Jake CAN provide for his kids, but he’s usually so absent-minded that he forgets to do things. We know from past episodes that he’s an excellent chef, and his dungeon-diving can earn him a fair chunk of loot to support his family with (if they hadn’t spent it all in Furniture and Meat).
What sets Jake apart from almost every other parent in Adventure Time though is his emotional investment in his kids. In Jake The Dad, he worried so much over the pups safety that he went without sleep for days to keep them safe. Granted his decisions were overbearing, but his heart was in the right place. By the end of the episode he accepted the fact that his kids can take risks and still end up just fine.
One Last Job, one of my all-time favorite episodes, saw Jake risking his life to save his daughter from harms way. He put aside his feelings about his criminal past to do whatever it took to get his daughter back. The emotional pain we saw him experience throughout that episode was heart-wrenching. At the end of the episode when it was revealed Jake Jr. had set the whole thing up, Jake was angry, yes, but also curious as to why his daughter would do such a thing. His daughter actually did all that because she wanted to make him proud of her, and Jake WAS proud of her, but he also convinced her not to commit those kinds of crimes again.
In Another Five More Short Graybles, when Jake Jr. visited him, on a whim she made up some junk about a time machine. What did Jake do the entire rest of the episode? HE TRIED TO BUILD HER A FUCKING TIME MACHINE! He didn’t know she was being sarcastic, but he thought that would make her happy. In Jake Suit Jake didn’t question T.V.’s life choices to stay at home and sit on the computer all day. He knew T.V. was happy and that was all that mattered to him.
Then we have last night’s episode. Kim Kil Whan did so many antagonistic things that came right the hell out of nowhere. He acquired the deed to Finn and Jake’s treehouse, rented out their treehouse to a bunch of people, forced them to sleep on a ladder, took away their loot that they dug up from their front yard, and made his father an ultimatum that if he didn’t grow up and get a job he’d throw them out. Jake not only remained light-hearted towards his son throughout the entire episode, but he even made his son an ocarina out of a rock, which he carved WITH A PENCIL! Yes the ocarina wasn’t hollow, but you felt the sentimental value Jake put into that gift. He won over his son not with intimidation or brute force, but with non-violence and affection.
If you don’t think Jake is a wonderful dad then you are sorely mistaken.
lemonheadandlollipup: Jake is actually a terrible parent. He's a total deadbeat.