- This article is about the recurring President of the United States. You may be looking for other presidents.
- “I'm the God-damned President of the United Fucking States!”
- —The President to Nathan after he's betrayed by him.
President Curtis, often simply called The President, is a recurring character and occasional antagonist on Rick and Morty.
He is voiced by actor Keith David.
The President is a middle-aged, tall, African American male with short black hair. Being the President of the United States, he is always seen wearing a dark suit with a red tie.
The President is shown to be a domineering, sexist and very haughty authoritative figure. He holds the United States (which he considers the entire world) and his presidency in the highest regard and believes that "the office of the President can't co-exist to a living god that won't submit to it," these beliefs would later clash with Rick and Morty's autonomous nature. When the President learns that Rick and Morty are annoyed with his incessant demands for aid, and is casually told by them that when they save the world the United States just happens to be saved too, he is angered and outright begins to antagonize the two, trying and miserably failing to prove that the United States doesn't need them. This finally stops when the President falls for Rick's ruse as "Fly Fishing Rick," an alternate dimension version of Rick who feigns obedience and compliance to him while promising to undo the damage that the "other Rick" caused. This also shows that The President is somewhat gullible, as he never once questions the possibility of Fly Fishing Rick being Rick in an obvious disguise.
The President appeared in the episode "Get Schwifty." He is first encountered in the Pentagon (the "lame one" here on Earth), where he is discussing the problem of the Cromulon with his aides. Rick and Morty entered the building and Rick explained that the Cromulon was actually requesting a live performance of a newly written song.
While everyone else was skeptical about it, The President put faith in them, believing they would defeat it. He assigned them with Ice T to defeat the giant head. General Nathan could not believe that he could allow something so ridiculous to happen and argued that they needed to use missiles to destroy it, but The President disagreed. Nathan then knocked out the President and took over, ordering an ineffective nuclear strike against the Cromulons.
After flying himself and Morty to Area 51's sonic stage, he helps Rick and Morty sing "Head Bent Over". The song was a hit with the Cromulons and Earth was returned to its orbit around the sun. When Morty asked if he can have a selfie with him, the President refused, had the Secret Service destroy Morty's phone, and implied harm would come to him unless he denied that any of these events ever happened.
The President returns in the Season 3 finale "The Rickchurian Mortydate," where he requests Rick and Morty's help with killing an alien menace in the "Kennedy Sex Tunnels" beneath the White House. Later on, he spies on the two learning they are tired of his requests, which quietly angers him. From then on, he and Rick become enemies throughout the episode, culminating in a showdown at the climax.
Outside the White House, Rick finally forces the President to agree to do a selfie with Morty, only to find that his grandson has disappeared. Morty explains over the phone that he stole Rick's Portal Gun, Jerry and Beth are back together, and the whole family has gone into hiding so Rick won't execute her. Dejected, Rick concedes defeat and asks for the President's help in finding his family, promising to leave him alone from then on. The President is excited at his victory and allows Rick to leave after ordering his invisible troops to leave.
Afterwards, The President has the White House fixed before Rick appears. He readies for a fight but Rick (disguised as another dimension's version of himself called "Fly Fishing Rick") offers his services to help after promising to fix the mess his "counterpart" made. Believing this, the President agrees with the terms, effectively fixing relations with Rick.
- "Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat" (alternate fascist version, pictured)
- The President's appearance is heavily inspired by Barack Obama: the 44th president of the U.S. from 2008-2016, who was the first African American to take office.
- In the episode "Lawnmower Dog", when Snuffles is trying to speak, Summer thinks Snuffles is trying to say "I love Obama". This seems to imply that Barack Obama also exists within the Rick and Morty universe and is a separate person from The President. It is also possible that Obama served as President in the Cronenberged dimension, while the fictional President was head of the U.S. in the Replacement dimension.
- Summer uses the alias Mrs. (Michelle) Obama in "A Rickconvenient Mort".
- Barack Obama could have served only one term in the Cronenberged Dimension and the Replacement Dimension and then President Curtis could have been elected after him, perhaps due to Rick. This would make President Curtis the second black president in these dimensions, assuming the history of each aligns with the real world.
- In the episode "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!", Rick was inside of a holographic projection, where an ambulance pulled up and some paramedics started yelling out that The President of the United States was in there having a stroke and they needed 10 CCs of concentrated dark matter. The President was not actually seen, but a lump in the sheets of the bed he was on was. However, the simulated presidents Caucasian hand could be seen uncovered by the sheets, likely one of the multiple inaccuracies in the simulation that Rick noticed.
- It is also possible that in Dimension C-137 (presumably the dimension the Zigerion scammers modelled the simulation after) had a different President.
- Justin Roiland has hinted that The President and Rick Sanchez are actually best friends who have done many fun and cool adventures in the past, and Mr. Sanchez helped Mr. President win the presidential election.
- The Ice Cream Universe visited in "The Ricks Must Be Crazy" has a different President.
- When The President pulled out his manned-robot during his fight between him and Rick, the manned-robot is based on a real life US military robot prototype called the AlphaDog which is a LS3 robot.
- The President may have formerly been a U.S. Marine, as before attacking Rick in "The Rickchurian Mortydate" he exclaims "Take him down! Semper fi!" Semper fi is a shortened form of "semper fidelis", Latin for "Always Faithful", the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps.
- In "Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat" the President is shown to have a fascist dimension counterpart known as M. Romney (in reference to Mitt Romney), with whom Fascist Rick helped sterilize China, receiving a handshake and an autograph as a reward.
- While it is not clear how much time has passed in the show, from "Get Schwifty" to his latest appearance in "Rick & Morty's Thankspolitation Spectacular" President Curtis has been in office for 6 real world years. If elected in 2012 (allowing him to serve in 2015 when Get Schwifty airs), President Curtis would no longer be eligible for re-election in 2020, unless he had previously served as Vice President and ascended to the Presidency after January 20th, 2015, thereby allowing him to serve a total of 10 years in office per the rules of the 25th amendment.
- In "Rick & Morty's Thankspolitation Spectacular", the President's surname is revealed to be Curtis.
- President Curtis' political party is unknown, likely to prevent controversy among fans.
- His greatest policy focus seems to be national security, primarily against extraterrestrial and supernatural threats.
- In "Mortyplicity", the President reveals that he believes the electoral college preserves slavery stating that he read it on the Internet.
- In "Rickdependence Spray", it is revealed that the President opposes abortion when he stops Summer from blowing up the newly-formed zygote of Naruto Smith. (Edit: this may not be his actual belief. He said “it’s election season” implying that he may be only espousing those beliefs for the votes.)