"Gold Stars" is the twenty-sixth episode in the sixth season of Adventure Time. It is the one hundred and eighty-second episode overall.
The episode begins with The Lich laughing maniacally in the midst of swirling green ghosts and clouds. Sweet P. wakes up in fear and calls out for Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig. His parents comfort him, telling him that his vision was "just a dream," which he takes to heart. They go into the kitchen to eat breakfast and prepare Sweet P. for school. When they leave the house, they are greeted by Finn and Jake and a squadron of Banana Guards, who are there to escort Sweet P. to school. Finn and Jake, wary of Sweet P's past life, keep a close eye on him.
On the way to school, they encounter a squirrel whose head is stuck in a jar. Finn panics, thinking Sweet P. is going to hurt it, but Jake holds him back, telling him to wait and see what happens. Sweet P. takes the jar off the squirrel's head and gently pets it.
Finn and Jake drop Sweet P off at school. In the schoolyard, some Candy Kids mock Sweet P., calling him a big, weird baby-man. The other kids enter the school, but Sweet P. remains outside, saddened. King of Ooo and Toronto witness this and talk to Sweet P. They convince him to skip school and take up dancing after showing him how to swing his gut back and forth.
Accompanied by King of Ooo and Toronto, Sweet P. stands outside the Candy Tavern, dancing for passersby. As the audience laughs uncontrollably, King of Ooo and Toronto steal their belongings unnoticed. Sweet P. agrees to return tomorrow for more "dancing lessons." King of Ooo gives Sweet P. a gold star for his work, but instructs him to tell no one how he got it.
Back at home, Sweet P presents the gold star to his parents, who proudly put it on the refrigerator.
The next day, Sweet P continues doing his ridiculous belly dance, helping King of Ooo and Toronto pickpocket more unsuspecting people. This goes on for weeks as Sweet P.'s collection of gold stars grows to cover most of the refrigerator. King of Ooo and Toronto squander their riches on bling, and at the end of another day they return to their home and agree to meet Sweet P. again tomorrow.
At home, Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig leave to go out on a date, confident that Sweet P. is smart enough to stay home alone. Sweet P notices that the refrigerator is one gold star short of being completely covered. He wants to surprise his parents, so he leaves to find King of Ooo and Toronto, hoping they can give him one last star.
He peers into their window and sees them making gold stars out of scrap metal. He also overhears them talking about how great Sweet P. is at helping them rob people and that, if Sweet P ever found out what they were doing, they would have to "take care" of him. Startled, Sweet P. steps back from the window, snapping a twig underfoot. King of Ooo and Toronto hear this and confront Sweet P. They agree that they have to take care of him, scaring Sweet P back to his house.
Unfortunately, Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig have not yet returned. King of Ooo and Toronto follow him there, but King of Ooo reassures Sweet P. that they have decided not to take care of him. Instead, they will burn down his orchard unless he leaves his parents and dances with King of Ooo and Toronto forever. Sweet .P loudly objects, so King of Ooo and Toronto move in on him, chanting, "Baby-Man. Baby-Man."
Suddenly, the flames from the torch that the King of Ooo was carrying reawakens the Lich inside of Sweet P. He calmly tells them to stop and thanks them for teaching him. He tells them it is now time for their "education." The Lich says that before there was time, or anything, there were monsters. As he shows them the writhing mass of monsters, he breathes smoke-like gas at them, insidiously saying: "Here's your gold star." King of Ooo screams.
As quickly as it began, the possession ends. King of Ooo and Toronto run for their lives, screaming "Monster!" and dropping their bling. Sweet P. tells himself it was just a dream.
The next morning, Sweet P. surprises his parents by showering them with King of Ooo and Toronto's bling. At school, the same Candy Kids mock Sweet P. again, but Sweet P. merely lifts his shirt and swings his gut side to side, causing the bullies to laugh uncontrollably. As the teacher rings the bell, Sweet P. enters the school, leaving the three laughing Candy Kids outside.
- This is the first episode of Adventure Time to center mainly around Sweet P.
- Sweet P. refers to Finn as teddy man, due to his bear-like hat.
- Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig's house is now bigger and is no longer a wagon.
- According to Finn's checklist, Major Life Landmark Events include:
- First Step
- First Word
- First Day of School
- First Fight
- First Concert
- First Crush
- Among the monsters shown in the vision, Orgalorg can be seen for a brief moment.
- This is the first appearance of King of Ooo's right hand man Toronto. He was supposed to appear in "Apple Wedding" but the scene was deleted.
- Sweet P's dance is a reference to Chunk's truffle shuffle from The Goonies.
- The premise of this episode is similar to the story of Pinocchio. As they both deal with a kid going to school only to be tricked into doing something else by 2 con men.
- Orgalorg can be seen for the first time in this episode when the Lich talks about the monsters. Oragalorg's appearance among the monsters foreshadow future events in Season 6.
- This episode confirmed that Sweet P. is not who he seems to be as the Lich has some control of him. The Lich is revealed in this episode to be a malevolent presence inside Sweet P.'s subconscious.
- Sweet P. also seems to bring out the Lich's presence inside of him when there is a fire exposed in front of him while he is intimidated.
- Toronto appears to have a new look compared to his first appearance in "Apple Wedding's" deleted scene.
- This could be due to the fact that he played a background role in "Apple Wedding" where the scene got deleted and he gets his major role in "Gold Stars."
- The Lich's exposed gums are red; however, in Sweet P.'s dream, they are white.
- This could be due to the fact that it was only a dream and Sweet P.'s memory of The Lich is confined and has a limited visualization of him, or the lighting.
- In the ending shot of the school, the school door is copied and pasted next to a candy tree to the left.
- the lettering on the lunchbox that Sweet P. is given by Tree Trunks briefly changes: initially there is a hyphen between the last words ("SWEET PIG-TRUNKS") then when he accepts the box and is shown holding it before leaving, the hyphen vanishes ("SWEET PIG TRUNKS") and then later re-appears when he is holding the box outside of the house.
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