Let this next phrase sink in as well. Finn and Jake have defeated said Lich a total of three times. The first being The Lich's premiere, the second being his possession of Princess Bubblegum, and the third being Jake using Prismo's wish to reverse the effects of The Lich's wish.
Thomas Herpich is a writer on Adventure Time, whose episodes include many of the ones with LGBT subtext- Princess Cookie, You Made Me, All Your Fault, and The Hard Easy are some of them. He actually got away with having an overtly homosexual character in "BMO Lost-" Bubble, who was portrayed in a sympatheitic and likable way. The whole episode was also framed like a coming out story for Bubble. The fact that Herpich got away with this is a Crowning Moment of Awesome in its own right, and certainly groundbreaking for a children's show. Also doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
"Slumber Party Panic"
The fight scene in Slumber Party Panic. "Smash the pinatas!"
"Trouble in Lumpy Space" "Prisoners of Love" "Tree Trunks" "The Enchiridion!"
From "The Enchiridion!":
Finn: GIVE ME BACK MY FRIEND! Giant: BUT I KILLED HIM ALREADY! Finn:(Tears) Fine. I'll give your dollar! HERE'S YOUR DOLLAAAAAAR!!! (Groin Attack)
Finn refusing to slay the unaligned ant. "Never... never... NEVEEEEER!!!"
"The Jiggler" "Ricardio the Heart Guy" "Business" "My Two Favorite People"
Lady Rainicorn rescuing Finn. It shows she's not just a girly toy.
"Memories of Boom Boom Mountain"
Finn setting up a way to fix every problem that's suddenly cropped up.
The end of "Evicted!" when Finn and Jake fight Marceline.
"Get ready for an upper-cut, you DOG!!!"
"City of Thieves"
Finn's gonna do his damnest to punish every thief he runs into upon first entering the City of Thieves.
"What is Life?" "Ocean of Fear"
Finn knocking himself unconscious in order to get to the bottom of the ocean to save Jake
This is worth even more mention by the fact he beat the Lich King. Word of God says the Lich King is an evil so terrible and so powerful that Ice King and even Marceline will run for the hills before him and the trailer setting up his arrival is building him up to be the Ultimate Evil. Billy beat him. Into a tree.
Also, despite the paraphrasing, it means that literally, he didn't use a sealing ritual, or weaken him, he punched him so hard and so much he was sealed in amber from the sheer pummeling.
And now it seems The Lich has killed Billy. Sad, but that means even the Lich knew Billy would just clobber him again, given the chance.
"It Came from the Nightosphere"
Marceline's father is going around and, y'know devouring souls. Then he comes across Gunter. Not only does he ask politely for this "Dark One"'s soul, Gunter slaps him away. Successfully.
In the same episode, Finn takes down Marceline's Dad by stabbing him in the chest while he was distracted with a Heartwarming Moment, the sends him back to where he came from with the same ritual that summoned him.
Jake trying to lure the horse with classical music in "The Eyes". It didn't work, but he said something along the lines of "Beethoven's not working on you? Well, HOW ABOUT SOME MOZART?!" complete with Jake starting to play the viola furiously, and it was awesome.
For music lovers, this scene in and of itself is awesome due to the fact that even though the Apocalypse has come and gone; Beethoven, Mozart, and Wagner are all still being played.
"Loyalty to the King" "Blood Under the Skin" "Storytelling" "Slow Love" "Power Animal"
Jake defeating a group of evil gnomes with pure raving energy.
"No more games... No... more... PAJAMAS!!!"
"Crystals Have Power" "The Other Tarts" "To Cut a Woman's Hair"
In "To Cut a Woman's Hair", Finn tries to get Princess Bubblegum's hair. How does he do this? TAKING HER TO THE MIDDLE OF THE WOODS, CUTTING DOWN TREES FOR TABLES/CHAIRS SO THEY CAN HAVE A SPAGHETTI DINNER. That's right. Finn just made Princess Bubblegum an Italian dinner in the woods by just cutting down trees and using a fireplace.
He was twelve during that episode, which makes it even awesomer.
When Finn FINALLY revealed his hair. That was pretty awesome. And it's blond!
"The Chamber of Frozen Blades" "Her Parents" "The Pods" "The Silent King" "The Real You"
Finn destroying a black hole with a 4th-dimensional sword in "The Real You". It's almost too awesome to describe.
Jake: Finn! Don't do anything stupid!
Finn: I can't help it, man! I'm all about stupid! *Jumps into the black hole with a Battle Cry*
"Guardians of Sunshine" "Death in Bloom" "Susan Strong" "Mystery Train"
In "Mystery Train", when it's revealed that the conductor did it, Finn chases him across several train cars by leaping across after they had been detached from the train.
Jake's gambit through the entire episode deserves mention, as well.
"Go With Me" "Belly of the Beast" "The Limit"
Finn gets on in "The Limit". Jake's on the verge of death from overstretching himself and wasted his wish to get the ancient psychic tandem war elephant they'd gone through the entire maze for. Finn's left with the option of letting Jake die or give up on getting what he wants. What does he do? Wish up the war elephant and have it wish for everyone to be healed and restored. Counts because he actually did something pretty clever.
Not to mention his sheer confidence.
Elephant: Finn the human! Are you worthy to command me?
Finn faking out the Fight King in "Morituri Te Salutamus"
"Memory of a Memory"
In "Memory Of A Memory" Finn doing something smart and using his memories to show Marceline the memory that her Jerkassex-boyfriend Ash tricked him and Jake into stealing. This is directly followed by Finn, Marceline, and Jake beating up Ash for what he did to Marceline.
"Hitman" "Too Young"
Even Lemongrab gets a quick one in Too Young. After basically spending a whole episode getting mocked and kicked around, he ends up falling head-first out of the window of a tall tower, and slams his whole head into the ground so hard he has to pry himself out of the hole. And he wasn't even hurt at all.
You know how candy people explode when they get scared? Apparently, according to Patrick Seery (a production assistant on the show,) it's physically impossible for LG to do so. That's how strong his skin is. It's literally impossible for him to explode.
"The New Frontier" "Holly Jolly Secrets Part I" "Holly Jolly Secrets Part II" "Marceline's Closet"
Finn attempts to deliver a fake message to Marceline via paper airplane, claiming that it would do a number of elaborate tricks and cook some eggs before landing in the correct spot. The result was the airplane successfully maneuvering through the housing, opening the fridge, grabbing three eggs, breaking two and starting to cook one before knocking the pan onto the floor, then flying upstairs into a trash can. The plan may have failed, but it was still impressive.
"Paper Pete" "Another Way"
"Another Way" is pretty much filled to the brim with this. One moment that comes to mind is when Finn plows his way through an acidic river full of electric eels, Moses-styles. And he does it all on a broken foot.
Again, "Dad's Dungeon" has much of this, but one moment that stood out was when Finn slayed the Eldritch Abomination while Jake beatboxed to a remix of Joshua's pre-recorded messages. It. Was. Glorious.
Wherever you stand on Finn's romantic situation, you have to admit that in "Incendium", Finn's anger in the name of Princess Bubblegum was awesome. He only rises from his Heroic BSODafter his pictures of her were burned, and vowed to kill whoever did it, and then proceeds to freaking shatter a window by kicking it!
Goliad's creepy-awesome, super-logical speech as she kills that bee. Came right out of nowhere, and was the perfect Establishing Character Moment for who is perhaps one of the creepiest villains we've seen in the show.
"Beyond this Earthly Realm"
Finn back riding a spirit in "Beyond this Earthly Realm" and the whole scene with putting the spirits in the hole.
"Gotcha!" "Princess Cookie"
In "Princess Cookie," Baby Snaps is depressed because he can't be a princess. After taking hostages, running from the guards, and trying to commit suicide, he ends up in a mental hospital. He is presented with a crown from the Grasslands. Jake puts it on PC's head... and all of the other patients in the hospital smile and bow down to Princess Cookie, who grins. The episode ends. An awesome/heartwarming ending if there ever was one.
The in-universe game "Card Wars". Imagine mixing Yu-Gi-Oh! or Magic: The Gathering with Farmville and the trademark weirdness of Adventure Time, and the results are incredible. To give a bit of perspective, a cavalry charge of horsemen made entirely out of sentient corn and aided by a floating brain that rains blood is defeated by a hungry pig. Not a magical warrior pig, just a pig.
And one for the writers for actually managing to make the damn thing look and feel like a real, understandable card game. Rules were somewhat consistent, themes were kept up and strategies were sound. There was no hint of shallow parody. Some love went into this episode.
Not to mention how awesome and funny a particularly nonthreatening phrase can be; "I floop the pig."
"Sons of Mars"
Finn smacks the shows version of a God with a chair in "Sons of Mars".
Soon after, Finn and Jake meteor down to Ooo towards Magic Man's house. Just before Finn and Jake surface, Finn punches him square in the face. At relativistic speed.
The Emperor of Mars, aka Abraham Lincoln, stares Death in the face not to cheat him, but to offer himself to him to make amends for killing Jake.
Bubblegum calling Jake out on thinking she's interested in "a petty love triangle" with Finn and Flame Princess, when really she's concerned about both of their safeties.
Finn jumping down the hole to save Flame Princess without a second thought, and giving her his oxygen so that she could continue to burn, knowing that he would probably suffocate.
"BMO Noire" "King Worm"
In "King Worm", Finn defeating the title character by opening his fear vault and releasing several Call Backs in order to make him weak.
"Lady & Peebles"
Princess Bubblegum effortlessly beating the ever-loving crap out of Ricardio.
Ricardio's revamped design, with a new, more expressive, creepier face is quite epic indeed. Compare his appearance in season 1 to his appearance now. The animation and drawing has improved substantially!
Then she says that she carried Finn, Jake andLady Raincorn all the way back from the Ice Kingdom to her castle.
And the Ice King. Who was still conscious. Which meant she had to put up with him talking for two days straight! (Also, she whipped up a new heart for him in fifteen minutes.)
"You Made Me"
It was implied that Lemongrab gets into the Candy Castle through a small window, WAAAY up high, by climbing up the smooth walls of the castle itself. No, we don't know how he does it yet. But it is kind of awesome that he would go to the trouble of climbing up the walls of a freaking castle just to do whatever it is he does.
A little one. Remember how a year ago, Lemongrab sent Starchy to the dungeon because the little guy had the gall to ask him who he was talking to? In "You Made Me!", Lemongrab flips out and demands that Princess Bubblegum give him some candy people to rule over in his empty, citizen-less castle. How does Starchy respond to LG's freakout? "In your dreams, you freak!"
Finn Taking The Swordblast for Princess Bubblegum. He jumps down on an electrified floor, charges through a glass wall, and then takes a blast from Lemongrab's sword.
Castle Lemongrab itself is pretty freaking badass, too. It's a massive stone castle WAAAY up high on a mountain. It's up so high, it appears to be floating in the clouds. Leading up to it are a series of thin, precarious-looking rope bridges.
The music in "You Made Me" is one of the single best episodic scores for an episode of Adventure Time. It perfectly crafts a sense of instability and creepiness, while also having moments that sound tender but still strange. In particular, the scenes where A) Lemongrab cries and falls from the window, B) the Pup Gang make the earl angry, C) Princess Bubblegum gets the idea to make a second earl, and D) Lemongrab meets Lemongrab, all have striking and memorable music. Just close your eyes and listen.
"Who Would Win" "Ignition Point" "The Hard Easy"
Finn having the guts to kiss the Mega-Frog on the lips to restore him to his original form as Prince Huge. Because he's "comfortable with himself like that."
The Sailor Moon-esque transformation sequence of the prince was quite lovely and epic, as well.
Jonathan Katz as the Elder. I will repeat that.... Dr. Fucking Katz himself on Adventure Time. This troper replayed that scene 5 times in a row!
"Reign of Gunters"
While it would be an exaggeration to claim that the Ice King is particularly awesome in this episode, he's acting far more dignified that we've come to expect from him. He convinces Gunther to give up a powerful amulet just by telling her firmly to do so, after somehow surviving an encounter with three powerful wizards. And he doesn't brag about either of these things.
Becomes hilarious when you realize he doesn't brag because he's read Dawgzone's book and he's trying to be mysterious.
"I Remember You"
Simon was the one that found and unearth the Enchiridum before the Great Mushroom war.
The fact that Simon Wrote his letters to Marceline explaining his tragic downfall and why he left, in rhyme. The old coot is a lyricist.
A villainous moment of awesome from "The Lich". The Lich managed to effortlessly trick Finn into opening the portal to The Multiverse, by playing on his heroic nature.
"Finn the Human"
In Finn's Universe, Simon sacrificed himself to stop the end of the world by freezing the nuke that would have done everyone in, mere inches from hitting the ground.
And while Jake was taking time deciding his wish, he spends it by striking up a friendship with P and the Cosmic Space Owl, eventually becoming bros by the end of the episode. It ends up being crucial because P takes the time to warn him about the specifics that the Literal Genie nature of his wishes are actually out of his control and aids in wording things so Jake can screw over The Lich. The best part is that Jake took The Lich's wish and trapped him in another world without a way out.
What makes Jake's moment truly sink in is when you realize that the Lich was for the first time ever screwed over completely. Previously, the Lich had proven himself competent enough to bounce back from failure almost virtually unscathed. Now, for the first time ever, Jake put The Lich in a situation that the Lich could not take advantage of.
"Jake the Dog"
Subtle moment of awesome for the Ice King by proxy. In "Finn the Human"/"Jake the Dog", Finn wore the crown and became full-fledged insane and nightmarish berserker within a few hours. Simon must have had a very strong mind to resist that and still have some (albeit very minuscule) sanity after centuries without fully succumbing to it.
Fridge Awesome: In Simon and Marcy, the "Marceline-era Simon" reveals that he's a 47-year old man. When he showed the crown to his fiancee, he looked in his twenties. Simon resisted his crown and managed to retain his personality for over 20 years.
Finn Mertens accepting the ice crown to protect his family and those he cares about. Overcoming the crown's effect on multiple occasions when people he cared about were in trouble. And when he turned on the Destiny gang immediately neutralizing what were the main villains for the first half of the two parter.
Jeremy Shada's voice acting in both episodes, but especially in "Jake the Dog," when he's wearing the ice crown and speaking in a voice that is very similar to the Ice King's own voice. Just... words can't properly describe how incredible his performance was in the episode. He was just 15 when the episode aired, but his voice had INCREDIBLE professionalism. Overall... ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE.
"Five More Short Graybles" "Up a Tree" "All the Little People" "Jake the Dad"
Jake and Lady's puppies doing some sort of Fusion Dance and beating the crap out of the foxes attacking Jake.
"Davey" opens with Finn saving some candy people from a huge dragon by slicing the beast in half lengthwise.
Lemongrab punching out the giant mouse. Nobody takes Lemongrab's pie, apparently.
Tree Trunks delivering a verbal smackdown to Lemongrab, scolding him and telling him he needs to start being nice to the others, who responds by backing down and apologizing. Considering this is a character whose typical reaction to being challenged is to scream and freak out, this is an awesome moment for Tree Trunks.
For the first time in the series, Lemongrab is put into a situation where his anger and violent tendencies are actually completely justified. Seeing him KO the Ice King with the Sound Sword was pretty awesome, seeing as how, for once, the victim of Lemongrab's assholeishness had it coming.
"All Your Fault"
"All Your Fault" gets a lot of this. First of all, the Lemongrabs creating dozens of children for themselves and proving themselves to be a lot smarter than we originally assumed.
Lemonjon as a character is awesome. He's as big as a castle and is an enormous mix of what can only be described as half-Lemongrab, and half-Ent. The perspective drawings of Lemonjon walking to the Candy Castle are beautiful, as we see him looking down. Props to Thomas Herpich and Steve Wolfhard on this gorgeous sequence.
Lemonjon's final speech, and his Dying Moment of Awesome: "Whoa, hold the phone. What is this powerful new juice coursing thrumpst my core source? The juice aches. Is this the rumored ache of feeling? The feeling of caring unknown to lemons? New thoughts emerge... If I act, the candy people will suffer; if I don't, the lemon people will suffer... The greater good demands but one course only! That I dissolve the bonds uniting me and become component to all!"
The Lemongrabs learning empathy and how to care about people. That in itself was pretty awesome, also heartwarming.
The Lemongrabs devising a completely flawless plan to take over the Candy Kingdom. Their plan was foiled only by an even bigger (no pun intended) moment of awesome, their son Lemonjon discovering compassion. Seriously, through all their stupidity, you have to give the LGs props on actually coming up with a perfect plan to conquer the Candy Kingdom and have it almost work (only to be foiled by totally unforeseeable circumstances.)
"Destiny made me what I am, but it was fate that kept me through the dark." - Lemongrab's brain.
The type is small, but the brain also gives us "We could always look the other way when it comes to our own. No way." Oh.
A scene so inherently awesome it could send a tingle down one's spine. The Lemongrabs have finished giving their speech to the Lemon Children, who are all cheering loudly at the idea of the earls conquering the world and stealing its candy. The earls begin shouting, "Now, GO, young Lemonjon! GO, GO, GO! GO, GO, GO!" They keep triumphantly chanting this while punching the air, as Lemonjon slowly rises up, straining with the effort of lifting up his body, which is actually Lemon Castle itself.
The Gumball Guardian's laser beam.
"Bad Little Boy"
Fionna beating the crap out of Marshal Lee in "Bad Little Boy".
"Vault of Bones"
Seeing Fire Princess clean house in the dungeon and go mad with power in "Vault of Bones".
Then her adopting Finn's method of battle (which she considered boring) so not to burn him when he's captured.
"The Great Bird Man"
Xergiok's Disney Acid Sequence in "The Great Birdman" was pretty awesome both musically and visually.
"Simon & Marcy"
In "Simon and Marcy," we have Simon fighting against the effects of the crown long enough to protect Marcy from some radioactive creatures, all while singing the theme song to Cheers.
Earlier, in the Soupery, just when it looks like Simon is going to break his promise to Marcy, he instead bludgeons one of the Nuclear Nasties with the Crown itself.
Admit it, scary or not, Simon was Crazy Awesome in Ice King mode.
How about the fact that Beemo commands an army of Bikini babes? Makes you wonder what he does in his spare time...
Peppermint Butler: You should have given him to ME! *slap*
In a way, Princess Bubblegum bluntly describing Braco's infatuation with her as coming from "overvaluing an imagined relationship with me".
"The Party's over, Isla de Senorita"
Ice King's battle with the Party God, including him summoning a giant ice sword, freezing a cloud so it crashed onto the Party God's head, and then throwing him into space until he's only a twinkle in the sky.
"One Last Job"
The entire operation, from the Flying Lettuce Brothers impersonating the warden, Tiffany blowing up the vault door, and Jake maneuvering the Hall of 1000 Deaths.
Jake going Papa Wolf on his gang when they betray him.
"Five More Short Graybles"
In a twisted way, it is pretty impressive that Lemongrab's mouth is so big and his body so flexible that he actually had the ability and capacity to shove the other Lemongrab inside of him.
"Wizards Only, Fool"
That Princess Bubblegum actually goes on a quest. We've only seen her do this sort of thing a couple of times before, but this is pretty much the first time we see her so active.
Bubblegum's escape from 'Ron James's Spell Palace', particularly as she doesn't take the easy way down (read: Jake) but rolls and runs her way out of a four story drop.
Either Abracadaniel for actually challenging Princess Bubblegum to an 'honorable prison stabbing to the death' (a Knife Fight) or Peebles taking all of 12 seconds to blind, disarm, and knock him to the ground.
Finn getting the top of his dunked in lava and still refusing to give in. Hardcore.
This is enough for Jake to admit defeat and let Finn go. The first thing he does after regaining his body and donning Jake Suit again? Jump right into the said volcano.
The chase scene in the Mo Factory.
Finn meeting another human, who somehow survived using cybernetics and artificial parts. He even remarked that only his skin was human.
Lemongrab 2 somehow survived being eaten. Many fans were amazed and pleased by this revelation.
And despite his damaged, malnourished condition, or perhaps because of it, defying Lemongrab at various times, like considering the "dinner act" acceptable and giving food to the starving lemon child. He even takes advantage of Lemongrab being entranced by Lemon Hope's flute playing to release Hope, Finn and Bubblegum from the dungeon, likely knowing he'd either suffer more or be entirely consumed.
Lemongrab 2 crawling out of Lemongrab's stomach, freeing all of the children, and giving them defiant words of hope before he's finally consumed again. Doubles as a Tearjerker.
LEMONBROTHERS STOP ! STOP AND LISTEN! It has cost me much but I have learned that Lemon need not squeeze lemon to survive. Lemonhope! Go forth! Grow strong and return for us!
"Earth & Water"
Flame Princess taking over the Fire Kingdom with CINNAMON BUN of all people and giving her old man a taste of what it's like to be locked up.
BMO's Skateboard trick gets Awesomer and Awesomer as more things get thrown into the slow-mo bubble.
Until it winds up looking like this.◊ New page-image?
Jake successfully gets his sandwich back by making himself sad.
"We Fixed a truck"
Finn, Jake, BMO, and Banana Man use their fixed up truck to fight a giant lizard monster.
Jake, even with some of his blood stolen and stuck in a pit, doesn't really loose his cool at all, much to Keeoth's growing frustration.
Finn kills Keeoth the demon by tricking him into inhaling a blessed sword made of frozen grape juice. Thinking it was made of blood, Keeoth inhales it and explodes.
Let us rephrase this: Finn kills a powerful, evil demon by being smart.
JOSHUA. He pretty much made Keeoth his bitch, and he made it look easy. Highlights include him drinking holy water so the demon couldn't suck out his blood and him taking the sword Keeoth created himself to try to escape!
"Root Beer Guy"
Root Beer Guy, an average candy person, proves that he's more competent than the banana guards when he solves the case of Princess Bubblegum's kidnapping. It turns out that the whole thing was a test to see how well the banana guards can solve cases. The banana guards hadn't even noticed Bubblegum was gone. As a reward for his competence, Root Beer Guy was made the captain of the banana guard and now his life is so much better.