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I decided to jump on the bandwagon started by Cheez and perfected by Cheez and do a little character analysis, this time on my favorite character in the show. I decided to analyze his actions in all 5 episodes, as well as his relationship with Peebles.
Too Young- He is nothing but a sympathetic character in this one. Any mistakes he makes are pretty much harmless, and he's like nothing more than an angry, stressed-out substitute teacher who doesn't really know how to do their job right. Princess Bubblegum is a huge ^$*#@&$* to him in the episode, and nothing indicates that any of his mistakes are anything but Princess Bubblegum's fault. He spends the whole episode getting his sorry butt kicked around, and no one takes pity on him or tries to help him through this difficult phase in his life. He leaves the Candy Kingdom to go home to a life of total isolation and lonliness. It's obvious that he isn't evil, just a poor idiot.
You Made Me- In this episode, Lemongrab finally has the boing-loings to stand up to Princess Bubblegum and tell her off for her carelsssness and neglect. It is horribly gut-wrenching and sad. Surprsingly, Princess Bubblegum admits that she was wrong, feels horrible, and tries everything she can to help this guy. Throughout the first part of the episode, he's nothing but a sympathetic character. But he immediately becomes far less sympatheitic as soom as he uses his size, authority, and technology to take advantage of a group of children, and goes WAY too far with abusing them. As soon as he electrocuted and KO'd the Pup Gang, (the worst they did was call him crazy,) he became an unsympathetic character and an enormous hypocrite. Lemongrab's descent into villainy continues as he tortures Finn and Jake, and tries to do the same to his mother. If he had tried to KO Princess Bubblegum in Too Young, I would have understood and I wouldn't have held it against him. But Princess Bubblegum was clearly remorseful and had her heart set on helping him through his issues. In the end, Lemongrab gets a friend- something he needed but did not necessarily deserve. Yes, I was happy for him and I did cry tears of joy when Lemongrab finally laughed with genuine happiness at the very end. But Lemongrab was never seen apologizing for literally torturing all those people, and he evaded punishment or scorn simply because of his mental disorder. In Too Young he was unintentionally harmful, but in this episode, he knew damn well what he was doing. I guess I shouldn't judge LG too harshly because he had literally been driven insane by lonliness and therefore shouldn't be held accountable for his actions, but it still got under my skin that he took advantage of a group of helpless children. I mean, didn't PB do the same thing to him in Too Young? He knows how it feels.
All The Little People- Mini-Lemongrab looks unhappy the whole time. There is no mini-Lemongrab 2 for him to play with, and he is never paired with anyone. He is always alone in this episode, and wasn't in the dance party, (he was probably sitting in the corner or hiding in the bag.) Littlegrab stares directly at Finn on one occasion, looking rather pensive, as if Lemongrab was looking at the sky and doing some soul-searching. This part spoke to me.
Mystery Dungeon- Lemongrab is starving to death and is seperated from his family, so it's understandable why he acted the way he did in this episode. And he was surprisingly helpful despite his situation, and given what he was going through, he was ... sort of stoic about it. Even brave. Good for him. Seperated from his life partner and his babies, but still focused. He was quite badass and awesome in this epsidoe. We also saw him apologize for being rude, something we haven't seen him do. I don't know how genuine that was, but still, something to note. His social skills seemed a tiny bit better in this episode than they were in Too Young, and he smiles pretty often, too, which was a nice breath of fresh air after Too Young.
All Your Fault- Lemongrab and his boyfriend find so much joy in having babies that they use up all of their food and their whole family is starving. However, that's not cruelty- that's the Lemongrabs being stupid. Stupidity isn't evil. The Lemongrabs ADORE their kids even though they act very carelessly and are too emotional rather than logical. As we saw, they love their kids and their kids seem to return this affection to an extent. Princess Bubblegum said "there's nothing wrong with their hearts," which I take as "They're not evil and the DO have the capacity to care, but they're just very stupid and neurotic." The LGs seem to like Princess Bubblegum and care for her, and call her Mother and even Mommy. Lemongrabs celebrate each other's birthdays and the births of their children. However, they didn't seem to care about Lemonjon's death, even though LJ was their son. In this episode, the worst the Lemongrabs did was shove Plop-Top off the table, but they didn't do anything truly mean or intentionally hurtful in this episode. They were just very, very stupid, which is forgivable. So apparently Lemongrab does have the ability to love and care for others, and he's getting better. There's hope for this guy. He'll always be strange and weird and we may not always understand him, but he's learning to be nicer to people. There's hope.
UPDATE: This character is fascinating because over time we've seen how he percieves himself and other people. His perception of himself is very interesting.
Too Young- It's made clear that Lemongrab has little respect for other people or himself. The world hates him and he hates it back, and he doesn't seem too fond of himself, either. Princess Bubblegum has no problem with referring to him as a failed experiment when he's within earshot. He has probably been called a failure his whole life, from the time he was very young, and this emotional abuse probably screwed him up in a lot of ways. However, he also is under the dellusion that he is always right about everything, even when his logic is flawed.
You Made Me- Lemongrab makes it clear, at the beginning, that he has some self esteem issues. He is almost the opposite of a narcissist. He knows that he has problems, and he doesn't think there's anything he can do. He knows that he is different from other people, so he blames the one who made him, as well as the person who was mean to him, Princess Bubblegum. When the Pup Gang asks, "Are you crazy?" he points at his own reflection and starts to say "Me," before torturing the kids. In this epsidoe. And again it is established that he knows that other people can't understand him and he doesn't understand them in return. He also gets frustrated when Princess Bubblegum tells him that he should learn some new things, in the storyboard he angrily mutters "I know things already!" He believes that he cannot change and that he is the way he is, whether he or anyone else likes it. At the end of the episode, he learns to love himself, and only after this is he able to start being nicer to people.
All The Little People- Without Littlegrab 2, Littlegrab is angry and spends time alone. He appears to be pondering the nature of his own existence.
Mystery Dungeon- He knows who he is, strengths and weaknesses alike. He seems pretty self-aware in this episode, even apologizing for a mistake. Good for him. *tosses confetti*
All Your Fault- This guy completely lacks the ability to take responsibility for his own actions, because he's immature. If something goes wrong, he cannot find the logic in saying "This was my fault and I am the one to blame." He blames Princess Bubblegum again. But interestingly, he seems to have the capacity to love and cherish his own children, and he treasures the qualities in his kids that Princess Bbblegum finds frustrating in Lemongrab. He pats his children on the head rather than screams at them and punches them. Princess Bubblegum says that there's nothing wrong with their hearts, and that "they're just like this." They both smile and willingly accept Princess Bubblegum's help.
At the end of "All Your Fault," Jake asks Princess Bubblegum if they can fix the Lemongrabs's hearts, so they can be more selfless and less selfish. PB responds with a happy, "Oh, their hearts are fine." It took me a while to figure out what she meant by this. But I realzed that "All Your Fault" was pretty much an entire episode about how selfless the Lemongrabs have become. "I looked inside myself and found that I am a guy who can't stop making candy life from the food he NEEDS." The Lemongrabs used all of their food for a greater purpose- creating loved ones. They literally starved themselves almost to death so they could keep making more family and "greet each new placid face, and hear each new piercing song." They used the last of their food to make Plop-Top and Seedwad. They seem to really care about their kids. Unfortunately, they're idiots, so it didn't occur to them that all of their KIDS would die, until it was bluntly pointed out to them, and when it was, they were worried. There's nothing wrong with theirh hearts- their brains maybe, but not their hearts. Their hearts are fine as long as they have the capacity to love and care for others at the expense of themselves.