The fate of Rick and Morty hung in limbo for what felt like an eternity, but news broke Thursday that Adult Swim renewed the show for a whopping 70 more episodes. Should we be excited that Rick and Morty will more than triple its current episode count, or should we be worried that we might get too much of a good thing? It’s tough to say at this point, but a more practical question for right now would be to wonder how many more seasons of Rick and Morty we’re looking at. Seven? Five? Nine seasons on the hunt for Szechuan Sauce?
So far, there are 31 Rick and Morty episodes total between the first three seasons, which means that Adult Swim and/or co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland probably wanted to get the show over that hallowed 100-episode benchmark. (Historically, that’s the episode count that leads to a show’s syndication, which can be very profitable in the long-term.) Based on that, you might assume that all future season will also be ten episodes each, but that’s not might not be the case.
Here are a few possibilities for how many seasons we can expect:
4. Seasons Continue at 10 Episodes Each for 7 More Seasons
Probably the simplest explanation would be the continue the past trend of 10 episodes per season. Rick and Morty kicked off way back in December 2013 for an 11-episode Season 1. Then the following two seasons each ran for a neat 10 episodes. They probably wouldn’t change it, right? Actually, they might.
3. Season 4, At Least, Will Be 14 Episodes
Back in 2016, Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon said that Season 3 would have 14 episodes, but the June 2017 event that announced the rest of Season 3 confirmed it would only be 10. Then, in September 2017, Harmon said they were hoping that Season 4 would be 14 episodes. All of this was before this new announcement, so thing might have changed. But, it’s safe to assume that Harmon still wants 14 episodes next season, which could mean …
2. 5 More Seasons at 14 Episodes Each
Given that “14” has been bandied about as a season’s episode count more than once, and that it divides neatly into 70, this also seems like a strong possibility. This would put the show at eight seasons total, at least for its current order.
It’s entirely possible that Rick and Morty might continue beyond those 70 episodes, but unless production for Season 4 and beyond moves much faster than it has in the past, then we’re looking at Rick and Morty for more than the next decade.
1. 9 Total Seasons, and Rick Consumes Szechuan Sauce in the Series Finale
Isn’t it obvious? The most culturally pervasive joke to ever come out of Rick and Morty was from Rick’s insane rant at the end of the Season 3 premiere, in which he said that his entire goal was to taste the McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce again.
“That’s what’s gonna take us all the way to the end, Morty. Season — nine more seasons, Morty. Nine more seasons until I get that dipping Szechuan sauce! What is that? For 97 more years, Morty! I want that McNugget sauce, Morty.”
Rick did say “nine more seasons,” but lets round it neatly to nine total for simplicity’s sake, making it six more seasons of 11 or 12 episodes each.
The one-off joke about Szechuan Sauce created a veritable phenomenon. McDonald’s eventually resurrected the sauce for a limited time — twice — and it eventually spawned aggressive after-market through eBay. These days, it feels like a bad joke gone a bit sour, but it would also be almost too perfect for the series to end with Rick finally getting an IRL taste. Existence is meaningless anyway, right? So why the hell not?