Jake The Dog is the ultimate sidekick. Not only can he grow, shrink, and transform into any shape that might help his buddy Finn during battle, but he can also dance, sing, and make a mean plate of bacon pancakes. According to a new video from ScreenPrism, Jake is also the moral center of Adventure Time, embodying the socially accepted ideas of right and wrong in the Land Of Ooo. Thus, in addition to being a great roommate, Jake acts as the superego to Finn’s ego, like a stumpy, dog-shaped conscience.
This theory might surprise anyone familiar with the show, since Jake’s actions don’t always align with our own societal conception of morality. He’ll occasionally act selfishly and isn’t afraid to admit he’s sometimes too lazy to fight evil. That’s because, as the superego of the show, Jake doesn’t represent the audience’s idea of right and wrong, but rather the way right and wrong are understood in the Land of Ooo. According to ScreenPrism, “the ideal that Ooo citizens strive for is more of a state of contentment and satisfaction.” Jake’s ultimately laid-back attitude definitely falls in line with those ideals.
What’s more, Jake acts as a gentle guiding force for Finn, who—as the only human in Ooo—is the only one who regularly struggles with feelings of guilt and the consequences of his adventures. Jake’s occasional words of wisdom (“Sucking at something is the first step towards being sort of good at something.”) help inform what kind of actions Finn takes. But, ultimately, the decisions are Finn’s to make. Jake is only there to support him as a friend, brother, roommate, dog, and father figure that both literally and figuratively adapts himself to the needs of his companion.
In spite of his faults, this flexibility is what makes Jake an aspirational figure. Though we’re rarely confronted with problems like the Lich King or Earl Of Lemongrab, we could likely all learn to be a little more malleable when it comes to dealing with our own everyday stresses.