There's a lot to love about Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon's runaway success show that is Rick and Morty. From the scrawling animation style and aliens of a testicular aesthetic to the hidden depths that lurk below the cleverly crafted characters, it's hard to find another animated show currently airing or streaming which can hold a candle to the widely loved phenomenon.
Some of the greatest things about Rick and Morty are contained within its subtleties. From the often quiet pop culture references that pepper the episodes to the hard hitting emotional moments that work because they're unexpected in amongst all the crude humor, it's a delicate balance to strike and thankfully the show hasn't burnt itself out yet.
But do you know what Rick Sanchez - one of the titular Rick and Morty characters - has in common with the anti-hero who just finally got his own film, Deadpool?
If you're an eagle eyed fan then you've probably noticed by now that there's something a bit off about Rick. Okay so to be fair there's a lot of things off about Rick, but one thing in particular aligns his character with that of the Merch with the Mouth.
That's right - it's the fourth wall breaking.
Rick is no stranger to breaking the fourth wall, and the series is littered with little throwaway jokes in which he acknowledges the fact that he exists as a fictional construct within a television show. Keeping in line with the tone of the show most of these nods are quite subtle rather than the more explicit references that you might see in Deadpool.
These nods are present throughout the run of the show, from Rick mentioning the www.rickandmorty.com website in the pilot episode to Mr. Poopybutthole's direct address to the audience in the post-credits scene of the Season 2 finale.
Whats your favourite fourth wall breaking scene in Rick and Morty? Here's ours.
S01E02: Lawnmower Dog
At the end of the episode, when Snowball / Snuffles and the rest of the super intelligent dogs leave Earth to go create their own planet Rick and Morty talk about what a world populated by dogs would be like:
Morty: "Wow! A whole world populated by intelligent dogs. I wonder what it'll be like, Rick."
Rick: "I think it will be great, Morty. You know... it could be developed in-into a very satisfying project for people of all ages. I mean, I'd watch it, Morty, for at least 11 minutes a pop. You know, may-maybe they'll do it board-driven."
Morty: "You know, that's a real comforting idea, Rick."
Rick. "Ah, what do you know, Morty? What do you know?"
Rick's comments in which he likens the concept of a world populated by dogs to the structure of a TV show is a reference to Dog World, a rejected show pilot pitched by Roiland to Cartoon Network.
S02E04: Total Rickall
During one of Rick's flashbacks in Total Rickall in which he freaks out about the low prices of limited edition Nintendo 3DS console systems he pops back into frame and addresses the audience with: "Nintendo, give me free stuff!"
This is both an obvious reference to product placement, but it also recalls this famous scene from Wayne's World.
S02E09: Look Who's Purging Now
The Yummy' Yums candy bars given to Rick and Morty towards the beginning of the episode by the mysteriously nice man on the Purge planet (who turns bloodthirsty once the sun goes down) come back into play right at the end when Rick lies to his grandson about the content of the bars to make him feel less guilty about his own violent tendencies.
In doing so he says:
"Remember those candy bars earlier that we got in the first act?"
We love this one because by mentioning "the first act" not only does Rick highlight his knowledge that he's in a TV show but also points out the construction of said show by acknowledging the existence of the three act model of the screenplay.