1. The beast from the show’s intro is most likely Cthulhu, an ancient god who lives at the bottom of the ocean in the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
2. When Snuffles grows intelligent enough to enslave the Smith family as pets, he says he’d like to start going by “Snowball.”
Which is the name of the pig who becomes dictator in Animal Farm, a novel by George Orwell about animals who revolt against their masters.
3. At the end of that same episode, as the dogs leave for their own world, Rick describes it as “a very satisfying project for people of all ages” that he’d watch “for 11 minutes a pop.”
He’s actually describing Dog World, a show that series co-creator Justin Roiland pitched to Cartoon Network before Rick and Morty.
4. There’s a reference to Ghostbusters at the beginning of the episode “Meeseeks and Destroy.”
5. And the episode title itself is a tribute to the Metallica track “Seek & Destroy” from the album Kill ‘Em All.
6. At the end of the episode titled “Tiny Rick,” the vampire in the post-credits scene is an obvious reference to the classic film, Nosferatu.
7. The Gazorpians are heavily inspired by the cult film Zardoz.
The plots are similar, except instead of a society ruled by women, in Zardoz a race of immortal beings oppresses and subjugates their planet’s primitive race.
8. In that same episode, Morty Jr.’s dancing is a tribute to Kevin Bacon’s dance scene in Footloose.
9. At the end of that same episode, Rick and Summer beat down a bully who bears a striking resemblance to a grown-up version of Randall from Recess.
10. Mr. Needful’s shop is filled with fun stuff, including Finn’s gauntlet from Adventure Time.
Not to mention that Mr. Needful and his shop are a clear reference to the Stephen King novel, Needful Things.
11. The episode that takes place in a series of alien simulations, “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!,” gets its title from director M. Night Shyamalan, whose films often feature unexpected plot twists just like the episode.
12. The interdimensional cable show Ball Fondlers is a parody of The A-team, which is the show that made Mr. T famous.
13. In that same sequence, you can very briefly see Michael Jackson dancing to “Thriller” in an alternate reality in which everyone has turned into phones.
14. The character you can see in an interdimensional cable commercial could sell pretty much any kind of cereal.
15. And the “legally safe knockoff of an ’80s horror character with miniature swords for fingers instead of knives.” is a parody of Freddy Krueger.
16. Anatomy Park is an obvious reference to Jurassic Park.
17. But also to Fantastic Voyage, a 1966 movie in which scientists miniaturize themselves to explore a patient’s body.
18. The episode “Unity” has clear references to Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
19. And in that same episode, there’s a brief reference to Community, which was made by series co-creator Dan Harmon.
20. When Ice-T (as Water-T) takes on the Numbercons, you can catch what might be a reference to the Tech N9ne album, All 6’s and 7’s.
21. This moment from the pilot episode is like a Where’s Waldo?…
Among those silhouettes you can see Big Bird, the Alien xenomorphs, the war elephant from Adventure Time, a District 9 prawn, and many more recognizable characters.
22. And then, in the episode “Total Rickall,” Rick actually calls out Where’s Waldo in the scene filled with fake characters planted by extraterrestrial parasites.
23. The episode “Rick’s Potion #9” is inspired by the Sandra Bullock movie with an almost identical title.
24. In that same episode, the disfigured humanoid creatures are called “Cronenbergs” because their grotesque appearance is like something out of a David Cronenberg’s film.
25. And how could we forget the last episode? A glorious tribute to Mad Max.