The Passion Of The One True Morty


A Morty who chose to walk with Mortys is blessed with eternal joy. A Morty who chose to walk with Ricks is trapped in torment for one thousand years.
–Catechism Of Morty 1:11

I would be remiss if I didn’t spend a few minutes discussing the lore of The One True Morty—regarding the titular character from the cartoon Rick And Morty, and his several “aspects.”


Rick and Morty is based on a series of crude parody cartoons of Back To The Future called The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti. The creator of those cartoons, Justin Roiland, went on to collaborate with Community‘s Dan Harmon to produce Rick and Morty for Adult Swim. Basically: Crusty nasty know-it-all super-genius Rick is Doc Brown, and nervous stuttering “beta kid” Morty is Marty McFly.


The theme of the intelligent socially-awkward beta kid who falls under the influence of a “demonic”/”daimonic” Trickster-type is a very popular trope, seen in everything from Donnie Darko to Death Note to Mr. Robot.


The 1st Season Rick and Morty episode Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind finds a world full of infinite alternate dimension versions of Rick and Morty, called The Citadel Of Ricks. The power-relationship between the two archetypes is clearly defined in this “society,” with Rick on “top” and Morty on the “Bottom.” The sadomasochistic overtones of this is highlighted by a scene in which naked Mortys, who are perpetually tortured using picks chipping away at their sides, are used to literally “shield” a headquarters (yeah, this show gets crazy).


But the “real” Morty (and you will find that labelling a version of R&M “real” gets really tricky in this series) is told of a legend concerning The One True Morty…the Morty who will liberate all the other Mortys from their dominating Ricks. At the end of the episode, you discover there is an “evil” Morty with an eyepatch who has infiltrated the world of Ricks. Up to this point in the series, Morty has been largely a bumbling moron (though he has increasing moments of self-assertion here and there). But now it seems as if everything has inexplicably changed.


Fast-forward to the Season 3 episode “The Ricklantis Mixup.” We are back at a new, more “evolved” stage of The Citadel, filled with alternate dimensional (and maybe clone?) versions of Ricks and Mortys. This involves an incredibly relevant and complex political metaphor that maybe I’ll pick through another time…but the gist is, for the first time, a Morty (read: “beta”) becomes President. And while this Morty wins on a platform of “aw shucks,” wide-eyed innocence, and unity…you guessed it, he’s revealed at the end to be Evil Morty.


Is this the messiah-like One True Morty as promised by the legend?

The lore of The One True Morty, by the way, has been expanded upon on an officially-licensed Rick And Morty publication, modeled after a Jack Chick tract, called The Good Morty. In it, a Morty learns that the only way to avoid the “evil” (read: Rick/Satan) path is to follow the path of his fellow betas: to worship The One True Morty.