Since its release in 2010, the animated series Adventure Time quickly proved itself to be one of Cartoon Network’s best shows of the 2010s. For those who aren’t familiar with Adventure Time, it’s a quirky adventure series that follows the heroic exploits of the two main characters, Finn the Human and Jake the Dog.
Finn is a 12-year-old human boy who wanders through the Land of Ooo, slaying monsters, saving princesses, and hanging out with his adoptive brother, Jake the Dog. When they’re not out helping the citizens of Ooo, Finn the Human kicks back at home to play video games with his sentient console friend, BMO.
It’s a simple enough premise but Adventure Time slowly became one of those kids’ shows that start out as a light-hearted kids’ series but are ultimately geared towards adults. You know the type. Looking at you, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
With all the messed-up stuff that goes on later in the show and to other characters, it’s easy to forget that our fresh-faced hero has a ton of secrets and details that you might have missed about him.
1. He’s Called Finn the Human Because He’s the Only Human
What does it take for a guy to start being called “The Human”? Apparently, you just have to be the last known survivor of your species.
Throughout the early seasons of Adventure Time, the only human we see around Ooo is Finn the Human. While characters like Princess Bubblegum, Flame Princess, and Old Lady Princess all look humanoid, little to none of the other characters do, leaving Finn to be the only true human in the series. That’s unless you count Marceline and the Ice King, both of which have questionable status as humans.
So why the human scarcity?
We get a clue of why Finn is the only human around in the 12th episode, “Her Parents“. After revealing that a dog saved his life during the Dog-Rainicorn War, Lady Rainicorn’s father apologizes for trying to eat Finn, saying that he thought he’d never get another chance to eat a human because they were extinct.
We later find out that the few remaining humans have mutated into the Hyoomans, a species of fish-human hybrids, with the only “real” humans remaining being the critically endangered humans of Hub Island.
2. Finn Has Gone Through Seven Signature Swords
True to its adventuring theme, Adventure Time has Finn the Human go through a number of cool adventuring gear. Just to give you an idea, Finn has gone through over a dozen swords and if that doesn’t give you RPG or shounen lead vibes, I don’t know what will.
Of those swords, there are seven that Finn the Human has used the most often. Fans of the show will be most familiar with the “Golden Sword of Battle” a.k.a Scarlet. The sword features a dented and scratched golden blade and a leather-wrapped hilt that looks like it’s about to fall apart. Scarlet serves as Finn’s primary sword and is the one we see the most in the show.
Another of Finn the Human’s most memorable blades is the Demon Blood Sword which once belonged to Finn and Jake’s father, Joshua. As you can expect, the Demon Blood Sword is haunted and every time Finn uses it, a demon named Kee Oth appears asking to have his blood back.
3. Finn the Human Has Rapunzel Hair
What’s a little human boy got to hide under an animal hat? A head full of golden blond hair.
Finn the Human’s hair is first shown in “To Cut a Woman’s Hair”. The Tree Witch threatens to kill Jake if she doesn’t get princess hair to cover her bald spot, forcing Finn to take off his hat and cut off his own Rapunzel-worthy hair just to get Jake back.
Though the Tree Witch says she’ll use it for evil, Finn’s hair might be better off in the hands of someone who actually cares about it since Finn has shown multiple times that he doesn’t really care about his hair.
Many episodes, like “Davey”, show Finn cutting his hair to an extremely short length or even turning himself completely bald. The way he abuses his gorgeous Glob-given locks has made BMO cry about Finn “destroying his beauty”.
We get one last look at Finn’s hair in Adventure Time: Distant Lands. “Obsidian” shows Finn with his hair dulled to a dirty blond shade, a far cry from his gleaming hair as a young boy.
4. Finn’s Surname Is “Mertens”
Though Finn carries his father’s surname, the two are nothing alike. Finn proves time and time again that he’s every bit the selfless hero, going as far as to put himself in intense psychological stress and physical danger for the sake of other citizens in the Land of Ooo. He’s also an incredibly forgiving boy who takes pity on his enemies, like the Tree Witch, and has no problems with burying the hatchet with the Ice King.
It makes Finn the Human everything but his father’s son.
Unlike Finn, Martin Mertens is a selfish con artist who only cares about himself. Seriously, the guy is the poster dad for r/RaisedByNarcissists. He’s completely indifferent to Finn’s attempts at reconnecting with his father and continually dangles the promise of fatherly love in front of Finn to make him help Martin.
It’s a relief that Finn takes more after his mother, Minerva Campbell who actually saves the remaining humans on Hub Island from a disease that threatened to render them extinct. Minerva later uploads her consciousness into hundreds of helper robots to ensure that there’s always enough of her to go around to help the humans of Hub Island.
5. Finn the Human Has an Artistic Streak
Finn the Human is a human boy of many talents. Despite gaining fame as a demon-slaying, princess-saving hero, his friends in the show also know him for his artistic sensibilities.
Adventure Time is a show with a lot of songs and the most popular ones come from local rockstar, Marceline the Vampire Queen. That said, Finn has more than a few bangers under his belt. The first time we hear Finn sing a full song is in “What Was Missing.”
In the episode, Finn, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, BMO, and Jake all come together to try and open a magic door that’s keeping their stolen stuff locked away. Finn snaps during an argument between his companions and starts singing, “What Am I To You?”
Finn also has a gift for the visual arts. We see him drawing BMO and Susan in the episode “Mysterious Island“. He’s also got solid sculpture-making skills which he shows off in “The Real You” when he makes Princess Bubblegum a Candy Kingdom replica from his saliva. Yeah, not the most refined of artworks but you gotta give it to the guy, it takes guts to work with such an unstable material.
We even see Finn dabbling in origami in a couple of other episodes where he makes a paper plane and paper crane. But not even the most multi-talented human in the Land of Ooo, not that there was any competition, has it all. Finn sucks at playing musical instruments, forcing him to play sleigh bells in one episode.
6. Finn Used to Be a Girl
Before Finn the Human was Finn the Human, he was Shoko. It’s unclear whether Shoko is a human herself or is a type of human hybrid or mutation but she does share a lot of humanoid traits with Finn.
Now, to be clear, Finn didn’t transition from Shoko to Finn. While that would have been a cool reveal, Shoko is actually Finn in one of his past lives. Though we really only get to see what she looks like in “The Vault“, the 34th episode of season 5, we actually see Shoko for the first time in season 3 during “The Creeps“.
Shoko somewhat parallels Finn in that she is shown to be disabled, having lost one of her arms after her parents sold it to buy a computer. As a cherry on top of the shitty parents sundae, Shoko’s parents abandoned her at a dojo where she learned fighting skills that came in handy later in her life as a criminal.
She later meets Princess Bubblegum who builds a mechanical arm to replace the missing arm her parents sold. Shoko seems to be surprised that Princess Bubblegum even cares about her and that she thinks parents should take care of their children. Despite this, Shoko later steals Princess Bubblegum’s amulet and is only able to return it centuries later through her current life, Finn the Human.
Shoko died after falling into a radioactive river located under the Candy Kingdom. The incident turned her into a mutated, scaly creature that looked like a monstrous slug. She was able to crawl out of the river and reach a tree sapling on top of a hill. That same tree would later be home to Finn the Human and Jake the Dog.