Rick And Morty Season 4 Episode 6: 34 Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed
Here's every hidden reference and Easter egg we found in Rick and Morty Season 4, Episode 6, "Never Ricking Morty."
Rick and Morty is finally back, and after an uneven first half to Season 4 last year, the show is in tip-top shape upon its return. Season 4, Episode 6, "Never Ricking Morty," saw the series get more meta than ever before--which is a feat in and of itself. But more importantly, the episode was tight, smart, and hilarious.
Rick and Morty found themselves trapped on a narrative train that was destined to go in circles endlessly, until the titular heroes broke its continuity. The episode began as a halfhearted anthology a la previous Interdimensional Cable adventures, but as it got more and more self-referential, it evolved into much more. It even saw the return of many fan-favorite characters and story arcs--although not in the way many fans had hoped.
"Never Ricking Morty" was probably the best episode yet of Season 4, not least because it was crammed so full of meta jokes, Easter eggs, and references to past Rick and Morty adventures. Here's everything we spotted in the episode--let us know below in the comments if we missed anything. And make sure to check out the Easter eggs from episode 7, as well.
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Being set on a train lends this episode automatic comparisons to Bong Joon-ho's 2013 sci-fi cult favorite Snowpiercer, and the aesthetic similarities ramp up as the early parts of the episode progress and we're introduced to more and more flamboyant alien passengers. Tilda Swinton's Snowpiercer character (above) would fit right in.
2. Snake Venom
For some reason, the draught beers on the train are all snake-based, including "Killer IPA" and "Viper." Maybe they're from the Snake Planet visited in the previous Season 4 episode "Rattlestar Ricklactica."
3. Three butts
This vignette makes little sense if you're watching the episode for the first time. Why does Rick drink a tincture that causes him to grow a third buttcheek and fart? Granted, it doesn't make any more sense as the episode goes on, but the fact that it doesn't make sense does start to make more sense, when it's revealed that the characters are all on a "story train" that's essentially generating random Rick and Morty stories as it circles round and round. Also, speaking of extra anatomy--there's a three-breasted woman in a later scene, which we'll get to shortly.
4. Ice Queen
The Ice Queen in this scene is reminiscent of a similar character in the first book of C.S. Lewis's classic children's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia--The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. She was played by Tilda Swinton in the 2005 film adaptation. For those keeping track, that's the second Tilda reference in this gallery so far.
5. Yaddle, is that you?
One of Rick's ex-girlfriends commiserating on the train appears to be a female of Yoda's species from Star Wars--possibly a reference to Yaddle, a minor character who debuted in 1999's The Phantom Menace. You can see her in the back.
6. Total Rickall
There's also a three-breasted woman in the background (told you we'd get to it). She's a reference to the infamous similarly-well-endowed character in the 1990 Schwarzenegger-starring sci-fi classic Total Recall, a film that Rick and Morty also referenced with the title of the Season 2 episode "Total Rickall."
7. Episode title
The episode title "Never Ricking Morty" is a reference to the 1984 family fantasy movie The NeverEnding Story, which many people of Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland's generation watched as kids. The title applies to the train itself, which is designed to literally generate a series of never-ending stories, and in a meta sense to the act of creating this show, which Roiland and his co-creator Dan Harmon have famously had trouble with.
8. Interdimensional Cable
The Rick and Morty plot device Interdimensional Cable is referenced several times throughout this episode, including when Rick says, "If we wanted one-offs, we'd do Interdimensional Cable." In a meta sense, this episode could have turned into another series of disconnected vignettes showcasing the show's signature humor, such as the Season 1 episode Rixty Minutes, in which the Interdimensional Cable box made its debut.
9. "Cum gutters"
Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon discusses the term "cum gutters" in this "inside the episode" clip posted by Adult Swim. Beyond that, Google it at your own risk.
10. Roy 3: Ticket Guy
When the ticket guy guys through the train window, he wakes up at Blips and Chitz, the galactic arcade from the Season 2 episode Mortynight Run, where Morty lived a lifetime as a carpet salesman playing the game Roy.
11. The Story Circle
According to this diagram, the Story Train is a literal story circle, referencing Dan Harmon's method of structuring stories in a circle or "embryo." Here's a YouTube video where he explains it.
12. Return of Birdperson
The first scene after the commercial break is a total nonsequitur: a musical number featuring Rick and Birdperson, who made his debut in the Season 1 finale, "Ricksy Business."
13. The Musical Room
Back on the train, the previous scene is revealed to have been a vignette being relayed in a train car dedicated entirely to musicals for some reason. The characters here reference several real-world musical plays, including Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Hairpsray, and possibly something Shakespearean (the alien with the white ruff collar on the right). In addition, there are posters on the wall behind the stage referencing the musical The Sound of Music (here, The Sound of Rick), as well as musical Rick and Morty moments including Rick Getting Schwifty from Season 2’s "Get Schwifty," Morty and Fart from "Mortynight Run," and Tiny Rick playing guitar in Season 2’s "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez."
14. Non-Diagetic Reality
The term "diagetic" basically anything within the story itself. It's normally used to refer to "diagetic sound"--that is, sound that comes from a source that's within the world of the story being told. For example, the band playing in the restaurant in Kill Bill Vol. 1 (which itself is full of Easter eggs and references) is producing diagetic music. In the case of "Never Ricking Morty," Rick is using the term to convey the opposite: a non-diagetic side story taking place outside the bounds of the story he's in. This episode takes meta jokes to a new level.
15. The Bechdel Test
Rick mentions the Bechdel Test, a well-known standard that was proposed in 1985 by illustrator and cartoonist Alison Bechdel. As Rick explains, the test measures female representation in works of fiction: If two named women have a conversation at any point that isn't about a man, the work passes the Bechdel test. However, Bechdel probably didn't have Summer and Beth shooting rainbow lasers from their vaginas in mind at the time.
16. The Notorious RBG
Morty tries his best, but unsurprisingly, given that he's a 14-year-old boy, he simply can't remember the name of feminist icon Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
17. Story Lord
Story Lord, who Rick describes as "Matrix Space Frasier" (mixing references to the 1999 sci-fi classic The Matrix and the NBC sitcom Frasier, which debuted in 1993), is voiced by Paul Giamatti, who you might recognize from movies and shows like Sideways, Billions, and 12 Years a Slave, and even the video game Ratchet and Clank.
18. Talk About Meta
When Storylord describes "spiraling through the multiverse burping semi-improvised dialogue about how nothing matters so we may as well pull out our ****s and rub them on Fate's glaring teeth like we're brushing Fate's teeth but we're using your gross, dirty ****" he might as well be describing Rick's life in general and this show as a whole--not that we're complaining.
One of the "non-diagetic stories" that occurs when Rick and Morty get thrust outside the train window involves Rick appearing as an aging scientist doing experiments with a teenaged sidekick. It's not much beyond that, but if you're inclined to, you can read this as a reference to Back to the Future, in which Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown teams up with Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly to travel through time.
20. Beyond the Fifth Wall
Storylord threatens to send Rick and Morty "beyond the fifth wall," which is a more obscure version of breaking the fourth wall, which this show does frequently. Breaking the fourth wall is when characters acknowledge that they're in a story, while breaking the fifth wall is apparently when characters acknowledge that they're being played by actors, sometimes including references to past characters those actors have played, and can include other, even more complex digressions from normal storytelling.
21. Abradolf Lincler and the Party Kid
Two of the characters who appear in this increasingly complex segment are Abradolf Lincler and the party kid from Season 1's finale, "Ricksy Business." The latter had appeared as a background character even earlier than that.
22. Snowball's Revenge
Part of this montage includes Snowball, Morty's dog who Rick turned sentient in the Season 1 episode "Lawnmower Dog," fighting an army of cats.
In the same scene, Rick fights Phoenixperson, the reconstructed version of Birdperson who appeared in the stinger at the end of "The Rickshank Rickdemption."
24. Summer and Tammy
Meanwhile, Summer has a lightsaber battle with Tammy, her high school friend, Birdperson's lover, and a deep cover agent for the Galactic Federation.
25. Army of Ricks
This Army of Ricks plays directly against audience hopes and expectations for this show. Ever since the Season 1 episode "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind" introduced the Citadel of Ricks, there's been a Chekhov's gun just waiting to go off, with Evil Morty expected to pull the trigger. Speaking of which:
26. Evil Morty
This is not the return that Rick and Morty fans had hoped Evil Morty would make--not with the fruition of a grand evil plan to take over all reality, but in a non-canon scene designed to break continuity and demolish the fourth and fifth walls. That said, it was hilarious and we loved it.
Among Evil Morty's forces are Gazorpians, an alien species that debuted in the Season 1 episode "Raising Gazorpazorp."
The army's other flank is composed of Meeseeks, a Rick and Morty character who needs no introduction. They're a fan favorite who first appeared in the Season 1 episode "Meeseeks and Destroy."
29. Bible characters
Not all of these Bible-themed character are specific references, but some are, including the vegetables, which are poking fun at VeggieTales, a Christian propaganda cartoon series that debuted in 1993. Crossy and Biblesaurus appear to be made up for the show, while the blue and yellow bible is a reference to Psalty the Singing Songbook, which is a rabbit hole you probably don't want to go down.
30. The Citadel of Ricks gift shop
The Citadel of Ricks is a shadow that's been hanging over this show since Season 1. That said, it's nice to know it's not all doom and gloom over there--the gift shop seems well stocked with impressive knick-knacks.
31. Five Characters in Search of a Twilight Zone Reference
In the end, it turns out all these characters--including Jesus Christ--were simply action figures on the Story Train. Twilight Zone buffs out there will recognize this twist as an homage to the classic 1961 episode "Five Characters in Search of an Exit," in which the characters turn out to be toys in a barrel.
32. God's name
Story Lord tells Jesus that his father's name, Yahweh, is a portmanteau of the names of two precursor gods from the Mesopotamian and Sumerian pantheons. This is too complicated to break down in this list. Seriously, try Googling it.
33. The Virus
It becomes clear that Roiland put the finishing touches on this episode relatively recently--certainly within the last month--when Rick remarks that "nobody's out there shopping with this f***ing virus." What is this, South Park?
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