Yes ladies and gentlemen, it’s another Top 10 list of my favorite episodes of another one of my favorite shows. When Adventure Time first aired, I immediately dismissed it as another in a long line of weird and stupid shows that Cartoon Network seems to be shilling out nowadays. But once I caught a glimpse of it on TV, and the bizarre art style, the unique sense of humor and the “screw logic” logic of the show turned me into an instant fan. For those of you who haven’t seen it, imagine if someone took The Phantom Tollbooth, HR Pufnstuf, The Chronicles of Narnia, and a collection of choose-your-own-adventure books and stuck them all in a blender, and you’ll only get a hint of just how crazy, original, and awesome this show is. It’s only been out for less than two years, but in that short time it has gained a cult following among both children and adults, and I hope it’ll be around for years to come for fans to enjoy.
But which episodes were the best? Which ones were the most exciting, the funniest, the most engaging and the most, well, adventurous? With the never ending escapades of Jake the dog and Finn the human, it’s not an easy question to answer. But I’ve managed to narrow down ten episodes that truly testify all the wonderful things about this show. There’s a lot to get through, so let’s get started. This is the Top 10 Adventure Time episodes! (At least in my opinion.)
10. The Real You
In this one, Finn tries once again to impress his friend Princess Bubblegum, who he has a bit of a crush on. She invites him to her annual science barbecue, but since Finn’s original project was accidentally destroyed, he struggles to come up with a new project fast, but isn’t smart enough. That’s when he’s given a pair of glasses that turn him into a super genius, which ultimately make him too smart for his own good.
One of the things I love about the show is the sandbox style writing, allowing the writers (who also work as storyboard artists) to basically do whatever the hell they want without succumbing to a certain formula. After all, what other show can you say have episodes where the hero teaches a giant snail how to pick up chicks, or battles a group of evil baby piglets in cute costumes wielding magic wands? While the premise for this show isn’t exactly new, it’s all in the execution. After all, what other kid’s show do you know that makes references to quantum physics and fourth dimensions?
9. Death In Bloom
Princess Bubblegum entrusts Finn and Jake with the task of taking care of her prized flower while she’s away on business. When they fail their task (epically I might add) they must travel to the Land of the Dead to retrieve its soul.
While this one is a little weak on story it more than makes up for things in the visual department. Good god is this episode trippy! The exploration of the Land of the Dead is pretty amazing, the visuals are really freaky (and for a show like this, that’s saying a lot), and there’s a real sense of danger throughout the whole thing. Plus they really get creative with the whole process of bringing things back from the dead.
Finn and Jake are kicked out of their house by a thousand year old vampire named Marceline the Vampire Queen, and have a hard time finding a new place upon discovering everywhere they go, she was there first.
Of all the characters in the show, Marceline is without a doubt my favorite. While she seems dangerous and bad on the surface, she’s also really fun and adventurous like Finn. Not only that, but she’s definitely one of the more three dimensional characters in the show. (We’ll get to that later.) In the midst of it all, it’s a great introduction to the character and even has a cool song to accompany their house hunt.
7. Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake
One show that Adventure Time has a lot in common with is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Both have an unexpected, albeit devoted, adult audience, they both have a unique sense of humor, and the staff of both shows are known for interacting with their fan base. In the case of Adventure Time, character designer Natasha Allergi created gender swapped versions of Finn and Jake named Fiona and Cake just months after the show’s debut. (On the internet, this is referred to as “Rule 63”.) The characters became incredibly popular among fans, as a lot of fan art, fan fiction, and even gender swapped versions of the rest of the cast were made. The popularity eventually lead to an episode where everyone was gender swapped and it became the highest rated episode of the show to date.
No one really expected what they were going to do with this one, and while the concept may be a little girly and phoned in for my taste, the twist ending more than makes up for it. Besides, they got Neil Patrick Harris to play Prince Gumball. You have to admit that’s pretty cool.
6. Mortal Recoil/Mortal Folly
This is a two parter, so technically I’m counting it as one. Finn and Jake are set off to defeat the Lich King, but they’re constantly thwarted by the Ice King who keeps asking for their permission to marry Princess Bubblegum. While they were successful at first, due to a minor slip-up, the princess get possessed by the Lich King’s spirit and Finn and Jake must team up with the Ice King to stop her from destroying all of Ooo.
Oh my god, this two parter is absolutely epic. And twisted! Up until a more recent episode called “No One can Hear You” (which won’t be on the countdown), this was definitely one of the scariest episodes of the episode. Plus it incorporates a lot of themes from famous horror movies like The Exorcist, Poltergeist and Jacob’s Ladder. There are not one, but two really epic battles, and at the very last minute they slip in one of the greatest under the radar jokes I’ve heard since Animaniacs. You’ll just have to see to know what I mean.
5. What Was Missing
Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline and Beemo are all robbed of something personal by this weird creature (and considering what show we’re talking about, that’s saying something) called the Door Lord. In order to get their stuff back, they all have to form a band and create a song that will cause the door to open.
I love this episode simply because of the emotional depth and character interaction. We learn a lot of things about the cast that we didn’t really know, like that PB and Marceline used to be friends but something caused a riff between them. There were even hints of something a little stronger between them wink wink nudge nudge say no more ;). Another thing I haven’t mentioned before is that the show has a decent number of really strong musical numbers, most of which are written by staff writer Rebecca Sugar. And this one has not just one, but two of the strongest and more personal songs she’s written yet. I know I’m making it sound a little too touchy feely, but it really does warm the coggles of my heart.
4. It Came from the Nightosphere
After Marceline reveals that she has a strained relationship with her dad, Finn attempts to reunite father and daughter together. What Marceline failed to mention was that her dad is an all powerful soul sucking demon, and that Finn had accidentally unleashed the ultimate evil onto Ooo.
Yep, it’s another Marceline episode. You can probably tell I really like her, huh? Like I said before, Marceline is one of the more complex characters in the show, mostly because she has a lot more history to her which explain why she is the way she is. We all know someone like her, someone who seems mean and undesirable on the surface but can be a great friend once you get to know her, even though she claims to have more selfish motivations. Aside from that, we get another Rebecca Sugar song, more super scary visuals, and another joke they slip in at the very last minute that will have you laughing all throughout the commercial break.
3. Susan Strong
Finn and Jake discover an underground city that seems to be inhabited by a tribe of humans. They decide to take one of them, a particularly muscular woman named Susan, to see the surface. But they find themselves in a pickle when she becomes addicted to candy and tries to bring her whole tribe over to eat the Candy Kingdom.
One great thing about the show is how fans will take a seemingly simple character and just run with it. In the case of Susan, there’s a lot of speculation about who this mysterious woman really is. Some believe she’s Fionna, some believe she’s Finn’s mother, and some aren’t sure if she’s even human. (If you see it, you’ll understand why.) It really opens up a lot of possibilities, explores Finn’s loneliness from possibly being the last human in Ooo, and even gives us a very bittersweet ending. Honestly, it almost gave me a tear. That alone is enough for my number 3 spot.
2. Memory of a Memory
INCEPTION TIME! There, I got the Inception joke out of the way. Marceline is put under an incredibly strong sleep spell and Finn and Jake must enter her mind and find the memory core to break her out of it. But when they finally do find it, they discover that they were just doing the dirty work of her evil ex boyfriend.
This isn’t just another Marceline episode, this is THE Marceline episode. Since we’re exploring her memories, we learn a lot about her past, but not so much that it takes away the mystery that surrounds her. It also gives us a look at the distant past of Ooo, dating back to an event referred to as the Mushroom War, raising a lot of questions about the world the show takes place in. Along with some great dialogue, stellar visuals, and a twist ending, it’s just an almost perfect episode. So what could possibly top it?
- Memories of Boom Boom Mountain
How do I describe this episode? Well, Finn and Jake are hanging out with a group of Vikings who like to roughhouse, but a nearby mountain that cries boulders is upset at having to watch them be so rough with each other. Since Finn has vowed from an early age to help anyone in need, he tries to make things better by tying animals to the Vikings and convincing them to pet each other instead of roughhouse, but none of his plans work out. Things get really overwhelming when everyone from a dragon with an itchy butt to a naked wizard asks for his help at the same time.
I love this episode simply because it has so much going on and none of it makes absolutely any sense. And in all honesty, that’s probably the best thing about the show. It’s as if the writers threw their arms up in the air one day and declared “why not”. There’s an abundance of things happening in the span of just ten minutes, and every time I watch it I discover something new. Aside from that, it makes me laugh every single time. Great dialogue, great jokes, great use of sandbox logic – it’s just simply wonderful.
Well that’s my top 10 Adventure Time episodes. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend any of these episodes as a starting off point. You can watch every episode for free online at this website http://goddamn-kids.blogspot.com/, and catch new episodes every Monday at 8 on Cartoon Network.