Original Airdate: June 19, 2014
Written & Storyboarded by: Andy Ristaino & Cole Sanchez
Of all the episodes from season six that received attention for either their quality of their controversy, I think Furniture & Meat is an overlooked romp that focuses mostly on being funny. Only after rewatching the series have I realized just how funny Cole Sanchez and Andy Ristaino’s team efforts are, and Furniture & Meat is no exception. It’s a simple, yet enjoyable episode that cleverly focuses on the dynamic between the Tree Fort bros. and how differently they go about their moral ethics.
As if the cute late night hangout session between BMO and NEPTR in Sad Face wasn’t enough, this episode features the two boys playing Robin Hood, or, in this case “Robbing-Hood” with each other. It’s really nice to see a minor character like NEPTR being utilized more (even though this is sadly his LAST speaking role in season six) and it’s even cooler to see BMO warming up to him to the point where they can play and hang out together, even if it means that BMO is a bit controlling and continuously picks on NEPTR.
The main premise of this one is interesting, yet somewhat questionable. Finn and Jake realize they have too much money to know what to do with, and decide that it’s best if they spend it all or give it away, even though they’ve NEVER spent any money before. So, how do Finn and Jake acquire food and other basic house supplies? I always guessed that they’re treated like royalty within Ooo, and as long as they’re serving Princess Bubblegum, they’re given free commodities. Which is made up for when PB makes her monthly stop to the Tree Fort for tax collection. And I guess it all lines up with the rest of the series: the only time I can think of when Finn and Jake actually needed to buy anything was when Finn purchased the grass sword back in Blade of Grass, though Jake is the only one who directly mentions that he’s never spent his cash before. Definitely a weird concept that I’d like a bit more context to, but one that I feel like is still consistent with the rest of the series.
So, after collecting their dosh via Jake pick-up truck (as they bid farewell to the now “chilling” Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant) the boys head over to the new and improved Wildberry Kingdom. Wildberry Kingdom is definitely one of the weaker settings in terms of visuals, as it’s pretty bland looking, with scattered trees and forestry spread everywhere, almost akin to something you’d see within the Grassy Wizard’s domain. Yet, it still feel true to its first appearance in Jake vs. Me-Mow, and I’m glad they didn’t completely renovate it to the point where it became unrecognizable. The inhabitants of Wildberry Kingdom are a lot of fun, especially the easily persuaded guard and the upper-middle class children who seem completely unfazed by everything going on around them.
During their trip to the kingdom, Jake is haunted a bit by his past history as a master criminal while discussing his attitude towards money, and while he certainly has a different attitude on how he can use money in this one, it’s equally as misguided. It only makes sense that, after years of either stealing or hoarding skrilla, Jake would not be competent with his use of money in the slightest.
Instead, Jake uses this money to allow himself to do whatever he wants, entertain himself, and to embarrass others. Jake isn’t necessarily transformed into a monster, he’s simply understanding what it is to actually have power over people with money. His actions are malicious, but his endgame revolves around enjoyment more than anything, and he’s correct in that he isn’t forcing anyone to do anything. Jake simply wants to use this newfound power to have some fun and laugh at other people’s expenses, but feels as though he can’t feel bad because he is giving people large quantities of money, and also only doing so because people will actually do anything for money. It presents us with two interesting sides: Jake’s manipulative behavior of using bribery to fulfill his own selfish needs, and those who will put themselves through humiliating and foolhardy deeds to simply get their mitts on cold, hard cash.
Jake’s demands are certainly unique, however. I found them pretty hilarious in just how mundane they are, yet I still kind of questioned why he wanted to actually see such a thing. I mean, I get that watching people eat gold pieces and lick dust off of furniture may exude some sadistic entertainment, though I’m still unsure of why Jake would want that one sleep apnea induced husband and his wife to sleep on opposite sides of the bed. Perhaps it was simply to reinforce that the couple would do absolutely anything for cash, and Jake wanted to believe he had some sort of a validation for his doings. Otherwise, I’m concerned about what exactly Jake wanted to watch that couple “do” within their own bedroom. Yeesh.
Finn properly tries to keep Jake in line by understanding the weight of his wrongdoings, and tries to make things right through some hilarious misunderstandings. Finn actually thought that approaching a back alley of homeless people would be a suitable way for him to be charitable, though, as he learns, some homeless people are much more greedy and demanding than he could have expected. This leads to an all-out brawl, where Finn covers himself in berry juice (presumably the wildberry equivalent of blood) and ends up with even less success than his brother. Though, Jake cracks a final ultimate plan to spend the rest of their dosh.
This is where the “Money” song comes in, which is an absolutely delightful and simplistic song that just features Jake uttering the word “m-m-m-money” over and over to the same exact rap inspired beat. It’s certainly one of the more shallow songs in the series, but one that still proves to be pretty catchy and earworm inspired regardless. As Jake reaches Wildberry Princess’s room, where she lies in a tub of meat, (I will never understand the Wildberry Kingdom’s fascination with meat) he offers all of their money to WBP if he can simply sit on her head. The idea is absolutely ludicrous, and I have no idea if it’s supposed to be taken as some sort of sexual deed, something that is mocking WBP, or just some sort of lifelong ambition that Jake has had. Regardless, it pisses Wildberry off, and she sentences the two boys to be executed.
I don’t know how I feel about Wildberry Princess suddenly being super vengeful and aggressive, but I kind of like it. Again, it sort of just feels like such a random, out of nowhere character transition that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but one that’s fun to watch regardless. It also makes for a very enjoyable climax, as she nearly melts the two boys in molten gold (this is one of those moments that really makes me questions why Jake doesn’t just use his stretchy powers) before BMO and NEPTR come to save the day! It’s a lovely moment and an awesome callback to the beginning of the episode that helps to kick off this episode into a satisfying conclusion, as the boys return home nearly penniless. And Wildberry Princess even calms herself down enough to declare that she’d simply accept a written apology from the two boys. Would you believe this is her last speaking role in the entire series?? Outside of a single line in the season nine episode Slime Central, Wildberry’s voice is never heard again. Her general presence in the series decreases almost entirely following this episode, most likely because of Ice King’s dwindling interest in capturing princesses.
So yeah, it’s definitely not gonna make any top 5 list, but Furniture & Meat is still tons of fun regardless. I like how the conflict of greed is presented through Jake in one of his most malicious appearances, and money can truly turn anyone into a blubbering idiot. It’s one that is pretty straightforward, but enjoyable and funny enough to really stand out as a pretty humorous episode within the mostly ambitious sixth season.