Rick and Morty is like a twisted version of Back to the Future. Rick is an alcoholic sociopath version of Doc Brown and Morty is a slower more anxious version of Marty McFly. The similarities mostly end there, which indicates the show is branching off into its own universe(s). But if you watch closely–and by “closely” I mean “obsessively”– you’ll notice at least three much more subtle references to Doc and Marty within Rick and Morty.
0. The Box of Time Travel Stuff
Well, three subtle references and one more blatantly obvious one. The Box of Time Travel Stuff. It’s in every episode, just sitting there in Rick’s garage scifi workshop. Despite this, the creators of the show, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, stated explicitly we would never see time travel in the show. The box is just a tease. I’m sure he’s figured it out, because Rick is the smartest guy in the universe. Yet we’ll never see him use it, probably because it’s such a poor use of his time and beneath him. In fact this preview of the upcoming Rick and Morty comic confirms this.
1. Every Corner Drugstore
Episode 1 “Pilot”
When Rick comes back from the “Future Dimension” he says their medicine was so advanced that they had “broken leg serum on every corner drug store.” Very subtle, but this is similar to 1955 Doc exclaiming that he’s sure in the future year of 1985, “plutonium is available at every corner drugstore.”
2. Off-brand Power Laces
Episode 1 “Pilot”
Rick and Morty both wear some “special grappling shoes” that look like an almost identical but less detailed version of the Power Laces Marty wore in 2015. There is no Nike swoosh and the white band is now orange. A Halloween costume site recently started selling Power Laces sans-logo. So they’re selling special grappling shoes. Complete your Rick and Morty costumes today. What’re you worried about? Don’t even hesitate. Don’t even worry and don’t even give it a second thought.
“That’s our slogan. See it at the bottom of the screen?”
3. Eric Stoltz
Episode 10 “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind”
My favorite one. Doofus Rick had no children and therefore had no Morty. The Council of Ricks granted him a Morty from a dimension where everyone looks like Eric Stoltz’s character in the movie Mask. This is a reference to how Marty McFly was originally cast as Eric Stoltz before the producers changed their minds. This means that Eric Stoltz is an alternate Marty in real life, just as Eric Stoltz is an alternate Morty in the show.
They made him look different as Marty for some reason.
And that’s it. Rick also has multiple watches, like Doc, but whatever. Look, I… I don’t care anymore, Morty. I’m ju-UUURP-st gonna end this article right here, Morty. I’ll write another one later or whenever I feel like it.
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