Rick And Morty Season 4 Episode 4: 18 References And Easter Eggs From "Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim's Morty"
Was this the weirdest episode yet of Rick and Morty?
Rick and Morty Season 4, Episode 4, "Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim's Morty," is definitely one of the strangest episodes of the show ever. It's not even strange in the usual way--you know, alternate dimensions, wacky alien shenanigans, that sort of thing.
Instead this episode sends Rick through a rune-inscribed portal to a land where magic is real, but science isn't, and turns a fantasy trope into an extremely uncomfortable sex thing. Oh, and Jerry bonds with a talking cat, leading both himself and Rick to witness something more extreme and horrifying than anything they've experienced before--which is really saying something, especially in Rick's case.
We're not entirely sure what was going on in a lot of scenes this week, or whether we'll ever get any explanations. Why Florida? What did the cat do? Why did those involved in this show's creation think it would be funny to make an entire episode about slut-shaming dragons? We have questions, but there are no readily available answers.
In any case, keep reading to find out what Easter eggs and references you might have missed in Rick and Morty Season 4, Episode 4, "Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim's Morty."
1. Bumper Stickers
Rick's bumper stickers, as always, include what appears to be a political campaign sticker for "Glorto '86b," one that reads "I [genitalia] shleemies," and an atom symbol. The best theory for what "shleemies" are relates to the interdimensional cable gag involving the Plumbus, which is made using shleem, whatever that is.
2. Wolverine Claws
Rick offers to give Morty Wolverine claws instead of getting him a dragon. Of course, he could mean the animal, but we're assuming Rick is referring to the capital "W" X-Men character. In that case, we would love to see Morty take him up on the offer in a future episode.
3. Balthromaw the Onion Knight
The dragon Balthromaw is voiced by another standout guest star this season: Game of Thrones' Liam Cunningham, who played the Onion Knight and kingly advisor Davos Seaworth.
4. Blacklight Poster
Rick calls Balthromaw a "blacklight poster," which you might not be familiar with if you're not a stoner from the 1970s. Blacklight posters featuring neon images that glow under blacklights became popular among drug users because of the trippy visuals they could emulate. They often feature fantasy scenes, including dragons.
5. When Jerry Went to Pluto
Rick's reference to Jerry's Pluto adventure is a callback to Season 1, Episode 9, "Something Ricked This Way Comes," in which Jerry refused to admit Pluto wasn't a planet and winds up becoming the Plutonians' unwitting pawn.
6. Rick and Morty's graves
When Morty is chatting with Balthromaw in the backyard, you can see Rick and Morty's graves from the Season 1 episode "Rick Potion #9," when the duo are forced to invade an alternate dimension in which they've just died, bury themselves in the backyard, and take their alternate selves' place.
Summer and Rick watch a show that sounds like it's straight out of an interdimensional cable ad. "It's like Bones, but they solve ass crimes," as Summer describes, so obviously it's called Ass. Bones, of course, is the Fox show starring Emily Deschanel (Zooey Deschanel's sister), and it too featured a will they/won't they throughline involving the protagonists.
Also, this gag reminded us of the fake movie, also called Ass, featured within the 2006 Mike Judge comedy Idiocracy. The movie was just a long shot of a dude's butt.
8. The Dragon's Hoard
Balthromaw's underground treasure hoard includes plenty of references. In this shot you can clearly see a Tesla (don't forget that Elon Tusk was a character in the last episode), the famous Greek statue Venus de Milo, what appears to be a normal desk chair, and more that's not totally clear.
9. Hi-C Ecto Cooler
Rick also spots an Ecto Cooler flavored Hi-C juice box among Balthromaw's treasures. The Ghostbusters-themed promotional flavor debuted in 1987, and returned briefly in 2016 as a tie-in with the reboot movie.
10. More Treasures
Among a virtual reality headset, a cassette tape, some kind of trophy, jewels and gold, and more, the dragon's hoard also contains:
Four spin pops (an extremely dumb '90s toy that would spin a lollipop to save you the work of manually turning it) featuring what appear to be Qui-Gon Jinn from Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, the classic movie monster Creature from the Black Lagoon, and two characters from the 1998 movie Small Soldiers, which was about toys that came to life and fought each other.
A Duckman lunchbox (Duckman was an adult-oriented cartoon that aired on USA from March 5 1994 to September 6 1997)
A Funko Pop of Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon
A copy of Action Comics #1, the very first comic in which Superman appeared
Lastly, Rick uncovers a signed copy of rapper Future's self-titled debut album on vinyl. It was apparently signed using not ink or even blood, but a mixture of the drugs molly and percocet, which are featured in the lyrics to the song "Mask Off," which plays over the next scene.
12. Gotta Ketchum All
For some reason, the dude on the left is clearly based on Ash Ketchum, the protagonist of the Pokemon anime series. The hat is exactly the same. We have no idea why.
13. Taylor Swift Pumping Her Hands in the Air?
You can find the GIF that Balthromaw sends Morty right here. Feel free to save your own copy for passive-aggressively replying to friends and acquaintances you want to befuddle.
14. Wizard Porn
When the gang arrives at the wizard's lair, he emerges into the courtyard doing up his robe. If you look behind him, you can see a witch in a bikini or lingerie manifesting as some sort of hologram behind him. Apparently, that's what wizard porn looks like.
15. D&D stuff
As Morty is trying to get Balthromaw to scram, he explains that he just wanted to do "some D&D stuff." Of course, this is a reference to the tabletop RPG Dungeons and Dragons, which was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in the 1970s, and influenced pretty much all modern fantasy.
16. The Memory Gun
The memory-removing gun Rick uses to wipe Jerry's mind at the end first appeared in Season 3, Episode 8, "Morty's Mind Blowers." As before, it reminds us of the memory-wiping neuralyzer from the Men in Black series.
17. Matthew Broderick's Cat Voice
The cat in this episode was voiced by Matthew Broderick, best known for his iconic role as Ferris Bueller in the 1986 comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off. However, this isn't the first time Broderick has voiced an animated cat; he also played Simba in Disney's The Lion King in 1994.
18. Claw and Hoarder
The episode title "Claw and Hoarder: Special Rictim’s Morty" is a nod to the show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which deals with victims of sexual crimes (like, for example, nonconsensual 10-slut soul orgies).