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The Rick And Morty Invention That Was Probably Rick's Biggest Mistake

Whether you love him or hate him, you have to acknowledge that few characters have quite as much potential to quickly whip up a new invention that can save the world, utterly ruin it, or anything in between as Rick and Morty's Rick Sanchez. The constantly belching scientist boasts a magnificent arsenal of fantastic inventions, not the least of which is one of his most oft-utilized tools — the portal gun that creates doorways spanning vast distances of space, including between parallel realities.

However, not every Rick Sanchez creation is as wonderful as his signature portal gun. Among his most amazing scientific advances are some real stinkers. For example, there's the recurring character Abrodolph Lincler — who we meet in the season 1 finale "Ricksky Business" — who Rick created by inexplicably combining the DNA of Adolf Hitler and Abraham Lincoln. There was his own transformation into a pickle in season 3, which is done solely to avoid a family counseling session. And, of course, there is the existentially panicked Butter Robot, who exists solely to pass butter.

But among all of Rick's most destructive and useless inventions, we think we've narrowed in on the one that represents the biggest mistake in his entire history. Believe it or not, he creates it in Rick and Morty's very first season, and as much as he's strived to make even bigger mistakes since then, he hasn't managed to top himself so far.   

Rick ruined his world with a love potion

The disastrous creation in question premieres in season 1's "Rick Potion #9," and, if you're familiar with the episode, you might be surprised at the invention we're talking about. As Rick is working on his Ionic Defibulizer early in the episode, he asks Morty to pass him a screwdriver. Lovesick over his classmate Jessica, Morty refuses. As Morty rants, Rick quickly whips up a love potion to stop his grandson's tantrum.

Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse to horribly worse to a straight-up apocalypse. Rick's love potion makes Jessica fall hopelessly in love with Morty, but the combination of Rick's concoction and Jessica's flu mutates it into a virus that makes everyone in town obsessed with Morty. Rick's first crack at a cure instead simply turns the entire human race — with the exception of Rick and Morty's family, who are immune — into giant praying mantises still obsessed with Morty, except now they want to mate with and kill the boy. Rick's second attempt does take away everyone's Morty obsession, but it also turns all of humanity into nightmarishly deformed "Cronenbergs" — named after David Cronenberg, director of the 1986 horror classic The Fly.

It's after the Cronenberg screw-up that Rick unveils his final escape plan. Searching the infinite parallel realities of the multiverse, Rick finds an alternate dimension where he's able to fix the Cronenberg mutations and where both he and Morty die right afterward. In a scene that remains one of the most shockingly disturbing in a series with no shortage of shockingly disturbing moments, Rick and Morty appear in the alternate dimension moments after their alternate selves die, bury their alternates' corpses, and assume their identities. 

The Ionic Defibulizer is Rick's biggest mistake

So the invention we're talking about has got to be the love potion, right? Or one of its many intended cures? Nope. The invention that represents Rick's biggest mistake is the Ionic Defibulizer — the same thing he's working on in the garage when he asks Morty to pass him the screwdriver. 

You see, it's the Ionic Defibulizer that kills the alternate-reality Rick and Morty right after they return home from fixing the Cronenberg situation. The pair are uncharacteristically friendly toward each other as Rick asks Morty for the screwdriver. Morty passes the tool along, and Rick uses it on the Ionic Defibulizer, counting with each screw turn. On the third turn, the Defibulizer explodes, killing the Rick and Morty alternates. That's when the other Rick and Morty arrive to take over their identities.

As his grandson is freaking out over seeing his own corpse, Rick says "I don't suppose you've considered this detail, but obviously if I hadn't screwed up as much as I did, we'd be these guys right now. So, again, you're welcome." 

So there you have it from the horse's mouth. Rick's biggest mistake was the creation of the Ionic Defibulizer. We never learn exactly why the Defibulizer explodes or even what it was supposed to do — besides, presumably, defibulizing ions, and we're pretty unclear on what "defibulizing" is — but we know that building it was such an exceptionally bad idea that it actually takes the ruining of Rick and Morty's home reality to stop the pair from being killed by it.