Rick and Morty Season 3 ended long ago in the forgotten era of October 2017, but since San Diego Comic-Con 2019, promotion for Season 4 is finally in full swing. A May 2019 announcement confirmed that Rick and Morty Season 4 would premiere in November, and the surprise release of the Rick and Morty Season 4 trailer in October confirmed the premiere date — but also that the first five episodes would air sequentially before the series takes another break.
Adult Swim ordered a whopping 70 Rick and Morty episodes in May 2018 that could one day comprise up to seven more total seasons. Co-creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon seem optimistic that the show could run for much longer.
Rick and Morty’s popularity exploded during the almost two-year break between Seasons 2 and 3, transforming Roiland and Harmon into household names. Today, the show is popular enough that McDonald’s resurrected the formerly extinct Szechuan Sauce just to appease fans after a Season 3 joke. Excitement has only grown during the long wait for Rick and Morty Season 4.
Here’s every detail we could find about Rick and Morty Season 4 from possible plot details to production updates, all enhanced with some speculation straight out of an interdimensional data aggregator we forced Rick D-20420 to build from spare MacBook Pro parts.
Is There a Trailer for Rick and Morty Season 4?
Yes! Adult Swim released the official Season 4 trailer October 6 in the middle of the night (depending on your time zone, it might have technically been October 7). The footage showcases plenty of exciting new gadgets, characters, and worlds. Read more.
When will the last five episodes of Rick and Morty Season 4 air?
During the aforementioned Season 4 trailer, we learned that only the first five episodes will air starting in November. What about the remaining five?
“Five all-new episodes start Sunday, November 10 at 11:30,” the trailer narration says. “Half the season you deserve — all the season we could handle.” While this news might frustrate a swath of Rick and Morty fans, it really isn’t cause for concern.
Assuming there are no interruptions, Rick and Morty Season 4, Episode 5 should air on December 8. It’s customary for most TV series to take a break over the holidays from December into January, so it feels pretty normal for Season 4 to stop there. (This happened in Rick and Morty Season 1.)
We don’t have any information about when the five remaining Season 4 episodes might air, but they could start as early as January 5 or 12 in 2020 and then proceed uninterrupted until the Season 4 finale airs on February 2 or 9. The wait could be longer, but we probably won’t know either way until sometime in December. Maybe Episode 6 is some kind of Christmas special?
A Prizeo Charity Contest Will Make One Fan a Background Character
Justin Roiland announced on July 11 a new Prizeo charity contest benefitting NEXT for AUTISM and Bergen County’s United Way. The winner will be flown out to the Rick and Morty headquarters to meet the team and “get you drawn into a future episode.” Anyone can enter at the official Prizeo page for $10 per entry.
A video featuring Harmon and Roiland promoted by the official Rick and Morty Twitter account on September 16 (featured above) confirms that the winner of the contest will get to see the official Rick and Morty studio where they make the show.
First Season 4 Scene Has Taika Waititi’s Gloopie and Jerry’s Failed App
During a San Diego Comic-Con panel for Season 4 in July 2019, Adult Swim showed a finalized scene from the new season in which Taika Waititi voices a tech-loving alien named Gloopie who helped Jerry launch some kind of app. This is the closest thing to a trailer that we have so far.
We have no way of knowing which episode in Season 4 this happens during, but we know that Waititi will be joined in this episode by another high-profile actor who’ll voice a character of the same alien species Read more to learn who.
Mr. Meeseeks Will Return in Season 4
When asked about recurring tropes or ideas for Season 4 during an interview with Entertainment Weekly published July 17, Dan Harmon confirmed that Mr. Meeseeks will return several times in the new season.
“There’s going to be a couple Meeseeks popping up here and there,” Harmon said, a confirmation he echoed later that week during the SDCC 2019 panel. We see several violent Meeseeks in the official Season 4 trailer with an almost apocalyptic vibe.
The eager-to-please Mr. Meeseeks is a being that exists to complete a task assigned to it by a master before disappearing in a puff of smoke, and any number of them can exist. They emerge from a Mr. Meeseeks Box that functions almost like magic but is never explained. The Season 1 episode “Meeseeks and Destroy” introduced the concept in one of the series’ all-time greatest episodes. The character later returned in a brief cameo during Season 2’s “Mortynight Run.”
First Season 4 Images Show Rick Sanchez Alone … and Some Dinobots
Entertainment Weekly revealed the first two official photos for Season 4 on July 16, and Rick Sanchez stands alone in both. Recall that at the end of Season 3, the Smith family had united in opposition to Rick. Even Morty stood up to his grandfather to defend his mother, so these two photos imply that Rick might spend some time adventuring alone to what the official Rick and Morty Twitter account calls “the promised land” and some planet full of dinosaur cyborgs.
What’s the deal with this race of reptilian cyborgs? Are they related to Crocubot?
2019 Adult Swim Festival Includes a Rick and Morty Season 4 Screening
On June 25, details for the 2019 Adult Swim Festival in Los Angeles this November were released, and the event includes “a special never before seen Rick and Morty Season 4 screening on Saturday,” November 16.
Now that we know Season 4 premieres November 10, this screening is probably of the second episode of Season 4, which will air the following night.
Rick and Morty Season 4 Will Probably Include Interdimensional Cable 3
Justin Roiland, who voices both Rick and Morty, shared an image from inside a recording studio on February 8. Nothing about the photo itself is interesting or surprising, but his caption offers a clue: “Idc3 (maybe) @rickandmorty,” he writes. “I-D-C-3” must stand for Interdimensional Cable 3 (sometimes stylized as “Inter-Dimensional Cable,” hence the IDC).
This anthological Rick and Morty episode structure has Rick Sanchez hack into a regular cable box so everyone can watch an entire multiverse worth of television. “Rixty Minutes” in Season 1 and “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate” in Season 2 both used the concept in Episode 8 of their respective seasons. (Episode 8 of Season 3 instead went to “Morty’s Mind Blowers,” a similar but different episode style.)
Not only does this post imply that Season 4 will include Interdimensional Cable 3, but it’s also a strong indication that Roiland is recording episodes from rather late in the season, Episode 8 to be precise. That is, assuming the new season follows a similar structure as the previous three.
Who’s Working on Rick and Morty Season 4?
It’s tough to know the full list of everyone who’s working on Rick and Morty Season 4 before it comes out, but here’s everything we do know based on what information exists out there on social media and websites like IMDb.
Writers: Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland play significant roles in the Rick and Morty writers’ room, as does producer Mike McMahan. Dan Guterman, Ryan Ridley, Tom Kauffman, and Eric Acosta are all also longtime contributors to the show. Sarah Carbiener should also return as a writer/producer. Jessica Gao, who wrote the Emmy award-winning “Pickle Rick,” left the show to work on a currently untitled series for ABC.
Sketch comedian and College Humor regular Siobhan Thompson announced she’d joined the Rick and Morty writing team in July 2019. Other new writers include Caitie Delaney, Anne Lane, Jeff Loveness, and Dave Horwitz.
Directors: Juan Meza-León, Dominic Polcino, Anthony Chun, and Bryan Newton are all expected to return in Season 4 as directors. Former storyboard artist Erica Hayes was promoted to director for Season 4 as well.
Why random “idents” don’t count as Rick and Morty Season 4 trailers
Contrary to what many across the internet say whenever Adult Swim releases a new Rick and Morty commercial, there are no trailers or teasers for Season 4 yet. A fully animated scene did debut at San Diego Comic-Con in July, but that doesn’t count as a trailer.
Here’s one example of a false alarm: On January 2, Adult Swim released a trippy 15-second video clip called “Rick vs Morty.” It featured a bizarre animation style that showed a Shark Rick eating a Fish Morty, a Hippo Rick eating a Bird Morty, and a Godzilla Rick attacking Mothra Morty — among other disturbing images.
Even if the final image is of Evil Morty with his eyepatch, this is just a fun, random commercial that doesn’t mean anything for Season 4.
Many television networks produce these kinds of videos — known as “idents” — as a reminder to viewers in the middle of commercial breaks: “Hey! Watch this cool video. Don’t forget you’re watching Adult Swim.”
These are all super fun to watch, but they don’t actually mean anything for the show.
How the Rick and Morty Season 3 Ending Sets Up Season 4
The Rick and Morty Season 3 finale ended things in a place that felt strangely normal, especially when compared to the Season 2 cliffhanger that left Rick imprisoned and Earth overrun by the Galactic Federation. “The Rickchurian Mortydate” pitted Rick against the president of the United States and made us wonder whether or not Beth was actually a clone of herself — but both of these plot threads just sort of ended.
During the episode, Beth and Jerry reconciled their differences and ended their ongoing separation by rekindling their marriage. In the final shot of “The Rickchurian Mortydate,” the whole Smith family sat at the dinner table, and everyone was laughing at Rick. That’s pretty mundane, leaving it open for Season 4 to go in all sorts of different directions. The last time Rick and Morty felt like this, it was late Season 2.
In the first photos from Season 4, Rick appears without any companion, indicating that he might have some solo adventures in the new season.
What’s the Plot of Rick and Morty Season 4?
Nothing is certain yet when it comes to the plot of Rick and Morty Season 4, but Justin Roiland said the new season maintains a serialized overarching plot.
“We have serialized stuff we check in on now and then that’s sprinkled over the top of strong episodic episodes,” Roiland says. “To fans of the show, they’re going to want to watch them in order.”
Despite a “Simpsons-esque” procedural storytelling structure in the sense that “characters … don’t really age” and the show can keep going forever, Season 4 will have a season-long arc, similar to how Season 3 explored Beth and Jerry’s separation. Now that they’ve reunited and made Rick the black sheep of the family — especially after seeing Rick alone in the first two Season 4 images — it seems likely that the new season will see Rick flying solo for a stretch.
During San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Harmon and Roiland also confirmed that Season 4 will address time travel in some fashion, namely how Rick’s portal gun allows him to travel forward (or potentially backward) in time. This’ll likely factor into one episode as a key plot device.
One unfinished animatic shown at SDCC took place during Christmastime, when Jerry tries to hang Christmas lights but falls off a ladder. Rick saves him using some kind of contraption before he and Morty head off to space. In an interview with IMDb at SDCC, Roiland referred to this as “the space snakes episode, on account of the space snake that bites Morty. Read more.
Another storyline we can expect comes from Taika Waititi’s Glootie, who helps Jerry build an app. Read more.
What Is the Rick and Morty Season 4 Release Date?
Adult Swim announced on May 15 that Rick and Morty will return November 2019. The news was revealed during Warner Media’s Upfront presentation, but it wasn’t until October 6 with the release of the Season 4 trailer that we got a confirmed premiere date of November 10.
The late 2019 launch lines up with our previous suspicions. After all, Mr. Poopybutthole said Season 4 wouldn’t be out for “a really long time” in the Season 3 post-credits scene. The last time the character delivered a scene like this at the end of Season 2, fans had to wait almost two years for Season 3.
Rick and Morty wasn’t officially renewed for Season 4 until May 2018, so even if the co-creators and writers had ideas for the new season ready to go, they weren’t working on it at all until late last spring at the earliest.
Rick and Morty writer Ryan Ridley also estimated in January 2018 that Season 4 wouldn’t premiere until late 2019. It looks like he was right all along.
How Far Along Is Rick and Morty Season 4 Production?
In the July 17 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dan Harmon said that they’re “writing Season 5 while finishing Season 4,” so the team is close to finishing Season 4. He also promises that the time it takes to make new seasons will never be this long again:
“I think it’s safe to say without fear of being wrong that the gap between Seasons 3 and 4 will be the longest and last time that it’s ever so long that it’s ridiculous. I don’t know how fast we can do it, but I know it will never be this long again.”
Here’s some further history about Season 4’s production:
In January 2019, Rick and Morty’s animation supervisor Eric Bofa Nfon tweeted confirmation that Bardel Entertainment had begun work animating Season 4.
For context, this stage of production during Season 3 began in September 2016, and the Season 3 premiere aired about seven months later in April; Then the rest of Season 3 proceeded starting in late July. This matches up to November’s Season 4 release date.
On March 11, Vancouver based background artist Amanda Wong announced via Twitter that she’d been working on Rick and Morty Season 4. She worked previously on background coloring and illustrations for Rick and Morty Season 2. She’s likely doing contract work through Bardel to help with production on backgrounds in Season 4.
On March 15, former Rick and Morty artist Erica Hayes, who’s now a director on Season 4, tweeted, “We’re drawing it!” This is a reference to a popular line from Dan Harmon during the recording of a Harmontown podcast in February 2017. When asked about the status of Rick and Morty Season 3, he said, “They’re drawing it! Once they’re done, Adult Swim will decide when to release it.”
Now that the Rick and Morty Season 4 release date is set for November, that likely means the drawing process is done. All that’s left is the final animation and editing.
How Many Episodes Is Rick and Morty Season 4?
14 episodes was once the ambition for Season 3, but some kind of creative conflict between Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland caused production delays that eventually compelled them to shorten the season to 10 episodes. Now that Adult Swim has ordered 70 episodes, the series will likely never face extensive production delays again.
Who Are the Rick and Morty Season 4 Guest Stars?
Each season usually offers a handful of recognizable guest stars. Season 3 alone had 12 different guest stars such as Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, and Thomas Middleditch, to name a few. Who will lend their voice to Season 4?
In May 2019, Harmon and Roiland confirmed that Paul Giamatti had a role in a Season 4. This was confirmed again in a July 17 EW interview, but they also added that Sam Neill, Taika Waititi, and Kathleen Turner were in Season 4 as well. During a separate SDCC interview, Roiland also confirmed actor Matthew Broderick for Season 4.
Back in October 2018, Jurassic Park star Sam Neill tweeted, “I enjoyed working with @RickandMorty last week ….” with a generic photo from the show’s promotional materials. We therefore already knew he was a guest star in Season 4.
“He’s from the same species as Taika’s character,” Roiland said of Neill’s role, “and we wanted a Kiwi flavor to their species.” Could this Kiwi-flavored species be the dinosaur cyborgs revealed in the second photo of Season 4? We hope so.
Justin Roiland has also said he’d love to bring the intelligent white dog Snuffles/Snowball back on the show, which would probably require voice actor Rob Paulsen.
Dan Harmon admitted in May 2018 that he desperately wanted Ice-T to voice a character on the show, so we’re hoping that pans out for Season 4.
Actor Christopher Lloyd, who played Dr. Emmett Brown in the Back to the Future movies, said in July 2018 that he’d lend his voice to the show. Considering Rick and Morty started off as a Back to the Future parody, that would make for one really exciting guest star. What if he was Rick Sanchez’s time-traveling father?
Catch up on the first three seasons of Rick and Morty on Hulu.
Watch Inverse breakdown Dan Harmon’s story circle for each and every episode. It’ll soothe the soul while you wait for Season 4.