The philosophy behind Rick and Morty and how it portrays human dilemma!

Piyush Singh
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The philosophy behind Rick and Morty and how it portrays human dilemma!

Some shows are way beyond what goes on screens, and Rick and Morty is one that asks deeper questions underneath its absurdity.

With dark themes layered with balanced humor, Rick and Morty has proven itself to be one of the most thought-provoking animated series of all time. The show revolves around the chronicled adventures of a mad scientist and his grandson, who go on irresponsible but awesome interdimensional space adventures. Behind these scientific explorations, there is a deeper portrayal of character ideologies and their philosophies.

Gone are the days when cheap jumpscares were terrifying to people. This show has cosmic horror, and the fear here is not just about the aliens and space fights; it's the fear of the unknown or something that is not within our comprehension that scares us the most. Let's take a look at what messages are there beyond the absurdity of the show!

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“To live is to risk it all; otherwise you’re just an inert chunk of randomly assembled molecules drifting wherever the universe blows you…”

Philosophical references in the absurdity -

Remember when Rick made a robot to pass butter on the breakfast table? The robot asks him the purpose of his existence to which Rick replies "to pass the butter". The robot then feels disappointed about his own existence after hearing this and then Rick says, " Welcome to the club pal". The series is loved for its take on various aspects of life and the purpose of someone's existence is one of the major themes that it deals with.

In contrast to the robot futility, in the episode, "Rixty minutes", Summer realizes that she is an unwanted child and she was not born in any other dimension where her parents achieve their dreams. She decides to leave home and then Morty explains that nobody belongs anywhere, elucidating the point that he had to leave his dimension and bury his own body in the backyard. This also shows how fragile our existence is. We are nothing but dust floating in this universe.

"Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. We’re all going to die. Come watch TV".

Another good example that points out this philosophy was the existence of Mr. Meeseeks. How deep and dark it can be that an alien comes out of a box to help you do little tasks and disappears after they fulfill the purpose of their existence? In that episode, Meeseeks fail to help Jerry with his golf game and being disappointed with it, they give into frustration and start the wrong course of action in form of self-destruction, substance abuse, violence, or even suicide just like humans who fail to achieve what they want and to realize the meaninglessness of their existence.

Remember when there was a whole civilization in Rick's car battery whose main purpose was to create energy to run the car? Rick is the god of their world but he treats them as disposables. In the battery civilization, there was another civilization whose existence was nothing to the people above them.

"The universe is basically an animal. It grazes on the ordinary. It creates infinite idiots just to eat them. Smart people get a chance to climb on top, take reality for a ride, but it will never stop trying to throw you, and eventually, it will, there’s no other way off."

Playing dumb is the way out?

When you play dumb and lead an ignorant life, you suffer less. Look at Jerry who is stupid and unbothered about everything but leads a happy life in contrast to Rick who is a genius but leads a miserable and self-destructive life. He is always in trouble from the outside and the inside. The question here is "Do smart people suffer the most and is being ignorant and unbothered the secret to a happy life? Well, the answer is yes but at what cost?


“Well, scientifically, traditions are an idiot thing.”

If we explain religion in terms of Rick and Morty, it's just a blind faith that people lean upon when they are weak or stupid. Let's take a look at the episode "Get Schwifty". An ancient giant head appears in the sky to challenge earth in a singing contest and humans did what they best at "made religion out of it". In no time, there was a cult for the giant alien head in the sky, which sheds some light on the human historical nature of believing non-sensible things and ignoring logical reasoning. And yes, some people did try to resist and had to face consequences.

On the other hand, the military was thinking of challenging the head for an inter-galactical battle. They were clearly overlooking the power of their existence and thus failed in their attempt. "Rick played it smartly and showed them what he got!"

The show is filled with such references that point toward meaningless existence and nihilism.

The Evil Morty

An evil and malicious version of Morty who becomes the first elected president of the Citadel! What excites and terrifies us about this character is his unpredictability. Some theories say, that the Evil Morty is the central Morty from Earth C-137, who becomes the president of Citadel to put an end to the intellectual dominance of Ricks in the multiverse. He stands morally questionable but still realistic.

There is more for us to see about this character to know his motivation and ideologies.

With its characters, Rick and Morty tell us a story about this generation. Though most of its characters are drowned in cynicism and disenchantment, it provides an escape for its viewers while also challenging the human dilemma. It shows how we all have to cling to meaning to live our lives and sometimes we overlook our existence, ignoring our little importance in the grand scheme of things. It is our fear of amounting to nothing or having no importance that drives us.

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