Breaking the 4th wall is old news when it comes to modern television. The Simpsons did it, The Office did it, Modern Family does it, Parks And Recreation did it, Family Guy does it… the list goes on. But one particularly out-of-the-box new cartoon manages to bring this concept to a whole new level.
We are of course talking about Dan Harmon’s and Justin Roiland’s new gem: “Rick & Morty”.
Attention To Detail
Rick is essentially an alcoholic maniac who always does whatever he wants, wherever he wants and whenever he wants it.
He never pays attention to any moral standards and is basically a nihilist who thinks (knows) his life is pretty much meaningless.
His mannerisms and all the seemingly meaningless scientific gibberish he’s always saying throughout the show are often disregarded as unimportant, but we have to be aware that this is Rick & Morty we are talking about. Every little detail has a purpose here (even the beloved butter-passing self-aware robot, sadly).
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the most obvious moments that best exemplify this theory.
During the “Total Rickall” episode when we see the parasites feeding off his thoughts and creating a barbecue memory with Rick and other parasites – Rick actually flashes to present day and shouts “No!” as he realizes he is surrounded by parasites.
He instantly turns to the audience and realizes it all looks like a “Where’s Waldo” page and asks us if we can find him.
Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate
In the “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate” episode, while changing the cable to Interdimensional, Rick refers to the general sequence of events of his life at that moment as a sequel (meaning a sequel on the earlier episode in Season 1 “Rixty Minutes”).
He also says how they nailed it the first time.
Look Who’s Purging Now
During the last moments of “Look Who’s Purging Now” episode, Rick refers to the first moments of the episode as the First Act. Pretty much an expression actors and actresses use to describe the first part of a script of a theatrical or cinematic performance.
It’s Always Rick Who Breaks The 4th Wall
If you examine all the moments when Rick is talking to the audience or making those elusive comments that reveal he is aware he is actually a fictional character, you will notice that all other characters are either unaware of them, or don’t understand what the heck is going on and never get in on the joke themselves.
Basically, Rick is a nihilist because he already knows how everything is going to end, granting the freedom to always do whatever he wants, without paying attention to consequences.
Wubba lubba dub dub, anyone?