Only Read if You Have an IQ of 200


Photo provided by: Rick Sanchez (Rick & Morty)

Casey Henderson, Staff Writer

“To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Rick and Morty.

This Reddit post is a perfect personification of the obnoxious science fiction fans seeking to kill the show they adore so heavily.

Rick and Morty is the disgustingly lovable science fiction sitcom on Adult Swim that follows a sociopathic scientist named Rick and his grandson, Morty. The show, which recently wrapped up its third season, has attracted viewers’ attention with its delicious dark humor, numerous pop culture references, and deep tones of existential nihilism. Memorable quotes like “I’m Pickle Rick!” and “Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!” have been a catalyst for millennials everywhere.

Unfortunately, the adult cartoon comedy has attracted a viewership that has plagued similar fandoms in recent years. The entitlement of the elitists who use Rick and Morty’s philosophical backdrop to assert their grandiosity has merged with a legion of meme-crazed monsters who think acting like their deranged titular character makes them edgy. The fusion of the two opposing communities has caused the Rick and Morty fandom to form some kind of Cronenberg creation.

This fanbase first bore its true colors when news broke about the addition of women to the all-male writing team. The minds behind Rick and Morty sought to diversify their writing team in hope that the supporting female characters could be given more depth and be more relatable to female viewers. This incited criticism from fans who wished to retain masculine dominance in the show.

“How did Dan and Justin’s c*cks taste when you interviewed for [Rick and Morty]?” and “YOU RUINED RICK AND MORTY! F*CK YOU!” were some of the more memorable tweets sent to terrorize Jane Becker and Jessica Gao, the two new writers. The anger from the online community became so vile that one of the two had their street address posted online.

Dan Harmon, the co-creator of Rick and Morty, addressed the harassing manner in which fans expressed their opinions about the newer episodes in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

“These knobs, that want to protect the content they think they own — and somehow combine that with their need to be proud of something they have, which is often only their race or gender,” he said. “I’ve made no bones about the fact that I loathe these people. It f*cking sucks.”

Many followed in Mr. Harmon’s footsteps and disowned the attackers. Criticisms of such fans call the group a minority of a massive fandom and that they should not represent the community as a whole. And I agree with them.

Unfortunately, the idea of a rotten apple spoiling the barrel rings true, at least from an outsider’s perspective. Many who don’t watch Rick and Morty have heard only of these vulgar fans and formulated a skewed opinion about the community because of them. Elizabeth Gonzales, a junior at Da Vinci Communications High School, recalls how she perceived the Rick and Morty community before becoming a fan herself.

“I heard that many people who at first liked the show hate it because the fandom took itself too seriously,” she said. “Now that I watch the show, I found that the stereotypical fans are not actually as big of a group as I thought it was.”

Regardless of how small this group is, they still make the majority of fans appear just as insufferable. They affect the show’s image and pull away potential viewers from an amazing show because of the stigma fans breed.

This image issue wasn’t helped by the Szechuan sauce ordeal. If you haven’t heard, Rick and Morty ended the first episode of their third season by having Rick Sanchez deliver a rant about his savage desire for… McDonald’s dipping sauce. The joke, while bizarre, fit perfectly with the whim of the lead character and continued with the show’s nihilistic themes.

Of course, McDonald’s saw a huge marketing opportunity that could bring back relevance to their company and announced that Szechuan sauce would be sold for a single day in limited quantities at a select few stores.

Rick and Morty fans lined up outside their nearest McDonald’s in the earliest hours of the day in hopes that they too could try a dipping sauce that they probably had never tasted before, nor cared to before that infamous first episode aired. They were disappointed when there were only as many as 20 packets of sauce at each of the stores.

McDonald’s heavily underestimated the dedicated fans who waited for hours in a line outside a fast food restaurant for a packet of teriyaki sauce. Chants of “WE WANT Szechuan SAUCE” rang throughout the packed parking lots and harassment of the employees turned so brutal that police were notified in one instance.

Twitter received an influx of tweets voicing the frustration of fans who were outraged at the fact that this promotional sauce was not distributed in larger quantities. This influx includes one from Justin Roiland, the voice actor for both Rick and Morty.

“We had nothing to do with this McDonald’s stuff. Not happy with how this was handled,” he noted. “Please be cool to the employees, it’s not their fault.”

Many arguments have been made in defense of the fandom’s reactions, one of the more common being that McDonald’s wasn’t prepared for such a large reaction and were deceitful in the fact that there was such a limited supply. While true, let’s not forget that these people are lining up outside a McDonald’s for a McNugget condiment.

The point of the Szechuan sauce rant was to emphasize Rick’s emptiness. Leading an existence with the belief that life is meaningless will leave you hollow and lonely until you start giving meaning to the meaningless. Rick used a dipping sauce as an arbitrary reason for his actions because of this. He didn’t reference Szechuan sauce so others could act just as unhinged.

Fans watch the show because they relish the originality. What kind of TV show tells you that “Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, and everybody’s gonna die?” Rick and Morty don’t show us that we are superior because we understand its reference to ZardoZ.

It shows us that leading an indifferent life will only result in depression and self-destruction. And when you idolize that lifestyle, you damage what you grossly misrepresent and sear a brand into the minds of others that look down upon that which you have distorted. You don’t need a high IQ to understand that.