If I asked you to think of iconic villains, you probably went straight to the classics: Darth Vader, The Joker, maybe even Homelander. Why does no one think of Animated villains? And further, why does no one think of BILL CIPHER △
WHO IS BILL? △
Bill Cipher is the main villain in the series Gravity Falls. He's trillions of years old & from the Second Dimension. He grew bored of living there & destroyed his entire homeworld, killing everyone he had ever known (yes - including his parents).
After the destruction of the Second Dimension, Bill moved to the Nightmare Realm. He is an extremely powerful being capable of almost anything imaginable. Rightfully so, this makes him a huge threat.
Bill later learned of a Prophecy stating that he would be the chosen one to merge the Nightmare Realm with our world. This became Bill's one true goal going forwards. After multiple attempts, Bill finally achieved this with the help of the Pines brothers (who were tricked by Bill).
BILL'S CRIMES △
What exactly has Bill done to earn him the title I've declared of "best Villain"?
Let's see.. He is the one responsible for bringing about the Apocalypse, tricking near every member of the Pines family in one way or another, driving a scientist to insanity for the rest of his life, kidnapping & imprisoning Mabel in an inescapable bubble, turning the citizens of Gravity Falls into stone and merging them into a throne for him to sit on, and much more.
According to the Bill Cipher Wiki page, Bill's worst crimes include:
Abuse (Physical AND Psychological)
BILL'S ENEMIES △
Being a terrifying triangle is sure to lead to some enemies - mainly those that we call heroes in Gravity Falls. And one giant baby.
Bill came to Stanford with the promise of building something great together. They worked together closely as friends for years. Little did Stan know, Bill was only using him to open a gateway to the Nightmare Realm to bring on the Apocalypse. That's sure to ruin any friendship. Stanford ended up trapped in another dimension for decades but once he got back, he was ready to take down his friend-turned-enemy Bill.
As you've come to realize, Bill is above nothing. Tricking literal children to get what you want? Not a problem for Bill. After Bill was summoned by Gideon Gleeful to steal the deed to the Mystery Shack, managed to take Dipper's body (creating Bipper) and more, Dipper and Mabel were obviously sworn enemies of Bill. Who could blame them? As the series goes on, the Pines Twins dislike for Bill only grows.
The Time Police (formally known as the Time Paradox Avoidance Enforcement Squadron) exist for one purpose and one purpose only: keeping the timeline clean & consistent. That means someone like Bill - trying to merge universes, stop time, and generally just do whatever he feels like with no regard for the timeline - is naturally an enemy of the TPAES. Are they a match for a being like Bill? (no)
FAVE BILL MOMENTS △
As with any villain, Bill has some really interesting moments throughout the series. Let's look at my personal faves.
SEASON 1 EPISODE 19
Show of hands - who else has summoned an evil Demon and agreed to help him with a mysterious task in the future so that the Demon will get you the code to a safe so you can steal a rival's legal property? Just Gideon? Alright. Bill's first appearance is - yep - helping a kid try to rob Stan Pines of the Mystery Shack deed. Gideon literally summoned the worst creature in all of existence to help him with a small robbery for a guy he just really doesn't like. What an entrance.
SEASON 2 EPISODE 4
Okay, another show of hands - who else has made a deal with the very same Demon they fought earlier and agreed to trade a puppet for the Demon giving you a password to a mysterious laptop, only then for the Demon to reveal YOU'RE the puppet, get kicked out of your own body & then watch the Demon destroy your laptop. Only Dipper? Sheesh. You'd think after fighting Bill just mere episodes ago (and all within the same few weeks of Summer), Dipper would be more hesitant to take a deal with Bill. But, nope.
BILL VS SHACKTRON
SEASON 2, EPISODE 20
This was a pretty epic moment & a big win for the people of Gravity Falls. Thanks to the Unicorn Barrier placed around the Mystery Shack, Bill can no longer get in or damage just the Shack specifically. This gives our heroes an idea - make the Shack into a fighting machine, bring it to Bill and fight. Bill won't be able to attack back because of the Barrier and they should have a fair shot. There's a pretty amazing rock cover of the theme song as they fight Bill's henchman & as Bill later manages to disarm the Shack, the core group of heroes uses the distraction get inside Bill's temple and start their rescue mission.
DEFEATING BILL △
There are only two known ways to defeat Bill. Luckily, he's just one of those problems that if you forget about him, he goes away. Too soon?
The modern-day town of Gravity Falls was not the first instance of Bill working his way into our universe. Hundreds of years ago, Bill was terrorizing the area that would later become Gravity Falls. The residents at the time discovered that Bill could be defeated using a Zodiac with 10 symbols. It worked then and Bill was sent back to the Nightmare Realm. After Quentin Trembley founded Gravity Falls and Bill returned to wreak havoc, the Pines family & friends tried using the Zodiac in present-day. It turns out, the residents of Gravity Falls (and mostly the main characters) were all aligned with one of the Zodiac signs, meaning the ability to destroy Bill once and for all was always with them. The results were... well, we won't ever know. Their attempt to use the Zodiac failed and they had to resort to a new method to finally destroy Bill.
THE MIND TRICK
Bill has a habit of invading people's minds to try and get what he wants. In the epic series finale, Bill went into the mind of Stan. Which Stan? Well, viewers AND Bill thought that Bill was going into the mind of Stanford Pines. At the same time as Bill, we learn that the Twins had switched clothes to trick Bill. Stanley believes he can finally do the right thing by getting his memory erased with Bill inside - effectively killing Bill. Cipher only went into 'Stanford's mind to learn secrets he'd always wanted. He never would have knowingly gone into Stanley's mind at this point - thus making the greatest trick on Bill ever played happen. It's a Disney show, so of course Stanley ended up remembering everything while Bill remained dead. Plot armour? A little. Still an emotional ride though.
(Watched all of Gravity Falls with me)
Bill Cipher is terrifying because he is undeniably the most powerful being in the universe. He's willing to cross any moral, physical, and even spiritual boundary to get what he wants, when he wants it.
WHY'S HE THE BEST VILLAIN? △
Name someone scarier. I dare you.
This creature has caused chaos before and will no doubt return to cause chaos again somehow. You think a simple mind-erasure will stop Bill from finding a way back? No. That alone is scary. A villain who just doesn't stay down.
Plus, all of your fave bad guys have been scary and wreaked havoc for what, a few decades at max? The typical Marvel villain doesn't even make it a week before the hero miraculously saves the day. Bill has been doing this for TRILLIONS of years. No one beats the CHAOS, DESTRUCTION and overall DEATH that Bill brings everywhere he goes.
In conclusion, △ = scary