Given that the third season of Rick and Morty isn't due to land anytime soon perhaps it is a little early to start speculating about what we're going to see in Season 3... But you'll forgive us as it's been three long months since Season 2 ended and it's looking like we've still got a long wait ahead of us.
Even though it's a long way off show creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon have been dropping little hints about what we'll be seeing in the new season. From Mr. Meeseeks (look at me!) making a reappearance to the narrative bending back to revisit earlier narratives and plot lines. We also know a few things we wont be seeing in Season 3, such as time travel and Rick spending too much time in jail.
But have you heard about the big secret of Rick and Morty?
The Big Secret?
So this is something that Dan Harmon brought up in an interview with the A.V. Club a while back, and it's pretty intriguing.
"We haven’t talked about this in a while, but before we wrote the first episode of Rick And Morty, we had a conversation where, I think it was Mike McMahan who said, 'Should we decide that there is a secret we keep from the audience forever? But we always know it.' I won’t say what. We said, 'Oh, what about this?; And we went,'Yeah, that’s really cool.' I was kind of obsessed with it for a while."
A secret? What secret!? Harmon declined to elaborate on what exactly this secret could be, which makes the whole thing even more interesting. We'll get onto that in a moment but first, why did they decide to sideline the big reveal?
"I think that’s a really remarkable thing about today’s TV audience. You cannot write payoff-based TV anymore because the audience is essentially a render farm. They have an unlimited calculation capacity. There’s no writers’ room that can think more than 20 million people who can think about it for an hour a day.... You can’t do it anymore. You can’t try to fool the audience."
Harmon explains that mid way through Season 1 of Rick and Morty someone made a speculative Reddit post (he declines to comment on the nature or content of the post) which outlined exactly what they had been planning for the big secret.
In the online age, where Reddit and Tumblr users produce hundreds of fan theories every day, it's impossible for a show to keep a secret that won't be worked out by the fans, says Harmon, which is why they put aside the idea of using a big secret twist as a reveal.
What Could It Be!?
Well the Gravity Falls theory is the frontrunner, but it's less of a theory that affects the narrative and one that nods from one show to another as Gravity Falls creator has said that we're probably not going to get a crossover episode or anything of the like. Ah well.
There's a few good forerunners though from around the time that Dan Harmon says the Reddit theory emerged. Perhaps Rick knows that he is in fact in an animated TV show? Or is he really an older Morty from another dimension? And what about Rick's wife / Beth's mother? What happened to her?
Finally there's the Master Theory about the Rickiest Rick and Eyepatch Morty. It's a long read and difficult to condense here, but you can read the full theory on Reddit.