Adventurama: A Crossover Analysis
- by ReuBen DeBord, 13 December 2016
I can’t be the only one who thinks WAAAAYYYY too much about the internal consistency of stories, right? Like, if an episode of this series makes a declaration, and then a later episode contradicts that declaration, I’m the nerd who is usually trying to find a way to say that the contradiction still somehow makes sense.
But this ain't easy. It’s doubly difficult when you throw crossovers into the mix. Remember that time I talked about how Battlestar Galactica and Firefly maybe exist in the same universe? It can be tricky when you have two shows, and one of them has a prop guy with a sense of humor, and he puts a reference to the other show in the show he’s working on. There is clearly no intention from the creators or show runners of either show for their two shows to co-exist, but because of that one prop guy, you’ve got nerds like me wasting internet space saying that they are part of the same universe.
Well I’m at it again, Trash Muties! Today I’m talking about the world of Animation! Specifically, Futurama and Adventure Time! Two really awesome shows! And I’m going to defy all the odds and try to suggest that maybe these two shows are set in the same universe.
In the Futurama episode “Leela and the Genestalk”, which first aired in 2013, we see Bender the robot briefly cross paths with Jake the Dog and Finn the Human from Adventure Time.
Now this is almost certainly not meant to be taken seriously. It’s just a cute little wink to people who are aware that Bender and Jake are both voiced by John Dimagio. But if you do take these things too seriously, let’s analyze this.
We know that Futurama is set 1,000 years in the future. The series premiered in 1999, and by the end of the episode, Fry is living in the year 3,000. Simple enough.
Placing the exact chronology of the events of Adventure Time is a little more difficult. We don’t know exactly when the series is set. In the Season 7 episode “elementals,” Finn says that time is not measured in years anymore, making it difficult to determine just how far in the future this series is supposed to be, or how much time has passed since the series began. But we do have a few clues. According to Marceline the Vampire Queen in the episode “Simon & Marcy,” she and Simon Petrikov, the man who would one day become the Ice King, first met 996 years ago.
But the world was already in a shambles by that point. So we can probably assume that they did not meet in our present day, and that Adventure Time takes place more than 996 years in the future.
In the episode “Daddy’s little monster,” Marceline tells her father that she is 1,000 years old, implying that the Mushroom War which led to the state of the world that Adventure Time is in during the series, happened sometime around when Marceline was born.
But hang on a sec. Futurama is set 1,000 years in the future. Adventure Time is set a little over 1,000 years in the future. But these shows cannot possible be set on the same planet with so little time separating them. It’d be one thing if one show or the other was set another thousand years in the future to explain all the discrepancies between the shows, but that’s not the case.
What discrepancies, you may ask? Quite a few, actually.
For one, there’s the planet itself. In Adventure Time, something tore a big huge chunk out of the planet, making it look like this:
But in Futurama, the world is still intact, as we see from the global flag:
Also, our neighboring planet Mars features occasionally in both shows. In Adventure Time, Mars is populated by gentlemen who look like this:
While in Futurama, the Martians that we see look like this:
Now you might say that Mars has many different species, and the ones we saw in Futurama and the ones we saw in Adventure Time all co-exist on the same planet. Okay, maybe. But in Adventure Time, Abraham Lincoln is the leader of the Martians, and in Futurama, a private citizen forced the Martians out of Mars and colonized the planet with humans. So no dice there.
Now if you are still willing to look all of this evidence in the face and say that you still think these two shows take place in the same world, then you might say that the Mushroom War happened some time while Fry, the protagonist of Futurama, slept for 1,000 years. While Fry was in suspended animation, we see apocalyptic scenarios play out twice outside the window next to Fry. Maybe the Mushroom War happened sometime during this time.
Let’s say that you finagle the timelines of both shows so that Futurama is definitely set 1,000 years in the future, but Adventure Time is set much further in the future. All we know for certain is that the Ice King and Marceline met almost 1,000 years ago, and that’s almost certainly around the time that the Mushroom War happened. But what if the Mushroom War is NOT in an approximation of our present day, but is still many decades or even a few centuries off? What we see of the world when Marceline and Ice King were friends doesn’t really specify that it had to be too close to the present day. Maybe the events of Futurama are set long before the events of Adventure Time. Maybe.
But personally, I doubt it. It seems like the Mushroom War is meant to be the reason why humanity is nearly extinct in the world of Adventure Time. Or, alternatively, the Mushroom War mutated all the humans into weird monsters that now populate the world of Adventure Time. And if the Mushroom War is set at any point during Fry’s thousand year slumber, then why do we still have so many humans in Futurama, but only one human in Adventure Time? And likewise, the idea that Adventure Time is set before Futurama doesn’t work because, again, one human in Adventure Time, many humans in Futurama.
Now by this point in the article (or actually much earlier, probably) you are likely saying “Hey! I thought you were trying to prove that these two shows DO take place in the same universe! All you’re doing is providing evidence that suggests that they can’t possibly!” But the world of Adventure Time and the world of Futurama are both strange and weird places that have many work-arounds that could allow for these seemingly incompatible shows to co-exist. For example, the Multiverse.
We know it exists in Adventure Time…
And in Futurama…
So what if these shows don’t share the same timeline (and based on everything I’ve seen, they really can’t), but some version of Jake and Finn with very different histories than the one they have in Adventure Time is what we saw in the Futurama episode “Leela and the Genestalk.” So these two guys:
Are not OUR Finn and Jake, but rather, the Finn and Jake of Earth 2, if you’ll allow me to appropriate some Multiversal Lingo from DC Comics.
Why, if you look at it that way, it frees up the creators of both series’ to do whatever they want. And hey, maybe this means a version of Bender who exists in the world of Adventure Time could show up in that show, and have a teamup story with BMO and Neptr! Okay, probably not, but I can dream, right?
What do you guys think? Do these shows exist in the same multiverse? Or is there some crazy way they could co-exist in the same timeline that I’m overlooking? Let’s have your theories and comments! And if you want to see me tackle more weird crazy things like this, give me a holla! I like hollas! In the meantime, keep it trashy, muties!
Tagged: movies & TV.