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- "When life gives you lemons, call them "yellow oranges" and sell them for double the price."
Grunkle Stanley "Stan" Pines is the Great Uncle of Dipper and Mabel, and the twin brother of the author of Dipper's journal. He runs the Mystery Shack, a tourist trap in Gravity Falls, Oregon which doubles as his home.
Stanley Pines was born in the 1950s to Filbrick and Ma Pines in Glass Shard Beach, New Jersey, along with his twin brother, Stanford. Though he failed to share his twin's brilliance, Stan made up for this through his personality, and when combined with his brother Ford, the duo were an unstoppable pair and the best of friends. In their early youth, the Pines children were faced with frequent bullying, most notably from their childhood foe Crampelter, which was credited to Stan's wimpish characteristics and Ford's six fingers, brought on by a congenital physical anomaly. Consequently, their father forced the pair into boxing lessons as a means of toughening them up, giving them the strength to overcome their tormentors and later allow Stan to win over Carla McCorkle, his high school sweetheart.
Stan's teenage years were initially pleasant, frequenting the 50's-themed Juke Joint with his newfound girlfriend and constructing the Stanowar with Ford, as they hoped to fulfill their childhood dreams of sailing around the world searching for adventure. However, his aspirations began to crumble senior year attributed Stanford's high chances of attending West Coast Tech., a prestigious college on the other side of the country, as well as his breakup with Carla due to her infatuation with hippie musician Thistle Downe (whose van was later driven into a ravine by Stan in an act revenge). On the verge of losing his closest friend and barely passing high school, Stan seemed destined to a life of failure in the confinements of Glass Shard Beach, and his life continued its downward spiral after he accidentally destroyed Ford's ingenious science fair experiment. With Ford's chances of admittance to West Coast Tech decimated, the accident was accused of being intentional as a means of Stan preserving him and his brother's dream, prompting his father into disowning him out of anger for losing the millions of dollars Stanford's scientific achievements would've achieved. Left with no friends or family to turn to, Stanley set out on his own, determined to acquire fame and fortune twice the size his twin ever would've earned.
Stan established his own company, Stanco Enterprises, which produced poorly made houshold items, such as the Sham Total. He was banned from New Jersey due to his scams (the cheap dye Stan used to color the Sham Total only made stains worse). The process repeated itself after Stan changed his name to Steve Pinington and reopened shop in Pennsylvania, where his rash-prone "Rip-Off" bandaids ran him out of the state yet again. With numerous encounters with the law and a plethora of fake I.D's and faulty products left in his wake, including a brand of vacuums called "The Stan Vac," Stan expanded his business out of the country, resulting in an awry heist in Colombia that landed him in foreign prison alongside cellmates Jorge and Rico. Upon his release, Stanley returned to the United States impoverished and nearly homeless, renting out a motel room from Dead End Flats, New Mexico. Banned from 32 of the 50 states, imprisoned three times, and remaining in debt to his former cellmate Rico, Stan's life had seemingly hit rock bottom, until the arrival of a postcard from his brother Stanford, the first he had heard of his twin in over 10 years.
Following his brother's implores for him to arrive at his home in the woods of Gravity Falls, Oregon, Stan reunited with his brother Ford to find him enigmatic and borderline insane, having locked himself in his home for months out of paranoia. Learning of the trans-universal portal his brother had built deep underground, Stan was entrusted with one of Ford's journals, detailing the paranormal anomalies of Gravity Falls and containing a portion of the schematics needed to operate the portal. Angered he had been summoned purely to service his twin's paranoid delusions, Stan prepared to burn the book to spite Ford, causing a fistfight between the two to ensue within Stanford's laboratory. Throughout the brawl, Stan got a burn mark on his back (something his grand nephew Dipper mistakes for a tatoo), and the device became inadvertently active, resulting in Stan accidentally sending his brother into the portal before its immediate shutdown from a lack of fuel. Crushed at losing his brother after just regaining contact, Stan remained haunted by what he had done for weeks, dwelling in his brother's home until eventually running out of food and money.
Upon arriving in town and realizing Gravity Falls' intrigue with the mysterious house in the woods, Stan took advantage of the townsfolk's interest by constructing ramshackle and seemingly paranormal props and placing them on display in his brother's former home, eventually attracting enough popularity to convert the house into the Murder Hut, later renamed the Mystery Shack, an overpriced tourist trap filled with cheap attractions. Seizing his brother's identity, Stan obscured any remnants of his former twin, boarding up Ford's old bedroom and hiding his underground complex with a vending machine in the Mystery Shack gift shop. By day, he was Stanfor Pines, Mr. Mystery, but by night, he was in the basement, trying to bring the real Ford back.
- "I was the biggest wimp on the playground! So one summer, my pop signs up me for boxing lessons. It was even worse than the school yard! Y'know, that time I thought my pop was trying to torture me. But wouldn't you know it? The old man was doin' me a favor all along."
- ―Stan on his childhood. Fun fact, in the background of Stan's flashback to his boxing lessons, Ford can be seen in the background, although his face is obscured by a book.
- "STOP MAKING THAT NOISE! I HATE YOU! THIS IS DEFINATELY NOT AN ACCIDENT!"
- ―Stan "accidentally" smashing his cuckoo clock