Remember, reality is an illusion, the universe is a hologram, buy gold, BYE!
~ Bill Cipher's most famous quote
Bill Cipher is the true main antagonist of the Disney XD series, Gravity Falls. He is a very powerful dream demon from the 2nd dimension who means to bring about the end of the world by opening a rift between his Nightmare Realm and the real world. He also has mysterious motives and a vendetta against the Pines Family, specifically Stanford.
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 was voiced by the series' creator, Alex Hirsch.
Bill appears as a floating, yellow triangle with a single cartoon eye in the center (though sometimes near the upper corner; also known as the Eye of Providence) a black bow tie and a top hat, and thin black limbs. He is sometimes seen holding a yellow or black cane as well. Bill's body also flashes when he speaks, as he has no mouth. When angered however, his color is inverted, with his eye turning black, outline turning white and yellow turning a glowing red, although his form can change to that which is desired at will. A tapestry hanging from the wall in Northwest Mansion Mystery depicts him as black or ash grey instead of yellow and with a red eye. In The Last Mabelcorn he appears for a few moments as black with a yellow eye.
In the three-part series finale, Weirdmageddon, Bill assumes multiple three-dimensional forms, including a black multi-tiered and multi-armed pyramid, a three-dimensional version of his default yellow form (including a giant version), and his most horrifying and terrible form of all, that of a colossal red multi-tiered pyramid with eight different glowing limbs resembling a spider, sharp teeth and tongues erupting from his body, and a black eye with a lizard-like yellow pupil, which he assumes during the final battle as he hunts down Dipper and Mabel Pines.
As he is being erased and speaking his hidden resurrection spell, he shape-shifts into several different forms in an attempt to escape, including his angry red form, a stone like form with two stone pyramids which could rotate with one eye one each side which could rotate and a stone block having his arms and bowtie, a distorted form with several green eyes and limbs, flashing between yellow, light red, blue, and orange, before finally assuming his black form with a red eye as seen on the tapestry. When Stanley punches him, he briefly flashes back to his default yellow form before being wiped out completely.
While possessing a person, that person's body will take on a pale tone to their skin, and their eyes will appear yellow with black slits, similar to his own.
If needed, Bill's yellow main portion or his eye can show images like a screen.
Bill at first seems to be very benevolent, charming, affable, and polite, albeit obnoxious, and slightly sadistic, but this easily changes within minutes of his debut, especially when he reveals his true nature: that of a highly intelligent, manipulative, traitorous, murderous, cunning, and evil psychopath. He usually speaks with a high-pitched voice with a synthetized effect, but when furious or expressive, it becomes deep, guttural, inarticulate, and satanic, similar to traditional demon depictions.
Bill seems to display symptoms of antisocial personality disorder. Symptoms include lying, feeling no remorse, and showing hostility and sadism.
He also enjoys hurting himself, as he tortures Dipper's body while possessing it, and has no problem killing or hurting children like Dipper and Mabel. An expert manipulator and master liar, he is clearly capable of fooling others into trusting him long enough for him to betray them in a heartbeat, and is falsely affable enough to influence others into playing pawns or making deals with him (which he will almost always double-cross to his advantage). However, while an easily angered madman, he is also highly perspicacious, influential, and decisive, knowing when to pull out of a fight. As of The Last Mabelcorn, Bill is shown to be far more than simply a treacherous and oppressive psychopath; he is extremely calculating, malevolent, sarcastic, and diabolical, easily becoming one of the most fearsome and powerful Disney villains thus far (Although Bill is a unofficial Disney villain).
Bill is also known for his complete disregard of rules and morals, as he considers laws and physics to be quite senseless and he doesn't even care about the consequences of his actions that can endanger the fabric of existence, as he considers the idea of destroying the Earth as a mere game to him. He dedicated his own existence of spreading complete chaos and his selfish philosophy of doing whatever he wants without care for consequences.
However, in his final moments, Bill is shown to be absolutely terrified of dying as seen when being exploited by his own weakness, when he is trapped into Stanley's mind he attempts to goad Stan to let him out, only for Stan to punch him out and erase him from existence for good.
Powers and Abilities
While Bill is vastly powerful and competent, he cannot normally interact with the physical world while trapped inside the Nightmare Realm. He is able to observe the world, but not influence it, as he can only appear to people in dreams, being virtually omnipotent within the dreamscape. Bill can also act by making a pact with a willing vessel, but in doing this he is subject to all the constraints of the vessel body and cannot use his own power to reshape the world at will.
When Bill Cipher escapes the Nightmare Realm, he becomes able to use his full power within the real world, and his power seems to be almost limitless, possibly next to godlike. He is able to reshape reality and everything in it to his will and can even defeat similarly powerful entities such as Time Baby. On the brink of defeat, he offered Stanley Pines "[his] own galaxy", implying that his power could potentially be on a cosmic scale. However, he has some weaknesses. Namely, he cannot escape the weirdness-attracting bubble around Gravity Falls on his own and lack the knowledge how to undo the bubble, and he is unable to use his powers directly on objects protected by a barrier of unicorn hair. In the mindscape, Bill is nothing less a thought which means if Bill was in someone's mind that about to be erased, Bill will be erased along with it competently annihilating him from existence.
Oh, oh, Gravity Falls, it is good to be back! Name's Bill Cipher, and I take it you're some kind of living ventriloquist dummy? [laughs] Just kidding, I know who you are, Gideon! (Gideon: W-what are you? H-how do you know my name?) Oh, I know lots of things! (*voice changes*) Lots of things...
~ Bill Cipher after he is summoned
Ah, Stan's family, we meet at last. Question Mark, Shooting Star, Pine Tree, I had a hunch I might bump into you!
~ Bill Cipher meets Dipper, Mabel and Soos
You're out of your league, kids. Turn around now before you see something you might regret.
~ Bill Cipher
Boy, you kids sure are gullible! I knew you'd lead me straight to the code! It's funny how dumb you are!
~ Bill Cipher
YOU! You can't even imagine what you just cost me! Do you have any idea what I'm like (voices changes to a low, demonic tone) WHEN I'M MAD??!!
~ Bill Cipher's villainous breakdown.
I'm been impressed with you guys. You're more clever than you look. Especially the fat one. (Soos: (to Mabel) He's talking about you.) So I'm gonna let you kids off the hook. You might come in handy later. BUT KNOW THIS: 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...
~ Bill Cipher foreshadowing Weirdmageddon
Well well well! You're awfully persistent, Pine Tree! Hats off to you!
~ Bill Cipher to Dipper
Did you miss me? Admit it, you missed me!
~ Bill Cipher
(Dipper: So which puppet are you going to pick?) Hmm, let's see... eenie... meanie.. miney... YOU!
~ Bill Cipher takes Dipper's body
(Dipper: I'm gonna stop you!) But how can you stop me... if you don't exist? AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
~ Bill Cipher to Dipper
(Ford: You lied to me! Where does that portal really lead?) Ho ho-looks like Mr. Brainiac finally got smart! Let's just say that when that portal finishes charging up, your dimension is gonna learn how to PARTY! Right, guys?!
~ Bill revealing his true colors to Ford.
At last! At long, long last! The gate between worlds has opened! The event one billion years prophesied has come to pass! The day has come! THE WORLD IS FINALLY MINE!
~ Bill Cipher
Alright, listen up, you one-lifespan, three-dimensional, five-sense skin puppets! 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!
~ Bill Cipher to Gravity Falls as Weirdmageddon begins.
It's time we do a little redecorating. I could really use a castle of some kind! (Bill's castle rises) And how about some bubbles of pure madness?!? This party never stops! Time is dead and meaning has no meaning! Existence is upside down and I reign supreme! Welcome, one and all, to Weirdmageddon!
~ Bill Cipher brings forth Weirdmageddon.
'We'll meet again. Don't know where. Don't when. Oh, I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.'
~ Bill Cipher singing
As you may have noticed, I've recently had a multi-dimensional makeover! I control space, matter, and now that that dumb Baby's out of the way, time itself! But I wasn't always this way. (Ford: Ooph!) You think those chains are tight? Imagine living in the second dimension. Flat minds in a flat world with flat dreams! I liberated my dimension, Stanford, and I'm here to liberate yours. There's just one hitch. As it turns out, my weirdness can't escape the magical confines of this town. There's something keeping me in! (Ford: Incredible! Gravity Falls natural law of weirdness magnetism. I studied this years ago.) And did you find a way to undo it? (Ford: Of course. There's a simple equation that could collapse the barrier. But I'd never tell you!) Listen Ford, if you just tell me that equation, finally your dimension will be free! Anything will be possible! I'll remake a fun world! A better world! A party that never ends with a host that never dies! No more restrictions! No more laws! You'd be one of us! All-powerful! Greater than anything you've imagined, and all I need is your help! (Ford: You're insane if you think I'll help you.) Ha ha ha! I'm insane either way, brainiac. But have it your way. I'll just fish around and get that equation directly out of your mind! (Ford: Not so fast! You know the rules, Bill. You may be able to haunt my dreams but you can't enter my mind unless I shake your hand and let you in.) *Sigh* You're making this so much harder than it needs to be! Everyone has a weakness, tough guy! I'll make you talk! It's only a matter of TIME!
~ Bill Cipher about to torture Ford
So the mortals are trying to fight back, huh. Adorable!
~ Bill Cipher
(Ford: Bravo, Dipper and Mabel!) Well, would you look at that. Those kids really care about you, and you care about them...(*Voice turns deep*) DON'T YOU?! (Ford: What are you.... Oh. Oh no.) Perhaps torturing those kids will make you TALK!!
~ Bill planning to torture both Dipper and Mabel to coerce Ford into helping him
All right, Ford, time's up! I've got the kids. I think I'm gonna kill one of them now just for the HECK of it!! EENIE... MEENIE... MINEEE... YOU!!!!
~ Bill about to kill Dipper and Mabel with a snap of his fingers
(Stan: Hey, look at me. Turn around and look at me, you one-eyed demon! You're a real wise-guy, you know, but you made one fatal mistake: you messed with my family.) You're making a mistake!! I'll give you anything: money, fame, riches, infinite power, your own galaxy, PLEASE! (starts to glitch) NO!! What's HAPPENING TO ME?!!! (reversed) A.X.O.L.O.T.L., MY TIME HAS COME TO BURN, I INVOKE THE ANCIENT POWER THAT I MAY RETURN! (normally) STANLEY!!!!!
~ Bill's last words right before being destroyed by Stanley.
His full name is likely a reference to the Beale ciphers; encrypted manuscripts which are said to lead to a great, hidden treasure and which only one of three have been decoded.
This is entirely possible as codes and ciphers are hidden all throughout the series.
Bill can be summoned if one were to recite an incantation found in Journal 2.
He is based on The Eye of Providence, as creator Alex Hirsh confirmed in the Special "Behind the Pines" stating: "What if I took the triangle off the back of the dollar bill, dress him up in a top hat, and stupid little arms and legs, and named him Bill after the dollar?"
Bill Cipher has several similarities with Hades from Hercules, as they are both intelligent demons who seek to take over their worlds by creating chaos everywhere, and are known for their humorous qualities and reputations of making deals with mortals. However, unlike Hades (who is somewhat polite and willing to honor those who served him well), Bill is more than willing to double-cross those who aid him for his own selfish desire of creating total chaos.
Bill Cipher is similar to Loki Laufeyson from Marvel Cinematic Universe: Both are powerful god-like beings who are actually aliens with unnatural lifespans from another planet (in Bill's case, dimension), both despise humans and want to enslave them for all eternity, both have a sense of humor, both want to rule the Earth, both have some childish manners, both allied themselves with other aliens and species and like to break the laws. Although, Loki has a sympathetic side and motive for his actions (due to the feel of getting overshadowed by his foster brother), unlike Bill.
Bill is also very similar (and perhaps even based off) the religious concept of Satan.
Both are interdimensional entities older than the Universe itself.
Both are beings of pure evil.
Both despise everything good and pure.
Both are Tricksters.
Both despise humans and are willing to make deals and manipulate them for their own selfish goals.
Both appear more innocent than they truly are.
Both have antagonistic relationships with a being of good (Time Baby and God).
Both antagonize and pick on certain families (the Job and Pines families).
Both are prophesied to bring chaos near the World's end.
Both are eventually defeated and their chaos quickly comes to a end.
Both disguised themselves to watch the protagonists from behind the scenes (Bill as the paintings and Sidious as Palpatine), while hide their true selves within the shadows until after they successfully gained control to the public.
Both play the role of the Big Bad of their own series, including being a Big Bad of a TV show (Bill in Gravity Falls and Sidious in Star Wars: The Clone Wars), although they rarely appeared than some other villains of the show. They slowly having a major role from Season 2 onwards, and finally showing their true importance in the finale. For most of the series, they appeared in non-physical forms until the end, for some reasons (Bill appeared through dreams as he didn't gain a physical form until the finale, Sidious appeared through holograms as he had to hide himself in the shadows, and only go to direct battles at the end of his show).
Both had loathed their own parents enough (due to the feel of their own parents being incompetent and was bound by laws) to the point of murdered them in cold blood.
Both ironically met their ends due to the love of a man to their children (Bill was killed by Stanley to protect the Mystery Twins, Sidious was killed by the redeemed Anakin Skywalker to protect Luke). At least in the case of the Legends continuity of Star Wars, both also used dark magics to revive themselves afterwards.
Both make deals with the archenemy of the protagonists, but only used it to further their own plans (Bill makes deal with Gideon to find the secrets within Stanley's minscape, Sidious makes deal with Nute Gunray to develop his own plans to overthrow the Jedi Order and the Republic).
Both are best known for tend to be friendly, polite and charismatic, yet deadly threat to the protagonists, being the biggest threats of their own series.
Both like causing chaos and destruction to become the ruler of the universe (though Sidious causes those to create his Galactic Empire while Bill wants to create a new Weirdmageddon).
Both have some humorous traits. However, they also easily becoming ruthless, and they would becoming extremely dangerous at that point (as shown that they also favored torturing people).
Both seemingly possess nearly unlimited powers, being viewed as one of the most powerful beings in their own series. They also having powers to manipulate people's minds, were able to spread the corruption in their locations.
Both having a rivalry towards the protagonists' mentor (Yoda and Ford), who they initially pretended to be a friend of.
Both are sometimes seen holding a cane.
Both embodied the pure energy, being considered the embodiment of evil itself in their own settings.
Both helped and worked with the supposed main antagonists at first (Bill: Lil' Gideon, Sidious: Nute Gunray, Count Dooku and Darth Vader), but then turned out to be the true villains.
Bill Cipher has a strong resemblance with Dimentio from Super Paper Mario as:
Both have the main goal to destroy all life; though Dimentio actually wanted to destroy all the worlds to create "perfect" new ones for him to rule while Bill desired to merge his Nightmare Realm with the universe and create a new Weirdmageddon.
Both are always floating most of the time when they appear.
Both appear to have unlimited power, being considered the most powerful villains in their respective franchises.
Both made a deal with the protagonists to presumably give "help" to them when they most needed it and ended betraying them (Bill taking control over Dipper's body and Dimentio brainwashing Mario and Luigi to help him on his plans).
Both have humorous qualities, though being very ruthless on their goals and even when they are committing misdeeds.
Both help the main antagonists at first, but are later revealed to be the true main villains.
Various things were discovered about Bill Cipher during a Reddit AMA, including the possibility of him once having a family, having something to do with Gompers in the past, and his favorite music being 10 hours of Rising Shepard Tone.
The AMA also revealed that Bill Cipher thinks in capital letters.
It is never made clear what Bill truly is. While he is called a "demon" by other characters, creator Alex Hirsch has confirmed that this is just a name for lack of better description. Ford even states that no one knows really what he is. Because of his reality warping abilities and bizarre nature, it is likely that he is inspired by the Outer Gods of Lovecraftian lore.
In addition to being inspired by Lovecraftian Lore, Bill Cipher is somewhat similar to the Lovecraftian character, Yog-Sothoth. This is because both of them are Omniscient and All-Seeing.
Bill Cipher share some similarities toward Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
Both have odd appearances.
Both create a world of neverending chaos for fun.
Both can alter reality and possess nearly limitless power.
Both have comedic traits.
Both first start their chaos in the first location they seek (Ponyville for Discord and Gravity Falls for Bill Cipher).
Both are tricksters.
Both wanted to take away the main items that will be the key to defeat them (Elements of Harmony for Discord and the 3 Journal for Bill Cipher)
Both act friendly toward a protagonist and trick them to reach their goals (Fluttershy for Discord and Stanford Pines for Bill Cipher)
Both are immortal.
Both come from a alternate dimension (Chaosville for Discord and the 2nd Dimension for Bill Cipher).
Although there is a major difference: while Discord was reformed, Bill was not.