Western Animation: Adventure Time

"Adventure Time!
Come on, grab your friends
We'll go to very distant lands
With Jake the Dog and Finn the Human
The fun will never end, it's Adventure Time!"

Adventure Time (aka Adventure Time with Finn and Jake) started as a seven-minute short created by Pendleton Ward. Originally produced to be a part of "Random! Cartoons" on Nickelodeon, it was meant to premiere in Fall of 2007. The animated variety show was delayed until December 2008, but the short was previewed in 2006. As is the way of things, the previewed short was leaked unto the Internet and quickly went viral.

Why? Because it's really frickin' weird, that's why.

Both the original short and subsequent series feature the adventures of two best friends: Jake the Dog and Finn the Human (Pen the Human in the original short). Their adventures are nonsensical, crazy, and bear more resemblance to a group of kids playing with action figures than a coherent story... which is probably why it's so dang fun.

Much like Homestar Runner, it's sort of a cross between a children's show and a parody of a children's show. These elements are still very much present even after the show took a turn for the darker. Nickelodeon passed on making it into a series, but their rival Cartoon Network saw its potential and ordered two full seasons off the bat. It started airing on April 5 2010 to the delight of 2 million viewers.

As of now the show has begun its sixth season, with a seventh confirmed to be in production.

Thanks to the massive success of the series, KaBOOM! Comics is publishing a comic book adaptation, currently written by Christopher Hastings. It's set in its own Alternate Continuity but is still just as crazy weird as its TV incarnation. Also thanks to the media, it has allowed other characters to get their chance to shine in their own mini series, which are as follows:

  • Marceline and the Scream Queens - Written by Meredith Gran and starring Marceline and Princess Bubblegum as they go on a world tour through Ooo with Marcie's band, The Scream Queens.
  • Adventure Time With Fionna And Cake - A comic which, of course, stars the gender-swapped alternate counterparts of the main characters. Written by character designer Natasha Allegri.
  • Candy Capers - A comic that stars Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon Bun as they're charged by Bubblegum to figure out who kidnapped Finn and Jake. Written by Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya with art by Ian McGinty.
  • The Flip Side - Finn and Jake wind up in a "reverse adventure", where they have to do the opposite of what they signed up for.
  • Banana Guard Academy - A comic about Root Beer Guy's adventures in the Banana Guard. Written by head writer Kent Osborne with art by Mad Rupert.
  • Marceline Gone Adrift - The second Adventure Time comic written by Meredith Gran. also starring Marceline and Bubblegum. Marceline goes on a rampage throughout Ooo, and Bubblegum accidentally shoots Marceline into space and strips her of her powers, forcing Bubblegum to travel into space to find her.

The series also started getting graphic novels beginning in 2013, written by Danielle Corsetto and Kate Leth with art by Zachary Sterling. So far four volumes have been released.

Likewise it has gotten a few video games. (The trope page for Hey Ice King! and Explore the Dungeon can be found here). Battle Party has its own page.

  • Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!: Released in 2012 for both the Nintendo DS and 3DS, developed by WayForward Technologies and has an original plot written by Pendleton Ward himself
  • Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!: Released in 2013 for the 3DS, Wii U, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. Pen once more wrote the story for it and has stated the game contains "a huge reveal" that will be part of the series canon.
  • Adventure Time Battle Party: A free-to-play browser MOBA.
  • Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom: Released in 2014 for the PS3, Vita, Xbox 360 and the 3DS.

The mathematical production blog, which also features art from fans, is located here. The algebraic wiki is here.

On October 2nd, 2014, Pendleton Ward announced to Rolling Stone that he had stepped down from his position as the showrunner of the series. He claims that working on such a beast of a project just really wore him out. He continues to remain as a storyboard artist, script writer, and the voice of Lumpy Space Princess.

A miniseries and a theatrical movie have been announced.

Now with an improved Recap page in need of more love.


Adventure Time provides examples of: