Good science fiction is hard to come by, but good science fiction that blends pop culture homages and heart-wrenching plot lines while actually being funny? That’s a masterpiece. And that is what makes Adult Swim’s animated comedy, Rick and Morty, so great.
A few month ago, I wrote a piece telling this universe why you need to check out the Rickstaverse. For those of you who took my advice or who were already portal hopping on your own, I want to simultaneously welcome you and apologize. I’m sure the show’s creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland will be sending consolatory Season Two finale tissues any day now. However, just because Season Two is over doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to explore. And no, I’m got just talking about the Rickstaverse Instagram.
Enter the complicated world of Rick and Morty fan theories. This is by no means an extensive list of all the theories (there are dozens), but for anyone still lamenting over Season Three’s in-series predicted air date, this collection should make your inevitable Season One and Two rewatch feel almost new. Wubalubadubdub, everyone!
'Rick and Morty' exists in the same universe as 'Gravity Falls'
We’re starting slow. On paper, this vulgar Adult Swim series and the Disney XD show Gravity Falls should have nothing to do with one another. One is about a universe-traveling grandfather and grandson who take part in all sorts of vulgar and death-laden adventures. The other is about a pair of twins who weekly attempt to uncover the secrets of their great-uncle’s mysterious town. However, as EW has confirmed, the two shows have one thing in common — wacky, Easter egg-loving creators determined to connect their respective shows. Though Alex Hirsch, creator and star of Gravity Falls, confirmed that the few in-series references were meant more to “freak people out and blow their minds,” I’m still pulling for a crossover episode.
Harmon and Roiland’s abandoned secret plot
Keeping “the big secret” from audiences has been one of the oldest TV gimmicks ever used. Lost had the Smoke Monster, Gossip Girl had the identity of New York’s chattiest socialite, and for a brief second, Harmon and Roiland considered sneaking a series-long secret into Rick and Morty. According to an interview with the A.V. Club, that idea was quickly abandoned, partially because the duo accurately predicted how analytical, obsessive, and ravenous the show’s fan base would be.
However, this hasn’t stopped Reddit users from guessing what that now-abandoned plot line was. The most popular theory (as well as my personal favorite) is that Rick would have aware he lives in a fictional universe, which perfectly falls in line with his hyper-intelligence and his dedication to catchphrases. Though this theory was “abandoned,” I wouldn’t be surprised if Rick has been playing us as flawlessly as he played Life of Roy.
Rick is actually Morty
Yes, I know that after Season Two’s “A Rickle in Time,” Harmon and Roiland have sworn off time-based plot lines, but hear this one Reddit forum out. This theory claims that the original Rick died in trans-dimension, leaving Morty to fend for himself. And where did the now-alone Morty settle down? As the missing “Rick” in a parallel universe several decades in the past, hoping the original Rick would never reappear.
There are several holes in this one: 1) It assumes parallel universes can have different timelines. 2) Morty would have to do something to drastically increase his intellect. 3) This specific set of circumstances would have to occur in thousands of parallel universes simultaneously to account for the Council of Ricks. However, since there are a seemingly limitless amount of parallel universes, it’s still possible. Trippy.
Is Mr. Poopy Butthole real or fake?
Out of all the theories, this is the most ridiculous, saddest, and most in-universe. In Season Two’s “Total Rickall,” the Smith family is infected with a parasite that manifests itself in it’s host’s good memories.[Spoiler Alert] Eventually, the Smiths sort their family members from the parasites by remembering bad memories, which the parasites are unable to produce.
At the end of the episode, Beth shoots the episode’s seemingly-real guest star, Mr. Poopy Butthole, because she cannot remember any bad memories about him. Thus, started the most ridiculously named debate on Reddit. Regardless if he’s real or a parasite, Harmon and Roiland have gotten the last laugh for having us type Mr. Poopy Butthole so many times.
The Morty we see most episodes is from a different parallel universe
As Season One’s “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind” showed us, there are thousands of parallel universes that contain thousands of Rick and Morty pairs. For the most part, we’ve assumed that we’ve been following the same Rick and Morty pair for 21 episodes. We even know the specific pair we’ve been following — Rick C137, also know as the Rickiest Rick who hangs with Mortyest Morty.
However, as this master theory points out, we don’t know if our main Rick and Morty pair are actually from the same universe. As the aforementioned episode covers, most Ricks aren’t above taking Mortys from other parallel universes either to disguise their own superior brainwaves or to experiment on.
It’s entirely plausible that the Morty we know and love is actually from another universe, making us ask where is the Original Morty? The full theory is way more intricate and even connects our Morty, C137 Morty, and the Original Morty to the evil eyepatch Morty we saw at the end of Season One. Get ready to take notes and second guess the Season Two finale. Again.
Kayla Cobb is a proud graduate of Clemson University and loves her cat and TV shows more than some people love their kids. You should really follow her on Twitter at @KaylCobb.