As the center of many fan theories about alternate realities, Mr. Poopybutthole demands a lot of attention whenever he shows up on screen. But so far this season, MPB has laid low for the most part -- besides uh, proposing to Morty for a split-second last episode. That makes sense, though, since the initial joke of Mr. Poopybutthole (apart from his name) was that he was a longtime friend of the family that was never seen up to that point.
The Rick and Morty production team might have wanted to dispel the idea that we've been following different Ricks and Mortys in different universes from episode-to-episode. Previously fans had speculated that the sudden appearance of Mr. Poopybutthole signified that his episode debut took place in a different reality than the one we'd been use to. But now a second time this season we see Mr. Poopybutthole, his picture hung up on the fridge.
Either this is a signal that most Ricks and Mortys have their own Mr. Poopybutthole, or the animators are just fucking with us. When it comes to this show, it could very well be both.
Whenever there's a crowd scene in Rick and Morty, you'll probably want to freeze-frame and look around. This pays off at the restaurant scene, when who do we see but Brad, Morty's classmate and resident high school jock. Cue blurry zoom-in:
Ignoring the mustache guy in the foreground, it would seem that Brad is there with the blonde woman on the right. Which is interesting, since he's usually with Jessica.
Jessica and Brad seem to have an on/off again thing going on. They broke up a bit before Rick had his run-in with his Toxic self, but by the end of that episode Brad and Jessica seemed to be on the mend. They could be still taking a break, or Brad is cheating on his girlfriend at a random restaurant. One thing's for sure: Brad probably didn't look at the Yelp reviews, either.
Jerry Smith's car has been through the wringer before, but those were other universes (I think). After this week's episode, however, it seems to be gone for good, telepathically crushed into a cube. Jerry can probably find another one of those cartoony station wagons any place, and there's reason to think he'll go out of his way to track one down: Because they look just like him.
Seriously, look at Jerry's shirt. The stripes match his station wagon, down to the wood paneling. It's one of those ideas that sounds silly, but once someone suggests it you'll never be able to see anything else.
Maybe you guys can help me out here. Usually for these Rick and Morty rundowns I try to leave out the nods and references I'm not 100% certain of. We're a little light this week though (hence relying on Jerry's shirt), so I figured maybe we could solve some of these oddities together. When Rick is going through Beth's old childhood gadgets, among the unbreakable bats and sound-erasing sneakers is a fake police badge. It's only on the screen for a second, but the weird part is that it's got a badge number: VA-184.
We know from previous episodes that numbers in this show often mean something significant. Part of this likely relies on the fact that the people behind the show know people are going to dissect every frame like uh, I am. But I'm stumped as to what VA-184 is a reference to. Is it supposed to be Highway 184 in Virginia? A reference to the Veteran's Association?
It could very well be nothing, but it comes right before the location-tracking stickers.
These stickers have specific location tags. The production team had to know we'd plug those into Google Maps, but when you do, you get a spot off the coast of Africa.
Either that's where Atlantis sunk or the location is completely meaningless. Personally, I'm hoping that this location will come back someday just so I didn't waste my life freeze-framing a cartoon.
Okay, time for the good stuff. Just over a minute into the episode, Rick rummages through an old box for the magic chalk that opens the gateway to Froopy Land. There are a ton of callbacks inside, but the box itself is a callback to the moving company that's been featured a couple times on the show.
Inside, one of the most recognizable gadgets is a Meeseeks Box, the corners of which you can make out pretty well.
Another big one is the Vindibeacon, the large purple glowing crystal that summoned Rick and Morty to help the Vindicators earlier in season three.
Next to the Vindibeacon we can see Rick's memory-wiping machine, which we saw just last episode. They really plan this stuff in advance, huh?
It's only visible for a few frames, but if we zoom and rotate just enough you can see a part of a box of Simple Rick's, the decadent and disturbing treat from the Citadel of Ricks seen in the instant classic "Ricklantis Mixup."
When episodes are packed with minute details like these, it's tough not to overanalyze every frame.