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The greatest invention Rick has created on Rick and Morty

When you're the smartest man in the universe, creating a paradigm-shifting new technology takes about as much dedicated thought as brushing your teeth. Rick Sanchez, the dimension-hopping mad scientist at the center of the hit Adult Swim series Rick and Morty, tosses off Earth-shattering new inventions with such regularity that it can be difficult to keep track of them all — so often, in fact, that if he didn't create most of his insane gizmos for the most self-serving of reasons, he could have altered the course of human history dozens of times over. 

Of course, not every one of Rick's inventions carries the potential to blow the doors off of technology as we know it (butter-passing robot, anyone?), but the vast majority of them are ones that any self-respecting technophile here in our world would give one of their pinkies to play with even for a few minutes. We took a deep dive into Rick and Morty history to attempt to answer the burning question: what's the single most awesome thing that Rick has ever invented?

Well, let's start with a creation that may not have to most practical real-world applications, but which you've simply got to admire for its sheer ingenuity. In the brilliant season 3 episode "Pickle Rick," the mad scientist literally transforms himself into a pickle, ostensibly as a way of testing himself to see if he can figure out a way to reverse the process despite, you know, being a pickle, and therefore completely immobile.

His real motivation, however, is to ditch out on a family therapy session with his daughter Beth, granddaughter Summer, and grandson Morty. Somehow, the trio manage to see through Rick's story… okay, it's actually shockingly easy, considering that Rick left a syringe of anti-pickle serum attached to a timer on the ceiling of his lab, ready to deploy and turn him back to normal the minute the family leaves. Beth sticks the syringe in her purse, and once his family departs, things quickly go south for Rick when a cat knocks him, still pickle-fied, into the gutter, where a rain storm washes him into the sewer.

There, Rick regains his mobility by biting the head off of a cockroach and using its brain as an energy source. This strategy quickly snowballs, leading to the creation of a truly bizarre invention: a powered, pickle-sized exo-suit assembled from parts of cockroaches and rats. It may seem like a bit of a stopgap measure, but once free of the sewer, Rick finds himself in the hideout of a shady Russian organization which is holding captive a deadly mercenary named Jaguar. Becoming aware of Pickle Rick's infiltration, the head of the agency deploys a phalanx of armed agents to neutralize the threat… and Pickle Rick, in his roach-and-rat knockoff Iron Man suit, kills them all. He even fights Jaguar to a standstill before earning the mercenary's respect, and helping him to escape.

Again, not an invention that would really come in handy for anyone who hasn't been turned into a pickle — but not so concentrated dark matter, the substance at the center of Rick and Morty's first-season episode "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" In the episode, Rick (and, inadvertently, his son-in-law Jerry) are captured and placed into a convincing virtual reality by the crafty alien race known as the Zigerions. They intend to bamboozle Rick into giving up his formula for concentrated dark matter, the most potent rocket fuel in the universe, by guiding him through a series of carefully constructed scenarios — a plan which doesn't end well for them. 

Rick figures out the deception (even when it's revealed that he was actually in a simulation inside of another simulation), but fools the Zigerions into thinking they've obtained his formula. (They haven't; upon their first attempt at formulation, the mixture explodes and destroys their entire spaceship.) But the formula for concentrated dark matter was valuable enough that the aliens were willing to take on a great deal of effort and risk to attempt to get their slimy hands on it, and if it existed in our world, the implications would be staggering. Assuming that our scientists could engineer a vessel that runs on it, we could travel to furthest edges of the universe, exploring frontiers that we can only dream of visiting in a hundred lifetimes. Rick, meanwhile, uses it for such noble purposes as finding uncharted corners of the galaxy where he can hide from the clutches of the Galactic Federation, and taking off for afternoons of fun at space arcade Blips and Chitz.

Of course, even some of Rick's most impressive inventions wouldn't accomplish squat in terms of the betterment of humankind, but are rather unbelievably sophisticated means of pure diversion. Take the first-season episode "Rixty Minutes," which introduced a device that any of us pop culture fanatics would kill for: a cable box that is capable of getting channels from alternate realities. 

Rick and Morty spend the better part of the episode staring agape at all of the bizarre viewing choices: an alternate version of Saturday Night Live where Bobby Moynihan has enjoyed a two-decade run, and other cast members include a piece of toast and "a hole in the wall where the men can see it all"; the popular buddy cop series Baby Legs and Regular Legs; and a trailer for the upcoming movie Alien Invasion Tomato Monster Mexican Armada Brothers Who Are Just Regular Brothers Running In A Van From An Asteroid And All Sorts Of Things: The Movie. We also get a series of ads, including the most disturbing cereal commercial you will ever see (for "Strawberry Smiggles"), an incredibly dramatic yet maddeningly vague spot for something called Turbulent Juice, and a very… very… extended commercial for Real Fake Doors. Come on down, get your real fake doors. Don't even worry about it!

The gag was so inspired that it appeared again in Rick and Morty's season 2 episode "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate," which gave us such amazing alternate universe missives as the game show How Did I Get Here and the entertainingly informative How They Do It, which showed us everything we needed to know about how plumbuses are made. Entertaining as it would be to simply fool around with, the interdimensional cable box is an invention that would absolutely set the world on fire: not only would it prove the existence of the multiverse to the scientific community at large, but it would give us enlightening, puzzling, oftentimes disgusting insights into an endless multitude of other worlds. It can't qualify as Rick's greatest invention, though; that would be a device capable of not only showing us other realities, but transporting us to them.

Yes, the most incredible thing Rick has ever created is the device that's been by his side since the very first episode of Rick and Morty, a singular device that is the envy of every scientific mind in every universe: the portal gun, which can transport the user (that is to say, Rick) anywhere in space and time across every possible reality. In the pilot episode, Rick used it to whisk himself and Morty away to Dimension 35-C, from which the scientist hoped to procure "mega-seeds" from that dimension's "mega-trees" for an unknown purpose. This initial appearance, though, revealed that the device does indeed have limitations: when Rick exhausts its charge, he and Morty are forced to return home the old-fashioned way (through interdimensional customs, of course), with Marty secreting away the mega-seeds in… well, in a place which we'll refrain from mentioning here.

This technology, of course, would change the world (every world, really) as we know it. We could travel to infinite alternate timelines, encountering and acquiring untold new technologies; we could view the creation of our universe, collecting data that could unlock some of the biggest mysteries of our existence; we could visit every version of humanity that has developed across every dimension, immersing ourselves in different philosophies and perhaps discovering the true secret to life.

Or, we could use it to vacation on a world of endlessly farting, disembodied butts, grab ourselves a nice box of Strawberry Smiggles, or catch the latest episode of whatever the heck Ball Fondlers is. Come to think of it, it seems a bit more likely that as it currently exists, humanity would be much more likely to use the portal gun to endlessly distract ourselves than for any other, more noble purpose. In fact, it's probably a good thing that Rick hoards all of his most spectacular inventions for his own use… the rest of us simply aren't ready for them.