Things I learnt from Over the Garden Wall and Gravity Falls: Good endings and bad endings

Some time ago, I came across a fanmade comic that was a crossover between Over the Garden Wall and Gravity Falls.


Starfleetrambo’s alternate universe (AU) (which can be found here) led me to the two series (I didn’t even know Over the Garden Wall existed before this), but that’s another story for another day. This post is about the original series themselves. Specifically, their endings. Which means spoilers. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, better hop on to another page. You have been warned.

If you’re still reading this, I assume that you’re familiar with Over the Garden Wall and Gravity Falls. In fact, I assume that you’ve already finished both series, because it’s hard to discuss endings without spoiling things.

So, let’s start.

I was exposed to fanfiction/fanart from Over the Garden Wall and Gravity Falls before actually starting the original series themselves. There were so many AUs, so many ‘what if’s that fans explored, that I had to watch the original series, at least so that I could go ahead and fully explore the fandom.

In a way, you can say that I’ve seen the spoilers before I started both series, but at the same time, I hadn’t, because there were so many different versions of similar scenarios floating around the net, I couldn’t tell where canon ended and where the ‘what if’s began.

In fact, I was pretty worried that both series would conclude with bittersweet endings. There’s a lot of fan creations of the twins being separated in so many different ways, and stories where Wirt never made it out of the Unknown.

Then it turned out that a lot of things I saw never actually happened in the original series. In fact, both series had very sweet endings.

Almost too sweet.

Over the Garden Wall’s ending was fine. Nobody wants to see siblings torn apart, especially after they finally grow close.

Gravity Falls is a different story. At the end, Stan sacrificed his mind to defeat Bill. But although it was stated repeatedly that he wouldn’t get his memories back, it came back within the day. That said, the series did end on a bittersweet note because the Dipper and Mabel had to leave Gravity Falls to go home.


But watching that last episode of Gravity Falls made me realise something.

As much as I love it when the good guys wins and everyone gets their happy ending, it’s the bittersweet endings that stick. I’m still haunted by the AU where Wirt managed to save Greg but not himself.

In a way, it’s good that the original series had a good ending. Because no matter how the series ends, fans will always create AUs. At least this way, when fans go off to explore all the different ways things could have gone wrong, they can be comforted with the knowledge that in canon, their favourite characters are still alive.


Posted on April 6, 2016, in Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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