Rick was stuck in a high-security space prison, while Morty and his family returned to Earth, now a Galactic Federation planet full of alien tourists. This gave fans more than a year to speculate about what would happen next as they waited for any hint of a new season.
Well on April 1, 2017, Adult Swim dropped the season premiere with absolutely zero warning, which is just the kind of surprise present/F-you you’d expect from the show. It further twisted the knife by failing to announce a date for the rest of season, simply stating it’d be out this summer.
The season 3 premiere aired on loop on Adult Swim through midnight April 1. If you missed it (and nobody could blame you if you did), it’ll be aired every night at 10 until March 7.
THIS EPISODE IS WORTH THE GOD DAMN WAIT! AM I RIGHT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN?!— Rick and Morty (@RickandMorty) April 2, 2017
We have the whole rest of the season to look forward to, so let’s look at what we might expect.
Rick and Morty season 3 release date
The rest of Rick and Morty season 3 is set to return in summer 2017.
Previously, Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon (Community) told fans at Magic City Comic-Con in Miami that the show would likely return by the end of 2016. But after December 2016 came and went, fans started watching for a new premiere date with growing intensity.
In January 2017, Harmon told an audience at Sundance Film Festival that the delay was his fault, and he shared that he and co-creator Justin Roiland (Fish Hooks) had a tougher time writing the show this time around.
I don’t have a release date for Season 3. It’s not that I know it and I’m not allowed to say it; it’s [Adult Swim’s] domain. What I will tell you is it’s late because of us, it’s late because of me …
If Justin were here he’d agree. He and I would go, ‘Yeah, we fucked up,’ and it’s hard to put your finger on how we fucked up. ‘Rick and Morty’ keeps taking longer and longer to write, and I don’t know why.
He later clarified in a long Twitter thread that discussing the release date was “out of our jurisdiction,” and that the premiere was up to Adult Swim to schedule.
At Magic City Comic-Con, Harmon said the season will have 14 episodes, but Adult Swim has yet to confirm a set number.
Rick and Morty season 3 trailer
Adult Swim and everyone on the Rick and Morty creative team is more than aware that fans can’t wait for season 3. So with that in mind, take a look at what Adult Swim Australia’s YouTube channel posted as an alleged Rick and Morty season 3 teaser.
Those cheeky bastards, right? So far Rick and Morty has yet to debut a trailer or clips for the rest of season 3, with the exception of a rudimentary early sketch video shown to audiences at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2016.
Rick and Morty McDonald’s sauce obsession
The season premiere of Rick and Morty season 3 didn’t just drop unexpectedly—it instantly spawned a new internet obsession.
While being interrogated inside his own mind by a Galactic Federation agent, Rick takes a detour to McDonald’s so he can re-experience the joy of its limited-edition Szechuan sauce released as a promotion for Disney’s Mulan back in 1998. It seemed like just another delightfully obscure throwaway reference, until Rick goes slightly mad at the end of the episode revealing that he’ll do anything to get that McDonald’s sauce, even if it takes nine more seasons.
Of course fans responded immediately, demanding that McDonald’s bring back the sauce. We’re still waiting to see if the burger giant will follow through.
Rick and Morty off-season shenanigans
Rick and Morty season 2 may have ended back in October 2015, but that doesn’t mean it’s been radio silence since then.
In August, Rick and Morty‘s creative team recorded and animated a transcript from a real-life bonkers court hearing out of the state of Georgia.
Fans loved it so much that someone spent two months fully animating and colorizing it.
Later in 2016, Adult Swim aired a series of very short stop-motion movie parodies. The series was dubbed “Rick and Morty: The Non-Canonical Adventures.” You can check out the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids parody clip below, and see more from the series here.