With Rick and Morty returning to the air after a prolonged mid-season break, fans are finally back on track to learning more about their favorite characters if not, at least, just a wide variety of high concept adventures and meta commentary. However, if there was a side character that fans really wanted more info on, it would be Rick Sanchez’ understated best friend, Birdperson.
Despite hints every now and then, Rick’s past is shrouded in mystery, and a lot of his most detailed bits have come from his relationship with Birdperson. A comrade on the battlefield and a true party animal at home, Birdperson is a character that fans new and old should get to know. Here are a few fun facts to get people started.
10 Parody Of Buck Roger’s The Hawk
It’s no secret that Dan Harmon loves his pop culture references. Whether he’s celebrating the genres that he loves or tearing them apart, he’s making Rick and Morty a real show of all shows. Birdperson in his entirety is one of the series’ most blatant pop culture references.
His design and character is directly inspired by The Hawk from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. The Hawk is also an honorable half-man, half-bird character that has aided Buck Rogers in a menagerie of adventures, much like how Birdperson has assisted Rick in a variety of his.
9 Making A Comeback
One of the most devastating things for a comedy show to do is kill off a character. While Birdperson may not have been as prominent as Rick, Morty, or even Jerry, he still held a strong place in the series’ lore. This made his death all the more hard and surprising for fans during the Season 2 finale.
Even more surprising, he would later be teased as the newly resurrected “Phoenixperson” who now works with the Galactic Federation and particularly Tammy. He’s sure to return in the future, and the creators have even teased ever now and then of his eventual comeback and clash with Rick.
8 Parody Of Marvel Characters
Resurrection doesn’t mean just re-skinning an old character with an edgy costume. To an extent, there’s a little more heart with Birdperson’s resurrected form, “Phoenixperson,” as it has taken slight inspiration from Marvel comics.
Parts of his costume are modeled after the air born soldier, The Falcon, and his own resurrection is modeled after X-Men’s Dark Phoenix, the resurrected form of Jean Grey.
7 He Only Showed Emotions For Tammy
A huge part of Birdperson’s gimmick is that he has a very alien yet stable demeanor as an emotionless, logical warrior. Much like his Buck Rogers inspiration or Star Trek‘s Spock, Birdperson is reserved and monotoned person who shows very little facial affectation.
This changes in the Season 2 finale, where Tammy’s betrayal and attack cause him to look worried and confused during his final moments. While the relationship wasn’t prominent in the story, this scene spoke levels to how much it meant to Birdperson himself.
6 Voiced By Dan Harmon
Perhaps finding kinship with the emotionless and overly-logical sidekick, Dan Harmon took it upon himself to voice Birdperson. In contrast to his silly-voiced partner, Justin Roiland, Dan Harmon has rarely voiced anyone in the series, taking only to one-off characters such as Anatomy Park’s Alejandro or Ice-T.
Birdperson is perhaps his most active role behind the mic, and fans will hopefully get to hear his sultry tones as the character in the future.
5 Was In A Band With Rick
Birdperson was once Rick’s partner in crime and a leading revolutionary in the greater battle against the Galactic Federation. However, that deep and tumultuous history doesn’t hold a candle to the fact that he was once part of an epic band alongside Rick and Squanchy. During the trio’s early days, they were apparently part of a rock band named “The Flesh Curtains,” in which, Birdperson was the lead vocals.
If the series is going to delve in anything in Rick’s past, it has to be his old band. Birdperson singing has to become a thing outside of the musical gag in “Never Ricking Morty.”
4 Was Saved By Rick Long Ago
Being revolutionaries in war against a galaxy wide government is going to have some casualties. Birdperson has hinted that, long ago, Rick had actually saved his life, and this helped Birdperson humanize Rick’s otherwise offensive demeanor.
Rick has had his fair share of alien blood on his hands and has turned a blind-eye to the deaths of thousands of other characters. The fact that he was willing to save anyone at all, outside of the Smith family, is kind of a big deal for his history.
3 May Be A Bad Birdperson
While Birdperson’s exploits against the Galactic Federation may have been for freedom, that doesn’t inherently mean that he was always the noble hero.
Evident in his drunken talk during “The Wedding Squanchers,” Rick, Squanchy, and, surprisingly, Birdperson have all committed a vast array of “atrocities” during their battles. Exactly what this means is left in mystery; but knowing what Rick does in his day to day life, Birdperson doesn’t exactly have clean talons.
2 Loves The Oscars
In addition to being a revolutionary and rock star, Birdperson is a cinephile or, at least, someone who just really enjoys movie parties. Rick once slyly mentioned that Birdperson hosts an Oscar-viewing party every year.
However, Birdperson doesn’t realize that broadcast signals from Earth take several years to reach his own television. Given his disastrous wedding, fans unfortunately may never get to know how he would’ve reacted to seeing Braveheart win Best Picture.
1 Third-Person Gimmick Doesn’t Last
Quirky speech patterns are part of any iconic cartoon character, especially aliens. When Birdperson first premiered, he spoke in the third-person with his monotone voice.
However, while his voice may have remained the same, the third-person dialogue wouldn’t, and he’d revert to a standard speech type in later episodes. This could be due to his prolonged relationship with Tammy; or in a more likely case, the writers forgot or just got tired of the gimmick.
Birdperson is one of the more enigmatic characters on Rick and Morty, but what is known about his history is incredibly fascinating.