Rick and Mortyis a combination of science-fiction action, crude humor, a great deal of canon and a little bit of heart and it became a hit as soon as it debuted on Adult Swim in late 2013. The creator and voice artist Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon (Community) came together to make the animated series showing the exploits of Rick Sanchez who is a spiky-haired, drunkard scientist and Morty Smith, Rick’s dumb grandson. The duo traverses space and dimensions and messes with history, universe and their own lives. Let’s check out some of the mysteries behind them.
It began as a parody of ‘Back To The Future
Roiland once created a short animation titled “The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti.” It was an apparent take on Doc and Marty from Back to the Future. Later Harmon contacted Roiland about creating ‘Doc and Mharti’ into a regular series which had a less obvious connection with Back to the Future and also toned down its sexual content. That’s when Doc became a different scientist, and Mharti became Morty.
The burps are real
Rick’s random burps are gross, but, they are quite close to being a catchphrase. The burps are not random and are real. Justin Roiland who has given voice to both characters said that he used to read Rick’s lines and mark the points where he wanted to use the burps later. Then he would re-record his dialogs with the burps. He drank a few Miller 64 beer and water before each burping session. He described the practice as “whole process is disgusting.”
Most of the Dialog is improvised
We can almost sense the off-the-cuff vibe to most of the dialogs between Rick and Morty, and that’s true. Roiland plays both the characters, and he loves to improvise. He first runs Rick’s lines (for burp insertions), and then he does a Morty-focused read through and then does a take of both characters. After that, they revise the scripts according to the new dialogs which get recorded then.
The Makers Had A secret Plot Element Which They Didn’t Want To Reveal But A Fan Found Out.
During the initial days of the show, Roiland and other creative staffers of the show wanted to keep a secret about the show’s world which was not to be revealed. They agreed to never clearly disclose this secret during the run of Rick and Morty, but, they placed clues and references here and there. Roiland says that an unknown Rick and Morty fan has deciphered the secret and shared it on Reddit.
Keeping his word, Roiland didn’t say what the secret was, however, other Rick and Morty fans have come to a conclusion, based on the timing of Reddit updates about the show and Roiland’s response to them. The most likely possibility includes that Rick is an older version of Morty or at least one of the various versions of Morty or may be Rick knows that he is not a real person.
The show has used Instagram in innovative ways
Countless shows have appeared first on the internet or been created as web series. However, Rick and Morty was the first show to unveil an episode on Instagram. However, Instagram limits a video to only 15 seconds, and this required the 2014 episode to be sliced into 109 separate episodes. Adult Swim marketed the event as “our latest frustrating exercise in audience management.”
Capitalizing on the unique success on the platform which is meant to serve selfies and brunch photos, the show paired with Vice’s gaming department Carrot Creative to try something which none had used Instagram for, prior to that and that was to use it as a gaming platform. Rickstaverse came out in 2015 summer. The characters on the show jumped through dimensions and alongside players had to follow tags, and clues to bounce through at least 80 Instagram accounts set up exclusively for the game. Over 129,000 people participated in Rickstaverse, and it involved 11 explorable planets and over 1,000 separate images.
What brought the Simpsons couch gag along
Rick and Morty team created one of their most iconic “couch gags” in 2016 for the opening credits of an episode of The Simpsons. Justin Roiland had heard that Simpsons creator and producer Matt Groening loved his show and that was something he couldn’t really believe until Groening confirmed the same. This gave Roiland an idea, and he asked Groening as well as a guest as per his preference to provide the commentary track on the DVD release of the debut season of Rick and Morty. Groening obliged and brought along Simpson writer and producer Al Jean who made Roiland do the couch part.
It Exists in the Same Universe As Gravity Falls
There is a great deal of convergence between the adult-centric Rick and Morty and the former Disney XD series Gravity Falls. They are both sci-fi comedies featuring weird incidents of daily life. Gravity Falls’ creator Alex Hirsch gave voice on Rick and Morty, and Roiland returned the favor by doing the same on Hirsch’s show. (They had a common office at the Disney Channel.)
Not only that there have been characters, objects and various other Easter eggs belonging to R & M which have been seen in Gravity Falls. Gravity Falls had a pyramid-shaped dream demon called Bill Cipher who made an appearance in Rick and Morty. Hirsch spoke to EW in 2015 and said that it was a dream come true. He said that the two friends wanted to have:
“our own weird TV shows, and we would talk about ways in which we would childishly abuse this power. For some reason, the universe has blessed us with our mad wishes, and it occurred to us—let’s start doing things nobody else does, that maybe you’re not supposed to do. We started putting little Easter eggs in our shows that sort of connected the two. Our motivation for that is primarily to freak people out and blow their minds.”
It has several references to the earlier roles of the actors
Although, the pop culture has plenty of references on Rick and Morty, and also references to the voice artists’ most iconic roles. David Cross played an alien who wasn’t at ease with nudity as if he was never nude, the way his character Tobias on the show Arrested Development. There was also Snowball, an innocent creature who wanted to rule the world and is supported by an accountant. These characters are enacted by Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche, the actors who had voiced the lead roles on Pinky and the Brain, which was a show featuring two lab mice who wanted to rule the world. Actress Sarah Chalke gave voice to Beth Smith, Rick’s daughter and Morty’s mom. She is shown to be a cardiac surgeon, and it is the third time that Chalke has played a blonde doctor on TV, after having done the same on Scrubs and a repeat role on How I Met Your Mother.
Rick’s Origin Story Will Never Be Known
While Rick and Morty have become huge and complicated, Roiland and Harmon don’t wish to give detailed information on why or how Rick is or why he does all those things. They think that is beyond the point of return just like Fonzie ski-jumped over a shark on Happy Days) and it becomes irritating for the audiences.
Harmon informed The AV Club, “we’re very careful about delving into Rick’s backstory because when we do, we don’t want there to be any shocking surprises. Justin was really smart about that, saying, ‘No, we don’t want to reveal that Rick started drinking when blah blahblah,’ because then there’s something very shark-jump-y about that, like where you learn that the Fonz didn’t always wear leather jackets. Because people aren’t like that.” Harmon added that not saying too much also helps to characterize Rick as “all the more mysterious and selfish.”
The Show Might Compel McDonald’s to Reintroduce a Forgotten Product
Back in 1998, McDonald’s had offered a Szechuan-style dip for its Chicken McNuggets as a part of the promotions for the Disney film Mulan which was based in China. This year we saw the Rick and Morty Season 3 premiere releasing online, and it showed Rick promise that the show will go on for nine more seasons as that’s time he needs to get some more of the Szechuan dipping sauce which was the reason behind his existence. This caused a great campaign by the fans asking McDonald’s to reintroduce the Szechuan sauce. This evoked a response from McDonald’s spokesperson Terry Hickey who told USA Today that such a thing might happen and he said: “We never say never because when our customers speak, we listen.”
During the build-up to the third season of Rick and Morty in July, McDonald relented, and it showed a photo of three huge jugs of Szechuan sauce on their Facebook page along with an announcement that it would give them all away. In August this year, McDonald’s dispatched the three 64 ounce jar. One of the lucky winners was someone called Robert Workman who didn’t use the Szechuan sauce to party, but, sold it on eBay. The half-gallon bottle ultimately went for an amazing $15,3350.
Apart from a few lucky fans, one more person got a special delivery of this sauce, and he was Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland. He shared a photo on Twitter with his newly acquired package as well as a personal letter from the restaurant chain. The note ended with a message asking to “stay schwifty.”