I am a 30-something old guy and I have a lot better things to do with my time than watch cartoons… but there’s something about Adventure Time that has me hooked. Maybe it the nature of the show and how it cleverly disguises real disturbing adult themes.

In Australia, Adventure Time is rated Parental Guidance (PG) by the Australian Classification Board. This means the show is not recommended for viewing or playing by people under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians. It contains material that young viewers may find confusing or upsetting. In Adventure Time’s case, this is for themes and crude humour. But, buried behind the show’s wackiness are some really disturbing adult themes.

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This is probably the reason why so many adults, like myself, thoroughly enjoy this cleverly written adult entertainment in the guise of a kid’s show. Its off-beat humour and randomness is merely a part of Adventure Time’s charm. Those old enough to somewhat follow the show’s seemingly incoherent story-line might find themselves immersed in a post-apocalyptic story that tackles disturbing adult themes such as abandonment, loneliness, addiction, incest, cannibalism and so much more.

Here are some subtle themes that you might have missed while watching Adventure Time.

5World War III

Adventure Time takes place 1000 years after The Great Mushroom War. The Mushroom War. The war crippled and eventually resulted in the near-annihilation of the human species and left their civilization in ruins throughout the Land of Ooo.

Clearly this is a reference to the nuclear war as the clouds the nuclear bombs leave in their wake are in the shape of mushrooms. This is also strongly hinted at in the episode “Finn the Human” and “Jake the Dog” when they talk about the “mushroom bomb” that made mankind extinct.