Greetings humans, and fellow fans of Rick and Morty. If you’re here, you already know the drill as to how much this show is about cross references and Easter eggs. If you haven’t looked closely enough, there is a lot you have missed on this show. Buckle up for our list of the Top Ten facts you should know. Countdown time!
When you first begin watching the series, it is quite evident that the two protagonists the show and its name is based around, Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith are indeed based around Doc Brown and Marty McFly from the series Back to the Future. Let’s take a look at how it all began.
Back in 2005, Justin Roiland (voice behind Rick and Morty) produced an animated series called “House of Cosby’s”, a bizarre show about a guy living with 100 clones of Bill Cosby. This show premiered at the non-profit short film festival Channel 101m which was co-founded by Dan Harmon (co-creator of Rick and Morty), who took a liking to Roiland’s work. However, House of Cosby’s had to be discontinued due to a legal notice from Bill Cosby’s lawyer. Roiland then went on to make an obscene and crude animated parody of the Back to the Future series called “The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti”, starring Doc Smith and Mharti McDonalds.
In 2012, Harmon was approached by Adult Swim to make an original animated series. Not having any prior experience in animation, Harmon contacted Roiland, and a show of epic proportions was born.
In the episode Meseeks and Destroy, a character named King Jellybean is introduced. This character is from a previous animation called Unbelievable Tales, produced by Justin Roiland. In this animation, King Jellybean is known as Crumply Crumplestein.
Throughout the show, you might have noticed a dude with messy light brown hair, rainbow suspenders, wearing a shirt with an American Football/Rugby ball on it. The stitches on the football appear to be Roman Numerals spelling out 18, 3 and 5, corresponding to the English alphabets R, C and E.
Roiland explains in an interview that it was an agreement between him and his friends, the creators of Gravity Falls and Murder Police to leave cryptic hints and secret codes in their animations. Roiland seems to be the only one who followed through with the idea, and hence the secret code makes no sense.
Justin Roiland voices both Rick and Morty, and does it so spontaneously with very minimal effort. However, in the initial stages of show development, Adult Swim didn’t want him to be the voice of Morty and were looking into hiring other voice actors to do the job. Roiland was persistent with his idea of voicing both characters and eventually got his wish.
The theme song for Rick and Morty comes from another show, which was also produced by Justin Roiland, called the Dog World. The show is about humans living in a world populated with intelligent, talking dogs. Sort of a role reversal to what our world is like. The show was to air on Cartoon Network, but never came to fruition as Roiland had a lot of shows under development at the time, and couldn’t finish this one. Indirect references to this show are made in the Rick and Morty episode 2 of season 1, Lawnmower Dog.
Although the supposed theme of Rick and Morty seems like it revolves around the protagonists travel through time and space, the show has no instances of time travel as such. Sure, there are instances of inter-dimensional travel, also instances where time is stopped/paused, instances where Rick and Morty hop through different realities and parallel universes, even manipulated time, but it isn’t time travel.
Rick has a little carton of stuff labeled “Time Travel Stuff” in his garage/lab, which is placed on a shelf. It is a metaphor for the idea of time travel in the show being on the shelf.
There is a good chance that Rick and Morty might in some way be connected to the show Gravity Falls. In the episode “Society of the Blind Eye” of Gravity Falls, a character accidentally drops his pen, notepad, and mug through a portal. In the episode “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” these same objects come out through a portal. Although this episode of Rick and Morty was made and released way before the one of Gravity falls, it is certain that this was an Easter egg completed by animators of both the shows Justin Roiland and Alex Hirsch, respectively, as they’ve been long time friends. Another connection to both shows can be seen in the Rick and Morty episode “Big trouble in little Sanchez”, where Bill Cipher from Gravity falls can be seen for a moment on the control screen.
In the episode “Get Schwifty” of season 2, Justin Roiland actually makes a cameo appearance as himself. (the dude marked thief tied to the balloons by command of Principal Vagina)
Most of the episode titles and plotlines of the show are satirical references to various forms of mainstream media. For example, Anatomy Park was a reference to Jurassic Park, Look who’s purging now was a parody of The Purge, Lawnmower Dog was a reference to Lawnmower Man, Meseeks and Destroy was a reference to Seek and Destroy by the band Metallica, Mortynight Run was a reference to Midnight Run.
The entire team of Rick and Morty are a truly dedicated team that strives for continuity. This can be seen in the incredible attention to detail given to the world. In the last episode of season 1, the house is teleported away and back, creating a giant crack around the house. This crack remains along the entirety of season 2. Jerry is even seen using a weed whacker to cut the grass growing through the cracks. There are other details such as Rick never wearing the seatbelt in any of the episodes, and such other undiscovered details.