Rick And Morty Season 4 Episode 9: 24 Biblical (And Other) References We Broke Down So You Don't Have To
This week on Rick and Morty, we finally found out whether Rick is more powerful than God.
Series co-creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon are no strangers to Biblical references, but Rick and Morty Season 4, Episode 9, "Childrick of Mort," was filled with more New Testament parables and Old Testament wrath than your average Sunday School session. Even Jerry got in on the omnipotent action this week, briefly gaining his own god powers, and--as Rick points out--doing basically nothing of worth with them.
This week, as Jerry tried to make camping fun and Beth and Rick played a planet-sized version of SimCity, Morty and Summer had their own adventure--which mostly consisted of getting high and playing video games (sort of). Of course, it all worked out in the end, which is more than you can say for some darker Rick and Morty episodes.
Just in case you missed any of the Biblical references, we broke them all down for you below. Finally, my 14 miserable years of Catholic school education pay off.
And if you're looking for more education, listen to GameSpot's weekly TV series and movies-focused podcast, You Should Be Watching. With new episodes premiering every Wednesday, you can watch a video version of the podcast over on GameSpot Universe or listen to audio versions on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, and Apple Podcasts.
1. Episode Title
This week's episode title, "Childrick of Mort," is a reference to the 2006 dystopian movie Children of Men (based on a 1992 novel) about a world in which children are no longer born.
Summer is upset she can't go to Mike Triscuit's spring break "drug party," noting that he's "already watching Euphoria to pregame." Euphoria is an HBO series starring Zendaya that premiered in 2019. It features heavy drug use.
3. Faraday Box
Rick builds a Faraday box, also known as a Faraday cage or Faraday shield, in order to prevent his "sci-fi phone" from receiving calls. The device, which blocks electromagnetic signals, was invented by Michael Faraday in 1836. The character Daniel Faraday on Lost was named after him.
4. Talking Planets
Sentient, speaking planets are a common trope in certain corners of fiction, from Marvel's Ego the Living Planet to The Fifth Element's Mr. Shadow.
Rick calls the planet he f***ed "Gaia," which he may actually intend as a term of respect; in Greek mythology, Gaia is the personification of the planet Earth and the mother of all life. She also birthed the mythical Titans, so Rick might be implying that any offspring born of this union might be formidable.
6. I Am
When the creepy Rick golems are spewed forth from the planet's, uh, orifice, they exclaim "I am" before striking the ground and crumbling to pieces. This may be a Biblical reference to the phrase "I am that I am," which God utters to Moses.
Summer wishes she was "microdosing" with her friends. The term, which refers to the consumption of smaller-than-normal amounts of psychedelic drugs on a regular basis, became popular around 2018.
8. Sega Dreamcast
Surprisingly, Jerry gets the name and manufacturer of a video game console right. Sega made the Dreamcast between 1998 and 2001. It's not exactly a timely reference, but we'll give it to him.
9. Tic Tac Toe
Inside Rick and Beth's parenting factory, various displays can be seen in the background. One is the old-timey game Tic Tac Toe, which people used to play on napkins when they were bored, before everyone started carrying supercomputers around in their pockets.
Rick's clay children are being sorted into three categories here: one group that believes the Earth is round, another that subscribes to the insanely stupid conspiracy theory that the Earth is flat, and a third that has something to do with Lord of the Rings. Considering they're not even on Earth, these categories may simply refer to temperaments: "normal," idiots, and nerds.
11. Incest Porn
When the "therapists" in Rick's society factory start getting bored, he tasks Beth with increasing the population's supply of "incest porn." This real trend in porn has gained traction in recent years; here's a Vice article about it.
12. Mind Slug
When Summer and Morty are climbing into the crashed spaceship, Summer wonders whether its crew got "infected by a mind slug or something." We have no idea what a mind slug is, but it hasn't been mentioned in the series before (as far as we know). That said, there are "brain slugs" in Futurama.
13. A Generation Ship
A "generation ship," as Rick calls it, is one hypothetical alternative space travel method. The idea is that, if faster-than-light travel is physically impossible (contrary to what science fiction would have us believe), humanity will need to build ships so large and advanced that multiple generations will be able to live and travel on them for decades or even hundreds of years in order to reach faraway cosmic destinations. Here's an article about it on Universe Today.
14. The Circle of Life
When Rick refers to "the guy who sings Circle of Life" and "dresses up weird," he's referring to Elton John, the notably flamboyant, iconic musician who wrote the song "Circle of Life" for the Disney movie The Lion King.
15. A Staff
Rick tells, um, Reggie, we guess, "When I'm done with you, you'll need a staff to un-part your f***ing face." This is another Biblical reference--this time, to Moses using his staff to part the Red Sea so his people could escape from Egypt.
Apparently Rick's latest AI creation is simply a modified iteration of the Apple iOS virtual assistant, Siri. His version seems to work a lot better than mine.
17. Off-Brand Yahweh
Rick refers to Reggie the cloud-god as "off-brand Yahweh." Yahweh is a (somewhat) modern iteration of the Hebrew name for God.
18. Like Kid Rock F***ed Zeus
Rick dunks on Reggie by pointing out that he "looks like Kid Rock f***ed Zeus." Kid Rock is the musical artist popular during the late '90s and early 2000s (still active to this day), while Zeus is the Greek god of thunder and ruler of Mount Olympus. Rick is not wrong here.
The powers Reggie imparts to Jerry include the Biblical plagues, another reference to the story of Moses and his people's exodus from Egypt. Jerry also refers to himself as "Moses" and says he's "ready to burn some bush," another reference to a Bible story (and, in this case, an explicit double entendre).
20. Billy Ocean
Jerry tells Beth to "light some candles and put on the Billy Ocean" if god-like powers turn her on, referring to the Trinidadian-English R&B artist popular in the 1980s.
21. Choose Wisely
This scene looks a lot like the climactic scene in the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which is also full of Biblical references. Granted, that version ends differently.
22. Ask God for a Flood
Here's another Biblical reference: When Beth tells Jerry to "ask God for a flood," she's referring to the story of Noah's Ark, which Rick also mentions later when handing the spaceship keys to the remaining clay people. The story tells of the super rad time God spitefully drowned everyone and everything on Earth except for one family and a handful of animals because he felt like it. Somehow, this is the subject of countless children's books.
23. Stuffed Crust
Rick uses the somewhat gross phrase "stuffed your crust." Obviously, this is innuendo, but it's also a reference to both the crust of a planet (its outer layer) and stuffed crust pizza, which is pizza with cheese jammed into the crust. Yum.
24. Cast the First Stone
When Rick says "not to cast the first stone," he's referencing the New Testament story in which Jesus saves a woman from being stoned to death by proclaiming, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." The phrase has entered the common lexicon, but that's its origin.
Disclosure: ViacomCBS is GameSpot's parent company