Wubba Lubba Dub Dub is one of the most iconic phrases from Rick and Morty. Since 2013, Rick and Morty co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have seen the rise in the show’s fanbase. The hit show on Adult Swim has taken fans through the Szechwan Sauce debacle and to extremely long gaps between seasons that have eager fans asking for more. Thankfully, the brains behind the animated series have been able to talk about what’s on the horizon and the huge deal to expand the series.
Reflecting on Rick and Morty’s popularity throughout the years, Justin Roiland explains why the shows catchphrase “Wubba lubba dub dun” as a reference to the show has gotten old and he’s sick of hearing it.
“Because we’re on the topic of making fun of stupid catchphrases, at first it wasn’t all that funny, but then it got subverted into meaning something depressing. Hardcore fans understood the irony behind it, but maybe some fans don’t get it? It sucks to shit on anything because I don’t want to let anyone down. And I don’t want someone to be like, ‘I love that!’ and then for them to see that Justin hates it. I don’t really hate it that much.”
Just to clarify, Justin Roiland doesn’t hate all fans who say “wubba lubba dub dub” and he doesn’t hate the act of saying it. So hold onto your hate mail or messages.
Roiland has a valid point, from a standpoint that is creative. Both Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland faced an issue that many writers encounter with counter-culture comedies – when TV or genre stereotypes are introduced either ironically or non-ironically. For example, Seinfeld wasn’t created to have fan-beloved catchphrases like “He’s my butler,” or “Go Devils!” be created and used for decades.
But it’s nearly impossible to predict what garbled gibberish like “Wubba lubba dub dub” will enter cultural jargon. There’s no way to tell what viewers will latch onto. It’s only fitting though that gobbledygook would be the shows most-quoted lines, as it doesn’t fit the traditional TV success playbook.
Although, it seems like nonsense, but Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland provided a dark backstory for “wubba lubba dub dub.” “Ricksy Business” in season 1 Birdperson was introduced and the phrase actually meant in native Birdperson tongue, “I am in great pain, please help me.”
Maybe Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland figured that giving a negative meaning to the catchphrase would prevent people from using it in a positive, celebratory way that Rick does on the show. This underestimates the kinds of fans who wish Mr. Poopybutthole and Mr. Meeseeks were real people.
Dan Harmon elaborated more on overused catchphrases, but he wasn’t so negative about the quotes and more about those who end up quoting them. He states:
“This isn’t quite an answer to the question but it tends to bum me out when someone who isn’t the greatest specimen ends up using a meme out of the quote. In a conversation online if the meanest person ends up using the quote, I hate it. It is what it is, though. The show is popular and I don’t get bothered whether or not I’ve done something terrible. I just wish cool race car drivers and saints liked our show, but we wouldn’t make any money from that.”
Parts of Rick and Morty’s fanbase are deemed the vilest and vocal in the TV realm, which resulted in the backward disaster of the Szechwan sauce campaign. On the topic of sexism and online bullying, Dan Harmon is an outspoken TV creator.
What are your thoughts on Wubba Lubba Dub Dub? Is it the most iconic phrase from the show? Let us know below.
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