On the final episode of “Adventure Time,” “Ultimate Adventure: Come Along With Me,” Cartoon Network aired a kiss between two of the main characters, Princess Bubblegum and her now confirmed girlfriend, Marceline the Vampire Queen.
“Adventure Time” is an animated TV series created by Pendleton Ward which follows a young boy Finn and his canine companion Jake as they explore a colorful, fantasy world full of friends and foe. Princess Bubblegum and Marceline have been prominent characters since the beginning, and their relationship has developed from rivals to, now, lovers.
Throughout the many seasons, the romantic relationship between these two characters has been suggested numerous times without actually being confirmed. However, when Princess Bubblegum barely survives a dangerous fight in the last episode of the show, the two embrace and share an on-screen kiss.
“Adventure Time,” an eight-year running show, has grown both in popularity and in the size of its fandom. Numerous fans are now high school students who have strong nostalgia towards the show that has been a constant in their lives since middle school.
For many of their fans, this relationship was validating and important, especially to their LGBTQ audience. Coined as “Bubbline” by the fandom, this couple sheds light on a positive same-sex relationship. It is rare to see LGBTQ people in media receive representation they deserve, so this couple reinforces to kids that LGBTQ relationships deserve the same recognition and are just as normal as heterosexual ones.
Cartoon Network, the company that airs “Adventure Time,” is known for being a trailblazer when it comes to pushing for LGBTQ visibility in their cartoons. A few weeks ago, “Steven Universe,” another Cartoon Network show, featured a marriage between two lesbians.
This “Steven Universe” episode, written by non-binary bisexual artist Rebecca Sugar, proves that LGBTQ topics are not solely for adults. By making this representation accessible to kids, it attempts to normalize being gay and give hope to kids who are struggling with their own identities.
The producers at Cartoon Network and the creators who fight for representation in media should be applauded for their efforts. Small steps to positively represent LGBTQ youth will progress it onwards into creating a supportive and understanding society where kids can grow up to become who they want to be.
In fact, in 2016 through 2017 only 4.8 percent of all characters were LGBTQ characters, 43 characters to be exact, according to GLADD. This leaves lots of room for improvement, and networks should strive to be inclusive with their diversity.
Hopefully soon, our world will become one where every single person can look on the screen and see themselves represented.