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Is there a dumb Rick?

The question of whether there is a “dumb” version of Rick in the animated show Rick and Morty is an interesting one. Rick is known for being an eccentric super-genius scientist, so the idea of a less intelligent version of him is certainly intriguing. While no canonical “dumb Rick” has been introduced in the show itself, some possibilities can be explored based on what we know about the show’s intricate multiverse.

The Nature of Rick’s Intelligence

Rick Sanchez is established as the smartest being in his universe and most other universes. He has a genius-level intellect, with mastery over sciences like physics, engineering, and chemistry. Some key aspects of Rick’s unmatched intelligence include:

  • Inventing interdimensional travel between infinite alternate timelines and universes.
  • Significant knowledge of quantum mechanics, allowing manipulation of matter and energy.
  • Creating sentient AI like his spaceship and multidimensional hivemind Unity.
  • Genetic engineering, cybernetics, and general mastery of biochemistry.
  • Outsmarting transdimensional authorities like the Galactic Federation.

Rick’s brilliance makes him arrogant and cynical, as he is constantly bored and frustrated by the ineptitude of others compared to his vast intellect.

The Central Finite Curve

Important to understanding the possibilities of a “dumb” Rick is the Central Finite Curve, an idea established in Season 3. This is a section of the multiverse containing the subset of realities where Rick is the smartest being. Universes where Rick isn’t the genius he is in the show are excluded from the Central Finite Curve.

Within the Curve, there are infinite alternate versions of Rick and Morty with different lives and backstories, but fundamentally identical core personalities and intelligence. Ricks from outside the Curve demonstrate noticeably lower intelligence.

Evidence of Dumber Ricks

While most Ricks from the Central Finite Curve have the same hyper-genius intellect as “C-137” Rick from the show, there are some pieces of evidence that suggest the existence of Ricks with lower intelligence:

  • Simple Rick – A version of Rick genetically engineered to be happy and unintelligent, used to produce Simple Rick’s Wafer Cookies in a dystopian factory.
  • “Tall Morty” – Implied to be the Morty of a version of Rick who is less intelligent than average.
  • Various comments from Rick – He occasionally refers to some versions of himself being idiots.

Additionally, episodes that take place outside of the Central Finite Curve likely feature Ricks without the same intellectual gifts. However, the show has yet to concretely introduce an explicitly below-average Rick.

How Could a “Dumb Rick” Exist?

Accepting that most Ricks within the Central Finite Curve possess superhuman intelligence, how might a below-average Rick come to exist? Some possibilities include:

  • Genetic defects – A mutation leads to reduced intelligence.
  • Brain damage – Physical or psychological trauma impairs Rick’s mind.
  • Raised in ignorance – Rick lacks education, suppressed by society or geography.
  • Personality shift – Rick has intelligence but lacks drive to apply it.

For a “dumb Rick” to be meaningfully less intelligent than the show’s protagonist Rick requires substantial genetic, environmental, or psychological differences compared to the norm among Ricks.

Why Would Rick’s Intelligence Vary?

Rick’s intelligence has a basis in his genetic makeup, evidenced by his daughter Beth being a skilled surgeon in most realities. However, genes alone can’t account for such a dramatic spread in intellectual capabilities across different versions of Rick.

Some explanations for why Ricks vary in intelligence:

  • Influence of diverse environments, education, and opportunities to foster natural abilities.
  • Spectrum of neurological and psychological health between Ricks.
  • Self-augmentation and modification causes divergence.
  • Infinite universes means all possibilities for intelligence represented.

With infinite alternate realities, any variable that might influence intelligence is logically expressed in some Ricks across the multiverse.

Could a “Dumb Rick” Function Alone?

In the show, Rick relies heavily on his unmatched intelligence to solve problems and survive his dangerous adventures across the multiverse. A version of Rick without that gifted mind might have a difficult time:

  • Inability to invent technology needed to travel between dimensions.
  • Limited scientific, engineering, and technical knowledge.
  • Difficulty outsmarting threats like Federation and enemies.
  • Reduced skill applying analytical and strategic thinking.
  • Less able to engage in the show’s trademark cynical wit and humor.

On the other hand, a more modest intelligence could theoretically make a version of Rick happier, less jaded, and more cooperative with others. But overall, the character’s iconic traits are fundamentally linked to his super-genius.


Rick Sanchez is defined by his unparalleled intelligence across infinite realities in Rick and Morty. Yet clues in the show hint at versions of Rick with significantly lower mental faculties more comparable to a normal human. Explanations for a hypothetical “dumb Rick” likely involve environments suppressing his potential abilities. Without genius-level intellect, however, such a version of Rick would lack the abilities and personality that make the character who he is. A Rick of average intelligence could certainly exist in some reality, but would be unrecognizable as the iconoclastic mad scientist known across the Central Finite Curve.