If there's two things that Rick and Morty fans love, well, it's hyperviolence and cursing. But besides that, the community around the show loves sharing hidden details they've found and fan theories they've concocted. Combining the two is the suicide helmet theory, which suggests that Rick has been working on the right way to kill himself for at least three seasons. Specifics vary, but folks like Reddit user cdinzmcc have suggested that this method of self-destruction is a suicide helmet that's often seen on Rick's desk.
The helmet has been there since the second episode, when we first see Rick's workbench, and has appeared in over a dozen episodes since. It's the one that sort of looks like a colendar you'd use to strain pasta, albeit with studded several red plugs. Often you can see the helmet tucked away off to the side, but more often than not, if you're in Rick's workshop, it's there. Rick was messing around with it in the opener to season three's "Vindicators 3" episode (above), but the helmet has made plenty of other appearances.
So what makes it a suicide helmet? It kind of just looks like that bizarre "mind-reading" headgear Doc wore in Back to the Future, right? That may be part of it, but many have pointed out that it bears a striking resemblance to a creepy part of internet history: A real-life suicide helmet.
As the story goes, this bizarre helmet was re-discovered by someone shadowing a coroner. A long time back, it belonged to a teenager who had rigged it up himself. He strapped eight shotgun shells to this makeshift contraption and rigged them to blow at once. It's tough to root out exactly where and when this happened (there are rumors with some more grisly details out there), so the only hard evidence we have is a set of convincing photos.
Urban legend or not, Rick and Morty may well have taken inspiration from the original suicide helmet for one of Rick's gadgets. After all, this is a guy known for having a death wish.
On top of that, Rick and Morty is also a show known for meticulous details and meaningful continuity. The suicide helmet wouldn't even be the only consistent aspect of Rick designed to show his willingness to die. As we've seen in past episodes, Rick almost never wears a seatbelt, while Morty stays strapped in.
Given Rick's suicidal tendencies, it doesn't seem like a stretch that he would keep a self-destruct device nearby at all times. In retrospect, the helmet adds a layer of despondence to every scene in the garage. On the edge of the frame looms an object that represents all of Rick's fears, his frustration with his own inability to form lasting bonds. At the same time, Rick stares it in the face every day and still hasn't put that helmet on, likely in part because the very act would mean surrender, and fuck that.
Yes, Rick and Morty is often a very silly show and not everything has to be symbolic, but in a series that made a dude turning himself into a pickle have a deeper meaning, there's room for a helmet.
The National Suicide Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255
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