Contest, Review, and More: The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia — Mathematical!

Adventure Time Cover

Last year I went on the hunt for the Season 1 DVD set of Adventure Time for my son. One of his friends had introduced him to it (even though much of it went over his head) and he just really enjoyed it. The episodes on television were the newer season and he hadn’t watched the earlier episodes, so I figured I’d grab it for him and sit down and see what all the fuss was about.

Now, here’s a true story — I went to the store (which will remain unnamed to protect the salesperson) and asked the young twenty-something lady there if she had the Adventure Time Season 1 DVDs. She said yes, found it for me, and I went with her to pay. She asked me if I had ever seen it and I responded that I had not but my young son was a fan. I asked her if she thought I might enjoy it. Her words, I kid you not: “Well, if you’re over age 8 and you’re going to watch it, I’d highly suggest getting high. It’s messed up and that’s the only way I can imagine ever being able to sit through an episode.”

It made me laugh (but I am not condoning drug use)… until I got home and watched the first three or four episodes with my son. WTH? I just didn’t get it. The first episode literally just has this dog and odd-looking boy fighting off zombie candy-people and the boy has made a royal promise to Princess Bubblegum not to tell the actual candy-people about the zombies? Again… WTH?

Okay… let’s keep going. Episode 2. The dog named Jake (I was beginning to remember the names at this point) is bitten by a lumpy character named LSP — Lumpy Space Princess. Jake is going to turn into a lumpy unless he can find the antidote which only exists in Lumpy Space. So off Jake and Finn (the strange boy’s name) go with LSP to find this antidote. In lumpy space, you can only travel from floating landmass to floating landmass by riding in a car that floats between landmasses. The antidote exists at Makeout Point where three slacker lumpies are sitting around taking turns sitting on this glass ball that turns out to be the antidote. Jake gives up and drives away and Finn, realizing his best friend is going to turn into a lumpy and be lost forever, convinces the slacker lumpies to bite him so he can jump and float over to a different landmass where the lumpies are hosting a prom. He lands with the antidote, but Jake’s already turned. Finn tries to get him to sit on the antidote, but Jake’s not having it. They tussle and just as Finn turns completely into a lumpy, Jake accidentally falls on the antidote, turns back into a dog, and now must convince Finn to sit on the antidote.

With me so far? Really? Okay, then you may very well be understanding what I’ve slowly developed over the last six to eight months… a curious yet unexplained attraction to these 11 minute episodes of a show with hundreds more episodes just as strange and crazy as the two I just described that kick off the entire show. The young lady wasn’t kidding — I’m not high when I watch these shows, but honestly I wonder if being high will somehow make them make more sense? The episodes are jolting and machine-gun like in their pacing and dialogue… and every episode wraps up in less than twelve minutes. Jake and Finn manage to have some sort of adventure that usually makes no sense but in the end everything works out and the The Land of OOO is once again safe and fun.

But here’s the rub. I’ve set the recorder to record any and all episodes that come on television, including reruns. It’s like a train wreck where I just can’t avert my eyes. I get in these weird moods where I just need a dose of Adventure Time. (I even went back and hunted down the pilot episode — some things cannot be unseen.)

My son? Oh, he loves it. He laughs out loud at some of the strangest things that totally go over (under?) my head. I’m the old guy here, so I know I must be totally missing something. I’ve not seen every episode (Let’s do the math — 5 seasons x 26 episodes (32 for season 5) per season x 11 minutes per episode… works out to about 25 hours), but I’ve seen enough to know that I will never be the same.

Yet… my son totally digs the show. In an effort to try and find a way to understand… to try to see what he sees… I’ve had to resort to actually sitting down and reading through The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia, Inhabitants, Lore, Spells, and Ancient Crypt Warnings of the Land of OOO Circa 19.56 B.G.E – 501 A.G.E — Compiled by His Lowness Hunson Abadeer, Lord of Evil, Translated From the Scrolls of OOO by Martin Olson.

Helpful? Oh, yeah. Majorly. Every major and minor character that I’ve so far encountered is in here… plus a ton more than I haven’t which leads me to believe I’ve been slacking on my Adventure Time watching.

But this isn’t just an A-Z of characters. It’s got an interesting mix of… other stuff. The Ice King’s zine, for example… the Premier Collector’s Edition 1, complete with crayon-drawn character image collector cards with typewriter-quality descriptions on the back. Cut ‘em out and collect ‘em all! Then there’s the BMO User Manual! What’s not to love about the mobile friend simulator? And don’t forget to read over the Travel Guide to the various kingdoms of OOO. As the book nears completion, it just gets weirder. Yes, weirder.

Look, I can’t go through this all alone. There have got to be some other geek dads and moms out there who have been hiding their Adventure Time addiction. It’s time to come clean, alright? And I know just how to do it.

Contest.

That’s right. I’ve got three copies of the Encyclopaedia to give away, but you’re going to have to earn it. Did I mention that the books are signed by author Martin Olson and show creator, Pen Ward? Oh, now you’re not so embarrassed to raise your hand and admit you’ve got a problem, are you?

Okay, so here’s what I want you to do — post a comment summarizing your favorite Adventure Time story. Be sure to specify which season it’s from (consult the Wikipedia episode guide if necessary). You’ve really got to capture the crazy, okay? I’ll pick my three favorite responses and notify the winners via email. Unfortunately the contest is only open to US residents… sorry. Post your comment no later than Friday, August 23rd at 11:59pm PST for a chance at one of the three copies.

Well, gotta run. I know what time it is…

Note: I’d like to thank Maya with Abrams for providing the signed copies.

About James Floyd Kelly

James Floyd Kelly is a writer from Atlanta, GA. His latest two books are "Arduino Adventures: Escape from Gemini Station" and "Kodu for Kids." He and his wife have two young boys who are into everything, literally and figuratively.

About James Floyd Kelly

James Floyd Kelly is a writer from Atlanta, GA. His latest two books are "Arduino Adventures: Escape from Gemini Station" and "Kodu for Kids." He and his wife have two young boys who are into everything, literally and figuratively.

12 thoughts on “Contest, Review, and More: The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia — Mathematical!

  1. So hard to pick just one favorite… If I have to pick it would be Season One: Evicted! where we meet Marceline for the first time. Is there anything that could compete with a vampire that doesn’t drink blood but instead eats the color red. Mathematical!
    Watching requires an open minded approach that comes naturally to my daughter. To me it feels like a D&D dungeon crawl gone horribly wrong but I find myself coming back for more.

  2. As a combined 30 minute episode, Season 4s ‘I remember you’ and Season 5s ‘Simon & Marcy’ are amazing. Oh, guess what everybody, *SPOILERS* Ooo is Earth in the future after humanity has nuked itself into oblivion! *SPOILERS* All of a sudden, Adventure Time is Grand Canyon deep. I’d bet the second episode is especially weird for a first time viewer; some crazy skeleton lady hiding a magic crown, pink goo (proto-candy person?) providing chicken soup, and maybe the all-to-real tragedy of memory loss are all thrown together in an amazing story. I want moooore!

  3. Not to steal Travis’s thunder, but I have to concur that season 5’s “Simon and Marcy” is easily my favorite episode. I love the scene, likely lost on most younger viewers, of Simon recreating Cheers for Marceline in the old broken TV. I laughed out loud when I realized what was happening. But it gets better -not funnier, mind you, but better- as that scene gets turned on it’s head when the Cheers theme song becomes Simon’s link to his humanity. The Ice King transforms from this obnoxious foil for Finn and Jake to a truly tragic character. You asked us to capture the crazy. And THAT is crazy. Look, I love the goofiness of Adventure Time, but to be able to have heart amongst all the craziness, that is what makes Adventure Time a great show.

  4. Mine is “Return to the Nightosphere” while they try to meet Marceline’s dad. Wierd: they land in a pile of bananas? Cant remember anything & wait for days then finally get to go thru the door, just to get into another line. The weird is the zeppelin/stormcloud things that float by and kill the people in line. How random. yet funny.

  5. Candy Streets, Season 5
    Finn and Jake investigate crimes against LSP, hampered by the fact that PB overdrugs the hysterical LSP with her hypodermic TWICE THE SIZE OF LSP. So with only a fragment of a sentence and a key, Finn and Jake head off into the world of mocking every cop show. Jake gets to shapeshift into a gun, a badge, a car, a donut (after eating most of the box of donuts, and a lawyer (pretending to defend a perp and quickly morphing into taunting the perp with no hope). Then as they congratulate themselves on being awesome cops, they learn from BMO that they were wrong. Then they learn there was no actual crime, as the problem is that LSP has fallen in love with the pizza man. Finn and Jake help the pizza man escape from this horrible fate.

  6. I love Adventure Time! Our whole family watches it and I love that the adults laugh at completely different parts than the kids.
    It is really hard to chose a favorite episode so I’m going to chose one from the current season (5) – “Jake the Dad.” I loved seeing the results of a cross between Jake and Lady Rainicorn. Those little babies were so cute! The complicated dynamic between Finn and Jake and coming to terms with adult responsibilities is great.
    I have to say that having Jake voiced by Bender (John DiMaggio) is just icing on the cake. Did everyone catch the Finn and Jake cameo in last week’s Futurama? Bender tells Jake to shut up. Great stuff!

  7. My name is Josh Albright and I’m 12 years old. I absolutely love adventure time! It is my FAVORITE cartoon! My favorite part was from season:1 episode:5 “The Enchiridion” where jake is eaten by a giant and pops out of the giants nose and says “Don’t worry finn i think I can get out!” Then the giant shoves him back in and finn starts flipping out.

  8. Our favorite is the episode where the Ice King wants to marry his foot. It is great!
    I have to agree with previous posts about “Simon and Marcy”. It is a great episode. I wish they would make others about the past like that.

    My children and I have even gotten my wife in to. :) She and I are going to PAX dressed as the Ice King and Princess Bubblegum.

  9. I am quoting my 10 year old: I like the one where Tree Trunks special apples are stolen (Apple Thief). Jake makes this weird food that Finn doesn’t want to eat because it smells, so he says they should go get some Apple pie from Tree Trunks. When they get to her house, she is passed out on the floor calling for her apples. They say they will help her find her apples, and they go to the Candy Tavern to find clues. But the bar man thinks they are goody-goodies, so they go in the bathroom to make themselves look messy like they were in a fight. The bar man sends them to meet some bad guys and they think the word Apples means diamonds, so everyone is confused. Then another gang of thieves comes and Finn, Jake, and Tree Trunks escape with a pig. Yes a pig. So they go back to her house and the pig says he hears apples. So Finn puts it all together that there are crows outside and they have a nest on the roof, and they are picking the apples and taking them to the nest, but there’s a hole in the roof so all the apples are in the cabinet in her house. Then when they are celebrating, Tree Trunks slaps the banana police guard on his butt. And they all laugh. (Andre age 10)

  10. The craziest Adventure Time episode I have ever had the pleasure of viewing is the sixteenth episode of season five, “Puhoy”. In this episode Finn is upset because flame princess didn’t laugh at his joke, so Jake being the good friend he is constructs a pillow fort in an attempt to cheer Finn up. Finn is unimpressed and travels to the depths of the pillow fort to let his mind “fester”. Finn eventually gets lost and ends up in an entire pillow dimension and travels to a nearby pillow town. Finn saves the town from a rampaging dragon, a feat which no pillow person could accomplish because all they’re weapons are pillows. Finn is vindicated as a great hero and is thrown a “celepillabration” and it is at this party he meets Rosalinen, daughter of Quilten. He and Rosalinen dance at the party and develop a bond. It then cuts to Jake and BMO talking and this is where it gets crazy, it cuts back to Finn only Finn is a full grown MAN complete with a beard, two children and a loving wife Rosalinen. Then Rosalinen’s father arrives and tells Finn of a way back to his world by way of a wandering portal. Finn and his family then spend the rest of their days searching for a portal, even traveling to the great Abra-Cadabra mountains to consult the oracle. Unfortunately Finn never finds the portal and grows old and grey. He then passes away surrounded by his family. And then It gets even weirder, as Finn “passes” he experiences Kaleidoscope like visuals and is taken through a black void naked with nothing but his beard covering his body, he bounces off a building sized monster and just like that Finn is back in the real world. Finn emerges from the pillow fort and starts to tell Jake about his dream at which point Flame Princess calls him on the phone and tells him she just got his joke and thought it was funny, Jake inquires about the dream and Finn has no idea what dream he was talking about. BOOM…. life changed.

  11. While I think the best episodes are easily ‘I Remember You’ and ‘Simon & Marcy’, both which build an incredible history for Ooo and the relationship between the Ice King and Marceline, because I watch this with my son and because of how much fun it has generated for us together, my favorite episode has to be ‘Memory of a Memory’ from season 3.

    In the episode, Finn and Jake are tricked into stealing a memory from Marceline. To right this wrong, Finn sends Marceline into his own memory, where she witnesses Finn witnessing the memory that he was tricked into stealing, thus ‘remembering’ it through him! While in Finn’s memory, Marceline is treated to a completely random memory of baby Finn singing the ‘Tough Tootin’ Baby’ song.

    !?!?

    My son and I have had ridiculous amounts of fun spontaneously breaking out in song and dance to this tune whenever boredom threatens to strike, be it at the supermarket, waiting in traffic, Tuedays, etc… When the recent Adventure Time cameo on Futurama was coming up, my son begged me to let him watch it just in case it might involve the song somehow. I can’t think of a cartoon song that has provided so much entertainment for me since The Log Song from Ren & Stimpy.

    The song has showed up in a few other episodes, but nothing compares to that first time.

  12. My daughter, age 7, and I love Adventure Time. Our favorite episode is Season 1 – Tree Trunks. Finn and Jake go over to Tree Trunks house for some apple pie. Tree Trunks explains that a crystal apple would make the best apple pie. Finn and Jake convince Tree Trunks to come on a quest with them to get the crystal apple. Tree Trunks accepts but doesnt think she will be a very good help. Hijinx ensue and Tree Trunks proves to be a valuable member to the team. At the end Tree Trunks gets to the crystal apple, takes a bite and just POPS, completely disappears, and roll end credits. My daughter was like What Happened to Tree Trunks?! We have to watch the next episode but to no avail. She was constantly wondering what happened. She noticed Tree Trunks in the opening credits so she knew she was still around. We would be out to dinner, at the grocery store, in the car, she was making up her own scenarios, different theories on what happened to Tree Trunks until… 2 months later we come to Season 2 – Crystals Have Power and they explain what happened to Tree Trunks! Her mind was blown! Our favorite show is Adventure Time, I love how it is such an amazing catalyst for my daughters imagination to open up and run wild.

Leave a Reply