15. Adventure Time
By now, even the most casual fan of Adventure Time, the gloriously weird animated series on Cartoon Network, knows that the show is set far into the future. When Adventure Time first began, however, the post-apocalyptic setting wasn’t quite so obvious. Viewers focused more on the quirky adventures of the human Finn and his intelligent, shape-shifting dog companion, Jake.
However, little clues soon began to appear, hinting at an ancient “Mushroom War.” The opening title sequence shows various discarded weapons, including what looks like a nuclear bomb. The rusted out remains of vehicles and buildings appear the background of episodes. It’s even implied that the Candy Kingdom (a land of gigantic, sentient candy people, of course) sits atop a giant river of nuclear waste.
Eventually, viewers began to realize that Finn was the only human on the show. As it turns out, he is the only known human alive throughout the Land of Ooo, implied to formerly be the planet Earth.
Other characters, like the Ice King and Marceline the Vampire Queen, are long-lived enough to even remember the 1,000-year-old war. One of the big villains, the Lich King, appears to have been born from the Mushroom War, too.
Despite all of this ancient devastation, however, Adventure Time is a lot of quirky, goofy fun. Strange as it may be, Adventure Time is more likely to leave you smiling than crying.