The series originated as an animated short produced for Nickelodeon's Random! Cartoons variety show. Following its December 2008 airing, the short was uploaded to YouTube, where it quickly went viral. Nickelodeon passed on greenlighting a full-length series twice due to creative differences, with the rights subsequently reverting to Pen Ward and Frederator Studios. The series was then re-presented it to Cartoon Network, with the channel going on to greenlight two seasons after the creation of a second pilot. The series received a large marketing push leading up to its April 5, 2010 premiere.
The show followed the adventures of boy hero Finnnote and talking shape-shifting dog named Jake in the strange, bizarre, very dangerous world of Ooo. The setting is gradually revealed to be Earth after an apocalyptic event known as the "Mushroom War", an event which radically transformed the landscape and brought back magic to the world, leading to the creation and reemergence of all kinds of bizarre creatures and entities. Finn is supposedly the only living pure human left in this world, having been adopted by Jake's family after they found him as a baby. Over the course of the series, the show's growing and colorful cast of characters would come to include the boys' feudal patron Princess Bubblegum, ruler of the nearby Candy Kingdom; Ice King, a deranged elemental wizard (and increasingly Friendly Enemy) with a penchant for princess-snatching; and Marceline, the rebellious, self-proclaimed Vampire Queen.
As one of the most unique and interesting pieces of fantasy to ever grace the genre, to say the show is weird is an understatement. As the series continued, the show maintained a playful air while still dabbling heavily in Mood Whiplash and Cerebus Rollercoaster, as Finn matured into a young adult and the narrative delved more into the backstory of its setting and the complex relationships between its expansive cast of characters. Because of its eclectic mix of comedy and drama, Adventure Time grew a large fanbase to become one of Cartoon Network's biggest Cash Cow Franchises. The original series concluded production in 2017, with the final episode airing the following year on September 7th, 2018, rounding out at 10 seasons and 283 episodes.
Adventure Time would see continuations in other animated projects, the first of these being Distant Lands, a four-episode sequel miniseries that tied up some remaining loose ends and explored the characters' lives in the years after the original show's Grand Finale, "Come Along With Me". Distant Lands would then be followed by another miniseries, Fionna and Cake; another miniseries (now targeted at young adults) that follows Finn and Jake's alternate universe counterparts on their own adventure to maintain the fabric of reality.
- Adventure Time (2010-2018): The main television series.
- Adventure Time: Distant Lands (2020-2021): A HBO Max sequel miniseries consisting of four hour-long episodes set after the Grand Finale.
- Adventure Time Fionna And Cake (TBA): A HBO Max spin-off show featuring Finn and Jake's Gender Flip counterparts Fionna and Cake as they travel around The Multiverse with Simon Petrikov in a journey of self-discovery while a new villain tries to erase them from existence.
The serial comic spin-offs are published by KaBOOM! Comics. They are notable for their recruitment of writers and artists from the world of Webcomics and indie comics, in preference to established genre comics creators.
- Adventure Time Comic Book: The comic book of the series, which began in 2012. Initially written by Ryan North, who left after 35 issues to be replaced by Christopher Hastings. The art is usually by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. Each issue also includes a backup story by a different writer/artist. Increasingly set in an Alternate Continuity to the show, as it largely ignores TV show character and plot development that took place after it started.
- Adventure Time Comics: A second ongoing comic series beginning in 2016, collecting short pieces by various writers and artists in a similar style to the main comic back-up stories.
- Marceline and the Scream Queens: A miniseries by Meredith Gran in which Marceline's rock band, the Scream Queens, go on a world tour with Princess Bubblegum as their manager.
- Fionna and Cake: A miniseries based on the gender-flipped characters from Ice King's in-universe fanfiction, Fionna and Cake, by Natasha Allegri, the TV show storyboard artist who created the alternate universe.
- Candy Capers: A miniseries in which Finn and Jake have disappeared, and Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon Bun are charged to find out what has happened to them while also replacing them as Candy Kingdom troubleshooters. Written by Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya with art by Ian McGinty.
- The Flip Side: A miniseries written by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, with art by Wook Jin Clark. The only spin-off miniseries to focus on Finn and Jake, in which they wind up in a "reverse adventure", where they have to do the opposite of what they signed up for.
- Banana Guard Academy: A miniseries in which Princess Bubblegum decides to open up the Banana Guard to all Candy Kingdom citizens, to the outrage of the bananas. Written by the TV show head writer Kent Osborne with art by Mad Rupert.
- Marceline Gone Adrift: Another Meredith Gran miniseries starring Marceline and Bubblegum, but this time with Gran only writing, and art by Carey Pietsch. This begins as a parody of the "Planet Hulk" arc from the Incredible Hulk, with Bubblegum shooting Marceline into outer space to end an uncharacteristic rampage, then regretting it and going on a quest to find her.
- Fionna and Cake: Card Wars: A miniseries about Cake trying to win a Card Wars tournament. Written by Jen Wang with art by Britt Wilson and Rian Sygh.
- Ice King: An Ice King solo miniseries written by the TV show artist Emily Partridge with Pranas Naujokaitis, with art by Natalie Andrewson. When Gunther is kidnapped and held to ransom, Ice King has to seek new allies among Ooo's wizards.
- Adventure Time x Regular Show: A crossover with fellow CN series, Regular Show.
- Beginning of the End: A three issue miniseries that serves as the finale of the comic book series. Written by Ted Anderson, with art by Marina Julia. Jake and everyone at the Land of Ooo must save Finn from erasure after he breaks a royal promise.
- Adventure Time: Season 11: A sequel series and a "new season" of the TV show. Takes place after the events of the Grand Finale. Written by Sonny Liew (but only the first three issues), with art by Marina Julia.
- Marcy and Simon: Annouced in 2018, this is another mini-series set after the end of the TV show which focus on Marceline and former Ice King, Simon, after he's freed from the crown.
- Adventure Time Graphic Novels: The page for all the graphic novels.
- Vol 1: Playing With Fire : By Danielle Corsetto with art by Zachary Sterling. Finn's girlfriend Flame Princess ventures into a dungeon to retrieve Finn's soul, after it's stolen by a fortune teller.
- Vol 2: Pixel Princesses: Again by Corsetto and Sterling, a story that focuses on some of the less-often-depicted princesses of Ooo after they're magically transported into BMO, Finn and Jake's anthropomorphic computer.
- Vol 3: Seeing Red: Written by Kate Leth, with art by Sterling. Marceline goes to a family reunion, with some support from Jake.
- Vol 4: Bitter Sweets: Again by Leth and Sterling, the first novel with color art. Princess Bubblegum travels to the outer kingdoms to recharge the magic gems that power the Candy Kingdom.
- Vol 5: Graybles Shmaybles: Written by Corsetto, with art by Bridget Underwood and Jenna Ayoub, this is the first novel to center around Finn and Jake, and involves them discovering a mysterious cube which shows them images of a mysterious thief plaguing their friends.
- Vol 6: Masked Mayhem: Written by Leth, with art by Underwood and Ayoub. BMO and Jake investigate a series of prank attacks that are ruining their friends' parties.
- Vol 7: The Four Castles: By Josh Trujillo, with art by Sterling. Finn and Jake are challenged to retrieve four magical artifacts.
- Vol 8: President Bubblegum: By Josh Trujillo, with art by Phil Murphy. The lost Constitoootion of Ooo is rediscovered and reveals that the land is actually a presidential democracy. Obviously, we need an election.
- Vol 9: Brain Robbers: By Trujillo and Sterling. Lumpy Space Princess, Tree Trunks, Finn and Jake go on a treasure hunt, but LSP is hiding her true motivations.
- Islands: Written by Ashly Burch with art by Diigii Daguna, this is an Interquel between the multi-episode TV arcs "Stakes" and "Islands", set around a thousand years before the rest of the franchise, and follows a heroic young girl named Jo, or Bunny Girl.
- Vol 10: The Ooorient Express: Written by Jeremy Sorese, with art by Sterling. Jake takes the train in search of a cure for Lady's illness, but is distracted when violent events begin occurring on the train itself.
- Vol 11: Princess and Princess: Again by Sorese and Sterling. Finn is persuaded to become Princess of the Rock Kingdom, when Rock Princess leaves to find herself.
- Vol 12: Thunder Road: Again by Sorese and Sterling. Marceline joins a motorcycle gang of storm clouds.
- Vol 13: Marceline the Pirate Queen: By Leah Williams and Sterling. Marceline and BMO head for the high seas when pirates steal a treasure from Princess Bubblegum.
- The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia: A guide to the Land of Ooo, written in-character by the universe's Satan-figure Hunson Abadeer.
- Epic Tales from Adventure Time: A series of books written in the style of pulp adventure novels, by the mysterious T.T. MacDangereuse.
- Queen of Rogues
- The Untamed Scoundrel
- The Lonesome Outlaw
- The Virtue of Ardor
- Which Way, Dude?: Gamebooks / puzzle books.
- BMO's Day Out
- Jake Goes Bananas
- Lumpy Space Princess Saves the World
- Tales from the Land of Ooo: A collection of short stories aimed at young readers.
- The Enchiridion & Marcy's Super Secret Scrapbook!!!: One half of this Double-Sided Book is the Enchiridion featured in the show, the other is Marceline's childhood diary.
- Hero Time with Finn and Jake: An adventuring guide by Finn and Jake.
- How to Warrior by Fionna and Cake: An adventuring guide by Fionna and Cake.
- The Official Cookbook: A Spin-Off Cookbook.
- Monopoly: Adventure Time (2013)
- Memory Challenge: Adventure Time Edition (2013)
- Adventure Time: The Epic Gassy Jake Game (2013)
- Adventure Time Everything Burrito Game (2013)
- Munchkin Adventure Time (2014)
- Munchkin Adventure Time 2: It's a Dungeon Crawl! (2015)
- Adventure Time Card Wars (2014)
- Adventure Time: Adventures in the Land of Ooo (2015)
- Adventure Time Love Letter (2015)
- Adventure Time Fluxx (2015)
- Hora de Aventuras: Juego de Rol (2016): A Spanish Tabletop Roleplaying Game published by Nosolorol Ediciones.
- Adventure Time: The general page for Adventure Time video games.
- Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!: A video game for the Nintendo 3DS. As the title suggest, the Ice King has been stealing garbage around the land and Finn and Jake set out to find out why and stop him.
- Explore the Dungeon because I DON'T KNOW!: The second game released on Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. A multiplayer game allowing players to play as various other characters of the series (save Bubblegum). Bubblegum summons the selected characters to find out what is going in the dungeon underneath her castle after inmates manage to keep escaping from it.
- Adventure Time Battle Party: A browser-based Multiplayer Online Battle Arena featuring characters from the show as playable champions.
- Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom: Released in 2014 for the PS3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360 and the 3DS.
- Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations: Released in 2015 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, and the 3DS.
- Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion: Released in 2018 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC
- Bloons Adventure Time TD: A crossover with the Bloons Tower Defense series with the main cast appearing as Hero Units.
Games the series appears in:
- FusionFall: Nanos of Finn and Jake were used in the game not long after the series premiered.
- FusionFall Heroes: Overhead dungeon crawler that had Finn, Fionna, and Marceline as playable characters.
- Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers: Beat-em Up Game that feature Finn as a playable character and Jake being used as a weapon. Some stages and enemies were based on Adventure Time as well.
- LEGO Dimensions: Has a play set and LEGO figurines based on the series.
- Brawlhalla: Finn, Jake, and Bubblegum appear as Guest Fighter skins.
- Multi Versus: Finn and Jake appear as fighters.