Dipper and Mabel discover their seemingly cherubic new neighbor, Gideon, happens to be the town’s adored psychic. But when Dipper convinces Mabel to go on a date with Gideon to question his authenticity, she soon learns that his cuteness can fade all too quickly.
Dipper, Mabel, and Soos are watching Tiger Fist on TV when they see a commercial for Li'l Gideon's Tent of Telepathy. They want to test his authenticity as a psychic, so they decide to go to one of his shows, which Grunkle Stan forbids them from going due to Gideon causing him trouble, but they find a loophole and went to the show anyway. At the show, Gideon sings a song about his abilities and everyone is impressed with Gideon except for Dipper. When the show is over, Dipper says that Gideon is a bigger fraud than Stan. Mabel disagrees and says that his dance moves are adorable and compliments his hair. Unknown to them, Gideon was eavesdropping on their conversation.
The next day, Gideon shows up at The Mystery Shack and asks Mabel if she would like to go to his dressing room so they could do makeovers, and Mabel happily accepts. She returns to the Mystery Shack with a new look. Dipper doesn't trust Gideon, but Mabel says to give him a chance since Dipper never wants to do girly stuff with her and he and Soos get to do boy stuff all the time. Dipper and Soos then go to watch hot dogs explode in the microwave, hence proving Mabel's point. Gideon then takes Mabel to sit atop his family's factory. There, Gideon says he's never felt so close to someone and asks Mabel to go on a date with him. Mabel hopes he means a play date or a shopping date. Gideon swears it will only be one date. Mabel reluctantly accepts and Gideon gives her a hug, and not very quickly, sniffs her hair.
The next day Gideon shows up to the Mystery Shack on a horse, ready to take Mabel on their date. He takes her to a fancy restaurant where people have a hard time saying no to him. Mabel is very impressed with the restaurant. She says she's never seen so many forks or water with bubbles in it. Gideon believes the date was a complete success and promises that tomorrow's date will top it. Mabel reminds Gideon that he promised only one date. Gideon then uses a South American Rainbow Macaw to ask Mabel to accompany him to the ballroom dance. Mabel really doesn't want to go along with it but with all the local attention the couple has been getting she decides to go out with him again in an attempt to hopefully be only just friends. This idea is short-lived though as Stan, of whom was completely against the relationship from the start, gets sweet talked into supporting the young couple by Gideon's dad so that both businesses can merge in an attempt to make a serious profit.
Mabel is upset and confused, and goes into "Sweatertown" and pulls her sweater up over her head, so, to help with the split, Dipper volunteers to bail Mabel out of having to break up with Gideon and decides to do it for her. After Dipper tells Gideon Mabel doesn't want to go out with him anymore, Gideon returns home and uses the mystic amulet to throw a huge tantrum, when his father comes and tells him to tidy his room, he shouts "I can buy and sell you, old man!" Gideon then convinces Toby Determined to get Dipper to go to the factory in exchange for Shandra Jimenez's phone number. Gideon warns Dipper to stay away from the secrets of Gravity Falls and uses his amulet to attack Dipper.
Back at the Shack, Mabel and Wendy have a one sided conversation, and Mabel decides to break up with Gideon herself. Meanwhile, Gideon controls/uses telekinesis on Dipper with his amulet and sends a pair of lamb shears at him. Mabel arrives and takes Gideon's amulet from him and throws it to Dipper. Gideon tackles Dipper out the window, and the two fall. Luckily, Mabel uses the amulet to save them. She tells Gideon she'll never date him, and destroys the amulet. Gideon backs into the forest, warning them, "This isn't the last you'll see of little ol' me."
Gideon forces his father to call off the deal with Stan to the latter's dismay. So, Stan steals the clown painting and runs off. Stan returns home to see an exhausted Mabel and Dipper slumped on the couch. But they lighten the mood by joking about Gideon getting revenge on them. Gideon is then seen in his room, playing with handmade dolls of Mabel, Dipper, and Stan. He pretends as if the Dipper doll is asking him "what are you going to do without your precious amulet," mocking words the real Dipper said earlier in their confrontation, and Gideon replies, "Oh, you'll see boy. You'll see." He then closes Journal 2, revealing that he has it.
In the credits scene, Mabel "bezazzles" Soos. She turns out the lights, Dipper shines a flashlight on him, and music plays as Soos spins in place, thereby becoming a disco ball. An annoyed Stan says, "You're all fired."
- Written by:
- Directed by:
- Storyboards by:
- With the Voice Talents of:
- Additional Voices:
- Casting By:
- Stan once went to jail in Colombia.
- Gideon owns Journal 2.
- The S on the Mystery Shack is still detached from "Headhunters."
- Mabel is seen wearing the llama sweater that Wax Larry King suggested she wear in the previous episode, "Headhunters."
- Dipper apologizes to Toby Determined for accusing him of being a murderer in "Headhunters."
- Gideon comments that Dipper and Mabel have been in Gravity Falls for one or two weeks since their arrival in "Tourist Trapped."
- Viewership: This episode was watched by 2.954 million viewers on its premiere night.
- This episode title is based on the idiom "the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world."
- The disclaimer at the end of Gideon's commercial reads:
- Gideon's Dipper has a dark green shirt instead of an orange shirt, and his Mabel wears a heart sweater that she is never actually seen wearing.
- While Dipper and Mabel are playing their video game, the background music is an 8-bit version of the background music played while the gnome monster was chasing them in the first episode.
- The list of guys that Wendy broke up with is inspired by boys that Alex Hirsch's sister Ariel had crushes on. The names were mixed up, with the only first and last names being used. 
- The credits music is the same as the background music in "Tourist Trapped" during the sequence that Dipper is looking for proof that Norman is a zombie.
- This episode has Mabel wearing two sweaters seen in other episodes: the rainbow and llama hair sweaters.
- Carla might be a reference to Carla McCorkle or Carla from Cash Wheel.
- Alex Hirsch, Thurop Van Oarman, Jason Ritter, and Kristen Schaal recorded their lines for the episode together.
- During the end credits of this episode, there was a cryptogram that read "FDUOD, ZKB ZROW BRY FDOO PH?" Once decoded, it reads, "CARLA, WHY WONT YOU CALL ME?" 'Carla' was mentioned in the end of Tent of Telepathy commercial.
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