Jake the Dog

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Jake the Dog
Adventure Time character
JaketheDog.png
First appearance Adventure Time (rough-cut)
"Slumber Party Panic" (official)
Created by Pendleton Ward
Voiced by John DiMaggio
Information
Species Dog
Gender Male
Family Joshua (father)
Unnamed shapeshifter (biological parent)
Margaret (adoptive mother)
Jermaine (half-brother)
Finn (adoptive brother)
Lady Rainicorn (partner)
Charlie (daughter)
Viola (daughter)
Jake Jr. (daughter)
Kim Kil Whan (son)
T.V. (son)

Jake the Dog is a fictional character and one of the main cast in the American animated television series Adventure Time created by Pendleton Ward. He is voiced by John DiMaggio. The character made his debut in the original pilot. Jake is Finn's best friend and adoptive brother. He is a shape-shifting dog who is in his 30s in "magical dog years". He was conceived by Joshua and an extra-dimensional creature and as a result, Jake can stretch, shrink, or mold any part of his body to any shape and almost any size, ranging from becoming gigantic to becoming incredibly small.[1] He acts as a confidant and mentor to his energetic brother, though has a tendency to give somewhat questionable advice. Jake has a laid-back attitude in most situations, but loves adventure and will eagerly fight when he needs to. His powers help Finn considerably in combat and transportation, but are also sometimes used as nothing more than jovial forms of expression. Jake is in a relationship with Lady Rainicorn voiced by Niki Yang; they have five children together as seen in "Jake the Dad". He met Lady in the pilot episode and is quite skilled at playing the viola, which houses a worm called Shelby.

The character has received largely positive critical reception.

Background[edit]

According to the series, Jake was conceived when his father, Joshua, was bitten by an extra-dimensional creature during a detective investigation with his wife Margaret, and was later born from a pustule on his father's head originating from the creature's bite.[2] It is inferred that Jake's natural magical powers are a result of his biological relationship with the shape-shifting creature,[1] though he himself is apparently unaware of the circumstances of his birth and instead believes his powers to be the result of having rolled around in a "magical mud puddle" as a pup.[3] After his birth, Jake was raised normally by Joshua and Margaret as their son, alongside their own biological son Jermaine and their adoptive human son Finn.

Little has been shown in the series thus far about Jake's subsequent childhood life with his family, though in his youth, he was known to be a successful criminal and the leader of his own gang, a position he later retired from to take part in a more respectable life as an adventurer with Finn.[4] Around this time, he also began a romantic relationship with Lady Rainicorn, with whom he has five children—daughters Charlie, Viola, and Jake Jr., and sons T.V. and Kim Kil Whan.[5]

Abilities[edit]

Jake's stretchy powers enable him to modify the size, shape, and dimensions of every part of his body. Not only can he stretch and contort himself into highly specific forms, but he can also rearrange his internal organs, and teeth. In "Evicted!," he was able to shrink and move his internal organs and blood into his left thumb. Also in "Jake vs. Me-Mow," he enlarged his liver fifty-one times a dog his size, preventing him from succumbing to Me-Mow's poison. One frequent use of his powers is Key Hand, which he uses to pick locks. He has also used his arm as a bow able to accurately shoot arrows at a short distance.

Although he lacks the zeal for fighting that Finn possesses, Jake is a capable fighter. What he lacks in Finn's talent for swordsmanship, he makes up for in toughness and magical brawn. He is a capable hand-to-hand fighter, and can transform his limbs into weapons. He can also stretch to entangle enemies, or grow to gain a height and weight advantage. His shapeshifting can grant him supernatural strength, allowing him to simply overpower his enemies. However, Pendleton Ward has said in an interview that Jake uses his powers lazily and does not know their full extent, often hindering Jake's effectiveness in combat. Despite stating outright that he's multiple times stronger than Finn, Jake often leaves the brawling to his adoptive brother.

As shown in "Mystery Train," Jake is also able to stretch himself to "create" an entirely new person, as long as they remain connected to him. In "You Made Me," he is shown to be able to move objects through his body freely when he lets Princess Bubblegum jump into his mouth and then pushes her up through his back. Jake can be stretched by force as seen in "Ocean of Fear," when Finn stretched Jake's ears to avoid making contact with the ocean and in "Beautopia" when forced into a paddle. Jake's powers are sometimes used against his will, as in "Power Animal" where Jake's stomach took the shape of a fist and punched him so that he would wake up and eat.

Jake's stretching ability is subject to the principle of conservation of mass as seen in "The Limit." ; However, the ratio at which he retains mass is different than what applies to other masses in Ooo. It is revealed that while Jake can stretch his body to incredible lengths, his body could be pulled so long that it becomes dangerously thin. Once his mass is distributed along a certain length of his body, it becomes difficult for him to support himself; at one point, Jake was forced to walk along the ground. If he were to stretch beyond his absolute limit, it is presumed that he would completely thin out and die.

Without his magical powers, Jake is rather weak and can barely even run, as seen in the episode "The Witch's Garden. In the same episode, Jake claims to have obtained his powers by rolling around in a magical mud puddle as a puppy, but in an interview Pendleton Ward stated that this is not how Jake got his powers, he just could not remember. It is likely that Jake's amorphous powers come from the same creature that bit his father's head in "Joshua and Margaret Investigations," though this is unconfirmed.

Being a magical dog, Jake has an acute sense of smell, as he can apparently smell the precise location of an object miles away. In "The Chamber of Frozen Blades" he stated that his sense of smell is "1,000 times better" than Finn's, although compared to normal dogs this is a low estimate, suggesting that he was either just guessing, or his sense of smell is similar to that of an average dog. He also claimed in "The Enchiridion" that he could not only smell the book, but also that it was in a room inside of a castle.

He also owns a sword, a shield and an axe but seldom uses them in combat. In "Mystery Train," when disguised as the Conductor, he briefly uses a sword to fight Finn, who defeats him effortlessly. During the same time, he also displays a prowess for skateboarding, as he performs jumps, ollies, and grinds, several atop a moving train.

Jake also has a supernaturally powerful imagination (on the verge of having psychic powers) as seen in "Rainy Day Daydream." Anything he imagines becomes reality; however, only he can see his own creations.

Personality and character traits[edit]

Jake is generally laid-back and tends not to worry about things. He's funny, loyal, supportive, easygoing, and plays as a loving big brother type for Finn. He relies heavily on his powers (or Finn) to get him out of any dangerous predicament. While he often cracks jokes at serious times, Jake always has a lecture or a song to cheer Finn up if he is feeling disheartened. Acting as Finn's world-wise mentor, Jake is always willing to give input and advice about a situation, but his suggestions are usually inconsistent, ranging from encouraging and helpful suggestions to ridiculous nonsense. He can be somewhat irresponsible at times, frequently leaving Finn to fight most of a battle on his own, but he always pulls through when he is needed most.

Jake may be dyslexic, as evidenced by the fact that he writes backwards, as shown on his note to Finn in "Storytelling." However, Finn also writes backwards in several episodes, indicating that this may be the result of Joshua and Margaret's parenting style or a common mistake in the Land of Ooo. However, as shown in season 5 episode 20 " Shh!", both Finn and Jake write signs to one another instead of talking throughout the majority of the episode, thus creating a rather large hole in this theory. Jake is easily persuaded into doing dangerous and irresponsible things, as in "The Limit" where he states that he will do anything if someone says his name three times.

Jake loves to eat. He likes junk food, especially pie, burgers, and ice cream, but he has stated in "Slumber Party Panic" that eating chocolate or fudge would probably kill him, much like a normal dog. This has been contradicted in several episodes after "Slumber Party Panic", as Jake is sometimes shown eating chocolate. He is not afraid to try new foods (as seen in "Her Parents") and invents many of his own foods. There is evidence of his ability to cook; he makes Korean food for Finn at the beginning of Apple Thief, and he cooked all the food that he used to make the Everything Burrito. He made coffee in Beautopia, bacon pancakes in "Burning Low" and also scrambled eggs in "Frost & Fire." He used his cooking skills to create an incredible sandwich in "Time Sandwich" that contained several unusual and original ingredients such as lobster soul and a bird from the kitchen window.

Jake also possesses symptoms of ADD. He can literally forget about a conversation in a moment, and start doing something completely unrelated, such as putting an ice cream cone in a toaster. This is shown in Power Animal when he gets continually distracted by his surroundings while looking for Finn. Cinnamon Bun summarizes it quite nicely, saying, "Jake, you don't really focus at all." This is also shown in "Burning Low," when he falls asleep twice: once when Princess Bubblegum is trying to explain why Finn cannot be with Flame Princess, and again when Finn tries to get poetry ideas from him.

Jake can be rather fickle at times. A prime example of this is in "The Duke," when he convinces Finn to blame the Duke of Nuts for turning Princess Bubblegum green and bald, but later spends the rest of the episode trying to convince Finn to confess that he did it. In "Freak City," he spends most of the episode trying to convince Finn to remain a "good-smelling" foot, and uncharacteristically tells Finn to give up hope. This behavior is somewhat explained later by his confession that he kind of always wanted to be a foot.

At times, Jake is shown to have somewhat of a dark side. Throughout the series, Jake makes some questionable comments and actions that come off as evil or selfish, such as in the episode "My Two Favorite People," when he laughs evilly. Furthermore, in "Susan Strong," he says "We can rule them like gods. Angry gods." Another example of Jake's darker side is seen in the episode "Apple Thief," when he mentions that he used to "steal old ladie's purses" and "hawk stolen bikes." Jake also acts questionably in "Conquest of Cuteness," when he suggests squishing all the cute people instead of helping them feel better, like Finn wanted to do. In Morituri Te Salutamus, Jake shouts at the cute animals to go away after saving them. Jake has a tendency to steal items without realizing what he is doing, as seen in the episodes The Witch's Garden and "City of Thieves." He also steals valuables from the graveyard in "Ghost Princess," but his excuse was that he "didn't know it was wrong." This could be a result of his criminal past. In the episode "Hot to the Touch," when Finn and Jake are flying in the robot suits Neptr made, Jake says "I feel like I could touch the heavens, and sock angels."

Jake is generally easy-going, but certain things have been known to set him off. In "Goliad," Jake yelled and barked at the children when they would not calm down. He is also shown to take some games very seriously, such as Card Wars and Kompy's Kastle. In "Card Wars" Jake becomes visibly upset when Finn starts to beat him, and BMO reveals that when it won against Jake before, he would not talk to BMO for a month. In Who Would Win, Finn breaks Jake's portable Kompy's Kastle game (which Jake has to play every day in order to maintain his rank) and Jake responds by physically attacking Finn. Jake is not afraid of death as shown in "The New Frontier."

It is possible that Jake has a particular phobia of intruders, and or interlopers. As in the episodes: "Conquest of Cuteness," "Evicted!," and in "Earth & Water," when he perceives that someone has entered their house without permission, and remains unseen, he is quite petrified with fear; rushing to Finn and clinging to him, or simply screaming and falling prone on the ground. This could imply that he is not a natural guard dog, either by nature or by nurture; despite his career path of adventuring, perhaps preferring the up-front adversity.

He is a firm believer in fate and destiny. Jake also believes in Grob Gob Glob Grod and Glob World. He is also not very willing to do things that require effort sometimes as shown in "The Witch's Garden" when he is unwilling to run and save Finn from Gary. His lack of effort is also shown in Who Would Win when he states that he would rather play Kompy's Kastle than train. Jake's firm belief in determinism is underpinned, or at least is indicative, of a possible commitment to the philosophical creed of stoicism. In the episode "Puhoy" Jake consoles Finn's love induced melancholy by suggesting he 'focus on what's real' as opposed to "getting all hung up on imaginary problems." To explain this he throws his favorite cup out the window in order to make it "not real" so he does not care about it anymore. This is a direct reference to the third aphorism of stoic philosopher Epictetus' Enchiridion (135AD), which in turn may be the influence on the Enchiridion that was destroyed by the Lich. However, later that episode he fishes the cup out so his belief in determinism is somewhat inconsistent.

Jake also seems to like boots, as seen in "City of Thieves" Jake steals boots from a store, and also in "Incendium" when he goes out to find Finn a new love interest, he puts on a pair of boots, meaning that Jake likes wearing boots sometimes. He has also been known to have a great love for sandwiches as seen in "Jake the Dog," "The Limit," and "Dungeon." Jake the Dog and Dungeon being more prominent seeing as how he was willing to waste his only wish for a sandwich, and choose a sandwich as a weapon, respectively.

Age[edit]

In the debut of the series, Jake was said to be 28 years old in "magical dog years," although at the time, it wasn't specified how old that is in human years. In "Dad's Dungeon" and "Jake the Dad" he and Finn are seen as babies at the same, meaning that he ages at a faster rate than humans, but a slower rate than dogs do normally.

In "Memory of a Memory" in Finn's memories Finn is seen as a baby and pictures on the wall show Jake and Jermaine as older kids hinting that Jake may be older than Finn in human years.

In "Joshua and Margaret Investigations", in the flashback of the day Jake was born, it also mentioned the events that occurred after Flame Princess's birth in "Earth & Water" happened on the same day, meaning that Jake would be 16 years old in human years.

His current age is about his mid 30's, assuming he ages consistently with every passing year. Specifically, he has been stated to be 34.[6]

Cameo appearances[edit]

Jake, along with Finn, appears in a brief cameo in the Futurama episode "Leela and the Genestalk". The two characters are seen suspended in manacles in a dungeon as Bender approaches them. Jake speaks their only line - "What time is it?", to which Bender replies, "Time for you to shut up!" The humor in the cameo is that both Jake and Bender are voiced by the same voice actor, John DiMaggio.

Jake, along with Finn, also appear in the Uncle Grandpa short Uncle Grandpa's Grampie Awards, which features in the episode Pizza Eve. Jake says "This is bunk!" after they don't win the fictional award for Best Adventure Series with a Furry Yellow Companion.[7]

In The Simpsons Season 28 premiere, "Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus", Homer Simpson appears as Jake in an extended couch gag parodying the opening sequence of Adventure Time.

Other appearances[edit]

Jake is a playable character in the crossover video game Lego Dimensions, appearing alongside Lumpy Space Princess. Jake's character includes BMO. John DiMaggio reprises his role.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sava, Oliver (August 14, 2014). "Adventure Time: “Joshua And Martha Investigations”". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ Ristaino, Andy; Sanchez, Cole (writers) (August 14, 2014). "Joshua & Margaret Investigations". Adventure Time. Season 6. Episode 16. Cartoon Network. 
  3. ^ Muto, Adam; Osborne, Kent; Yang, Niki (writers) (June 7, 2010). "The Witch's Garden". Adventure Time. Season 1. Episode 14. Cartoon Network. 
  4. ^ Castuera, Ako; Moynihan, Jesse (writers) (March 4, 2013). "One Last Job". Adventure Time. Season 5. Episode 23. Cartoon Network. 
  5. ^ Herpich, Tom; Wolfhard, Steve (writers) (January 7, 2013). "Jake the Dad". Adventure Time. Season 5. Episode 6. Cartoon Network. 
  6. ^ Wolfhard, Steve. "Episode #6: Storyboarding and BMO’s Multitudes". infinitequest.org. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLhejo6uOMs

Bibliography[edit]