Rick Sanchez, the caustic, clever, morally ambiguous hero of Rick and Morty is a hunk — if you ask the right people. The Sanchez Babes, a recently founded online community of 20-something Rick and Morty fans, are some of those people.
“My first crush on anyone, real or fictional, was Professor Snape,” Tumblr user and Sanchez Babes member outtricking tells Inverse. “I like the snarky, brusque, intelligent, non-conventionally attractive characters. With Rick, I specifically like his wrinkly old man butt, his enthusiasm when he’s happy, and I think his bald spot is cute.”
“What was weird is that he’s some 70-year-old, mentally abusive, drooling alcoholic that I found sexy,” adds Tumblr user youshouldfear.
For those of you who are Rick and Morty fans but aren’t attracted to Rick, you might be surprised to learn about this trend; but are you really that surprised? Spend enough time on the internet, and you’ll find a fetish for anything. A good number of the Sanchez Babes Inverse spoke with identify as sapiosexuals — a term used to describe people who find intelligence sexually attractive or arousing — so it’s no wonder that the smartest man in the galaxy is a turn-on.
It’s doubtful that Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland intended their dimension-hopping, drunken Doc Brown parody to be a sex symbol. But the members of Sanchez Babes cited plenty of reasons why “hot, spicy grandpa Rick Sanchez” does it for them.
The majority of the community’s interactions go down on Discord, an app originally intended for gamer groups, which allows the Sanchez Babes to chat across several streams, talk out fanfiction ideas, NSFW thoughts, and bad memes.
If you delve into darker parts of the internet, you’ll find plenty of people who “ship” Rick and Morty; meaning want them to be together, in a relationship. The Sanchez Babes, however, are strictly against that. For the most part, they ship themselves with Rick, typically referred to as “self-shipping” within fandom. Their “no minors” rule keeps the x-rated fan fiction — usually written in second person so as to provide an immersive experience — strictly consensual.
“What was weird is that he’s some 70 year old mentally abusive, drooling alcoholic that I found sexy.”
Fictional Cartoon Grandpa Thirst
While a good amount of the Sanchez Babes’ fanfiction is private and passed amongst the group, consisting of personal prompts and wish fulfillment fic, it’s not uncommon for them to turn to Archive of Our Own, a popular fanfiction hosting site and fandom hub of sorts.
Giving Rick complete control over anything was like giving your spare keys to a weasel for safe keeping - a bad, bad, terrible idea. But from this angle, strapped by the ankles to his creaking camping bed, it looked more “conflictingly attractive villain in a kid’s film”-bad than, say, “the black plague”-bad.
“Rick?” I gasped, realisation hitting me like a sledgehammer. He laughed, his cackle dripping with ridicule. Normally, the whole world brightened when I was with him, he ignited an excitement within me that I didn’t know I had. But now, he only seemed cold. Withdrawn and absent. Rather as if he was the Anti-Rick, creating the polar effect. Something was off about him, he wasn’t quite my Rick…
“Sorry about the cartoon grandpa thirst. We know it’s weird,” thiccsanchez says.
But there are weirder kinks, that are considerably less backed up by scientific and social understanding.
Smart Is Sexy
Most members of Sanchez Babes will admit that their attraction to Rick is far more sexual than romantic. They know, logically, that Rick wouldn’t be a reliable person to place any sort of trust in. Rick is a cartoon character, though, which makes fantasy a little easier.
Tumblr user and Sanchez Babes co-founder succmysanchez, says her attraction to Rick stems from his extreme intelligence.
“I’m a total sapiosexual,” she says. “And I’ve also always been attracted to older men — so to watch a show about an older man who is extremely intelligent is like a wet dream come true.”
Among the Sanchez Babes’ descriptions of Rick’s intelligence are a whole lot of affectionate references to his more deviant traits — power mongering, neuroticism, and obsessive behavior, to name a few.
“I think the attraction is largely in part to him knowing everything,” Tumblr user youshouldfear tells Inverse. “He’s in charge, he’s a (really fucked up) god, he’s got the situation handled. It’s a weird security thing, like nothing can go too wrong if you’re with Rick because he can figure a way out of shit every time. It’s powerful.
Meanwhile, Tumblr user thiccsanchez says that the aspects of Rick’s personality she finds attractive mainly come down to his ego, logic, vulgarity and, “Emotional Baggage™.”
The Sanchez Babes aren’t necessarily alone in this line of thought (or, rather, line of libido). A 2015 study from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona holds that attraction to deviant personality traits, “such as those considered neurotic and impulsive,” isn’t unusual.
“[Rick] reminds me of a tsundere,” Tumblr user faggotchu says. “It’s a term in the anime community where someone comes off as super cold but deep, but gradually, over time, [they] show their nice side.”
Personality traits that eschew certain societal norms are often portrayed as attractive in media; bad boys, criminals, and the whole “tall, dark, and handsome” routine is stereotypical for a reason. It just so happens that Rick is tall, pale, and drunk — but the same rule still seems to apply.
“Rick reminds me of a tsundere. It’s a term in the anime community where someone comes off as super cold but deep, but gradually, over time, they show their nice side.”
Age Before Beauty
In fact, Rick’s senior discount seems to be of no consequence to the Sanchez Babes. If anything, it’s a bonus. The character is assumed to be in his 60s, and people, (especially women) are proven to be attracted to older men for their social standing, “genetic strength,” and even as a matter of strategic evolutionary survival.
“I’ll say it helps that I’ve historically been mostly attracted to older men, not all of whom are conventionally attractive,” thiccsanchez says.
While Rick’s impressive intelligence is a hallmark of his personality, so is his massive, planet-sized ego. And hiding underneath that ego is the well-documented, all-consuming depression and self-hatred that drove Rick to a failed suicide attempt in “Auto Erotic Assimilation.”
There are plenty of studies out there linking intelligence with depression and other mental illnesses. It’s the whole idea that incredibly smart people understand too much about the world or about their own behavior, the exact opposite of “ignorance is bliss.”
Several of the Sanchez Babes admit to experiencing the kind of self-hatred and depression that often plagues Rick. He is, on some level, relatable to them.
“I like to use [Rick] a bit as a coping mechanism when I’m feeling low,” Tumblr user coyotedinner says, while succmysanchez fondly refers to the Sanchez Babes as a group of “anxiety-ridden cat lovers.”
If Rick could keep a collective hivemind unbound by Earthly concepts of gender, race, sexuality, and species like his ex Unity entertained even for a short period of time, then any human sitting around and binge-watching Adult Swim cartoons has to be easy by comparison. Rick would probably mock them all; and they wouldn’t expect anything less.