Rick & Morty: The Obscure Horror Movie Referenced In Never Ricking Morty – Screen Rant

Rick & Morty has pulled off obscure references, but one that most viewers missed out on was the nod to a '90s horror movie in Never Ricking Morty.

Rick & Morty have pulled off some hilariously obscure references throughout their 4 seasons, but one that most viewers missed out on was the nod to an obscure 90s horror movie in Never Ricking Morty. Community creator Dan Harmons anarchic animated sitcom Rick & Morty has become a runaway hit for Adult Swim, evolving from a raunchy spoof of Back to the Future into an ambitiously meta parody of everything from sci-fi tropes to Game of Thrones and its fans, to superhero movies and the Saw series, to television as a medium.

Rick & Morty is known for its ambitious movie parodies, but not all of the shows spoofs are entire episode-long tributes to famous movies like season 1s Jurassic Park riff 'Anatomy Park. Sometimes, Rick & Morty gives a subtle nod to a well-known movie and manages to discredit a long-held fan theory in the process, all in one split-second scene that a lot of viewers missed entirely.

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Just look at season 4s standout installment, the mind-bending-ly meta Never Ricking Morty. In this critically-acclaimed outing, the obscure 90s horror Jacobs Ladder got a shout out in a momentary scene thatsimultaneouslypoked fun at a discredited Rick & Morty fan theory. Theres a great, subtle moment during the title characters journeys through numerous (pointedly non-canon) futures, wherein Morty awakens from a coma on a stretcher in what looks like a mobile hospital in 60s Saigon. Its a blink-and-youll-miss-it reference to the cult psychological thrillerJacob's Ladder (like the same seasons later South Park nod), but its one that touches on a familiar theme for Rick & Morty: playfully dismissing fan theories.

1990s Jacobs Ladder saw Tim Robbins play a disturbed Vietnam veteran who returned home to the US from a traumatic tour of duty, only to find himself plagued by nightmarish visions of demons and bloody hospitals. The ending reveals that this is because he never actually left Vietnam, but instead his life since the war has been a dying dream in the moments he spent lying on the operating table bleeding out. Its a moving riff on Ambrose Bierces famous short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", and a great horror movie ending that has since been referenced and ripped-off countless times. The now-famous ending also gave rise to endless the protagonist is dying and this is all a dream fan theories.

For a fan-theory-spawning series likeRick & Morty specifically, the the entire show is all a dream and the main character is in a coma angle is one of few fan theories that the madcap series has never directly referenceduntil this episode jokingly kiboshed the idea by throwing it into this stream of non-canon riffs. The same montage sees Rick & Morty face-off against Evil Morty, crushing fans hopes that the character would prove to be a major antagonist by containing his only recent appearance within this pointedly non-canon segment. Rick & Mortys fandom may not have recognized Jacobs Ladder as the subject of this scenes one-second spoof, but it would be hard to miss the message that the series is dismissing most of the show's popular fan theories in one fell swoop and telling viewers they can't always predict what's coming next, so they might as well enjoy the story for its own sake.

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Rick & Morty: The Obscure Horror Movie Referenced In Never Ricking Morty - Screen Rant

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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