Rick and Morty is finally back, and no, this isn’t a late April Fool’s joke.
After months of delays and contention between co-creator Dan Harmon and fans over when the season would finally premiere, Harmon released the first episode last night. Ironically enough, considering how long people have been waiting for this, it took some time before fans started to believe it was real and not an April Fools’ joke.
To the 900 waiting in Chicago: Rick and Morty's season 3 premiere started airing. It will be airing on a loop after we're done, you're fine— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) April 2, 2017
New Episode of RICK AND MORTY airing NOW thru MIDNIGHT (ET/PT) and ONLINE at https://t.co/BhAmA6Q4wH. pic.twitter.com/PwQX7WJQhW— Rick (((and Morty))) (@RickandMorty) April 2, 2017
Even after the episode began airing and fans started watching, many couldn’t believe it was real. A large number of people began expressing their frustrations at the thought that halfway through the episode, Rick would appear and proclaim that it was an elaborate April Fools’ joke, but that never actually happened.
It’s not surprising that fans were waiting to be pranked, however, considering the history Harmon and co-creator Justin Roiland have with teasing their audience. In February, Adult Swim released a teaser claiming to be an official scene from the third season. Instead, those who hungrily clicked the play button were greeted with the overplayed Rickrolling meme, albeit one of the better crafted versions.
Harmon has spoken before about the delay, reiterating to fans that he and Roiland would release the season when it was ready. He also asked people to stop berating the both of them — along with their team of writers and animators — as that wasn’t going to make the season available any sooner.
Neither Harmon nor Roiland have said when the next episode will be available, but Polygon has reached out to Adult Swim and will update when more information becomes available.
The episode is no longer available on Adult Swim’s website, but there are other methods of watching it online if you want to seek it out.