Anyone who has an above-average familiarity with both Rick And Morty and series co-creator Dan Harmon should be able to recognize that there’s a lot of Harmon in Rick, the show’s mad-ish scientist who prefers to live the most interesting life he can rather than slowing things down to the pace of “normal” people. For instance, they’re both dedicated perfectionists who always like to do things the right way, which is to say their way, to the extent that it would be off-putting if they didn’t consistently get the exact results they’re looking for. Rick always knows how to get out of any sci-fi jam, and Harmon knows how to make some damn good television.
Apparently, though, the similarities between Rick and Harmon have become so clear that even the show’s other creator, Justin Roiland, has begun calling Harmon “Rick.” Speaking with GQ as part of a lengthy profile on Harmon by The A.V. Club’s own Sean O’Neal, Roiland said the slip-up started happening when they were working on Rick And Morty’s second season. “There’s definitely a world of difference between them,” he notes, “but Dan does—maybe subconsciously, maybe purposefully—tap into some of the darkness he’s got in him.”
That darkness is probably the clearest difference between Harmon and Rick. The latter is a nihilist who once killed an alternate version of himself so he could get out of a universe full of mutated bug monsters, but going off of this GQ profile, Harmon wouldn’t do something so weirdly self-serving because he understands that he lives in a real society with real people who don’t want to be abandoned in a world of bug monsters. He’d definitely do it if he were a cartoon character, though.