The Rick and Morty Season 2 finale — “The Wedding Squanchers” — saw Rick turn himself in to face life in Galactic Federation prison, and the Smith family returned home to find that the same federation had taken control of Earth. The surprise airing of the Season 3 premiere — “The Rickshank Redemption” — on April 1 undid just about all of that, ended Beth and Jerry’s marriage, and killed Rick C-137’s body. But who knows how much of that will matter when the adventures of Rick and Morty continue on July 30, 2017.
Editor’s Note: This article is updated as new information about Rick and Morty Season 3 is released.
Since the Season 2 finale aired on October 4, 2015, fans have been thirsting for more Rick and Morty. Co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have learned the pressures of running a hit show the hard way after enduring endless online harassment from fans. Despite drama, turmoil, and delay, creators Harmon and Roiland announced June 29 during a special live stream event that the official start date for the rest of Season 3 would be July 30; they also dropped a Season 3 trailer to go along with it.
So fans only have to wait until the end of July for more episodes.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Season 3:
[6/30/2017 Update] “Rickmancing the Stone” Will Air July 30, 2017 at 11:30 p.m. Eastern on Adult Swim
Announced during the June 29 live stream by Harmon and Roiland, the next episode of Rick and Morty — “Rickmancing the Stone” — will air on Sunday, July 30 at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.
[6/30/2017 Update] Showrunners Debut a Season 3 Trailer During a Live Stream Event
A Rick and Morty marathon aired on Adult Swim on June 29, and at its conclusion, showrunners Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon hosted a live stream event in Los Angeles.
In addition to chatting, creating an episode live, and answering fan questions, they also dropped a full trailer for Season 3 that teased some bonding between Rick and Jerry at an amusement park, a Mad Max-style episode, a goofy Avengers rip-off, and even more footage of the Pickle Rick survivalist episode.
[6/30/2017 Update] Instead of 14, Season 3 Will Have Only 10 Episodes
During the live stream event held in Los Angeles on June 29, Harmon and Roiland confirmed that Season 3 will actually have 10 episodes.
[6/30/2017 Update] Actually, Mulan Szechuan McNuggett Sauce Won’t Be a Big Deal At All
During the special Rick and Morty live stream on June 29, Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland clarified something about Rick’s supposed obsession over the McDonald’s Mulan promotional sauce: “It was a joke.” They were making fun of Roiland’s real-life obsession with consumerism and sauces. The so-called “series arc” has been reduced to a one-time joke.
[6/30/2017 Update] Mr. Meeseeks Definitely Won’t Return in Season 3
Confirmed in an interview with Rick and Morty writer Ryan Ridley on the Y Combinator podcast, Mr. Meeseeks will not be back in Season 3 despite previous promises. This was further confirmed by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland during the June 29 live stream event. Roiland did say that bringing the Meeseeks Box back was a possibility “eventually,” but it won’t happen in the foreseeable future.
Dan Harmon himself said late in 2015 at a Comic Con appearance: “I’m going to make that a personal promise to myself. I’m going to force Mr. Meeseeks into Season 3.” Season 2 avoided call-backs to avoid making Rick and Morty an “inside-joke show,” which is something Harmon has said he wants to change with Season 3. But despite his previous promises, it looks like the Meeseeks won’t be back anytime soon.
[6/8/2017 Update] Writer Ryan Ridley Compares Pickle Rick Storyline to 127 Hours
In an interview with the Y Combinator podcast, Rick and Morty writer Ryan Ridley compared the upcoming Pickle Rick storyline to 127 Hours, calling it the “the Rick and Morty version of … the survivalist sub-genre.”
[4/25/2017 Update] Episode 2 Is “Rickmancing the Stone,” and It Riffs on Romancing the Stone (1984)
Though just about every episode of Rick and Morty riffs on some other movie, show, or title, the relationships tend to be tangential at best or merely just borrow a basic plot setup. Their randomness was confirmed by writer Ryan Ridley on the Y Combinator podcast
We do know that Season 3, Episode 2, “Rickmancing the Stone” riffs on the Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas film Romancing the Stone in some way.
In it, a romance-adventure novelist (Kathleen Turner) travels to Colombia to save her sister and follow a treasure map. She’s joined by a mercenary named Jack (Michael Douglas) on the adventure, and they eventually get wicked stoned after burning a lot of pot, fall in love, and somehow retrieve a crazy gem out of an alligator’s stomach.
It’s entirely possible that the A-plot of “Rickmancing the Stone” might see Summer kidnapped and Morty having to journey through some sort of jungle, alien or otherwise, to rescue her with Rick. Alternatively, Rick and Morty might play the “Jack” in this scenario, selfishly trying to smuggle some exotic goods while falling coincidentally into someone else’s adventure (much like in “Look Who’s Purging Now”). Either way, there will more than likely be some kind of exotic gemstone that Rick will want to get his hands on, and Morty will likely get bogged down in the ethics of it all and develop a crush on some girl, as he tends to do.
[4/5/2017 Update] Rick Will 100% Become a Pickle
We already knew — based on a roughly sketched clip that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 — that Rick would somehow become a Pickle. But a Season 3 promo, featured above, shows Pickle Rick reveal himself to Morty in the garage, teasing the new season’s release this summer. “Big reveal!”
[4/5/2017 Update] Tammy Is Alive and Has an Enslaved Cyborg Birdperson
In “The Rickshank Redemption” post-credits scene, we saw that not only was the infamous Tammy still alive, but she had a team of Gromflomite scientists transform Birdperson’s dead body into an avian cyborg calling itself the aptly named “Phoenixperson.” We’ve already talked about how this will mess Rick up, as their bond has been solidified by both canon band pictures and fan art alike. We might not see them again in Episode 2, but expect this pair to play a prominent role at some point.
[4/5/2017 Update] Rick Says His New Character Arc Is All About McDonald’s Mulan Szechuan Teriyaki Sauce
In the final moments of the Season 3 premiere, Rick straight-up tells Morty (and viewers), “I want that Mulan McNugget Sauce, Morty! That’s my series arc, Morty!” The joke that started as Rick and Morty at its most random became a viral phenomenon in the days following the premiere.
But in lieu of the creators confirming that it was just a random joke, enthusiasm for the sauce might die down.
[4/1/2017 Update] Season 3 Premiere Airs April 1, Promising New Episodes This Summer
In a surprise and inconceivably 100 percent real move, Adult Swim dropped the Season 3 premiere on April Fool’s Day as some sort of looping live stream, but if you still want to catch it, you’ll have to check here. Nathan Fillion guest starred as a Gromflomite prison guard, and the network promises new episodes this summer.
The Galactic Federation Controls Earth When Season 3 Starts
Adult Swim unveiled GalacticFederation.com back in January, and with it came a slew of information about the new alien residents of Earth and their bizarre reactions to human life at the start of Season 3.
The website also has a section for surveillance videos where you can see Jerry playing a game on his tablet while pooping and Beth swirling a glass of red wine; in the background, the subjects in all of the family photographs have been replaced with Gromflomites.
And on March 16, the nearly inscrutable Rick and Morty Rickstaverse Instagram account revealed an expansion to its bizarre point-and-click adventure that now allows you to explore various changes that have happened on Earth via individual Instagram panels. Tourism shops sell F- and I-shirts in addition to T-shirts in order to suit all body types, Summer is fretfully eating soup in a Whole Foods knock-off, and the Smith family is adjusting to life at home under Gromflomite occupation. There are armed Gromflomites atop buildings, the Devil has some sort of deal with the Gromflomite Prison General (see below), and Morty’s permanent crush Jessica is now dating some buff alien.
Mr. Poopybutthole Accurately Predicted the Season 3 Premiere Way Back in October 2015
Mr. Poopybutthole starred in a YouTube video that released only two days after the Season 2 finale aired. After a scuffle with a pizza delivery man, he writhes on the floor a bit and breaks the fourth wall enough to tell the viewer that they can “tune into Rick and Morty Season 3 — in like — a year and a half … or longer!” That put the expected release date on April 6, 2017 … or longer. And, as we all know, the first episode of Season 3 aired on April 1, 2017, which basically makes Mr. Poopybutthole something of an oracle.
Note: The GalacticFederation.com viral site includes a “live” video feed of Mr. P’s current whereabouts, and he’s in that same living room petting his cat. You can also explore his house yourself in the Rickstaverse.
Season 3 Was Written by a More Diverse Writers’ Room
Co-creator Dan Harmon told Den of Geek the following:
“There was a craving for a gender balance in the writers’ room that we had never had, but I’m also very proud of the fact that we didn’t compromise ourselves following that craving. … We’ve gone from a bunch of dudes shooting Nerf guns at each other and asking each other questions about women that we don’t know the answers to … I think it’s like a 50/50 balance now, like in the early days of Community, which is really great. Because I think the important thing about gender in the writers’ room is not representation, it’s balance.”
Among a number of other additions is Jessica Gao, who penned Episode 3 of the upcoming season.
Writing Season 3 Has Been a Long, Frustrating Process — But It’s Done Now
Writing for Season 3 had been a long and grueling process with a myriad of conflicting reports from both Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, along with other staff writers like Mike McMahan, who — based on a tweet — wrapped his role by November 11, 2016. According to IndieWire, Harmon told a crowd at Sundance that much of the delay has been a result of conflict between the two co-creators:
“We have fights all the time and then we have fights about why we’re having fights. Well, we didn’t fight during Season 2, that’s why it’s taking longer! All this fighting! So OK, let’s stop fighting!”
All that being said, the scripts are 100 percent written, and the overall production process is in the later stages.
Season 3, Episode 2 Is Titled “Rickmancing The Stone”
Spencer Grammer, the voice of Morty’s sister Summer, shared the above script for Season 3’s second episode, “Rickmancing The Stone.” Typical of the show, the name is a clear riff on some other story title or phrase. In this case, it’s a riff on Romancing the Stone, a 1984 adventure film that feels like an Indiana Jones rip-off.
“Rickmancing The Stone” will apparently feature a “giant piano” in some fashion, based on a sliver of text from the script. Keep in mind that more often than not, the naming conventions for episodes are only loosely associated with the actual plot. Beyond including the sci-fi trope of falsely implanted memories, the episode “Total Rickall” has very little to do with any version of Total Recall, Schwarzenegger or otherwise.
Ryan Ridley & Dan Guterman Co-Wrote Episode 7 of Season 3
Ryan Ridley served as producer on the show and a voice actor for a slew of minor characters, including the upcoming “Alien 32,” but he also had a hand in writing great episodes like “Meeseeks and Destroy” and “Look Who’s Purging Now.” Dan Guterman, on the other hand, has written for The Onion, The Colbert Report, and Community, in addition to several previous Rick and Morty episodes. This pair previously co-wrote on “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate,” so they are back at it again for another “Great Collaboration” in Season 3.
Pickled Rick Will Fight Rats
No, he’s not just pickled from all the booze. A very rough Season 3 Exclusive, that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, shows a scene in which Rick is literally a pickle and has to use his wits and limbs from fallen bugs and other garbage to defend himself from an onslaught of wild rats. The ensuing violence and chaos is about on par with a sewer-based Purge, and it involves a horrific machine that uses rat brains to biologically enhance Rick’s pickle.
Rick and Morty Destroy a Butthole-Looking Death Star
In an exclusive reveal on Adult Swim’s in-house live stream show, Development Meeting, the very rough above clip shows Morty striking out yet again with his long-time crush, Jessica, before going on an adventure with Grandpa Rick to retrieve a “plasma shard” owned by a princess in the “Abadango Cluster.” In a harrowing space attack, the pair destroys the power core to a vast alien ship and escape the ensuing explosion in a very obvious riff on the original Star Wars, complete with the award ceremony. What you never got at the end of A New Hope was any sort of complete mental breakdown like that which both Rick and Morty have at the end.
That “Rick and Morty - New Clip” Is a Rick(and Morty)roll
On February 20, 2017, Adult Swim released a video called “Rick and Morty - New Clip” that predictably sent fans into a rabid frenzy. The confusing supercut of spliced dialogue clips from the show recites the lyrics to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” — which makes this a somewhat dense Rickroll that isn’t as obvious as others. It’s pretty much the lamest meme-trick in existence at this point.
This article was originally published on March 14, 2017. It was last updated June 30, 2017 (2:15 p.m. Eastern).Photos via 'Rick and Morty' (1, 2, 3), 'Rick and Morty' Wiki, YouTube, Rick and Morty Wiki