing on each other's shoulders.
- The current and forever President of the United States is actually Santa Claus. Under the reign of Mr. Claus, America is not a democracy, but a jollyocracy.
- The statues in Mount Rushmore are actually gigantic presidential-faced robots that will be called into action when America needs them most.
- An enormous, evil, time-devouring baby from another dimension is frozen in an Antarctic glacier. Fortunately glaciers never melt, so we should be fine.
- Dipper would eventually use the President's Key in the "Face It" story in Gravity Falls: Lost Legends.
- During the ending credits of this episode, there is a cryptogram that reads "V. KOFIRYFH GIVNYOVB" Once decoded, it reads "E. PLURIBUS TREMBLEY." In Latin, this means "Trembley out of many."
- Story by:
- David Slack
- Written by:
- Tim McKeon
- Alex Hirsch
- Directed by:
- John Aoshima
- Storyboards by:
- Mark Garcia
- Chris Sonnenburg
- Niki Yang
- With the Voice Talents of:
- Kristen Schaal - Mabel Pines
- Jason Ritter - Dipper Pines
- Alex Hirsch - Grunkle Stan
- Jackie Buscarino - Pacifica
- Keith Ferguson - Deputy Durland
- Alex Hirsch - Quentin Trembley and Old Man McGucket
- Kevin Michael Richardson - Sheriff Blubs
- Gregg Turkington - Toby Determined
- Thurop Van Orman - 'Lil Gideon
- Additional Voices: