Comic creator Robert Kirkman had said that fans would learn what was happening with Old Rick on The Walking Dead during the Season 8 premiere. However, "Mercy" proved to be more confusing than anything else on that front. Yes, viewers got to see additional scenes with Rick in what seems to be his peaceful old age, but the episode didn't reveal if Rick is dreaming on The Walking Dead or if this is a legitimate flash-forward. And with this lack of clarity came many questions from The Walking Dead fans on Twitter — and thankfully, many of those questions came in the form of Old Man Rick memes.
The Season 8 premiere actually introduced two new timelines into the story. While the present has Rick fighting Negan and the Saviors, Rick is also shown crying at a grave somewhere in the near future. Then the bigger time jump has Rick with a long, gray beard, a gray crew cut, and a cane. In this third timeline, he's living a tranquil life with Michonne, Carl, and Judith where he even has the luxury of sleeping in before being awoken by the sounds of Weird Al Yankovic. When compared to the gruesome reality he's currently living and how devastated he looks at the grave site in the future, you have to be a real optimist to think that the Old Man Rick scenes are legitimate and not a dream. Yet, there's hope since the show has not made it clear yet what the heck is really happening. Plus, fans want this happy future for Rick and his family.
Yet, there are additional questions beyond whether this utopian future is real or not. And through the following Old Man Rick memes, Twitter nailed every query fans had about Rick's family in the future during The Walking Dead Season 8 premiere.
How Much Time Has Passed?
Most fans were looking like Winona Ryder at the 2017 SAG Awards as they attempted to understand how much time had passed between the present and the dream-like future.
Perhaps The Future Isn't So Far Off
As Dewey from Malcolm In The Middle said, "The future is now, old man."
Or Is It Just A Dream?
Rick does have a very Rip Van Winkle vibe going on.
No Matter What, It Was Emotional
Whether it was a dream or a flash-forward, fans were still full of emotions seeing an older, happier Rick.
Rick's Evolution Looked Familiar
The speedy evolution of Rick's look was reminiscent of Tim Allen become Santa in The Santa Clause.
And Rick Was Looking Real Old
Is that Old Man Rick or Old Man Jenkins from SpongeBob SquarePants?
Who Wore It Better? Part 1
In the future, Rick was channeling his old buddy Hershel.
Who Wore It Better? Part 2
Or maybe, Old Man Rick is more like God.
Old Rick Is Wise
Old Rick does look holy, so maybe the God thing isn't so off base after all.
But Somehow, Michonne Hasn't Aged A Day
While Rick aged significantly in the time-jump scenes, Michonne looked just as good as ever. Chris Hardwick asked Michonne actor Danai Gurira about this during Talking Dead after the Season 8 premiere. She admitted that when Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus gave her "crap" for her youthful appearance on set, she said, "I told 'em, 'Black don't crack. I don't know what to tell you.'"
But That Hasn't Changed The Feelings Between Rick & Michonne
Even though Michonne hasn't aged, she appears to be digging Rick's new-old look.
Because Rick Still Looks Good
Hey, just because he's gone completely gray doesn't mean that some fans weren't into it.
And What Was Up With The Weird Al Song?
Carl said he wasn't responsible for putting on Weird Al Yankovic's "Another One Rides the Bus" in the Old Man Rick scene, but who was? Is Judith a Weird Al fan in the future?
So What Does It All Mean?
Fans dissecting Rick's different timelines didn't bring them any closer to answers.
An Actual Theory
Yet, some fans have theories. And considering the featured people in the Old Man Rick scenes are Carl, Judith, and Michonne, there's a chance that Rick is crying over one of their graves in the second timeline and the third timeline is a dream of what could have been. Cue sobbing.
Viewers will inevitably have to wait and see what the true meaning behind the time jump is. But in the meantime, keep on looking for Old Man Rick memes because they'll surely keep getting better and better as The Walking Dead continues to confuse fans.