|Alternative name(s):||Bubbline, Bubbleline, Sugarless Gum|
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Princess Bubblegum/Marceline experienced a large surge in popularity when spoilers emerged for the episode What Was Missing (September 26, 2011). Through the lyrics of her song, Marceline suggested that she had romantic feelings for Princess Bubblegum. Princess Bubblegum later revealed that she had kept the T-shirt Marceline had given her, and wore it regularly as a nightgown.
Mathematical! was a promotional video series for Adventure Time that recapped episodes, it was produced by Frederator Studios. However, not long after it began the series was discontinued due to a controversy surrounding the recap for the episode "What Was Missing." The recap focused on a possible romantic subtext between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline.
As a result the "Mathematical!" video was removed from YouTube and Frederator's website, and Dan Rickmers was fired from Frederator Studios. Some fans went on to donate to Rickmers' other projects as a way to further support him. Other fans also felt that Cartoon Network was trying to censor the episode in panic over the pairing Fred Seibert, executive producer on Adventure Time, responded that this was not the case:
In trying to get the show’s audience involved we got wrapped up by both fan conjecture and spicy fanart and went a little too far. Neither Cartoon Network nor the Adventure Time crew had anything to do with putting up or taking down our latest re-cap. The episode ”What was Missing” remains a terrific short and will be shown again and again just like any other Adventure Time episode.
Some fans still felt like this was a cop-out answer as it treat the possible queer relationship differently from straight relationships already present in the show or acknowledged by the staff.
I think the Adventure Time associates were surprised with the outpour of support which says something, doesn’t it? People are more surprised when there’s a strong positive reaction to a lesbian relationships than if it had been overwhelmingly negative. No matter how they felt, the video was removed and again the message is sent. It’s not ok to embrace queer relationships. It is ok to silent our voices.
The characters can love whoever the writers want them to love, or nobody. But treat gay romance as romance, not as some weird separate thing gays do that normal people shouldn’t be exposed to. And treat the Marceline/Bubblegum shippers like you’d treat any other shippers. If you show fanart of Finn and Bubblegum getting cuddly, or acknowledge the Marceline/Finn fans, what’s wrong with posting some PG-at-the-worst Marceline/Bubblegum art, or asking people what they think about the pairing in a video? Nobody thinks the writers will change the canon for us, but can’t we at least have an equal space in the fandom?
There was also some discussion of the importance of normalizing LGBTQ relationships in kids shows as it shows them from an early age that such forms of love are only natural. This point in interesting in retrospect as What Was Missing was storyboarded by Rebecca Sugar, who later left adventure time to create another Cartoon Network show: Steven Universe. Sugar has stated many times how important it is to normalize queer relationships and how she continues to push this within her own show.
- So we all are growing young by CherryIce
- A Love Like War by laurenjauregui
- Within a Week by sunbreaksdown
- just 15 minutes by princessharumi
- gallery nucleus show this saturday by natazilla
- you and i will be young 4ever by laurenzuke
- the point is that she’s trying by cowmart
- the lovers by mohtz
- i wanna ruin our friendship by bevsi
- It’s time to make the call: Bubbline is canon at The Fandomentals
- On ships of bubblegum and vampires by deerleisure
- Princess Bubblegum/Marceline fanfiction on FF.net
- Princess Bubblegum/Marceline fanworks on AO3
- From Dan Rickmers (of the “Mathematical” video recaps), accessed 18 Feb 2017]
- Appeal to Cartoon Network: Stop Censorship (Accessed Sept. 28, 2011)
- The Mathematical recap of “What Was Missing” was taken down by Frederator Studios, not Cartoon Network. (Accessed Sept. 29, 2011) Archive.is snapshot, 25 Dec 2012
- I completely screwed up (Wayback machine) Archived on Nov 5 2011
- “Adventure Time”‘s Animated Lesbian Subtext Is Too Hot for TV (accessed 26 Feb 2017)
- Wayback machine archived on Nov 5 2011)