The latest Rick and Morty crossover has arrived in the form of a Super Bowl commercial for Pringles. And, in a subversive way, the ad offers an oblique hint at why the back-half of Season 4 was seemingly delayed: Summer and Rick have been trapped inside this ad the whole time.
Knowing the Rick and Morty production team, this may or may not be a light troll to all the adoring fans out there, but either way, the Pringles Morty androids feel like the scariest Mortys of all time.
Adult Swim released the full commercial Tuesday morning, following up to last week's teaser where a fleet of Pringles-obsessed Morty Androids practiced their flavor stacks. Both the brief teaser and the new 30-second commercial show off the ongoing branding exercise known as "flavor stacking," the focus-grouped idea that by stacking multiple chip flavors, the snacker can create a custom blend. This is the third year in a row that Pringles will use the concept in a Super Bowl ad, but this is easily the most creative presentation of the idea.
In the new clip, Summer and Rick are watching TV and see a generic Pringles commercial touting Flavor Stacking. Morty comes in with an armful of Pringles and creates a "Spicy Barbecue Pizza stack" by stacking Pizza, Barbeque, and Jalapeno chips. Rick quickly realizes that this Morty is a fake. He tackles the Mortybot and rips off the wallpaper to reveal that they're stuck in an ad.
"Pringles! We're trapped in a Pringles commercial!" Rick screams as Summer panics. "They must have taken us in our sleep. ... They warned me this would happen, and I didn't listen."
The Mortybots swarm Rick and Summer and keep chattering about different flavor combos, which makes for an overwhelming assault on the sense rather than a direct attack.
Based on Rick's hilarious commentary, he and Summer were abducted and placed within the commercial, similar to that time he and Jerry were abducted in the Season 1 episode "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" and trapped inside a simulation. Except this time it's to promote some chips rather than for an alien race to extract the recipe for concentrated dark matter.
In a roundabout way, you could argue that Rick being trapped here is the reason why Season 4, Episode 6 hasn't been released yet. Morty and Rick do often keep busy when the show is on hiatus, and they do so by participating in commercials and other publicity stunts. It's a strange meta explanation that fits within the confines of Rick and Morty's weird universe despite the obvious fact that this is just a real-life publicity stunt.
The last time Adult Swim used Rick and Morty to advertise something other than the show was in a November ad for Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima's latest video game. But there's a long history of the two characters popping up in unexpected places, like that time they presented an Emmy award or when they appeared in commercials for Carl's Jr. or Old Spice. This latest collaboration with Pringles will also involve a Pickle Rick-flavored can of Pringles that'll be available nationwide February 2 — the same day this new ad will air on television.
The Rick and Morty Pringles commercial will air during the second quarter of Super Bowl LIV.