40+ Rick And Morty Easter Eggs That Make Us Want To Rewatch Every SeasonBy Louise P
Rick and Morty is one of the most popular adult cartoons to date and we cannot get enough of the cultural references, foreshadowing, intertextuality, and genius-level imagery. Both creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon achieved great success as storytellers and voice actors, but the amalgamation of the two with this show is a match made in heaven. The show has been going strong for five seasons so far and there seems to be no end in sight (hopefully!), gaining an even bigger following since it started streaming on Netflix since season four. We are in a constant state of confusion and awe while watching the duo’s epic adventures, and we simply can’t imagine what will be cooked up next. But, while you wait for more episodes, why not re-watch all the old ones and see how many of these fantastic Easter eggs you can spot!
Rick Meets 90s Cult Classics
The Fifth Element is a cult classic from the late 90s that brought us an orange-haired Mila Jovovich in her iconic white bandage suit. Rick And Morty brought even more honor to this Luc Besson classic in season three, episode five, “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy.”
The episode has tons of references to the film, like the space cruise ship Rick and Jerry visit that is similar to the Fholston Paradise from the Bruce Willis counterpart. Rick’s gun is also a cartoon recreation of the one used by Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg.
A Community of Characters
Dan Harmon is the co-creator of both Rick And Morty and the hit TV show Community, and he has inevitably thrown in a few fun Easter eggs that tie the two shows together. “Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri,” the final episode from season four brought us Space Beth, a nod to the Community character, Britta.
“The Darkest Timeline was one of the most popular “Community Episodes” and in it, we can see Britta sporting a new blue streak in her hair, making her edgier. Space Beth wears the same cool blue streak, adding to her coolness factor.
Gazorpazorp Borrowing Legends
One of the best episodes from Season one was “Raising Gazorpazorp”. In the episode, Morty screws up by taking a souvenir from planet Gazorpazorp, but it turns out to be one of the primitive babies from the planet ruled by fierce women.
On Gazorpazorp, a giant head floating in the sky is their god, but this head looks more than a little familiar. It is a direct reference to the film from 1974, Zardos. The same floating stone head is being idolized in both works and is equally creepy too.
Morty in Love
Another season 1 classic, “Rick Potion #9”, had us feeling sorry for poor Morty as he was out of luck once more on the romance front. Grandpa Rick came to the rescue with a love potion, but things got out of hand quickly.
Everyone went from being in love with Morty to turning into human-mantis crossbreeds to then exploding into unspeakably gross “Cronenbergs.” This nickname pays tribute to David Cronenberg, a filmmaker best known for his gruesome body horror films like The Fly and Scanners.
Mocking the Classics
“Get Schwifty” is one of our favorite songs that never actually got released. Rick and Morty bust out the classic to the great floating head in the sky but not before Rick mocks a government official for thinking Vivaldi is one of the best composers of all time.
Rick takes a jab at the guy by calling him “Frasier”, the beloved (and incredibly cultured) TV character played by Kelsey Grammar. Frasier was both a character on “Cheers” and the main character in the show, Frasier. To add more nuance to the reference, Kelsey’s daughter, Spence Grammar, is the voice of Summer!
Season three started off with a bang! Rick was being tortured and held captive in the episode titled “The Rickshank Rickdemption” (do you see what they did there). In an attempt to fool his captures, Rick fabricates his origin story and adds a fake house into the mix for good measure.
Breaking Bad fans were quick to notice that the house looked very familiar to the one in their favorite show! It is based on Walter White’s house and even features square shrubs, gravel, a chimney, and a side gate that all look exactly alike. Rick might have fooled the bad guys, but he is no match for sleuth R&M fans!
Four legs Good, Two Legs Better
George Orwell’s iconic novel Animal Farm paints a bleak picture of humanity and makes explicit reference to communist societies. R&M writers borrowed the concept of tyrannical animals for the Season one episode “Lawnmower Dog.” The Smith family dog, Snuffles, becomes the ruler of the human race in an unexpected turn of events.
To make this magnificent reference even further, Snuffle’s name is changed to Snowball as he grows more powerful. This was the name of one of the polarizing figures from the novel who also served as a metaphor for Leon Trotsky, Stalin’s main opposition. The intertextuality is pure genius!
More 80s Magic
Morty Junior, Morty’s “son” from Gazorpazorp, runs away as he reaches adolescence and finds himself in an abandoned warehouse. Did someone say Kevin Bacon? This clearly alludes to Bacon’s iconic scene in Footloose where he lets loose and dances to his heart’s content.
Morty Junior also finds a radio and starts moving around the warehouse, a little less graciously than Ren, though. And instead of honing his dancing skills, Morty Jr. releases his inner caveman and enters full-on destruction mode. It’s fine. Not everyone can be the dancer of our dreams like Kevin Bacon.
So, we have always thought Rick was pretty cool, and we wouldn’t completely mind if he was our grandpa, but now, we have proof that he is a total rock star. Literally! Rick, Birdperson, and Squanchy formed a 3-piece band back in the day called “Flesh Curtain,” and by the looks of it, they were hot stuff!
Birdperson fronted the trio, and Rick was slapping the bass. Squanchy used his cat-like reflexes to be the hottest drummer around town. We only get to see a picture of this musical dream team, but we are begging the R&M creators to bring this to life!
Back to the Present
When Rick and Morty first hit TVs, many people compared it to the adventures of Marty and Doc in Back to the Future. We have a kooky old guy, a dorky high schooler, and a freaky-looking travel machine. Seems obvious, right? Wrong! There is one huge difference between the two.
Rick and Morty never actually travel through time! We will give you a moment to process this. They travel through galaxies, not time, and you can see the box marked, “time travel stuff” in Rick’s lab, indicating he is not even toying with that idea anymore. Now, that is what we call the Mandela Effect.
Jack of All Trades, Master of All
Justin Roiland is the multi-talented co-creator of the show but also voices both Rick and Morty as well as various other characters. Little do fans know that most of the jibber-jabber that goes on in-between the main action scenes is Justin going off script and recording what he calls “alts.”
Rick and Morty’s incoherent ramblings are one of the things that make us love this show, and Justin has brought this to life with his unique approach to voice recordings. “Alts” are often leftover from previous episodes and used interchangeably as they have little to nothing to do with the storyline. That’s true talent!
It’s All in the Name
The first seven episodes of season one all had standard episodic names like “Meeseeks and Destroy” and “Anatomy Park.” After they really hit their stride and accumulated a cult-like following, they changed the episode naming formula to include the names of the title characters.
The writers used movie names and other puns like “Ricksy Business” and “Rickmancing the Stone” to include the characters in the names. Rick’s name features in 21 of the first 37 episodes while Morty appears in far fewer titles. Poor guy, always getting the short end of the Rick stick.
Jerry Gets His Day
The show has many great running gags, but one of the best is “interdimensional cable.” This is the cable network the Smiths can watch that broadcasts from all over the universe. In one episode, we learn that Jerry is famous in another dimension, despite his complete suckiness in his own timeline.
Jerry actually starred in the much-talked-about Tom Hanks blockbuster, Cloud Atlas. Naturally, Rick and Morty find ways to torment Jerry about it and Summer is having a meltdown about this new news. And in classic Jerry fashion, he is clueless about the significance of the film, or that it even exists.
Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica
Sci-Fi fans are hardcore and they will spot a cross-reference coming from a lightyear away. In the epic finale of season two, Birdperson gets married in the episode entitled “The Wedding Squanchers.” The Smiths and grandpa Rick attend the massive celebration, but there is an interesting pair of wedding guests in attendance.
Dr. Gaius Baltar and Number Six, two of Battlestar Galactica’s main characters, are sitting at the wedding, even dressed up as they were in the show! What makes this appearance even better is that the actors, James Callis and Tricia Helfer, voiced their animated selves in R&M!
A Rick of Many Colors
Episode ten of season one is titled, “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” and spreads light on “The Council of Ricks.” This is a council in the Citadel, a sacred place created to keep Rick and all his multiple versions safe from potential enemies.
R&M was long overdue for a solid Marvel reference, and the writers did not disappoint. This council is very similar to the Interdimensional Council of Reeds featured in the Marvel comic books. That council is designed for the same purpose but only for Mr. Fantastic from The Fantastic Four.
The Big Purge
Season two’s episode, “Look Who’s Purging” took inspiration from the nightmare fuel film franchise, The Purge. What makes these films particularly horrific is how true to real life it really is. Nothing scarier than that! Rick and Morty make a quick stop on a seemingly peaceful planet to fix their spaceship but things soon go south.
The natives prepare for “The Festival,” a violent and cannibalistic purging. Not only does this hint at the films, but it’s also a reference to a Star Trek episode that featured a ritual of the same name. We never seize to be impressed when references can run this deep!
Ahoy Me Morties
Rick is a seemly fearless character, defeating all kinds of miscreants across all the galaxies. But we do get a hint of his one true fear in two episodes of the series. The first time we take notice is in season 1’s “Anatomy Park”.
Rick admits the ride, “Pirates of the Pancreas,” was his “baby,” but it wasn’t well received. This is because we later learn in season three that Rick is truly scared of pirates! He thought the ride was terrifying due to his fear, but no one else shared this sentiment. One of Rick’s biggest fears led to one of his biggest failures.
References Out the Wazoo
This show can’t get enough of quick-witted references to major pop culture moments. The aforementioned “Anatomy Park” is a clear nod to Jurassic Park, even borrowing the iconic t-rex skeleton logo and replacing it with a human one. Genius!
Then there is “Lawnmower Dog,” alluding to Lawnmower Man by Steven King. Some of our other favorites include “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” and the ingenious “Ricksy Business”. We are just glad we didn’t have to see Rick dance around in his underwear a-la Tom Cruise, 1983.
Jerry, the Constant Failure
There is nothing Jerry can do to make himself cool. It is just against the laws of nature. Even in season six when it seems like Jerry has gained some popularity amongst an alien species, we discover it is simply because this species thrives on torture. And being around Jerry is the ultimate form of social torture.
Jerry sports this seemingly banal robe with a Chinese symbol on the back, but in classic R&M style, even the robe is loaded with significant imagery. It translates to “weak” and is the ultimate testament to just how pathetic the poor guy is. Can we just get a Jerry-win for once?
Love Potion Mix Up
“Rick Potion #9” from season one directly borrows its name from Love Potion #9, a 1992 film. We see Rick create a love potion to help poor Morty’s struggling love life at the school dance. There is a flu bug going around too that doesn’t mix too well with the potion and everyone turns into grotesque monsters.
The potion was meant to attract Morty’s eternal crush, Jessica, when she gets in contact with him. Things go array when EVERYONE becomes infatuated with him. This is similar to the Love Potion film as the two scientists make a potion that will work on everyone that hears them speak. Where can we sign up for this?
Sometimes we get so lost in the background action of Rick and Morty that we forget to watch the main action! There are all kinds of crazy critters roaming around and sometimes we even get to see an old favorite or two.
This was the case with the episode from season two, “Mortynight Run,” where the dynamic duo played games at the alien arcade, “Blips and Chitz.” For a few frames, we see our old pal mister Meeseeks hanging out in the background!
Unity in Community
The “Community” references are usually pretty subtle throughout Rick and Morty, but the “Auto Erotic Assimilation” episode in season 3 makes no secret of their connection. Unity even creates a TV show for Rick that looks eerily familiar… Can you spot it?
Rick even yells at the TV saying, “Now make them make fun of the blonde one!” Something “Community” loved doing to Britta. He takes another jab by saying, “Ok cancel it. Now put it back on”, something that famously happened to “Community”.
Spot the Cultural Reference
When the first episode of Rick and Morty rolled around, we had no idea what to expect. The first scene is of a drunk grandpa Rick pulling a sleeping Morty out of bed for an adventure. We were utterly confused but equally intrigued.
In this scene from the pilot episode, the animators already showed us we are in for lots of fun cultural references. They placed a bunch of popular alien silhouettes in this hall at Interdimensional Customs. We can spot the creature from Alien as well as a prawn from District 9. Who can you spot?
Watch the Credits
If Rick and Morty has taught us anything, it is that one should always watch the credits! They add fantastic little bits after the credits to just milk us for one more laugh. And they always succeed. This moment is from season one’s “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind.”
We finally get a glimpse into grandpa Rick’s bedroom! It took them long enough. In true Rick fashion, it is a total mess, but the psychopathic wall is what has us most intrigued. It seems to be plotting together all of Rick and Morty’s adventures, and you can even see another Meeseeks making its appearance.
Vanity cards are the production company logos that make an appearance after a show. They are commonly animated or tell you a little bit more about the company or the creators. In the case of Harmonious Claptrap, the card is a little somber.
The cards from the first 3 seasons featured co-creator Dan Harmon on a couch with his wife and pets. Sadly, they got divorced in 2015, and the vanity card changed accordingly. The later version shows him drinking alone on a couch with a sad mess all around him.
Jerry and Rick, Sitting in a Tree
The eternal struggle between Rick and Jerry will keep us entertained for years to come. These two just can’t seem to get along, no matter what! There is one exception, however, Doofus Rick. A moronic incarnation of Rick who gets along with Jerry swimmingly!
Jerry must have loved Doofus Rick so much that he keeps a picture of him in the garage. In episode one of season three, we can see the framed picture stored safely in a cupboard when Summer is digging through the garage. This Is true love!
Rick and Morty Falls
Rick and Morty is an adult show for adults, but the internet is also obsessed with Gravity Falls, a kids show for adults. The creators of both shows are actually good friends, and Justin Roiland does some voice work on Gravity Falls, too.
In “Close Rick-counters of a Rick Kind,” Rick opens multiple portals, and one portal offers up a delightful Gravity Falls Easter egg. Gruncle Stan’s pen, notebook, and mug come flying out of the portal, but it takes a keen eye to notice this small detail!
Rick vs. The Devil
Season one delivered so many great moments and cultural references, we honestly don’t know how to rate them! In episode nine, “Something Ricked This Way Comes,” the Devil moves into town and opens a peculiar shop called “Needful Things.” Sound familiar?
That is because Needful Things is also the name of a 1991 Stephen King novel! The plot of the novel and the episode are also very similar. In this episode, though, Rick (the eternal cynic) tries to prove the Devil’s trickery with science. Did we expect anything less from him?
This little detail is less of a hidden Easter egg and more of a head-scratcher. Have you ever notice how Summer and her dad are physically almost identical? Seriously, slap a wig on Jerry and stuff some socks in his shirt, and you have Summer.
Even Diane is not so far off and Rick also shares the same round eyes and head shape as the rest of the clan. So where did Morty come from? Why does the poor guy have a baseball-shaped head and droopy nose? Perhaps he is the milkman’s kid?
Knowing the Creators
The creators of Rick & Morty don’t shy away from referencing their pasts works in the show. Even if it is just subtle hints. We love trying to spot these little clues throughout but we are pretty sure we have missed a ton. Any excuse to watch it again though!
In the “Auto Erotic Assimilation” episode, Rick explains the plot to a fictional TV show, but keen listeners will understand that he is actually explaining Dan Harmon’s show Community. The “Lawnmower Dog” episode is also a nod to Roiland’s show Dog World, which aired on Cartoon Network.
Mad Max or Mad Morty?
Season 3 brings us a fantastic reference to one of our favorite film franchises. “Rickmancing the Stone” is chock full of Mad Max imagery complete with a desert, crazy guys in weird costumes, and outlandish vehicles racing through the arid landscape.
We can even see the epic Thunderdome sequence in action and Morty gets completely ripped for the fight. Summer even gets married. But honestly, who can resist the hunks in Dystopian garb? We don’t blame her. Thanks for the solid reference guys!
It’s easy to think that if Rick and Morty reference something, the creators must love the source material, right? Wrong! Season one’s “M. Night Shaym-Aliens” takes inspiration from Cristopher Nolan’s blockbuster Inception, but it is anything but a love story between writers.
Harmon has been vocal about his dislike for the film and even went as far as to call it “unnecessarily complicated.” The episode borrows heavily from the film’s storyline, but it could even be Harmon’s way of showing how the film could have been scaled down a tad!
Back to the Beginning
Every good superhero has a great origin story, and the same goes for our beloved Rick and Morty. The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti was Justin Roiland’s animated short that gave birth to R&M and also to Rick’s famous burp!
Roiland accidentally burped while voicing Doc, but found it hysterical. The belching stayed in the short and Roiland brought it back for the full-length R&M years later. It doesn’t come naturally though. It takes a few hours and beers to get the sounds just right
What’s the worst thing you have done while drunk? Called an ex? Had an accident? Well if your name is Rick, the worst thing you have done was creating a deathtrap from which you and your grandson need to escape. Seems above board, right?
Not only does Rick closely resemble the horrific star of the Saw franchise, Jigsaw, but he also involves a superhero troop that you might recognize. The episode is entitled “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” a clever play on the Avengers titles. We can even see them sitting in an Avengers-like war room!
Recycled Jelly Bean
There is nothing wrong with recycling a few characters, especially if they are of your own creation. Heck, if Disney can do it, so can Rick & Morty! Not that these creators have ever tried to play by the rules.
The character of Jellybean from the “Meeseeks and Destroy” episode is a recycled reincarnation of Crumply Crumplestein a Roiland character from “Unbelievable Tales.” Although Jellybean seems a tad more perverted than the original character. We are just going to go wash our eyes out real quick.
There are a few episodes of Rick & Morty that truly stand out, and “The Vat of Acid Episode” is one of those that makes it into our list. It also turned out to be one of the most popular episodes ever, and it is the only episode to feature the title in the opening sequence along with the show title.
They must have known they were on to something special! The vat of green acid is also reminiscent of the one that Batman drops Jack Napier into at Gotham City’s Ace Chemical Processing Plant. This is also the Joker’s first origin story that was released in 1951.
Rick and Morty have made an art out of jumping between timelines, diggings us so deep into multi-layered plotlines that we seldom know which way is up. But there is one subtle trick the animators use to try and make sense of it all.
The Smith house is often the target of much destruction, and they keep the destruction and repairs visible throughout the show. One example is the massive crack in the pavement. That way, you will see which timeline you are in and which Smith house is the real one. This should be a big help next time we watch!
The writers of Rick and Morty do a great job of cross-referencing shows and films, but they also have a keen way of planting subtle details in earlier episodes that might pop up later in the series. Take a look at this image below…
In “Total Rickall” the family is taken over by parasites that create multiple fake memories. But where did the parasites come from? Do you see it yet? This image is from “Mortynight Run” and you can clearly see the parasite clinging onto Rick’s green rocks. Now it makes so much more sense!
Conspiracy theories about celebs dying are always a hot topic and one, in particular, comes to mind. The theory suggests that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966 and since then the rest of the Beatles leave backward audio messages throughout the media, to tell the truth.
This is brought up in “Morty’s Mind Blowers” where Morty hears a creepy message from the Truth Tortoise. If you reverse the message, you can clearly hear the words, “I’m a Beatle, Paul is dead”. Creepy? We certainly think so!
Season four, episode eight, “The Vat of Acid Episode” sees Morty getting in some deep trouble as he tries to live without consequences. He inadvertently offends every minority group and activist movement around and we just love their depictions as well as the signs in the background.
Our favorite is a sign reading “Moscow Morty”, which is a play on Mitch McConnell’s nickname, “Moscow Mitch.” You can also see Supreme Justice Sonia Sotomayor, representatives of AARP and NAACP. The American Civil Liberties Union and #MeToo activists are also present. Morty seems to be in a whole lot of trouble!
Rick Does Broadway
“Never Ricking Morty” from season 4 plays on the classic film and novel “The Never-Ending Story”. But other than the name, the episode also passes by a theater cart on the train which features some classic musical references. Can you spot them all?
Starting on the left, we have an alien dressed for “Cats” and another sporting the “Phantom of the Opera” mask. Then Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray and Donkey from Shrek the Musical. The last alien is dressed as Shakespeare. That brings us to the posters showing “The Sound of Rick” and even a shot from Rick’s “Get Schwifty” performance.
The “Pickle Rick” episode from season 3 has become one of the best-known episodes of the series. It is hilariously ridiculous and incredibly quotable. The writers have also confirmed fan theories that the episode makes reference to An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.
This can specifically be seen in the way Rick enters the sewer system, in a very similar way to the rats in the 1991 film. This is very ironic considering the violent and gruesome way in which Rick disembowels a rat to create an exoskeleton. But we always know there is a dark twist not too far ahead.
Inside Morty’s Mind
The eighth episode of Season 3, “Morty’s Mind Blowers” is another episode with a cult following. The episode features a room full of memories that Morty asked Rick to remove. These memories are no doubt on the extreme side and Morty was better off never having them at all.
Fans of the 2015 film Inside Out may have noticed a little something with regards to the colors of the memories. In the room, the memories are color-coded using green, purple, green, blue, and red, the same colors used to represent Riley’s emotions in the film!
In the final episode of season 3, Rick discovers the wildly popular computer game “Minecraft”. It is one of Morty’s favorites, but Rick is also seen playing it and he later admits that he is now starting to love it.
Apart from showing a split second of the game, the writers have added another clever reference. The US Army set up a portal for the president by using fire and sparks which is very similar to the way you open the nether portal in Minecraft (flint-and-steel).
In season four, Morty gets what every kid his age wishes for; a pet dragon! But as per usual, things don’t go as planned, and Rick ends up bonding with the dragon. The episode entitled “Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim’s Morty” makes reference to two dragons that lay very close to our hearts.
The first of which is Smaug from the Hobbit films. Smaug also lies on top of its heaps of treasure just like this dragon, but they have early recreated the voice of Smaug too. The second takes us back all the way to the mid-90s. Rick magically bonds with the dragon but also gets hurt when the dragon gets hurt. Ring any bells? Yes, Dragonheart!