So a while before Season 3 of Rick & Morty started, it was said Alex Hirsch, and the voice actors of Dipper, Mabel, and Ford, would guest star in an upcoming Rick & Morty episode...Though for a while now, no one's really talked about it, there's been no official confirmation this means a crossover is coming. (Though I mean, what else is it supposed to mean?) But various things, such as the Coffee mug from Grunkle Stan's portal falling through a portal in Rick & Morty. seems to suggest they take place in the same universe, or...well...multiverse. This makes sense, as the Rick & Morty mythos is all about parallel realities and whatnot, while the overall plot of Gravity Falls involves an invasion. (Or "Weirdmageddon") from another universe. So it's easy to assume the two could cross over.
However, some fan theories suggest things go a bit deeper than just a shared multiverse, as the Journal 3 sold in stores has a page in which implies Ford spent a lot of time traveling with someone after falling through the portal. (Though admittedly I haven't read this page myself, as I have yet to read through my entire copy of it.) it also features a sign which has: "Rick wuz here." written on it. and heavily implies that Ford and this person he traveled with ended up separating over a moral disagreement. the more I dig into this, the more obvious it seems this is Rick, which...makes perfect sense.
Ford was in possession of an infinity sided dice, that could make well...anything happened. according to him, it was illegal in "9,000 dimensions." Where did he get this? and more importantly....note the words: "Dimensions" This implies that during his time, he traveled to more than just the dimension he landed in. But the thing is, he can't have, Ford, while hyper intelligent, did not have the knowledge needed to build an inter-dimensional portal alone. It took the help of McGucket, and the instructions of Bill, for his portal to become a reality. and even then, it was huge, and also faulty. as seen when it blows in Not what he seems, the inter-dimensional portal did not operate properly, and left a rift in time and space. Case in point: Ford traveled through other dimensions, (Journal 3 also implies this) but cannot have done so alone.
Rick however, is in possession of, and presumably invented, an inter-dimensional portal gun. So say Ford just happened to wind up in Rick's house when he fell through, or that while traveling Rick happened to stumble upon him. (the former is more likely, and I'll get to why later) Rick & Ford are both geniuses, they bonded. Rick offered him the entire multiverse to see, and so they traveled together for a while. Once Rick & Ford split up, Rick likely deserted him somewhere, probably somewhere...far from safe. then Stan finds him, thus why Ford looks like he's prepared for a war or something. maybe Rick left him in the middle of one, maybe even intentionally, out of spite?
And if all of this is true, it makes the timeframe VERY convenient...TOO convenient.
Ford fell through the inter-dimensional portal 30 years ago. Rick...happens to have left his family 30 years ago as well.
Okay so a little bit of backstory (mostly for my GF who I knew hasn't watched Rick & Morty much.)
Rick and his wife divorced 30 years ago, causing him to leave her and his daughter's lives, and go off
traveling the multiverse with his portal. he comes back into her life at the very start of the series. so with this very convenient time frame, I'd say it'd be easy to say when Rick first left, he went traveling with Ford.
Rick & Ford traveling together would also explain a certain line told by Ford: "I don't know if you could handle the truth." he says to Dipper, in regards to him asking where he was....the thing about Rick & Morty, is in it's reality there is an infinite number of parallel realities, with each time a person has multiple choices to make. a new reality is created for each of those choices.
This reality in numerous episodes, to make people feel as though...there's no meaning to existence. it's the reason Rick is the way he is, because no matter what happens, he has a portal gun.
In one episode of the show Rick is seen accidentally turning the entire world into Monsters, his solution? "Hey, let's go to another world that's exactly the same except I didn't turn the world into Monsters, and we died. and then take their place." because fundamentally, the universe he's in now is exactly the same. to him the previous universe doesn't matter. Rick sees the universe as completely devoid and meaningless, and it's a part of the reason he's the way he is. in numerous episodes, it is shown Rick gives little to no care for the lives of other beings. such as when he drunkenly almost destroys the entire Planet Earth.
Rick is implied to have accidentally destroyed his world numerous times, and with each destruction, he moves on to the next. Ford may have been afraid of telling Dipper....out of fear he'd become like Rick. and when you think about it, Ford could easily have become like Rick as well couldn't he? Whatever falling out Rick & Ford had, was most likely due to Rick's nature. Rick chooses science over his loved ones, showing little to no care for their well being if it benefits his research in anyway.
Ford however, is not without his faults as well, in fact when he first returns to his family he views Stan with disdain for the past. Ford's overall story arc being him to forgive Stan, and realize the importance of family. something nearly every episode shows Rick struggling with. It's as if the finale of Gravity Falls, is what differentiates Ford and Rick from one another. showing Ford the importance of family, and making him the hero that Rick's entire family think he is.
Similarly to how Ford & Stan are much like Dipper & Mabel, showing them going down a dark path. Rick represents that dark path that Weirdmageddon stopped Ford from going down. similarly, what if we were to say Bill, is something similar for Stan?
Both Stan & Ford's character arcs are about them realizing and understanding the importance of family, both Bill & Rick are people who didn't realize that. Bill shares many quirks similar to Stan, while Rick shares many similar to Ford. Bill has 1 eye, Stan wears an eyepatch, they're both snazzy dressers, they both have a similar manner of speech, they both call Ford Sixer, so on, so on. Theorists used to use this as evidence Bill & Stan are somehow the same person, by means of time travel or...some crazy sh1t. which now especially, is ridiculous.
But what if instead it's metaphorical? Bill & Rick representing a darker side of Stan & Ford, a mirror image of them. it could even mean Bill & Rick have some sort of past too, it's easily possible. both are aware of interdimensional travel, both have lots of creatures from various dimensions as friends. and both seem to have destroyed their home dimensions. Things they say seem to herald a similar philosophy as well. both Bill & Rick see love simply as a chemical reaction that makes animals want to breed.
Bill & Rick also both choose other things over family, Bill chooses power and chaos over his family, while Rick chooses science and experiments over his. (Not to say Rick doesn't care about his family at all, as several character arcs show he does quite a lot.)
To summarize my theory: I believe Bill & Rick are a dark mirror image of Stan & Ford in a way. and that one of the only things that separate them from each other is Stan & Ford's care for their families. (Though obvs they're their own characters just as much as Stan and Ford are their own characters from Dipper & Mabel.)
Listening to: The sound of a llama drawing.
Reading: The Wonder Couple (By my friend Jane)
Watching: Star VS Evil (I patiently await it's return...)
Playing: Minecraft Hardcore (WHY MUST IT BE SO..HARDCORE?!)
Eating: Hot Chips (IT'S TOTALLY GOOD FOR YOU.)
Drinking: Dr. Pepper (As always)