Rick and Morty is an American adult animated sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Adult Swim. Rick and Morty follows the misadventures of cynical mad scientist ‘Rick Sanchez’ and his good-hearted but fretful grandson ‘Morty Smith’, who split their time between domestic life and interdimensional adventures.
1 Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland Teamed Up because of “Bill Cosby”
In the year 2005, Justin Roiland created House of Cosbys, an American animated sitcom focusing on a Bill Cosby superfan who builds a cloning machine to replicate the now ostracized comedian. Roiland eventually submitted House of Cosbys to Dam Harmon’s Channel 101 film showcase, and the rest was history.
2 The Pilot was Written in Just Six Hours
“Pilot” is the first episode of the animated television sitcom Rick and Morty. The pilot episode’s script was written in just six hours. Written by series creators Harmon and Roiland, and it’s directed by Roiland, the episode premiered on Adult Swim on December 2, 2013. Speaking with the L.A. Times, Dan Harmon reflected on that whip-quick first writing session of the series.
We were seating on the floor, cross-legged with laptops and that I was about to get up and plan to go to home, but Roiland said that, ‘Wait, if you go home now, it might take us three months to complete this thing. Stay here and we can finish it in just six hours.’ Roiland just had an idea about that”.
3 Rick’s Catchphrase was a Complete Accident
Though Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon are quick to point out that they hate catchphrases, Rick’s fairly ironic “wubba lubba dub dub” has become a key of the show. Later, disclosed in the episode of “Ricksy Business” that the phrase translates to “I am in great pain, please help me” in the language of the Bird People. That phrase was a complete accident on the part of Roiland.
Roiland explained it in an interview. “It was scripted as parenthetical Larry Fine or Moe Howard from the Three Stooges ‘wub wub wub wub wub’. And Rick was gonna fall on the ground and do that circle thing they are doing. And at the recording time, that was a last-minute rewrite that I didn’t read it, and that I just didn’t know what the f— I was looking at, and I just did it wrong.”
4 Rick and Morty’s Dynamic is a Representation of Mental Illness
On the first season commentary DVD of Rick and Morty, Dan Harmon describes the pair as “an accurate personification of bipolar affective disorder,” with Rick being the manic “side” of the brain and Morty, the depressive. This would make sense; given how they can maintain a generally functional relationship despite being great different.
5 The Theme Song is Inspired by Classic Sci-Fi Shows
The theme song of Rick and Morty is written by Ryan Elder. Ryan, who wrote the Wizards of Waverly Place theme song. Roiland told Ryan that he was a big fan of Farscape and he wanted to combine Farscape’s theme with Doctor Who’s theme, that’s basically what the theme song of Rick and Morty. It’s this amazing original piece that takes the best aspects of those two theme songs and mashes them together. The result is a trippy track that calls “super sci-fi”.
6 Harmon and Roiland Didn’t Like a Fan-Favorite Episode
Ask any Rick and Morty fan what their favorite episode is, and they’ll tell you one of the two inter-dimensional cable installments or the season two premiere, “A Rickle in Time”. This episode has popped up on many ‘best of’ lists, held in high esteem for its overlapping possibilities, co-existing timelines, and nuanced commentary on morality. But two people who were not so keen on it: Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland.
7 Female Writers Were a Big Part of Season 3
For the first two seasons, the Rick and Morty writing staff was mostly male: Roiland, Harmon, Ryan Ridley, Wade Randolph, Eric Acosta, Tom Kauffman made up the core, along with the writing assistant Mike McMahan. Described as a “very, very tiny little writer’s room with a lot of work from everybody,” and a team that usually engaged in Lego competitions and Nerf gun battles, the series group of scribes needed a shake-up.
The third season saw the first “gender-balanced” writer’s room in Rick and Morty’s history, and both the creators, Harmon and Roiland credit female writers for playing a great role in how the season panned out. Not only did they help ease self-doubt behind the scenes and contribute to a renewed creative energy, but the female writers also allowed room for everybody to pitch ideas for awesome Beth and Summer storylines.