Stanbill is the shipping of Stanley "Grunkle Stan" Pines and Bill Cipher. It is a relatively minor ship but still harbors a small, dedicated fanbase.
The pairing was conceived shortly after Bill's first appearance. It started off slow at first but gained some traction as the popularity of the show grew. With the growth of pairings like Billdip and Billford, it's popularity has wavered, but it still has a handful of fans who produce art and fic for it. Post the Finale, there is a Visual Novel in the works. Many fanarts/fics are now set either during or post the Finale.
Reasons for Shipping
- Many people enjoy the similarities between the two characters, viewing them as a 'Bonnie and Clyde' type pairing. Here's a post documenting some of those similarities.
- Bill consistently uses Stanley's name, which some view as Bill extending respect to the man who would have been able to see through his lies. Hence Ford's admission, 'you would have seen him for the scam artist he is.'
- As Weirdmageddon is an event that was one billion years prophesied, Stanley and Bill have been destined enemies long before humans even inhabited the earth.
- Little things such as the figurines of Bill and Stan being sold together and Bill and Stan interacting in shorts provides some shipper fuel.
There's a lot of theories about how and in what form Bill Cipher survived. He survived somewhere in Stan's subconscious. He is trapped in the canister or statue. He escaped Stan's mind with Axolotl's help and will return in a new form. My favourite theory is one of the more outlandish ones. Axolotl decides to ironically reincarnate Bill in the past as Stanley Pines. It feels kind of silly but it also feels really poetic and it matches Axolotl's poem from the book.
- "Sixty degrees that come in threes."
"Watches from within birch trees."
"Saw his own dimension burn."
"Misses home and can't return."
"Says he's happy. He's a liar."
"Blame the arson for the fire."
"If he wants to shirk the blame,"
"He'll have to invoke my name."
"One way to absolve his crime."
"A different form, a different time."
- ―An excerpt from Dipper and Mabel and the Curse of the Time Pirates' Treasure!: Select Your Own Choose-Venture.
The most direct way to absolve Bill's crime is to reincarnate him as the same person who willingly gave up everything to stop him. Stan and Bill saw Stan's mind (dimension) go up in flames. Stan was arguably the arson of that fire while Bill was the one to blame. Stan left home and couldn't return and he was clearly depressed about it but often put on a pretense of being happy. Sixty degrees that come in threes clearly refers to him being a triangle but could also mean that his character will do a 180 and go from a villain to a hero. Outside of the poem it makes a lot of thematic sense. Stanley has all of Bill's worst character traits but he also has a loving family which causes his positive traits to grow stronger. It's a ridiculously outlandish theory but I love it and to me it makes more sense than Bill coming back as a villain. It also feels like the exact kind of thing a lizard god of weirdness would do and it explains why the poem specifies a different time instead of just saying the future.