Rick and Morty is just about to kick off its fourth season, so now is a good a time as any to rewatch the first three seasons! One of the things that make the show so rewatchable, aside from the fact it is absolutely hysterical, is the amount of detail that is packed into each episode.
So much so, you might miss something even on your second or third go around. So today, let’s take a look at ten jokes that everybody — even fans — completely missed. Remember, nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s gonna die, come read an internet list!
10 Jerry’s Hat
The second episode of season three, “Rickmancing The Stone”, starts off with a pathetic Jerry — is there any other kind of Jerry? — trying to say goodbye to his children, who end up leaving him standing by himself whilst they jump into a portal with Rick to go on another adventure.
Jerry is seen wearing a ridiculous flat cap. It’s the same cap he wore the episode “Ricksy Business” as part of his Jack costume where he and Beth attend a Titanic-themed weekend. Maybe it’s to represent his sinking marriage, that fact that his uncoordinated clothes show he is lost without Beth, or that it just makes him look like a loser. To which the wind then whispers into his ear to punctuate his loneliness.
9 Gravity Falls
There are quite a few references in Rick and Morty to the Alex Hirsch created series Gravity Falls, but this one is probably the most obvious. In the Gravity Falls episode “Society Of The Blind Eye “ Stan loses a mug with a question mark, a notepad, and a pen through a universal portal.
Look closely in the scene from "Close Rick-counters Of The Rick Kind" and you can see those three exact items fall through one of many portals whilst the Citadel of Ricks are trying to hunt down the Rick of Earth-C137.
8 Rainbow Suspenders Guy
In the background of a few Rick and Morty scenes, you may be able to spot a familiar face. A character in a yellow top depicting an American football with roman numerals on it and rainbow suspenders, not too dissimilar from Robin William’s titular character from the show Mork and Mindy.
Rainbow suspenders guy appears in the episodes "Lawnmower Dog" kicking in the plane, in the back of the bus in "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind", opposing against the marriage of trunk people in "Rixty Minutes" and leaving the party in "Ricksky Business". Apparently, he was originally supposed to appear in other animated shows like Gravity Falls and Murder Police wearing different roman numeral which spelled out a code word, but, unfortunately, it never came to be.
7 Bus and Bottle
So you may notice that the bus Rainbow Suspenders Guy is sitting in the back of "Close Rick-counters Of The Rick Kind" is shaped like a bottle. Why? Well, in this episode, Rick and Morty hop through a variety of insane universes such as pizza’s sat in chairs ordering humans on the phone, phones sat on pizza’s ordering chairs on the human, etc. The reality that features the bottle bus, you see Rick and Morty pass a chair hobo in the background drinking from a bus.
6 Eric Stoltz Morty
Again, from "Close Rick-counters Of The Rick Kind", a variety of Morty’s from alternate dimensions are playing cards in one scene, which includes Eric Stoltz from Mask Morty. Eric Stoltz was famously originally cast as Marty McFly in Back To The Future, only to be re-cast with Michael J Fox after production had already begun. You can actually find these scenes on Youtube if you’re interested.
Anyway. Of course, this is a nod to Rick and Morty originally starting off as a webtoon called Doc and Marty, eventually changing their names for obvious legal reasons. You can also find Doc and Marty on Youtube, but be warned, it's not safe for work!
5 Mr. Meeseeks in Blips and Chitz!
“I’M MR. MEESEEKS, LOOK AT ME!” is a line shouted by most Rick and Morty fans thanks to the fan-favorite episode "Meeseeks and Destroy". Audiences have been clamoring for the return of the character, but if you look closely, you can actually see him in the Blips and Chitz arcade during the episode "Mortynight Run".
The concept of Mr. Meeseeks is that he appears out of a box, purely existing to help the person who summoned him with a request. Once that request is fulfilled, Meeseeks poofs away from existence. Just before Rick puts the helmet on Morty to play the game Roy: A Life Well Lived, you can see Mr. Meesseek’s helping an alien out with an arcade machine in the background. When Morty returns from the game, the alien hits the high score and Mr. Meeseeks vanishes, no doubt fulfilling his quest.
4 The Parasites
This one is so subtle yet utterly brilliant, and it explains how the parasite — which tricks the family into believing characters that don’t exist and only appears in happy memories during the episode "Total Rickall — actually makes it into the Smith household.
When a parasite is killed, you can see weird little pink lumps on their bodies. Back in the episode "Mortynight Run", Rick obtains green glowing rocks with the same strange pink lumps. At the beginning of "Total Rickall", you can see Rick dusting theses rocks, pink lump and all, into the bin! It was Rick’s fault, even though he tries to place the blame on Summer.
3 Seatbelt Switcharoo
Another running joke in Rick and Morty is that whenever our two main protagonists ride in a vehicle together, Morty always puts his seatbelt on whereas Rick doesn’t bother. This tiny detail is a perfect representation of each character and their traits.
In the episode "The Ricklantis Mixup" (or "Tales From The Citadel"), we see various versions of Rick and Morty live out their lives on the Citadel Of Ricks. One of these pairings, a couple of police officers, sees a veteran, hard-edge Morty take a new recruit Rick under his wing. When they sit in their cop car, the seatbelt dynamic is swapped, with Morty keeping it off and Rick putting it on.
2 Paul Is Dead
In the opening of "Morty’s Mind Blowers", Rick and Morty are being chased through a staircase world — similar to that of M.C Esher’s painting "Relativity" — by a character similar to that of Neil Gaiman's Sandman whilst holding a truth tortoise. The tortise seems to speak gibberish, but play it backwards and you can hear him actually say, “I am a Beatle, Paul is dead.”
This is, of course, a reference to the Beatles conspiracy that the original Paul McCartney had died and was replaced by a lookalike, and that the band had placed clues like a reverse message during The White Album's track "Revolution 9".
1 The Moon Man Conspiracy
Finally, we have the moon man conspiracy, designed to delight any fake moon landing theorists.
Again in "Morty’s Mind Blowers", Morty has a horrific erased memory of a time he may have driven an innocent man to commit suicide, all because he mistook a blur on his telescope for his new sinister-looking teacher, Mr. Gordan Lunas, as a man who lived on the moon. First of all, we have the Moon Man’s car number plate, which reads SATF1V3, which is a reference to Saturn Five, the craft which took the Neil Armstrong and crew to the moon in real life.
Then, the Moon Man’s house number is 237, the dreaded room from The Shining, which was directed by Stanley Kubrick, who supposedly helped faked the moon landing footage. At last, there are the images of the Moon Man from the start of the episode compared to the same shot with the blur at the end of the scene. And like a good tinfoil hat wearer will tell you when discussing the moon landing photos, "the shadows don't match up."
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for more background jokes and easter eggs when Rick and Morty return for season 4 this month!