Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Adventure Time: Part I

I’m a firm believer that everyone should watch Adventure Time because it teaches all the right lessons in just the right way. If you’ve got kids and they’re not watching it, they should be. And you should watch it, too, whether you have kids or not, because the lessons it teaches are important to everyone regardless of age. Also, it’s just awesome.

Here are some of the lessons learned from the show, episode by episode. There will be more of these to come as I go back and re-watch the whole series.

Season 1, Episode 1: Slumber Party Panic

  • Sometimes a really clever person, like a scientist maybe, is trying to do something good, but by mistake they do something really, really bad instead. Don’t waste time blaming them or getting upset because it happens to everyone: just fix it, man.
  • Some people have serious anxiety problems. It’s not their fault – it’s just the way they’re made. They can’t do anything about it, so blaming them or trying to change them is a waste of time. You just have to be careful around them and respect their issues.
  • Promises are super serious and should not be broken, but that doesn’t mean you should lie to your friends, either. Sometimes it’s enough to just say “I promised I wouldn’t tell,” and if they respect you, they’ll respect the promise you made, too.
  • Sometimes a really, really intelligent person can miss something really obvious. They don’t know everything, and you never know how your own contributions may be important, even if you don’t think you’re that clever. Just do your best all the time and don’t worry about making mistakes.

Season 1, Episode 2: Trouble in Lumpy Space

  • Being really arrogant and talking down to people around you and acting entitled and demanding that people give you whatever you want makes you sound like a jerk and people won’t want to be around you.
  • Being around people who act that way can rub off and you can wind up acting that way too, maybe without even realizing it. You have to work hard to stay a good person when you’re surrounded by jerks, but it’s worth it.
  • You have to pay attention to the people around you. Even if you feel like you’ve got problems, someone in your life might need serious help, or you might even be hurting other people.
  • Some people are really awkward and annoying but it’s not necessarily their fault. Sometimes you’ve got to be patient and understanding and see their good side and their good intentions and maybe try to teach them to be better instead of just getting mad at them and assuming they’re doing it on purpose.

Season 1, Episode 3: Prisoners of Love

  • Sometimes guys think they can force a girl to do what they want. That the way to get a girlfriend or wife is to not give the girl a choice. They are super, super wrong.
  • If some guy is trying to force ladies to be with him, you’ve got to step up and say something about it. That is never okay, and you can’t just ignore it and mind your own business.
  • Mindless rage doesn’t solve anything. You have to stay calm and think things through to solve your problems.
  • Sometimes people who treat others badly actually feel bad about themselves and need some love. They’re so used to rejection that they think they deserve it and start to act in a way that makes them deserve it. That doesn’t make what they do okay, but you have to keep it in mind and think about how they might feel, too. There aren’t really “bad” people, just people who are all donked up inside one way or another and treat others badly without really meaning to.

Season 1, Episode 4: Tree Trunks

  • Sitting around imagining doing stuff is pointless. You have to just go do it. Try it, don’t be afraid of failing, just go for it.
  • Being nice and friendly doesn’t always work with everyone. There are some people in the world that will not respect your positive attitude and will try to hurt or take advantage of you. You have to learn to recognize danger so you can take care of yourself.
  • When you care about someone, sometimes you have to choose between doing what’s best for them and doing what will make them happy right now. It’s never an easy decision and you’ll probably feel kind of bad either way. This is how parents feel about their kids sometimes.
  • Getting what you think you want is not always the best thing.

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