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Adventure Time, the wildly popular kids show that’s not really for kids, is probably the best thing Cartoon Network has ever done.
Yeah, I said it.
The simplistic animation style and the overall silliness of the main characters might deceive some into missing the depth of the messages they convey, but those of us who watch consistently know better. Without being preachy or judgey, Adventure Time drops some serious science on life lessons that we are all still learning, in an easy to understand way most shows on TV wish they could accomplish. By appealing to our inner child, they share some hardcore insights on life that all young adults can learn from, whether you are an animation lover or not. It’s almost impossible to explain to someone who doesn’t watch Adventure Time why it is so amazing. So here are 15 examples of their infinite knowledge and wisdom… in a cartoony way.
1. You don’t need anyone else to validate you.
Sure, we all know that having confidence is important. But how many folks fall into the trap of seeking attention from others to boost our self esteem? You can pretend this doesn’t happen, but the number of half-naked duckface selfies on Instagram would imply otherwise. You don’t need anyone else to validate you, not when you’re confident about who you are inside. Simple, yet so easy to forget. Unless, of course, you watch Adventure Time.
2. Some relationships just aren’t meant to be.
Part of being an adult is knowing when to let go of relationships that aren’t good for you, or ones that are destined to fail. It’s just part of making responsible choices about your life. This is a tough lesson to learn, and sometimes we all need to be reminded in a way that won’t make us feel some type of way.
3. Be true to yourself.
We were told “follow your heart” as kids, but as we grow up that message gets lost. People forget that being true to who they are is the only way to have real happiness. Being your true self is always a risk worth taking. And you know it’s true, because a magical talking dog said it.
4. Be honest about your intentions.
Bruh. Nobody likes a tease.
5. You have to suck before you succeed.
Mastery never happens overnight. It takes time and patience to become great at any thing. As we grow up, we start getting all practical and gross, and taking up a new hobby or skill might seem like a dumb idea. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged from trying to do new things out of fear that you won’t be immediately good at it. Sometimes you have to fail a bunch of times before you can succeed. Jake the Dog be knowing.
6. Life can be brutal.
Sometimes you have to take your lumps in life, meaning you have to go through some pain from time to time. It doesn’t mean the world is against you, we’re all going through it. This is sort of a less cliche’ way of saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But it’s cooler because Finn the Human said it.
7. Sexual harassment is unacceptable.
We all have that one friend who does not know how to control their self around the opposite sex. Don’t be that friend. And don’t be afraid to call that friend out on their crap either. This one is interesting because it’s blatantly stating that it’s not ok to harass women. How many other cartoons are doing that? I’ll wait.
8. Don’t forget to laugh.
Lighten up. Have a sense of humor. And don’t take yourself so damned seriously.
9. PDA is okay. In moderation.
PDA, or “public displays of affection” for those who are unaware, can go from being cute to making other people uncomfortable real quick. There’s a difference between sharing a kiss and a total make out session in public. Putting on a show like that doesn’t prove you are sexy or in love–it proves you like attention. Cut it out. Get a room. Don’t make the world want to throw up.
10. Food is love.
I know you have felt this way before. So have I. And that’s ok.
11. Consent isn’t just sexy, it’s mandatory.
It’s never ok to touch someone without their consent, whether they are a cartoon character or a drunk hottie in a bar. I thought it was interesting that they would touch upon this topic, even using the word consent makes a blatant point about the message they want to convey. Adventure Time is known for sneakily slipping a message into a scene, and this was one of my favorite examples.
12. You’ll screw up.
I feels you, Lumpy Space Princess. We’ve all been there.
13. Take interest in others.
The easiest way to get to know someone is to take interest in their interests. I know it seems like we can learn a lot about each other from what we Tweet or post on Instagram, but most people are not that easy to figure out. It’s nice when you see someone who’s interested in you is taking note of the things that you are into. It’s actually kinda hot.
14. Even the best people do bad things.
There is a Bob Marley quote that says “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” Good people have not so good moments, it’s part of life and we need to remember it. Take it from Marceline, she’s a vampire.
15. Our mistakes do not define who we really are.
This just might be the most important one of all. It’s easy to beat yourself up when you do something dumb. It’s harder to accept that it does not define you. We never really stop growing up, we are always learning. And when you accept that, it makes it easier to forgive yourself for making mistakes. And you’ll be able to watch Adventure Time with an open mind and open heart, and come get that good knowledge that they’re laying down. Just saying.