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  • Sacred Scripture: The hero's handbook, The Enchiridion, a legendary book that tells you how to be a hero, is not called "sacred", but it's treated as so important it might as well be.
  • Sadistic Choice: The guardian of the wishes in "The Limit" tried to force Finn to make one of these and choose between saving Jake and the psychic tandem war elephant he and Jake went through the maze to get. Finn wished for the elephant, got control of it, and then had ''it'' wish to save Jake and fly them out.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Jake in "Gut Grinder".
    Finn: You are crazy, dude! Like, actually crazy.
    • Also, Bubblegum towards the beginning of "The Duke".
      Bubblegum: (insane laughter)
      Jake: Haha, she's completely bonkers...
    • Jake again in "No One Can Hear You", to creepy levels.
    • Revealed to be why Ice King is the way he is.
    • Happens in "Jake the Dog" to AU!Finn after he puts on the Ice King's crown. 
    • The episode "You Made Me!" is basically one big one for Lemongrab.
    • Sleep-deprived Princess Bubblegum in "Goliad":
    PB: I'm not gonna live forever Finn. *Whispers* I would if I could. But modern science just isn't there yet.
    PB (explaining the process of creating candy life): Oh, um... Pretty standard candy creature soup. Some acids. Some algebra. And I threw in one of my baby teeth so she had my DNA.
    Finn and Jake: Wow, DNA?!
    PB:Yeah. All it takes is just one little tooth or a single hair. It's all it takes..." She trails off, suddenly brushing thin air after Goliad moves the paw PB had been brushing.
    • Finn in "All the Little People."
    • Marceline throughout "Red Starved."
    • Fern starting in "Whispers."
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    Finn: I shall conquer my fear.
    Fear Feaster: Yeah, right...
    Finn: I will! I'll conquer my fear!
    Fear Feaster: Of cooouuurse you will, and I live in a two-bedroom apartment that doesn't smell like vomit. Hahahahaha, sarcasm...
  • Sassy Black Woman:
    • Cake seems to be this even though she's a cat.
    • According to Jake, Tree Trunks.
    "I can't hold her! She's too strong and sassy!"
  • Satellite Love Interest: Braco is one for Princess Bubblegum. Lampshaded with his in-commercial catch phrase "I was born to date the princess."
  • Save the Princess: Played straight most of the time. Inverted in "Dungeon". Gender-inverted in "Fionna and Cake". Inverted again in Lady and Peebles.
    • Inverted a different way in Elements, which is all about saving everyone from princesses.
  • Say My Name: A Running Gag in "Wake Up" and "Escape From the Citadel." See also the Screams Like a Little Girl entry below.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Ice King from time to time. 
    Ice King: ZAP!!
  • Scenery Censor: A more literal example for the scenery itself: F&J have a painting of a woman in the treehouse with a large ripped section, which alludes to possible nudity underneath. That said, Word of God indicates that she isn't naked after all.
  • Scenery Porn/Scenery Gorn: Every realm in Ooo is this, even the Nightosphere.
  • Schizo Tech and Scavenger World: Up to Eleven on both counts, and justified in that this show takes place after a nuclear war that wiped out technology and made everything into a magical fairy tale world.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl:
    • Finn in "Power Animal" and "Burning Low". Jake in "Evicted".
    • Flambo in "Incendium."
    • Lemongrab displays an interesting variation of this. He's usually screaming in a high-pitched, almost feminine way. It would be notable to list all the times he doesn't do this.
    • Finn does this more than once because of Princess Bubblegum, and it becomes a running joke in "Burning Low." And one last time in the finale.
  • Screw Destiny: Finn does everything in his power to prevent Jake's prophesied death. He succeeds.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • When Princess Bubblegum emerges from her operation as a thirteen year old in "Mortal Recoil" Ice King immediately loses all interest and flies out the nearest window.
    • Near the end of "Belly of the Beast", Jake decides that he's had it with Party Pat and goes off to watch TV.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • The Lich was sealed away in amber by Billy, and it was for the good of everyone, as the Lich is an Omnicidal Maniac seeking to destroy all life. He mind controlled the Easter Egg snail and got free.
    • Marceline's Dad is the ruler of the Nightosphere, which also appears to be the original home of the Abadeer family (family photos of Marceline, Hunson Abadeer, and Marceline's mom can be seen inside their home; Hunson also wanted Marceline to take over ruling the Nightosphere because it's the family business). The only catch is that Hunson is unable to leave the Nightosphere without outside assistance, playing the trope straight, except with an added Luxury Prison Suite angle.
    • Bouncy Bee, Honey Bunny, and Sleepy Sam from "Guardians of Sunshine".
    • Orgalorg is an evil abomination sealed within an adorable penguin.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: Stormo, a Candy Spinx created from Finn's DNA to combat the evil, power mad Goliad, traps Goliad in a psychic duel for all eternity.
  • Secret Diary: Or it is secret until Finn and Jake find it in his (the Ice King's) room.
    • Jake's son T.V. finds one and becomes obsessed with it. Turns out it used to belong to Nurse Poundcake.
    • When Marceline is tied up and about to be killed by the sun, she orders Finn to destroy hers.
      Marceline: They're embarrassing, Finn! ''Embarrassiiiiiiing!''
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • Refusing to "Slay this unaligned ant!", and attacking the test-giver instead was the correct answer to Finn's last test before claiming the Heroes' Enchiridion.
    • "Dad's Dungeon" had elements of this until Jake, who knew everything that was going on, tells Finn.
    • Inverted with the Magic Man. His test is about not helping others. Finn fails at first.
  • Security Cling: Finn and Princess Bubblegum, to each other, on pages 404 and 436 of this storyboard for "Slumber Party Panic". Left out of the actual episode, however.
  • See You in Hell:
    • Finn says, "I'll see you in the Nightosphere, you sick freak!" very darkly right after he sends Marceline's soul sucking Dad back to the fiery pits of the Nightosphere.
    • In "Hug Wolf", Jake pulls this on the Tree of Blight as he burns it down:
    Jake: When you see the wicker devil in tree afterlife, tell 'im Jake says, "Hello."
  • Self-Guarding Phlebotinum: In "City of Thieves," the King of Thieves' tower has a barrier around it that repels all thieves.
  • Sequel Episode:
    • Season two's "Crystals Have Power" for "Tree Trunks".
    • The episode "The Creeps" touches on events that occurred in "Mystery Train".
    • "From Bad to Worse" is this for "Slumber Party Panic".
    • "Beautopia" for "Susan Strong".
    • The season four episode "Hot to the Touch" for "Incendium".
    • The Nightosphere two-parter ("Return to the Nightosphere" and "Daddy's Little Monster") for "It Came from the Nightosphere."
      • "Marcy & Hunson" forms a trilogy.
    • "You Made Me!" for "Too Young". The episode "Too Old" is also a sequel of sorts, containing many call-backs to "Too Young".
    • "Finn the Human" and "Jake the Dog" form a two-part episode following up on the cliffhanger ending of "The Lich".
    • "You Made Me!" got its own sequel "All Your Fault."
    • "The Great Bird Man" for "The Silent King."
    • "Simon and Marcy" for "I Remember You"
    • "Sky Witch" for "What Was Missing" as well as for "Memory of a Memory"
    • "The Creeps" received its own sequel, "The Vault."
    • "Wake Up" has "Escape from the Citadel." Played With as each half of this two-parter gets its own sequel later on—"Is That You?" and "The Visitor" respectively.
    • "Dark Purple" to "Beautopia."
    • "Jelly Beans Have Power" to "Elemental."
  • Serenade Your Lover: In "Love Games," Finn is required to do this to prove his love for Slime Princess and help her keep her kingdom.
    • Inadvertently doing this is how he later meets and falls for Huntress Wizard.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • In terms of creepiness. Name anything creepy about this show—the Mind Screw ending of "Tree Trunks" and "Evicted!", the Nightmare Faces Marceline, Peppermint Butler's desire for flesh—it doesn't matter. ALL of that was topped by this. Holy. Freaking. Crud. According to Adam Muto, this is just the beginning.
    • A separate example from above from the Season 5 two-part opening: How much worse is it going to get for Alternate Universe Finn in Farmworld? First he is forced to sell his pet to pay back a gang, then tries to find a way around it, then comes across the Ice King's crown which an elderly and insane Marceline warns him to avoid, then gets it stolen by Big D, the gangster threatening his dad, then finds that while he was fighting Big D to get it back, the gang set his hometown on fire, then goes home to find that his house is burning with his family in it, then in desperation puts on the crown, which saves his house by freezing it but drives him insane, then he tries to stop the town from burning and sets off the atom bomb, then finds his family but has to send them away so he can't hurt them (even though they are probably going to die of radiation in the next few hours), then finds that he's killed Jake with the bomb as he's in a pool of radioactive goo, and then has to fight him as he is turned into the Lich via radiation. It would presumably get even worse had Jake not cut it off by wishing them back home. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!!
  • Serious Business: "2 + 2. SOLVE IT OR DIE."
  • Shades of Conflict: 90% of the time, the series tends to be White-and-Grey Morality. The other 10% of times involve The Lich.
    • In the finale, the conflict between Bubblegum and Gumbald is painted as White vs. Grey when he is shown capable of making peace. Then GOLB shows up, shifting everything hard toward black and white.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: Is used in "Escape From the Citadel" when The Lich unwillingly grows back his flesh when Finn flings some Ancients' blood at him.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: "Box Prince." Finn goes to great lengths to assist a cat prince in retaking his cat kingdom...only to have everyone (including the prince himself) just wander off indifferently when it's done. It's a kingdom composed entirely of cats. They don't care.
    Finn: Is this even a kingdom?
    • "Blank Eyed Girl." You never find out what the hell they are. That's part of the beauty.
  • Shameful Shrinking: Jake used his shapeshifting powers to do this literally when attention was called to him for the fact that it'd been his words that caused Finn to make a party uncomfortable.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Desert... of Doom.
  • Shipping: Amazingly, done in-universe by Finn in "All the Little People."
  • Ship Sinking:
    • Marceline dispels any implications of her getting with Finn any time soon in "Go with Me".
    • In "Too Young", PB turns 18 again. She says that Finn should just move on because "That was 5 years ago!" Which is even more spiteful than the above example, considering the episode up until that point was Ship Tease upon Ship Tease. Issue 8 of the comic directly references this Ship Sinking and plays with it.
    • In "Fionna and Cake", Fionna sinks the Fionna/Gumball ship when she realizes that she's not interested in dating him.
    • Flame Princess dumps Finn for "betraying" her in "Frost & Fire", then proceeds to act ambivalently toward him in "Earth & Water". In "The Red Throne", she reiterates that because of his "betrayal", Flame Princess no longer loves Finn in any way. The ship was finally sunk in "Breezy", when Doctor Princess mentions Finn doesn't talk to Flame Princess anymore, possibly due to Finn thinking Flame Princess is dating Cinnamon Bun after the events of "The Red Throne". Eventually FP and Finn reconnect, but the ship is still seven leagues under.
    • Word Of God sank the Flame Princess x Cinnamon Bun ship, stating their relationship was strictly platonic.
  • Shrinking Violet: Raggedy Princess. She spoke for the first time in the series to Finn in "Mortal Recoil" when she brought him his new backpack.
  • Shock Collar: Lemongrab has his subjects wear them in "Too Old".
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Show Within a Show: Heat Signature, Basic Mortality.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Brief one given by Finn to the Lich, which snaps Finn out of the Lich's mind control.
    Lich: Aren't you cold, Finn?
    Finn: ...NO, I'M NOT! I'VE GOT A SWEATER ON!!
    • Another in Deep Purple, when Sheryl the Super Porp mascot is explaining her plans to turn the kidnapped child into her successor. Susan uppercuts her before she can finish.
  • Similar Squad: Billy, when compared to Finn. His main adversary was the Fire Count, from whom he rescued a Cotton Candy Princess, and he had a magical dog. To top it off, both got hair as a gift from their respective princesses and both fought the Lich.
    • Shermy and Beth, the Pup Princess, fill the roles of Finn and Jake 1,000 years in the future.
  • Single Tear: The Ice King has one at the end of "What is Life?" As of "Reign of Gunthers" and "I Remember You," both Gunter and Marceline have one respectively.
    • Played for Drama in "Everything Stays." When Simon has decided he can no longer be with Marcy without endangering her, he tries to wipe a single tear from her face. It instantly turns to ice, slicing a cut in Marcy's cheek, scaring Simon and making him scamper away all the faster.
  • Sinister Geometry: Subverted in the Soft People, the Cube People, and Spiky People. They're actually pretty nice, but the Spikey People love group hugs.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Jake, in the episode, "Ocean of Fear."
  • Sitting Sexy on a Piano: Tree Trunks in the title card for "Tree Trunks".
  • Skeleton Key Card: The Ice King uses a credit card to unhook the latch on Bubblegum Princess' shutters in "Mortal Folly".
  • Slasher Smile: Princess Bubblegum gets this when considering the idea of bringing the Duke of Nuts to justice.
  • Sleep Cute: Finn and Jake, at the end of "The Eyes." Honorable mention to the Ice King. Finn mentions in "Gut Grinder" that he watches Jake when he sleeps, no doubt due to this.
    • PB on Marceline's shoulder at the end of "Varmints."
  • Sliding Bike Stop:
    • A bikeless example can be seen with Marceline in the episode "Go With Me" where she and Finn go running with wolves, and when hey stop, Marceline does a pose that pays homage to this trope.
    • There's an animated gif where Finn was mounting Jake as a motorcycle making this pose, even appearing on Crunchyroll's article. However, it's confirmed this is a fanart gif instead of coming from the series.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Mostly on the idealism end.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Nicely balenced, with hilarious and horrifying moments.
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: Level 4. While in the beginning the show qualified as Level 2, it upgraded to Level 3 once The Lich and the Ice King's backstory were introduced. It was bumped up again to level 4 in season 4, when the show began featuring more multi-part stories, Call Backs and Sequel Episodes.
    • By season 6, it's hit level 5. If you haven't seen certain episodes, references to Ice King and Marceline's relationship, Finn's dad, Farmworld, the Lich, the Mushroom War, Betty, the Mars arc, etc., will make no sense at all. An interesting case in that Adventure Time doesn't actually have one single Myth Arc, just a lot of very complex lore.
  • Slow-Motion Drop:
    • There's one for Finn's tear at the beginning of "Crystals Have Power".
    • There's also one for Lumpy Space Princess's beans in "Heat Signature".
      Lumpy Space Princess: MY BEEEEAAANS!!!
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: The Clashing Gates from "Beautopia".
  • Smooch of Victory: Finn's usual reward for saving a princess. Princess Bubblegum has kissed him four times and counting. (Go Finn!)
  • Snapback: Lampshaded!
    Finn: (after a scene transition) Ah...everything's back to normal.
  • Snowlems: Finn and Jake encounter one in the pilot cartoon.
    • One later serves as the main character of "Thank You."
  • The Sociopath: The Cosmic Owl straight-up tells the Ice King he's a sociopath.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: In an Ad Bumper, the Ice King uses a magnifying glass to try to kill a giant ant. He threatens to use it on Finn.
  • Soul Jar: The Fight King's sword.
  • Space Whale Aesop: In universe, lampshaded at the end of "Slumber Party Panic":
    Princess Bubblegum: I hope you grasp the full consequences of breaking promises.
    Finn: Heck yeah! If I break a Royal Promise, I get to fight zombies, throw slumber parties, awake Gumball Guardians, and — and —
    Princess Bubblegum: All right, all right!
  • Spaghetti Kiss: Happens with Little Finn and Little Flame Princess when Finn gives them a cookie to share in "All the Little People".
  • Special Edition Title:
    • "Fionna and Cake" had every character who appears in the opening replaced by their gender-swapped counterpart. Even the singer of the theme song was changed from a male one to a female.
    • "A Glitch Is a Glitch" gives us the opening completely CGI animated.
    • The "Stakes" mini-series has a Marceline-centered opening, with her singing the theme song. Significantly, it also incorporates developments in the previous episodes of the seventh season, namely the King of Ooo taking over the Candy Kingdom and Princess Bubblegum living in exile in a cabin.
    • "Islands" and "Elements" both do the same, foreshadowing the events of the miniseries and highlighting their main characters.
    • The finale, "Come Along With Me," continues the tradition, with an opening starring Shermy and Beth, year-4,000 versions of Finn and Jake.
    • The [[Minecraft]] episode "Diamonds and Lemons" has one done entirely in pixel art, by Paul Robertson.
  • Special Guest:
  • Special Person, Normal Name: Billy and Jake.
  • Species Surname:
    • Both Finn and Jake have these. Also Mr. Fox, Mr. Goose, and Mrs. Cow from "Storytelling".
      • Apparently Finn's last name is Mertens.
    • It seems all Rainicorns share this trait.
  • Spider-Sense:
    • Jake has the ability to sense when Finn is about to cry. "It's kind of a mother/daughter thing", apparently.
    • His Gender Flip counterpart Cake also has a spider sense. When her tail frizzes, she senses trouble.
  • Spiritual Successor: To SpongeBob SquarePants, which the majority of the writers worked on before it was canceled in 2004 (Though it was Un-Cancelled 5 years before Adventure Time premiered). It's also the successor to Here Comes the Grump.
  • Spiteful Spit: Marceline does this to PB in "What Was Missing". Needless to say, she gasped. ...A lot.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: In "Go With Me" between Finn and Princess Bubblegum then between Jake and Marceline.
  • Spoiler Title:
  • Spoof Aesop: Taken pretty much any Aesop the show presents, a more blatant example is a wizard turning people into body parts and not turning them back until they realized how much of a jerk he was. The message here ("some people are jerks and not worth your time") isn't necessarily a joke, but it's pretty pointless considering you can't tell if someone's going to screw you over until you try to help them out.
  • Squeaky Eyes: Finn has fun with this in "The Real You".
  • Standard Hero Reward: Slime Princess tries to do this with Finn, to his dismay. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Finn and Flame Princess. Especially since she seems to think that he's a water elemental.
  • Start of Darkness: The episodes "I Remember You" and "Simon and Marcy" for the Ice King.
    • "You Forgot Your Floaties" for both Magic Man and Betty.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • In "When Wedding Bells Thaw", Ice King almost gets married to Old Lady Princess, but it turns out he had cursed her so she would marry him. Finn and Jake foil the marriage, and it's back to capturing princesses for the Ice King.
    • Also occurred in "Too Young", when Princess Bubblegum, who was transformed into a 13 year-old at the end of the last season, had to be transformed back into an 18 year-old to reclaim the kingdom from the Earl.
    • In the two parter, "Finn the Human" and "Jake the Dog" the whole universe goes awry and creates another timeline in which Finn and his human family live in Farmworld and are tormented by the Destiny Gang. This goes as far to the point where Finn has the Ice King's crown and Jake becomes the/a Lich due to the atomic bomb before Prismo encourages Jake to wish that the Lich wishes them back to Ooo.
    • In "Jake the Dad", Jake decides to live with Rainicorn to raise their pups. Turns out Rainicorn's species matures very quickly. Jake moves back in with Finn since his children are full-grown and don't need him to take care of them anymore. Plus all his stuff is with Finn anyway.
    • In "Breezy", Finn's right arm grows back with the help of the eponymous bee. Of course, that was far from the end of it.
    • The "Stakes" miniseries begins with Marceline being cured of her vampirism and ends with her becoming a vampire again.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: One of the many reasons why Marceline's ex, Ash is a dick.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Death in "Death In Bloom", does a Death Metal drum solo in a music duel with Finn.
    • Also, Finn wanted to throw never-ending pies at Jake's face. Think about it. Pi is a never-ending decimal.
    • "The Great Bird Man": Xergiok feels himself hitting bottom again.
  • Steampunk / Diesel Punk: The alternate universe shown at the end of "The Lich", and in "Finn the Human" and "Jake the Dog".
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: In "The Eyes", Finn's sword gets stuck in the wall. Jake uses it as a springboard to jump off and attack the Ice King.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Finn, Jake and the Princesses fake this to escape from the Ice Kingdom in "Prisoners of Love".
    • Tiny Manticore invokes it in "You Forgot Your Floaties" to explain why he's still hanging around Magic Man's old house
      Tiny Manticore: You gave me some sort of hostage syndrome!
  • Stock Scream:
    • There's a Wilhelm scream at the very end (right at the cut to black after Finn and Jake are seen on the dolphin's back) of "Memories of Boom Boom Mountain".
    • Finn's high-pitched screaming from "Burning Low" becomes a running gag in later episodes.
  • Stock Visual Metaphors: In "Breezy", LSP and Finn make out and she says she is going to take him to "the deep end". A few scenes later, Finn grows his arm back, which replaces the flower that was at the end of his stump. In other words, he was "deflowered".
  • Stress Vomit: In the episode "Jake the Dog", Jake vomits after realizing the gravity of the present situation: his wish to Prismo is the only chance he has to save the world, and he has to be specific, or else there could be disastrous consequences.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • The episode "Slumber Party Panic" reveals that candy people explode when they're scared. Thankfully, the effect appears to be reversible since poor Starchy is just fine at the end.
    • When the Lich reaches his power well in "Mortal Folly", a particularly impressive green explosion occurs.
      • This is repeated in "Jake the Dog" to emphasize how the Mushroom Bomb created the Lich.
    • When Clarence finds out he killed Warrior Princess, he binges on spray cheese. So much so he explodes. No wonder Jake didn't like spray cheese.
    • The little cuties from "Cute Conquest" tended to explode for no reason. One of their handicaps as would-be conqeurors.
  • Stylistic Self-Parody: How Jake Lampshades the fact that Finn doesn't appear to have a nose.
    Jake: Bet you wish you had one, right?
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • Parts of "Adventure Time With Fionna and Cake" are written like a Fan Fic. Because it is.
    • The show's character designs fit this. Pen's artistic style calls for everyone to look extremely simplistic and lazily designed (almost a laid-back style) with no joints for characters' noodley limbs and faces that could be summed up as "two dots and a line". The storyboarders just roll with it and still manage to make everything look pretty damn impressive.
    • Most of the rapping in the show is not very impressive, but the characters believe that it is, so the whole thing works.
  • Subtext:
    • A lot in the first season, before the post-apocalyptic setting was fully obvious. The episode "Tree Trunks" may have had some concerning death, senility, and aging (it certainly spawned multiple theories about how the show was a dream playing out Finn's psychoses and subconscious fears, so there's something there). "The Jiggler" also had a lot about parental abandonment. In general, the show's love of Does This Remind You of Anything? combined with Finn's status as a young, traumatized orphan leads to a lot of unsettling imagery.
    • It's very apparent in the season 4 premier, "Hot To The Touch." The entire episode consists of Finn running doggedly after Flame Princess because he "like" likes her while Flame Princess is trying her damnedest to make Finn pay for "hurting" her and toying with her emotions (which was Jake's doing, no less). In what has to be one of the show's sadder moments, Finn defeatedly asks himself why he can't just like a normal girl while breaking down into tears. This seems to grab Flame Princess's attention, who (mistakenly) believes Finn to be a water elemental; hence why even if the two did care for each other, they could never be together because they'd only hurt one another. Anybody who's ever loved someone that either just wasn't good for them or hurt them badly can understand this very adult problem and will probably shed a tear or two when they see it for the first time.
  • Subverted Catch-Phrase: In "Slumber Party Panic". Finn says "What time is it?" to Jake, who questioningly replies "Adventure Time?" Finn replies, "No, it's time for Seven Minutes in Heaven."
  • Subverted Kids Show: Sort of. While it is still a kids show technically, it is not as bright and colorful as it seems on the surface; the show's liberal use of Art-Style Dissonance, Black Comedy, Backstory Horror, Subtext, Nightmare Fuel, Family-Unfriendly Violence, Spoof Aesops, and Self-Parody would place it pretty firmly in this category were it not for the fact that it's still a TVPG kids show on Cartoon Network. So it's kind of a Double Subverted kids show.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: In "Storytelling" Finn's sucky story-telling only makes Jake even more sick.
  • Suddenly Obvious Fakery: In "Red Starved", Finn starts searching for a red object for Marceline to suck the color out of, and his search leads him to a creature with a large ruby. Finn requests the ruby, which the creature insists is an emerald before giving it to him. Once Finn returns to Marceline and Jake, Jake also tells Finn that the ruby is an emerald. After Jake explains that Finn must be a little colorblind, the "ruby" changes to green to indicate that it is indeed an emerald.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Princess Bubblegum vehemently denies the existence of magic, and attributes all its properties to specifically applied scientific principles. This gets her in hot water with the very large wizard community.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Ironically, Flame Princess.
  • Sugar Bowl: The Land of Ooo is a parody of one. See Subverted Kids Show above.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: In "Hitman", The Ice King hires a hitman to literally hit Finn and Jake for grounding him. However, when Ice King is told that the hitman would actually kill Finn and Jake, and is unable to call him off, he hires a hit-hitman to take out the first hitman. Surprisingly, this results in a Curb-Stomp Battle with the first hitman easily killing the hit-hitman, making this a subverted trope.
  • Summoning Ritual: To summon Marceline's father from the Nightosphere, Finn draws a circle with a happy face (as mentioned above in Geometric Magic), pours bug milk on it, and gets Marceline to say a Latin incantation.
  • Superpowers for a Day: Finn and Jake get wizard powers in "Wizard", ranging from controlling shadows to generating mayonnaise. According to Word of God, they lose them at the end of the episode when their robes are destroyed. Here are some of the powers:
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • The songs and/or musical notes Finn and the others start with tend to sound horrible and have lyrics that don't make any sense whatsoever, like how someone who was trying to make up a song on the spot would actually sound that's more likely to occur, as opposed to songs that conveniently sound great and have meaningful lyrics.
    • In "Storytelling", when the wizard realizes Finn has actually improved the forest animals' lives by disrupting the natural order:
    Finn: So does this mean I get to go free?
    Wizard: Your cage is made of sticks, Brother. Just kick it apart.
    • Unusually for the hero of a children's cartoon, Finn actually ages like a normal human. In the Season 1 episode "Tree Trunks", Jake tells Tree Trunks "Finn can handle it. He's twelve". In the S2 finale, Finn says "13? That's how old I am!" And then we have "15 YEARS AGO", "I'm 16!", and so on...
    • The Ice King is under a curse that acts as a thinly veiled Alzheimer's metaphor. Despite the show being exactly the kind of setting where The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship should prevail in that situation and recover his mind... it doesn't. Just like with real Alzheimer's patients, no amount of reminders or familial caring can make him recognize his loved ones or remember the person he was, and it only ever ends with the loved ones in tears and onlookers either baffled or starting to cry themselves.
    • In "Up a Tree", Finn explains to a porcupine that getting pricked with needles doesn't actually lead to jumping really high.
    • In "Davey", Jake tries to make Finn quit being Davey by dressing like a robber and robbing someone. Instead of breaking character and being a hero, he calls the police and Jake gets arrested.
    • Several episodes show that Finn's Precocious Crush on Bubblegum is immensely painful to him. Unrequited love hurts even if you're still friends with that person, and despite starting a relationship with Flame Princess, his feelings don't magically go away. They still linger despite his best efforts to move on.
    • In three words, the end of "Lady & Peebles" shows a common consequence of long term relationships that most children's shows rarely mention: "I am pregnant!"
    • "Candy Streets":
      • When Finn and Jake ask Anne if she's seen any suspicious characters coming into her pharmacy, she points out to them that there are so many people who come in and out on a daily basis that the odds of her picking out a specific one as suspicious and remembering them are very low. Subverted when she does exactly that anyway.
      • When Finn and Jake chase a suspect into a train station, they get arrested for trying to board without a ticket.
    • In "Lemonhope", the titular character repeatedly refuses to rescue his siblings from the tyrannical Lemongrab despite the urging of Princess Bubblegum. Eventually, the guilt causes him repeated nightmares, so he finally fulfills his destiny, defeats Lemongrab and is apparently set to become Castle Lemongrab's new Earl... only for him to leave again, since he only did it to get rid of the nightmares. Doing something to soothe your conscience doesn't turn you into a hero.
      • The episode also works on showing what a supposed Kid Hero would do when given that kind of heavy responsibility. In reality, not every kid is going to be like Finn, who is all for helping people no matter what. Instead, some are going to be like Lemonhope, who hated his supposed destiny and only wanted the freedom to live like the kid he is. The sole reason he fulfills it in the end is not because he felt it was the right thing to do, but because he didn't want to deal with the weighing guilt any longer. He just wanted his carefree life back.
    • "Frost & Fire" shows that Finn being the Last of His Kind is problematic when he has... weird dreams that not even Jake can explain.
  • Surreal Humor
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: After Jake beats Finn in a tough guy contest.
    Finn: Ha! You didn't mash my potatoes! You didn't even make me cry silently into my pillow last night for thirty minutes.
  • Swallowed Whole: Finn, Jake, and the bears in "Belly of the Beast".
  • Swiper, No Swiping!:
    Jake: The bazooka goblin has you in its sights!
    Finn: HEY! Don't shoot us with that bazooka!
    Bazooka goblin: (giggling)
    Finn: Don't you do it...
    Bazooka goblin: (still giggling)
    Finn: DON'T DO IT, MAN!
    Bazooka goblin: Hehehehe... (beat) Okay.
    Finn and Jake: Haha, YEAH! (fist pound)
  • Symbolic Blood: The Jiggler's juice in the title card for "The Jiggler".

  • Take a Third Option: In "Another Way", Finn comes to a fork in the road, and is given the choice to go down a path that will make him lose his hair forever, and a path that will make him smelly forever. What does he choose? His way: going through the thorn bushes in the middle. In fact that episode is entirely about that in that Finn sets out on his quest 'because' he'd rather take the third option, further the episode both subverts this trope briefly and then plays it straight towards the end.
  • Take Our Word for It: A short instance of it in "It Came from the Nightosphere" when the Lord of Evil leaves Marceline's house, and another when he shows Ice King his Nightmare Face, causing Ice King to soil his tunic.
  • Take Over the World: Ice King's goal in "Loyalty to the King". The Lich also qualifies, but to a more dark extent.
  • Take That!: Season Four introduces "Mind Games", a book that is clearly a Pick Up Artist manual. Ice King knows about and uses it, Jake has it for a joke, and when Finn starts taking advice from it, Jake is (rightfully concerned.
  • Talking Animal: "Storytelling" shows that most if not all animals are capable of speech.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Played with in Joshua's pre-recorded messages.
    Jake: But dad, Finn's already figured that out. He's a good kid with a kind heart.
    Joshua: Remember, Jake, this is a pre-recorded holo-message. I can't hear you if you're talking to me right now.
    (Moments later...)
    Jake: But—
    • It's not a "tape" exactly, but in "Is That You?" Prismo has a conversation with Finn that to Prismo seems like he's just talking to an empty room. Maybe.
  • Team Shot: The picture on the main page.
  • Techno Babble: A forte of Princess Bubblegum and Ricardio.
    Ricardio: The plasmordial layer is completely independent of the Babylons.
    Princess Bubblegum: Wow! That would mean that the Babylons would fluctuate with the piranhananosphere!
    Ricardio: Correct.
    Finn: They're talkin' about science, man. I can't compete with that!
  • Teens Are Monsters: Marceline and Jerky Teenage Bear.
  • Tempting Apple: The witches' apples from "Dad's Dungeon" which cause the consumer to be trapped in a giant apple to be eaten by the witches.
  • Tempting Fate: There's this from "Belly of the Beast":
    Jake: Seriously, the only foreseeable threat might be all these trees being swallowed, but they're not hurtin' nothin'.
    Finn: Yeah... Good thing [the monster's] not swallowing some deadly volcano lava. That would kill them for sure!
    (The monster considers this and heads for a volcano.)
  • The Assimilator: GOLB's monsters behave this way, attempting to absorb Candy People to strenghten their bodies. PB realizes this and orders the Banana Guards to retreat, though she didn't count on the Gumball Guardians also being susceptible to the assimilation.
  • The Character Died with Him: Flame Lord was noticeably absent from the lantern in "Bun Bun", most likely due to Roddy Piper's death due in July of 2015.
  • The Corruption: GOLB's breath can turn anything it comes in contact with into horrific monsters. It's heavily implied that the Lich was created when a bomb made from GOLB's breath exploded near a human.
  • The Final Temptation: Puhoy. A Tearjearker as well. It's both played straight, subverted and then played straight again.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Applies to the three main female characters: PB the life-creating mother, LSP the immature child, and Marceline the free spirit.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: "...With Jake the Dog and Finn the Human..."
  • They Just Don't Get It: The bears in "Belly of the Beast" simply don't understand that they will be digested if they stay in the giant's belly.
  • They Wasted A Perfectly Good Burrito: Dang it, Jake!
  • Thinking Up Portals: The Door Lord from "What Was Missing".
  • This Loser Is You:
    • The Ice King at the ending of "Fionna and Cake" is supposed to resemble shippers and fan fic writers in general. All done in good fun, of course.
    • Returned to more darkly with "All the Little People," in which Finn's obsessive shipping of animated figurines of the show's characters is portrayed as unhealthy and connected to his ongoing depression.
  • Those Two Guys: The two gumdrop girls. They're frequently seen in the background, almost always seen together, and have had absolutely no impact whatsoever on the plot.
  • Thriller on the Express: "Mystery Train"
  • Throw the Book at Them: Finn throws the Enchiridion at a worm in "Evicted!".
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Prismo's past self revives his present self though a scheme so convoluted it's hard to even describe.
    Prismo: My past self is doing plan B, right?
    Finn: Uh, yes. But I gotta say, this whole thing seems rickety as yoga balls.
    Finn: You tell you about it!
    Prismo: ...I think he would blow up if I did that.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl:
    • Lady Rainicorn's parents.
    • Jake and Lady are typically this, but Jake has used his stretching powers on 1 or 2 occasions to be the bigger one.
    • Finn whenever he hangs out with Canyon, as in "Billy's Bucket List" and "Mama Said."
  • Title Drop: The term "Adventure Time" serves as the eponymous duo's catch phrase, lead into by Finn saying "What time is it?".
    • There are also permutations of it in a few episodes. "Slow Love" saw "Lady Time", "The Dungeon" featured Jake joyously proclaiming it to be "Lunch Time," and "Susan Strong" has Finn help Susan using "Incremental Time."
    • There are a few "episode" title drops like in "Loyalty to the King", "What Have You Done?", "The Real You", and "Go With Me".
      • From "Too Young":
      • And now we have this from "Too Old", which featured several call-backs to "Too Young" (as the name suggests):
    • Parodied in-universe in "Heat Signature" for the movie Heat Signature. Try to figure that out.
    • Simon (whispering): You forgot your floaties...
    • The Lich drops the title of "Wake Up" to Old Man Prismo, just before killing him.
  • Together in Death: Ghost Princess and Clarence fall in love while they are ghosts in "Ghost Princess". Eventually, though, the trope is played straight when it is revealed Clarence killed Warrior Princess in a war.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • The penalty for stealing boots in "Ocean Of Fear" is poots on the newts. 
    • Two episodes end with a character farting - "Slumber Party Panic!" has a character yell "Don't squeeze me, I'll fart!" and then Jake does, and in "It Came from the Nightosphere", it's revealed that Jake has been sleeping in Finn's pocket the whole time - Jake turns over and farts, and the episode ends.
    • In "Too Young," Finn mentions wanting to force-feed Lemongrab spicy serum "non-stop, 'till his butt falls out!" (He ends up violently throwing up instead, though.)
    • A hidden one in "All Your Fault" reveals one of Lemongrab's thoughts in the infamous "brain screenshot" and possibly reveals why he prefers mild, bland foods:
      Lemongrab: Mommy, don't make me eat more asparagus. It will be the end of me, if you know what I mean.
  • Tomboy: Fionna, Marceline
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Marceline and Princess Bubblegum.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Enchridion, which also serves as a junction between worlds. Also the Pillownomicon from "Puhoy".
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The Hotdog Knights. When given a chance at being granted two wishes, they wished for a box and to be blown up, respectively. Hotdog Princess is aware of this and it's why she sent Finn and Jake to help rescue them.
    • Finn and Jake in "Heat Signature". When Marceline clearly tells them that the ghosts will suck their guts out when they (Finn and Jake) go to the their (the ghosts') house, Finn and Jake go anyway because the ghosts say they want to "throw a party in honor of [their] new vampire skills." Meaning that Finn and Jake trust ghosts over someone they've known longer.
    • In "The Pods", Fin and Jake are given 3 magic beans, but are warned that one of them is evil. Their plan? Plant all 3 beans to see which one is evil, of course!
    • Lemongrab and his clone: They don't even pay attention to the fact that both of them- and their new subjects- are starving since they've grown obsessed in creating 'life' using the formula Bubblegum accidentally left behind. Thus, they would have died due to their impulsiveness and their obsession.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: Done for joke purposes in "My Two Favorite People." Lady Rainicorn tells Jake a joke in Korean. Jake finds it hilarious, but when Finn asks what it is, Jake says sheepishly that it "doesn't translate very well." According to the storyboards for that episode, it actually wasn't much of a joke.
    Lady Rainicorn: I can't think of one... but remember that time we ran naked through that farmer's cabbage patch? He was so offended.
    Jake: Let's not talk about that.
  • Totally Radical: Everybody talks like this. The series loves coming up with deliberately goofy slang, such as "mathematical" and "algebraic". Largely justified, in that it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, meaning that the characters' understanding of slang would be taken from the movies, video games, and other entertainment that remained after the Great Mushroom War.
  • Tragic Monster: Ice King and Lemongrab definitely. The Lich may also count if his implied origin ( that he was a human who was directly hit by one of the bombs from the Mushroom War) is true.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The preview for "Burning Low" heavily implies that Princess Bubblegum is jealous of Finn's relationship with Fire Princess. However, the truth is that she's only against their relationship because kissing Fire Princess would cause her to go unstable and destroy the world.
    • The trailers for the Grand Finale all but outright lie by seeming to show the Candy Kingdom and Gumbaldian armies rushing toward each other for battle. In fact, the battle never happens, and both armies are fleeing from GOLB.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • In the week before "Ricardio the Heart Guy" aired, teasers for the episode on Cartoon Network all but completely spoiled that he was evil, despite how ambiguous the first half of the episode tried to make it, and also showed the part near the ending in which Ricardio had tied up Princess Bubblegum and was holding a broken bottle to her, and Jake punched him.
    • The commercial for "In Your Footsteps" spoiled the fact that the bear steals the Enchiridion at the end. It did NOT, however, spoil the fact that the bear gives the Enchiridion to the Lich at the end.
    • Averted with the long teaser for "A Glitch is a Glitch", which used clips from older episodes to essentially say "we can't show you anything from this episode because it's too crazy, so have a Regular Show clip instead."
    • Bizarrely enough, Cartoon Network spoiled the secret theme of a Five Short Graybles episode, "Another Five Short Graybles", by having the announcer say out loud what it is, and the secret themes are usually the entire POINT of the grayble episodes.
  • Traintop Battle: Finn and the creepy conductor have one in "Mystery Train".
  • Translator Microbes: Jake dropped a neck-worn translator device on the bottom of the lake in "My Two Favorite People." The reason he dropped it was because it only had three output voices: Nightmare, Old Man, and Alien Nerd.
  • Trapped in Villainy: In the episode "Jake vs. Me-Mow", Me-Mow forces Jake into killing Wildberry Princess with the threat of death.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Lampshaded in "Guardians of Sunshine".
    Jake: These coins are thick!
  • Treehouse of Fun: Finn and Jake's house. Not only is it awesome, but it's downright practical, with a generator and a telescope.
  • Tricked Out Shoe: The funeral lady's shoe (complete with multiple blades and a lasso) when it was fixed with a magic nail by Finn in "His Hero".
  • Triumphant Reprise: All Warmed Up Inside, which is Jake's far more heartwarming take on Finn's song at the beginning of the episode, All Gummed Up Inside.
  • Troperiffic
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Penny from "City of Thieves" is just a cute little girl... and... SHE'S A THIEF! Also, she attempted to stab Finn.
  • True Companions: Finn and Jake, who frequently refer to one another as "brother". Though that may be because Finn was adopted by Jake's parents.
    • Later on, this group broadens to include Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, BMO, Ice King, and others.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe; the Ice King's collection of black and white photos in "Still", all of which are extreme close-ups of his penguin, Gunter.
  • True Neutral: The unaligned ant. invoked
  • True Love's Hug: In "Too Young", a "love-hug" from Finn is needed as a catalyst to mix the candy people's biomass with Princess Bubblegum's (to turn her eighteen again)... They still kiss just for the hell of it.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Finn, Princess Bubblegum, and Marceline.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: "Too Young".

  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny:
  • Uncanny Valley Make Up: Tree Trunks when she tries to seduce an enemy. At the end of the episode, Finn and Jake try it, and Finn looks straight-up scary.
  • Undeath Always Ends: The Lich was newly restored to life as a baby at the end of the season 6 premiere.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: Adventure Time has several episodes like this, including "I Remember You", "Simon and Marcy", and "Evergreen". The first two deal with the backstory of Ice King, generally a comic relief villain, and reveal him to be a Tragic Villain with a sympathetic backstory. He used to be Betty's fiance Simon, before wearing the Ice Crown drove him insane to the point where he doesn't remember who he was. The third follows the history of Ice King's crown and has a Downer Ending.
  • Unexplained Accent: Flambo's Bronx accent, Tree Trunks' Texan accent, and Goliad's English accent, all contrasting with the Midwestern newscaster voices all of the other characters use. Flambo can't even use the excuse of his voice actor naturally having the accent.
    • The Irish accent of Finn's mother, Minerva.
  • The Unreveal: Is Susan Strong human or hyooman? In "Beautopia", it's revealed that she's most likely human, though it's still technically ambiguous.
    • Islands confirms that she is definitely a human with cybernetic implants.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Finn and Lady Rainicorn thought Tiffany was a girl.
  • Unspecified Apocalypse: The Great Mushroom war is the reason behind the formation of the Land of Ooo, but for the longest time, the end was only hinted at being some sort of war.
    • The fall of the Candy Kingdom as indicated by "Graybles 1000+" and "Lemonhope." We don't know what happened, or if anything even happened other than natural decay. But "Come Along With Me" demonstrates that life will go on.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee:
    • Finn invokes this against the Fight King not even letting Jake know about his plan to trick the Fight King into giving him his sword/Soul Jar.
    • AVERTED in the Ice King's first focus episode. Finn claims they can trick him into the cage. They successfully trick him into the cage.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • "Beautopia" has "Balzacs!"
    • "MATHEMATICAL!" and other math-related exclamations are used often.
    • Also, Princess Bubblegum says "What the cabbage?"
    • "Lump" and various conjugations of such seems to be a sort of all-purpose euphemism in Lumpy Space.
    • There's also "shmowzow", "hamacow", "slamacow" "shmow", "spa-mow", "ski-dow", "wow-cow-chow"...
    • A little something from "City of Thieves" with Penny: "It's ri-doo-doo-diculous!"
    • "Tck tck" *wink + "okay" gesture*
    • "JJ Flip, what the zip?!"
    • This.
      Finn: I'm gonna man-handle those guys' banandles!
      Jake: (beat) What?
    • And this:
      Princess Bubblegum: Being thirteen is... BLOO-BA-LOOBIE!
      Finn: ...Hmm?
    • "Bazoobs", in one episode.
    • "Donk" is used fairly frequently, in one of two ways:
    Princess Bubblegum: That is way out of line, Peps, and you guys are donking up my research! *Begins knocking stuff off her table* Hello! Donk, donk!
    Huntress Wizard: What's it look like, ya donk?
    • "THAT'S BIZONKERS!!" Frankly, this show is in love with this trope.
    • In "Ghost Princess", the boys use every word they can to avoid using the words "murder" and "die". Pretty silly since they've mentioned death in practically every episode up to this point.
    • OH MY GLOB!!!
      • Though, as is eventually shown, there really IS a Glob. But he never says "Oh my Glob." Sometimes Gob does.
    • Honestly there's probably too many examples to list. Probably almost as many unique examples as there are episodes. Given the show's setting, it can probably be justified as Future Slang.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Betty. Within seconds of being brought to Ooo she had no reaction to a teenager wearing a bear skin hat, a talking dog, or a vampire, not to mention being in a palace made of ice. There was still no reaction to using a magic carpet a minute later. All that her attention is drawn to is Simon.
  • Up to Eleven: Marceline's bass amp goes all the way up to XII.
  • Vagina Dentata:
    • The Lord of Evil's Eldritch Abomination form as well as the dimple plant's dangerous form have mouths that seem to resemble this.
    • The slime monster in "Dad's Dungeon".
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: "Incendium". The trappings of the holiday aren't present, but romance is the main theme and the fact that it was airing on "Valentine's Eve" was pointed out in advertisements.
  • Valley Girl: The denizens of Lumpy Space.
  • Vampire Hickey: Marceline has two noticeable bite marks on her neck, indicating that she was turned some time in the past. The "Stakes" mini-series eventually reveals in a flashback, to when she was just a common half-demon (human mother, demon father), that this was from the vampire king who bit and turned her just as she was staking him. In the present day of the story, when she regains the last of his vampire power, the vampire essence puts the marks back on her neck as she's absorbing the power.
  • [Verb] This!:
    Magic Man: Yes, my children! You are so close to the answer!
    Finn: Answer THIS!
    • There's this from "Dungeon":
      Demon Cat: I'm going to unzip your skin and wear it like a little coat.
      Finn: Unzip THIS! (armpit fart)
    • Finn is fond of this. Here's one from "Rainy Day Daydream":
      Finn: How'd you get into my imagination land?
      Bellamy Bug: I don't know, my young fellow! You tell me. Perhaps I represent your secret desire to be civilized!
      Finn: Represent THIS! (smacks bug)
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: Billy's gauntlet is needed to defeat the Lich but the Lich destroys it before Finn can use it.
  • Villain Decay: The Ice King.
  • Villain Episode: In "Thank You", the main characters are a Snow Golem (who is a creation of the Ice King) and his adopted pet, a Fire Wolf.
    • While "Hitman" does involve Finn and Jake, Ice King clearly gets more focus in the episode than they do.
  • Villainous Rescue: The Ice King saves Finn and Jake's lives thrice in "Hitman".
  • Villain Over for Dinner: Invoked when Finn begins unleashing his greatest fears in an attempt to escape the dream world in "King Worm": one of his fears is being too young to hang out with Princess Bubblegum, so it manifests with her having coffee with the Lich (also one of his greatest fears).
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The Lich is probably the best example, being a horrific, omnicidal undead monster and pretty much the only villain that isn't humorous in any way. The Fight King, Ricardio, Me-Mow, and the Freak Deer are all also a lot scarier than you would expect from a show like this.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: This show just takes this trope and runs with it. A lot of times, Finn and Jake just solve something by beating or threatening to beat the crap out of it. It is even the Aesop for one episode, "His Hero".
    • Subverted later on, starting with "Gumbaldia" and leading into the finale. Finn has grown up a lot, and has realized that a war between PB and Gumbald will solve nothing. He's learned that violence has its role in the world, and that Billy's philosophy went too far, but it shouldn't be resorted to when there's an alternative.
  • The Virus: The Lumps. When a Lumpy Space person bites a normal being, the normal being turns into a Lumpy Space person. It's like,... werewolf rules? Rawr-rawr-rawr.
    • Played much more seriously in the "Islands" miniseries. Minerva originally digitized herself because she was dying of a plague that killed 60 percent of humans—and 99 percent of the doctors who tended to them.
  • Visual Pun: The Gag Censors from "Wizard". They are logs of wood.
  • Vocal Evolution: Finn's voice actor started going through puberty, and as such his voice gets much lower and crackier as the series goes on.
  • Voice of the Legion: Princess Monster Wife spoke (and cries) in every voice of the parts she was made from.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot:
    • There's one in "The Enchiridion!", "Go With Me", "The Monster", and "Another Way".
    • Lemongrab in "Too Young," Jake in "Storytelling," Jake in "Jake the Dog," and Seed-Wad in "All Your Fault."
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Billy.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: Happens with the first room Ice King, N.E.P.T.R., Tree Trunks, Shelby and Lemongrab find themselves trapped in in "Mystery Dungeon".
    • In "Come Along With Me," happens again to Finn, Simon, and Betty, when they get swallowed by GOLB.
  • War Elephants: There's an Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant.
  • Wasteful Wishing:
    • Jake in "The Limit":
    Jake: It's hard to think on an empty stomach... I wish I wasn't so hungry. (sub sandwich appears and Jake takes a tiny bite)
    Finn: You wasted your wish, man!
    • Jake almost does this again in "Jake the Dog," again over a sandwich. Fortunately the genie was fairly benevolent (to him, at least) and put a stop to it, basically telling him what wish he needed to save both Finn and the pre-wish multiverse.
  • Watching the Sunset: Ice King and NEPTR (in Ice King's mind) at the end of "What Is Life?"
  • We Are as Mayflies: Inverted. It's heavily implied that Jake ages in dog years and will reach old age while Finn's barely into adulthood.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Donny has to go back to being a jerk so he can repel the whywolves with obnoxygen, thus saving the house people. Oddly, no one directly involved wants him back. The house people, whom he inadvertently protects, don't like him, and the whywolves seem very enthusiastic to hunt the house people to extinction even knowing that they'll die afterward.
    Whywolf: ...until we, in turn, are devoured by the Cosmic Owl. Such is the nature of things. But! It'll be a pretty sweet ride up until that point.
  • We Will Meet Again: The Ice King in the pilot has an oddly verbose example.
    Ice King: Foul, noisome whelp! You've not seen the last of my wintery fangs! I'll cleave the warmth from your bones, and stop stiff your beating heart with my claws!
  • Weakened by the Light: The Lubglubs' weakness.
  • Wedding Episode: "Apple Wedding": Tree Trunks marries Mr. Pig as the focus of the episode.
  • Wedding Finale: In the Grand Finale, Ice Gunther and Turtle Princess marry.
  • Wham Episode: Has its own page.
  • Wham Line:
    • "The Ice Wizard is a weak fool..."—Said by Princess Bubblegum, and is the first evidence of her mind-control under the Lich. Complete with creepy background music!
    • "Well, I've been waiting for six months!" ("No One Can Hear You")
    • "Hello. My name is Simon Petrikov." ("Holly Jolly Secrets")
    • "Dude... I think I have a crush." ("Incendium")
      • Also from that episode:
        Flame King: Any prince who is ruthless enough to kill his own buffoon would make an excellent boyfriend... for my evil daughter!
    • "I understand now... You're a water elemental." ("Hot to the Touch")
    • At the very end of "In Your Footsteps":
      The Lich: [upon gaining the Enchiridion] Yes! One step closer.
    • After Jake tells PB off in "Burning Low":
      Princess Bubblegum: This isn't about some petty love triangle!! Flame Princess is PHYSICALLY UNSTABLE!!
    • The very end of "Lady and Peebles":
      Lady: I am pregnant!
      Jake: I'm...puppies!?
    • "I Remember You" has an entire Wham Song. It has a Wham Line, too:
      Marceline: You don't remember anything, do you... SIMON?
    • "The Lich":
      • The end of has an utter doozy.
      AU!Finn: Coming Mom!
      • Before that Princess Bubblegum dropped a huge bombshell:
        Princess Bubblegum: Finn, stop! That's not Billy. It's the Lich!
    • From "Simon and Marcy":
      Marcy: I love you, Simon.
      Simon: I love you, too... Gunter.
    • From "The Vault":
      Finn: It's me, Shoko.
    • From "Billy's Bucket List":
      Billy: Your father, Finn. He's alive...
    • From "Wake Up":
      Prismo: Yeah, I just wanted one last look at myself.
    • From "Astral Plane":
      Finn: Glob is dead.
    • From "Marceline the Vampire Queen":
      '''Marceline: I don't want to be a vampire anymore.
    • "Preboot" drops a huge bombshell.
      Doctor Gross: None of you normies know what you want, so it's up to me and my hybrid army to drag all the other humans into a golden age!
      Finn: Wait, other humans? There are more humans?!?
    • From "Helpers":
      Minerva: But that all doesn't matter anymore. You're back! And now you can live here in safety.
      Finn: Oh, but I couldn't—
      Minerva: For the rest of your life.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: In "Return to the Nightosphere", Finn and Jake wake up in a cage in a pile of bananas, and this is pretty much Finn's reaction.
    Finn: What did we do last night?
    Jake: Mayhaps we drank juice of the elder toad?
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • From "Candy Streets", Pete Sassafras is still locked up in Candy Kingdom jail, even though he was totally innocent.
    • In "Crossover", the Lich's severed, still alive hand is multiplied and sent to every dimension in the multiverse. While the copy in the main universe is destroyed in "Whispers", what happened to those in the other timelines?
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The cat in "Dungeon" has the power to be almost right about everything. It's a Shout-Out to the classic D&D monster, the Displacer Beast. Except this is a "Displaced Beast" GROAN.
  • What the Hell, Hero?/Hannibal Lecture: In "What Have You Done?", the Ice King actually convinces Finn that he's doing the wrong thing by imprisoning him for seemingly no reason.
    • In "The Cooler", Flame Princess calls out Princess Bubblegum for spying on her and sabotaging her fire ancients under the guise of coming to help her with a crisis.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Parodied. After becoming king of a small nation, Finn learns that he is not allowed to chew his own food, among other things.
    Finn: Oh, come on, give me this.
    Servant: I would know, my liege.
  • Whip Pan:
    • Near the beginning of "Susan Strong".
    • There are a lot of these in "Daddy's Little Monster".
  • White-and-Grey Morality: While there can be straight up evil characters, at least 90% of the villains have backstories and depth that makes them seem more human. With the addition of the Lich, the series overall morality is The Good, the Bad, and the Evil with Finn and Jake as heroes, the Lich as the Big Bad, and everyone else with flaws and redeeming qualities.
    • Like everything else, the show complicates this as it goes on. Finn is shown to have serious flaws in his ideas of heroism and romance that he needs to work through. Jake is a lot more put-together, but has still made plenty of mistakes. Furthermore, plenty of villains are introduced who are just jerks, even though they have perfectly good reasons to act that way. Ultimately, the series seems to be saying that traditional moral axes just doesn't match the real world.
  • White Male Lead
    • Finn, the main character, is the only white human for most of the series.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Finn has a specific fear of the ocean.
  • Widely Spaced Jail Bars: In "Up a Tree," Finn is imprisoned in a jail cell with these. He indeed ends up just walking out.
  • Widget Series: Korean, technically.
  • William Telling:
    • Fionna throws an ax in the Fionna & Cake story Marceline tells in "Bad Little Boy" to cut an apple balanced on BMO's head in half
    • In "Holly Jolly Secrets", the Ice King attempts to use his ice powers to shoot an apple off Gunther's head and ends up encasing Gunther's head in ice.
  • Wishing for More Wishes: In "The Limit," Finn and Jake and a group of hot dog knights quest through a labyrinth, at the center of which is a being that will grant each of them one wish. Finn and Jake have decided to wish for an Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant, but by the time they get to the center of the labyrinth, several of the hot dog knights have fallen and Jake is near-death from over-stretching. The hot dog knights waste their wishes on frivolous and poorly-considered things rather than restoring their fallen comrades, and Jake accidentally wishes he weren't so hungry and is granted a Satiating Sandwich, leaving only Finn's wish. The moment is played as a choice between a selfish wish for the APTWE or a selfless one for Jake to be healed, and Finn seems poised to go with the latter... until he wishes for the APTWE, psychically proves his worthiness to become its master, and orders it to wish for Jake and the fallen hot dog knights to be restored and then fly them all to safety.
  • Witch Species: Played straight or Gender Flipped, as Word of God gives "Wizard" as the species for Ash and the Ice King (though the latter was born human). We also see "witches," but it's unclear if they and Wizards are the same species, two examples of this trope or what.
    • Huntress Wizard raises further questions, though she may be some sort of nymph.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
    • In "Crystals Have Power" this happens to Tree Trunks.
    • A big one for the Ice King, as revealed in "Holly Jolly Secrets". Turns out, he was just a regular guy that found the crown, gaining his ice powers, but losing his sanity from the crown's visions.
    • Happens to Finn twice: in "The Real You" when magic glasses make him omniscient, and in "Finn the Human"/"Jake the Dog" when he puts on the Ice King's crown.
    • Betty's MMS theory suggests that this is the fate of all magic-users—every wizard runs on some combination of Magic, Madness, and Sadness.
  • Wizard Beard: Exaggerated with the Grand Master Wizard's beard. Now THAT'S a wizard beard!
  • Wizard Duel: The episode "Wizard Battle".
  • Womb Level: Ricardio's evil lair in "Lady and Peebles". Possibly made from biomass he harvested from the Ice King.
  • Word-Salad Humor: All the time.
    Finn: This stinkups mega bamm-bamm to the J-stop.
    • The speech at the end of "The Other Tarts" seems to be complete nonsense:
      Royal Tart Toter: This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win—and it can—then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.
    • Anything Cuber says. Ever.
  • The Worf Effect: In "Blade of Grass", Finn is Cursed With Awesome by obtaining a cursed sword that, like cursed weapons from RPGs, cannot be un-equipped. Its magic appears to also give some sort of RPG-like "dexterity stat bonus" that makes Finn far, far more awesome at using it than he would otherwise be, showing him carving a picture of his face into objects with a flick of the wrist. In the very next episode "Rattleballs" however, to emphasize how much better a swordsman Rattleballs is than Finn, this effect seems to completely disappear, to the point that not only does Finn not stand a chance against him in a swordfight, but finds it challenging simply to deflect eggs thrown at him in a training excercise.
  • World in the Sky: Lumpy Space. Also, the Cloud Kingdom because it has solid clouds that you can walk on.
  • World of Badass
  • World of Chaos: The Nightosphere is literally sustained by Chaotic Evil, while the Crystal Dimension and Lumpy Space at least skirt this trope. And heck, Ooo isn't exactly normal either.
  • World of Ham: There are many hams in this world.
  • World War III: The Great Mushroom War alluded to in the backstory is actually this, with the mushrooms themselves being nuclear explosions.
    • The first half of the Grand Finale is all about averting World War IV.
  • Worm in an Apple:
    • "Tree Trunks" opens in Tree Trunks's apple orchard, where Finn and Jake are chopping up apples with their swords. A green worm eagerly approaches one of the apples, only for it to be halved right before the critter reaches its intended meal.
    • In "The Real You", Finn and Jake attend the Worm College. Worm College is located in a giant rotten apple. It doesn't last long because the fingers of the duo are mistaken for truants and attacked by the worm-students.
  • Worthy Opponent: Jake and Finn enjoy fighting "Science Cat and Sword Shark" for recreational purposes in My Two Favorite People.
    Jake: Who are these guys?! This is a great fight!
  • Wretched Hive: The city of thieves. Every single inhabitant is a thief, and if you go in there, you become a thief too.
  • Writer on Board: Jake's whole conflict with eating Meat Man in "Hitman" could be interpreted as a message to the viewer that they should question eating meat. One of the episode's storyboarders was Jesse Moynihan, who is a vegetarian.
  • Yandere:
    • Tree Trunks in the crystal world.
    • Finn doesn't like anyone else being Jake's best friend.
    • Flame Princess mixes this with a healthy dose of tsundere and a frosting of evil.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • Ice King at the end of "The Eyes:"
    Ice King: I'm... still not happy.
    • Also Princess Bubblegum being aged back to 18 in "Too Young," right when it seemed that her and Finn would finally become more than friends.
    • Her pushing Finn further away in "Incendium".
    • Just when Finn starts to finally quell Flame Princess's emotions for good so that they can be together, she realizes that Finn secretes water through tears when they hug, so they can't be a couple. That is until a later episode, but there are still obstacles.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: In Puhoy this happens to Finn. He goes to a pillow world, grows up, gets married, and has children. After he dies, he wakes up again in his own world a few minutes after he left, and begins to tell Jake about a crazy dream he had. A phone call interrupts him, and Finn totally forgets even having a dream...if that's what it was in the first place.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: The picture book "A Christmas-tastic Carol" places Ice King in the role of Scrooge, Marceline as Christmas Past, Lumpy Space Princess as Christmas Present, and Finn and Jake as Christmas Future.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: The episodes "Return to the Nightosphere" and "Mystery Dungeon" both begin this way. In the first it's Finn and Jake waking up in a cage in the Nightosphere. In the second, it's Ice King and several minor characters in a dungeon.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:
    • Jake has this mentality in "The New Frontier".
    • In every alternate universe shown so far, some event happens that makes Finn lose an arm. As of "Escape From the Citadel", Main!Finn lost his as well.
      • Then regained it in "Breezy," lost it again in "Reboot," got a mechanical replacement in "Two Swords," then lost that in "Come Along With Me." The fact that he doesn't have another prosthetic the final time he's seen in the show probably means that he's given up bothering and accepted the universe doesn't want him to have a right arm.
      • You've gotta wonder how much longer poor Shermy has with his right arm.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Delivered to Finn by Flame Princess in "Incendium".
  • You Monster!: Said by Jake to Princess Bubblegum when she tries to get Finn away from Flame Princess.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Ice King, but not for lack of trying. It might be one of the reasons why he's a big nerd. Word of God admits it being true.
    • In the nicest possible way, Jake in "Incendium," when he decides Finn just needs another girlfriend to get over Bubblegum.
  • You No Take Candle:
    • The businessmen's weird grammar in "Business Time."
    "We love work for you!"
    • Susan Strong's English in general.
      " Susan!"
      "Susan have hero's heart!"
      • Explained in Islands—she's a full-blooded human with cyborg implants from a post-apocalyptic refuge, who arrived on Ooo to recover the infant Finn but got damaged somehow and never completed her mission.
  • You're Insane!: Princess Bubblegum says a variation of this at the climax of "The Real You".
    Princess Bubblegum:'ve gone insane!
  • Your Mind Makes It Real:
    • Jake has a very powerful imagination.
    • Finn in "The Tower" creates a psychic arm that is fueled by his desire to get revenge on his dad and replace his lost arm.
  • Your Mom:
    • The Marauders to Marceline's dad in one episode:
    Marceline's dad: What wears a dark suit, is completely evil, and is about to suck out all your souls?
    Marauder: Your mama.
    Marceline's dad: (beat) That's right. I'm your mama.
    • From "Hug Wolf":
      Jake: Finn...say something to reassure me.
      Finn: I'LL HUG YOUR MOM!
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant:
    • Gunter lays an egg in one episode. The characters even lampshade it. That said, the exact details are fairly ambiguous. After all, a magic cat creature hatched from the egg.
    • Also: The Ice King apparently lacks the capacity to differentiate between one penguin and the next, so they're all Gunter, further complicating the issue. When attempting to determine the gender of this particular Gunter, he tries looking at the penguin's general crotchular area, which doesn't do him much good (look up "cloaca" sometime).
  • Your Soul is Mine!:
    • Marceline's dad (Type One).
    • The Drop-ball ghost.
  • Yo Yo Plot Point: Finn bouncing between his love for Princess Bubblegum, and Flame Princess.
  • Zombie Apocalypse:
    • An experiment gone wrong in the episode "Slumber Party Panic" nearly results in this.
    • "From Bad to Worse" also has this plot. Lampshaded by Bubblegum for once again being responsible for it happening.


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