Rick and Morty is an animated series that follows the adventures of super scientist Rick and his not-so-bright grandson Morty. Rick is an alcoholic genius whilst Morty is an anxious 14-year-old; together they manage to run through the universe causing mayhem in different dimensions and simultaneously trying to keep their family together. Some of the more memorable recurring characters include Mr Poopybutthead, Bird Person and Gear Head – three names that you won’t forget in a hurry!
Aside from its philosophical and scientific themes, the programme is well-known for its references to pop culture and the many crossovers it’s had with other shows. Below we’ve gathered some of the most fascinating facts about the series – scroll down to another dimension to find out more!
1. They were originally supposed to be called ‘Doc and Mharti’
The series and its two main characters are actually based on an animated short from creator Justin Roiland called The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti. In turn, Doc and Mharti were meant to be spoofs of Doc Brown and Marty McFly from the Back to the Future series. Roiland ended up using the main characters from his short and developing them into the Rick and Morty we know and love today!
2. They both appeared in a really cool Simpsons crossover
As one of the most popular cartoons on TV in recent years, Rick and Morty earned a really cool crossover with that other (fairly) well-known animated series, The Simpsons. Everybody knows that the opening credits of The Simpsons frequently involve some kind of couch gag, and in the last episode of season 26, it was Rick and Morty’s turn to briefly invade the Simpsons household. Their appearance interrupts the main credits and actually turns into a mini story – you can find a clip of their appearance on Youtube.
3. Rick and Morty featured in a Carl’s Jr. Commercial
American fast food chain Carl’s Jr. released a television commercial in 2015 featuring Rick & Morty in starring roles! Rick brings some walking, sentient Carl’s Jr. burgers into Morty’s room while Morty is sleeping. Unfortunately things go awry when the burgers run amok and steal things from Morty’s room. Again you can find a clip of the programme here.
4. Creator Justin Roiland voices both characters!
You might be surprised to learn that Roiland actually voices both of the main characters in the series! We hope he has a bottle of water handy because that’s quite a lot of dialogue to record for each episode. Roiland also occasionally voices fan favourite Mr. Poopybutthole, as well as other minor characters such as Fake Door Salesmen and ‘Dream Aliens’.
5. Sarah Chalke, aka Beth, can burp on command.
Roiland has previously revealed that Sarah Chalke, who plays Rick’s daughter, Beth, can burp on command. Fans of the show will understand Roiland’s jealousy since he is responsible for voicing Rick, a character who famously belches almost constantly.
6. Rick was in a very questionable college band…
In the episode ‘Get Schwifty’, it was revealed that Rick was once in a college rock band with old friends Birdperson and Squanchy. The band’s name? …. ‘The Flesh Curtains’. We’re not sure how successful they’d be in the charts today, and it seems that people in the Rick & Morty universe weren’t fans either as the band is now defunct.
7. There’s a really cool reference to Arrested Development in the show
Fans of the quirky American sitcom Arrested Development will know David Cross for his memorable role in the series as repressed actor Tobias Funke. In Rick & Morty Cross voiced Prince Nebulon, who was the leader of the Zigerion aliens. As well has harbouring a massive grudge against Rick, Nebulon was extremely uncomfortable with nudity- this refers to Cross’ other character Tobias who was a never-nude in Arrested Development.
8. Rick is fluent in Bird Person language
Rick’s catchphrase, “wubba lubba dub dub” actually means “I am in great pain. Please help me” in Bird Person’s language.
9. Co-creator Dan Harmon was fired from his previous show
Co-creator Dan Harmon created the show with Justin Roiland after he was fired from his previous show, Community. Since then, many members of Community have gone on to voice characters in the series, including actors Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs and John Oliver.
10. Rick & Morty was originally meant to be a much shorter programme
Roiland initially wanted the show’s run time to be around eleven minutes, but the TV channel Adult Swim pushed for a half-hour program. We’re really glad they did! Sometimes the television executives know best after all.
11. Roiland is the king of improvisation
When recording dialogue, Roiland does a considerable amount of improvisation, which he feels makes the lines sound more natural. For example, all of the fake commercials in the series are single audio takes of Roiland laughing and stuttering as he improvises.
12. Rick’s burps are real.
Yes that’s right. All of them.
13. The theme song is a mixture of two other TV themes
The theme song for Rick and Morty is actually a parody mix of Doctor Who and Tintin.
14. Rick & Morty has some very interesting links to Breaking Bad
The way in which Rick says the word “bitch” is styled after how Jesse Pinkman delivered the line in Breaking Bad. Furthermore, during the early stages of production, Bryan Cranston auditioned for the role of Jerry. In the end they went with Chris Parnell, whom Roiland has praised for the fact that he nails his lines on the first take.
15. Does Rick & Morty exist in the same universe as Futurama?!
It’s been rumoured that Rick and Morty and the hit series Futurama exist in the same universe. If you watch closely, you can see the famous Planet Express ship as well as other Futurama references in the background of certain scenes.
16. Roiland has an interesting way of preparing for his role as Rick
Roiland does all of the burps himself, but how does he actually manage to do this? In fact, Roiland achieves Rick’s burps by sipping a tasty combination of low calorie beer and water. We have to praise his dedication to the role, since his belches do always sound 100% authentic.
17. Rick isn’t a massive fan of car safety
Rick never wears a seatbelt in vehicles, whilst all the other characters do. Hardly surprising considering Rick’s endless catalogue of reckless, nihilistic behaviour!
18. The series is massively influenced by British TV
Dan Harmon stated that his inspiration behind much of the concept and humour for the series comes from British television series, such as Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Thanks for the shout out, Dan!
19. Fans are dying for a Rick & Morty film to appear
Fans started a petition in 2016 to try and convince Adult Swim to green light the production of a feature-length movie! We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
20. Mr Meeseeks was originally supposed to be another colour entirely
The original colour for the Mr. Meeseeks characters (who are also voiced by Justin Roiland) was a neon taupe. However, the concept did not go over well with viewers, so the producers changed the handy characters to blue.