Rick and Morty

Screengrab via AdultSwim/YouTube

Let’s see how they unravel this mess, oooo weee!

Rick and Morty, the animated cult hit from Adult Swim, left us on a serious cliffhanger at the end of season 2 back in October 2015.

Rick is stuck in a high-security space prison, while Morty and his family return to Earth, now a Galactic Federation planet full of alien tourists. In a post-credit scene after the final episode, we learn from Mr. Poopy Butthole (yes, seriously) when we might expect season 3… and it’s not very specific.

“Tune in to Rick and Morty season 3 in, like, a year and half—or longer!—to see how we unravel this mess. Oooo wee!”

It turns out his guesstimate might be pretty spot on.

Here what we know so far about Rick and Morty season 3.

Rick and Morty season 3 release date

Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon (Community) told fans at Magic City Comic-Con in Miami last spring 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 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 season 3 Reddit theories

Fans have had plenty of time to consider the conundrum posed by the cliffhanger ending of season 2, and they’ve shared lots of ideas about how Rick might get out of his seemingly inescapable prison incarceration.

One such theory was so compelling it made our list of top fan theories of 2016. Redditor Dillionmcrich suggests that the show experienced a timeline split early in season 2, making most of what we saw in subsequent episodes inconsequential to our primary Rick and Morty timeline. Dillionmcrich zeroed in on a very specific moment of the episode “Mortynight Run” as the basis of the theory.

In the episode, Rick and Morty drop Morty’s dad Jerry off at Jerryboree, a Jerry-specific daycare where Jerrys of all alternate universes can safely stay while Ricks and Mortys are off having adventures. (If you’re new to the show, alternate timelines and duplicate versions of Rick and Morty play heavily into the sci-fi-tinged plot.) At the time of the drop-off, our Rick and Morty from Earth version C-137 collect ticket number 5126 so they can reclaim the right Jerry later on.

Rick and Morty season 3 Reddit theory Screengrab via The Save Point Guild/YouTube

Stay with us now as the possible switcheroo plays out: At the end of the episode we return to the Jerryboree, which is crowded with Ricks and Mortys picking up their respective Jerrys. The pair we think are our Rick and Morty are about to leave when another Rick and Morty walk up with ticket number 5126 asking to swap Jerrys. Now, theoretically, this Rick and Morty with ticket 5126 are our Rick and Morty, but instead of following this pair out of the Jerryboree, we follow a different Rick and Morty—possibly into a different timeline altogether.

Dillionmcrich suggests that everyone on the show knowing who Mr. Poopy Butthole is in the next episode—even though he was just introduced—further illustrates that we’re in the wrong timeline. You can hear a more detailed explanation of this theory in the video below.

While such a trick would easily sort out Rick’s prison problem, it would raise a lot of questions about what was happening on Earth C-137 while we were following the wrong Rick and Morty for most of season 2. We’ll have to wait until season 3 to see how the cliffhanger is actually resolved, but Dillionmcrich’s theory playing out wouldn’t be the craziest thing we’ve seen on the show.

Rick and Morty off-season shenanigans

Rick and Morty may have aired its last episode 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.

Editor’s note: This story is regularly updated for relevance. 

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