Top Ten Adventure Time Episodes

You may have noticed that I’ve integrated scenes from the hit cartoon “Adventure Time” into my site theme.  I did this for a few reasons:

1) It’s awesome.  Like, totally mathematical.

2) I love the use of color and the simplicity of expression.

3) It is an embodiment of whimsical creativity.

Co-Protagonist: Jake

Take my advice: If you haven’t ever seen Adventure Time, go watch a few episodes.  Like 2 or 3.  You don’t need to worry about picking up a place in the storyline because each episode is generally a discrete experience.  Characters do come and go, so if you find yourself confused, don’t worry, you can take a couple of steps back and  enjoy the origin stories.

Whether you’re just starting or you’re a seasoned veteran, you can count on all ten of the episodes listed below to be great.  This list is limited to seasons 1-3.


My Adventure Time Top Ten Episodes List:

10.) “To Cut a Woman’s Hair” Season 2: 18b

Finn must get a lock of hair from a princess to save Jake from the balding Tree Witch, but this task proves harder than expected.

Why do I love this?  It is one of the many episodes that encapsulates the ethos of our heros.  Blind advocacy in the pursuit of universal justice.  The two encounter an obviously evil witch and Finn embarks on a wayward adventure to satisfy her demands.  Also, its the first time we see Finn take off his cap, and it is EPIC.

9.) “Fionna and Cake” Season 3: 5a

Based on an idea by Adventure Time crew member Natasha Allegri to have an episode with all gender-switched characters. The titular Fionna and Cake, a human girl and her cat, replace Finn and Jake as they battle the Ice Queen to save Prince Gumball and the Candy Kingdom. In the midst of the Ice Queen’s latest plan, Fionna must also reconcile her feelings for Prince Gumball and who she is: as an adventurer.

The episode itself is decent.  What’s special about this episode is that it’s the first time I realized that this show can do absolutely anything.  ANYTHING.  Even remove every character from the show and replace with caricatures/dopplegangers/bizzaros.

8.) “Dad’s Dungeon” Season 3: 13a

Jake’s dad presents a strange challenge to the guys when he appears to them in a holographic message.

Learning more of the character’s history is always fun and this adventure had everything in it.  Imagine if your father wanted you to complete a gauntlet in order to toughen you up.  Now insert yourself into the land of Ooo.  Boom, Dad’s  dungeon.  This episode was humorous, touching, and totally awesome.

7.) “My Two Favorite People” Season 1: 5a

Jake feels overwhelmed at not having enough time for Finn and his girlfriend, Lady Rainicorn, so he tries to get them to hang out more, leading to disaster between the two friends.

This is one of the first episodes I ever watched.  And I’m glad that is the case because it made me realize Adventure Time was a show I wanted to keep on watching forever and ever.  This episode is hilarious.  All of Jake’s carefully laid plans backfire when they go completely right.  Lady Rainicorn speaks flawless Korean.  Then, like an old man.  Yes, I said there is a creature that is half unicorn, half rainbow, and she is royalty.

6.) “Rainy Day Daydream” Season 1: 12a

Stuck indoors due to a raining knife storm, Finn discovers that Jake can make his imagination come to life, causing chaos in the treehouse.

In this episode, Finn realizes the potential of his own imagination, after making the oxymoronic statement that Imagination is for turbo-nerds who can’t handle how kick-butt reality is!  Lava on the floor is a game we all played as a child.  The nostalgia meter on this episode is off the scale.  And the fancy things inside Finn’s imagination that he always hoped were not there…some of the funniest writing on TV today.  “Would you like a crocheted doily” indeed.

I have a 1/40 copies of this print hanging in my house

5.) “Mortal Folly” and “Mortal Recoil” Season 2: 13a + 13b

Finn and Jake must go on a quest to find the Lich, while the Ice King pesters them for their blessing to marry Princess Bubblegum. Then, Following the events of that episode, Princess Bubblegum is put into the hospital after accidentally being dropped into the Lich’s well of power by the Ice King. But when the spirit of The Lich possesses Bubblegum, Finn and Jake team up with the Ice King to stop him.

I know it might be cheating to put two episodes here but they arch in the middle and have to be treated as one.  This storyline is epic.  All the darkness of a greek horror myth directed by Kubrick in a land of talking candy people.  This story makes a bigger episode than most of the rest of the series put together.

4.) “Memory of a Memory” Season 3: 2a

Finn and Jake are transported into Marceline’s mind to wake her from a magically induced sleep.

The “Limbo” inspired animation at the core of Marceline’s memory, the thickening of backstories, the references directed straight at long-time fans, the twist and deception, the senseless violence at the end.  This story is a classic.

3.) “Mystery Train” Season 2: 10a

Wanting to surprise Finn on his 13th birthday, Jake takes Finn on a train, where they get wrapped up in a murder mystery.

I know some people don’t like this episode.  But I picked it for good reason.  It’s a good old fashioned mystery, with some yet unexplained elements.  It makes me want to keep watching the show.  It makes me feel giddy each time a new episode is scheduled to air because I know that it could take on any kind of narrative form.  This was the first of a few mystery episodes.  It set precedent and had a wild and unreasonable outcome.  Fantastic.

2.) “It Came from the Nightosphere” Season 2: 1a

Finn releases Marceline’s estranged father from the Nightosphere, but ends up having to stop him from stealing all the souls in Ooo.

This episode was nominated for an Emmy for good reason.  Besides reinforcing that AT has a fantastic soundtrack, this episode is equal parts darkness and humor, with compelling character development, mind numbing creativity, and a satisfying payoff.  Add a surprise Lumpy Space Princess cameo and you earn your place way up on this list.

1.) “Thank You” Season 3: 9a

Thanksgiving Special: A Snow Golem and a Firewolf strike up a strange friendship as Finn and Jake battle through Ice King’s “impenetrable armor”. The action between Finn & Jake, and the Ice King takes place mostly in the background.

This is a very unique episode.  It’s different from everything else.  It reminds you that the minds behind Adventure Time are not just a bunch of overly imaginative man-children, these people understand how to elicit emotions through captivating story-telling.  There isn’t much conversation in this episode.  There isn’t much action.  But it leaves you feeling warm and special and sunny in a way that few other stories can.  All in 11 minutes.  It is one of my favorite episodes of anything I’ve ever seen.

I have a limited edition print of this hanging in my house as well

Honorable Mentions:

“Slumber Party Panic” Season 1: 1a

Finn and Princess Bubblegum must protect the Candy Kingdom from a horde of candy zombies they accidentally created and deal with the consequences of breaking a “royal promise.”

Every time I see this episode it rises in my esteem.  I’m a fan of Princess Bubblegum in the way I’m a fan of Lisa Simpson.  That should tell you something.  This episode is wacky though, and the Jake dialogue along with the Mr. Stachy quips make it very memorable.

“Guardians of Sunshine: Season 2: 8b

Finn and Jake get sucked into one of Beemo’s games and they have to defeat all three of his bosses.

I love BMO and anything that involves BMO.  This was a great episode–the idea of getting sucked into a video game and finding it is much more challenging from the inside than the outside is a fantastic premise.  Surely 11 or 12 on the top episodes list.

Cutest thing ever.


For future reference: All title cards for every episode can be found here:

4 responses to “Top Ten Adventure Time Episodes

  1. i love the adventure time picture that sorta copies my nieghbor totoro i love adventure time!!!!!im such a fan i wish they would show it on tv more or have a marathon!!!dont you?

  2. i love this show, i’m super grateful that there are people on earth awesome enough to make it:) i hope they keep em coming forever.

  3. my top ten?
    1) What is life? – NEPTR creation song cracks me
    2) Ocean of Fear – Finn the Scream Queen beating up Jake’s bread and butter is just prizeless.
    3) The New Frontier – it touches me how much attachement there is in this chapter… and Jake’s underwater dance.
    4) Chamber of the Frozen Blades – “Ninja!”
    5) The Lich – i guess the most serious plot in the show so far, gripping.
    6) Dad’s Dungeon – Blib Blab Rama Pancake – fwooosh!
    7) Marceline’s Closet – is the fun made cartoon, “dude! you shapeshift to look like me?” “… yeah!”
    8) Princess Potluck – Gunther dancing skills are just awesome… as his zapper.
    9) Shh! – amazing amazing how fun is not to talk
    10) Loyalty to the King – basically

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