With ‘Adventure Time’ back in the spotlight following their new series, ‘Fionna & Cake’, it’s time to rank which songs are among the best!
Adventure Time isn’t a musical show in the traditional definition, but it’s certainly got its fair share of songs, which makes sense when you remember they have musical talent like Steven Universe’s Rebecca Sugar on staff. However, seeing as we’d be here until the end of time if we tried to rank every single song, we’ll only be focusing on the top 10 instead. The criteria for this ranking shall be as follows: it must be written for the show, longer than 30 seconds, and sung by a character in the canon of the show. So no theme song. Sorry! However, songs from spin-offs such as Distant Lands are allowed.
Also, spoiler warning, there will be videos in this article that could potentially spoil the show if you haven’t seen it or caught up! With that out of the way, let’s get started (and mentally prepare yourself for half this list to be Marceline).
10 – “All Warmed Up/All Gummed Up Inside”
A (sort of) duet between Finn and Jake, this song is a catchy call-and-response that will be stuck in your head for days to come. I actually started humming it again as soon as I thought of it. Not to mention, it kickstarts the relationship between Finn and Flame Princess, which becomes a cornerstone of his character for seasons to come (including post-breakup). However, it is not the strongest Finn song in the series, so it remains at number 10.
9 – “Good Little Girl”
Technically not a Marceline song, but a Marshall Lee song. From one of the original “Fionna & Cake” episodes in the series, not the HBO Max series of the same name, “Good Little Girl” is a fun and vibey song that feels like a classic Marceline song, while still giving Donald Glover (yes, he is voiced by Donald Glover) room to play.
8 – “Woke Up”
This is just a genuinely good breakup song. While it certainly doesn’t sound like the traditional Adventure Time style, which is why it has fallen lower on the list, this still bangs and I will not be taking questions. This is a song I would put on a playlist without irony.
7 – “I’m Just Your Problem”
I know, go ahead and put my head on the chopping block for putting “I’m Just Your Problem” at number 6. However, while it is an incredible song that has enough sapphic angst to start a Hozier concert, I feel there are stronger songs within the series from Marceline that get at her relationship with Princess Bubblegum.
6 – “What Am I To You?”
A song that is important to Finn’s character development, as we see him stand up for himself alongside these women that he respects, and also one of the only songs that gives us Marceline, Princess Bubblegum, and Finn singing all together. “What Am I To You?” feels like an earnest look into the kind of songs we begin to see more as the show progresses.
5 – “Come Along With Me”
Yes, this counts. While technically the closing theme of the show, it is sung in canon by an entity called The Music Hole and has become, by far, one of the most well-known songs of the series. For that reason, it deserves its accolades.
4 – “Monster”
I actually paused my clip searching to re-listen to this song again. While there are many sentimental songs in Adventure Time, this one is almost the one that gets to me the most. Almost. That title is reserved for another song on this list. However, it is hard to resist a song that feels so indicative of the relationship these two characters have and is such an intimate exploration of Marceline’s insecurities. “Monster” is a simple, but powerful song that shows how the series has grown in its songwriting throughout its run.
3 – “Remember You”
Can you believe this song exists just because they wanted a reason for Marceline and Ice King to exist on screen together? A mournful song written from the perspective of Simon Petrikov’s last letters to a child Marceline as he loses his sanity, this is the one that hits the closest to home for me and many others. It is a lament for someone who is lost, yet right next to you, and that theme continues to carry throughout the show, especially for Marceline and Simon/Ice King.
2 – “Time Adventure”
One of the final songs of the show’s original run, capturing the far more melancholy underbelly of Adventure Time’s candy colored exterior, “Time Adventure” is a song that represents the very nature of the character’s relationships within the show: they are temporary due to the nature of being alive, but that does not stop them from caring about each other. BMO, despite being a little robot that will outlive them all, still loves his friends and wants to help. Even if they are gone, those friendships will still exist. This song was one of the last in the original series for a good reason.
Honorable Mention – “Fries”
There had to be an honorable mention for the OG Marceline song, this list couldn’t go without it. While a song that is meant to feel more like random angst within the context of the early seasons of the show, “Fries” goes on to represent Marceline’s greater issues with neglect and abandonment by the parental figures within her life, but especially Hunson Abadeer.
1 – “Everything Stays”
This song, as agreed upon by fans, is by far the one song that best represents the themes of the series. As seen in episodes like, “Come Along With Me” and the “Stakes” miniseries, the world continues to turn without our characters, yet there are still traces of them that remain. Everything stays exactly the way it was, people continue to be people and make the same mistakes, but things become harder to recognize. Adventure Time, at its very root, is a show that is about the recognition of change as a neutral force that both helps and harms. Sometimes, Finn gets older and realizes the impact of his mistakes, or, sometimes, war tears apart the world we know. “Everything Stays” is truly an icon of the Adventure Time series and it is well deserving of the top spot.