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The most bizarre Rick and Morty fan theories

Adult Swim's hit animated series Rick and Morty is chock full of sci-fi facts and sophisticated physics beyond most viewers' specialties. Unsurprisingly, this has made the show one of the twistiest and time-bendiest on television—and fostered hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of ideas about the show's alleged secrets, some far stranger than others. Hold on to your brain buckets and try to keep up with these seriously bizarre Rick and Morty fan theories.

Our Morty isn't the real one

Let's start off by flipping your whole world upside down and saying that the Morty Smith you've been watching for the past few episodes isn't the Morty you started off with. This notion is part of a larger Rick and Morty idea known as the Master Theory, created by Reddit user Rickest_Rick, but certain intricacies have been discussed by Tumblr user sneakyfeets, who postulates that Rick's original Morty got trapped inside one universe—a tragedy seen during the opening credits of each episode, when Morty falls over and is almost eaten by giant frog creatures. Left behind for dead, this Morty grows to resent Rick and orchestrates the events seen in "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind" in order to take down all Ricks in all universes.

And we see exactly that happen in the season three episode "The Ricklantis Mixup," in which the so-called Politician Morty runs to become President of the Citadel. Politician Morty is about as sweet as a bowl of peaches, promising peace amongst Ricks and Mortys. That is, until he gets elected and becomes President Morty. Sick with power, President Morty assassinates a number of members of the Shadow Council of Ricks, and in a slow-motion sequence of legal documents and floating corpses, it's revealed that he is none other than Evil Morty—the same one an off-shoot of this theory suggests our original Morty became after he was abandoned.

Our Rick isn't the real one

Beyond our Morty not being true-blue, our Rick might be an alternate as well. One fan theorizes that Rick committed suicide when Beth was a child, explaining why he was "missing" from her life for 20 years. The Rick viewers know would have been existing concurrently in a different dimension, still alive but separated from Beth and his ex-wife. Unfortunately, this Rick royally flubbed up his timeline and needed a quick remedy. Discovering a universe in which a version of himself was dead, which would allow him an out from his broken timeline, our Rick jumped into that timeline—the one seen in the series—disposed of the other Rick's corpse, and re-entered Beth's life. 

The universe switch

It's time to unpack the Rick and Morty theory known as "The Ticket Theory." Created by YouTube user The Save Point Guild, this theory connects the episodes "Mortynight Run" and "Total Rickall" to suggest that the latter episode is happening in a universe that isn't the one our usual Rick and Morty operate in.

According to the theory, the universe swap happened when Rick and Morty picked Jerry up from the Jerryboree. The "core" Rick states, "There's our Jerry." Before they can leave, another Rick and Morty come in; that Rick asks, "Hey wait, do you have 5126?" Morty is shown holding a Blips and Chitz ticket, not a Jerry reclaim ticket. Nonchalant as ever, the two Ricks shrug and agree to switch Jerrys. The shocker here is that the ticket Rick and Morty are given at the beginning of "Mortynight Run" is numbered 5126, but they took home a different Jerry. How else would you explain the arrival of Mr. Poopybutthole a few episodes later, who's treated as though he's been there all along... at least as far as this universe is concerned?

One and the same

Rick and Morty share a number of similar qualities (and even the same voice actor, if we want to get all meta about things), but they can't actually be the same person, can they? According to one theory, they 100 percent are. Redditor PonceDeLePwn outlined this idea, using three core points to back it up. 

As Rick and Morty are walking through the Citadel, you can spot what appears to be a combination of the pair in the same physical body. While he could be an odd alternate dimension Rick-Morty, the theory suggests that he's actually an older Morty and younger Rick. As far as the blue pants go, it's pretty simple: both Rick and Morty have sported leg threads of the same hue. Rick admits in the season three premiere that he "used to wear blue pants," but when Morty shifted into Rick, his brown hair turned blue, and his blue pants went brown. Lastly, there's a surprising link between Diane Sanchez, Rick's ex-wife, and the staff member of Anatomy Park, Annie. Both ladies have the same freckles, hair color, pink pout, and outer-corner eyelashes. Annie grew close to Morty during their adventure together, but Rick ended up shrinking her and trapping her in a container. The theory hints that Morty freed Annie (as Rick) later in life so they could be together. 

Baby Cronenberg = baby Morty

The creepy, oozy Cronenberg creature from "Auto Erotic Assimilation" was certainly a standout, even amongst the giant praying mantises and deformed beasts that ravaged the Earth after Rick whipped up a love potion for Morty. But the pint-sized monster could hold a harrowing significance if you consider this next theory.

Reddit user HebrewHammerTN notes that the only time Rick and Morty viewers have ever seen Rick genuinely happy or upset, filled with humanity, has been with baby Morty. There's even a photo of a young Rick holding a tiny Morty and smiling, and there was the moment in which Rick cried upon recalling his memory of his infant grandson. This makes it all the more heartbreaking to speculate that the Cronenberg creature from the episode is actually a baby Morty from a different dimension, which Rick disintegrated before attempting to take his own life. 

Though the moment is passed off as Rick trying to test his Cronenberg-killing invention, this theory suggests that he obliterated the baby Cronenberg as part of a "contingency plan." In another universe, something went wrong on a global scale, causing everyone and everything to become Cronenberg-ed—baby Morty included. The theorizer posits that the Cronenberg Morty was Rick's original baby Morty, and he "put it in stasis until he could find a cure." Rick's final act of mercy was to euthanize the Cronenberg Morty, as the only "cure" was to kill it.

Beth's real mother

Mum's the word in this theory, which argues that Beth's mother is actually the hive-mind entity Unity seen in the season two episode, "Auto-Erotic Assimilation." The theory involves a ton of nitty-gritty details, but the meat and potatoes of it suggests that Rick's apparent genuine mental, physical, and sexual connection with Unity led to a fling that resulted in one of the entity's hosts, "an Earth-like humanoid," getting pregnant. Feeling as though it wanted to depart from Earth to grow into a larger collective, Unity left Rick—but not before separating from and leaving behind the pregnant host that would become Beth's mother. Unity would have been in control of Beth's mother's body during conception, but not during birth, which would cause the former host to find it hard to raise a child with someone she'd never truly met as herself, out of the influence of Unity. Thus, she would force Rick to leave so she could bring up Beth by herself. 

All things considered, Unity being Beth's real mother would also explain why it was so protective of Morty and Summer when they visited its planet. Treating them to endless hamburgers and sending in a special force team to rescue them wasn't just because they're Rick's grandchildren and Unity loves Rick; it was out of a deeper maternal instinct to keep them out of harm's way. If true, this theory would also show that Rick sacrificed his happiness to ensure his family's safety, something he does again in the season two finale.

Purposeful abandonment

Rick and Morty fans almost found out why Rick dropped out of Beth's life in the season three premiere, but it wound up being a total farce. With that mystery still lingering, many have thought up their own answers as to why he left. One in particular suggests that his choice was made out of a selfish desire to protect himself, stating that Rick purposely left his family so Beth would foster abandonment issues that would manifest in her acting recklessly in her youth. She'd then sleep with Jerry while they were still in high school, falling pregnant with Summer and then again with Morty. But how would these two grandchildren keep Rick safe? 

Nearly every Rick in the Council of Ricks has a corresponding Morty because a Morty's mind acts as a "jammer" to shield Rick's mind from his enemies. For all Ricks, Mortys are necessary companions to ward off any nefarious alien creatures that may try to execute him. But when it comes to other Ricks, the only way to hide is by having more than Morty—or something that can act as a Morty. Rick scientifically proved that Morty and Summer are completely interchangeable, and thus, Summer is as effective a jammer as Morty. 

Tying everything together, Rick knew abandoning his ex-wife and Beth would result in two perfect jammers he could use to cloak his mind from all other Ricks. Pretty devious, if you ask us. 

Rick's real ex-wife

Here's where things get even more bizarre. Reddit user czloedraikc's hypothesis starts off innocently: What if Rick's real ex-wife is Ms. Frizzle, as in Ms. Valerie Felicity Frizzle of the animated series The Magic School Bus? The theory grounds itself in the fact that Mrs. Sanchez has apparently been said to be a "female version of Rick's more youthful personality," and Ms. Frizzle has that untamed vivacity down pat. But what happened between the once-happy couple?

The theory states that Rick eventually grew weary of his wife's passion for teaching children and her enthusiasm for geology, the solar system, and the human body rather than alternate universes, deep space, and theories about time. Wanting to expand his intellect and distance himself from these comparatively "minuscule" studies, Rick leaves Ms. Frizzle and Beth and decides that he started a family at too young an age to truly devote himself to science. He makes up for that by fighting the Galactic Federation, but ends up abusing alcohol to cope with his failed marriage. Rick even mocks his ex-wife's work in "Anatomy Park," as Ms. Frizzle often traveled inside the human body with her students. 

Additional evidence includes the fact that Summer is a redhead like Ms. Frizzle. This could indicate that the recessive gene skipped over Beth and appeared in the next generation with Summer. The theory also suggests that Beth grew up wanting to be a heart surgeon because of what she learned during her adventures with her mother.

Tammy Sanchez?

Simple but still plausible, this Rick and Morty theory suggests that the deep-cover Galactic Federation agent Tammy Gueterman is the estranged granddaughter of Rick Sanchez, and isn't truly a Gueterman at all. The so-called "Tammy Sanchez" would exist in a different universe, one in which Beth and Jerry's sex cells combined to form a different daughter from the Summer Smith audiences are most familiar with. For this to make sense chronologically, as it appears Tammy and Summer are around the same age, alternate universe Beth would have had to get pregnant with Tammy during the same year that the current universe Beth did with Summer. Evidence to prove this theory is pretty sparse, but given that Tammy bears a few physical resemblances to Beth, has the same hair color as Jerry, and is apparently a super-genius just like Rick, it could end up being true. 

The theory offers up an additional course of action that would result in Tammy Sanchez's existence: Rick being "a jerk in his youth" and having more than one family. He may have shacked up with another woman, who then gave birth to a daughter who's Beth's half-sister. That child would then have a daughter of her own—Tammy.

Gooble box reality

Ever get the feeling that our world isn't entirely real, and that we're somehow being controlled by a powerful unseen force, or we're all just characters inside someone else's video game? This next theory blends that idea with the alternate dimensions from Rick and Morty, positing that Earth is a Microverse that creates power through the latest toy craze: fidget spinners. A Rick and Morty fan by the name of Jimmy White is the mind behind the idea, which came about when he posted on his Facebook account, "What if fidget spinners are just a version of [a] Gooble Box and we are just powering some scientist's battery" (via Reddit).

Within Rick and Morty, Rick reveals to Morty in "The Ricks Must be Crazy" that the battery he powers his ship with is actually a Microverse, whose inhabitants step on a Gooble Box to generate electricity. Completely unaware of the larger purpose the Gooble Boxes serve, the citizens stomp on them day in and day out presumably by force of habit, similar to what humans do with fidget spinners. So who's to say the absurdly popular toys aren't our own universe's version of a Gooble Box, that we're spinning them all over the world and unwittingly giving power to the scientist who created the Microverse we're living in?

As silly as this theory may sound, it's actually settled well with a number of Rick and Morty fans who've expressed their satisfaction with the idea. 

Rick's self-awareness

The idea that Rick knows he's a part of a television show, one of the central protagonists of a cartoon, is one that has long circulated throughout the Rick and Morty fan community. But one viewer takes the theory into another realm, suggesting that Rick's self-awareness is much deeper than simply acknowledging his two-dimensional existence. An anonymous /co/ user proposed that Rick understands that the only reason he's "alive" is because of a creator—one half of the series' creative pair, Dan Harmon, to be exact. This notion grounds itself in the photo seen hanging on Rick's wall; it appears to be a drawing of Harmon, which the theorizer likens to an actual snapshot of a higher being. "Who else but the smartest man in the universe would have a photograph of God?" they question.

The theory then states that Rick's self-awareness, knowing that his existence is dependent upon Harmon, explains why he drinks almost constantly and breaks the fourth wall with ease. Rick, a man of science, turns to alcohol because he's unable to reconcile with the thought of having "indisputable evidence of a creator." He regularly interacts with the audience, creating a catchphrase and making closing remarks like "See you guys next week!", because he knows he's being watched and understands that once people stop tuning in to Rick and Morty, his world is destroyed forever. Rick does everything he can to keep the series alive, as it's the only way to keep himself alive.

We all scream for ice cream

As evidenced in the multitude of fan theories it's inspired, Rick and Morty doesn't hold anything back when it comes to meta-humor and sci-fi questioning, inspiring its audience to ask life's most complex question: What does it all mean, and why are we all here? Though some may we're destined to find happiness, and while Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy claims that "42" is the answer to those questions, Rick and Morty suggests that everything comes down to ice cream. 

Tumblr user awholecroissant postulates that the entire series is about the frozen treat, rooting the theory in the events of "Anatomy Park." When Rick's plan to cure his on-the-brink-of-death friend goes awry, we see the elderly amoeba Dr. Xenon Bloom, who lives within the dying man, facing his last moments of life. Understanding what "true happiness and pleasure" entail, Dr. Bloom seeks mindless bliss and accepts death by eating ice cream. Things unravel sweetly from there.

The theory goes on to discuss the importance of Jerry dropping serious cash at the popular ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery, the "godsend cuisine" helping him and Beth save a deer; Rick leaving Morty in the season two finale to get some ice cream from the Gloppydrop system, with his mention of going to "where ice cream is" equates to traveling somewhere safe; and Rick stating that ice cream is "why we do what we do" after emerging beaten and exhausted from the microverse enemies. It's a strange theory, but it's still—dare we say it—cool.

There's something about Tricia

To Summer Smith, her classmate Tricia Lange is little more than her shiny brunette locks and large breasts. (Heck, Summer even develops an insecurity over her own anatomy when comparing herself to Tricia.) But to a fair few Rick and Morty fans, particularly the theory-crafting kind, Tricia Lange is far more mysterious than she lets on. As this next theory postulates, Tricia is actually a Galactic Federation agent, just like Summer's old pal Tammy Gueterman, sent to dimension C-137 to spy on Rick to gain new intel after the falling-out and betrayal that took place at the end of season two. 

Knowing that they can no longer spy on the Sanchez-Smith family by befriending those close to Rick (like Tammy did with Birdperson), the Galactic Federation instructed Tricia to spend time with Summer's boyfriend Ethan and become best friends with Morty's crush Jessica, allowing her to gather information without "tripping any wires." The theory also notes that Tricia's vulgar, sexual language is exactly how Tammy spoke when she was working undercover, and that Tricia's status as an agent would explain why viewers only saw Tammy and Birdperson (who is now Phoenixperson) in a small bit at the end of the season 3 premiere.

Tricia's identity wasn't revealed during the latest season, but anything can happen moving forward. And though the theory doesn't mention this, it might be worth noting that Tammy and Tricia are voiced by the same person...

Rick's real plan

Where one popular Rick and Morty theory (before it was proven inaccurate, that is) was that Morty would kill Rick in season three, this one flips the script and pins Rick as the murder-committing universe traverser. Reddit user Jobenblue postulates that in the season three finale, Rick intended to kill Morty.

The theory points to a particular moment in episode that happens just after Morty steals Rick's portal gun and takes Beth, Summer, and Jerry to a secluded cabin to hide from Rick while he trashes the White House. Though Morty believed his hiding spot to be unguessable by Rick, he ends up at the cabin's doorstep, gun in hand, to greet everyone. Beth, worried that she's actually a clone of herself, guesses that Rick brought the gun to end her life. Rick quickly clarifies that his actual plan was to kill Jerry. 

But according to Jobenblue, that was just a cover-up for his true intentions. "Rick brought the gun to kill Morty, not Jerry, to prevent a Rogue Morty with a portal gun/another Evil Morty. Rick has no reason to kill Blade Runner Beth or Jerry...it's a Morty with a portal gun that he's worried about," the theory explains. "Once Rick gets there and sees the family is fine and not acting like [they're] with an Evil Morty, he deems the entire situation is normal and doesn't suspect a 'Rogue Morty with a portal gun' situation, so he just shifts his anger towards Jerry, who becomes a scapegoat."

It's not over until they say it's over

After airing nine well-received episodes, Rick and Morty wrapped its third season with "The Rickchurian Mortydate" on October 1, 2017. Or did it? According to one strange new fan theory, season three isn't actually over yet. Reddit user TheMistling devised the theory, which takes root in the post-finale scene that features Mr. Poopybutthole with his new wife and son. Mr. Poopybutthole mentions he "might even have a big, white Santa Claus beard" when Rick and Morty returns, a quip that has fans thinking that there's one last episode of season three left: a Christmas special. 

TheMistling breaks down the biggest pieces of evidence, starting with the obvious "I wouldn't put it above [co-creators] Justin [Harmon] and Dan [Roiland] to do another fake-out." The next point notes that Harmon indicated on an episode of Film Theory that fans would see Evil Morty in the season three finale, which didn't happen in "The Rickchurian Mortydate." Off that, TheMistling argues that because Harmon (and Roiland) wanted season three to be perfect, they wouldn't skip out on including Evil Morty as promised, thus meaning that another installment featuring Evil Morty is to come. Combine that with Mr. Poopybutthole's holiday character-centric remark, and the idea of a Rick and Morty Christmas special/real season finale was born.

While some fans have voiced their support for this theory, the non-believers' consensus is a hilarious, if not brutal, one: "The first stage of grief is denial."