Rick and Morty’s butter robot death might be his darkest joke ever
While Rick and Morty’s Butter Robot had a depressing first appearance, his eventual death sends one of the franchise’s harshest messages.
Appearing in rick and morty season 1, episode 9, ‘Something ricked this way comes,’ the Butter Robot is perhaps as close as the franchise has come to distilling Rick’s nihilistic take on the universe in a single instant. However, the joke got even darker when the franchise killed off the little robot, rubbing salt into the wound of its one-note existence.
The Butter Robot is exactly what it sounds like – a little robot created by Rick to pass the butter to him at the family dinner table. Cruelly, Rick gives the little robot enough sentience to question his purpose in life. When the robot asks its creator for the answer, Rick replies: “You pass butter,” and the robot looks at its hands before mumbling, “Oh my God.” Rick replies, “Welcome to the club, buddy”, communicating his view of the universe as a functionally meaningless collection of random events, where any sense of purpose is absent at best, and disappointing at worst.
However, that wasn’t the last time fans of the franchise saw the Butter Robot. In Rick and Morty #50 (by Kyle Starks, Marc Ellerby, Sarah Stern and a host of other creators), the comic book series returns to the “Morty’s Mind Blowers” format, where Morty discovers the unbearable memories that Rick has extracted from his mind so that he ‘ll be ready to continue having adventures. One of those memories is the death of the Butter Robot, who tries to help free Rick and Morty while under surveillance in an alien prison.
In this flashback, it is revealed that Morty adopted the Butter Robot after his television debut, teaching him that contrary to his design, he can do anything he wants. The Butter Robot is filled with renewed purpose, seeing Morty as a hero and even replicating his hesitant speech pattern. Unfortunately, once the Butter Robot actually tries to help, it is immediately crushed under the foot of the pair’s alien guard, with Rick pointing out that was the obvious outcome, since the robot was designed exclusively to pass butter. .
Butter Robot’s death is dark, but it’s also the perfect complement to his “birth”. rick and mortyThe original Butter Robot joke was about how demoralizing it would be to meet your maker and find out you don’t have a great purpose. With his death, however, the Butter Robot has overcome that disappointment and is trying to make sense of itself…only to be destroyed as it really isn’t capable of much beyond its original design. It’s an existentially terrifying ending for the melancholy character, as he’s defeated twice by his disappointing purpose – first by the fact that he has no greater purpose, then by how he is unable to achieve anything more.
rick and morty has never been afraid to pack deeply dark messages with its jokes, but the tragic birth and death of the Butter Robot is there with the franchise’s toughest arguments about the human condition – it hammers home the message that the existence may not simply lack an innate sense of meaning, but that even creating that meaning might ultimately be impossible.
Next: Rick & Morty’s Cromulon Invasion Was Secretly Morty’s Fault
Supergirl Will Never Replace Superman For One Tragic Reason
About the Author