Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Locations, Locations...

The Nightosphere

The Nightosphere in an alternate dimension in The land of Ooo. It is essentially  Adventure Time's equivalent to Hell. It's inhabited by Hunson Abadeer (who doubles as the ruler of the Nightosphere and Marceline's Dad) and an enormity of other demonic entities. 

The Nightosphere first appeared in the episode "It came from the Nightosphere", where a portal was formed in Marceline's house and led to a land engulfed in fire. The location was later established in "Return to the Nightosphere" and later in "Daddy's Little Monster", where it was portrayed as a demonic wasteland immersed in constant chaos. The only way to escape the Nightosphere is by going through a portal in Hunson's house.

How to Get To The Nightosphere

1. Draw a happy face (it must be a Phil Face) on any surface
2. Drench the face in bug milk
3. Chant, "Maloso vobiscum et cum spiritum!"
4. Enter portal

                            The Phil face and bug milk


  • The chant you have to perform to enter the Nightosphere, "Maloso vobiscum et cum spiritum", translates from Latin to"Evil be with you and with your spirit." This could be considered a reference to Catholic liturgy, where a priest says, "Dominus vobiscum" ("The Lord be with you"), and the congregation replies, "et cum spiritu tuo" ("and with your spirit)
  • In one of the episodes where Finn is escaping the Nightosphere, he shouts out, "I'll  see you in the Nightosphere, you sick freak!", which bares resemblence to the phrase, "I'll see you in Hell"
  • The demons in the Nightosphere poop bananas...out of their ears

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Earl of Lemongrab


The Earl of Lemongrab is one of PB's failed experiments. PB noticed that Lemongrab's personality was off-putting, angry and just plain weird. Lemongrab expresses his feelings of alienation and frustrations at his inability to read social cues through his random outbursts and excessive yelling. His "sour" disposition is naturally repellent and prevents him from getting along with others (view video below).

PB tries to get Lemongrab to handle a baby Candy Person, but he doesn't know how and just gets frustrated

PB sent the Earl to live in Castle Lemongrab, where he lived a very sheltered and presumably wealthy life. He was raised by servants and received anything he asked for, which contributed to his ignorant attitude and his dysfunctional nature. He is completely adjusted to living with other people. Lemongrab can only function normally in a society where there is no conflict and everyone is under his command. In his perspective, his actions are not viewed as unreasonable; his people did not listen to him, so therefore they need to be punished (even if this means an eternity spent in prison over a simple disagreement).

Lemongrab is exceedingly sensitive to his own emotions, although he has very little empathy for others to the point of being unintentionally cruel and harmful. He seems to suffer from many mental and emotional issues and has difficulty expressing his feelings. Most often, Lemongrab reacts in the manner of a young, angry child.

The Earl is not evil; he has no intentional malice, but is perpetually confused as to what is "the right way" to interact with and treat others. He's portrayed as overly sensitive, high-strung and extremely touchy, but tries his best and is under the delusion that what he is doing is right. The Earl's temper and unhappiness stem from a combination of both his own willingness to stay bitter and the experiences that led him to becoming who he is.

In the episode "You Made Me", Lemongrab expresses his utter misery and loneliness over his isolation. PB then introduces him to a clone (Lemongrab 2), who is exactly like Lemongrab and whom he feels he can relate to. He finally becomes well-adjusted and happier. The pair then create children out of candy and food and demonstrate that they can show affection and love to others. Unfortunately, the pair have a falling out over one of their sons, Lemonsweets, and Lemongrab eats his clone brother. The Earl returns to his natural bitter state.

Lemongrab's falling out with Lemongrab 2 over a small disagreement...(refer to the video at the top)


  • Lemongrab is a lot younger than he appears; no one knows his exact age, though
  • He appears to have haphephobia (the fear of being touched)
  • He likes bland foods such as rice cakes and mashed carrots 
  • He is fond of the colours green and gray
  • He has a lemon camel for transportation
  • He has little to no sense of humour, but seems to try having one (albeit unsuccessfully) 
  • The Earl doesn't appear to think logically (he doesn't know where food comes from and sentences all of the Candy People to "one million years dungeon")
  • He's a neat-freak
  • He doesn't have any friends (PB made a clone-"Lemongrab 2", which Lemongrab thought of as tolerable for amount of time, until Lemongrab 2 infuriated him and Lemongrab ate his clone)

  • Many of his traits are similar to Asperger's Syndrome (or on the autism spectrum), including his photographic memory, his aversion to traditional touching, social-awkwardness and his difficulty empathizing with others and recognizing social cues
One of Lemongrab's many odd, experimental "children" - made of food

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Adventure Time Controversy-That Shouldn't Be,Yet Still is Considered to Be-Controversial

An Alleged female subtext blown way out of proportion?

"I'm Just Your Problem" from the episode "What Was Missing"

If you have been following my blogs, you are already aware that I am of the opinion that Adventure Time, like an onion, consists of many layers.  As you continue to peel off the outer layers, you become closer to the core or essence of the show.  Today I have decided to write about an alleged subtext during an episode during the third season.  The title of the episode is “What Was Missing”.  This episode became controversial due to an allegedly implied past relationship between Marceline and Princess Bubblegum. 

Did this controversy spark due to public outcry from viewers who watched the episode? No, this does not seem to be the case.  It largely began after a behind the scenes video produced by Federator Studio implied that there were lesbian relations between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline and that the writing staff was actively seeking input from fans.

It didn’t take long before online reaction prompted Fred Seibert, the show’s executive producer to pull both the episode and the recap off of YouTube.  Seibert explained that the reason for pulling the show was that the writing team became too wrapped up by both fan conjecture and spicy fan art and they realized that they had gone too far. 

Naturally, the removal of the content caused its own wave of backlash. The actions of removing both the episode and the recap were criticized as being detrimental to the acceptance of gay and lesbian romance by young people. It’s also pointed out that the subtly and complexity with how they “allegedly” incorporated subtext would only be explored by mature viewers of the show.

Pendleton Ward (the creator of the show) later addressed the issue stating that it was removed because of the extreme positions taken by people all over the internet and didn’t want to comment as he considered it to be a huge "hullaballoo".

I think this whole subtext ordeal was blown way out of proportion. I don’t think it should be a problem in the first place either; there's tons of outrageous stuff in Adventure Time already. It appeals to a wide audience and is clever enough to incorporate jokes for every age group. 

But what do you think? Did the writers go a little too far in provoking emotional responses from their audience?

The episode “What Was Missing” still airs during reruns of the show…seems kind of ironic

Behind the scenes - "Mathematical" recap of "What Was Missing"

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Background Beauts

Can we just take a minute to appreciate the "unreal" (though more than real) backdrops in this show? Because damn,that is one fiiinely drawn mountain right there.

When you're watching an episode of Adventure Time, it's easy to overlook the simple, yet extremely intricate backgrounds in favour of the crazy characters and faced-paced action of the show.

But I always like to look at Adventure Time as a piece of art; there are real people behind the drawings of Adventure Time...real artists. Artists with the capability of designing entire new worlds and of incorporating tiny details and nuances that hint as to how it came about.

 So who does it?

One of the central background designers for Adventure Time is Ghostshrimp (also known as Dan James and Daniel Bandit). He has worked on the show since the beginning with Pendleton Ward and drew the Tree fort, the Candy Kingdom, the map of Ooo, and many of the landscapes showcased throughout the show. He worked on the first three and a half seasons, and then left the show midway through the fourth.

Even though the show's primary backdrop artist has moved on, the whimsical nature of Adventure Time remains intact.  The scenery continues to be intricately detailed and vivid, sparking the imagination of all who partake in the magic of the show.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Marceline The Vampire Queen

Marceline Abadeer
What makes this half-demon/half-vampire who is over a millennium old tick?  Her character is deeper than first appearances would suggest.   Finn and Jake first encounter her as an enemy but this quickly evolves into a close friendship.

Marceline does consider herself half-demon, which may be a major contribution to her longevity. However, this side does not give her any magical powers or abilities such as flight and transformation as well as a similar eternal youth to her father, which she appears to have gained due to her vampire powers.

Marceline’s past is revealed throughout several Adventure Time episodes such as “Evicted”, “Daddy’s Little Monster” and “Memory of a Memory” , to name only a few.  Throughout these episodes, we not only learn that she is over 1,000 years old but we capture glimpses of her past.  One of her memories shows her as a young girl playing near the burning ruins of a city in the aftermath of the Mushroom War.  We learn that Marceline knew the Ice King by the end of the war and that he gave her Hambo, her beloved stuffed toy which she had loved ever since she was a child, when she replaced its left eye with a button from her jumper and her last piece of thread. While she was sewing the button onto him, she said, "I'm hurting you because I love you."
Hambo, Marceline's beloved stuffed bear, given to her by Simon (the Ice King)

Marceline’s father is the demon who rules Nightosphere.  Her relationship with her father is strained.  We learn this when Finn witnesses a memory between Marceline and her father where he ate her fries in the ruins of a diner.  This memory reveals the moment when her relationship with her father is damaged which she sings about in her “Fry Song”.  Her relationship with her mother still remains a mystery at this point.

 The first memory chronologically where we see Marceline as a Vampire occurs when she moves into the Tree Fort that would later become the home of Finn and Jake, with her boyfriend Ash who she later dumps for selling her beloved stuffed Hambo. But, it’s unknown when or how Marceline exactly became a vampire…it’s revealed that she did not have a bite mark on her neck.


Marceline has many supernatural abilities, some of which are not traditionally associated with vampires and thus might be due to her half-demon heritage instead. She has been shown to possess the following powers:
  • Levitation: She has the ability to float and even to fly with careful control and rapid speed. She can even sleep while floating
  • Pyrokinesis: She can light fire with only her mind, as seen in when she lit up all the candles in the tree-house.
  • Telekinesis: She can move things using her mind
  •  Invisibility: She can turn invisible
  • Necromancy: She can raise the dead
  • Rapid healing: She appears to heal quickly from injuries, at least damage from sunlight (when she returns to a shaded area)
Shape-shifting: She has the ability to shape-shift into numerous monstrous forms, including a bat, a wolf, a reptilian creature, and a large tentacled monster.
  • Eating shades of red: Unlike traditional vampires, Marceline is capable of sustaining herself on "shades of red," such as the color in strawberries, rather than being limited to surviving on blood. She has claimed to "sometimes" consume blood, but this has never been proved or referenced again. 

In addition, when she wears the Nightopshere amulet, she gains the ability to shoot green lasers which either vaporize or transform whatever they hit. She can also create or transform into a large cloud of blood mist with the ability to shoot green lasers. She also gains the ability to devour souls. 


  • Bass player: She is an expert bass player.
  • Singer: She is a proficient singer.
  • Basketball player: She can play basketball and she is able to slam-dunk without using her floating abilities


Although Marceline has a wide array of powers and abilities, it is important to note that she has a vulnerability to direct sunlight (as is common in vampire lore). She does not dissolve right away, and is capable of unrestricted movement on a sunny day, so long as she shields herself. She accomplishes this with a combo of a parasol, a ridiculously large sunhat, and sometimes a set of full-length gloves to cover her arms.
Marceline states that going around on a sunny day still hurts mildly (regardless of protection), but is comparable to scraping a knee. Exposure to direct sunlight would cause Marceline to painfully melt into a pile of vampire goo, although if she is able to seek a shaded area, she will quickly heal within minutes.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

What Sparked the First Flames of Adventure Time?

Pendleton Ward: The Show's Creator

Adventure Time was initially created as an animated short by PendletonWard in 2006.  You can catch this short at the following link:

The short rapidly went on to become an internet phenomenon with over 1 million views by November 2007. Ward decided to try to pitch Adventure Time as a full series, but it took quite a while before the Cartoon Network decided to pick up.  In 2008, Ward was working on another series entitled The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack as a writer and storyboard artist.  This format, where episodes based on outlines are written by storyboard artists, inspired Ward to utilize this same format for Adventure Time.

Inspiration for the series stemmed from Ward's love of The Simpsons.  He thought that the early seasons had a great deal of heart.  Ward wants to make characters that feel so real that they inspire real emotion and are easy to relate to. He pulls inspiration aimed at reaching kids' hearts. He felt that it was important that Finn's character wasn't too eager to please people.  He needed to have more depth and wrath as Ward's hero

Ward oversees all creative aspects of Adventure Time.  He is also the voice behind many characters including LSP, Shelby and Abraham Lincoln.  


In the initial Adventure Time short Pen (now known as Finn) is named after him. Ward changed the name to Finn because he "didn't want to see his name on the back of sweatjeans".

Ward is a portly, bearded man who speaks in a relaxed monotone.  He seems to be perpetually immersed in the depths of his own imagination and it is easy to link his manner with the ultra weirdness found in Adventure Time.

Ward explains the writing process as just writing with the sole purpose of making themselves laugh.

One of the writers of the show explained that when he first discovered Adventure Time, he, like many others, simply didn't get it.  He now simply describes it as "this generation's 'Yellow Submarine'".

An interview with Ward:

Friday, 18 October 2013

Let's Get Random

I've decided to take a break from my weekly postings about episodes and characters to share some different conspiracy theories behind Adventure Time that you might not be aware of. The fact is, this show is deep. It's silly, and nonsensical at times, but the characters all have different stories and pasts that make your gut wretch and your heart ache. There are hidden messages and clues as to what's going on in the Land of Ooo and how it came about and I'm going to examine a few interesting concepts.

1. Finn's actually in a coma and everything existing in the Land of Ooo is a figment of his imagination

The theory insists that Finn lived a normal life on Earth, with a pet dog (without magical powers), named Jake. Finn was a lonely kid, without any friends and parents who neglected him. He had difficulty supporting himself through two jobs. 
Finn considered Jake to be his only true and loyal friend, but he died of old age a few years later, leaving Finn wading in a hopeless depression. Seeing no other option, Finn turned to suicide and attempted to overdose. He fell into a deep coma which doctors feared he would never awaken from...and sadly, they were right. Finn never awakens from his coma; he remains stuck in a perpetual dream, a fantastical world of make belief of which Finn had always dreamed of. 
Here, Jake and Finn go on crazy adventures in Candy Kingdom, fall in love, and fight evil. 
Finn would remain in a coma until his dying days, adventuring with his dead dog.
It was forever, Adventure Time.

2. Finn's not the only human left on Earth

So, we know Adventure Time takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity essentially destroyed itself through nuclear warfare...and it's said that Finn is the last remaining human on Earth...but what if he isn't? What if there are more humans still remaining on Earth, and Finn just hasn't discovered them yet.
After the bomb him, though most humans were dead, the remaining survivors sought refuge underground to protect themselves from diseases (mainly mutations) caused by the bomb. They went on with life underground while the surface world was changing exponentially and basically started an entire separate society. 
 In one of the episodes, Finn and Jake go underground and discover a whole tribe of what appears to be other people...though it is later revealed that they are all human-like fish mutants (they wear hats to conceal their gills). The only character who does not reveal gills is Susan Strong. We never see if she's a mutant or not. What if she is a human? That means Finn's not entirely alone in the universe. What does that mean for Adventure Time? 

3. The Ice King is a metaphor for dementia

I haven't really touched on Ice King much yet, but he's one of the villain's in Adventure Time. He's a lonely, old man who abducts princesses in an attempt to fill his void. But he's got a pretty interesting past. It's revealed through several episodes that the Ice King lived before the apocalypse as a man named Simon Petrikov. He knew and took care of Marceline the Vampire Queen while war ensued in their city. He found a crown which granted him magical powers (he hated using the crown, but felt he needed to, to protect little Marceline from all of the monsters that arose from the nuclear bombs), though it also took over his brain and made him insane. In recent episodes he has no recollection of his past. He's the guy who pretty much saved Earth from being completely destroyed by the Mushroom Bomb (using his powers to freeze the bomb in mid flight so that it only blew up a chunk of the Earth).
After putting on the crown (representative of aging), he begins to show the common symptoms of dementia: memory loss and thought pattern loss, disorganized behaviour and lacking a sense of order, depression and sociopathic symptoms (loss of empathy, bursts of basic emotions like anger, lack of social cues), as well as paranoia and hallucinations.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, which explains the void he can't fill (losing his wife, Betty). It also explains Marceline's avoidance of The Ice King (she's coping with the grief of the person she once loved and lost).

Ice King doesn't remember who Marceline is 

Maybe there's more to Adventure Time than we think...