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15 Most Popular Adventure Time Characters Ranked Worst To Best

"Adventure Time" has remained popular since ending in 2018, though it never really ended as there has already been one revival and another is on the way. Those revivals are a testament to the show's popularity and the ongoing demand for more stories from the land of Ooo (and its surrounding kingdoms, planets, dimensions, and planes of reality). The "Distant Lands" specials each focused on one or two of the most beloved characters from the show's 10 season run, but there are so many more characters that fans of the show love so we'd like to celebrate some of them here. Below you'll find a ranking of the 15 most popular "Adventure Time" characters, some of whom show up in every episode of the show, and others who only feature in some episodes but are fan favorites for their distinct personalities.

We've limited ourselves to 15 characters so that we don't end up with a sprawling piece that attempts to rank every character from the show's 283 episodes. Hence, apologies to fans of Me-Mow and DMO and other characters who certainly make an impression with their few appearances, but here we'll be focusing on the most popular series regulars. That said, we should also note that even the characters at the back-end of the ranking are beloved. So without further ado then, let's set off to Ooo and rank the 15 most popular "Adventure Time" characters.

15. Tree Trunks

Tree Trunks (voiced by Polly Lou Livingston) is an elderly little elephant with a great talent for making apple pie and a surprisingly strong libido. She's lived a storied life, spending time as a pirate captain, shipping magnate, and even ruled as queen of the Crystal Dimension. Over this time she has also had a number of men in her life, including her three ex-husbands, an alien consort who visits every few years, and Mr. Pig who's her partner for most of the show. She's also a loving mother to Sweet P after Finn and Jake drop the big baby on her door. She's also one of the few characters in the show who genuinely prefers the King of Ooo to Princess Bubblegum and has a very strong sense of right and wrong.

She's a fan favorite for all of the reasons above, and for the fantastic voice performance from Livingston, who passed away in 2021. Many episodes with Tree Trunks ride the line between funny and uncomfortable. She's the only character in the entire series that can be counted on to make a comment that would make most viewers feel just a bit off. It's undeniably part of what makes the character special, and in a more personalized ranking there are likely some who place her very high.

14. Lady Rainicorn

Lady Rainicorn (voiced by Niki Yang) is a bit difficult to rank in comparison to the other characters on the show. Despite her regular appearances in multiple episodes and her significant role as Jake's girlfriend and mother of his children, audiences who only speak English can't understand Lady as she only speaks unsubtitled Korean. There are some exceptions to this rule, as in "My Two Favorite People" where Jake gets Lady a universal translator (that only allows her to speak in English with an old man's voice) and "Lady Rainicorn of the Crystal Dimension" where she is subtitled. Overwhelmingly, any viewers who are not able to understand Korean are left out of what Lady is saying.

This certainly contributes to some jokes, like an extended dialogue scene between Lady and Princess Bubblegum in "Lady and Peebles" and any time that Lady makes Jake blush, but overall it makes it hard to rank Lady very high. She's also overwhelmingly relegated to supporting roles for those more active characters like Jake and Princess Bubblegum. That said, her great design (she's a rainbow with a unicorn head), kind nature (she's a supportive and helpful friend to Princess Bubblegum and girlfriend to Jake), and very cool powers (she can phase through walls!) make her a beloved character for good reason.

13. Lumpy Space Princess

Lumpy Space Princess aka LSP (voiced by series creator Pendleton Ward) is perhaps the most well-known of the side characters outside of the fandom. That makes sense, as Ward's vocal performance is very specific, her character design is wholly unique even in the fantastical world of "Adventure Time," and she may well be the biggest personality in the show. She also delivers some of the series' funniest moments, as in "The Monster" when she narrates the interactions between wolves as if they were characters on a soap opera, or when she entirely fails to properly care for Sweet P in "Be Sweet." Surprisingly she's also key to some of the show's more tragic episodes like "Bad Timing" in which she falls for Johnny, an old classmate, and in her attempt to transport him back in time accidentally moves him to an alternate plane of reality.

As with Tree Trunks, some of the things that make LSP such a distinct and entertaining character are also some of her weaknesses. LSP's need to be the center of attention and willingness to ruin other people's moments (as she attempts to do by taking over Tree Trunks' wedding in "Apple Wedding"), stories (as she does in "The Prince Who Wanted Everything" when she uses Ice King's fan fiction world to tell a story about herself), or entire lives (as she does to Johnny in "Bad Timing") makes her a bit difficult to rank very highly.

12. Susan Strong

Susan Strong (a.k.a. Kara, a.k.a. Seeker XJ-7-7) as voiced by ​​Jackie Buscarino is one of the most important characters in "Adventure Time" as her history — and the "Islands" miniseries that explore that history — are major to the development of the show's lore. That miniseries also gives Susan one of the most significant character arcs in the show. She was introduced early on as a lady who has trouble with language and may or may not be human. Susan is certainly kindhearted, curious, and committed to helping the Hyooman tribe that she belongs to from the first episode we see her in, the eponymous "Susan Strong." As the series goes on we see Susan continue to exhibit those characteristics, particularly in "Dark Purple” where she goes on a journey to the mysterious Super Porp factory to save a Hyooman baby. 

It's in the lead-up to the "Islands" miniseries that we see her quickly develop (or rather redevelop) her language skills, taking stock of her past as an enforcer for the dystopian human society that lives on the islands off the coast of Ooo. What keeps Susan in the back half of this ranking is that, while she is an important character, she isn't such a fun one. She's certainly a hero and very admirable, but aside from a few moments of physical comedy, Susan's not very funny and she's not as cool or cute as some character's that land higher up on the list.

11. Princess Bubblegum

Speaking of important but not exactly the most fun, Princess Bubblegum (a.k.a. PB, a.k.a. Bonnibel "Bonnie" Bubblegum) as voiced by Hynden Walch is arguably the third lead of "Adventure Time" after Finn and Jake. Yet, as the ruler of the Candy Kingdom, she isn't always the most entertaining character in Ooo. The show even addresses PB's penchant for maintaining order and control at the cost of fun in episodes like "Hot Diggity Doom" where she loses an election to the King of Ooo, or "Varmints" where she and Marceline talk about how often she has been consumed by the need to control things. Her love of (and talent for) science also contributes to this more rigid personality, as science must be precise. Thus, we see in "Wizards Only, Fools" Princess Bubblegum has no love for the more abstract art of magic.

She does have a fun side, though. As we see in "Varmints" and "The Pajama War" she can let loose and step away from the candy people, even if they do require supervision at all times. Her romance with Marceline is one of the best aspects of the show, both for the funny banter between the two as well as the emotional impact their arc has through episodes like "What Was Missing," "The Sky Witch," and once again "Varmints."

10. The Earl of Lemongrab

The Earl of Lemongrab (voiced by Justin Roiland of "Rick and Morty" fame) is another character like Lumpy Space Princess that is incredibly specific and certainly works better for some viewers than others. Roiland's exaggerated, often screeching vocal performance has given "Adventure Time" one of its most quotable lines in "Unacceptable!" The character is likely the only one on this list that can consistently bring equally funny and disturbing moments to the show.

Yet it's that disturbing aspect, combined with Roiland's shrieks, that make Lemongrab land on the slightly unappealing side. He's certainly one of the most iconic characters from the series, and many fans adore him, but there are those who are put off by his "lemon styles" as he calls them. It's easy to see why, since Lemongrab is obviously an abrasive character and — as mentioned before — genuinely scary. This can certainly be a positive, as "Too Old" is one of the most memorable episodes due to the relationship between the two Earls of Lemongrab. It may be that Lemongrab is a favorite among the "Adventure Time" fans who are also horror fans (a significant cross-section, given the show's many forays into horror stories) and not quite as beloved by those who don't enjoy feeling scared. 

9. Prismo

Prismo (voiced by ​Kumail Nanjiani) may be the character on this list with the fewest appearances in "Adventure Time," but that just speaks to what a fantastic character he is. He's able to make a major impression in his comparatively small time on screen because he's one of the wisest, kindest, and (much like Susan Strong) most important characters in the show. He's one of the most strongly designed characters in the show as his body is only ever seen reflecting on surfaces.

Prismo's importance is clear before he even appears on the screen. In "The Lich," when a holographic figure appears out of the Enchiridion to explain the dimensional map, he describes Prismo as "almighty" before we actually get to see the character himself in "Finn the Human." Prismo's powers as a wish master allow him to create alternate timelines based on the impacts of wishes, as we see in "Jake the Dog," and manipulate spacetime for his own purposes (which are self-interested but certainly not evil) in "Is That You?" Despite this, he's a remarkably down-to-earth character who chats with friends, including other cosmic entities like the Cosmic Owl and Death. He also hangs with mortals like Jake and has a passion for making pickles. Primo is keenly interested in helping people, even going so far as to bend the rules a little to help Jake make a very specific wish in "Jake the Dog."

8. Gunter

Gunter (noises voiced by Tom Kenny) is the only character on this list who doesn't communicate using language, or at least not any language that human viewers can understand. That doesn't mean that they aren't vocal. Like Lemongrab's "unacceptable," Gunter's "wenk" is one of the most iconic lines/sounds from "Adventure Time." Kenny does a fantastic job making the single sound communicate a wide range of emotions, as do an array of facial expressions within limited features. It's not just the fact that Gunter as a character does so much with so little that lands them well into the list. 

Gunter is one of the funniest characters in the show, as with their penchant for breaking bottles (introduced in "Still" and developed in "Reign of Gunters"), their love of parties (as seen in "Princess Potluck" and "Holly Jolly Secrets Part 1"), and their status as "by far, the most evil thing." They are also fearless in the face of Abadeer in "It Came From the Nightosphere." That evil is later clarified in "Orgalorg," when we learn that Gunter is the earthbound form of a Lovecraftian cosmic entity. This reframes the entire character in a way that makes some things make more sense, like the lord of a hell world being shocked at how evil a penguin is. It also makes other things more confusing, like Gunter giving birth to a floating pink kitten in "The Chamber of Frozen Blades." It's precisely Gunter's inscrutability that makes them so perfect.

7. Jake

Jake (voiced by the great John DiMaggio) is one of the two leads of the show so of course he's placed well into this ranking, but he doesn't quite make it to the top. While Jake isn't always the best father, as we see in "Jake the Dad" and "Ocarina," he struggles with his anger as we see in the eponymous "Card Wars" episode and "Daddy-Daughter Card Wars." His placement lower on the list is more a testament to how fantastic the other characters are rather than any failings of Jake's.

The trustworthy dog companion is a delight to watch in almost every episode, and there are some episodes without him. His stretchy powers make him one of the most powerful characters in the show and allow him to regularly save Finn's life. He's a talented cook and musician (sometimes both, as when he sings "Bacon Pancakes" in "Burning Low") and he's a loving big brother to Finn and boyfriend to Lady Rainicorn. He also may have the best recurring joke in "Adventure Time" with his inability to wish for anything other than a sandwich, as we see in "The Limit," "Graybles 1000+," and "Jake the Dog." He might also have a claim to the funniest single bit for his back and forth with Peppermint Butler in the "Stakes" miniseries when he attempts to describe the vampires and just can't quite do them justice.

6. Finn

Finn (voiced by Jeremy Shada) is the closest thing that the very ensemble-focused "Adventure Time" has to a main character. He's the only human in Ooo, a hero in the service of a princess, and we get to see him quite literally grow up over the course of the series' 10 seasons, and even more so in the "Distant Lands" specials. "Adventure Time" isn't often a show with life lessons, but in watching Finn's relationship with Flame Princess in episodes like "Frost & Fire," "The Red Throne," and "Bun Bun" young viewers can certainly learn some important things about navigating romantic relationships and taking responsibility. We also get to see Finn develop emotional resilience through his interactions with his father Martin, moving from desperation for fatherly affection in "Escape from the Citadel" to understanding that his father will never grow in "The Comet."

Beyond Finn's growth in his relationships, we also see him become more confident as a person. This is shown from his beginnings as a battle-hungry hero who feels the need to complete every aspect of any challenge (as seen in "Dungeon Train" and "Vault of Bones") through to a young man who is interested in finding ways for people with conflict to live together (in "Three Buckets" and "Gumbaldia"). It's Finn's evolution that's the emotional core of "Adventure Time" and a significant part of what makes the show so good.

5. Ice King/Simon Petrikov

On the topic of character evolution and arcs, while Finn certainly grows over the course of the series, perhaps no character is more changed from the beginning of "Adventure Time" to the end than the Ice King (voiced by Tom Kenny). This transformation earns him a top-five spot in our ranking. When we first meet Ice King in "Prisoners of Love" he has kidnapped and imprisoned a number of princesses so that one will become his wife. Throughout the early seasons, we see his obsession with getting a wife by any means in episodes like "When Wedding Bells Thaw" in which he brainwashes a princess, and "Princess Monster Wife" in which he creates a ghoul reminiscent of Frankenstein's monster by creating a wife from parts of princesses across Ooo.

In "Holly Jolly Secrets Part II" we learn that the Ice King wasn't always a princess/wife-obsessed stalker: He actually used to be a wonderfully caring man named Simon Petrikov. In later seasons, as we learn about Simon's backstory, we also see Ice King reconnect with Marceline who he cared for in the immediate aftermath of the Mushroom War, and slowly move from frenemy to friend and trusted ally for Finn, Jake, and Princess Bubblegum. In the series finale, Ice King is permanently transformed back into Simon.

4. Peppermint Butler

Peppermint Butler (a.k.a. Pep But, voiced by Steve Little) lands high on the list as the character we most wish we got more of in the 10 seasons of "Adventure Time" and even in the "Distant Lands" special "Wizard City," which ostensibly focused on him but really a different version of the character. Peppermint Butler, like the similarly beloved Willow in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," is an incredibly strong magic practitioner and student of the dark arts who uses those powers for good.

"Adventure Time" emphasizes Peppermint Butler's power and standing within the community of dark artists through his friendship with Death (which literally saves Finn and Jake's lives in "Death in Bloom"), his ability to bind Hunson Abadeer (as seen in "Marcy and Hunson"), his extensive knowledge of vampires (as seen in "Stakes"), and his victory in a duel with his nemesis Peace Master in "Nemesis." The initial joy of the character is the simple irony of an adorable anthropomorphic piece of candy (who's also a royal butler) being a powerful dark magician, but through Pep But we get to glimpse a whole world of mostly unexplored dark magic and demons. In the episode "The Suitor" we actually see Pep But summon the demon Ogdoad from the Shadow Dimension. These glimpses then just leave us wanting more of those worlds and of Peppermint Butler's skilled navigation of them. Wanting more of a character may be the best thing you can say about them.

3. Flame Princess

As mentioned in Finn's entry above, Flame Princess (voiced by Jessica DiCicco) plays a pivotal role in Finn's character arc, but she's much more than just the emotionally mature young woman who helps our male protagonist grow. As we learn in "Elemental," she's literally the embodiment of an eternal fire elemental. In "Earth & Water" from Season 5 we find out she is the ruler of the Fire Kingdom, and she's also a talented freestyle rapper as we see in "Bun Bun" and "The Music Hole."

It's not just her (very impressive) resume or her enviable elemental powers that makes Flame Princess land so high on this list, though. It's her emotional and political intelligence, which combine to make her a great ruler. Her emotional intelligence shines through in her conversations with Finn in episodes like "Bun Bun" and "The Red Throne," which also shows that she is a beloved ruler by her Fire People subjects. "The Cooler” shows us why when we see the great lengths she goes to ensure the safety and well-being of her kingdom and its citizens. "The Cooler" also shows off her political savvy as she navigates her complicated relationship with Princess Bubblegum while requesting help from the Candy Kingdom.

2. BMO

If "Adventure Time" had a mascot, it would likely be BMO (voiced by Niki Yang). The little robot is the third member of the treehouse and appears in most episodes, even if just briefly. Their simple design and Yang's fantastic vocal performance make BMO immediately lovable as a cute character, but it's their many abilities and great imagination that make them great. BMO is initially introduced in "Business Time" as a sentient video game system, but as the series goes on we learn their capabilities. In "Guardians of Sunshine" we learn that BMO can pull people into the virtual reality of video games, and likewise transport characters from video games into reality. In "Video Makers" BMO uses their editing software to help Finn and Jake make a movie. We see them play VHS tapes in both parts of "Holly Jolly Secrets" and use a very helpful navigation app in the "Islands" miniseries.

While these talents certainly make BMO one of the most helpful characters in the show, it's their imagination that sets them above because they use it to make Ooo so many other places. In "BMO Noire" they turn the treehouse into the mean streets of a classic film noir, while in "Angel Face" they transform Ooo into a vision of the wild west, and in "President Porpoise is Missing" they are able to use their imagination and surprising leadership skills to bring Ice King along on a multicolored submarine adventure without leaving the beach.

1. Marceline

Marceline the vampire queen (a.k.a. Marcy, voiced by Olivia Olson) is the coolest character in the show from her introduction "Evicted!" where she initially kicks Finn and Jake out of the treehouse that she owns before deciding she likes them and they can stay. The episode introduces a fun push and pull that's built upon in "Henchman" where Marcy seems very scary, only to reveal that she's just messing with our heroes. It also gives her a song that highlights Olson's singing talents.

Marcy only becomes better and better as we learn about her many powers in "Heat Signature," and in "Red Starved" we see that while she's mostly a benevolent demon and vampire she can get genuinely scary when she's hungry. She's also a talented musician with fans across Ooo as we see in "Marcy and Hunson" and "The Music Hole." Some of her original songs give the show its most emotional moments like when she sings "I'm Just Your Problem" in "What Was Missing" and "Everything Stays" at the end of the "Stakes miniseries. Her backstory is developed in flashbacks throughout the show, often alongside Ice King, and we get to see her romance with Princess Bubblegum grow in episodes like "Sky Witch" and "Varmints," giving her a beautifully developed character. These flashbacks and her relationship with PB are further explored in the "Distant Lands" special "Obsidian," which only further establishes her as the best character in the show.