Adventure Time: 15 Best Episodes Of The Series, Ranked According To IMDb

Adventure Time is a Cartoon Network series that premiered in 2010 and ran through 2018. It has won 8 Primetime Emmy Awards and is rated 8.6 out of 10 by over 71,000 IMDb users. Adventure Time is a kids’ cartoon that is also enjoyed by adults. HBO Max will premier its own Adventure Time: Distant Lands in 2020. Jake is a magical, stretchy yellow dog and the best friend of Finn, and Finn is the only human left in the Land of Ooo.

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He is a hero with a very strong moral character for a boy of twelve. The show follows them on their many adventures through the Land of Ooo and beyond, fighting monsters, defending the helpless, saving princesses, and almost always ruining the Ice King’s princess kidnapping plans.

Updated on October 18, 2021, by Jake Koran: With so many exceptional episodes of Adventure Time, it was only appropriate that more receive the attention they deserve. Some of the funniest Adventure Time episodes are also the most emotional, and this is part of what makes this show incredible. Along with this, as time has gone on, new audience ratings for certain episodes have been added, which has changed the way Adventure Time episodes ranked. These are considered the best Adventure Time episodes and they are sure to tug at audience members’ heartstrings, especially for those who have watched the entire journey.


15 S7, Ep 23 – Crossover (9.2)

Finn and Jake stand behind frozen humans in Farmworld

In a previous episode, an alternate reality, known as Farmworld, is shown, one in which the Lich never existed. In “Crossover,” Finn and Jake must travel to this reality to stop the Lich-possessed Farmworld Jake from opening a portal to the multiverse and potentially destroying it. After some time, they team up with Farmworld Finn, who had previously been working with Lich-Jake.

This episode reminds the audience again of the danger of the Lich, who is one of the best characters introduced after Adventure Time season one. The story is especially heartbreaking at the end when Farmworld Finn seeks to be reunited with his family, something that Finn has been seeking for the entirety of the series.

14 S8, Ep 24 – Islands Part 5: Hide And Seek (9.2)

Kara Strong sits in bed and talks to Frieda

In the season 8 episode Islands Part 5: Hide and Seek, Susan Strong begins to remember her life that she had since forgotten. Susan had for a long time been a mysterious character, since before meeting her, Finn believed himself to be the last human in Ooo.

While it was not confirmed until later that she is indeed human, the show teased this early on, albeit with few other details about who Susan is. This deeper look into the mysterious character helps to put the pieces together surrounding other humans, especially Finn and his origins.

13 S6, Ep 19 – Is That You? (9.3)

A pickle jar sits on the title card for Is That You

After Prismo dies, Finn and Jake perform a memorial, but Jake is then transported to a different, timeless reality. Finn must use an imposter who is in Jake’s place to track down the original. After a series of events, Prismo is resurrected, and Finn and Jake return home.

This episode is bold in its presentation and features excellent storytelling. It also features Finn trying everything he can to save Jake, which is one of the reasons Finn and Jake are best friends. Furthermore, fans were excited to know that Prismo was indeed still alive, as he is a fan favorite.

12 S7, Ep12 – Stakes Part 7: Checkmate (9.3)

The Vampire King pleads with the group in Checkmate

When the Vampire King confronts the main characters, he says he wishes to no longer be a vampire, which the group assists him in achieving. Upon attempting to dispose of his vampiric essence, Peppermint Butler spills it and creates The Dark Cloud.

As the penultimate episode in the “Stakes” miniseries, “Checkmate” sets up the final episode in the arc excellently, leaving it on a cliffhanger. It is also fantastic because of the conflicts within the characters and their initial reluctance to help the Vampire King, which set up great dramatic moments.

11 S7, Ep13 – Stakes Part 8: The Dark Cloud (9.3)

The Dark Cloud approaches Princess Bubblegum and Finn

The final episode in the “Stakes” miniseries, “The Dark Cloud” does not disappoint. It features the titular malevolent force heading for the Candy Kingdom, posing a danger to those who are there. The main characters chase it down, at which point Marceline saves the kingdom by absorbing the power of The Dark Cloud herself, once again becoming a vampire.

RELATED: 10 Adventure Time Characters That Need A Distant Lands Special

This ending is emotional because of Marceline’s journey up to this point, and it shows that she is willing to do what is necessary to help her friends and the greater good, even if it means causing harm to herself.

10 S8, Ep 26 – Islands Part 7: Helpers (9.3)

Finn, Jake, Susan Strong, and BMO head to Founder’s Island in search of Finn’s mom, Minerva. When they get there, they are astonished to immediately find not only her but many copies of her.  She had made robot clones of herself to help people when her colleague Dr. Gross had unleashed a virus that decimated the population.

However, in doing so, she had to sacrifice her body and upload her mind, so she can live on in a computer.  She is thrilled Finn is back and that he can now stay safe with her, forever. The ending is bitter-sweet, as Finn has been reunited with his mother in a way, but she is now too protective to allow him to leave. The brutal look at the plague that destroyed much of the population is also terrifying compared to what is usually shown in the series, showing the hardships Minerva had to endure and providing context to her protective nature.

9 S5, Ep1 – Jake The Dog (9.4)

Prismo and Jake the Dog talk while watching Finn in Farmworld

Finn is in an alternate world where the Lich had never existed.  He got there by his one wish from Prismo, but every wish from Prismo has an ironic twist.  Jake is hanging out with Prismo deciding what his wish will be, eating a sandwich, and chilling in a hot tub, all while watching Finn’s wish pan out on Prismo’s tv on mute. Cosmic Owl joins them and accidentally unmutes the tv, revealing to Jake that Finn is actually in real trouble.  He decides on his wish with a lot of help from Prismo, to have the Lich wish for Jake and Finn to go back home to Ooo.

“Jake the Dog” offers a glimpse at life without the Lich and confirms that he plays a much more significant role in the world than was previously known. This somewhat somber episode set up the events of “Crossover” and helped to solidify Prismo as one of the best Adventure Time characters, despite not being a prominent figure in most of the series.

8 S6, Ep1 – Escape From The Citadel (9.4)

Finn and Jake are sent to the Citadel along with the Lich.  While there, they are on a mission to find Finn’s father, Martin.  The Lich starts to make the crystal cages rot and all the prisoners break free, including Martin.  In the process of escaping, Martin gets shot through the leg and has Finn grab some guardian sap to heal it.

When the Lich comes for Finn, he throws some of the sap at him and turns him from a skeleton into a fleshy baby.  Martin escapes without reconciling with his son and in the process, Finn loses his arm.  When he falls back into the pink water some sap binds where his arm has been shorn and a tiny flower blooms. Despite seeing Finn meet his father, audiences are left saddened by the events of the episode. It is an emotional ending to a hopeful episode, and it further increases the audience’s investment in Finn’s story.

7 S7, Ep7 – Stakes Part 2: Everything Stays (9.4)

This episode is part of an eight-episode arc about how Marceline is trying to become human.  The arc reveals itself in flashbacks starting from when she is a little girl with her mother, to when she is with Simon after the crown took its hold on him.

It also shows her figuring out she can inhale the powers of the other vampires she kills.  She roams the forest and eventually becomes friends with the last humans while still ridding the world of vampires and gaining their powers. Several episodes give Marceline some backstory, but this is one of the more emotional ones. It truly shows some of the anguish she had to endure and how it led her to where she is now.

6 S7, Ep24 – The Hall Of Egress (9.4)

While on an adventure with Jake, Finn stumbles upon a cave and unwittingly traps himself inside. He finds that he is entombed in the Hall of Egress, which through a flashback of reading with Princess Bubblegum, he remembers means exit.

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The cave isn’t just any cave, though. It is a riddle that can only be solved when he closes his eyes and walks through the mazes in his mind. Whenever he thinks he has made it out and opens his eyes, he flashes back and finds himself right back where he started: in the hall of Egress. The episode is incredibly interesting from a storytelling perspective and causes the audience to try to figure out the solution on their own alongside Finn.

5 S8, Ep 27 – Islands Part 8: The Light Cloud (9.5)

Finn, Jake, Susan, and BMO are trapped on Founder’s Island by Finn’s mom. She is convinced that it is too dangerous for him to go back to the land of Ooo and that his only hope for a safe future is to upload his consciousness with hers into the computer and stay forever.

He shows her he can handle danger but also that living outside of the island has shown him how to help others as well. She is impressed and allows him to continue his journey back home. The emotional ending to The Light Cloud provides an excellent conclusion to the Islands miniseries, giving Finn and Minerva a meaningful goodbye.

4 S4, Ep25 – I Remember You (9.6)

Ice King decides that in order to get all the princesses to like him, he needs to write some really good music.  And he knows that Marceline is an excellent musician. He also read that, “ladies are drawn to bros with tortured pasts.” So, he flies down to his past room and grabs his scrapbook, drum set, and keyboard, and heads over to Marceline’s house.

Marceline is frustrated that he doesn’t remember anything about his past with her, but when she sees the scrapbook pages and the little notes he wrote to her when he was still Simon, she can’t help but feel love for the old man who sacrificed his sanity to save her. At least in the early parts of the series, Ice King is portrayed as a bit of a cookie-cutter antagonist. As this episode shows, though, there are circumstances that make the Ice King the perfect tragic villain, and he is much more complex than previously thought.

3 S5, Ep14 – Simon And Marcy (9.6)

While playing basketball at Marceline’s house with the Ice King, Jake and Finn ask her why she hangs out with him.  She frankly said that she loved him and that it was about time someone knew their story.

996 years ago Ice King was Simon and Marceline was seven-year-old Marvy scavenging after the great mushroom war. Simon was feeling the effects of using the crown to fight off monsters. He kept Marcy safe and fed as they wandered the wastelands. An unlikely pair, that needed each other more than they knew. This is one of the most heartbreaking episodes of the Ice King’s, and it shows the true goodness in his heart, making him all the more sympathetic.

2 S8, Ep25 – Islands Part 6: Min and Marty (9.6)

This episode shows how Finn’s mother, a helper, and his father, a hider, meet and fall in love. They lived on Founder’s Island and Martin would trade gadgets for getting people off the island. He also worked both sides of the con and call the seekers on his marks. One job went awry and he ended up with broken legs in the hospital under Minerva’s care.

They fell in love and had Finn. One day, while Minerva was at work, the people that Martin had conned came back for him and he escaped with Finn into the sea. Both he and Finn disappear from Founder’s Island and Minerva assumes he stole Finn and left her. Min and Marty provides some context into Finn’s family and why he had not met them for so long. It answered some of the long-standing questions fans had, giving satisfying, though heartbreaking, answers.

1 S10, Ep13 – Come Along With Me (9.7)

The series finale starts 1000 years in the future with Shermy and Beth the Pup Princess finding Finn’s metal arm. They decide to ask the King of Ooo about it and end up scaling a very tall mountain to find BMO with a crown.

They ask the King if he knows anything about the arm and he proceeds to tell them it belonged to a great hero and the epic tale of how he and his many friends save Ooo and the world a very long time ago. “Come Along with Me” gave audiences a satisfying and emotional finale, wrapping up a fantastic show in an expertly crafted way.

NEXT: 10 ‘Come Along With Me’ Details Only True Adventure Time Fans Noticed


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