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"Susan Strong" is the eighteenth episode in the second season of Adventure Time. It is the forty-fourth episode overall.
Finn is excited to discover a tribe of "humans" living underground, but gets more than he expected when he tries to teach one of them about the surface world.
Finn and Jake are asked to do a favor for Princess Bubblegum by ripping out taffy-tree stumps. Before they start taking the stumps out, Princess Bubblegum inadvertently brings up some complex emotions in Finn by reminding him that he is the only known human. Though this fact does not outwardly bother Finn, he claims that when he thinks about it too much, he gets "all soul-searchy and weird." To take his mind off this thought, Finn and Jake start work uprooting. Very soon after they begin to work they find a strange metallic hatch among the old tree stumps. They hop down to find an underground cave full of garbage. Living in the garbage are a tribe of "Hyoomans" who wear animal-themed hats on their heads (similar to Finn's) and are scared of their own shadows and practically everything else, so Finn explains that the things they were afraid of would not hurt them.
Finn corners an unusually strong woman with a cat hat. He is stunned and excited to see what he thinks is another human. He attempts to encourage her to come to the surface and see the sun. When asked her name, she says "su-sun" trying to repeat what Finn had said earlier about the sun. Finn misinterprets her statement as Susan, or perhaps it is her actual name coincidentally. He brings her to the surface world to teach her about the wonders it holds. This is tough at first, as Susan is afraid of everything she encounters. After several occasions of Susan being afraid of harmless things such as rocks (which Jake refers to as "low-level enemies") and a Dancing Bug, Finn and Jake roast marshmallows with her.
As Jake plays guitar, Finn sings a song to Susan about life on the surface. Seeing that Susan really likes the marshmallows, Finn takes her to the Candy Kingdom. There she talks to Princess Bubblegum and has apparently learned basic English. Overwhelmed by the abundance of sweet, delicious candy, she attempts to eat Peppermint Butler until she is stopped by Finn who says "you can't eat the ones that talk!" After Finn scolds her for trying to eat the Candy People, she realizes that Peppermint Butler is a friend and believes that everything, besides Peppermint Butler, is edible and acceptable to eat.
She runs to inform the rest of the Hyooman tribe to eat the entire Candy Kingdom except for Peppermint Butler. Finn hurriedly warns the Princess about Susan and the others. She tries to make the candy people scary but there is no masking their cuteness. Remembering that shadows look scary to the Hyoomans, Finn and Jake show them the spooky shadows of the Candy People. This works at first, but Susan, who knows better and has learned enough that she can now teach her tribemates, explains to them that it is safe, and they continue the attack. However, the young Marshmallow Kids, who feel like they can take on the Hyoomans, are accidentally set on fire and run after the Hyoomans, setting them on fire in the process.
They throw off their burning hats to reveal that they are actually mutated humans with gills and fins. Finn is in a state of shock when he realizes that they are not true humans. Finn asks Susan, who was smart enough to avoid the fire, if she is really a human. Instead of answering she runs away looking confused and scared. Finn wonders aloud if she was a human or a wild animal, and Jake tells him "we're all wild animals, brother." Finn then eats some of the burned marshmallow skin and replies, "Yeah... I guess we are, brother."
- Hyooman tribe
- Candy People
- Dancing Bug
- Uncle Gumbald (mentioned)
- This is the only episode to have its storyboard released before the episode aired.
- In this episode, it is revealed that not only the inhabitants, but all the buildings and even the ground in the Candy Kingdom are edible.
- When Finn and Jake alert Princess Bubblegum that Susan and the Hyoomans will try to eat her people, a painting of Princess Bubblegum and someone who appears to be her grandmother can be seen on the wall of the room.
- However this is unlikely because future episodes reveal she came from the Mother Gum
- It is revealed in this episode that Jake likes his marshmallows toasted golden-brown and Finn likes his burnt black.
- Besides playing a viola, Jake also plays a guitar.
- This is the last episode before Finn turns 13 years old.
- There is a Scientific Parasite in Princess Bubblegum's purse, which was seen first in "His Hero."
- When Finn and Jake take Susan to the Red Rock Pass, it appears that the rock Finn headbutted off a cliff in an attempt to hit Marceline's dad below (during a scene from "It Came from the Nightosphere") was somehow returned to its initial place. Susan destroys this same rock by squeezing it with her powerful arms and legs.
- When Finn and Jake take Susan to the surface, she gets scared of the grass, and Finn tells her, "Grass can't hurt you." However, this is ironic, because the Grass Sword he bought in "Blade of Grass" is ultimately what caused him to lose his right arm in "Escape from the Citadel." Furthermore, the Grass Arm/Sword ends up going out of control and nearly killing Susan later in the series, proving that grass actually can hurt her.
- At the start of the episode, Bubblegum explains to Finn the story of her Uncle Gumbald; although Finn doesn't know it yet, he technically already interacted with him as early as "The Enchiridion!" in another form.
- When they emerge from the hatch, all the tree stumps seen earlier are gone.
- When Finn yells that Susan is just like him, which scares the Hyoomans, Finn steps forward on some moss/slime and his foot briefly disappears.
- The events of this episode are similar to the narrative of Plato's Allegory of the Cave.
- The hatch and the title card depicting Finn and Jake looking down it are references to the TV series Lost.
- The storyboard originally contained a scene labeled the "Lost pan" that featured numerous references to Lost, including the frozen wheel, the Swan station computer, and Locke's wheelchair; however, this scene was cut from the episode.
- The animal costumes that the Hyoomans wear could be an allusion to Peter Pan's Lost Boys, who also wore animal themed clothing.
- When Jake says he wants to give the Candy People (who are dressed in scary costumes) some candy, this is a reference to Halloween.
- There is a reference to The War of the Worlds when Jake says that "surface-world germs" killed Susan.
- The nuclear bunkers the Hyoomans live in are similar to the Fallout series' vaults, which are also used t protect the inhabitants from nuclear weapons. One such vault, Vault 12, was designed not to close properly in war. As a result, its population of humans turned into ghouls, which may suggest the fish people being created in a similar way - from exposure to radiation due to the Great Mushroom War.