Are you ready to return to the Land of Ooo? In Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake, the eponymous duo steps into the spotlight. Perhaps you’ve had the chance to check out the first two episodes of the spinoff series: “Fionna Campbell” and “Simon Petrikov,” both currently available for streaming on Max. But even if you have, you may have questions regarding how the shows relate to one another or what specific references or Easter eggs might mean. 

Fionna & Cake

First and foremost, some of the most important Adventure Time episodes for Fionna & Cake are those that introduce and feature Fionna the Human (Madeleine Martin) and Cake the Cat (Roz Ryan). The characters were first introduced in season 3’s “Fionna & Cake.” In addition to our two heroes, this episode introduces Prince Gumball (Neil Patrick Harris), Lord Monohromicorn and the Ice Queen (Grey Griffin). A vital feature of this parallel universe is that characters from Adventure Time are gender-swapped. At the conclusion of the episode, the nature of the story is revealed. It is a fanfiction of Finn the Human (Jeremy Shada) and Jake the Dog (John DiMaggio) written by the Ice King (Tom Kenny), the crown-corrupted version of Simon.

Adventure Time "Fionna and Cake" title card. Featuring Fionna (Madeleine Martin), Cake (Roz Ryan), and Prince Gumball (Neil Patrick Harris) riding on Lord Monochromicorn.

This parallel universe returns in season 5’s “Bad Little Boy.” This episode introduces Marshall Lee (Donald Glover), the gender-swapped version of Marceline the Vampire Queen (Olivia Olson). Simon is telling the story at the beginning. However, this episode plays with the idea of a fictional story within a fictional story by allowing Marceline to tell the bulk of this Fionna & Cake tale. 

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The idea of another character telling a “Fionna & Cake” story returns in season 6’s “The Prince Who Wanted Everything.” This story is told by Lumpy Space Princess (Pendleton Ward) and features Lumpy Space Prince (Peter Serafinowicz). This episode discusses the idea of a fictional character breaking through to Adventure Time‘s prime timeline.

Graybles and Tables

In season 8’s “Five Short Tables,” Simon reads five short stories about the world of Fionna and Cake. These are created by Gunter (Kenny), who cuts up and reassembles several stories written by Simon. These stores also introduce the gender-swapped version of Peppermint Butler (Steve Little) and Butterscotch Butler (Elle Newlands). This episode riffs on the show’s “Grayble” episodes.

Adventure Time "Fionna and Cake and Fionna" title card. Featuring Other Fionna (Charlotte Newhouse) weilding a staff amid pink roses.

Finally, in season 9’s “Fionna and Cake and Fionna,” Simon gives a reading featuring his “Fionna & Cake” stories. However, he is interrupted by Other Fionna (Charlotte Newhouse), who claims to be an older version of Fionna. However, at the end of the episode, she is revealed to merely be a Fionna cosplayer. Nevertheless, this woman possesses a videotape showing a Fionna and Cake adventure. This story introduces the Queen of Ooo (Chelsea Peretti).

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Eventually, it is revealed that Other Fiona discovered the characters when she randomly intercepted a broadcast signal. This is where the video footage she recorded to tape and shared earlier in the episode originated. Inspired by the footage, she began to search Ooo for more Fionna and Cake stories. This led her to Simon, who she assumed had additional videotaped Fionna and Cake adventures. However, Simon understands the duo to be his own fictional creations, not (as Other Fiona assumes) ancient television characters. At the conclusion of this episode, it is confirmed that the concepts for Fionna and Cake’s adventures are “beamed into [Simon’s] melon at night.”

Mathematical Multiversal Madness

Adventure Time "Jake the Dog" title card. Featuring Jake (John DiMaggio). He's eating a sandwich. Reflected in one eye is a remote, reflected in the other is a pickle jar.

In “Fionna Campbell,” viewers are introduced to a parallel universe. Fionna lives a mundane life, and Cake is a non-speaking pet. A similar situation took place with Finn the Human and Jake the Dog in season 5’s opening episodes, “Finn the Human” and “Jake the Dog.” These episodes also introduced the character of Prismo (Kumail Nanjiani). Prismo’s Time Room can be seen multiple times in “Simon Petrikov.”

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Another important multiversal episode is season 6’s “Wake Up.” This episode complicates the relationship between Finn, Jake and Prismo. The unfolding events could play an important role in the next eight episodes of Fionna & Cake season 1. And yet another consequential multiversal episode is season 7’s “Crossover.” In “Crossover,” the relationship between Finn and Jake’s prime timeline and the alternate timeline seen in “Finn the Human” and “Jake the Dog” is examined.  

Simon the Human

When the Ice King is first introduced, he seems to be a standard supernatural villain. At this point, like Bowser from Super Mario Bros., it’s easy to assume the Ice King is motivated solely by the abduction of princesses. However, as the series progresses, the truth about Simon is revealed. Major revelations towards this plotline are revealed in season 3’s “Holly Jolly Secrets,” a two-part episode. After discovering the Ice King’s video diaries, Finn and Jake learn how the crown’s magic corrupted Simon.

Adventure Time "Holly Jolly Secrets Part 2" title card. Featuring Finn the Human (Jeremy Shada), Jake the Dog (John DiMaggio), and BMO (Niki Yang) being subjected to the machinations of the Ice King (Tom Kenny).

In season 5’s “Simon and Marcy,” Marceline shares a story with Finn and Jake about her relationship with Simon. Set almost 1,000 years in the past, this episode is also significant for the first two episodes of Fionna & Cake because it explains the significance of the spinoff’s repeated use of the Cheers motif. 

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Another important episode is season 5’s “Betty,” which fully introduces this key character. Her arc is continued in season 6’s “You Forgot Your Floaties” and season 8’s “Broke His Crown.” Another important episode in this storyline is season 10’s “Temple of Mars.” Finally, the series finale, “Come Along With Me,” features the confrontation with GOLB, the entity that embodies chaos and disorder. Furthermore, it sets the stage for the futuristic human city seen throughout “Simon Petrikov.”

Distant Lands

Title card for Adventure Time: Distant Lands "Wizard City."

In addition to these episodes of Adventure Time, three of the four Adventure Time: Distant Lands specials include especially relevant continuity. The first is “Obsidian,” which shows Simon’s post-Ice King life in Ooo. Next up, “Wizard City” traces the dark path taken by Choose Goose (Jeff Bennett). And finally, “Together Again” reveals the post-mortem fate of Choose Goose, perhaps as a result of his apparent death in “Simon Petrikov.”

Two new episodes of Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake are available for streaming on Max each Thursday. Adventure Time and Adventure Time: Distant Lands are now streaming on Max.

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Avery Kaplan