A mysterious photograph hangs on the wall behind a lovesick Summer. It depicts a mother sitting on a living room couch with her teenage son, whose shirt says “Meth Gator”, on her lap. In the background, a man (presumably father and husband) is standing in his underwear, holding an empty beer bottle.
The teen doesn’t look like Summer in love, and none of the people in the photo are explicit Rick and Morty characters. So fans on Reddit have speculated as to what the photo means. Many thought it might be a reference to another show, movie, or video, including American History X (you/tyler_time), “Very strange things” (u/Key-Nefariousness257), “Too many cooks” (u / tesaga), or “born killers” (u/absolutedesignz).
In Natural Born Killers, Mallory’s (Juliette Lewis) childhood memories take the form of fake comedy scenes. Her father looks a lot like a shirtless man with a beer bottle, and Mallory is as nervous as a teenager in her mother’s lap. The photo could be a sign that the family Summer is in love with has a dark backstory similar to Mallory’s in Natural Born Killers.
redditor u/Itsdawsontime there was a completely different theory: the words “Meth Gator” on the teenager’s shirt could refer to NBC News an article in which police warn against flushing meth in toilets because alligators can consume it and become hyperaggressive.
While the show’s creators didn’t seem to comment on this odd photo, fans certainly laughed and continue to appreciate such small details in the series.