Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Phlogiston Theory

Go To

Phlogiston Theory is a Adventure Time fanfic by Jen Kollic.

"Find some way to contain her power, or I will." Famous last words for Princess Bubblegum. She should have known that Flame King would just take that as an open invitation to foist his responsibilities off onto her shoulders.

The fanfic can be found on

Phlogiston Theory provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Aside from not caring about the fate of his baby daughter after banishing her, it is made clear that the Flame King is just as bad with his other kids too.
    Messenger: Oh, uhh, that reminds me, [y]our son is here and…
    Flame King: Has he conquered the Nightosphere yet?
    Messenger: No, but…
    Flame King: Then send him away! Always knew that boy was a loser…
  • Advertisement:
  • Adaptation Name Change: Because Bubblegum is raising her, Flame Princess's name is changed from "Phoebe" to "Fleuer." Bubblegum even points out that really it is just a nickname, acknowledging that it is just the name she gave her. Then again, the story was first published well over a year before "The Cooler" aired, so nobody knew what Flame Princess's real name was.
  • Big Brother Bully: Lemongrab "calmly" voices his outrage that Princess Bubblegum "coddles" Flame Princess and is convinced that she is going to replace him as heir to the Candy Kingdom. Because of this, he barges into the Candy Kingdom while Bubblegum is away and tries attacking her.
  • Cain and Abel: Lemongrab and Fleuer respectively.
  • Dating What Mommy Hates: While Bubblegum does not hate Finn to any extent, she is fully aware of what would happen if Feuer were to fall in love, knowing that it would make her elemental matrix unstable and cause catastrophe.
  • Advertisement:
  • Decontamination Chamber: Bubblegum devised a method of cleaning Feuer without using water, instead used a combination of liquid oxygen and powdered magnesium, the chemical reaction causing her body to briefly flash similar to a small sun and vaporize whatever mess the little princess may be covered in.
  • Didn't Think This Through: While Princess Bubblegum had to leave for a science conference, she left baby Feuer in Peppermint Butler's care. Since Peppermint Butler also has other duties to worry about, he briefly left her in the care of Cinnamon Bun, thinking that playing the John Baxter video to distract them would give them something to occupy themselves. However, he did not account for the fact that Cinnamon Bun did not know what a "rewind" was and that you could simply replay the video tape, and that he would get bored and decide to play hide and seek with the baby. This ends up causing mass panic in the castle, with the toddler setting fire to various parts of the castle.
  • Advertisement:
  • Enfant Terrible: While not evil, Feuer as a baby can be considered a serious fire hazard for the entire Candy Kingdom should she ever breach her containment (as it did happen in Chapter 3). She eventually learns to control her abilities a little better.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When they test the infant Flame Princess's emotional responses, they use video tapes to stimulate her emotions, first with a funny tape to make her laugh and then with a tape to stimulate fear (unable to stimulate her sadness due to her lack of emotional maturity). When she finds out that the tape Peppermint Butler brought her was a recording of the Lich, Bubblegum chews him out for going too far.
  • For Want of a Nail: Considering Feuer is an impactful force in Princess Bubblegum's life, things of course veered away from canon.
    • Princess Bubblegum alters her physical form to look older, arguing that a teenager having a kid would look a little suspect.
    • After seeing her with a baby Flame Princess, the Ice King (who finds Princess Bubblegum being a single mom unattractive) has given up on kidnapping Bubblegum. When the other princesses find out, they humor the idea of having kids of their own.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Lady Rainicorn does not mind physical contact with Feuer because her species is accustomed to intense light, and she could simply phase through the heat if it ever gets too intense.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Lemongrab accuses Bubblegum of ignoring him despite having driven her off by throwing things at her the last time she came to Castle Lemongrab. He argues that he "did not wish a visit at [that] time."
  • In Spite of a Nail: While Feuer being a princess to the Candy kingdom does change things, some things remain constant.
    • While they are younger than when they meet canonically, Finn still develops a crush on Flame Princess (and vice versa).
  • Interspecies Adoption: Princess Bubblegum - a Candy Person - winds up adopting the flame elemental Flame Princess (then named Feuer).
  • Living Crashpad: When a toddler Feuer fell down the stairs, her fall was broken by an unwitting Cinnamon Bun, her fiery body caramelizing his frosting and her becoming stuck to him.
  • Mythology Gag: Flame Princess really seems to like Cinnamon Bun. He makes her laugh.
  • New Parent Nomenclature Problem: At some point, baby Feuer starts trying to call Bubblegum "mam", but when Bubblegum tries correcting her to call her by her name, she ends up with the word "Bubblemam". Since this was something Marceline sarcastically called her when they were younger, she caves and lets Feuer call her "mom".
  • Not What It Looks Like: Various characters like Lady Rainicorn and some of the neighboring princesses mistake Feuer for being Bubblegum's actual daughter, with some rumors claiming she had an affair with the Flame King.
  • Orc Raised by Elves: The whole premise of the story is Flame Princess (who's father identifies as evil) being raised by Princess Bubblegum (who is considered a force for good).
  • Ship Tease: Finn and Flame Princess, natch.
  • Shout-Out: Peppermint Butler has claimed to have played Chess with Death and won.
  • Standalone Episode: Attachment Theory
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Peppermint Butler voices his concerns that Princess Bubblegum might grow attached to the infant flame elemental, she insists that she is only doing it For Science! Boy was she wrong.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Finn accidentally reveals the existence of Flame King and the Fire Kingdom, eventually leading to Feuer finding out that she was adopted.
  • Unwitting Test Subject: After unofficially adopting Fleuer, Princess Bubblegum put her through some tests to measure the extent of her abilities.
  • The Usurper: Lemongrab accuses Feuer of being this, barging into the Candy Kingdom while Bubblegum is away and practically assaulting the poor girl on such grounds.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Lemongrab drew his sound sword with clear intentions at attacking Fleuer.
  • You Leave Him Alone!: Feuer does not attack Lemongrab back until he grabs peppermint Butler by the scruff and threatens him for trying to defend her.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: