Oh My Glob, It’s Fionna & Cake Explained
Fionna and Cake started as bad in-universe fanfiction and turned into one of the biggest shows of last year.
Last year we saw a standalone spin-off to the ridiculously popular animated series, Adventure Time when Fionna and Cake premiered. The season took a jokey, one-off premise from a seemingly random episode of Adventure Time and ran with it, creating something that felt like fanfiction in the best way, while still remaining real and grounded within the greater Adventure Time canon. And people loved it. But where did Fionna and Cake come from? How do they fit into the Adventure Time universe? And how did this fever dream of a show get made in the first place?
Where It All Started: Adventure Time
Adventure Time first appeared in its original Finn-and-Jake flavor in April 2010. Created by Pendleton Ward, the show ran for ten seasons with 283 episodes. Its original release ended in 2018, and it left fans wanting more. Enough so that a few one-off episodes have been released as specials since the show’s finale, and still pull in an impressive viewership.
Adventure Time followed Finn and his adopted brother-slash-dog-slash-best-friend, Jake as they traveled the fantasy world of Ooo, fighting monsters, saving princesses, and generally adventuring. Some episodes were goofy and silly, while others were heart-wrenching trips back in time to a modern world before catastrophe turned everything we know into the candy-person and monster-filled world that Adventure Time takes place in. And along the way Finn, Jake, and we, the audience, met a huge cast of delightful weirdoes.
“Sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something.”– Jake the Dog, Adventure Time.
Including The Ice King. Starting out as a villain who’s obsessed with kidnapping and marrying princesses, he quickly becomes one of the most sympathetic characters in the show. And in season three during Adventure Time‘s 61st episode, Ice King treated us all to some of his fanfiction.
Fionna & Cake’s First Appearance
Fionna and Cake’s first appearance happens in an episode that I’m sure was meant to be a throw-away joke. The basic premise is a world where every Adventure Time character we know is gender-swapped. Instead of the Ice King, we have the Ice King; instead of Princess Bubblegum, it’s Prince Gumball. And of course, Finn and Jake are replaced with Fionna and Cake. Aside from that, the episode is pretty standard for Adventure Time. Wacky adventure antics ensue.
That is, until the end when everyone is suddenly in love with Ice King and it’s revealed that the entire story took place in a fanfiction Ice King had written about the other citizens of Ooo.
The Standalone Series
Twelve years after the release of their introductory episode, Fionna and Cake series came to Max. But things were a little different. They start in a mundane world that looks a lot like ours. Cake is a regular not-talking cat, and the counterparts of everyone we know from Ooo are similarly normal people.
We later learn that in the Ooo we know Simon Petrikov- an uncorrupted Ice King- is the author of an entire series about Fionna and Cake. The three meet and hop through dimensions trying to figure out what’s going on and how to save their little corner of the multi-verse.
Who are Fionna & Cake?
At their introduction, Fionna and Cake are one-for-one stand-ins for Finn and Jake. Truly the only difference between the two pairs are their genders.
In Fionna and Cake, they start out very mundane. Cake is a standard house cat- don’t worry, she quickly gets her voice and with it heaps of sass. Fionna is an underachieving twenty-something moving from job to job but hoping for more from life after a series of weird, magical dreams.
As the series progresses though, they become competent adventurers who feel more and more like Finn and Jake with a bit of a twist. This time though, the twist isn’t just their gender swap, but how the mundane reality of the world they’re from shape who they are and how they make decisions.
How Many Episodes of Fionna & Cake Are There?
There were ten episodes of Fionna and Cake in season one. Each episode ran for 22 to 26 episodes in comparison to Adventure Time‘s 11-minute episodes.
Is Fionna Finn’s Daughter?
No! Fionna is an alternate version of Finn from another timeline. Fionna meets a few versions of Finn throughout her adventures, but they are always different versions of each other.
Is Fionna & Cake Canon?
Officially yes! While they started as bits of Ice King’s imagination and were later characters in books written by Simon, they have been brought to life, so to speak. It’s revealed through Fionna and Cake that Prismo created their universe, unauthorized, and added it to reality. Because this universe wasn’t approved, he hid it in Ice King’s mind. But once Ice King turned back into Simon, the world inside of his head lost all of its magic.
Will There Be a Second Season of Fionna & Cake?
Fionna and Cake was officially renewed for a second season in December of last year. At this time we don’t know what the timeline for production or release is, how many episodes there will be, or what the plot will cover. But as of right now more Fionna and Cake is on its way. Eventually.
Stay mathmatical, adventurers!