Over the course of three seasons, Rick and Morty has gone to great lengths to convince us that Jerry is objectively pathetic. Even though things went a bit better for him in the finale, the show did get one last dig in the form of Jerry's robe. On the back, you can see the Chinese characters "?" -- which literally translates to "weak."
Why did Jerry buy a robe like that? Knowing him, he probably saw some Chinese writing and thought it looked cool. The store attendant probably told Jerry it meant "mysterious." Typical Jerry.
Seems like we learn something new about Rick every episode. He doesn't grow so much as a character as he just adds to his ball of flaws and hang-ups. This week we found out one of the few things Rick is afraid of: pirates.
It's a silly, random gag that you kind of forget after they jump to the next scene, but let's back up a minute. Where have we seen pirates in Rick and Morty before?
Back in the first season's Fantastic Voyage/Innerspace/Jurassic Park spoof "Anatomy Park," Rick was hung up on an attraction called Pirates of the Pancreas. Nobody else really saw the appeal besides him, and now we know why -- because Rick is terrified of pirates, and he thinks that would make for an excellent amusement park ride. Looking at it that way, Pirates of the Pancreas would probably go great next to The Tunnel of Lasting Bonds with Loved Ones.
The fact that Minecraft was part of the episode does not count as a cool easter egg or a hidden detail, no matter what YouTube videos that are trying to pad out their watch time will tell you. But Rick and Morty cut a little deeper, referencing one of the most popular games in the world while they weren't actually talking about it.
Remember when the Army sets up their own rinky dink portal? One of the soldiers activates it with a lighter.
As it so happens, igniting a gate with a small amount of fire is exactly how you activate a portal in Minecraft.
Our time in the Rick and Morty-ized Minecraft world was brief, and that's for a reason -- as Rick noted, it's been done.
"Informative Murder Porn" is the Minecraft-heavy South Park episode Rick is referring to here. It happened to air on October 2, 2013, almost exactly four years before this Rick and Morty episode.
Between this and Mr. Poopybutthole's eerily accurate prediction, it's almost as though the production team knows what the hell they're doing.
Rick and Morty's producers, animators and writers seem to find a way to sneak into random episodes as background characters, and The Rickchurian Mortydate has yet another in a long line of creative cameos. The guy at the beginning of the episode mopping up the Kennedy Sex Tunnels appears to be Mike McMahan, one of the show's writers. Work hard, kids, and you too can eventually get killed by some kind of alien Goo-Ga.
The gun that the President uses to whip Rick around the room kinda looks like the Gravity Gun from the Half-Life games. I could waste more time here but that's all the context you really need. It's neat! Let's move on.
Yes, it was a little disappointing to see Mr. Poopybutthole in the after-credits stinger instead of, say, Evil Morty. But it was kinda nice to get a peek into MPB's private life, now that he's started a family. Peeking at his photos, it appears as though members of Mr. Poopybutthole's species are born with those little top hats on.
In addition to his wife and kid, Mr. Poopybutthole has posted up some pictures of the Smith/Sanchez family, including one picture of him and Rick that we've seen before.
The background is a bit different, but that same picture can be found in Mr. Poopybutthole's home and on Beth's fridge (as we saw last episode). This might be one of those things that's a result of animators re-using assets, but it's nice continuity all the same.
If you're looking for easter eggs and hidden references in this episode, the Rick/President fight is jam-packed. There are so many little details obscured by their hectic brawl that you absolutely have to go frame-by-frame to catch everything. While the fight is going on beneath the White House, the most noticeable background gag is the moon landing set, seen here above (behind Rick).
But if you pause just at the right moment while Rick and the President are rocketing up through the floors, you can see some disturbing stuff. For just a couple frames, what appears to be the site of a demonic ritual can be seen.
Just a few frames after this, we see a skeleton between the floorboards that looks a hell of a lot like Tupac Shakur, pistol necklace and all.
Backing up, you can see even more of the government's dirty laundry just a few seconds earlier. While Rick is dodging missile fire, you can see the "fake" moon lander.
A handful of frames later, a nearby convertible goes up in flames; looking closely at the blood spatter on the back and the flags up front, and it becomes clear that this is part of the (possibly staged) JFK assassination.
It's hard to read here, but the boxes next to the car read "JUMBO MAGIC BULLETS," a reference to the assassination conspiracy theory popularized by the Oliver Stone movie "JFK."
And because we've reached that point, as a nation, there's also a staged diorama of the World Trade Center towers.
That one's more than a little dark and kind of ludicrous, but the last faked historical event brings it back to just hilarious.
Yep, that's Washington Crossing the Delaware, a famous moment in American history that was apparently filmed on a soundstage hundreds of years ago, the remnants of which the US keeps in a basement under the White House. Only in Rick and Morty would you read that sentence and say "Yeah, I buy it."