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And Fansplosions Abound

Is Adventure Time Confirming More-Than-Friends Subtext Between Two Female Characters?

When fans of Cartoon Network’s bizzarely entertaining Adventure Time got a load of the sneak preview of this week’s episode “What Was Missing,” it kind of drove the Marceline/Princess Bubblegum ‘shippers wild. Singing a song about how you really despise somebody is cool, but when there’s a verse where you admit that you despise them because you really want them to like you and you can’t explain why you want that so bad… well, that’s subtext rapidly approaching the event horizon of text.

But pretty much everybody figured it was one of those kids show things where the creators didn’t really intend to be overt. Until yesterday, when the official Adventure Time youtube channel published their recap of the episode.

In this episode Marcelline hints that she might like Princess Bubblegum at little more than she’d like to admit. Maybe a little more than Finn? Do you see where I’m going with this? …What do you think about Marcelline and Bubblegum getting together? Does that leave Finn out in the dust? Or is it just adorbz?

So far the video has over a thousand likes and only 21 dislikes. The top rated comments are overwhelmingly in favor. It seems like Adventure Time got the answer it was looking for. Here’s the recap video itself:

Move over, Spongebob and Patrick raising a scallop together. You’ve just been awesomely upstaged.

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  • Anonymous

  • Sara

    Unfortunately this is just Frederator being a bunch of dicks.  The Mathmatical recaps that Frederator does has little to no effect on what AT team themselves do, and one of the official storyboard artists, Adam Muto, called their trying to hint at Marceline/Bubblegum “gaudy” and “sensationalistic”.
    So it’s safe to say that what Frederator is doing is officially uncool in that they’re trying to raise the fan’s hopes only to squish them.

  • Anonymous

    “This video is private”


  • Kristin Frederickson

    Jeez, I just watched that yesterday, I hope they decide to put it back up. Even if it wasn’t explicitly what the creators intended (something that’s debatable, though I wish they’d release an official statement), I think it would be pretty neat if in just one season Adventure Time had an episode with a female protagonist and an episode with a non-judgmental depiction of homosexuality.

  • Kristin Frederickson

    Perhaps Adam Muto wasn’t a fan of the direction that was taken, but I get the feeling it was what Rebecca Sugar intended when she wrote the song. At the very least, she said she supported the crazy explosion of fanart it caused.

  • Sara

    Personally, I thought there was sub-text there as well.  The intimacy of the lyrics combined with Marceline’s extreme antics throughout the episode…yeah, to me, to me, those are either the signs of an intense friendship or perhaps something a little more than that.

    But, I can’t really tell/say 100% for certain whether that was something Rebecca or the rest of the staff intended or not.  From the way Adam Muto is reacting…I’d say no.  But as of yet none of the staff has said (and I could be wrong about this; I don’t exactly follow all of their Formsprings religiously) for sure and for certain: “No, they are not queer and they’re just friends”.  So I don’t know what is going on here exactly asides from the fact that Frederator blew things out of proportion and misled the fanbase.

  • Anonymous

    I know at least one of the creators* explicitly condones that relationship, but I don’t know about the official cannon of the show.
    Personally, I’d appreciate either an episode with a focus on female  characters being actual Friends  as well a positive depiction of a homosexual relationship. I like either interpretation, I guess is what I’m saying.

    I thought t-shirt exchange was the more …suggestive part of the episode. Also, that’s a really cool shirt.

    Unrelated to equality issues, I really love how Adventure Time throws in minor stuff that turns into long running plot. Way back in last season with Go With Me there were hints that PB and Marceline had some history. Also Lumpy Space Princess in the woods.

    Gosh darn if Every Song by Rebecca Sugar doesn’t get me teary eyed.

    *I’m not sure what officially qualifies someone as a “creator” in t.v. terms.  (blog has some violent and naked lady drawings, this one’s innocent though)

  • Sara

    Actually, Natasha Allegri has said that she doesn’t ship anything in Adventure Time.

  • Vladimir Vernet

    What if Marceline and Princess Bubblegum are not lesbians, and people are taking the song out of context?

  • Vladimir Vernet

    What if Marceline and Princess Bubblegum are not lesbians, and people are taking the song out of context?

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t mean to suggest that she was ‘shiping, just that… she seems ok with the idea of those two as a couple.
    I mean, to my mind, if you’re making the show, it’s less shipping and more influencing/writing the cannon, and I don’t think her blog drawings are related to her opinions on how the show should be.

    I was trying to find the post (I’m pretty sure it was her) where she says something like “people got mad when I drew Princess Bubblegum and Marceline together, so here are more drawings of them together.”

  • Rachel Morris

    See thats what I think, I have not problem with PBxMarceline I acctually like the idea but when I first saw the episode I didn’t think anything of that. It just made me think they used to be friends and somemthing happened between them that the writers will probably shed light on later, like they did with the fry song from the nightosphere episode. Later in the memory of a memory episode they showed what happened between Marceline and her father.

  • Anonymous

    It should be noted that Dan Rickmers, the maker and creator of the Mathematical video that was taken down, was fired for the content of the video and the subsequent fallout of the situation.

  • Anonymous

    I just read this article and wasn’t exactly surprised about the anti-lesbian/lesbian debate going on. But seriously? They fired the maker of the video? I wonder if Muto had a role in putting pressure on the firing.

    What kind of a world do we live in? Why doesn’t Muto go lambast all the fans too? Prick.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Dan Rickmers, the maker of the video got fired. His tumblr is here: but I don’t think Muto pressured the firing.

    From what I gather, it was Frederator who fired Dan for bringing so much heat onto them in the lesbian/anti-lesbian debate. They also closed the entire Mathematical channel and took down all the videos! Pretty messed up, since they should’ve been encouraging this kind of openness!

  • Craze Hollins

    Well if it really did happen then Adventure Time along with The Regular Show and The Amazing World of Gumball would be moving to boomerang for being ‘too suggestive’. Not saying that it will happen but its likely. Personally I kind of like the idea of them being lesbians because it would open another part of the human community to a younger audience, they grow up and not be homophobes.

  • Anonymous

    yeah, too totally feel like t read something like that on her tumblr.

    search function … nil … wtf. clickthrough, click, click, click  …

    i guess it’s this:


    this girl is awesome:

    „what the… i have… no idea… what this even means. so i’m just gonna post another… i guess… geeze“

  • Anonymous

    which is totally over the top crazy.

  • A P

    If this same exchange of song and sentiment had taken place between a female and male character (say, Finn and Marceline) would you read it as a “just-friends” thing with no romantic overtones?

  • Anonymous

    This is disgusting. This epsiode is obviously trying to infect young children’s mind with the disease known as homosexuality. I liked this show, but I won’t be watching it anymore by myself or with my 2 year old nephew now that I know the producers true intentions. 

  • Sara

    why are you ppl interpreting the song the wrong way?!?! they probably used to be freinds and something messed up their friendship. why are you creating a kids show into your own little fantasies!!! seriously ppl just stop

  • Jake

    Stop with this junk its a kid show pendleton ward himself said theres NO SEXUAL relation ships in adventure time Marceline and bubblegum were friends back in the day now stop with these dumb Downgraded reviews THEY ARE NO GAY CHARACTERS 

  • Jake

    You need to stop with this stuff you can get adventure time kicked off Cartoon network you really need to stop you making kids think Adventure time is g@y and some sh!T 

  • Jake

    Bubblegum and marceline were friends there  are  No sexual things in adventure time they WILL show the episode OF them when they were kids BUT ITS A KIDS!! SHOW!! THERE ARE NO SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS

  • Kalen Smith

    Lord……… This didn’t seem romantic at ALL. None of you have ever felt like you wanted to be friends with the popular girl? Seriously?

  • Carissa CORNWALL

    i dont think marceline and princess bubblegum were “more than Friends” peolple read into this way to much i have a 5 year old brother who love this show and if parents were to find out that they wer promoteing gay and lesbin veiw the would be a riot

  • Joseph Gonzalez

    And what exactly is wrong with being gay?

  • Kalah Cole

    Lady Rainicorn is Pregnant. This argument now invalid.

  • Taylor

    First of all,learn how to spell. Second, even if they were gay, it doesn’t mean it still couldn’t be in a kids show like AT. FP and Finn have already kissdd, so what is so has about marecline singing a song about a possible love?

  • Sam Falcon

    i’ll tell you what’s wrong with it. ITS A KIDS SHOW. Your agenda needs to stop being pushed on children. You know what they call it when heterosexual people do that, pedophilia. Leave the kids alone.

  • Sam Falcon

    make it a straight guy trying to push sexuality on children and tell me you feel the same way.

  • Fri Gatzi

    Plenty of children shows out there in which some of the characters either have hetero feelings for each other (often along the lines of a crush) or are in a hetero relationship (many times weddings being a big part of some certain episode, but in this case it’s usually some minor character’s wedding, or a wedding that doesn’t go off for one reason or another in case it’s a main character). Besides, in what way does one character subtly implying that she _might like_ like another (girl) character push sexuality..? In no way, that’s how. Not all that relevant, due to the ambiguity and subtlety in this case, but by depicting the feelings between for example two girls as something normal on TV in an open, realistic, and sensible manner, then hopefully the current generation will grow up with enough tolerance and respect to accept other people for who they are with, rather than persecute them with homophobia deeply rooted in a couple of superstitious books. Do you have any idea what LBGT children have to go through during their lives..? If they don’t try their hardest to repress who they are, odds are that they’ll be bullied and shunned daily at school, odds are that most of their “friends” will abandon them, and in many cases even their own family will turn against them. Do you have any idea of how heartbreaking and devastating that is for a teen that’s currently already really torn up by stress, identity issues, and insecurity? Do you know how many of them start to cut themselves, trying to quench their emotional pain by overlaying it with physical pain? Do you know how many, each year, that finally gives up on living a life filled with suffering from their peers (or the fear of becoming persecuted if their identity comes out), and thusly douses the young flames that are their lives…? And homosexuality isn’t something contagious, it’s not like people just decide “Hey, I think I’m gonna start fancying lads/chicks” all of a sudden. So it’s not like having LBGT related content in media will suddenly turn children gay. Besides, unlike adults, preteen children usually don’t read that much into things, nor think that much about the actual content. They generally just want to see cool characters, pretty colors, funny scenes, and action. So either way you’re worrying about nothing, I think. But if the episode leads to just one person growing up with the capability of treating fellow human beings with the respect and dignity that everyone deserves regardless of gender, race, and identity, then personally I think that the episode has done good.

  • ginger

    Let’s not forget there are children growing up with same-sex parents. These kids are targeted by their peers in grade school. Perhaps representation of such relationships in children’s programming could change that too. Realistically most kids don’t have a clue about sexuality that early in life and I am in no way advocating sex on kids shows, but representation of all kinds of relationships in children’s programming could definitely make growing up easier for many and demystify different lifestyles to others who don’t understand.

  • Isadora

    Dude, that is absolutely NOT what pedophilia is. Until someone is sexually abusing a child or has sexual desires toward a child then you can throw that garbage into the mix. But as of now, you just stated a completely irrelevant arguement. And even IF they’re going to make a lesbian couple in the show, that is not at all pushing kids into supporting homosexuality nor to become gay themselves. It would be, in fact, a work of art and a beautiful and fitting story. I can’t see a more fitting couple than marceline and bg princess. And imagine what a great and interesting story that would be.

    In addition, they wont have to incorporate sex into the show if they make a lesbian couple. It’ll just be two girls who love each other, nothing more or less. Lady raincorn is pregnant for god sakes! Why is it ok to incorporate pregnancy between two different species who are openly dating but not ok to have two girls with romantic interests towards each other? Besides, in the epsiode when Finn got a bag full of miniature characters he stated in the beginning of the episode about how a fitting pair bmo and ice king would be. Mind you they are both guys.

    Its sad to say, though, the show probably wont do anything regarding marceline and bg princess cause of the ignorance existing in this planet.

  • Jordan Leonard

    definetly should make that an actual girl & girl relationship. what the hell is the big problem? if there can be straight relationships, then why not homosexual ones? it is the same damn thing

  • Teacups

    As a sort of test, I sang the song to my non-AT-watching friend and asked her what she thought the song was about. She said it sounded like a typical breakup song (except the beginning, which sounded like it was about food, possibly) and then couldn’t believe that it could be interpreted as a platonic-friends song after I gave her the context.

    Also, I really think putting it in context just makes it sound even more gay. T-shirt, anyone?

  • Preliator

    It’s not pushing any agenda on anyone. In any way. Marceline sang a song. She wasn’t engaging in sexual activity. If I sing a song about a girl on tv am I raping any viewer who watches?

  • Marie-Pier Kim

    i felt awkward about the ep tbh

  • Sailor N

    Totally support Bubbline !

  • Sailor N

    Woowwww buddy. You have zero say while being an ignorant imbecile. Educate yourself before you throw shit like that around. There is nothing wrong with being LGBT in ANY way, shape or form. Get your head out of your ass dude, it’s 2013. People used to believe Blacks were not normal or considered people and that slavery was okay. Nobody thinks like that anymore. Get with the times. The sooner we stop teaching kids its okay to discriminate, the better! I say let every cartoon support LGBT! Such a wonderful idea indeed! :D

  • Sailor N

    ALSO, how can you support Princess Bubblegum, an 18yr old girl, kissing Finn (A 13yr old boy), but shun the idea of PB & Marceline. PB & Marceline presumably the same age.

    And what about all those shows that have different species in relationships with one another? Nobody calls that bestiality or comments and freaks out. People like you are so ridiculously stupid, it hurts.

  • Anonymous

    And OP is “Jake”. Guess he didn’t know about the puppies. :O

  • Charlie

    Why does every woman in fiction that I relate to turn out to be a lesbian. I don’t care about people being gay but It gets a bit frustrating after a while.

    My frustrations aside I think that it would be cool to have more gay role models.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a straight but many of my friends are lesbians and it would be totally better for their self-esteem and for the general respect towards the minority sexuality to show other romances in the kid’s shows than hetero sexuality. It should be a norm and it’s not pushing sexuality on children if you compare it to e.g. Disney movies…

  • Sycophante

    I think that you don’t see the point! It’s not about whether gay relationships are good or bad, but about how homosexuality will be received by the audience. I mean, if the show decided to show a gay relationship it would be awesome an also logical (since there are a lot of relationship so you can’t really argue that you donn’t show “growns up relationships” to children) but really it must be awful to be pursued by some christian gang or you know those guys that tell that you ùust protect child and stuff (and of course doing it by being homophobic… ) and I think that the creators want to avoid that
    So yeah! I think that sadly it’s pretty fair to keep it as subtext in the show! Maybe society is not ready yet or something…