The First Three Seasons of an Unsettling Cartoon

The series that seemed normal.


Diego Cisneros, Review Staff

A nuclear destroyed, mythical waste land. A fallout ridded world, recomposed thousands of years later with one of the final humans alive. A journey through his fun, unsettling, magical life, with his best friend by his side through it all. Finn is one of the few humans existing in the oasis land of Ooo, alongside a use-to-be scientist named Simon, which is now an insane Ice King, and a sewage dwelling survivor named Susan Strong. Though, you soon will discover there are humans in Adventure Time, most of which are found in the “Islands” mini-series. 

Adventure Time gets pretty dark looking at its eerie past and through some disturbing episodes. I’m going to go over some of those episodes in the first three seasons.

When Adventure Time took off on April 5th, 2010, I was about five years old. I don’t remember much from then, but as I grew older the show was always on TV. By the time I was 10 years old, I was obsessed with Adventure Time, not knowing its ominous coating. That’s the main reason I was completely shattered when Cartoon Network announced that this ground breaking cartoon was coming to an end in 2018.

January 11th, 2007, was when pilot episodes first were sent to Cartoon Network. At this time Finn and Jake’s first season was finished without Pendleton Ward (The Creator) knowing how much of an impact Adventure Time would have on people at home.

By March 11th and 18th, 2010, Cartoon Network showed sneak peeks of this new show “Adventure Time.” On April 5th 2010, the show was finally put on air, changing Cartoon Network for the best.

Season 1 of Adventure Time was 25 episodes of awesome! Pendleton Ward had everything on point. We were introduced to Season 1 as, “Finn and Jake go around punching things for fun,” there was no story line at the point, and it worked well. The episodes were all fun and practical, excluding S1, Ep1, for being a tint of eerie

S1, Ep1 was “Slumber Party Panic.” It introduced Princess Bubblegum, Tree Trunks, LadyRaincorn and the candy citizens of the Candy Kingdom. It starts as a calm kingdom sleepover, until Princess Bubblegum accidentally unleashes a failed experiment that turns all the candy citizens into zombies. Princess Bubblegum makes Finn promise her that he will keep everyone calm and not tell anyone about the candy zombies or the experiment. Throughout the episode, Finn plays party games tricking the citizens to board up windows, cover their eyes, and attack the candy zombies. Overall, the episode switches between awesome, bizarre, creepy, and funny several times.

Season 2 of Adventure Time came out October 11th, 2010 and ended May 2nd, 2011. This season was like season 1, except there was a story starting to come out. Season 2 introduces the greatest form of pure evil in the whole land of Ooo, also known as the “Lich”. 

Other than the Lich being an eerie part of this season, there are more twisted episodes in between. S2, Ep19 “Mystery Train” is about a murder mystery happening on a train. The train passes through several dark tunnels and when light finally emerges, candy citizens end up missing on the train. The episode goes on like that for a while until Finn finally discovers what’s happening. 

Then S2, Ep22 “The Limit” is about Finn and Jake going into a labyrinth to get one wish each. Knowing they might get lost, Jake plants one part of himself at the beginning of the maze and stretches himself to the limit. It sounds reasonable, but when they finally make it to the end of the labyrinth, Jake looks beyond stretched and his eyes are popping out of his face in the most disturbing ways.

Last but not least, the two most unsettling episodes appear in this season: S2, Ep24 & 25. On episode 24, Finn and Jake accidentally unleash the Lich; this episode is gruesome and dark with the monster of pure evil unleashed. At the end of the episode when Finn starts to fight the Lich, the Lich is letting out this sinister laugh until Finn destroys the Lich’s skull. In the end, Ice King is holding Princess Bubblegum over a tub of pure evil goop then he lets her free and releases her over the tub, dropping her right in the evil goop. 

S2, Ep25 is about Princess Bubblegum being possessed and in the episode she looks pale, stiff, and lies in bed with her mouth open. The episode is like the horror movie “The Exorcist” with Princess Bubblegum being possessed while Finn and Jake are trying to cure her. The episode is creepy and overall disturbing.

Season 3 of Adventure Time came out January 11th, 2011 and ended February 13th, 2012. With the seasons going on, Adventure Time is turning into an eerie, twisted, unsettling cartoon that you expect to see on Adult Swim at 2:00 am. 

A brief list of creepier episodes this season: Ep4 “Hitman”, Ep12 “The Creeps”,  Ep13 “From Bad to Worse”, Ep15 “No One Can Hear You”, Ep18 “The New Frontier”, and Ep25 “Dad’s Dungeon.”

After Junior, Ciara Andrew, watched Ep15 “No One Can Hear You” she stated, “It was actually creepier than I expected.”

Spoiler Warning

Around the top of the list would definitely be Ep15. The title itself gives off an unsettling feeling, “No One Can Hear You.” The episode starts off with a deer licking a candy citizen in the Candy Kingdom. Finn and Jake start to chase after the deer to save the day, until the deer takes down Finn, breaks his legs, and tosses him aside, knocking Finn out. 

When Finn wakes up, he is alone in the candy hospital unable to walk. He gets on the wheelchair beside his bed and starts to roll around a dead empty Candy Kingdom. Noone is around for a while until Finn hears something around the corner, as he strolls over there, he finds Jake. Jake is in the garbage with a bandaged up head and does not even seem to notice anyone missing. 

As Jake and Finn start to talk, it becomes undeniable that Jake is in the wrong state of mind. Jake tells Finn that he believes that the candy people are planning to throw him a surprise party, and that is the reason why no one is around. Jake takes Finn to a tent in the kingdom he calls “The Hut,” and the day starts to fade and soon it’s night. 

As Finn and Jake are sitting outside the tent around a bonfire, Finn tells Jake that the candy citizens are in trouble and there is no surprise party going on. Jake starts to get annoyed and storms off into the tent to go to bed. Before he does, he tells Finn to promise him that he won’t go looking around for the people. Finn regarding his suspicion agrees. 

As Finn is around the bonfire, the deer returns. Finn notices him and frustrated, he says, “Thanks for breaking my legs you dumbo.” The deer stares at him for a while then leaves. But in the distance Finn can hear ominous whispers. He strolls over to an open sewer cap and can hear the whispers from inside the drain pipe. Finn strolls back to the tent to tell Jake about the whispers, and that they should go check it out.

Finn tells Jake that he’s been patient and that he waited all day without anyone surprising them, Jake disregards it and says, “Well I’ve been waiting six months.” 

The most creepy, distressing music plays and the words keep repeating in Finn’s head. What happens next is really unsettling and feels like it is straight out of a Stephen King novel. Finn turns around and starts to speed stroll over to the sewer. Jake sees him and bolts for him. Jake breaks Finn’s wheelchair and Finn is now crawling to the sewer…but he doesn’t make it. Jake grabs him, picks him up and the screen goes dark. 

Finn wakes up, tied to a poll facing away from Jake. Behind him, Jake is performing a puppet show by himself while tied to a bunch of balloons to make him fly, while his feet are tied to cement blocks to keep him down.

Finn then asks Jake if he can join his puppet party, Jake says that he better not run away, and Finn agrees. Jake then unties Finn, and Finn says he has a surprise for him. Finn tells Jake to cover his eyes…and then Finn pulls the tent down on Jake.

Finn makes a speed waddle for the sewer with his legs still in a cast. Meanwhile, Jake comes out of the tent and sees Finn, with Finn’s final attempt to escape he breaks out of his cast and starts running towards the sewer. Jake on his tail right about to catch him, Finn dives straight into the sewer hole.

Finn pops his head out of the water and swims to the closest tunnel, when he starts walking into the tunnel, he starts hearing those same sinister whispers at the other end. He then eventually makes it to a door at the end of the channel.

When Finn opens the tunnel door, behind it are all the candy people plastered over the walls and pipes of the sewer chamber. All of them appear distorted and crying in agony. 

Then Jake appears through the channel door and sees all the candy people. He starts to celebrate and Finn realizes that Jake did this. Finn starts to punch Jake until Jake comes back to reality. Jake looks around at what he did and realizes the brunt consequences. 

He grabs Peppermint Butler and starts to apologize, but Peppermint Butler said, “You, you did not do this, Jake,” in a raspy, dreadful voice. Finn and Jake were astonished and asked who it really was. 

Peppermint Butler barely managed to say, “It was him,” and pointed at the deer.

The deer stands on two legs, takes off his hooves, and shows two disturbing hands. Finn and the deer start to fight while Jake is freeing the candy people. The deer is getting good hits on Finn, until Jake drops his two cement blocks from his feet onto the deer’s head. Fatally killing probably one of the final deers in the nuclear fallout land of Ooo.

The candy people along with Finn and Jake roll the deer into a maelstrom flushing away the deer for good. They all celebrate, and Jake helps everyone escape the sewer.  

Spoiler End

Although Adventure Time does get unsettling, creepy, and disturbing, there are a lot of uplifting moments that triumph all those eerie moments. To most people, including me, Adventure Time is always going to be 10 seasons of an unforgettable adventure through the spine chilling, breathtaking, mournful, ecstatic, emotional moments among very distant lands with Jake, Finn, and all their loyal friends that helped them out from their first battle, up to their very last. 

6 Photos:

  1. Finn and Jake relaxing on the grass, in the fallout oasis land of Ooo.
  2. S1, Ep1 “Slumber Party Panic.” Finn tricks the candy citizens to attack the candy zombies.
  3. S2, Ep22 “The Limit”. Jake and Finn make it to the finale puzzle.
  4. S2, Ep25 “Mortal Recoil”. Princess Bubblegum lying in bed after being possessed.
  5. S3, Ep15 “No One Can Hear You”. Finn wakes up alone in the candy hospital.
  6. S3, Ep15 “No One Can Hear You”. Finn discovers where all the candy citizens are.


Why Adventure Time is Ending and Cartoon Network Didn’t Get It 

2010 | The Cartoon Network Stats 

Adventure Time – Season 1 

Adventure Time Wiki  

Adventure Time Season 3 Episode 15 No One Can Hear You