The Rules: Everything has rules, and our recurring Hero Swap articles are no different.
1. The Rule of One. Only one character can be swapped out per movie.
2. Main Street Rules. The main character is the one to be swapped out.
3. The Main Character from One Thing Can’t be Added as a Supporting Character in the Other.
4. All of These Rules Will Be Broken Eventually.
So the basic premise of this series is based on an idea I’ve had for a while about how movies or books would be different if the main character was replaced by the main character of a different movie or book. I would like to note that the YouTube channel How It Should Have Ended does something similar, but I had the idea first, and this is a little more serious, and that this version is partially inspired by Shea Serrano’s Better Same Worse: Movies But With the Rock Instead, from his illustrated Basketball (and Other Things) newsletter.
Hero Swap: Rick Sanchez and Gru
This is the fourth Hero Swap we’ve done so far, and for the first time cartoon characters are being swapped. In another first we also have a a television character being swapped as well. In case anyone reading this isn’t familiar with either of these characters, Rick Sanchez is the alcoholic, genius, scientist, main character of the Adult Swim animated series Rick and Morty. He goes on a bunch of adventures with his grandson Morty and is generally an inconvenience and nuisance to everybody he meets and essentially only cares about himself. Throughout the course of the series he slowly begins to care for the rest of his family and act (slightly) less selfishly. Gru is the evil genius, scientist main character of the animated movie Despicable Me. Originally, he is only interested in achieving his plot of stealing the Moon, however after adopting three little girls to help him steal a shrink ray (to shrink the moon), he learns that being a good guy isn’t all that bad, and learns to love his new daughters.
Which Versions Are Being Swapped?
This is a little difficult because Rick is from a tv series, so Rick from both seasons of Rick and Morty is being swapped with Gru from the first Despicable Me. This is necessary because Rick doesn’t change all that much throughout the series so we need the whole picture to acknowledge the change, and to have the full spectrum of Rick.
Which Character Fares Better?
I think that in this instance both main characters would fare almost equally well. Both of them are genius scientists, both are quick thinkers and improvise well when facing danger, and both are “evil”. However, Rick is a little more self-sufficient than Gru, so I would argue that he’d fare slightly better, especially since Gru is now faced with the myriad of obstacles that Rick is routinely faced with throughout the series, while Rick only has the one task of stealing the moon.
Now, Morty and his family would face significantly better than Dr. Nefario, the minions, and Gru’s adopted daughters after Rick and Gru swap places. So basically, I’d argue that the main characters would fare about equally well, but that the supporting cast of Despicable Me would fare significantly worse with Rick in the place of Gru.
Since Despicable Me is a children’s movie Gru isn’t all that evil at all, and at the end he is downright loving and sweet. Rick meanwhile, isn’t an outright villain, but is definitely evil.
Which is Changed More?
Given the above that Rick is actually evil while Gru isn’t, I think that each of these animated properties would be changed drastically. Despicable Me would be an adult animated movie, and would definitely be awesome because A. Rick is awesome, and B. the Minions are awesome. Rick and Morty (or I guess as it’d now be known Gru and Morty) would be a children’s show, and it’d be decidedly less awesome.
Rick wouldn’t need to steal a shrink ray to shrink the moon, he’d invent one himself (something he does in the show), this means that he wouldn’t need to adopt the three girls like Gru did. Gru wouldn’t put Morty in life-threatening danger all the time like Rick does, and would take care of him (which Rick eventually does, especially in season two).
Which is Better After the Swap?
Despicable Me is obviously better after the swap. As I said above, Despicable Me with Rick would have been awesome, while Gru and Morty would not. Gru and Morty would be about a genius grandfather going on adventures with his grandson, which in theory is what Rick and Morty is about, but Rick makes it about much more. Despicable Me with Rick is about an evil genius stealing the Moon and messing with the planet for fun, which is definitely something Rick would do, and while he wouldn’t need the Minions, I’m sure he’d have some hilarious exchanges with them since Morty is essentially a talking Minion anyway.
And thats the waaaaay the news goes! That concludes this edition of our critically acclaimed (except not really) Hero Swap series, let us know who you want to see swapped next in the comments, and what you think would happen if Rick Sanchez and Gru swapped places.