By the time it finally graces our eyeholes, the wait between Rick and Morty Season 4 and Season 5 will be only slightly longer than a year. That’s a huge improvement compared to the two-plus years that followed Season 3.
Series co-creator Dan Harmon promised in a July 2019 interview that the wait between seasons "will never be this long again." His fellow co-creator Justin Roiland also said that the production team was "rolling right into the next batch," meaning that work on Season 5 began before Season 4 even began airing. So it makes sense that we’re now looking at the shortest amount of time between two Rick and Morty seasons ... ever.
Here's everything we know about Rick and Morty Season 5, from air dates to plot theories — and enough calculated speculation that Rick Sanchez himself would be impressed.
Is there a Rick and Morty Season 5 trailer?
Yes! Adult Swim released the first official trailer for Rick and Morty Season 5 on March 30, 2021 and then followed up with another one on May 1.
The first trailer’s timing was noteworthy considering Season 3’s surprise debut on April 1, 2017 — April Fools’ Day — with “The Rickshank Rickdemption.” The end of March and/or the beginning of April is officially a major week for the show, especially when we remember that the trailer for the back-half of Season 4 debuted on April 1, 2020.
The trailer opens on the entire Smith family — Jerry, Summer, Rick, Morty, and Beth — running through an eerie, foggy wood. Summer and Rick bicker about it being too quiet before things kick into high gear.
We see fully colorized and animated scenes from the “First Look" animatic released during July 2020’s Adult Swim Con. In that trailer, Rick almost dies, Morty crash-lands on Earth when he realizes that Jessica might hang out with him, and we meet Mr. Nimbus, Rick's "once and eternal foe." Mr. Nimbus reappears in several scenes from the trailer, including one where Jerry calls him a “strange, horny ocean man.”
There’s also some kind of Voltron-themed episode where each member of the family gets a super-suit and (presumably) a mecha to pilot. (Is this the same episode where they’re all in the woods?) Morty, Rick, and Jessica also later appear in some kind of arena where the spectators are robot people and giant mecha dogs, so there may be some overlap there.
One nightmarish series of images shows Rick and Beth in bondage gear. Beth looks like Hellraiser. Rick has a swordfish through his abdomen, which he uses to bludgeon an alien. Jerry is strung up in some kind of dungeon in this storyline, so it’s up to Rick and Beth to save him.
One of the more peculiar things about this trailer: There are a series of shots from a very specific angle in the Smith kitchen we don’t see that often. A hologram Rick stops Summer from going into the garage. A bruised and battered Morty is grabbed by the arm to leave with Rick. Some kind of alien in a spacesuit marches through a portal in the garage to attack Rick. Do all of these events take place in a single scene? Or could there be almost an entire episode from a single angle?
In yet another scene, Rick puts the house’s blast shields down, locking Jerry outside while a kaiju-sized praying mantis ravages the surrounding area. Rick’s spaceship is also seen pulling an entire solar system behind it, as piloted by Morty, Summer, and an unknown teenager that looks like it could be a young Jerry. Some small alien wants to be humped, and then there are other scenes of Rick fighting with versions of himself (a tried and true staple of the series).
In another trailer, there are plenty of clips from the Voltron-themed episode with the whole Smith family which also includes a kaiju-sized praying mantis monster. There’s also some kind of family vacation and some kind of formal event where everyone is wearing formal clothing. The cyberpunk-themed episode with Jessica also seems to be the same episode with Mr. Nimbus. We also see a couple of clips of something that looks like acid rain, where Morty is shown flirting with an alien-looking girl.
It’s unclear exactly which episodes overlap here, but Season 5 already looks as bonkers as any before it — if not, more.
The third official trailer offers new scenes from many of the same episodes we’ve seen from the previous two trailers.
When is the Rick and Morty Season 5 release date?
This one’s easy: The trailer released March 30, 2021 confirms that Season 5 premieres June 20, 2021 at 11 p.m. Eastern on Adult Swim. That’s right: Rick and Morty is sticking to late-night Sundays.
Mid-summer remains the most popular time for Rick and Morty season premieres.
Season 3 technically began on April 1 with the surprise-airing of “The Rickshank Rickdemption” and then continued with “Rickmancing the Stone” on July 30, 2017. Almost exactly two years prior, the Season 2 premiere, “A Rickle in Time,” aired on July 26, 2015. Season 4 did premiere in November, however. But most of the time, it’s been the summer.
Most long-time Rick and Morty fans out there have come to expect long waits between seasons. Whereas many TV shows operate on an annual production and release cycle with more consistency, that’s not the case here. Roughly 18 months or longer have passed between the end of a season and the start of a new one.
When Season 4 was greenlit back in May 2018, it was part of a 70-episode order that likely includes even Season 10. Previously, the production team would be waiting on Adult Swim and Time Warner to greenlight a new season. Since that’s not the case anymore, new seasons should keep coming with regular frequency. The timeline for Season 5 is proof of that.
How does the Rick and Morty Season 4 finale set up Season 5?
Just like Justin Roiland teased in an interview with Variety, the Season 4 finale got "canonical" and "serialized” in the finale. The Gromflomite Galactic Federation, Tammy, Birdperson, and Dr. Wong all returned, but there was also the introduction of a second Beth commonly referred to as "Space Beth."
A Season 3 episode hinted that Rick may have cloned Beth. The Season 4 finale confirms that he did. But now we have no way to know which one is a clone. "Space Beth was not a one-off character," Harmon confirmed during Adult Swim Fest 2020. "That's a thing that could have been the case." In a December 2020 interview with Inverse, Beth voice actor Sarah Chalke implied the obvious but did not say it outright: Space Beth will return in Season 5.
The Galactic Federation has also been defeated yet again, though some Gromflomites will always live on to rebuild. Tammy is dead beyond a measure of a doubt, and Rick has reclaimed the Terminator-esque pieces of Phoenixperson to keep them in his garage in a way that feels like a homage to the ending of Shaun of the Dead.
Much like the Season 3 finale, the ending to Season 4 also alienates Rick from the rest of the family. These characters, along with the viewer, have had to reckon with just how terrible a person Rick is yet again. Rick fancies himself a god in this universe, and so does the average viewer, but the show continues to challenge our expectations in interesting ways. Rick is, quite simply, a jerk. Why do we love him so much?
When the dust settles on Season 4, both versions of Beth decide to stick around, and as far as lingering plot threads, the only major thing left hanging is Evil Morty who had a non-canon cameo in Episode 6 and little else to do this season.
There's a lot that could happen in Season 5: Aside from Evil Morty, we could see the team-up between the Talking Cat and Balthromaw the dragon, Supernova from the Vindicators, Morty's soul mate from "The Vat of Acid Episode," and plenty more.
How many episodes will be in Rick and Morty Season 5?
The going assumption was that Season 5 would be 10 episodes long like most previous seasons, but the official Rick and Morty Twitter account confirmed it on May 24, 2021 with a Tweet revealing “all ten episode titles.”
What are the Rick and Morty Season 5 episode titles?
As revealed in a May 2021 video posted to Twitter, we now know what the title of every episode is.
- Episode 1: “Mort Dinner Rick Andre”
- Episode 2: “Mortyplicity”
- Episode 3: “Rickdependence Spray”
- Episode 4: “A Rickinconvenient Mort”
- Episode 5: “Amortycan Grickfitti”
- Episode 6: “Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular”
- Episode 7: “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion”
- Episode 8: “Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort”
- Episode 9: “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall”
- Episode 10: “Rickmurai Jack”
Now, for a rough translation of the movie or television series that each episode title references. In many cases, these will be clues about episode plots to some extent, but more often than not, they only vaguely reference a random thing from the storyline.
- Episode 1: My Dinner with Andre — A 1981 dramedy film in which two old friends reconnect and reminisce about their lives.
- Episode 2: Multiplicity — A wacky sci-fi movie where Michael Keaton winds up being cloned several times over and chaos ensues.
- Episode 3: Independence Day — An iconic action blockbuster where aliens invade Earth, leaving Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum to save the day.
- Episode 4: An Inconvenient Truth — The 2006 documentary about former US Vice President Al Gore’s crusade to educate the world about climate change.
- Episode 5: American Graffiti — A 1973 coming-of-age comedy directed by Star Wars visionary George Lucas that chronicles the adventures a group of teenagers embarks on in a single night in Modesto, California.
- Episode 6: “Rick & Morty’s Thanksgiving Spectacular” — Sounds like a pretty straightforward Thanksgiving episode, broh.
- Episode 7: Neon Genesis Evangelion — An iconic post-apocalyptic mecha anime series riddled with religious symbolism that follows a group of young pilots struggling to avert total annihilation.
- Episode 8: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — Michel Gondry’s beloved sci-fi romance film from 2004 tells the dramatic love story between Kate Winslet’s Clementine and Jim Carrey’s Joel as they fall in and out of love ... and then delete all memories of one another.
- Episode 9: Forgetting Sarah Marshall — A hilariously irreverent romantic comedy in which Jason Segel’s hapless but lovable musician gets dumped by famous actress Sarah Marshall (played by Kristen Bell), and then bumps into her with her new lover in Hawaii by happenstance. Shenanigans ensue.
- Episode 10: Samurai Jack — This beloved animated series from visionary Genndy Tartakovsky follows the titular hero, a warrior lost in time who seeks to return to the past and undo the destruction wrought by the evil wizard Aku.
But if we consider what the trailers have revealed previously, “A Rickinconvenient Mort” may reference the female Captain Planet-looking character we’ve seen.
What could all of the other references mean? We’ll have to wait and see when these episodes air. But we can safely bet that “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion” is the Voltron episode where the whole family fights a kaiju. The “Thanksgiving Spectacular” sounds like a relatively straightforward holiday episode. “Mortyplicity” will inevitably involve plenty of Morty clones, right? “Amortycan Grickfitti” might follow a vignette structure similar to “Tales from the Citadel,” but that’s pure speculation. And “Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort” could involve memory wipes of some kind, assuming the episode borrows the sci-fi concept from the movie it references?
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