"Mystery Train" is the nineteenth episode in the second season of Adventure Time. It is the forty-fifth episode overall.
While Finn is sleeping, Jake blindfolds Finn with an orange blindfold. When he wakes up, Finn cries out that he is blind. Jake informs him that he is just blindfolded and leads Finn to a surprise to celebrate his 13th birthday. Finn and Jake go to the Cotton Candy Forest, where Jake takes off Finn's blindfold, revealing that they are near a train, and tells Finn that a train is needed to get to the surprise. While Jake goes to get the tickets to the train, Finn meets the Conductor, a pink-skinned man in a blue suit. Finn gets creeped out by the Conductor because of the Conductor's strange voice, but he and Jake go climb board the train regardless.
On the train, Mr. Candy Cane stumbles and hits Colonel Candy Corn. The Colonel becomes angry, but Mr. Candy Cane apologizes, after which the Colonel requests that it does not happen again. At this, Jake goes up to get a train schedule. As he leaves, the Conductor lets them know that train ride is about to get bumpy. When they hit the bumpy track, Colonel Candy Corn gets hit multiple times by Mr. Candy Cane Guy. Finally, when they hit the straight track, Colonel Candy Corn threatens to kill Mr. Candy Cane. The train enters a tunnel, engulfing the train in total darkness. When they exit, only the skeleton of Mr. Candy Cane remains. Finn then declares that he will solve the murder mystery and calls up Dr. Donut to look at Mr. Candy Cane's remains. Finn asks Dr. Donut if he found who did the crime, and the Doctor says he believes that it was the Colonel. Finn haughtily states that the murderer is never the first person suspected, so he asks Colonel Candy Corn if he had any foes that would frame him.
The Colonel says he has one on the train, but before he could reveal who it is, the lights flicker once again, and Colonel Candy Corn is found dead as well. When a Gumdrop says the murderer could be anyone, even Finn, Finn accuses the Gumdrop of saying that to divert suspicion. Before Finn can further interrogate the Gumdrop, the lights flicker, and another skeleton sits in the Gumdrop's place. Finn next accuses a Candy Person who believes Dr. Donut killed everyone as well as the Colonel to protect his alibi. This too is disproved when the lights flicker and Dr. Donut's skeleton falls to the ground. Finn exclaims, "Son of a...," the last part being interrupted by the train whistle as censorship of a cuss word. Finn continues to hunt for clues, gathers the remaining train passengers to the back, and proceeds to iterate each passenger's potential motive. Before Finn is able to reveal the culprit, the lights flicker, and all the remaining Candy People fall to the floor, dead.
Because of this, Finn realizes it must have been the creepy Conductor, who had earlier given his being "awesome and cool" as an alibi. After this epiphany, Finn hugs Jake, the lights go out a final time and return to show Finn hugging Jake's skeleton. Next, the Conductor appears and charges at Finn with a sword, who parries with another sword that had been lying on the floor. The Conductor retreats three times to cars nearer the engine, unlatching the car behind him each time. Finn pursues the Conductor until they reach the engine and swings his sword at the Conductor, who dodges, instead hitting the control panels. Enraged, Finn shouts, "My birthday wish is vengeance! Happy birthday to me!" and prepares a finishing downward slice. The Conductor yells to wait, then falls to the floor, transforming into a pink and blue paint-bedaubed Jake, who confesses that the skeletons (and deaths) were all fake and that the murder mystery was Finn's birthday surprise.
With the control panel broken, the train approaches an area of unfinished track at the edge of a cliff, careens off it, and lands in a giant mound of gelatin, where Finn and Jake join the rest of the Candy People for Finn's 13th birthday party. While eating cake, Jake asks Finn which part he liked most, and Finn tells him that it was the train's falling into the gelatin. He then comments that it must have taken careful planning to execute; Jake responds by saying that the gelatin was actually unplanned and that if it had not been there, they would have died horribly. The episode ends with Finn looking up at the broken tracks while mysterious music is playing.
- Candy People
- In the train car Finn and Jake are sitting in, there is a picture of anthropomorphic bread with the caption "Yum yum" on one end, and on the other end there is a picture of a flying saucer with the text "Watch out for UFOs."
- There is a hidden pancake somewhere in this episode.
- When Jake transforms into the conductor, his eyes are the conductor's shoes and the conductor's left eye is always closed because that's Jake's tail.
- Finn is officially 13 as of this episode.
- On the large chalkboard that Finn has his various notes written down on, there is a Hangman game up near the top left corner that has the letters AP_I_ filled in. The completed word is most likely "APRIL".
- The dictionary that Finn flips through contains some Adventure Time references in it:
- First page:
- Second page:
- Third page:
- The first entry is "ice king" and the definition is "a big patoot."
- The fifth definition of the word "igloo" says "5. Gunter's preferred domicile."
- There are multiple clues throughout the episode that hint at the truth:
- When Colonel Candy Corn was trying to name his enemy he doesn't specify the gender.
- The Conductor enters the passenger car to wish Finn "Happy birthday"; however, the Conductor should not have known Finn's name.
- When the Conductor skates away after giving Finn his birthday regards, there is a pink smudge on wall where the Conductor's hand was, evidence of the paint used to disguise Jake.
- Each time a passenger is murdered, the Candy People remain uncharacteristically calm, but in "Slumber Party Panic," it was revealed that candy people would explode if scared.
- When the Conductor says it will be a bumpy ride, he uses a voice very similar to the deep voice Jake has used in previous episodes.
- Jake is only in the same room as the Conductor once: when Jake's face is hidden behind the schedule.
- The Conductor says that he heard someone say he was creepy, but Finn only told Jake, and that was in his normal, not very loud voice.
- When the Conductor enters the passenger car on a skateboard, he states that he is "cool and awesome." Once he leaves, Finn disagrees, but Jake hastily replies "No way, man! The conductor is cool and awesome."
- When the candy cane guy turns into a skeleton, the doctor does not seem to be making it a big deal, but in "Mortal Recoil" Princess Bubblegum nearly died and he took it seriously. Also, the green gumdrop guy and the blue and pink gumdrop girls are both seen smiling at the scene.
- When the conductor was in the same carriage as Jake, Jake stretched his face to form the conductor, but no connection between Jake and the Conductor was seen.
- Jake used his face to form the Conductor when they were in the same carriage, but Jake must have used his whole body in the Conductor's other appearances.
- The "Sneaky Panther Pants" theme was reused from SpongeBob SquarePants, only abridged and high-pitched. This was possible because Nicolas Carr was the music editor.
- In this episode, Finn first wields the Root Sword, following the destruction of Scarlet in "The Real You."
- This episode is similar to several mystery stories, particularly Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.
- The whole design of the locomotive is similar to the Japanese Banetsu Monogatari Locomotive Train which operated in 1999. However, The passenger carriages are similar to early British locomotive passenger carriages of the 19th and the 20th century.
- This episode shares many elements with the David Fincher film The Game, a movie about a man who finds himself in a series of life-threatening situations, only to find that it was all an elaborate birthday present set up by his brother. The most notable common element being the scene Finn and Jake are saved from falling to their deaths by gelatin, mirroring the scene where Michael Douglas's character's suicide attempt is thwarted when he lands on a giant inflatable at what turns out to be his own birthday party.
- "Mystery Train" is the title of a song written and recorded by American blues musician Junior Parker in 1953 and later covered and recorded by Elvis Presley in 1955 both released on the classic label Sun Records.
- When Finn is chasing the Conductor as he jumps from the last car to the engine the jumping sound effect is very similar to the sound effect in the 1970's show "The Six Million Dollar Man".
- This episode was previously titled "Murder Train."
- When the candy cane is murdered, a pink donut with sprinkles is standing on the left and Mr. Cupcake is sitting on the right, but when they are shown again, the donut is sitting in Mr. Cupcake's seat, and Mr. Cupcake is standing. The next time they are shown, Mr. Cupcake is sitting once again and the donut is completely gone.
- Also, when the candy cane is murdered is mouth appears on a red stripe, rather than the usual pink one.
- Ice Cream Lady was sitting next to Jam Jam, Mr. Cupcake and Banana Guy but when Finn was walking past them she was gone.
- Candy Corn Man is sitting above a bread poster but when Jake comes over it changes to a UFO poster.
- When Jake walks back to his seat to look at the schedule, the UFO poster is missing its stars.
- The sword that Finn uses to fight the conductor appears and disappears between frames as well as a bag. They also change places.
- When Jake, as the conductor, is chased by Finn on top of the trains, he skips over two trains and then releases them. But once he does, only one train was shown to be released.
- When Jake explains Finn he is the conductor and tells the part where he had his face hidden behind the schedule and the conductor is talking, there is a picture that says "Cupcakes" that was not there at first.
- Finn hits the train's control panel only once but later two cracks can be seen.
- When Jake was showing Finn the train, the surporters on the castle that have the "waterfalls" (of what appear to have honey or syrup in it) disappear.
- Candy Cane Guy is a different color in this episode.
- Just before Finn says "It's a murder mystery!", Ice Cream Lady's eyes move below her mouth for exactly four frames.
This episode was censored in some countries. See Censorship of Adventure Time for more information.