'Rick and Morty' Season 4 Episode 3 gives Mr. Poopybutthole a backstory

A dear friend finally returns.

rick and morty season 4 mr poopybutthole

Mr. Poopybutthole finally made his triumphant return to the show in Season 4’s third episode. The lovable long-time friend of the Smith family on Rick and Morty once thought to be a toxic alien parasite gets an extended cameo as part of Rick’s heist crew that’s even better than Elon Musk’s. The also episode fills in a lot of Mr. Poopybutthole’s mysterious backstory, mainly that he’s a karate master who teaches graduate-level literature classes at a local college in the African-American Women’s Studies department with a focus on Mara Angelou (Wow!), but there’s still a lot this episode leaves out.

“One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty” aired Sunday night, and it’s the first legitimate canonical appearance from Mr. Poopybutthole since his debut in Season 2’s “Total Rickall”. He was also featured in the briefest of memories in Season 3’s “Morty’s Mind Blowers,” but everything else we know about the shrill little fellow comes from the Season 2 and Season 3 post-credits scenes. (There was also that special video called “The Poop in My Pants” released in November 2017 that covers everything in between.)

Between all of that, we know that he survived the gunshot wound from “Total Rickall,” started walking with a cane, fell in love, got married, and even had a child. Until this point, however, we didn’t really know anything about his professional life or his hobbies. “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty” chang all that, transforming Mr. Poopybutthole into some kind of professor-ninja.

rick and morty professor poopybutthole karate
Mr. Poopybutthole's karate moves are incredible in "One Crew Over the Crewcoo's Morty."

In this somewhat exhausting episode that makes fun of how dumb heist movies are, Rick creates a robot to execute a convoluted heist all to make one of his rivals look bad. But when the A.I. goes rogue, Rick’s meta solution is to assemble a random team of characters so weird they’ll be able to beat the A.I.’s predictions. The first recruit is Mr. Poopybutthole, who calls himself Professor Poopybutthole in front of a small gathering of college students. They all attack him almost right away, and we see an incredible display of agile martial arts as he dodges punches in slow motion and brutally defeats them all with his cane.

Later, in the post-credits scene featuring Rick and Mr. Poopybutthole laying down on the roof of the Smith family house drinking beer while Morty plays with a Rubix cube nearby, we learn that Rick hired the grad students to attack Mr. Poopybutthole to make sure he had those karate skills. Poopybutthole is confused, mainly because it was an emergency situation but he somehow had enough time to recruit, train, and bribe a handful of grad students to attack their professor. It’s all a ruse meant to ridicule heist movies that often ignore logic to keep the plot moving.

“Too bad I lost my job for putting my students in the hospital,” he says sadly, reflecting on the reality of the situation. Now jobless, Mr. Poopybutthole has a new reason to resent another member of the Smith family, except he seems perfectly content to just hang out. Truly, there’s nobody nicer than this guy.

It’s unclear if Mr. Poopybutthole might show up again this season, but he did say the following in the Season 3 post-credits scene: “See ya for Season 4 in like … a really long time! I might even have a big, white Santa Claus beard!”

Could he possibly return in the upcoming Season 4 mid-season finale that takes place during the Christmas season dressed in a Santa costume? We can only dream.


Rick and Morty Season 4 airs Sundays on Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.

Watch “The Poop in My Pants” for an extended biographical look at Mr. Poopybutthole.