Analysis / Adventure Time

What time is it? Time to do an unnecessary headache-inducing analysis of this children's cartoon! THIS ANALYSIS CONTAINS ONLY UNMARKED SPOILERS

The concept of the show

This show's plot could be reduced to "two buds hanging out in any way possible". In reality, there's no accurate way to summarize this mess... but since this is an analysis page...

The show relies heavily on use of fantastic elements (swords, monsters, princesses) in a fantastic setting (divided into kingdoms of fire, ice, candy, etc.), and many tropes consistent with the genre of High Fantasy. It does this in an offbeat way. Many of the characters are twists on stock characters. Instead of a knight in shining armor, the show features a "twelve year old boy with strong morals". Instead of a steed saving a princess, Finn is escorted by his best friend, a magical dog. Instead of battling an evil wizard, the Ice King comes off as crazy in sympathetic ways rather than malicious ones. They save many princesses and the blatant over-abundance of princesses is perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of this show, the minor princesses often providing small amounts of romantic comedy. So what we have here is a sort of "parody" of the fantasy genre, with more humor and in a laid-back and simplistic style, but the fantasy is still there, and the show's love for adventure prevalent in many episodes.

There is more to be explored, however. Although on the surface the show would seem completely fantasy element-based, there are many real-world deconstructions; the show takes fantasy and injects reality. For example, the show completely ignores Amusing Injuries, even though the simplistic style of the show implies that it would be a show that has entirely cartoon-y physics. This is not the case; injuries are treated very seriously, and often even last throughout the episode. Fun and rather dangerous adventures often turn into "Hey! Get serious! We could actually die!". There are lots of Cerebus Retcons which show up as a result of Cerebus Syndrome; rather amusing things are revealed to have more serious meaning, like Marceline's Fry Song. Characters often have stereotypical fictional personalities, that contain another characterization underneath the surface:

  • Finn: Bold, brave hero flinging a sword—revealed to be an ambiguously self-conscious teen who is really sensitive and worries about becoming the Tag Along Kid, and also someone who struggles with his own methods of heroism. His passion for life leads to the realization that he is capable of a more passionate and deeper seeded love than expected, as seen in his want for meaningful relationships. In the probable chance his feelings are not reciprocated and even denied, he becomes emotional to the point of tears.
    "Deep down he's probably really sensitive, like me."
  • Jake: Cool-shooting playboy with an ambiguous moral code, as shown in his past as a hardened criminal—revealed to be a caring individual who wished to settle down with Lady Rainicorn after she was found to be pregnant. He showed clear concern for his children following their birth and went so far as to commit a crime to save Jake Jr. Prior to his children's birth and following their quick aging, he acted as a surrogate guardian for Finn after their parent's death.
  • Ice King: Evil wizard who constantly kidnaps princesses—revealed to be an extremely sympathetic character who only kidnaps princesses because he's extremely lonely and has never known a true friend besides his penguins. This is further deconstructed when it's revealed that he was once a normal kind man who accidentally turned himself into a wizard, and his desire to capture princesses stems from his subconscious desire to see his old fiancee again, whom he called his princess. The crown he wears has more or less destroyed his mind over the thousand years in which he's worn it, leaving in its place a sad, insane wreck.
    "I'm complicated."
  • Marceline: Cool-as-ice, level-headed Trickster vampire who is chaotic neutral, only doing things for her own amusement—revealed to be an extremely lonely girl that desperately finds fun wherever she can with no friends who would probably rather not live forever, and hides a very sad personality; she would easily cry if it wasn't so embarrassing for her, and whenever she shows her more sensitive side, she gets mad.
    "(singing) Blood red skies make tears inside that I always hide."
  • Princess Bubblegum: Benevolent, intelligent, and kind hearted individual who lives for the ultimate pleasing of her kingdom and its denizens, but who is also an introverted and pragmatic mutation of a piece of bubblegum. She has no interest in romance, in fact, her two main priorities are science and her citizens, anything else doesn't interest her. Her sweet, pink exterior belies a ruthless past.
  • Lumpy Space Princess: A party girl whose rude and self-centered nature has blessed her with popularity, a seductive nature, and a relatively care-free existence—revealed to be a confused and partially oblivious soul who wants to be appreciated. After leaving home at roughly 16, she failed to realize the world didn't revolve around her and didn't understand why people didn't pay attention to her. This led to a mental breakdown in "Apple Wedding", where her craving for attention nearly ruined a wedding. Despite her amorous intentions, she isn't capable of holding a stable relationship. This is best exemplified in "Bad Timing", when she rekindles an old flame, only to become jealous of his meeting with Princess Bubblegum and going so far as to firebomb the Candy Castle to win him back.

So, the show has the capability of subverting and/or deconstructing the fantastic feel of the elements of the show, and the characters. But what about the setting itself? Welp, turns out it was Earth All Along! That's right, the show takes place on Earth, but after an apocalypse (specifically due to a nuclear war), making one wonder just how the world can be so bright and colorful, and why the art-style is so laid-back, non-serious, and simplistic.

But of course, that doesn't mean the show can't have purely real-world plots (like the episode "Video Makers") . They'll just be viewed "through a fantastic lens" (to quote storyboarder Adam Muto).

NOTE: A lot of what is below this point is speculation.

The timeline of Adventure Time

One interesting thing I can say is that there is indeed a mapped-out timeline for Ooo's creation and any flashback hints you've seen so far match up with the timeline.
Ian Jones-Quartey, storyboard supervisor

Well, let's see how much of it we can get right. For further insight on this, visit the Adventure Time Wiki.

Event Time
According to the Lich, the Universe that is commonly acknowledged to exist is ruled by monsters. One of these monsters is Orgalorg. Before the advent of time
Prismo and the Time Room are born from the formation of the Universe. Orgalorg survives the formation of time and space and becomes an entity of chaos known as The Breaker of Worlds. After the universe is born
The siblings Grob Gob Glob Grod and Magic Man are recognized as existing, the former of which is seen as a demigod. Magic Man marries Margles but she is stolen by Golb, a devil-like figure. In mourning, he creates the Magical Automated Resistance Generating Laser Energy Supplier, a planetary defense system for Mars installed on Olympus Mons. Primordial era
The Ice Elemental Urgence Evergreen creates a crown to help him destroy the First Catalyst Comet threatening the Earth. His assistant Gunther the Dinosaur puts it on and becomes insane. Prehistoric times
Abraham Lincoln meets Hunson Abadeer and becomes the King of Mars. Within the period of the First Comet
The Second Catalyst Comet enters the Solar System. Orgalorg attempts to absorb the comet, offending Lincoln. The former is struck down by Grob Gob Glob Grod, and descends to Earth as a penguin, later named Gunter. Post Ice Age
Abraham Lincoln survives his assassination due to immortality. Lincoln travels through time back to this moment to be assassinated by John Wilkes Booth after he gives his immortality to Death. April 14, 1865
Simon Petrikov is born. He grows up and, as a young man, studies to be an antiquarian. He meets his future fiancee Betty. Roughly 1,040 years before the animated short
Simon Petrikov obtains the ice crown and Enchiridion from an archeological dig. He puts on the crown as a joke but it begins to change his emotions and begins to turn him into the Ice King. During his unstable condition, Betty time travels, leaving him suddenly. Moseph Giovanni founds Mo Co. Marceline Abadeer is born with light blue skin and pointed ears to her human mother and Hunson. Marceline's mother cares for Marceline alone. Earth is identical to ours. note  1,000+ years prior to animated short
The Mushroom War occurs, destroying large portions of the Earth and killing off all but a handful of humans. The Lich is born via the detonation of a mutagenic bomb. 1000+ years prior to animated short
Marceline is 4 or 5 years old, scared and alone in the ruins. She receives Hambo from Simon Petrikov. During and/or just after the Mushroom war.
Marceline is 7 years old, and is under the care of Simon Petrikov, who is 47 years old. Simon begins to feel the full effects of the crown, and records his last tapes. He abandons Marceline and leaves her in the care of an unknown person. The world has been mutated enough for there to be radioactive creatures and wreckage. The first pieces of candy begin to be mutated. The world is in ruins. 996 years prior to the events of season 5
Marceline is around 7—10 years of physical age. Hambo is tattered and is her "only friend". The Land of Ooo begins to form note . Years later
Bonnibel and Neddy Bubblegum are born from the Mothergum. Both find a tree which gives life-sustaining juice. Neddy's anatomy converts the juice into a renewable panacea, which will eventually lead to the creation of the Candy Kingdom and Candy Life Formula. Around this time
Marceline's dad eats her fries. Marceline is a teenager (probably 13—15). Angry at her father, Marceline returns him to the Nightosphere, leaving Marceline independent on Ooo. In this time, she quests to slay the remaining vampires of Ooo. She kills The Fool, The Empress, and The Moon to gain her current powers. Roughly 10 years later
Marceline is roughly 16. She meets the colony that will become the Hyoomen, and joins them. After killing Empress and Moon
Marceline is roughly 19. The Hyoomen attempt to sail away on a refurbished cruise ship after their leader Two Bread Tom picks up strange meteorological readings. Marceline kills Hierophant and The Vampire King, becoming the Vampire Queen in the process. Two years later
The Third Catalyst Comet hits Earth, reducing its size by a quarter. After Marceline becomes the Vampire Queen
The emergence of the Hyoomen, an irradiated species of human who have turned into human-fish hybrids. Due to the fright they experienced during the Third Catalyst Comet, they retreat to a subterranean bunker. At some point after the Third Catalyst Comet
Marceline becomes friends with Princess Bubblegum, and eventually her girlfriend. They later have a falling out. Some time later
Princess Bubblegum begins building the Candy Kingdom, and she is dating Mr. Creampuff. There are still traces of radioactivity from the Mushroom War (such as the radioactive river PB tries to cover with candy). The Gumball Guardians are created. Shoko dies while trying to steal the Princess's magic amulet. She crawls out of the radioactive river and takes refuge near a baby tree (the Tree Fort in the past). The Ice Kingdom has not been created yet. Multiple centuries before the animated short
The Candy Kingdom is completed. The Banana Guards are instated as the primary police force. When the Banana Guards fail at their job, Bubblegum creates the Gumball Guard. They are disbanded and destroyed after they display unwarranted aggression. Rattleballs escapes the execution. The Banana Guards are reinstated. After the death of Shoko
The Tree Fort is now fully grown. Marceline moves into the tree fort with Ash. She is now an ageless adult (physically 18—21). At least 500 years after Marceline started writing her journal
Marceline moves into Ash's current house with him. Later, Ash sells Hambo to the Sky Witch Maja. After learning of this, Marceline breaks up with Ash. Maybe one or two years later
With Ice King continually bugging her, Marceline wanders Ooo like she said in "Evicted!". The Fire Kingdom exists by now. Probably a few years later
Magic Man is banished to earth for his crimes on Mars. 200+ years before the animated short
The Rainicorn-Dog War ends. During Lady Rainicorn's Father's lifetime, decades before the animated short
Baby-Snaps's dreams of being a princess are crushed by Princess Bubblegum. Presumably a decade or two before the animated short. note .
Finn Mertens is born to a man named Martin Mertens and an unknown woman on a banana boat. Soon after, Martin is abducted by a giant creature, described as a "dangerous life choice". Flame Princess is born to the Flame King and an unknown woman. Jake and Jermaine are born simultaneously, though through different means note  shortly after the birth of Flame Princess. Twelve years before the animated short
Finn makes his hat. Flame Princess is imprisoned by the Flame King and Princess Bubblegum. A little later
Martin is imprisoned in The Citadel. Finn is abandoned by his mother and makes a vow to never abandon others in their times of need. Joshua and Margaret find baby Finn in the forest and adopt him. Some time later
Joshua moves into the tree fort with Finn and Jake, then starts recording his holo-messages about building a dungeon 80 paces west of there. Finn and Jake are still babies.
Joshua finds that Jake knocked out his brother, Jermaine. Jake is a little boy. Years later, still years before the animated short
Joshua and Margaret die (not necessarily at the same time). Finn and Jake bury Joshua. Unknown period of time later
Unsupervised, Finn and Jake are free to travel throughout Ooo, where they visit the Candy Kingdom and meet Princess Bubblegum and Lady Rainicorn. The Ice King reveals himself and begins stealing princesses. Princess Bubblegum tasks Finn and Jake to protect her, who happily oblige. Finn becomes the Candy Kingdom's champion. Months before the origin point, the animated short

Finn is 12. Jake begins a relationship Lady Rainicorn. Finn receives his first kiss from Princess Bubblegum. During animated short
Billy retires from adventuring and ends his relationship with then girlfriend Canyon. Around the same time as the animated short
The events of season 1 note . Finn and Jake meet Marceline, who is exactly 1000 now. Finn obtains the Enchiridion. Finn and Jake meet Magic Man. Finn and Jake meet Billy. Billy begins a relationship with a woman Finn and Jake save. Tree Trunks is teleported to the Crystal Dimension after eating the Crystal Gem Apple. She is given the name Quartzion the Crystal Queen. Finn creates Neptr. Just after to several months after animated short
The events of season 2. note  Finn and Jake are captured by Quartzion the Crystal Queen. She reverts to Tree Trunks and returns to Ooo. Finn and Jake meet Susan Strong. Finn turns 13 and finds the Root Sword. The Lich escapes from his amber prison. Through The Ice King's carelessness, The Lich possesses Princess Bubblegum. The Lich is re-imprisoned in the snail. Princess Bubblegum reverts to Finn's age. Several months to over a year after animated short
The events of season 3. Princess Bubblegum turns 18 again. Finn and Jake discover Marceline's recent past and the Ice King's distant past. Shoko has contact with Finn for the first time. The Guild of Assassins sends an operative to murder a princess who fails but survives. Finn and Jake find the holo-messages of their dad and retrieve the Demon Blood Sword from a dungeon. Finn and Jake meet Flame Princess. Over a year to almost two years after animated short
Finn turns 14. In-between seasons
The events of season 4. The struggle for power over the Nightosphere begins and ends with Hunson Abadeer upon the throne. The Lich obtains the Enchiridion and possesses Billy offscreen. Princess Bubblegum creates Goliad and Stormo. Finn and Flame Princess begin dating. Lady Rainicorn is revealed to be pregnant. Marceline and Ice King meet for the first time in years. Finn uses the Enchiridion and the Gems of Power to open the Multiverse portal, destroying the Enchiridion in the process. Finn, Jake, and The Lich enter the Time Room through the portal. Almost two years to two years and several months after animated short
The events of season 5. Finn and Jake meet Prismo. The Lich wishes for the extinction of all life. Finn wishes that the Lich never existed, thus creating the Alternate Timeline (see Alternate Timelines). Jake meets the Cosmic Owl and wishes to negate the Lich's original wish. Finn and Jake return to Ooo as do the Gems of Power. Lady Rainicorn has five children, who soon leave home. Marceline explains to Finn and Jake her past with the Ice King (see "996 years prior to the events of Season 5"). Finn turns 15. BMO meets Moseph Giovanni and the entire MO family. Marceline reunites with Hambo, with Princess Bubblegum exchanging for the T-shirt Marceline gave her. A series of events lead to Flame Princess and Finn breaking up, the rescue of a child name Lemonhope from the Earl of Lemongrab, and a coup instated by Flame Princess and Cinnamon Bun, in which the former becomes ruler of the Fire Kingdom. Finn gives Princess Bubblegum back the amulet that was buried under the tree fort. Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig get married. Finn obtains his fourth sword, the Grass Blade. Rattleballs returns to the Candy Kingdom as the second champion. Cinnamon Bun becomes "fully baked" and thus has normal intellect; he becomes the Fire Kingdom's champion. Roughly three years since the animated short
Season 5 continued. Bella Noche is resurrected by Bufo, Laser Wizard, and Forest Wizard, thus placing the Wizard Kingdom in jeopardy. Ice King reverts to Simon Petrikov. Using ancient texts, Simon enters a time portal and brings Betty to the land of Ooo. Marceline sacrifices Hambo in the process. Betty defeats Bella Noche and travels the land using Ash's magic carpet. Simon reverts back to Ice King. Lemonhope leaves the Candy Kingdom on a quest of freedom. He returns to the Earldom of Lemons and defeats Earl Lemongrab. He vacates the position of champion and begins a quest of self-actualization. Finn turns 16. Finn meets Billy's ex-girlfriend Canyon and completes the final wishes of Billy. He conquers his fear of the ocean and learns his human father is alive and imprisoned in a facility known as the Citadel. Months after Flame Princess regains the throne
The Season 6 premiere. Finn and Jake return to the Time Room to wish their way into the Citadel. They find both Prismo and The Lich, now harmless after wasting his wish. Finn and Jake find the physical body of Prismo and return it to him in order to gain entrance to the Citadel. The Lich kills Prismo and is arrested for a cosmic crime. Finn and Jake stow away with the Lich and enter The Citadel. Once there, The Lich begins destroying the area, releasing all the criminals. Finn reunites with his dad Martin, who escapes with other criminals. In trying to prevent his dad from escaping, Finn loses his right arm and the Grass Blade. The Lich, having bathed in the blood of the Citadel Guardians, reverts to an organic and childlike creature. Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig adopt The Lich as a child and name him Sweet P. Shortly after the Season 5 finale
The events of Season 6. Finn's right arm is restored. Maja summons Darren using the power of Princess Bubblegum's shirt and attacks the Candy Kingdom. Root Beer Guy dies, but Maja is defeated by Finn, Jake, and the Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant. A comatose Maja is taken into the care of the Elephant, who is now free to do what he pleases. Butty "Kent" Butterson is born from a severed chunk of Shelby's body and saves the tree fort. Due to time shenanigans, Prismo is returned to life. Finn recieves a new sword (The Finn Sword) made from his alternate timeline self. Gunter and the Cosmic Owl meet. Four years after the animated short
The Season 6 final episodes. Betty absorbs Magic Man's powers and is driven mad by Ice King's words. Gunter is revealed to be the ancient space being Orgalorg after sustaining a head injury. Martin frees a rebel tribe of bears and steals an amount of gold and a milk moth queen from their captors, returning to space. Princess Bubblegum loses the throne of the Candy Kingdom in an election to the King of Ooo. She exiles herself to a cabin of Lake Butterscotch. The Fourth Catalyst Comet enters the Solar System and Orgalorg attempts to unite with it. Finn revives his Grass Sword via the thorn in his hand, enveloping his entire right arm. The comet, now sentient, offers Finn a new plane of existence. Finn refuses but Martin accepts the deal. Some time after Gunter and the Cosmic Owl meet
The beginning of Season 7. Mo Giovanni passes away off-screen, and AMO begins plotting revenge for a perceived lack of love. Finn loses his Grass Sword and goes back to using the Finn Sword. Finn and Jake are named knights in the court of the Princess-King of Ooo. Neddy escapes from the Candy Kingdom, but is returned by Princess Bubblegum. Princess Bubblegum establishes the Garden Kingdom as a satellite state of the Candy Kingdom. Root Beer Guy comes back to life as Dirt Beer Guy. Finn and Jake are fired as knights. Two months after the Fourth Catalyst Comet note 
The events of "Stakes". Marceline gets Princess Bubblegum to cure her vampirism. As a result, the five vampires return, including the Vampire King. With the help of PB, Finn, Jake, and even Ice King, Marceline defeats them once more and sucks up their vampire essence. The Vampire King's essence is spilled, resulting in The Dark Cloud, a pure storm of vampiric energy. The King of Ooo is melted by Crunchy, who claims the throne as Princess Crunchy the Unforgiving. Several kingdoms attack The Dark Cloud, with Marceline using her demon powers to seal it away, becoming a vampire again. Bubblegum later usurps Crunchy and return to ruling the Candy Kingdom. Following the formation of the Garden Kingdom
Season 7 continued. AMO, disguised as Mo, sends BMO on a quest to free the ALL-MOS. AMO knocks out Finn, Jake, and NEPTR, but BMO knocks AMO off a cliff, killing him instantly. Me-Mow returns but is thrown in prison. Betty kidnaps Gunter in order to get her hands on Ice King's crown. The crown is later returned to the Ice King. Prismo tasks Finn and Jake with fixing the Farmworld dimension. Farmworld Finn is cured of the Ice Crown's magic while Lich Jake is defeated, but his hand falls through a portal creating multiple copies in other dimensions. Finn has a brief fling with Huntress Wizard. Finn breaks the Finn Sword after Bandit Princess causes him to stab it with the Grass Sword. Bubblegum creates a clone of Cinnamon Bun called Bun Bun. Bun Bun frees the old Flame King from the lamp and together they live in the woods with chipmunks. The powerless Magic Man returns to Mars to become the new ruler. The Ice Elemental from before the Mushroom War, Patience St. Pim, is freed from beneath the Ice Kingdom. She tries to recruit the other elementals to her side (PB, Slime Princess, and Flame Princess), but they refuse. After "Stakes"
The Ice Kingdom is destroyed and inhabited by a flying Ice King-like demon. The Candy Kingdom returns to a metropolis and eventually falls to ruin. Lemonhope reclaims the throne of the Earldom of Lemon, now an abandoned society. A thousand years after Lemongrab is defeated
The Grayble society rises to prominence. The arrival of Holo-Pyramid technology, as demonstrated by Bayble Cuber. Presumably a few years after

On the relationship between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline

Ever since the episode "What Was Missing" was aired, the relationship between Adventure Time's two major characters, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline has been shrouded in controversy. The fanbase recently has gone to war on whether or not their relationship is platonic or if the relationship has a more romantic implication. The main issue here is subtext, but what we do know about their relationship is that Princess Bubblegum and Marceline were once friends, but had some sort of falling out before the series began, which explains the contempt they had for each other during the episode (and the attitude that Bubblegum had towards Marceline during the episode "Go With Me"). What we also know is that throughout "What Was Missing", Marceline made it very clear she wants to reconcile with the Princess and heal their relationship. Which is where we start the Flame Wars and arguments between the two camps. Here is where we start to analyze the subtext from the episode and the different explanations between each side. First, the song. It of course repeatedly hints at a past relationship, but it can be interpreted as a romantic one or platonic one. Notice how the word "friend" is never actually used:

Marceline: I'm gonna drink the red from your pretty pink face... note  I'm gonna...
Princess Bubblegum: Marceline, that's too distasteful.
Marceline: Oh... you don't like that? ...Or do you just not like ME?! note 
Sorry I donít treat you like a goddess,
Is that what you want me to do? note 
Sorry I donít treat you like youíre perfect,
Like all your little loyal subjects do, note 
Sorry I’m not made of sugar,
Am I not sweet enough for you? note 
Is that why you always avoid me? note 
That must be such an inconvenience to you well,
Iím just your problem,
Iím just your problem, note 
It's like I'm not, even a person, am I? note 
Iím just your problem
Well, I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I shouldnít have to justify what I do note 
I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I shouldnít have to prove anything to you
Iím sorry that I exist
I forget what landed me on your blacklist, note 
But I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I shouldnít have to be the one that makes up with you, so note 
Why do I want to? Why do I want to...note note 

Later in the episode Marceline says, "Ha! Guess you're not as perfect as you thought! Guess you can't judge me anymore", to which PB responds, "I never said you had to be perfect!" further complicating things. Let's just assume PB and Marceline were just talking about the present, save for the line "Guess you're not as perfect as you thought" which hints at PB's high opinion of herself which strained their relationship.

Finally, the shirt scene. One piece of evidence which favors the romantic side is when Marceline blushes saying, "You... kept the shirt I gave you?" although it could just be general embarrassment. The romantic side, of course, assumes Marceline is thinking, "She really does love me!" or something similar. The platonic side assumes Marceline was just embarrassed that her sensitive side was let out in the open like that, because the shirt obviously has sentimental value. Of course, this begs the question, what the hell does the shirt mean?! PB claims that she wears the shirt as pajamas all the time. Cue the two sides of the fandom arguing, "FRIENDS/ROMANTIC PARTNERS DO THAT ALL THE TIME!" So... yeah. It all really depends on the viewer and how they pick up on the "evidence" of their backstory. The creators are keeping their mouths shut on this.
  • Let me take the other side of this. PB has been shown to be a bit of a warrior princess who defends her hapless subjects against monsters. Marceline was making a name for herself as a monster, for self defense, until Finn decided that she was a good girl. Marceline isn't looking for loving from PB, just social respectability. The problem is that PB sees all the pranks she still pulls and so keeps her at arms length to maintain her own position. That is why she can only wear the shirt in private.
  • There's also the possibility that it's entirely one sided, since Marceline is the more emotional one about the relationship (that alone is enough to make things sour).
    • Considering things like Bonnie's attachment to the shirt Marcy gave her and her regret at pushing Marcy away, it's unlikely that this is entirely one sided. What it does show is that PB is far better at hiding and controlling her feelings for the "greater good" (just like her speech to Finn about sacrificing his love for FP to protect people).
  • The map shows only one bridge that leads to the Candy Kingdom and Marceline resided at the one structure that guarded that bridge. So perhaps Marceline had a relationship with the former Candy Kingdom rulers much like her current relationship with the Duke Nut. She befriended a young princess then fled when young Bonnibel got too interested in necromancy. So the relationship was broken off to keep Bonnibel from causing exactly the sort of zombie plague she finally did several years later.
  • Perhaps it is worth noting that unofficial promo art by one of the episode's storyboarders/writers, Rebecca Sugar (who composed the song) appears to show PB as a significantly younger girl awed by Marceline's singing. Marceline looks the same age.
    • This could have been explained away with "Bonnie and Neddy", in which PB is implied to have had a massive growth spurt. During her aging-up process, she could have met Marceline in child form.
  • No one ever seems to care that the show's writers have actually said, basically, "We did NOT mean to imply that PB and Marceline used to like-like each other." Remember the Frederator video which said that 'and' the fall out wherein they 'apologized' for having inferred that the episode had implied that there was a romantic relationship, and Adam Muto said the same basic thing.
    • It's starting to seem that not even the show's creators know what is going on with Bubblegum and Marceline. Adam Muto once said it was meant as subtext and on purpose. Some the cast and crew have openly supported the idea (including one of the lead character designers) while others have said that it was unintentional. Whenever fans ask Pen Ward about whether their relationship is romantic or not, the answers they recieve tend to be along the lines of "figure it out yourselves" or "I won't say". It certainly doesn't help that the creators are known to ''lie to and troll'' the fans sometimes when major plot points like romantic relationships are involved.
    • Both Hynden Walch and Olivia Olson have said their part about the pairing. Hynden sees it as they were friends but Bubblegum became too involved with her kingdom and Marceline left her, and that PB has abandonment issues over this. Olivia came right out and said that Pendleton Ward mentioned to her that PB and Marceline used to date, but that they will probably never outright state it in the show itself.
      • Here is where Olivia invoked Word of Gay Buzzfeed devoted an article to the subject here.
      • While not strictly Word of Gay it is supported by character designer Natasha Allegri.
  • The episode "Varmints" ramps any indication that PB and Marceline dated Up to Eleven.

Now let's analysis the time they've worked together in Sky Witch The show wastes no time in cramming in as many things that can be interpreted as Les Yay as possible. As Princess Bubblegum is seen wearing that shirt in bed and using it to initially wipe her nose before taking a big whiff out of it, the next scene has her open her closet which has a picture of her and Marcy in it. From there on out, one can interpret their conversations as they might have been together, but it can also reflect regular friendships as well, but it's still obvious they had some sort of falling out. Then there's Princess Bubblegum trading her shirt to get Hambo back for Marceline, Maja (the Sky Witch) indicated it had more sentimental freshness considering Hambo was separated from Marceline for so long but Princess Bubblegum sacrificing her shirt for someone else's prized possession seems like a pretty big sacrifice for someone who only used to be a friend. Then again, this can also go both ways, as it can indicate someone who used to be a Best Friend or someone more than that.
  • Maja's statements can also be interpreted one of two ways. In the "platonic" sense Bubblegum's shirt is better than Hambo because it was recently in the hands of the owner that cared for it. The other interpretation would be that while the "sentimental freshness" is a plus, it isn't the only reason the shirt was more powerful than Hambo. Maja says "Oh the psychic resonance on Hambo is nothing compared to this baby!" If taken as two separate statements the shirt has both "sentimental freshness" and unrelatedly has far stronger sentimental feelings poured into it than Hambo had. Considering the tragic backstory of how Marceline got Hambo, her love for Simon, and the strong feelings she shows for it in both this episode and "Memory of a Memory" that is saying a lot.
  • It's also notable how their relationship grew throughout the episode itself. PB went from making fun of Hambo, to being willing to sacrifice her most beloved possession for it. But most notable is their physical journey. Once Bubblegum showed Marceline the way to Maja's house, Marcy immediately ditched her without a second thought in her haste to find Maja, however once everything is resolved and Hambo is returned Marceline and Princess Bubblegum fly off together as a team.
  • Bubblegum has never hear of Ash when she reads the name on Maja's proof of purchase.note 

The episode "Varmints" is full of potential shipping.note 
  • Apparently Marceline visits Princess Bubblegum in the middle of the night through her balcony window.note  And she was agitated and angry when K.O.O replaced himself with Bubblegum, so much so that she attacked him.note 
  • Before PB temporarily lost her throne, Marceline was the only one to use the princess's first name, calling her Bonnibel or Bonnie. Not only is that a testament to how strong their relationshipnote  used to be. What is interesting about this is how it connects to the souring of their relationship note  Marceline tends to not use Princess Bubblegum's official title, opting for her first name or nicknames. This could relate to not treating Bonnie like "all [her] little subjects do" which is hinted to have been a point of contention before they split up. However by the end of this episode Marceline calls her "Princess Bonnibel Bubblegum" in a clearly affectionate tone that proves that using her first name wasn't always about trying to rile PB up, and that they have once again reached the stage in their relationship where it is used warmheartedly.
  • Bubblegum says she was too embarrassed to tell Marceline she got "throne jacked", and Marceline seems hurt that Bonnie didn't come talk to her about it. They then sit outside sharing stories and reminiscing about old times. Bonnie noticeably blushes when Marceline mentions looking for the tag Bonnie made in the old rock-candy minesnote  All of this helps show the extensive history the two share together. It is even revealed that PB jumped the broken bridge in the mine to "prove something" to Marcelinenote 
  • Marceline sucks the red out of PB's lip balm and Bonnie falls asleep resting her head on Marceline's shoulder. And Marceline blushes when she says she thinks P Bs handwriting is pretty.note 
  • More hints to the embittering of their relationship/friendship, specifically that it was mostly on PB's end. Pbubs complains about how stressful and time consuming taking care of the Candy Kingdom has been prompting Marcy to ask "Is that why you stopped talking to me?" It seems Bubbubs will finally reveal the truth when they are interrupted by the Varmints. However, she does apologize for pushing Marceline (and nearly everyone else she cared about) away later.

After the conclusion of the battle in the mini-series "Stakes", Bubblegum actually suggests that Marceline should live with her now that she's got her immortality back. This can be interpreted both ways. However, Bubblegum has been shown to be notoriously secretive and untrusting as the series has progressed since the threats to her Kingdom continue to increase (she is trying to be better about that now). So offering to take someone into her home, an immortal someone who will likely be there forever, is momentous. At the very least it shows the level of trust that has been built up between the two since the events of "Go With Me" and even since "Varmints".

Finn's crush on Princess Bubblegum vs. his crush on Flame Princess

A lot of people have questioned Finn's sudden shift in crushing on PB to crushing on FP (though it's unknown if he no longer has a crush on PB). There's also a prevalent Ship-to-Ship Combat. Let's examine Finn's love for them. First of all, when Finn is around PB he is mostly able to coordinate himself. He's able to hang out with her as friends, and he only acts weird when PB kisses him. He'll usually want to casually do something to impress her, but it's mostly due to Bodyguard Crush. Even when she was thirteen, Finn was willing to return her to her normal age to save the candy kingdom, sacrificing their relationship in the process. He was willing to throw away their relationship in the name of heroism.

Princess Bubblegum: If I go back to my real age, I'll be able to take back the throne.
Finn: What?! No!—Uh, I mean... You can do that?

Princess Bubblegum: My people need me, and that comes first.
Finn: (begrudgingly) Yeeeeeeaaaaaah....

With Flame Princess, Finn claims that his brain "goes stupid" whenever he's around her. He even went on to claim that he's never felt this way before. As soon as he saw her, he developed a crush. This can probably be chalked up to Love at First Sight. Other options are that he'll fall for any humanoid girl his age, since there probably aren't a lot of them around; or that he just fell for her purely because of her appearance. These options are probably a little less likely, though. When Flame Princess begins to head towards the goblin kingdom, Jake asks Finn what's more important: his love for FP or being a hero. When the options are spelled out for him, he's cerebrally able to make the right choice that coincides with who he's supposed to be: a hero. However, in the heat of things, when FP is burning the kingdom down, he's only able to think with his emotions. He isn't willing to hurt her. He was willing to sacrifice heroism to save their possible relationship. So, the situation is completely reversed from his situation with PB, and it provides evidence that his love for FP is stronger than his love for PB (sorry, Fubblegum shippers). He's never able to do it, either. Finn's heroic conflict only makes him break down and cry, which makes Flame Princess put away the flames herself, and you know the rest. Jake is the one who gets everyone out in time, so this is likely a recurring conflict for Finn.

One could argue Finn is able to sacrifice his relationship with PB in the name of his character as a hero, but not his relationship with FP. Therefore Finn's love for FP could be stronger. It's hard to directly compare, since there's no instances where Finn's heroism would physically harm/pain PB. Willfully harming the 13 year old FP could hardly be seen as heroic, and leads to his break down in the face of no good option.

When Finn does screw up and lose the favor of FP, he tries to go back to Bubblegum (rebound?) in "Too Old" and realizes that he is so different from her, age wise and maturity level, that he really couldn't be happy with her (at least at that stage of his life) and that he was way happier in his relationship with Flame Princess. Heartbroken of FP he does try to flirt with basically every princess in Ooo, but decidedly stays away from Bubblegum in a romantic sense.

Is Flame Princess "evil"?

  • FP is not a killer. How do you burn down a city without hurting a single inhabitant? An evil and destructive princess indeed. It's assumed that FP has lived in the Fire Kingdom her entire life and has no idea that others cannot live with fire in the way she can. She stated she wanted to make the Goblin Kingdom "her Fire Kingdom." She wasn't being intentionally destructive and vicious. FP's also in a strange, new land with very little fire and probably a long way from home, considering she rushed out of the Fire Kingdom to track down Jake. And to top it all off, she's being followed by Finn, who (from her POV) has done nothing but hurt her. She's a lost and frightened, sheltered 13-year-old princess with little sense of right and wrong and a fiery personality, not evil or vicious.
    • So she's much much closer to Natsume Hyuuga than Roy Mustang on the scale of living flamethrowers.
  • It is noted the Flame King states shortly after her birth, he was worried that her intense powers she exhibited would be the catalyst to overthrow him as ruler of the Fire Kingdom. He abandoned Flame Princess, knowing she would die in the forrest, only to be surprised when she returned to him through Princess Bubblegum's caring attitude. He and Princess Bubblegum agreed to seal Flame Princess in her chamber until her elemental matrix stabilized. In short, she was born with powers beyond her control, if only through her emotions. As Finn puts it, she falls under the Chaotic Neutral category. She wishes no ill will but can't help herself.
  • She may have overthrown her father, but even he admitted and relished in the fact that he was evil, so that may make her a savior to the kingdom not a traitor. Her first rule of business is to bring honesty throughout the land, something she takes very seriously.

The map

The events of the series seem to be based on the black and white map, of which a small part is shown in a slightly modified form in The Other Tarts.

There appears to be days, nights and seasons not too different from what Earth currently has and if the sun rises in the east and sets in the west then the map has up being north. The general features of the map are consistent with a northern hemisphere placement of the Ooo continent with colder regions and conifer trees towards the north side, deciduous trees along the middle latitudes and palm trees in the south.

The opening sequence seems to be a sweep through western Ooo. The atom bomb looks to be in The Unknown Lands, the Ice King is south of there in the Ice Kingdom, then it's southwest to the Candy Kingdom and further south to the Mountain Kingdom (with Marceline) then north east through the grasslands (with the Ice Kingdom in the distance) to the treehouse and inside that for Finn and Jake's fist bump.

Place Location
Jake and Finn's treehouse Just north of center
Candy Kingdom West of the treehouse
Hyoomen caves / Beautopia Under the Candy Kingdom
Ice Kingdom North of the treehouse
Mountain Kingdom South of the Candy Kingdom
Fire Kingdom Southwest of the treehouse
Goblin Kingdom Not far east of the treehouse, still in the grasslands
Library of the Turtle Princess Also somewhere east of the treehouse in the grasslands.
Missing chunk of the Earth NE of Ooo.

Location Known residents
Candy Kingdom The Candy Castle and the candy people in general, Choose Goose, Tree Trunks, Lemongrab, Duchy of Nuts
Grasslands Finn and Jake, Banana space man, Turtle Princess, Goblin city, Donny and the village people
Mountain Kingdom Marceline's current cave, village of the marauders.

The tree-house proper has an annex built onto the west side with stepping stones that go off to the southwest. South of that path lies the pond, which the Nymphs visited in "Power Animal". To the north of the annex is the well that was also used in the same episode.

The boat gives the highest vantage point on the tree-house and it points north towards the Ice Kingdom (for spying on somebody?) And utility lines go from the southeast of the tree-house. These at least provide for phone service and possibly electricity.

  • Where is Ooo located?
    • Jake's parents live in what looks like the of San Francisco (as seen in "Joshua and Margaret Investigations").
      • Simon and Marcy look like they are in the Los Angeles Basin during their titular episode after the war.
      • The Golden Gate Bridge can also be seen in the background of this episode.
      • Because Tree Trunks lives near the Candy Kingdom and Margaret and Joshua were able to drive there from their home in the City. All those trees and mountains, and the position of the bridge in the background, points to Tree Trunks living in Marin County
    • In the flashbacks to Marceline's early travels in Ooonote  all of the signs around her are in English. And during Stakes we see old-school western-style tombstones. In the present day she passes a time capsule written in Engish.
    • Also in the flashbacks in "Simon and Marcy" the licence plate on the Clambulance said "the wut wut state", on a plate that appears to be a Californian one, it's also on the 101 Freeway.
    • The arm of the Statue of Liberty can be seen sticking out of the ground in "Angel Face"note .
      • The desert appears to be a former ocean with pre-war docks, ships and even whale skeletons.
      • The entrance to the Lich's lair in "Mortal Folly" is similar to a New York City subway entrance.
    • There is a American Football helmet stuck in a tree and possibly an Arthurian style helmet on the other side.
    • Olmec statue heads have been seen in the background of Ooonote . And maybe even an Easter Island statue
    • There are businesses with Japanese signs in the Candy Kingdom in "Root Beer Guy", Japanese writing on the subway, and bottles with Japanese writing in "Simon and Marcy".
    • A minor detail would be all of the languages spoken on the show. Lady speaks Korean, but it seems Rainicorns may not necessarily come from Ooo. Princess Bubblegum has spoken German on many occasions. And during an exchange between Peppermint Butler and Jake in "Checkmate" French, Japanese, and Spanish are spoken. Languages travel, but this may indicate Ooo is located somewhere with a lot of immigrants and a lot of languages were spoken before the war.

Humanity

Humanity is clearly rare, as seen in Her Parents and Susan Strong. Given PB's comments in SS, we can conclude that she does not know of any human relatives of herself, and so the previous comments that she was half-human must now be considered to be non-canonical.
  • Susan may or may not be purely human or perhaps even half-human.
    • She appears to be a cyborg as revealed in "Dark Purple".
  • Finn's pure human status may be incorrect or he may spring from a hidden group.
    • Pendleton Ward's FAQ page mentions even Finn is mutated.
      • This is also confusing because premutated Humans (like Simon, Betty, and Marceline's mom) all appear to have the same tiny eyes, lack of nose, etc. as Finn in the Main Universe.
    • At least his father, Martin, appears to be fully human (or as human as Finn is).
  • Marceline had inhuman features such as pointed ears and blue skin at birth, around the time of the fall and years before she became a vampire.
    • Jake the Dog reveals Marceline was born a half-demon.
  • Simon has been mutated to closely match the majority of the humanoid population. His contributions to the gene pool over the thousand years since are unclear.
  • Moseph Giovanni is the first confirmed human to have survived without mutation. However, one thousand years made him more into a cyborg who is dependent on life support.
  • Via Time Travel, Simon's fiancee Betty enters present-day Ooo.
    • She now has Magic Man's powers. This may or may not affect her status as pure human.
  • We learn in "Everything Stays" that at the very least small bands of humans survived the warnote  and that they at least attempted to escape to another continentnote  And that they adopted the animal hats to hide themselves from vampires, "oozers"note  and Rainicornsnote  that hunted them. Their leader was named "Two Bread Tom".

The Enchiridion

A tome of power, the Enchiridion (from the Ancient Greek ἐγχειριδιον: "dagger" or "manual"note ) is "the hero's handbook". Everything you want to know about becoming a hero is in there, from saving the day to kissing the princess. Revealed in the Season 1 episode "The Enchiridion!". Though it appears throughout the series, it only plays a few episodes. The second episode it appeared in was "In His Footsteps" in which Finn gives the book to a bear who wishes to imitate him. This turns out to be a ruse by The Lich, who now controls the book. In "I Remember You", a quick look at the newspaper clipping reveals Simon Petrikov, pre-crown effects, was the man who discovered the book. Season 4's finale, "The Lich", finally told the real reason of the Enchiridion. Soon after "In His Footsteps", The Lich attacked and possessed the one man who could beat him, Billy. Haunting the nightmares of Finn, he made sure Finn and Jake hunted down the gems of power. In a moment of quiet, The Enchiridion reveals it's power through a hologram spouting an Info Dump. In short, when combined with the gems of all the crowns of Ooo, it can create portals to the Multiverse, a space where all universes exist. At the end, Finn destroys the book so The Lich cannot use it only to create the portal. The portal sucks Finn, Jake, and The Lich in, depositing them into the Multiverse.

Ecology

The grasslands around the tree house are cut short, like a lawn rather than a wilderness. These same grasslands are also home to giant snails, which presumably act as grazers. The northern forests might be too cold for the snails, the deserts too dry and the Candy Kingdom keeps the snails away from their fruit trees.

Kings

Most male royalty with presumably humanoid origins have had a magical artifact of some kind. While the Ice King's (formerly Simon Petrikov) crown is the most well-known, it was also given to him by a person in a stereotypically cold area. However, note that such mind-bending items have been in existence for quite some time, if the words of Hunson Abadeer are true (notably, the necklace he has might be an indication that such magical items have their own wills and goals, and use their hosts as a sort of interface to interact with the universe). Also of note are the Fight and Thief Kings, one of which was immortal and had a magical sword, while the other was capable of some sort of magic but died a mortal death. Presumably, the former Candy, Fire, Ice, and Slime kingdom rulers were also bearers of an elemental artifact.

The Flame King (and Flame Princess) was born into power via dynastic rule, as shown throughout the series. The Flame family is implied to have ruled the lands they control for centuries, and can only claim authority in the Fire Kingdom via usurpation. As such, the family's power comes not from the magic they weird but through control of the throne. The Slime kingdom enacts a similar policy, yet no King is present. Instead, the rule of Slime Princess may be challenged via the Trials of Glarb, a contest of romantic intent overseen by an wiseman named Elder Plops.

The Lich (King) is a interesting occurrence because there is no direct evidence that he has a magical artifact of any sort (with his crown being of little importance, and no visible magical rings or such taking up any space on his body). That, combined with his sheer size and body shape (which previously resembled the Ice King's bulky look with his robe on) makes some speculate that his authority comes from the very fact he wields a stronger magic than most wizards. However, he is the personification of a mutagenic bomb, which may be his artifact.

Another occurrence where the King title is presented to a non-artifact being is the King of Ooo. This was most likely a self-proclaimed title as the figure was also recognized as a petty criminal. He directly opposes Princess Bubblegum's rule and, prior the Season Six finale, was never in control of any territories. Despite this, many citizens of the Candy Kingdom, including Tree Trunks, recognized his authority as a regent. This authority was thrown into question in "Apple Wedding" when Princess Bubblegum arrested him which, under normal circumstances, should not be possible. However, in "Hot Diggity Doom", the King of Ooo won the first election in Candy Kingdom history, claiming the throne. In doing so, he obtained the Princess title.

The Fight King appears in "Morituri Te Salutamus". He is the king of the magical arena and traps pairs of fighters in his arena to force them to fight and kill each other after defeating his gladiator ghosts (who were also forced to fight and kill each other). He has black skin, is skeletal, and has many weapons and a red crown. The runes on Fight King's sword, according to Tolkien's Dwarven rune set, reads: "To fight is to live." He is tricked by Finn and killed setting him, Jake, and the gladiator ghosts free. Since it is only when Finn breaks his sword that he dies and his soul is set free (along with his warriors) his sword is likely his magical artifact.

There is one consistent authority in the series that is recognized as a king-run monarchy. Lumpy Space, which operates outside the bounds of Ooo law, is controlled by the Lumpy Space King and Queen.

The Lich

The Lich appears to have abilities that allow him to destroy almost anything in his path. In fact, when he crosses over Ice Berg Lake the water near him turns black and oily and Jake complains of a smell, implying that the fish in the water have died. This along with the fact that he gets his power from a toxic substance (composed of bleach, ammonia, and lighter fluid) makes it seem that the Lich is a nuke personified, which was confirmed in "Jake the Dog". He also raises the dead in his lair and it requires an extreme amount of damage (Finn blasting one at point blank range with Billy's Gauntlet) to defeat him. The Lich is capable of possessing bodies as well, bodysurfing into the Snail following his defeat. He did not appear in Season 3 but returned in Season 4, as the Snail and as Billy in "The Lich". He tricks Finn into using The Enchiridion's power (see The Enichridion) and as of Season 5 is in the Multiverse with Finn and Jake. The Season 5 premiere gives the origin story. He is the embodiment of a mutagenic bomb that exploded during the war, causing a chain reaction that caused the end of civilization. In Season 6, it is revealed he was imprisoned in the Time Room after failing to erase life. However, he eventually broke his bondage and killed Prismo. His sentence was imprisonment in the Citadel. However, he freed himself and the other prisoners. Attempting to kill Finn, he came in contact with Citadel Guardian blood, and reverted to a metazoa form with a similar structure to that of a human.

Alternate Timelines note 

Episode: "King Worm"

This is the first instance in which we see Finn from the Alternate Timeline.

Episode: "The Lich"

The Lich, disguised as Billy, tricks Finn into collecting the Gems of Ooo, seen in the crowns of the princesses and Ice King. By combining the gems with The Enchiridion, a portal is opened to both the Time Room and The Multiverse.

Episode: "Finn the Human"

Finn enters the Time Room and wishes The Lich never existed, creating an alternate universe known as Farmworld.

Earth was once a quieter place than the brightly florescent Ooo. As explored in Season 5's premiere, there is now an alternate universe existing as another Earth named Farmworld. In this world, Farmworld Finn appears as the mirror Finn from "King Worm", Jake is a normal bulldog, and Finn's mother and father are alive, along with a sibling of indeterminate gender (and not named in the episode). They appear to live in an economically depressed, low-tech rural area (low-tech that is, except for alternate Finn's robot arm, which is never explained). Finn is the son of a farmer being tortured by the Destiny Gang who are looking for protection money. Finn's mother asks Finn to sell the family mule Bartran (or Bar-bar) in exchange for the money. Before he reaches town, he meets an older Marceline and the skeleton of Simon Petrikov. She tells Finn how Simon prevented the Mushroom War by sacrificing his life. The crown then froze the earth for 400 years. Finn doesn't believe her and takes the crown. In town, Barbar and the crown are stolen by the gang's leader, Big Destiny and Finn must save them by using a blade, given to him by Choose Bruce (alternate timeline Choose Goose). Before Finn can deliver the final blow to Big Destiny, the town and Finn's home are set on fire. Finn uses the crown, becoming the Ice King in the process.

Episode: "Jake the Dog"

Finn extinguishes the flames only to set off the mutagenic bomb Simon originally prevented. In his manic state, Finn saves his family and viciously attacks the Destiny Gang. Alternate Timeline Jake is caught in the radioactive slime and turns into the Lich. At this point, magic dog Jake uses his wish to alter the Lich's wish, made in the beginning of "Finn the Human". This should in turn theoretically eliminate the possibility of the Alternate Timeline, though it doesn't explain the appearance of Alternate Finn in "King Worm".
  • Episode: "Crossover"
    • It is revealed that the alternate dimension from "Jake the Dog" and "Finn the Human" lives on. The Lich from this reality (in Jake's body) wants to use this realities "Enchiridion" to open the portal and travel to all other dimensions. While he is stopped by Main Reality Finn and Jake, his severed hand does manage to get transported to all alternate realities.

Episode: "Puhoy"

Finn enters the land by traveling through a doorway that according to the "Pillownomicon" all that is known about the doorway is that shows up periodically and disappears without explanation. "It is unknown if the alternate dimension in "Puhoy" is as real as Ooo or if it is just another dream by Finn.note 

Around the end of "Puhoy", Elderly Finn has a pillow version of the mechanical arm that Alternate Finn had. This could lead to two possible consequences. One is that Finn will have to accept the burden of a mechanical arm at some point during the existence of any reality. The second is when Finn disrupts the flow of time after jumping through several universes, he triggers the mechanical arm to exist in every reality (see Steins;Gate regarding "world lines").

Episode: "The Vault"

The character of Shoko, a previous reincarnation of Finn, is seen with no right arm throughout the majority of the episode. When Princess Bubblegum presents her with a mechanical arm, it is the first instance in which one of Finn's alternate realities is seen receiving the mechanical arm. This furthers the idea that each incarnation of Finn must at one point sacrifice their arm, leading to a very grim future in which Finn must lose his arm at some point.

Episode: "Dungeon Train"

Once again we see a possible future version of Finn. Through the future orb however, he has chosen to remain on the train until he is an old man. Careful viewing reveals that his right arm has replaced by additional weaponry. This supports the theory that Finn must always lose his arm. But it might not be in the same way each time. It is possible he willingly cut off his arm so that he could equip a cooler replacement he picked up on the train, given the state he was in.

Episode: "Escape from the Citadel"

Finn fulfills the prophecy that he would lose his arm in the show's timeline by having it and the Grass Sword ripped off by the force of a black hole. This is replaced by a small flower or, in some instances, an arm of spectral energy.

Episode: "Breezy"

Finn regains his arm, effectively keeping the prophecy alive. But the arm is still artificial, made up of the grass sword and is able to act on its own when Finn is in grave danger.

Episode: "The Visitor"

Finn is visited by his father Martin, who recants the story of how they were separated. According to Martin, he was consumed by "...a dangerous life choice. Two roads diverging in the night and all that." If this story is confirmed, it could show that Martin might have enough agency in his life to choose the path of his own fate while facing a major force of change. In this scenario, he chooses to abandon his family and go on a quest throughout space. This eventually leads him to the Citadel, where he is reunited with Finn after fifteen years.

Episode: "The Comet"

Finn once again loses his arm, this time having it consumed by the power of the Fourth Catalyst Comet and reborn as a larger Grass Sword, the only one of his realities to possess a sword of organic material. Here, the Alternate Timeline theory affects only Finn's existence. The comet, now sentient, offers Finn a new plane of existence. In exchange, he must surrender all that is precious to him. He refuses, and returns to Earth. This opens up the idea that Finn, having enough sway and control over his own fate, can choose to change the future by being presented the options. If this is possible by his own volition or the fixture of happenstance has yet to be determined. There are arguments to be made that both can explain Finn's mechanical/Grass Sword arm.

Episode: "Crossover"

Prismo, now alive, explains to Finn and Jake that the Farmworld alternate universe was allowed to take the same path as Ooo. Farmworld Finn as the Ice King is being manipulated by Lich Jake to recreate the Multiverse portal using the gems and Farmworld's Enchiridion. Finn freezes all the humans he can find, and collects the gems. Both Finn and Jake from Ooo enter Farmworld to prevent the Lich from conquering the Multiverse. In the skirmish, a piece of Lich Jake is sliced off and enters the Multiverse Portal. Farmworld reverts to its original state when Prismo destroys the Ice King's crown in Farmworld with the Mutagenic Bomb, preventing The Lich for the time and bringing the humans back to life.

The Ice King as a metaphor for dementia.

Dementia, meaning "without mind", historically was synonymous with madness, but nowadays it is considered to be a specific type of severe mental disorder, characterized by losing much of the cognitive capacity (on other words, losing the ability to think rationally). Dementia is distinguished from other types of insanity by this; dementia is basically the annihilation of sapience. Alzheimer's is the most common variety of dementia.

Common symptoms of dementia include:

  • - Memory loss and thought pattern lossnote 
  • - Disorganized behavior and lack of a sense of order
  • - Depressionnote 
  • - Sociopathic symptoms (loss of empathy, bursts of basic emotions like anger, lack of social cues)note 
  • - Paranoia and seeing thingsnote .

Anyone remotely familiar with the show pretty much can see all of these in the Ice King. In particular, his mentality and behaviour is eerily similar to those of victims of Vascular Dementia, especially considering his backstory: a single event (putting on the crown for Simon, a specific act that ensures erratic blood pressure and distribution on the brain for a victim of Vascular Dementia), that progressive escalates into full blown madness, with little hope for the victim to do anything other than to stall the progression.

More obviously, Marceline's way of coping with Simon's condition is pretty familiar to anyone with relatives affected by dementia: avoidance and grief for the person that was once in that body and mind.

Death in Ooo

Reincarnation
  • Reincarnation is a proven fact in Adventure Time's Universe. Not much is currently known about how reincarnation works, as only one character, Finn, is confirmed to have past lives. What is known is that people who have been reincarnated may remember their past lives through hypnosis. Finn uses a game called "Regression Simulator" downloaded by Jake onto BMO to access knowledge of his past lives.
    • The Food Chain may show that reincarnation is part of the "circle of life".

Land of the Dead
  • There is a physical "Land of the Dead" in Ooo which is where the souls of living creatures go after they die. This may be different from the 50 "dead worlds".
  • Also known as the Underworld, it is a location where the souls of living creatures go after they die. Living people can enter the Land of the Dead by staring at a corner where two walls meet and crossing their eyes, which opens a portal. It is unknown whether this land exists in caverns underneath the Land of Ooo or if it is in some other dimension.
    • It has skeletal inhabitants, as well as ghostly inhabitants (never seen but Marceline's ghost friends in "Heat Signature" claim they used to live there), and houses Death's castle made of light.
      • It could be ghosts get skeletal bodies when they are in the Land of the Dead and lose them when they come back to the land of the living, but that is never seen or proven.
    • It has an escalator and a River of Forgetfulness.

Dead Worlds

  • It is unknown how exactly the levels of Dead Worlds factor into the concept of reincarnation.

  • Jake theorizes that the plane that ghosts reside in is a "low level dead world".

  • 9th Dead World
    • The 9th Dead World is mentioned in the episode "James Baxter the Horse." When an angry ghost mauls Finn and Jake, Jake (afraid they will die) says that, since a lot of dead people will be there, they might become separated. So as a means of identification, Jake tells him to listen for a rhythmic clapping sound he will perform.
      • This might mean souls don't look the same in this dead world as they do in the living world. This might relate to how all of the beings trying to enter the "Land of the Dead" look skeletal instead of like the spirits- such as Jake in "Death In Bloom" and the ghosts.

  • 37th Dead World
    • The 37th Dead World is a plane where souls go when they die. Jake's ghost went to the 37th Dead World when he was killed by the Wand of Disbursement on Mars. Death appears to inhabit this world and the King of Marsnote  was able to go there at will. The 37th Dead World may be related to Land of the Dead, as Death is shown to dwell there in his light castle in "Death in Bloom.

  • 50th Dead World
    • The 50th Dead World may be a location, theoretically similar to a heaven, mentioned one time in "Ghost Princess" when Ghost Princess beckons her love, Clarence, to ascend with her there.
    • Braco in "The Suitor" mentions wanting to float up to the 50th Dead World with Bubblegum when they die.

  • Glob World
    • The "Glob World" that Jake mentions may be the 50th Dead World if the 50th Dead World is indeed analogous to heaven. Jake says nothing will stop him from ascending to Glob World after his croak dream in "The New Frontier". He seems excited about the prospect, as one might be if they believed they were going to heaven.
    • Conversely it may be the "new mode of existence" offered to Finn by the Purple Catalyst Comet in "The Comet". "Come with me to the end and the beginning." When Martin takes her up on the offer the two "discorporate".

Ghosts
  • Ghosts cannot remember the circumstances of their deathnote . If they remember they may ascend to one of the deadworlds.
    • According to Jake ghosts always have "unfinished business", meaning their souls cannot rest until it is resolved or they are banished.
      • It appears that both need to be resolved in order for a ghost to ascend. For example, just remembering his death at the Squeezy-Mart didn't allow Clarence to ascend with Ghost Princess, remembering his death and being forgiven by hernote  did. For Ghost Princess finding and forgiving Clarencenote  and remembering her death allowed her to finally pass on. The Ghost Fly seemed to know how it died (because it kept trying to get revenge on Jake) but wasn't able to ascend to a higher dead world until it had also accomplished it's unfinished business of eating Jake's soup.
  • Even seemingly inanimate objects such as tables and soup can have souls (and can have at least some unfinished business or they wouldn't form ghosts).
  • Ghost flies can carry diseases. Jake even says they "leave doodies on your soul".
    • When Jake tells Finn what diseases a fly could transmit, he references real life diseases, such as tuberculosis, polio, and dysentery (all of which are not diseases carried by real life flies).
  • Ghosts can possess and alter the appearance of the living.
  • Ghosts can hurt or kill the spirits of other ghosts, but it seems that humans/other physical beings cannot hurt ghosts without the use of rituals and ritualistic items such as Holy Water.
    • BMO says that the ghost fly needs to be fought on its own plane of existence. This could be why the living cannot harm ghosts directly.
    • They can be harmed, but not defeated by one of Ooo's undead species- vampires.
      • Jake suggests the plane that ghosts reside in is a "low level dead world".

Croak Dreams
  • A being known as the Cosmic Owl sometimes appears in people dreams and makes them prophetic. He has been known to use "croak dreams"note  to reveal to the dreamer how they will die.

The Fionna and Cake episodes can be analyzed to understand the opinions of the storyteller.

In the Fionna and Cake stories, how the alternate gender characters behave and live is reflective of the way the storyteller sees them. The characters in the Fionna and Cake universe do not seem to be exact copies of their Ooo counterparts. Now consider the first Fionna and Cake episode, where the story was told by Ice King:

  • The Ice Queen is more attractive, as well as more threatening and competent, than Ice King is. This is probably a reflection of how he sees himself, he really imagines himself that way.
  • Ice King seems to think that Finn has this perfect, wonderful life and this is reflected in his Fionna and Cake story. Fionna is a bit more successful in her romantic exploits than Finn is, in that she's actually able to get Prince Gumball to want to date her. Compare this to Finn, who was rejected by Princess Bubblegum for being too young.

The second Fionna and Cake episode was told by Marceline, and it continues the trend:

  • Prince Gumball in Marceline's story is a lot prissier than Princess Bubblegum, (Princess Bubblegum would never make Finn carry her like that) and is more hostile to Marshall Lee upon running into him.
    • To be fair, Princess Bubblegum reacted almost as harshly to Marceline in "Go With Me". Perhapsnote  Marceline still holds some resentment or hurt from this interaction.
  • Cake is shown to be egotistical (as indicated when she takes over the song to sing about how hot she is) but still good. This reflects Marceline's relationship with Jake; while they aren't close friends, she still recognizes him as a good guy.
  • Fionna is shown to be a heroic, honest, nice person who can't be easily corrupted. It's been shown that Marceline views Finn this way.

By taking what we do know, we are able to analyze that the storyteller of the Fionna and Cake episode projects his or her own feelings and views on the people of Ooo into the story. With this knowledge, we can look at other aspects of the story and find out what else the storyteller knows, as well as how they view characters they aren't usually seen interacting with. This brings up several implications:

  • In the first Fionna and Cake episode, Cake briefly wears the Ice Queen's tiara and Fionna tells Cake to take it off because "she'll catch her (Ice Queen's) crazy". A later episode revealed that Ice King used to be a man named Simon Petrikov, who was transformed by his magic crown and driven insane until he didn't know who he was. That one line serves as evidence that Ice King remembers who he is on some subconscious level.
  • In the second episode, where the story is told by Marceline, her gender reversed counterpart Marshall Lee goes on and on about how he's inherently evil. This might indicate that Marceline views herself this way.
    • On the other hand, Fionna makes a point during the song sequence of telling Marshall Lee that he's "not so bad." Marceline may view herself as bad, but wants Finn to tell her she's wrong.
      • Makes sense. Marceline was quite a bit meaner in her earlier appearances, albeit in a playful way, and mellowed out some as her friendship with Finn grew stronger. She sees Finn as this heroic good guy type who can't be corrupted, yet he chooses to hang out with her anyway and he thinks she's cool. She might see that as proof that she really isn't totally evil, after all, someone like Finn wouldn't be friends with an evil monster.

Season Five Is About Relationships.

It strikes me that a good many of the episodes in Season Five are dealing with relationships. Characters are getting new relationships, or rekindling old ones. Or in some cases damaging existing ones. Now I may simply be reading too much into things here, but I can see some trends forming for the main characters. Spoilers abound, so be warned.
  • Jake has to deal with his new relationship with his children. However this is not played as it would normally. Due to the rate at which Rainicorn/Dog hybrids mature, his relationship with them as the father of young children is over as soon as it began. At the same time this has opened up his relationship with his now adult children. As seen in 'One Last Job' Jake Jr. at least is interested in having a relationship with her father. So although one relationship was quickly ended, another new one has formed for Jake.
  • Marceline is rebuilding old relationships. As we see she is reconnecting with Simon. Even though as the Ice King he can't remember how their friendship started, and he is a shell of what he was, Marcy is still reconnecting to her father figure. In 'Simon And Marcy' she has even admitted she loves him. A far cry from her avoiding him as much as possible. And 'Sky Witch' shows evidence that she is attempting to restore her relationship with Princess Bubblegum. She brings Bubblegum with her on her quest to retrieve her most prized possession. Although this may have been influenced by Bubblegum's usefulness in the situation, she still has stopped avoiding her completely. Near the end of the season, Marceline briefly reunites with Simon and her sacrifice of Hambo is what gives Simon the chance to repair his relationship with Betty...or more precisely, it's what gives Betty the chance to repair her relationship with Simon.
  • Princess Bubblegum has been giving to others in her relationships, even if their affections are unwanted. She creates a copy in order to make Braco happy, even though she has no romantic interest in him. Indeed, Bubblegum states several times how Braco's infatuation means he doesn't know her at all, and thus no romantic relationship could ever exist. Later in 'Sky Witch' she gives up a prized physical possession in order to retrieve Hambo for Marceline. In short she sacrificed something she loved for the sake of an important person to her. However she acted on her own in this choice, and does what she thinks is best, without actually consulting Marceline. This tendency to act unilaterally in her relationships is also seen in her actions with Braco.
  • Finn has been about damaging relationships this season. He has hurt people he cares about both physically and mentally due to not considering that his actions might cause them pain. 'Jake Suit' is driven by the fact that Finn was uncaring that his actions had caused Jake pain. Although it seems that in the end no harm came of it, Finn did not learn to empathize with others, or that his actions could cause significant harm due to Jake's giving up. Perhaps if he had realized that he could hurt others, and that they may not feel the same way about his actions the later, more severe damage he does to his relationship with Flame Princess could have been avoided. In 'Frost & Fire' Finn causes significant physical suffering to both Ice King and Flame Princess, and even more severe emotional pain to Flame Princess. Due to his insensitivity, and desire to re-experience his dream he provokes the second fight between Flame Princess and Ice King. As a result Flame Princess is injured. Even then Finn does not realize the depth of his selfishness and how uncaring he is being to Flame Princess, it is not until later that he sees the consequences of his actions as Flame Princess destroys the Ice Kingdom. And it is after admitting his actions that Finn must deal with the aftermath of his manipulating her, and acting inconsiderately of others. His romantic relationship with Flame Princess is ruined, possibly irreparably and he is forced to learn that saying you are sorry cannot fix the truly severe mistakes.

Marceline's personality

An extensive analysis of Marceline's past and personality has shown that she might have Borderline Personality Disorder. She fits most of the DSM criteria for the disorder and her past suggests that she may have been conditioned towards it.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterized by a constant fear of abandonment, which Marceline openly exhibited in Issue 25 of the comic where it was revealed that her fallout with PB was caused by PB's creation of Mr. Creampuff, which Marceline perceived as abandonment. She may also have been quite literally abandoned by her parents after the apocalypse, and Simon going crazy certainly didn't help her feelings of being all alone. Her dad eating her fries could also have sparked this.
    • The comic may or may not be canon. They may also take place on a diverged timeline from the show.
  • BPD is also characterized by a feeling of emptiness within oneself, a hatred of oneself, and a tendency to self-mutilate. While not all people with BPD exhibit self-mutilating behaviors, Marceline has mentioned that she enjoys having the damaging sun on her skin because she "kind of likes" the pain. She also has been seen (in her song in "Marceline's Closet") to feel as though she has no friends, which could constitute feelings of self-inadequacy, which often leads to self-hatred.
    • Luckily she seemed determined to actively combat this within herself during the mini-series "Stakes". She seems to be growing aware of her bad traits and wants to fix them.
  • People with BPD have often been described as "rejecting others before they reject me", which Marceline has openly admitted to doing.
  • Another characteristic of the disorder is sudden violent tendencies towards loved ones (or not-so-loved ones...). Marceline in "Go With Me" seemed to enjoy the wrestling and roughhousing she engaged in with Finn, and has been seen to consider that "fun" She seemed to be quite happy while fighting Finn in "Evicted" and was very willing to hurt her father and Ash in later episodes.

The Ice King and The Lord of the Rings

The Ice king might be inspired by Gollum, let us look at the facts:
  • The crown is extremely powerful but was able to drive him mad like the master ring did.
  • The Ice king hardly recognizes his old human self and who can blame him judging from his enormous change over years. Likewise, Gollum is in no way a hobbit anymore.
  • The Ice king is over 1000 years old, that is ten times as much as a normal human.
  • Like Gollum, The Ice King has a divided mind, on one hand there's his crazy childlike personality and on the other hand, he clings to his old self and the loneliness over the loss of his true love, like Gollum's brother. The thing his personalities can agree on is princesses, because of the nickname of his old love was "Princess".
  • After being corrupted by their respective artifacts, both the Ice King and Gollum wound up living inside a mountain.

Parallels to mythology

Greek/Roman
  • Jake is born like Athena, wherein he sprung from his father's head just like she did from Zeus.
    • Both Zeus and Joshua suffered enormous headaches before the "birth" of their children.
    • While Jake was not born full grown and wise like Athena, he was able to sing to his parents and dance for them moments after being born. And it can be argued that Jake often offers sage advice to Finn and Athena is the Goddess of Wisdom.
  • The monster that "impregnated" Joshua hides in the "Pantheon of Savings".
    • The word "pantheon" can be used both as a noun meaning a group of deities and was the Roman temple dedicated to all the gods and goddesses in Rome. It was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa some time around the reign of Augustus Caesar. Because of its dedication to all of the gods and goddesses, it was named the Pantheon, which the word itself comes from Greek meaning "Of/related to all of the gods". The Greek definition is where English gets its definition for pantheon.
    • The monster is also a shapeshifter and uses this ability to help to conceive children, which seems to be its goal in "Joshua and Margaret Investigations". Much like Zeus took on new forms to mate with other women. For example when he turned into a golden shower to mate with Danae and sired the hero Perseus. Or when he turned into a swan to mate with Leda (who then gave birth to Helen of Troy).
  • Flame Princess was incarcerated because of a prophecy that foretold of a child with greater power that would usurp the father's throne. Much like Zeus's birth to Kronos, they were meant to perish but eventually became free and did overthrow their father.
    • It also has similarities to the story of Danae whose father locked her up in a bronze chamber that rested under his court (F.P. was held literally in the Flame King's court) because a prophecy foretold that his grandson would overthrow and kill him.
  • In "Little Brother" Kent says that he was compelled to return to the underworld of beneath the tree because he partook of the food there (the dew). Just like Persephone had to remain in the Underworld with Hades for half a year after partaking of the pomegranate in the Underworld.
    • This is also the origin story of the seasons in Greek mythology as Persephone's mother Demeter was so distraught about losing her daughter 6 months of the year that she failed to take care of the land (thus causing Fall and Winter). In Adventure Time this story deals with the opposite scenario that having been saved by Kent the tree bloomed for the first time in years and began to grow once more.
  • Life's design seems to be inspired the caduceus, the traditional symbol of Hermes that features two snakes winding around a winged staff. The double snakes of the caduceus represent duality and the unification of polar opposites, much like Life's relationship with Death.
  • "The River of Forgetfulness" in the Land of the Dead is most likely based on the River Lethe, one of the five rivers of Hades of Greek Mythology. Those who drank from the river Lethe would experience "unmindfulness", which is another way to say complete forgetfulness/amnesia.
    • When Finn reveals himself to Death, Death grumbles "Another one." This may be a reference to Orpheus, who similarly came to the Underworld to reclaim a dead soul. This means that The King of Mars's trip to get Jake's soul back could also be a reference.
  • Lemonhope's journey around Ooo may be a reference to the Odyssey.
    • Athena disguises herself as a man to help Odysseus as does Princess Bubblegum to help Lemonhope (as Phlannel Boxingday). Athena is also Odysseus's strongest supporter among the gods as P.B. was Lemonhope's strongest supporter. She even rescued him from Castle Lemongrab as Athena rescued Odysseus from Calypso's island.
    • Poseidon tries to wreck Odysseus's ship, and the ship that Lemonhope stowed away on was wrecked and stranded in the desert.
    • Lemonhope uses his musical skills to lure at flying creature known as a Greed Lard to crash into some rocks to die so they could take the treasure it eats. This is similar to how the Sirens tried to use their musical and singing skills to lure sailors to crash their ships against the cliffs.
  • While not strictly mythology, the phrase "Morituri Te Salutamus" is roughly half of a Latin phrase commonly translated as "We who are about to die, salute you!" It is often associated with ancient Roman gladiators.
    • Two of the gladiators in this episode are named Romulus and Remus, the twin brothers from the myth about the founding of Rome.
      • They are very relevant to the themes of the episode as all of the Gladiator Ghosts were forced to kill each other by the Fight King and begged each other for forgiveness. Romulus and Remus fought each other over the placement of their new city and Remus was killed.
  • Goliad is based off of a Greek Sphinx.
    • In Greek tradition, it has the head of a human, the haunches of a lion, and sometimes the wings of a bird. In Greece (and not in Egypt) it is a girl, which cements Goliad as being based off of the Greek version. This version of the sphinx is strong, treacherous, and merciless. Goliad is so strong (with psychic abilities) that not even Finn, Jake, or Bubblegum can stop her. She was willing to overthrow Bubblegum (treachery) and wanted to literally control every move of the Candy people, and kill those who disagree (merciless).
    • The Greek Sphinx is also known for its riddles smarts. P.B. tells Goliad to "use that beautiful brain" and it can be argued that Goliad's job was to solve the riddle of how to be a good leader.
  • In "The Limit" Finn, Jake, and some of the Hot Dog Knights travel through a Labyrinthnote  to find the eel Aquandrius and have their wishes granted. This comes from the Ancient Greek tale of Theseus slaying the Minotaurnote  who Daedalus made the Labyrinth to trap inside.
    • The hero Theseus volunteers to go into the Labyrinth to rescue the Athenians who were being sacrificed to the Minotaur the same way Finn and Jake volunteered to go in and rescue the Hot Dog Knights.
    • To navigate the Labyrinth Theseus unraveled a ball of string behind him so that he wouldn't get lost trying to find his way out. This parallels Jake stretching his body out so that their party did not get lost navigating their labyrinth.
      • This part of the myth is once again referenced in "Hall of Egress" where Finn tries (and fails) to use a string from his shirt to navigate his way through (and out of) the dungeon that contains the Hall of Egress. Finn eventually rejects the idea all together and sets off on his own path.
  • Related to the above example, the 5th Episode "The Enchiridion!" features Manish Man the Minotaur that guards the magical hero's manual the Enchiridion.
  • "Legion of Cadmus: Dragon's Teeth" that Darren uses to summon his warriors refers to the Greek Phoenician Prince Cadmusnote , who in legend sowed dragon's teeth to summon a race of fierce warriors named the Spartoinote .
  • Several versions of a Cyclops have appeared on the show.
  • Flame Princess's name is Phoebe (Ancient Greek Phoibe) which was a titan in ancient Greek mythology.
    • Phoebe's name was associated with the Greek words phoibos, "bright" or "radiant," phoibaô "to purify" and phoibazô "to give prophesy." This fits F.P. perfectly. When she was born she was imprisoned because of a prophecy that she would overthrow her father (she did). She is literally "bright" or "radiant" on account of being a being made of fire. And she "purified" the Fire Kingdom by overthrowing her evil father and starting a more kind and truthful regime.
  • The episode "The Hard Easy" may not just be a reference to the fairy tale "The Frog Prince", but to a Greek myth. It is said that when the goddess Leto was wandering the earth after giving birth to Artemis and Apollo she stopped in Lycia to drink some water. Afraid of a curse from Hera the villagers attempted to prevent the goddess from drinking by stirring up the bottom of the pond to make it muddy and unclean. Leto punished them by turning them into frogs cursing them to spend their lives in murky and muddy waters. In this episode, the "giant frog" has been mysteriously cursed (no reason given) and seems doomed to spend his time stuck in the murky waters with the mud scamps trying to return to his normal form until Finn finally breaks the curse.
  • In "The Monster" Lumpy Space Princess is taken in and raised by wolves, much like the legendary founders of Rome- Romulus and Remus.
  • Pete in "Paper Pete" makes a couple of references to Greek mythology.
    • First he tells curses "May you rot in Tartarus" to Finn- Tartarus being the abysmal region below Hades that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the Titans and other mythic beasts.
    • He then says Finn has "the cunning of Odysseus" the mythical Greek heronote  of the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey".
  • In "Who Would Win" The Dream Warrior giving Finn and Jake two golden apples is a reference to a Greek myth in which Aphrodite gives Melanion three golden apples in order to win a race and marry Atalanta. Melanion uses the apples to distract Atalanta, and the reference most likely deals with the "playing dirty" tactic employed here.
  • The Water Nymphs are Naiads from Ancient Greece. They are female spirits that preside over fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks and other bodies of fresh water.
  • In "Don't Look" Finn and Jake go to battle and evil hermit on the top of Dead Mountain and a book warns that something horrible will happen if the hermit gets a look at you. Finn: "Monsters that get you as soon as they look at you are so doom." Jake: "Everybody knows all you need is a mirror. This is clearly a reference to Perseus's slaying of Medusa. Medusa (thanks to a curse from Poseidon) turned everyone who looked into her eyes to stone and Perseus was only able to defeat her using a mirror shield (like the ones Finn and Jake have in this episode) to walk backwards to see her and slay her, without ever looking directly into her eyes.

Egyptian
  • Stormo (from "Goliad) may be a hieracosphinx which is a sphinx with a hawk for a head and a body of a lion. The name was coined by Herodotus to the hawk-headed sphinxes that he saw in Egypt (they do not otherwise appear in Greek mythology).
  • In "Take Her Back" when Bonnie asks Finn if he knows about the term "hubris" he mistakes it for the Egyptian God Anubis saying, "It's like an old-timey deity who weighed your deeds on a scale." Anubis was the God of the Dead and Mummification. He helped usher souls into the afterlife. He attended the weighing scale during the "Weighing of the Heart," in which it was determined whether a soul would be allowed to enter the realm of the dead.
  • The Riddle Master (a creature of Jake's imagination in "Rainy Day Daydream") saying that the penalty for answering a riddle incorrectly is death is a reference to the Sphinxnote , who kills anyone who cannot answer its riddles correctly.
  • In "Mystery Dungeon" one of the images on the computer mainframe is the "Eye of Horus"note . The "Eye of Horus" is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protectionnote , royal power and good health; and is the personified version of the goddess Wadjet.

Japanese
  • It's possible that this creature from Martin's story/flashback in "The Visitor" is an Umibozuwhich is a spirit from Japanese folklore that is said to live in the ocean and capsize ships if anyone tries to speak to it. They are believed to be drowned priests, and exhibit the shaven head of priests and typically appear to be praying. It is usually reported as having a grey, cloud-like torso and serpentine limbs.

Norse/Germanic
  • Ricardio calls Princess Bubblegum "Valkyrian," which pertains to the Valkyrienote , after she challenges him to combat in "Lady and Peebles".
  • The idea of King Worm (in the episode "King Worm") using Finn's dreams and sucking his life energy is inspired by the Mara, a lady from Germanic Folklore that turns dreams into nightmares and drains life energy.

Persia- Zoroastrianism
  • In "Five Short Tables" Prince Gumball is briefly depicted as a Farvashi (specifically mimicking the Faravahar).

Hebrew
  • In "The Mountain" a being named Matthew puts the character through a trial and then offers them the possibility of going through an ego death and becoming one with him. He says there will be a second age of terror, at which point Matthew (which is a Hebrew name meaning "gift of god") will restore the world, acting like a Noah's Ark for the essences of the people who become one with him.
    • While not strictly Hebrew in this same episode Lemongrab talks about a ziggurat which were massive structures built in the ancient Mesopotamian valley and western Iranian plateau, having the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding stories or levels for worshiping their local religions.
  • According to the Adventure Time Wiki: Billy could possibly be a Nephilim which were either (or both) the offspring of "sons of God" and "daughters of men" before the great flood (most likely children of angels and humans) and/or the giant warriors of Canaan at the time of the Israelite conquest. Evidence for this comes from his large size and that he has 6 fingers on each hand. The fact that he is a normal sized human in the alternate Farmworld universe might contradict this idea.
  • The Ice King's Snow Golem comes from Jewish folklore in which golems are animated anthropomorphic beings, magically created entirely from inanimate matter.
    • Early on, the main disability of the golem was its inability to speak as stated in the Talmud. In "Thank You" we see that the golem is nearly incapable of true speech, but can babble and mumblenote .

Hindu
  • Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant could be inspired by the Hindu deity Ganesha. Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the devanote  of intellect and wisdom.
    • Ganesha is popularly worshiped as a remover of obstacles, though traditionally he also places obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked. His association as the "Lord of Obstacles"note  relates to the Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant in a couple of ways. First, Finn and Jake must overcome a labyrinth of obstacles and trials to wish for the A.P.T.W.E from the land eel Aquandrius in "The Limit". He also puts an obstacle in Maja's way (a coma) in "Something Big" but gives her a second chance by deciding to care for her once the episode is over, and even begins removing that obstacle by allowing her to see through his eyes. Second, he becomes vital to removing Darren out of the way to defeat Maja and protect the Candy Kingdom.
    • Ganesha is identified with the Hindu mantra Aum/Omnote . According to Kundalini yoga, Ganesha resides in the first chakra, called Muladhara (mūlādhāra). Mula means "original, main"; adhara means "base, foundation". The muladhara chakra is the principle on which the manifestation or outward expansion of primordial Divine Force rests. The Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant is so ancient he may very well be primordial.
    • One of Ganesha's popular forms, Heramba-Ganapati, has five elephant heads, and other less-common variations in the number of heads are known such as two-headed forms are called Dvimukha Ganesh. Many depictions of Ganesha feature four arms, which is mentioned in Puranic sources and codified as a standard form in some iconographic texts.
      • A.P.T.W.E. obviously has two heads and four armsnote .
    • The serpent is a common feature in Ganesha iconography and appears in many forms. This relates to A.P.T.W.E. because two serpent like creatures are present in his two major appearances. Aquandrius is the being Finn and Jake go to to wish for the Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant in "The Limit" (and one could argue the Labyrinth Worm may count) and in "Something Big" the shirt that Maja uses to fuel her magic to awake Darren and attack the Candy Kingdom is of cake pops surrounded by a serpent. She is still wearing it when A.P.T.W.E rescues her at the end of the episode.
  • Reincarnationnote  has been proven to be a fact in the Oooniverse.
  • Mars's creator Grob-Gob-Glob-Grod is most likely a reference to Brahma. Not only is he the highest deity in Ooo, but he shares Brahma's four heads/faces. Both have uncertain origins.
    • Brahma is the creator god and Glob is known for creating the utopia on the planet Mars.
    • Each is part of a trinity. Brahma is part of the Hindu Trinity with Vishnunote  and Shivanote  while Glob is part of a trinity with Golbnote  and Abraham Lincolnnote .
  • In "Friends Forever" Simon's drum says that Simon is dealing with "a lot of unresolved karmanote ".


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Analysis/AdventureTime