Rick and Morty‘s “The Vat of Acid Episode” was all one giant reference. It found inspiration in ’80s movies like Batman that randomly had huge vats of acid everywhere. But a giant tub of killer neon liquid wasn’t the installment’s only allusion. Nerdist Newshas all of the many Easter eggs and homages to other famous shows and movies from one of Rick and Morty‘s darkest—and funniest—episodes.
“The Vat of Acid Episode” directly referenced another animated sci-fi classic, Futurama. But that wasn’t the only nod to Matt Groening’s series. Rick and Morty‘s main plot was similar to the Futurama series finale. Thanks to Rick’s “save” button, Morty kept going “back” to fix his mistakes. That was a lot like Futurama‘s final episode, when Fry stole the Professor’s new device that sent the entire universe back in time 10 seconds. Initially that led to disaster for Fry, but because Futurama was not Rick and Morty, Fry got a much happier ending.
The episode also featured another direct reference. Morty and his new girlfriend ate dead passengers to survive after their plane crashed into a mountain. That’s exactly what happened to a Uruguayan rugby team in 1972 when their plane crashed in the Andes. Their story of survival and cannibalism was told in 1993’s Alive.
Yeah, the episode’s most morbid sequence was even darker than some might have realized.
You also might have missed the subtle South Park homage during Morty’s battle to live. He dressed just like South Park‘s Kenny. “Oh my god they almost killed Morty! You bastards!”
Another quick ode to a fellow animated all-timer was spotted when Morty pushed (then helped) an old man in a wheelchair. That took place in front of Moe’s Tavern from The Simpsons. Does Moe Szyslak live in that universe? There’s literally no way to know, and yet we’re going to say “yes, absolutely.”
The episode also featured two great nods to cult classics. Rick was working on the death sphere from 1979’s Phantasmat the start of the episode. His lab also had a vial of ooze labeled “T-G-I-R.” It was just like the one from 1991’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
You know, now that we think about it, movies used to have a lot more ooze in general. They also used to have a lot more vats of acid. You don’t see either very much now. It’s only fitting Rick and Morty‘s episode about dangerous green liquid was full of references.
Featured Image: Adult Swim