Original Airdate: April 5, 2010
Written & Storyboarded by: Adam Muto & Elizabeth Ito
And here we are! The very first episode of “Adventure Time” to ever air. As a 12-year-old boy, I was looking forward to the premiere of the brand new series, and enjoyed the first episode relatively well. However, does it still hold up 7 years later? Let’s check it out.
The episode begins with Finn and Princess Bubblegum working on a chemical formula to bring dead Candy People back to life, some of which include Old Mr. Cream (he and Bubblegum used to date, just so all of you know). However, the decorpsinator serum fails and turns the dead Candy People into zombies. After fighting off a couple zombies, Bubblegum calls all the Candy People, including Tree Trunks and her hot buns, to the foyer and announces they’ll be having a slumber party. Naturally, Finn’s all, “what the fuck?”
Bubblegum then tells Finn that he must “royal promise” not to tell any of the Candy People (if you’re wondering why I keep capitalizing Candy People, I assume it’s considered a race so it only seems appropriate) because when Candy People get scared they apparently explode. Finn royal promises not to tell anyone, but naturally his best bro Jake feels as though something’s up and wants to find out. Finn tries to divert everyone’s attention with a game of Truth or Dare, but it just leads to a scandalous dare with Mr. Cupcake and Jake more anxious than ever to find out what Finn is up to. Finn distracts Jake with a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven with Lady Rainicorn, which I can only assume led to Tier 15. The zombies only become more persistent, as Finn suggests they they play a game called “Blackado”, where all the Candy People must blockade all the doors, which is a game I played at my first birthday. After blockading the doors fail, Finn blindfolds all of the Candy People and tells them that they’re instead going to smash pinatas, but not Manfried, because that would be a hate crime.
When the Candy People succeed at defeating the zombies, Jake exits the closet with a jelly donut, for some reason. Must’ve been one kinky game. Finn accidentally slips and reveals his secret to Jake, effectively freezing time and pissing off Bubblegum. The Guardians of the Royal Promise then burst in and decide to punish Finn for breaking a royal promise with a trial by fire. Bubblegum’s not about it, so they decide to give Finn a math problem instead, which I thought I’d understand when I got older, but even as a college sophomore, I have no clue what I was looking at. 2+2 is more Finn’s speed, and honestly mine too, as the Gumball Guardians reset to normal. Bubblegum lectures Finn on why breaking a royal promise is wrong and if he learned his lesson, and Finn’s all, “hell no! I love fighting zombies and shit.” Jake also mentions that Finn could’ve just mentioned it was a royal promise and he would’ve backed off, and then Starchie reunites with Finn. Finn holds Starchie in his hands, and Starchie warns Finn to not squeeze him, because he will fart. Finn then squeezes Starchy, and he farts. What a beautiful ending.
As a season premiere, this episode may not have been the best choice. I enjoyed it fine when I was younger, but it didn’t draw me in as much as it should’ve. I opine that a future season one episode would’ve been a better start to the series, but we’ll get to that one later on. As an episode itself, it’s cute. Nothing spectacular or hilarious, but there’s a lot of charm to it. I really like the establishing bonds between Jake and Finn, as well as Finn and Bubblegum. Season one is well-known for it’s focus on the lighter and more random side of the show, and this episode’s no exception. Some of it’s a bit too random I think; even in a show with very few limits, I have a hard time believing that breaking a promise could freeze the world of AT. And while the exploding Candy People plot works, it’s a gimmick that only comes back one other time in the series, so it’s a bit of a pointless dilemma. The episode excels with its humor on the other hand, the Truth or Dare and Guardians of the Royal Promise scenes especially. Overall, I think it’s a fine episode to introduce the wackier and more energetic side of the series.