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The Surprising Inspiration Behind The Plumbus On Rick And Morty

There's not a lot going on in the multiverse that Rick Sanchez doesn't understand on "Rick and Morty." At this point, the list is pretty much down to "setting healthy boundaries" and "the recipe for a very specific McDonald's dipping sauce."

That's why there's always such a sense of gravity when Rick doesn't have a good grasp of a situation. If he doesn't immediately know how to beat an enemy, the audience feels concerned. If he can't wrap his head around a problem, we know that said problem is substantial. And in the Season 2 episode "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate," when viewers learned that Rick didn't know how the Plumbus was manufactured, we all, as one, had no idea what we had just watched, or whether we should clear our internet histories as a result of having seen it.

The Plumbus, pictured above, was introduced on "Rick and Morty" during a documentary from another dimension. Over the course of a single minute, fans learned not only that the Plumbus is constructed from high-quality dinglebop, fleeb rubbings, and schlami spit, but that sometimes, watching Adult Swim feels sort of like having an aneurysm. Helpfully, the real-life inspiration for the Plumbus was equally confusing and involved folk music instruments, chunks of Jeff Goldblum, and genitals. No, seriously.

The Plumbus is so much weirder than you think

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The genesis of the Plumbus design was outlined in a behind-the-scenes video, describing what goes into the making of "Rick and Morty." There, storyboard artist Dan O'Connor offered fans a peek at the creative process that spawned the object, which is as uncomfortable to look at as it is difficult to put your finger on why.

"The design of (the Plumbus) is actually based on a banjo," O'Connor revealed. "The front of the Plumbus is like, those bristles. That's inspired by Jeff Goldblum's hairs on the back of his back in 'The Fly,' and then the top is just, like, genitalia, because everything has to have genitalia." There you have it. The artistic process, as always, comes down to the perfect balance of Brundlefly, swimsuit areas, and a banjo.

If you've ever tried to combine those three elements for a work project, but suddenly had second thoughts and scrapped the whole thing, just know that you made a terrible mistake. The show's lead prop designer, Brent Noll, proudly stated that O'Connor's design for the Plumbus was perfect after just one draft. Just something to consider if you get tasked with designing the company newsletter next month.