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Adult Swim's Learning With Pibby Explained

It's understandable that some people out there don't look forward to April Fools' Day. After all, who likes getting pranked? But if there's one organization that's earned the right to pull off a prank, it's Adult Swim.

Every year, the animation block does something special for the joke-filled holiday. Last year, Adult Swim introduced the world to "Adult Swim Jr.," which had preschool-inspired blocks of animation from some of its most popular shows. Instead of "Rick and Morty," there was "Rick and Morty Babies." It's a bit of harmless fun to give late-night viewers something different to enjoy. 

2022 was no exception, and this year, Adult Swim brought back "Learning With Pibby," which initially debuted on the network in October 2021. Things start innocently enough with the introduction of Pibby, who follows in the tradition of children's show-inspired protagonists who just want to teach kids valuable lessons while having fun with her friends in the process. However, things soon take a dark turn (it is Adult Swim, after all) when a glitch threatens to consume everything Pibby holds dear. Things only get more bizarre from there ...

The glitch consumes all; all are consumed by the glitch

At first, it seems like the glitch is confined to the unique universe where Pibby resides. It slowly consumes Pibby's friends, but Pibby soon makes the leap to other realities, which in this instance, means other cartoons. 

As the special goes on, the more familiar faces you can expect to see, including characters from "The Flintstones," "Adventure Time," and "The Jetsons." You really need to keep your eyes peeled during the final battle, especially when Pibby and her remaining compatriots go to war with the glitch and everyone it has consumed. At one point, the rebellious forces take a ride in the Mystery Machine from "Scooby-Doo." In the scene immediately following that, Pibby and a sidekick take a ride on the bus. If you pay attention to the architecture in the background, it's incredibly reminiscent of the art style from "Rocko's Modern Life." 

Practically every frame references some aspect of animated canon, and it's a ton of fun to pause any particular frame to see what inside jokes you can catch next. 

The glitch then invades Adult Swim's regularly scheduled programming

A quick two-minute short would be enough for some, but Adult Swim really went the extra mile for this April Fool's prank. Instead of limiting the glitch to "Learning With Pibby," it extends into several of Adult Swim's shows. For example, on April 1, Adult Swim aired the "Rick and Morty" episode, "Total Rickall." You can see the glitch ominously appearing in the background at various points in the episode. It even assumes control of Morty temporarily, resulting in an alternate scene where Morty's eyes go white, and the glitch consumes him.

Pibby and her friend, Bunny, even appear during the credits, wondering what's happening. That wasn't the only show where the glitch made an appearance. It, along with Pibby and Bunny at various points, also shows up during showings of "Smiling Friends," "The Eric Andre Show," and "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." What does this glitch mean? What does it want? And will we see more of Pibby and her comrades in the future?

Much like the glitch itself, these answers are inevitable.