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The Rick And Morty Gag Fans Were Sick Of In The First Five Minutes

Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty (both voiced by Justin Roiland) get into different intergalactic predicaments on nearly every episode of the hit Adult Swim cartoon "Rick and Morty." With each adventure comes the chance for a new character, quotable line, or running gag, some of which are received better by the fandom than others.

A prime example is the skinny yellow, top hat-wearing Mr. Poopybutthole (Roiland), who makes his debut in Season 2, Episode 4 ("Total Rickall"), in which audiences must determine if he's a parasite or a longtime family friend. He survives being shot by Beth (Sarah Chalke) and makes brief appearances in the following seasons. After every few words, Mr. Poopybutthole emits an "ooo-wee," even when discussing a serious topic, which could be seen by viewers as annoying.

Another example comes in Season 1, Episode 5 ("Meeseeks and Destroy"), when Rick introduces the Smiths to his Meeseeks box. All one has to do is press the button to summon a Mr. Meeseeks (Roiland), who upon arrival always says in a screeching voice, "I'm Mr. Meeseeks, look at me!" There's also Squanchy, who replaces every few words with "squanch"; Rick's catchphrase "Wubalubadubdub"; and the giant talking, floating heads in Season 2, Episode 5 ("Get Schwifty") who keep ordering different planets, "Show me what you got."

While each of these gags can quickly become repetitive, there's another "Rick and Morty" bit that many fans grew tired of very quickly — like in a matter of minutes.

Some Rick and Morty fans don't get the hype over Pickle Rick

In Season 3, Episode 3 ("Pickle Rick"), the scientist somehow manages to turn himself into a pickle. This is much to the annoyance of his daughter Beth, who is convinced he did this to avoid attending family counseling. As Rick exclaims, "I'm Pickle Rick!," Morty blankly stares at him and says, "I'm just trying to figure out why you would do this, why anyone would do this." Of course, chaos ensues when Rick rolls off his work table and into the sewer, where he utilizes the limbs and brain of a murdered rat to get out of his predicament.

Like Morty, many "Rick and Morty" fans didn't quite get this particular gag. In fact, a number were annoyed by Pickle Rick within minutes. On Reddit, several threads are dedicated to fans vehemently agreeing on their disdain for the pickle.

u/Valraithion said, "It was overused about five minutes after the episode aired." u/ManofAction47 said, "When the same Pickle Rick shirt has been on the clearance rack at Spencer's for almost a year, you know it has." A few users, such as u/UnhappyCamper6, actually found the episode disturbing: "[H]e tore up a rat to make a body? Gross," they wrote. Some users, such as u/-AdamTheGreat-, preferred other experimental iterations of the character, such as Tiny Rick -– the teenage version of Rick seen in Season 2, Episode 7 ("Big Trouble in Little Sanchez").

There was buzz around the Pickle Rick gag long before the episode aired

While most iconic "Rick and Morty" moments are latched onto by fans when the episode airs, Pickle Rick is an exception. In an interview with GQ, show co-creator Dan Harmon reflected on how the transformed character was teased at San Diego Comic-Con long before the episode dropped in August 2017. "If you love 'Rick and Morty,' all you could do is think about Pickle Rick for like a year," he said.

It's possible that, by the time the episode came to Adult Swim, some fans were already tired of the gag. On Reddit, u/RassMussen420 felt this was especially true for long-time viewers. This user opined, "[M]ost of the people who enjoy it soooooo much are the ones who were just getting into r & m. The promos leading into it were just a bunch of 'I'M PICKLE RICK!' ... while veiling the deep levels of character exploration we see throughout the episode."

Harmon revealed in the GQ interview that there is, in fact, more to Pickle Rick than just inciting some laughs. When the idea was pitched in the writers' room, Harmon wanted to "take this really dumb thing incredibly seriously" by examining what makes Rick tick. "You do that by depriving them of everything and then you learn so much more about them," he continued.

The first draft of "Pickle Rick" had one reference to Rick's alcoholism, but Harmon made the decision to remove it. Rick being pickled, a slang term for drunk, is a "pure metaphor" for his addiction. Harmon revealed, "That episode is so much about alcoholism, and yet it's the only episode of 'Rick and Morty' where the word 'alcohol' or references to booze are completely gone."