Rick and Morty has so many references, y’all.
So many. Forever and forever a hundred references. Including a cliff-hanging jab at Golden Age Batman nestled in a recreation of a scene from Batman: The Animated Series.
The shot of Rick and Morty tied to a gigantic piano with a mad organist cackling in the background made for one of the wildest, most instantly exciting visuals of all the trailers leading up to last season. In the end, it turned out to be little more than a post-credits gag tacked onto “Pickle Rick” (an episode that was already trolling us hard anyway). We didn’t get nearly enough time with Concerto. (Or Jaguar, for that matter.) But, as intrepid Redditor Capgunkid figured out, the scene plays off a similar one from the “Legends of the Dark Knight” episode of Batman: The Animated Series where The Joker ties up Batman and Robin in a similar piano-themed trap (“Roll, Robin!”).
Even as a huge Batman fan, I’ll admit I didn’t make the connection the first time around. The crazy thing is that the sequence of Batman and Robin endlessly rolling to safety itself pays homage to a scene from the Adam West Batman TV series in an episode called “The Dead Ringers” where guest villain Chandell (played by—who else?—Liberace!) sends the caped crusaders on a conveyor belt through a massive pianola.
What’s more, the animated version is also doffing its cap to Dick Sprang’s Golden Age comic book style and love of comically huge props through the plot device of children telling stories about what they think Batman is like. It allowed the usually dark show a way to thank Sprang, West, and Filmation for paving the way by trying on their style for a while.
And then Rick and Morty did it, too. Roll, Morty!
Images: Adult Swim, Warner Bros. Animation, DC