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The Dreampunk Guide to Adventure Time
These episodes will melt your brain and turn your world inside-out!
I recently shared my collection of dreampunk TV series, and my all-time favorite show Adventure Time made the list. “But isn’t it more post-apocalyptic science fantasy?” you may ask. True, the original series wasn’t consistently dreampunk from episode to episode (though its spin-off Fionna and Cake revels in the plastic nature of reality). However, the following episodes fit the bill quite nicely:
Rainy Day Daydream (s1e23): When a knife storm forces Finn and Jake to stay inside, they discover the out-of-control power of Jake’s imagination.
Guardians of Sunshine (s2e16): Finn and Jake trick BMO into letting them into the video game called Guardians of Sunshine, where they attempt to defeat an unbeatable video game in a 3D digital environment.
Memory of a Memory (s3e3): Finn and Jake enter Marceline’s mind to awaken her from a sleep spell she had cast on herself, without knowing that they are being tricked by a person from her past.
The New Frontier (s3e18): Finn tries to stop Jake from embracing a dream that he believes foretells his final demise.
King Worm (s4e18): Finn has a vivid dream that may be more than it seems.
Who Would Win? (s4e21): Finn and Jake are determined to take down the Farm, but instead they fight each other for not training seriously.
Finn the Human (s5e1): Finn and Jake chase the Lich through a dimensional portal where they meet Prismo, who tells them that the Lich wished for the extinction of all life. This leads Finn to wish that the Lich “never even ever existed” and the creation of the Farmworld reality.
Jake the Dog (s5e2): Jake continues to watch the consequences of Finn’s wish within the Time Room with Prismo. As the situation gets worse in the world of Finn’s wish, Prismo tries to help Jake make the right wish to save both Finn and the entire world.
A Glitch Is a Glitch (s5e15): Ice King creates a computer virus to delete everything except him and Princess Bubblegum, so Finn and Jake try to remove the virus before it can glitch out the universe.
Puhoy (s5e16): Depressed by his relationship with Flame Princess, Finn enters a pillow fort built by Jake where he discovers a new world and makes a new life for himself.
The Vault (s5e34): When Finn starts sleepwalking and dreaming about the green Ghost Lady he filed away in his memory vault at the end of “The Creeps,” Jake and BMO help him tap into his repressed memories to uncover a secret past.
Food Chain (s6e7): On a field trip to the Candy Kingdom Museum of Natural History, Finn and Jake learn about the food chain by becoming the food chain.
Everything’s Jake (s6e18): Magic Man causes Jake to transport to a new world, to unlock his feelings deep inside.
Is That You? (s6e19): A memorial service for Prismo turns into a resurrecting adventure for Finn and Jake in another dimension.
Evergreen (s6e24): The story of Evergreen and his young assistant Gunther during the Cretaceous period, long before the Mushroom War, where they try to keep a major catastrophe from destroying Earth.
Astral Plane (s6e25): While asleep on a camping trip with Jake, Finn visits the Astral Plane and discovers the meaning of creativity.
Jermaine (s6e33): After a chilling dream encounter, Finn and Jake are determined to reconnect with their reclusive brother.
Hoots (s6e36): A charismatic stranger in Finn’s dream leads Cosmic Owl to shirk his duties.
Football (s7e5): BMO and Football make a deal, but one of them can’t keep up their end of the bargain.
Crossover (s7e23): Finn and Jake cross over into Farmworld Finn’s dimension.
The Hall of Egress (s7e24): Trapped and alone, Finn must unravel the riddle of the weird cave with no exit.
Broke His Crown (s8e1): When Ice King’s magic crown goes haywire, Marceline and Princess Bubblegum resort to extreme measures to help him.
Don’t Look (s8e2): Finn unearths a treasure with a terrible price at the top of Dead Mountain.
Beyond the Grotto (s8e3): Finn and Jake follow a sea lard, and in doing so, are led to a strange new world.
I Am a Sword (s8e5): Finn starts having nightmares about his missing Finn Sword and wonders if they are actually real.
Imaginary Resources (s8e23): Finn and Jake travel to a land where reality has been redesigned and improved.
Orb (s9e1): The dreams of Finn, Jake, and BMO fall under the influence of a mysterious orb.
Abstract (s9e10): As Jake goes through some personal changes, he’s haunted by a sinister dream encounter with his brother Jermaine.
Temple of Mars (s10e11): Searching for answers on Mars, Finn and Jermaine discover that they must first survive a cunning Martian mental trap.
Come Along With Me (s10e13): The fate of Ooo is revealed to two adventurers in the distant future: Princess Bubblegum gathers her allies while Finn and Jake look for a way to prevent the coming Great Gum War against Gumbald and his army and a powerful evil deity is unleashed upon Ooo.
Bonus: The spin-off series Distant Lands includes one very dreampunk episode that you won’t want to miss: “Together Again.”