‘Rick and Morty’ Fans Argue Over Whether Rick Was Better Before He Started Therapy

Some anti-therapy ‘Rick and Morty’ fans liked the titular scientist more when he was still shrink-free
‘Rick and Morty’ Fans Argue Over Whether Rick Was Better Before He Started Therapy

Much like early-seasons Rick Sanchez himself, some Rick and Morty fans think therapy is a waste of time. And, just like Rick, their combined brain power would probably fit in a single pickle.

Like any Dan Harmon project, a running theme throughout Rick and Morty is the struggle for personal growth despite outrageous circumstances. In the beginning of the animated Adult Swim mega-hit, our anti-hero Rick was a nihilistic, nearly godlike grouch of a grandfather who couldn’t be bothered to care about the lives of lesser beings. Now, seven seasons in, he’s still pretty much all of those things, but at least he goes to therapy and, occasionally, can express some affection for “his” family. At this point in the timeline, Rick is experiencing a bit of existential uncertainty, having completed his overarching goal to which he had devoted his life since before the events of the pilot. But, with the help of superstar therapist Susan Sarandon, Rick’s current lack of purpose could potentially lead to self-betterment — to the dismay of some therapy-averse Rick and Morty fans.

Over in the Rick and Morty subreddit, one post, titled, “Why is he getting therapy now,” recently skyrocketed to the top of the front page, sporting a screenshot from the iconic Season Three episode “Pickle Rick” that showed Rick telling his family’s therapist, “I don’t respect therapy, because I’m a scientist.” The user remarked, “Liked this rick better,” presumably because they were too busy getting a tacky Pickle Rick tattoo to listen to the very next line.

As many Redditors rushed to point out, Dr. Wongs response to Ricks dismissal of therapy mere seconds after the line in the screenshot serves as a sort of thesis statement for the entire “Pickle Rick” episode when she tells him, “I have no doubt that you would be bored senseless by therapy, the same way Im bored when I brush my teeth and wipe my ass, because the thing about repairing, maintaining and cleaning is, its not an adventure. Theres no way to do it so wrong you might die. Its just work, and the bottom line is some people are okay going to work, and some people, well, some people would rather die. Each of us gets to choose.” 

Rick had no witty retort after the speech, and his later decision to continue seeking treatment from Dr. Wong becomes one of the most powerful and impactful choices he makes throughout the entire series.

Harmon has repeatedly named the oft-memed Rick and Morty episode as his absolute favorite in the entire series, despite how the culture around Rick and Morty turned “Pickle Rick” into a punchline about how many man-children call Rick and Morty their favorite show. But for all the Pickle Rick tattoos, T-shirts, bumper stickers and bongs that the episode spawned, perhaps the worst consequence of its existence is the apparently popular notion among said adult infants that Ricks remarks in the therapy scene are somehow effective arguments against therapy when anyone with middle-school-English-class-level media literacy would understand what an obvious endorsement for mental health care the scene really is.

“You’re aware that the whole Pickle Rick episode (and actually season 3 as a whole) was about accepting that Rick being God Rick is making him and everyone in the family unhappy?” the top commenter asked the original poster in the Reddit thread.

Another user added, "I mean... just watch the show? Or even just the ending of this episode. It’s pretty clear progression. You’re entitled to like the significantly more self-destructive and mentally unwell Rick more, but you’re missing the point a touch."

One more blunt fan said simply of Ricks therapy journey, “Hes growing as a character, dumdum.”


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