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As a show that regularly deals with the concepts of alternate realities, Rick and Morty is no stranger to fan theories. Quite literally anything can happen at any given time, leading many fans to come up with some insane theories about the hidden nature of the series. While the folks behind other shows often like to chime in and confirm or deny theories about their worlds, Dan Harmon takes a much more ambiguous approach to the show. The Rick and Morty co-creator addressed his openness to these theories (such as the one stating that Rick knows he's on TV) and said:
You can't read too much into Rick and Morty; it's there for your obsession. I've heard theories that include the idea that Rick believes in the simulation theory so therefore he thinks he's a written character on a show in a different universe. I would never tell anybody that that is untrue. Why would it have to be untrue -- until the moment it needs to be in order for a story to get told? I hesitate to say to you... I guess I will... that yeah, we largely figured Rick is just being like Daffy Duck. He's allowed to mug to the camera like Bruce Willis did sometimes in Moonlighting. [Co-creator Justin Roiland] and I have had arguments about when it's okay to do that and when it's not. I have lost more of those arguments than I've won. And in spite of trying to convince Justin that it would ruin the show eventually if we continue to do that at the wrong times, and I guess I was wrong. Nobody has stopped believing Rick is real.
So basically your fan theories are the Adult Swim equivalent to Schrodinger's Cat (or Schrodinger's Rick?). Unless definitively proven to be false, your wild fan theories about Rick and Morty live in a perpetual state of truth and falsehood. Is there another Pickle Rick running around somewhere? There can be. Did Rick and Morty's courtroom drama really happen? Sure, if you want. What's the true origin of Mr. Poopybutthole? Until the show gives us something definitive, you be the judge.
That said, this also means that Dan Harmon doesn't necessarily believe the whole "Rick knows he's on a TV show" theory. Even if the alcoholic Mr. Sanchez has his suspicions, his fourth wall breaks are more of a storytelling device than anything concrete within the universe. That is, until they decide to make it a reality.
For a show like Rick and Morty, this ambiguous acceptance of fan theories opens up an insane number of possibilities for the series as a whole. Fans have come up with some pretty wild speculations about the show over the course of its three seasons on the air -- ranging from the possibility that Ms. Frizzle from is Morty's grandmother, to the possibility that Rick isn't a genius, he just drinks megaseed juice from his flask on a regular basis. By Dan Harmon's own assessment in his comments to EW, it doesn't really benefit the writer's room of the show to shoot down any ideas for no reason. Who knows when Rick and Morty will want to crossover with an episode of Magic School Bus?
Rick and Morty airs every Sunday night at 11:30 p.m. ET on Adult Swim, and even as the long-awaited Season 3 begins to come to a close, we can look forward to plenty more stories (14 more, in fact) when the sci-fi comedy's fourth season finally gets underway. If you're looking for other shows to fill the Rick and Morty void this fall, have a look at our TV premiere guide to see what other debuts are on the horizon.