After a string of dark episodes, accumulating with last week's narrative callback to Evil Morty in "The Ricklantis Mixup," Rick and Morty returned to a (slightly more) jovial narrative for "Morty's Mind Blowers." Like a post-apocalyptic, sentient arm flexing its bicep, the anthology of removed memories is a flawless demonstration of the limitless creativity of Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland and the show's writing team.
The episode opens during a Sandman-esque adventure, where Morty stares into the eyes of a truth turtle, unlocking the inescapable knowledge of... everything. Unable to handle the truth, Morty is left in a distressed state. Fortunately, Rick offers a solution — to erase his memory. It turns out, Rick has an entire collection of memories he's removed from Morty to prevent him from losing his mind.
Initially, the memories appear to be of a profound nature, moments that Morty is understandably better off without. These include causing the suicide of his school's new guidance counsellor, after being convinced he spotted him walking on the moon. Or telling a Floop Floopian — a species that believes in an eternal orgasmic afterlife — that afterlife may not exist, shortly before Rick kills him.
But then Morty discovers memories of a more mundane nature, moments Rick has removed because they embarrass him; such as mispronouncing granted ("granite") or being beaten at chess. This causes Morty to attack Rick, and they both lose their memory, completely. In the process of rediscovering who he is, Morty goes on a rampage of digesting lost memories, which leads to a peculiar, fleeting but monumental moment — the return of Mr. Poopybutthole.
Um, yeah, he's kinda proposing to Morty, isn't he, while Morty's eyes glaze with happiness? More on that later. But first, this brief scene has much bigger implications for #RickandMorty than a humorous callback. Although back in 2015 Justin Roiland confirmed Mr. Poopybutthole was real, this is confirmation of that confirmation, removing doubt that the sausage-like creature was a parasite, and instead the adored family friend that he claimed to be.
Mr. Poopybutthole Was A Friend In 'Total Rickall' After All
Mr. Poopybutthole was introduced in Season 2, Episode 4, "Total Rickall." It's arguably one of the most perplexing episodes of the show to date; the Smith family are visited by alien parasites, who plant false memories in their minds as a means of survival. As the story unfolds, more and more bizarre characters are introduced without so much as a puzzled look from the rest of the family. They are, however, aware that some of them are imposters.
Morty makes a breakthrough when he discovers that the parasites can only implant good memories. So, the Smith family begin to kill them, one by one, picking their targets based on those they have no bad memories of. At the end of the episode, the core family are left — along with Mr. Poopybutthole. Suddenly believing he's an imposter, Beth shoots him. But he isn't a parasite. Instead of an alien organism emerging from within, he bleeds.
"Morty's Mindblowers" adds a fresh perspective to these events. Firstly, by including the scene with Mr. Poopybutthole, we know the episode takes place in the same universe, and not the "primary" universe of Earth C-137. Reddit user DarkWhovianRises highlights evidence to back this up — Jerry's mindblower tapes mention Sleepy Gary (another parasite). Interestingly, there are nods to other episodes, suggesting Mr. Poopybutthole's universe has appeared more than once.
Why Rick Removed A Happy Memory Of Mr. Poopybutthole
Before I forget, back to the significance of Rick removing this specific memory. As well as proving Mr. Poopybutthole is real, it shows that Rick chose to remove a memory of him, despite it being a seemingly happy moment. As far reaching as Rick and Morty is, this leads me to a theory — I don't believe Mr. Poopybutthole is proposing to Morty. My belief? He's showing Morty a ring that he intends to give to Beth.
Imagine this scenario: Mr. Poopybutthole is a longtime family friend who gets along with each of the Smiths in their own right. As he grows closer and closer to the family (it's possible he was around during Rick's absence), he also grows closer to Beth, and feelings blossom between the pair. Knowing Jerry isn't the right person for her (the parasite Sleepy Gary became a love interest for Jerry in "Total Rickall"), he intends to propose.
The problem is, Rick grows jealous of how close Mr. Poopybutthole is to the family. And here comes the biggest leap — because of that jealousy, he removes all of the bad memories of Mr. Poopybutthole from Beth, Jerry, Summer and Morty. He then deliberately contaminates the home, knowing someone will figure out that parasites can't plant bad memories.
Essentially, the Rick of this universe orchestrated the entire invasion of parasites so the family would eventually turn against their friend, and the relationship between Beth and Mr. Poopybutthole would be destroyed. Even if this far-fetched theory isn't right and Rick didn't have malicious intent to cause harm, "Morty's Mind Blowers" has still shed light on the true nature of Mr. Poopybutthole.
That said, let's hope I am right in thinking the ring wasn't for Morty.
Did Rick remove bad memories of Mr. Poopybutthole to frame him in "Total Rickall"?