There’s still no indication of when Rick and Morty Season 4 might be released, but a recent post from the show’s co-creator Justin Roiland could hint at a beloved Season 1 character returning at some point in the future. Remember Snuffles, the Smith family’s dog from very early in the series? He’s based on Roiland’s real-life pet named Jerry. Roiland has wanted Snuffles to make a return to Rick and Morty for years now, and Season 4 is the perfect time to do it.
Instead of the Rick and Morty Season 4 April Fools’ surprise debut we dreamt of, Roiland shared an image to his Instagram account on Monday of two very cute white dogs just sort of hanging out at the beach.
“Rick and Morty season four is happening,” Roiland wrote in the post. “It’s amazing. It’s coming.”
Why the random dogs? They might remind a lot of casual fans of Snuffles from “Lawnmower Dog,” but that’s because they’re two real-life dogs that inspired the character: Roiland’s pets, Jerry and Pup Pup. (To be fair, Jerry is the one credited with inspiring Snuffles directly.)
Roiland isn’t too active on social media, and he rarely posts pictures of his pets. Yet these are almost certainly Pup Pup and Jerry, even if their hair does look more overgrown than usual.
During a 2016 Omaze campaign, Roiland and Rick and Morty animator Erica Hayes designed two T-shirts featuring the dogs. The shirts were sold to benefit the organization Wags and Walks, a community of dog-lovers supporting shelters everywhere.
That’s when we got perhaps the best glimpse at what these dogs look like.
In 2015, Pup Pup was actually taken ill. When one fan started a “good karma thread” on the Rick and Morty subreddit, Roiland responded. “I expect to eventually go broke because of my love for these dogs,” Roiland said. “You wouldn’t believe what I paid to make sure this cute pup stayed alive.”
Roiland’s love for these pups is no joke. He called them his “best friends” in an Instagram post last year. (Don’t tell Dan Harmon or Elon Musk!) It would then make a lot of sense that Roiland might want Snuffles to make a comeback on Rick and Morty.
Shortly before the bulk of Season 3 began airing in July 2017, Roiland responded to a question from The Daily Beast about Rick and Morty plots or characters they might want to return to in the future. Roiland confirmed that he wanted to bring back the cute white dog more than anything else.
“I mean we have a ton of seeds that we’ve planted that we could come back to,” Roiland said. “There’s a bunch that I would do something with, but the one that I would really love to think about more is Snowball.”
In “Lawnmower Dog,” Snuffles starts out as a regular dog before Rick makes him an intelligence-boosting helmet. Gradually, the canine gains sentience and goes on to lead a dog rebellion, changing his name to Snowball to assert his independence. In the end, he saves Morty’s life and brings his brethren to an alternate reality full of hyper-intelligent dogs. Out of love and respect for Morty, he assumes his original name of Snuffles.
Rick and Morty Season 4 could bring Snuffles/Snowball back in all sorts of ways, but of all the characters in the show’s history, this comeback’s the most long-overdue.
Rick and Morty Season 4 is expected to begin very late in 2019 or perhaps even 2020.