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Rick and Morty theories: Real reason Rick hates Jerry exposed by time travel twist

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The last episode of Rick and Morty’s stunning fourth season introduced fans to a new version of the mad scientist’s daughter, Beth. As the animated show continues on Adult Swim, viewers have also been speculating what started the rivalry between Rick and his son-in-law, Jerry.

Episode ten of season four, Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri, left plenty of questions unanswered, including which of the two Beth’s is actually Rick’s original daughter.

The finale set the stage for yet another cynical slate of episodes when production on the acclaimed animated series can finally start again after the coronavirus pandemic.

Co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have been known to explore dark topics for one of the most adult cartoon shows in recent years.

Past episodes have already touched on shared trauma, suicide, sexual assault and how the already depraved minds of Rick and his disturbed grandson Morty (both played by Justin Roiland) have been affected by their series of twisted adventures.


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As one of the most cynical shows on TV, the cast of characters frequently come to blows, though none more so than Rick and his hapless son-in-law, Jerry Smith (Chris Parnell).

Almost every episode features Rick verbally abusing Jerry in some way, either following one of his classic screw ups or for simply existing.

While Rick’s hatred for Jerry has remained one of the consistent running gags on the show, some fans are convinced there could be something darker behind his animosity.

One fan took to Reddit to suggest how the clues for their conflict might have been hiding in plain sight this entire time.

Redditor kibaginji posted: “Beth marrying Jerry is Rick’s greatest failure. We all know Rick hates time travel yet he keeps a box of time travel stuff in the garage where he will see it every day.

“Why is this? Because Rick failed when he went back in time to get Jerry out of Beth’s life.”

Rick often breaks the fourth wall throughout the show to insist he hates time travel because going back or forwards in time would be predictable and boring for the unconventional sci-fi series.

This was heavily ridiculed in season five episode Rattlestar Ricklactica, which saw Rick and Morty face off against fascist snakes in a parody of everything from The Terminator to Back to the Future.

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However, this inventive fan suggested there could be an in-universe reason for Rick’s hatred of time travel and proposed it could be connected to his similar disdain for Jerry.

They point out how Jerry confirmed he was abused as a child in season one episode Ricksy Business, and explain how a dark twist could eventually reveal Rick was behind his traumatic childhood.

The fan continued: “So Rick, wanting to get Jerry out of his daughter’s life, goes back in time and sends in people to abuse Jerry as a child. He hopes this will cause him to become weak and leave Beth’s life.”

Rick has frequently shown disappointment that his daughter has wasted her potential by marrying Jerry, and this dark theory speculates the deranged inventor might have tried to put a stop to their marriage.


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Finally, they added: “Rick realises that no matter what he does Jerry and Beth will wind up together, making this his biggest failure.

“He then decides if he can’t be rid of Jerry he can at least make him a non-threat to his dominance over the family.”

While this is one of the bleakest theories ever to hit the Rick and Morty fandom, no one who’s seen Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s pessimistic cartoon parody could argue Rick wouldn’t be capable of pulling off something this twisted.

Adult Swim have ordered another 60 episodes to follow the season finale of Rick and Morty’s fourth season, so there could be plenty of horrific revelations about the Smith family lying in wait.

Rick and Morty season 4 is available to stream on Netflix UK.

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