There are have been hundreds of Rick and Morty fan theories posted around the internet since the show first aired on Adult Swim in 2013. It’s one of those shows that leaves a lot for audiences to speculate about, and creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland continue leaving viewers with more questions than answers about where the show is going.
Some theories have stuck around through season 4, while others have been disproven, and new theories are popping up every day. Here are five theories that could give fans clues as to how the series will progress, along with five hilariously bad theories.
- 1 10 Perfect Theory: Rick And Morty Will End After 8 Seasons
- 2 9 Bad Theory: Rick Knows He’s On TV
- 3 8 Perfect Theory: Not All Episodes Are Canon
- 4 7 Bad Theory: Ms. Frizzle Is Rick’s Ex-Wife
- 5 6 Perfect Theory: We Aren’t Following C-137 Rick and Morty
- 6 5 Bad Theory: Rick & Jerry Never Left The Simulation
- 7 4 Perfect Theory: Rick Survived His Hero Phase
- 8 3 Bad Theory: Rick Is Morty
- 9 2 Perfect Theory: Evil Morty Is The Original C-137 Morty
- 10 1 Bad Theory: Evil Morty’s Origin Is Hiding In Plain Sight
10 Perfect Theory: Rick And Morty Will End After 8 Seasons
It’s impossible to discuss theories without addressing “Never Ricking Morty.” The episode is a metaphor-made-literal story for Dan Harmon’s story-circle writing technique, and it’s full of scenes from significant events in Rick and Morty’s lives. However, once the villain Story Lord used these vignettes to power the train, they were no longer canon.
Redditor u/BojacksHorseman suggested this episode reveals how much more Rick and Morty viewers will have to look forward to. The eight train cars represent the seasons of the show, meaning that there will be four more seasons of Rick and Morty before the series comes to a close. Since this whole episode is meta, when Rick points to the fourth car and says, “we’re here,” it’s possible that it’s meant to be taken literally, as in “we are here, in season 4.”
9 Bad Theory: Rick Knows He’s On TV
There is fair evidence for this theory, given how often Rick breaks the fourth wall. Although other characters in the show have broken the fourth wall, Rick by far does it the most often. The idea of the micro-verse was explored in “The Ricks Must Be Crazy,” so it would make sense that Rick would understand his universe exists in a TV, just like Zeep’s universe exists in his car battery.
This theory is fun and not too far fetched, but it’s since been largely dismissed by the creators, who say that Rick’s breaking of the fourth wall is just them having fun. Harmon likens Rick’s quirk of addressing audiences to Daffy Duck.
8 Perfect Theory: Not All Episodes Are Canon
This article, from Chrishaun Baker, further examines “Never Ricking Morty,” concocting a theory that some episodes of Rick and Morty aren’t canon, just like the vignettes in this episode weren’t.
Some episodes are serialized and some are stand-alone – the serialized episodes may be the ones that follow C-137 Rick and Morty, and the stand-alone episodes are either Ricks and Morties from other timelines or just the creators having fun with sketches that aren’t meant to be part of the real story. It could mean audiences will see more and more serialization as the series comes to a close.
7 Bad Theory: Ms. Frizzle Is Rick’s Ex-Wife
There’s so little information about Rick’s ex-wife that there are a plethora of theories surrounding her. The creators even teased audiences with a fake backstory sequence in “The Rickshank Redemption.”
One ridiculous theory comes from r/czloedraikc, who suggests that she’s Ms. Frizzle from The Magic Schoolbus children’s show. The only evidence is Summer’s red hair. Other than that, the speculation is more just for fun – a future crossover episode with The Magic Schoolbus is unlikely.
6 Perfect Theory: We Aren’t Following C-137 Rick and Morty
Non-serialized episodes showing events happening elsewhere in the multiverse ties into the idea that we aren’t always following the C-137 characters, otherwise known as “the ticket theory.”
Cooper Hood breaks down this widely-accepted theory, highlighting details in “Mortynight Run.” In the beginning, Rick and Morty drop off Jerry at Jerryboree, receiving ticket number 5126. Later, we see them reunite and as they leave another Rick approaches asking if they “have 5126,” revealing that the Rick and Morty we’ve been following through the episode aren’t the same ones from the beginning. The series may eventually leave behind the C-137 characters completely.
5 Bad Theory: Rick & Jerry Never Left The Simulation
James Russo’s article on outlandish Rick and Morty fan theories includes this idea, which came to be after the episode “M. Night Shaym-Aliens” aired. It suggests that Rick and Jerry never actually left the simulation, and they would break out sometime during season 3.
Season 3 has passed and there’s no other evidence of this theory besides the presence of Plutonians in the “M. Night Shaym-Aliens” episode, who appear again later. Still, the Zigerion’s second simulation chamber was convincing so it’s easy to see why this theory came to be.
4 Perfect Theory: Rick Survived His Hero Phase
This new theory from u/Andyjackka suggests Ricks are cold and indifferent most of the time because all of the warmhearted Ricks died during their “hero phases,” a phase Rick mentions during “Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri.”
Every once in a while, Rick shows tender feelings towards Morty, and in “Rest and Ricklaxation” it’s revealed that Rick understands his care for Morty is a weakness. In season 3 episode 1, one of the council of Ricks tells C-137 that he’s “a rogue Rick … irrational, passionate …you love your grandkids.” The Rickest Rick is more kindhearted than the rest, and it could become more of a strength as time goes on.
3 Bad Theory: Rick Is Morty
Another popular but far fetched theory has been around for quite some time. In this theory, Rick is actually a beaten down Morty who has traveled back in time to comfort and watch over his younger self.
A new darker expansion on this theory goes further in suggesting that Rick is so bitter because he’s actually Morty who’s stuck in a time loop. Once Rick dies, Morty assumes his name and travels the galaxy until he grows into Rick again. While this is a creative theory, most viewers would agree it’s too abstract.
2 Perfect Theory: Evil Morty Is The Original C-137 Morty
This theory suggests that C-137’s original Morty was Evil Morty, based on evidence from season 1 episode 10. One of Rick’s memories contains an image of him holding a baby Morty, despite this Rick having been absent from the family for 20 years. Since C-137 Morty is only 14, it would mean that Rick was present in the life of a different Morty before abandoning him, thus turning him evil. (Source: Cooper Hood.)
Viewers won’t likely see an Evil Morty showdown or battle however, at least not how it was depicted in the “Never Ricking Morty” non-canon vignette. Even so, it doesn’t mean Evil Rick can’t play some kind of role in the lives of Rick and Morty in the future of the show. It’s still possible we haven’t seen the last of Evil Morty.
1 Bad Theory: Evil Morty’s Origin Is Hiding In Plain Sight
This fan theory peers closely at the intro sequence of Rick and Morty. One of the various intro scenes shows Rick abandoning Morty with some giant frog monsters. An article from Zachary Kandell explains that Morty would’ve had to defend himself against the monsters and survive in this unknown world, holding a grudge against Rick so powerful that turns him evil.
While interesting, it’s more likely that the vignettes in the show’s into, much like the vignettes in “Never Ricking Morty” are just the creators having fun and not actual events tied to the story.
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About The Author
Maria was born in Syracuse New York. She is an independent filmmaker and writer with experience in both film production and journalism, and special interests in 2D animation, documentary and experimental film.
Maria worked as a freelance journalist and photographer in high school. She studied Electronic Media Communications at SUNY Onondaga before earning a BFA in Film & Transmedia, along with a Minor in Women & Gender Studies from Syracuse University in 2019. She is a lover of weird cartoons.
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