Adventure Time TV Poster Image

Adventure Time

Original, if nonsensical, hilarity; expect minor weapons.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though it's clearly intended to be a fantasy, the show promotes an unrealistic view of responsible behavior, as the main characters answer to no one but themselves and their only ambition is for outlandish adventures. However, friendship is a theme that recurs in most episodes, and the show has a sweetness and heart that belies its goofball reputation. Note: Potty humor (vomiting, references to "explosive diarrhea," and the like) is a frequent source of humor.

Positive role models

Despite their youth, Finn and Jake are completely self-reliant and have no responsibilities. Their motivation for their antics usually is well-meaning, though, and they never set out to do any real harm. They, along with the many other inhabitants of Ooo, often work together to solve (albeit silly) problems. As the standout female character, Princess Bubblegum bucks the stereotype of royalty, taking a leading role in Finn and Jake's adventures and often lending a hand with her knowledge of math and science. Characters demonstrate courage and curiosity.


Finn and Jake use an array of weapons in their adventures -- including flame throwers, swords, and sticks -- though they don't usually use them against other people. In one episode, they stab and sever undead candy characters, who ooze green goo from their wounds.


Occasional very mild innuendo. A cupcake is asked to take his wrapper off during a game of Truth or Dare, for instance. A group of partygoers play Seven Minutes in Heaven.


Sporadic use of terms like "sucks" and "friggin'."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Adventure Time contains some mild weapon use and gateway language (like "sucks" and "friggin'") and so is not appropriate for very young kids. The show is rooted in fantasy and absurdity, which is fun for older kids and tweens who can get the references and irony and separate it from reality. Youngsters, however, might be confused and get iffy messages from Finn's unlikely carefree lifestyle. Cartoon-style violence (flame guns, swords, etc.) is common throughout the show, but generally aimed at creatures like zombies, rather than living beings.

What's the story?

ADVENTURE TIME chronicles the off-the-wall, colorful, and often absurd and hilarious escapades of a boy named Finn (Jeremy Shada) and his talking canine friend, Jake (John DiMaggio), who team up for fun in the mystical Land of Ooo. Wherever there's trouble, Finn and Jake are ready for action in the name of justice and adventure often coming to the aid of their friends Princess Bubblegum (Hynden Walch), Marceline the Vampire Queen (Olivia Olson), and the colorful assortment of Ooo residents.

Is it any good?


If you put an 8-year-old boy's imagination to paper, the result would be pretty close to the place Finn and Jake call home. Few rules of the real world apply in Ooo, where there's really no telling what adventures each day will bring. Older kids capable of getting the show's tongue-in-cheek, ironic, and referential humor will revel in the nonsensical fun, and are likely to be hooked by the sumptuous and surprisingly deep Adventure Time universe. Younger kids might be a bit baffled, but the show is so inventive and gorgeously rendered that even young kids may find it dazzling.

The show does feature a fair amount of marginal language ("sucks" and "friggin'," for example), so if your tweens are apt to repeat everything they hear on TV, you may want to opt out of this one. Another concern is Finn and Jake's reliance on weapons (swords, sticks, fire, etc.) to resolve disputes, though their victims (zombies, in one case) are mostly inhuman in nature.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss how the Adventure Time compares to the real world. What aspects of Finn and Jake's world are rooted in fantasy? Is any of it relevant to the real world? What place does fantasy have in entertainment? Does entertainment always have to have a strong message, or can it just be fun?

  • Kids: How is your impression of the world shaped by what you see on TV or in movies? Have you ever changed the way you view something because of something you saw on TV? If so, when? How can we use this power of the media to influence positive change

  • Kids: How does Adventure Time show us that Finn and Jake are friends? What have you learned about friendship by watching the show? Do any of the characters remind you of your friends, family, or people you know?

  • Why does Finn sometimes use weapons or violence to solve problems? What would happen in real life if a kid used the same kinds of weapons? Do you think it's funny to watch mild violence like this? Can you separate Finn's use of weapons with what's appropriate in real life?

  • How do the characters in Adventure Time demonstrate courage and curiosity? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Premiere date:April 5, 2010
Cast:Hynden Walch, Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Character strengths:Courage, Curiosity
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Adult Written byOnamar May 7, 2010

It's rated PG you know

To all the other parents complaining about the content of this show, I have one thing to say: The show itself gives you fair warning. It's rated TV-PG, and the rating fills the ENTIRE SCREEN right before the show starts. And about "lump" I hope you're aware that Spongebob has been using words in place of swears for the past 10 years. (Barnacles, Tartar Sauce, Fish Paste, etc) Honestly, your kids probably hear much worse words than "sucks" or "frickin" at school. I know my son definitely has heard worse at school.. It's a fun show, much better than other shows on Cartoon Network like Total Drama Island or Johnny Test, which are just endless strings of fart jokes and crude humor. Looney Toons is filled with violence, Flapjack is much scarier than this show, most cartoons that are on these days are filled with fart jokes and brainless "humor." This is one of the best and most fun cartoons to come out since Chowder, honestly if you don't let your kids watch this, then they're missing out.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byrealistrach July 5, 2011

Get a grip!

I watch this show and Regular Show with my 5 year old all the time. I don't see the problem, my son is quite aware of what he is and is not allowed to say and there has been no problem with him using profanity of any kind ever. Both shows are really very funny, people get too wound up these days, stop policing cartoons and instead parent your children properly! Cartoons have always been notorious for edgy humour, that would be what makes them fun! Far rather these shows than the plastic, unadulterated DROSS that spews forth from the disney corporation. At least these shows have humour and imagination.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written bybloodybirdbrain March 12, 2011
Adventure Time is a call back to the cartoons of the 90's like Ren And Stimpy where imagination and orignality reigns supreme and it was okay to be a little risque at times.These days people are so fussed up about trying to protect their kids but fail to realize they will just end up finding out stuff on the internet or school. This is one of the most imaginative cartoons that has ever been made in a while.And kids should watch this as oppose to those sitcoms on Disney and Nickelodien where all they talk about is an all too real and depressing "fame and money lifestyle".
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models