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King Worm

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"King Worm"
Season 4, episode 18
King Worm title card
Production code: 1008-096
Airdate: August 13, 2012
Credits
Director: Larry Leichliter
Story: Patrick McHale
Kent Osborne
Pendleton Ward
Written &
storyboarded by:
Bert Youn
Somvilay Xayaphone
Steve Wolfhard
Episodes
Previous
"BMO Noire"
Next
"Lady & Peebles"
Read transcript

"King Worm" is the eighteenth episode in the fourth season of Adventure Time. It is the ninety-sixth episode overall.

Synopsis

Finn has a vivid dream that may be more than it seems.[1]

Plot

The episode starts with Finn waking up to Princess Bubblegum calling him her king and husband. Noticeably, the "ears" on Finn's hat are longer than usual. Finn realizes he is on the Candy Throne wearing a crown and is being watched by a group of Banana Guards, who chant, "Long live the king!" His crown floats to the ceiling, and when he looks at the group of Banana Guards again, they are upside-down except for their faces. He looks at Princess Bubblegum's shoulder and sees the King Worm. Finn thinks he recognizes the worm, who jumped out a window. Princess Bubblegum's face appears on the back of her head, and she whispers to Peppermint Butler, "He doesn't know he's dreaming." Finn is confused, and the scene changes.

Finn is sitting in a forest with Flame Princess, who calls him "honey" and tells him to eat his soup. He does not respond, so Flame Princess angrily yells for him to "eat it now!" He eats some of it and closes his eyes, and the room morphs to a room like one in the Tree Fort. Flame Princess's eyes turn into mouths for a brief moment, and she soon changes into Peppermint Butler. Holding the King Worm, Peppermint Butler then grows a second head and explains that Finn is trapped in a dream. His face then becomes blurry and his hand turns into worm-like creature who explains to Finn that he needs to find the worm and break it. Finn points out that Peppermint Butler is holding the worm, but it turns into a spoon. Phil pops up behind Peppermint Butler from his small pants, and Peppermint Butler throws the spoon at Finn.

Finn notices Jake in another room through a window, but the room appears to be upside down. Jake is wrapping a gift with Lady Rainicorn, who has two mouths and is speaking English in a very deep voice. One of her mouths spits out tape that Jake uses for the gift. Lady Rainicorn then tells Jake to play his viola, and he does. A music note comes out, then turns into the worm. Finn sees the worm escaping through a small hole in the wall and jumps in the room after it. He and Jake start to talk, and they realize that they are in a linked dream with one another. Jake states that he does not think Lady Rainicorn is real, and they decide to follow the worm through the hole, which is a problem because the hole is too small.

Jake explains that because it is a dream, Finn can do whatever he wants. He then imagines a sword capable of blasting a hole in the wall and is happy with himself for not dreaming up weird stuff. The sword then turns into a shark and Finn freaks out. Jake tells him that he needs to be careful, because if he fills the world with his subconscious fears, it will fall apart. Jake tells him to just shrink down, and the two of them go through the worm's hole.

They wind up in a field with Ice King running towards them. Ice King calls them Fionna and Cake and tells them that he has really made a mistake. Finn and Jake are confused until two monsters made up of a bunch of penguins show up. Finn and Jake run away until they find their dad, Joshua, who is not responding to anything they say. Joshua starts knitting, and eventually his knitting turns into the King Worm. King Worm then bolts to a nearby mountain, and Finn imagines that he and Jake have gigantic legs. Jake complains that it is boring for him as it is his normal power, so Finn imagines that he has a bird instead of legs. As they chase after King Worm, it starts raining Lumpy Space Princesses. When they reach the top, they find a frozen King Worm. They grab a nearby rock that appeared from nowhere, break the worm, and the dream fades away.

Finn and Jake "wake up" in their room and start asking one another if they're okay, and they celebrate that they did it. (Notably, the "ears" on Finn's hat are still longer than usual.) Finn then notices a mirror wavering in the background, and upon closer inspection realizes his reflection is Farmworld Finn. He says that he's pretty sure that it was not normal. Jake then tells him that it is fine, but when he turns, his nose is huge. Finn then points at a full mug that's falling to the floor, breaking, and then reversing back to its initial state repeatedly. Finn realizes that Jake pinched him earlier, but he never pinched Jake back. He starts trying to pinch him, but Jake backs off, telling him that everything is fine. When Finn finally catches and pinches Jake, his skin melts off, and Finn realizes for sure that he is still dreaming.

King Worm then rises from the melted Jake and says that Finn cannot defeat him. He proclaims that he will keep Finn in the dream-scape until he has consumed all of his "life energy." Finn yells that he uses that and starts to attack, but he realizes something is missing and gets depressed. He sadly states that he will be stuck in the dream-scape forever, revealing a significant fear. The ceiling cracks and a chunk falls on King Worm's head. He tells Finn to "knock it off" which causes Finn to remember what Jake said about fears breaking down dream-scapes.

Finn concentrates on his deepest fears, and saltwater begins to pour from his navel and fill up the room. The Lich then crawls out of his bellybutton, and Finn freaks out. The clearly deteriorating worm tells him to calm down, to which he replies, "Never!" Princess Bubblegum comes out of his stomach next. Finn starts to feel relieved until she tells him to quiet down because she is having coffee with The Lich and that he would not understand because he is "too young." This freaks him out even more and causes more damage to the worm. He then goes into a crib and remembers Ghost Lady (Shoko) and continues to be horrified as the worm deteriorates to near nothing. He asks the King Worm to stop one final time, but the worm claims he does not know what Finn is talking about. Finn strains and a clown pops out of his navel. The dream breaks as the worm is shriveling up even moreso, and Finn is with Jake in his living room with the shriveled King Worm and his minions; the minions suddenly explode. Finn then orders the worm to get out of his house in a manly voice, and the worm meekly complies. Finn pinches Jake to be sure he is awake. Jake crosses his arms and walks away, saying, "Come on!" Finn replies that he just did so to check, and the episode ends.

Characters

Major characters

Dream characters

Minor characters

Mentioned

Trivia

  • In the scene where Finn and Jake climbed a mountain, the raindrops and snowflakes were little Lumpy Space Princesses.
  • The sword that Finn conjures in his dream has the same appearance as the sword from the Adventure Time logo, except with minor color differences. The sword stuck on the ground near the skulls seen at the end of the opening theme song also looks like it.
  • This is the first episode Flame Princess is in that does not have a fire related title.
  • The symbols used below the promo art are examples of optical illusions.[2][3][4]
  • This is the first episode where Finn calls Peppermint Butler "Pep But."
  • Almost all of the major characters are seen in this episode, the only major character not seen is Marceline.
  • Lady Rainicorn speaks English in this episode.
  • The scarf that Joshua knits looks similar to the scarf that Tree Trunks knitted in Legends of Ooo.
  • When Finn chases after King Worm in the room with Lady and Jake, you can see Finn's echo run backwards in the mirror.
  • The ambient background music heard when Finn sees his alternate form in the mirror is the same ambient music heard throughout Farmworld in the episodes "Finn the Human" and "Jake the Dog."
  • This is the first time Farmworld Finn is seen (seen in the mirror).
  • The mushroom cloud that comes out of Princess Bubblegum's cup has been seen to come from mushroom bomb and the Lich's Well of Power.
  • The Shark Sword was seen again in Break the Worm, a playable game on the Cartoon Network website.

Cultural references

  • Some of the scenes were inspired by Youtube Poops.[5]
    • A possible one is when Finn says, "The worm!"  and a blue colored Finn appears out of nowhere, repeating in a squeaky voice, "The worm!" 
  • The scene where Finn's head turned into a shape for a while after going into a hole is a reference to Tom and Jerry.
  • The way Finn and Jake jump resembles the animation of Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • When Phil appears he says, "Satori," which is a term used to define a deep meditative state in which an individual becomes enlightened.
  • This episode refers to lucid dreaming, since Finn knows he is dreaming.

Episode connections

Errors

  • While Finn was dreaming, the ears on his hat were longer than usual. However, during the scene where his legs grow bigger, the ears return to normal size.

Production notes

  • The episode was originally titled "Worm King."

Storyline analysis

  • Before it is revealed that Finn is dreaming, the unusual size of the ears on his hat and the large crown similar to Ice King's he is wearing that later goes floating towards the roof hint at it; not to mention Princess Bubblegum calling him 'my king' and 'husband'. Also, when Finn looks at the Banana Guards for the second time now they are upside down.
    • This is also true of Finn when he believes he has woken up with Jake, as the ears on his hat are still larger than normal. Only when he actually wakes up do they return to regular size.

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Gallery

Production art

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Background art

Screenshots

References

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