'Adventure Time' Episodes: The 20 Best 'Adventure Time' Episodes (So Far) Ranked (Final Part)

"Adventure Time" is in Season 6, here are the best episodes so far.
"Adventure Time" is in Season 6, here are the best episodes so far. Cartoon Network

With 178 episodes of "Adventure Time," selecting the 20 best was difficult enough. Now we're down to the top five best "Adventure Time" episodes, which was even trickier. By this point the general bias toward episodes that fit into a larger "Adventure Time" continuity is probably obvious. "Adventure Time" truly rewards investment, with hundreds of details, from the major to the minor, that can reemerge at any time, adding a richness to the Land of Ooo unmatched by most shows. The world Pendleton Ward and Frederator Studios created may be just a blip of fun in between two apocalyptic hellscapes, but its memory will live on in the adventuring chronicles of Finn and Jake. Here, finally, are the five best episodes of "Adventure Time."

The 20 Best 'Adventure Time' Episodes... So Far (The Final Five)

The 20 Best 'Adventure Time' Episodes (So Far) Ranked (Part 1)
The 20 Best 'Adventure Time' Episodes (So Far) Ranked (Part 2)
The 20 Best 'Adventure Time' Episodes (So Far) Ranked (Part 3)

5. Adventure Time Season 5, Episode 34 “The Vault”

Simultaneously solving the mystery of the haunted green ghost lady of “The Creeps” and wildly expanding the universe of “Adventure Time,” “The Vault” upends everything you thought you knew about Finn and his relationship with Princess Bubblegum. And while Princess Bubblegum has sometimes seemed like a crazy dictator, the distant past illuminated in “The Vault” shows just how far she’s dragged the Candy Kingdom into the light.

Best Line – “I got a plan... a secret, awesome plan. In the meantime, I've got to cover this radioactive river with candy.”

4. Adventure Time Season 3, Episode 9 “Fionna and Cake”

Did Natasha Allegri and Rebecca Sugar have any idea what they were unleashing when they brought Fionna and Cake, the gender-swapped Finn and Jake, to “Adventure Time”? Not only did Fionna and Cake produce the fan-art singularity, it’s also just a great episode of “Adventure Time.”

Best Line – “Ice Queen, why are you always predatorin’ on dudes?”

3. Adventure Time Season 2, Episode 1 “It Came From the Nightosphere”

Marceline’s Dad, ruler of the Nightosphere, becomes an instant “Adventure Time” favorite upon being introduced in “It Came from the Nightosphere.” Evil has never been so… matter-of-fact. The character design in this episode is just bananas, with Hunson Abadeer’s monster form rivalling anything in “The Thing” for sheer gooey grossness. But the real reason this is the third best episode of “Adventure Time” ever? It ends on a fart joke.

Best Line – Farts are lines too.

2. Adventure Time Season 4, Episode 26 “The Lich”

The second best episode of “Adventure Time,” “The Lich,” takes evil further than the show ever has before. Even adventurers must die, and the specter of The Lich wearing Billy like a Billy-suit is pretty dang scary. Finn and Jake’s enlistment in the Lich’s evil plan shows how even the best intentions can end up blowing up the whole universe. Plus, you’ve never seen a cliffhanger quite like this one. “The Lich” may not bring the laughs, but it takes the “Adventure Time” universe more seriously than ever, raising the stakes to a cosmic level.


1. Adventure Time Season 6, Episodes 1 & 2 “Wake Up” / “Escape from the Citadel”

This two-parter blends all of the best “Adventure Time” elements built up over the years. Not only is it funny, but the plot takes place a cross a cosmic scale, bouncing from Prismo’s room at the center of the multiverse, to an intergalactic space prison and beyond. Plus, the introduction of Finn’s dad is perfect. “Wake Up” and “Escape from the Citadel” are the best episodes of “Adventure Time” because they never abandon the tone we expect, but also give us an adventure bigger than any that has come before. You know the stakes are high when the Lich is one of the lesser threats.

But most of all, “Wake Up” and “Escape from the Citadel” highlight just how much “Adventure Time” has grown over six seasons. The characters have more emotional depth, with Finn’s heart-wrenching interactions with his father never feeling mawkish, just true to the character. The world of “Adventure Time” has done a lot of growing too. So while sending Finn and Jake into deep space should feel jarring, it ends up making complete sense, an outward spherical extension of the world we already know.

Best Line - "Finn, I know we normally come out of these things okay, but I got a bad feeling about this. Just promise me that if both my eyes get fried off, you'll fry off your eyes too."

There you have it! The story told over the two-parter “Wake Up” and “Escape from the Citadel” is the best “Adventure Time” quest yet. If “Adventure Time” continues on its current trajectory we should see many more episodes worthy of inclusion in the top 20 best “Adventure Time” episodes ever made.

This concludes our list of the top 20 “Adventure Time” episodes so far. Ranking them was tricky, and a lot of great “Adventure Time” episodes didn’t make the cut.

Here are some "Adventure Time" Honorable Mentions

Trippy “Adventure Time” Episodes That Just Weren’t Quite as Daring as “Is That You?” Award

Memory of a Memory

King Worm

Everything’s Jake

The “Adventure Time” Continuity Game Changers Medal of Merit

Joshua & Margaret Investigations

Holly Jolly Secrets” (Part 2)

I Remember You

Be More

The Experimental Narrative “Adventure Time” Diploma

Five Short Graybles

Five More Short Graybles

Thank You

The Radical “Adventure Time” Art Style Nod

Food Chain

A Glitch is a Glitch

The Small Scope “Adventure Time” Episodes Done Right Pat on the Back

We Fixed a Truck


The Enchiridion!”

All the Little People

Card Wars

The Magic Man is the Best “Adventure Time” Character Hall of Fame Award

Sons of Mars

Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments. What are your favorite episodes of “Adventure Time”? Tell me and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong!

The 20 Best 'Adventure Time' Episodes (So Far) Ranked (Part 1)
The 20 Best 'Adventure Time' Episodes (So Far) Ranked (Part 2)
The 20 Best 'Adventure Time' Episodes (So Far) Ranked (Part 3)
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