Adventure Time Wiki
Adventure Time Wiki

2021 Golden Stake Nomination
SilverStake This article was nominated in the 2021 Golden Stake Awards. It was nominated for the following category: Best Season Finale
However, it didn't win for this category

"Three Buckets" is the fourteenth episode in the ninth season of Adventure Time. It's the two hundred and sixty-sixth episode overall.[1]


Finn and Fern's carefree visit to some old ruins turns disastrous.[3]


Fern invites Finn to some quality time in some ancient ruins, as BMO and Jake take a trip to the Music Kingdom. They end up playing in a field, but Fern says that it is boring. He wants the thrill of victory, not monotony. When Finn ends up beating Fern in rock-paper-scissors, Fern complains about how nothing is fair to him.

They go through a door in a cliff, and into a ziggurat temple. While inside, Finn says he is happy that they both have a love of adventure in common, and that it feels like they are real brothers. Fern gives him a blank stare, and when Finn walks inside the main room, he locks him in. Fern declares that he is going to replace Finn, and leaves him inside the temple. As Finn messes with his robotic arm, he discovers a hidden microphone, with a message from Princess Bubblegum. He realizes that his robotic arm has multiple features, including a rock smasher and a weed whacker.

Enraged, Finn charges at Fern, and the two end up fighting each other. Fern says that Finn has been Finn long enough and that it is time for someone else to have a shot. Fern's eyes suddenly begin to glow, and Finn wonders what Fern really is. They come to a stalemate, and Finn sadly says that it does not have to be like this, but Fern is resolute. The weed whacker function activates, and Fern is torn to shreds.

Finn returns home, despondent and traumatized, while Jake and BMO try to comfort him. A stranger gathers up Fern's remains and vanishes into the distance.


Major characters[]

Minor characters[]



  • There are some rockets on the field Fern and Finn are passing through that were left over from the Mushroom War.
  • There are two statuettes are standing on the shelf, which can be seen at the end of the episode: one of Finn and one of Jake.
  • There is a painting of Gumbald in the Tree House near the beginning of the episode. The reasons for this are unexplained.
  • This is the first appearance of Uncle Gumbald.
  • BMO likely knows the look of having just killed someone because he previously killed AMO.

Episode connections[]

  • Fern discovered his abilities to disguise as others in the previous episode, "Whispers".
  • Finn says he is very sensitive to being abandoned. This may be due to his past family history.
  • In a hologram, Princess Bubblegum mentions the events of "Reboot"/"Two Swords" where Finn lost his arm again and his fight with Susan.
  • This and the previous episode show that Finn and Sweet P had fought their demons since in this episode, Finn weed whacked Fern and the previous episode, Sweet P is shown to kill off the Farmworld Lich. Both of which has been haunting/consuming each other since Season 5 (Finn and the Grass Sword), and Season 6 (Sweet P having Lich nightmares). This makes both this episode and the previous episode connected in some ways.
  • Jake is seen using a reusable shopping bag for the second time, the first time being in "The Tower".
  • Fern impersonating Finn is reminiscent of the Bear doing so in "In Your Footsteps." However, Fern's ruse is much more convincing.
  • The idea of Fern trying to replace Finn by deceit is similar to Football's actions in their namesake episode. In each case, the original character is left in a small, isolated room.

Cultural references[]

  • When BMO, Fern (disguised as Finn), and NEPTR all claim to have broken Jake's vuvuzela. This was reminiscent of the final scene in the movie Spartacus.
  • This episode has many similarities to the Edgar Allan Poe short story "The Cask of Amontillado", which plays out in a similar fashion, with the antagonist deceiving the innocent second character into a trap with the motive of seeking revenge, with the difference of this episode being that the second character (Finn) successfully escapes the antagonist’s trap.
  • The vuvuzela is the national symbol of South African soccer. It became infamous during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa when the incessant sound of fans blowing them was heard over television sets across the world.
  • An object resembling a Happy Meal box can be seen on the same shelf as the Finn and Jake figurines, along with a book entitled Art of Ooo.

Storyline analysis[]

  • Finn's prosthetic arm can be used as several power tools and even a weapon, and has a microphone and holoscreen.
    • This explains why Princess Bubblegum spent so much time making it (since Finn first lost his arm in "Escape from the Citadel") compared to quickly making a new arm for Shoko.
  • With the "weed-whacker" mode on his arm, Finn kills Fern by accidentally turning on "Fatality" mode on the weed whacker and cutting him in the chest resulting in him bursting him into pieces of grass. Fern was later revealed to be alive in "The Wild Hunt," but as the Green Knight.
  • The room in which Fern trapped Finn is very similar to the inside of the Finn Sword: it's an empty space with just a small amount of food and a chair.
  • Throughout the episode, three buckets have been seen, symbolizing the episode's title and the title card.
    • In the beginning of the episode, Finn carries a red bucket before he offers to clean the chicken coops.
    • A blue bucket, acting as the "contemporary trash," is seen in the main room of the temple before Fern locks Finn inside.
    • At the end of the episode, Gumbald gathers and carries Fern's remains in a yellow bucket.
      • Gumbald is also seen wearing a ring similar to the one in the title card.

Production notes[]

  • This is the fifth and final episode that aired during the ninth "AdventureBomb."
  • This episode was originally intended to be the season 8 finale. However due to Cartoon Networks restructuring of seasons 7-10, it became the season 9 finale.


  • The list of abilities of Finn's arm changes order twice. Once after Finn says "Huh." and then when the view zooms into the Weed Whacker option.
  • The arm ability "ear piecer" seems to be a misspelling of "ear piercer."
  • When Finn is being held down by Fern and the grass sword, his shirt isn't rolled up in one shot.



Official art[]

Background art[]