6 'Rick and Morty' Season 4 secrets decoded in the new opening credits
Are these clips real or fake?
Since the very beginning of Rick and Morty, the opening title sequence has been the source of great mystery and misdirection, teasing fans with some sequences that never have or never will happen in the history of the show. With the launch of Season 4 comes a mostly-new opening title sequence, but what really happens in the new season and what’s a random scene created just for the credits?
Season 1 had a 50/50 split of “real” moments and moments that never happen at all, and the ratio has shifted somewhat with each season. Everything feels important and possible in the multiverse of Rick and Morty, but it’s impossible to know what’s relevant for the upcoming season. Given what we do know about the first five episodes, at least, we can make some educated guesses about what’s “real” (included in Season 4) and “fake” (just part of the Season 4 credits).
Here’s a complete rundown of six new moments featured in the Rick and Morty Season 4 title sequence:
6. Rick skydives down to an alien planet towards a monstrous Morty mutation
- Verdict: Real
We’re making a blind guess with this one, but Episode 5 is “Rattlestar Ricklactica” in which Morty gets bit by some kind of space snake and gets sick, leading to what might be a series of mutations. This episode will essentially function as a Christmas special and mid-season finale when it airs sometime in December.
In the Season 4 trailer, Rick gives Morty a salve but he lets it sit for too long. At the end of the trailer, he mutates into some monstrous-creature. Does he keep growing and mutating into something even more monstrous?
5. A cyborg monstrosity beats up snakes while shirtless Morty watches
- Verdict: Fake
Despite space snakes being a very real thing in Episode 5, one scene from the trailer feels too bonkers to happen. Rick, Beth, and a shirtless Morty look on as four snakes approach them in the garage. A terrifying cyborg creature made of flesh and metal materializes through an unfamiliar-looking portal in the ceiling and punches all these snakes right in the face before turning back to the humans with open arms.
There’s no possible way this is anything but an utterly ridiculous clip thrown into the opening credits, right?
4. Rick gets beaten up by a ripped older man after pulling Morty back into reality
- Verdict: Real
Based on the obtuse episode descriptions teased in October for the first five episodes, this particular clip feels very out-of-place: Morty is seemingly in a dirty bathroom near an IV drip, and then Rick reaches through a fracture in space to pull him back into a different scene where a totally ripped older man is beating the living daylights out of Rick.
This feels totally believable, and if it’s included in these episode, then it’s probably Episode 3: “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty.” The episode description for that one is just, “Lots of twists and turns this time Broh. Wear your helmets.” That fits, right?
3. Giant nude Morty rises from an alien ocean
- Verdict: 50/50 chance
There’s nothing from the Season 4 trailer that connects with the image of a giant, nude Morty rising from an alien ocean like some kind of screeching sea god. There’s always the possibility that this happens in the back half of Season 4, but given how little we know about Episode 3 (see above), it’s possible this is from that episode too.
We’ll know more after Episode 2 airs on November 17 and we see the Episode 3 preview, but for now it feels equally possible that this one’s just a random clip for the intro.
2. Rick and Morty references Untitled Goose Game
- Verdict: Fake
Rick and Morty occasionally references super-topical and timely cultural touchstones, but the opening credits includes a scene where a two-headed goose accosts Rick, Summer, Beth, and Morty. They all look very afraid, and Rick retrieves some kind of sci-fi gun from inside a secret compartment in the refrigerator to defend them.
This is undoubtedly a fun nod to the strangely popular Untitled Goose Game, a highly meme-able indie video game where you play as an anti-villain goose harassing humans. I would be shocked if this makes it into Rick and Morty Season 4 because it’s almost too perfect as a throwaway clip in the credits instead.
Also, there’s no way they had time to write, record, and animate a Untitled Goose Game episode in the time between it’s launch in late September and the show’s Season 4 premiere two months later.
1. Cthulhu chase scene part 2 has a baby Cthulhu
- Verdict: 100 percent fake
Similar to the opening shots of alien frog monsters eating Morty after Rick abandons him, the Rick and Morty opening credits have always featured an epic chase scene at the end where Rick, Morty, and Summer flee from a giant Cthulhu-looking space monster. At San Diego Comic-Con 2019 in July, one fan asked show co-creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon about it, and they revealed that there might be a sequel coming.
“We have a part two that we may put in the credits,” Roiland said when one fan asked about the Cthulhu-monster. Sure enough, part two panned out four months later. This feels like absolute confirmation that this will forever remain part of the credits. Sorry baby Cthulu!
Rick and Morty Season 4 airs Sunday nights on Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.