"Burning Low" is the sixteenth episode in the fourth season of Adventure Time. It is the ninety-fourth episode overall.
The episode starts when Finn finishes building Flame Princess's house, which she loves. A small fire spreads to Finn's feet, which he says does not hurt as much as it used to. Then the fire accidentally spreads to the rest of his leg and Finn screams, then runs in a panic towards a nearby lake. Flame Princess and Jake then rush to the side of the cliff and look at the water to see if Finn is alright. After doing some tricks that Flame Princess and Jake think are funny, Jake pulls him back up on land. Flame Princess thanks Finn for building her new home. Finn and Flame Princess decide to hug, but they're interrupted by Jake, who knows that Finn would be burned by her. So Jake wraps Finn in tin foil, and when he is finished, Finn and Flame Princess hug, and Jake smiles oddly. They let go after a while, and then Finn and Jake walk away into the forest, saying goodbye to her.
Jake thinks Finn's date with Flame Princess went pretty well, but Finn does not know if the hug was okay and asks Jake for tips. Jake's advice is to "let things take their natural path" and he explains some "junk" about dating. He creates 15 tiers, which are a set on stairs he made on his arm with Stretchy Powers and then explains that Finn is "at Tier 1, which is hugging, but pretty soon, you'll be at Tier 2, which is smoochin'." Jake then explains about Tiers 5 and 8, using references that would apply only to Lady Rainicorn, such as "touching her horn for the very first time,"and also saying that it is "very special" and when they reach Tier 5 Jake says it is: "discovering all 15 feet of her long, beautiful stomach." When Finn points out Tier 15, Jake tells him to "stay away from that. Do not do Tier 15!" He then tells Finn that he needs a shower because he smells. The two enter the tree fort, to see Princess Bubblegum broke in to collect taxes. Finn then tells Princess Bubblegum "don't inhale" while he goes up a ladder to take a shower. Jake then reveals in an outburst to Princess Bubblegum that he is hanging out with Flame Princess. Princess Bubblegum is distraught about this, quickly runs off, and flies away on The Morrow, forgetting the taxes. Jake is confused, but is interrupted by a video chat with President Porpoise on BMO's monitor. Next we see Princess Bubblegum kick open the door to her room and run to flop on her bed. Then she pulls out her diary and writes FINN + LOVE + FLAME PRINCESS. She whispers to herself in a worried tone, "Oh Glob, I thought I'd be ready for this."
The next day, as Finn is going to leave to hang out with Flame Princess, he is stopped when Princess Bubblegum is standing in the doorway, causing Finn to shriek in surprise. She then attempts to explain to the duo why Finn cannot see Flame Princess, but in the process, Finn leaves and Jake falls asleep and starts to dream that he is a president. Princess Bubblegum wakes Jake up, requesting he tell Finn why he cannot be with Flame Princess, but he was not listening to Princess Bubblegum and then thinks that she is really jealous of Finn and Flame Princess.
Later, Finn returns from his date with Flame Princess, and walks up to Jake, who was playing video games. Finn tells Jake that his date went great, and asks what Princess Bubblegum was talking to him about. Jake says that she does not want him to see Flame Princess anymore because she is "crazy jealous" of Flame Princess, which makes Finn frown. Jake then asks if Finn got to Tier 2, and he tells Jake that he got about 5 hugs, but Jake says that does not count, and he still had not accomplished Tier 2. Finn laughs and blushes and says "Well, still at Tier 1." Jake then tells Finn that the best way to get to Tier 2 is with a "sappy poem." Then we see the two in their room, and Jake suggests Finn writes about her spectrum in the poem, to which Finn replies, "Eew!" Finn thinks out loud about what to say, saying things like, "She's bright, she's beautiful..." and winds up talking about his feelings about her. He says that "She makes me feel... confused. Like, something is filling up my chest, and I can't breathe! Is it because she's so... dangerous? Glob Jake, I can't stand it!" But then Finn notices that Jake is asleep again. The sun rises as Finn looks at Jake sleeping, and Finn later goes to a hill at sunrise trying to gain inspiration for the poem, which succeeds when the sun comes up.
Finn whispers, "Inspiration," and starts writing. Then Princess Bubblegum shows up and says, "Finn!" and Finn again shrieks in surprise. Princess Bubblegum asks if Jake explained why he cannot see Flame Princess anymore. Finn gets a bit annoyed by her, and tell her he understands. Princess Bubblegum then says "Finn, sometimes you want someone, and you want to kiss them, and be with them. But you can't, because responsibility demands sacrifice." Finn, blushing, yells, "What are you trying to say?!" Princess Bubblegum tells him "I'm trying to say that you're a hero, Finn - you're my hero, so I'm glad that you understand why you cannot be with Flame Princess." Finn, clearly enraged, stands up, and he shouts "Bubblegum, I can't do this anymore!" Princess Bubblegum simply replies "What?" Finn, very upset, replies "Now you like me?!" Princess Bubblegum asks what he is talking about and Finn finally blurts out that he was in love with her, but she did not love him back. He assumes that Princess Bubblegum is trying to get him to fall in love with her again, to which he claims that he is ready to move on, and thinks she is going to "build him up all over again." Finn tells her that he is done, and leaves. A clearly confused Princess Bubblegum picks up one of the scraps of paper Finn wrote on and opens it and whispers quietly, "Oh, no!"
Then we see Jake frying bacon and singing Bacon Pancakes, when Princess Bubblegum appears again and asks Jake if Finn is with Flame Princess. Jake says to back off and that that's his "man's biz." When she continues to pry at the subject and wave the crumpled poem scrap in his face, Jake retaliates by yelling at her. Jake says in his outburst, "You heartless monster! Do you have any idea how much he's cried over you?! Finn deserves to be happy, even if his bloopin' face gets burned off! You should be ashamed!" Now he throws a box of pancake mix at her and screams, "You're sick!"
Princess Bubblegum screams in turn that, "this isn't about some petty love triangle," and that Flame Princess's Elemental Matrix cannot handle extreme romance. If Finn kisses her, Flame Princess will burn through the Earth's crust to the core and will be thrown around by gravity, destroying the planet from the inside. Princess Bubblegum then says that's why she had the Flame King lock her up inside the lantern, to contain her. Bubblegum asks a dumbfounded Jake if he will take her to them, and Jake, wordlessly, turns off the stove he was frying bacon on, grabs Bubblegum with big hands, puts her on his stretched head, smashes through the tree fort wall, and sprints toward Flame Princess's house.
The two rush over to Flame Princess's new home, where Finn is reciting his poem to Flame Princess, but midway through, it gets burned to ashes. Finn and Flame Princess laugh and they move closer together, and Princess Bubblegum gasps, "No!" but they're too late. Finn and Flame Princess kiss, causing Flame Princess to burn very brightly, explode, and start burning a hole through the Earth's crust. Finn (who appears to have been injured due to the kiss because his lips and parts of his face are burned) groans and crawls over the hole, only to grab one of Jake's arms, ties it around himself, and jumps into the hole after Flame Princess. Jake struggles with the weight and falls on the hole, sealing it. Finn lands on the core, next to Flame Princess and exclaims her name. Jake struggles to get up, saying "it's hot," but Princess Bubblegum stops him. She says that if Jake deprives Flame Princess of oxygen for 24.8 seconds, she will "go out," causing the reaction process to cease. Jake gasps, "What about Finn?!"
Finn reaches Flame Princess and sees that she has passed out and turned a very light shade of blue. Finn (struggling to breathe) says that he needs her "to be okay." He applies artificial respiration, which revives and stabilizes her, though it causes Finn to pass out from the lack of oxygen. Jake pulls the two up. Finn (who appears to be even more burned after sliding on the flaming body) awakens, coughing, and asks Flame Princess if she is okay, to which she replies she is okay. Princess Bubblegum crawls out from under Jake and looks at the two, and says, "She's stabilized. We're safe... for now." Finn then kisses a rock, and holds it out to Flame Princess who also kisses the rock (it smokes a little bit) to symbolize them "kissing." The two walk off, and as this happens Princess Bubblegum sighs sadly and whispers "Oh, Finn." A coughing noise causes her to turn around and see Jake staring at her with a Grinch-smile and she asks, "What?" Jake asks her, "jeeeealous??" With a rather saddened look and tone, then she ends the episode by saying, "Shut up."
- Tree Trunks
- Small Animals
- A clip from this episode is also seen in the 2014 movie And So It Goes.
- This episode had over 3.5 million viewers, making it the highest rated episode of the series to date, breaking the record set by "Fionna and Cake."
- When Jake was drawing in the mud at the beginning of the episode, he was drawing Lady Rainicorn.
- When Princess Bubblegum is explaining to Jake why Finn cannot see Flame Princess, her holo-screen contains:
- A digital temperature reading (lower right) of 53°.
- y = mx + b ± c which is the formula for a line on a Cartesian coordinate plane, except the "± c" is superfluous.
- A picture of the Earth with the giant crater.
- "22/7", which is the fraction form of pi.
- The foil Jake uses to wrap Finn before hugging Flame Princess is called "Foiled Again."
- When Jake explains the tiers to Finn, he is talking about things that would only apply to his and Lady Rainicorn's relationship.
- The box from which Jake is cooking from holds enough pancake mix for a 200 ft tower of pancakes.
- Princess Bubblegum diary entries include:
- FINN + LOVE + FLAME PRINCESS.
- A formula containing the Traditional Chinese and Japanese character for romantic love, 愛, and ∞, the symbol for infinity
- A formula containing the information "AUG," "18," and "y=2012." Andy Ristaino mentioned this (August 18, 2012) as the date that background painter Santino Lascano would be married.
- When Finn is reciting his poem to Flame Princess the lines that can be heard are, "...your wavelengths are my weakness, your emissions are what I've been missing." The storyboard includes a slightly longer poem with the line, "The gradation of your radiation is hypnotizing my eyes."
- In the original storyboard, Jake's video chat was with Lady Rainicorn instead of President Porpoise.
- Jake mentioned Tier 9 in the storyboard, in which he says: "And then you'll make it to tier nine! On that one just make sure you have a comfy place to sit in the next day. Cuz uh... You'll need some time to reflect on what you did."
- When Princess Bubblegum approaches Finn while he’s writing his poem, she seems to say a line from the popular children’s show Phineas and Ferb when she greets him by saying ‘Finn. Whatcha doing?’ which is a running gag between the character Isabella, and Phineas, who she commonly greets with the refrain ‘Hey Phineas. Whatcha doing?’.
- The instability of Flame Princess's elemental matrix and the result of extreme romance being her burning through the earth's crust and igniting the earth's core is a possible reference to the film Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, where Godzilla's internal nuclear power becomes unstable and threatens to cause him to melt through the earth's crust and ignite the earth's core.
- Jake's explanation of the relationship tiers to Finn resembles the baseball metaphors for relationships known as "bases."
- The title card is a reversal of the title card for "Incendium." Finn is crying over photos of Princess Bubblegum in "Incendium," while it is reversed in "Burning Low" with Princess Bubblegum crying over photos of Finn.
- Also, Jake acknowledges how much Princess Bubblegum hurt Finn back in "Incendium."
- Flame Princess's quote, "Do the thing that I like!" hints that Finn and Flame Princess have been going on dates since "Hot to the Touch."
- The music that was played on BMO was used in the title card for "My Two Favorite People."
- This episode shows that the Marauders have relocated, and they were shown again in the episode "Who Would Win" near their new home.
- Finn's scream was heard two times in this episode, which is heard again in "Up a Tree," "Princess Potluck," "Blade of Grass," "Flute Spell," and "I Am a Sword."
- The theme song is played when Finn and Flame Princess are about to kiss. The theme song of Burning Low is also played in "You Made Me" when Finn and PB are heading to the Earl of Lemongrab's Earldom.
- When Finn jumps in the water to put out the fire to his leg, Flame Princess does not express pain, unlike what happened throughout "Hot to the Touch." This could be because she has gotten used to it.
- When Jake is cooking, the front right burner of the stove is on, but when he turns around to talk to Princess Bubblegum, the front left burner is on.
- Also, while singing the short piece Bacon Pancakes, while Jake sings "makin' bacon pancakes. Take some bacon and—" the pan which he is using briefly appears to be behind the stove and the fire, then later returns to its proper place on top of the stove.
- When Finn is outside at sunrise, if you look closely, you can see a dot above a giant cloud on the right.
- The first time the "Pancake Tower" box is seen, tower is displayed as "Touer."
- Before Flame Princess hugs Finn, the flame on her "house" disappears. However, after they hug, the flame reappears.
- When Flame Princess answers "Yes," to Finn asking "Do you wanna hug?" the jewel on her forehead disappeared.
- When Jake is explaining the tiers to Finn, he displays 15 small steps at the beginning, but only 10 large ones in the close-up, so Tier 8 appears to be only 2 steps from the end and not 7. Also, when Jake says tier 5 he actually points at number 6.
- However Jake is not good at counting as seen in "Ocean of Fear."
- Before Princess Bubblegum drops her holo-prism Finn is standing next to the door and Jake in the middle of the room so they were not close to each other, in the next scene they're next to each other.
- When Princess Bubblegum is shaking Jake after he fell asleep, her holo-prism and purse have moved.
- There are continuity errors regarding the papers Finn threw on the grass.
- When Princess Bubblegum says "What?!" after Jake tells her Finn is hanging out with Flame Princess, her teeth are curved instead of straight like they regularly are.
- The scene at the beginning of the episode does not show some things that were around Flame Princess' house.
- When Princess Bubblegum and Jake get to Flame Princess' house the house has moved, the well that was near it is gone, and Finn and Flame Princess are not standing in the place they were first seen.
- When Finn is confronting Princess Bubblegum for hurting him in the past, all of his teeth are showing. The same thing happens when he was doing a trick that Flame Princess liked, which is unusual because he had a few missing teeth, then he would not do that trick. In most episodes he is missing some teeth.
- Finn and Jake pay taxes to the Candy Kingdom, even though they live in the Grass Lands. However, Andy Ristaino suggested that their area of the Grass Lands goes within Candy Kingdom borders.
- It is revealed that Bubblegum is responsible for Flame Princess being imprisoned by her father, implying PB has or had a past connection with Flame King.
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