Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What The Mistakes In Rick & Morty Could Really Mean

The hit Adult Swim animated series Rick and Morty is nothing if not consistent. In virtually every episode, we can expect the hard-drinking, dimension-hopping mad "smartest man on Earth" Rick Sanchez (voiced by Justin Roiland) to drag his beleaguered grandson Morty Smith (also Roiland) off on some insane adventure to outer space or an alternate dimension. Rick can be reliably expected to reveal some bizarre, often inane ulterior motive during these adventures, which will almost always involve weird-looking aliens with suspiciously made-up sounding names. And fans can be reasonably sure that by the time it's all said and done, Morty will have learned something he never actually wanted to know about the nature of life and the universe.

Every episode of Rick and Morty is like a well-oiled machine built to deliver on this formula while making with the quips and sight gags at an impressively steady clip. While the series' early seasons infamously took forever to produce, fans forgave its creative minds for those long waits for that very reason. Strange, then, that Rick and Morty should fall victim to a phenomenon which can be found in virtually every movie or TV show you're likely to lay eyes on: the continuity error. Simply put, a continuity error is when something changes in between shots that shouldn't — the placement of dishes on a table, for example, or an item that jumps between a character's hands. The website Movie Mistakes has cataloged a fair number of such errors throughout Rick and Morty's run, which seems a bit odd, considering how diligently each episode was worked on.

Of course, the series' animators are only human (we think), and therefore capable of making the same mistakes that anyone would. However, we'd like to attempt to let those animators off the hook by positing a different, in-universe explanation for Rick and Morty's continuity errors — one which appears in virtually every episode of the series, and which might have some pretty freaky effects on objective reality if it existed in real life.

Rick's portal gun might be altering the fabric of reality

If there's one tool in all of fiction capable of causing what the audience would perceive as random, ongoing continuity errors, it's Rick's portal gun. It's presented as the ultimate piece of tech, one that the Galactic Federation and a hundred alien species would kill to get their hands on. It can open doors to anywhere in the multiverse, and while each one of the possibly infinite versions of Rick from across all realities has one, we've seen that the Council of Ricks — a panel of six Ricks which controls the Citadel, where all Ricks and Mortys from across the multiverse gather — tightly regulates their use.

Consider the effect that such a piece of tech — and the mysterious substance which powers it — might have on the world around it. It stands to reason that the portal gun might be a bit unstable, perhaps even by design; it's also reasonable to assume that the device might produce some sort of byproduct like an electrical device generates heat. We obviously don't know exactly how Rick's portal gun is supposed to function, but what if its very presence can cause... little skips? Tiny segues into dimensions that are close enough that nearly every detail is the same except for a few small ones?

These little skips might look just like a simple continuity error — and, for that matter, at least a handful of the goofs we've seen on Rick and Morty appear too deliberate to actually be mistakes. For example, in the season 3 episode "Morty's Mind Blowers," in which Rick shows Morty a bunch of the boy's memories that he's stored in multicolored vials before wiping, there's a shot where Rick picks up a purple vial to inspect it; in the next shot, the vial he's holding is blue. That's the kind of simple error that should be easy for a dedicated team of animators to catch — unless it was done on purpose.

Perhaps in an upcoming episode, Rick will confirm our hypothesis by acknowledging a "continuity error" as it happens. Or — and we know we're going out on a limb here — maybe Rick and Morty's animators are human after all.