THIS REVIEW IS MEANT TO BE READ AFTER YOU'VE SEEN THE EPISODE. I WON'T BE GIVING A PLOT SYNOPSIS FOR THE EPISODE AND I WILL BE REFERENCING SPECIFIC EVENTS, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE EPISODE THEN THIS WON'T MAKE MUCH SENSE.
On first glance Double Dipper seems like a pretty standard episode of Gravity Falls. It's funny, it has a cool supernatural element, it advances its characters, all beats that any good episode covers. What makes Double Dipper different is that its strengths lie in places that are different from most other Gravity Falls episodes from season 1, in its characters and its writing.
I'll mix things up a bit and get the biggest downside of the episode out of the way first, that being that it isn't as funny as the episodes that directly precede it. While not as good overall Dipper vs. Manliness definitely had more laugh out loud moments and it used its characters more in regards to delivering funny lines. Double Dipper is without a doubt still funny, but it lacks any of the big quotable moments or great visual gags that Gravity Falls excels at delivering. Part of this is in large part due to the fact that Mabel and Stan(arguably the show's most consistently funny characters) are absent for a large majority of it. Stan is great every moment he's onscreen, but since he isn't much there aren't many laughs from him. Mabel is fantastic as always, but she doesn't have much to work with. Dipper and her make a great comedy duo and their banter can usually cover an episode's need for jokes on its own, but for almost the entire episode neither of them interact with each other and the comedy suffers for it. In a better episode this might be balanced out by Mabel having a funny b-plot, but the one she's handed is rather weak. Pacifica Northwest is obviously supposed to be a valley girl stereotype, but just because the writers are clearly aware of who she is doesn't change that fact that that's still who she is. She's annoying, flat, and not very interesting as a character or a source of comedy, so her interactions with Mabel are disappointingly unfunny. Mabel gets in a few good lines, but overall the time the episode spends on her seems like it could be better used. This lack of Stan and Mabel leaves Dipper to hold up the majority of the comedy, as Wendy and Soos aren't there for very long. Seeing Dipper react off of himself is admittedly very funny, but not quiet to the levels of something like the manotaurs or the convenience store ghosts. Overall the episode's humor suffers from a lack of good materiel to work with, as the energy and talent is clearly still there, it just doesn't get used nearly as much as it could with a more versatile b-plot for Mabel or more appearances from Stan.
Besides the humor falling a little bit flat though Double Dipper is a great episode for examining the character of Dipper and the way he interacts with the world and people around him. Dipper vs. Manliness had the opportunity to tell the audience something about his character, but instead it chose to focus on the funny supernatural element. Double Dipper uses the Dipper clones not as a humorous distraction like the manotaurs, but rather as a way to further examine Dipper. His interactions with himself are entertaining for sure, but they also let him show his penchant for over analysis better than any other episode, even Tourist Trapped, which let us literally hear his thoughts. Double Dipper is a bit like The Hand That Rocks the Mabel was for Mabel, an episode that takes the focus away from the supernatural and turns it onto the main character. It manages to create a surprisingly interesting look at how Dipper goes about taking a simple problem that literally almost any person has at one point faced and makes it into a giant fiasco that somehow requires the use of ten clones. His eventual realization that his checklist is unnecessary is also surprisingly natural compared to most cartoon characters learning lessons, coming across as half his own mental conclusion and also a natural prompt to Wendy's laid back nature. It also helps that for the entire episode the only real conversation Dipper has with Wendy is indeed the one by the bathroom, making it feel like as much of a breakthrough to the audience as it does to Dipper. Really Dipper manages to carry the entire episode simply with his emotional journey and conversations with himself, a surprising change of pace for a show that's usually about fighting giant monsters and solving ancient puzzles.
Double Dipper is undoubtedly a great episode of Gravity Falls, but it's lack of truly hilarious jokes keep it from being one of the high points of the series. It's still a really fun time and should not be skipped due to it's examination of Dipper's character alone, but it can't quite reach the peak of other better episodes.
-I like Mabel's party sweater. It's so her.
-I might have had bit of a bias against something clone related. (http://tinyurl.com/jgral26) Just saying.