The animated sitcom Rick and Morty features high-concept sci-fi rigamarole jampacked with dark comedic themes, which makes it one of the best Adult Swim TV shows. It follows the adventures of 70-year-old Rick Sanchez, the smartest man in every conceivable universe, and his 14-year-old “grandson” as they go about their everyday lives in Universe C-137. However, throughout its Season 3 run in 2017, fans posed the question: are Rick and Morty actually the same person?
Throughout Season 3, Rick and Morty explore some pretty far-out concepts. From creating an Abraham Lincoln/Adolf Hitler mash-up to dating a hive-mind entity, Rick seems to have done it all. Morty joins his adventures relatively late in the game, but some theories about Rick's relationship to Morty suggest Morty wasn't missing out on the experiences. Essentially, theorists posit that Morty will eventually share all of Rick's experiences because they are the same person. That's right, there's a Rick and Morty fan theory that suggests Morty is actually 14-year-old Rick.
Although this theory explains a few things (like the similarities between the characters in speech and personality), it also raises a lot of questions (like if Morty is Rick, then who is Morty's real grandpa? And why do they have different names if they're the same person?). To find these answers and more, check out all these reasons why Rick and Morty are definitely the same person.
In July 2020, Adult Swim released Rick and Morty vs. Genocider, an 8.5-minute Japanese-language anime short that supports the theory.
After activating a protective shield around Morty and the room he's in, Rick calls him "Rick Sanchez." Then, a bubble surrounds the room Morty is kept safe in while the world falls apart around him, and Jerry leaves a voice message for "Rick" saying a baby was born, "Morty."
The implication is that Morty aged within the bubble (or was aged with the "potion" the previous Rick left for him), and had now become Rick.
Redditor u/ZackJamesOBD offered a more detailed explanation:
Rick C137 took over... Morty via the potion to stay alive. The potion was made up of Rick's memories [plus] the Season 2 alien's parasite blood, allowing Morty to shape-shift into C137 Rick. This all happens in the past via time travel, [w]hich is why Jerry calls saying Morty is born.
Evil Morty is the version that never took the potion, suggesting he allowed his Rick to die as he continued living on as Morty.
Edit: You can tell it's Evil Morty because he's controlling an Evil Rick (notice the control box). Also, the Rick taunting him in the end, "Wow this timeline sucks," seems to be a hallucination/ ghost of his past. indicating Evil Morty took a different route by not taking the potion.
There is another clue in "The Rickshank Rickdemption.” Fans finally get catch a glimpse of Rick’s wife, Diane, and immediately noticed that she looks a lot like Annie from the "Anatomy Park” episode in Season 1. Annie is one of the only people Morty has ever hooked up with, aside from his sex robot, Gwendolyn, in "Raising Gazorpazorp.” But if Annie and Diane are the same person, then why are their names different?
Rick is a known war criminal. If he (Morty) and his wife (Diane) were on the run, one of the first things they would do is change their names. How do we even know “Rick Sanchez” is Rick's real name in the first place? It stands to reason that Morty changed his name while on the run, and eventually landed on Rick when he became Morty’s “grandfather.”
In the episode "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind,” fans are introduced to The Citadel of Ricks for the first time. You learn that Ricks and Mortys from all different Universes come together. There are some pretty interesting versions of Rick and Morty in the Citadel, but in the Season 3 opener in "The Rickshank Rickdemption,” you see a Rick/Morty hybrid. Why would a Rick-less Morty have access to the Citadel of Ricks?
Sure, maybe it’s a random sight-gag, but if you look closely, you’ll see that the skin tone and hair color of the Rick/Morty looks more like Rick. This suggests that you’re actually seeing Young Morty during his awkward transition into Old Rick. Plus, he’s wearing blue pants!
Rick is one of the most self-loathing, hateful bastards in the multi-verse. No one is particularly proud of what they were like at 14, but imagine if you had to hang out with your 14-year-old self all the time and put up with all of that nonsense. Rick is particularly harsh on Morty because he’s his own worst critic, and he’s forced to relive every stupid decision he made as a teenager.
Plus, he knows Morty can take it, and that it will eventually turn him into a better person, or at least a Rick-ier person.