Creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have stated that they conceived a backstory for Rick with no intention of ever revealing it, because they are of the opinion that too many shows "jumped the shark" by revealing too many details. Yet, they have admitted to putting in clues to one of Rick's dark secrets since the beginning, and later confirmed that a fan had correctly guessed the secret in an online forum. By a process of elimination, fans have been able to narrow it down to four fan theories: Rick is aware that he is a fictional character; Rick's constant drinking isn't alcoholism, he is drinking an extract that keeps him super-intelligent; Rick is actually an aged Morty who traveled back in time; and finally: Rick's 'original Morty' is dead, and has been replaced by a copy from a parallel dimension.
During the early stages of production, Bryan Cranston auditioned for the role of Jerry.
When characters are confused or dumbfounded, their lips droop down their faces. This is an homage to The Ren and Stimpy Show, in which Ren would do the same thing.
The clock in Rick's Garage lab always shows two o'clock. Except Season 1 Episode 3 where it shows 3pm.
Any time a fake commercial appears, they are single audio takes of Justin Roiland improvising as he stutters and laughs throughout them.
May 10th, 2018: Adult Swim renewed Rick and Morty for an additional 70 episodes. If the show continues in the format it built for seasons 2 and 3, 70 episodes would most likely mean 7 more seasons. This would bring the show's total season count to 10.
Justin Roiland (co-creator of the show and the voice of Morty) said in an interview that Chris Parnell, who plays Jerry Smith, nails his lines on his first takes. Due to normal voice recording precautions of animation, Parnell has to record at least thirty more takes. Even so, Roiland said that he almost always chooses Parnell's first takes.
Sarah Chalke, the voice of Beth, can burp on command. Justin Roiland has been jealous of this because he plays Rick, a character that needs to constantly burp.
On the shelf in Rick's garage workshop, there's a box labeled "TIME TRAVEL STUFF". Still, Justin Roiland has stated in panels that the show is not going to utilize time travel as a plot device. Multiple dimensions and space travel, yes, but no time travel.
Dan Harmon created this show (along with Justin Roiland) during the time he was fired from his previous show, Community (2009).
Rick's catchphrase "Wubba Lubba Dub-Dub" was accidentally conceived by series creator Justin Roiland who also voices Rick. While doing a recording, a scene was described in the script where Rick would be spinning around on the floor and yelling "Woo woo woo" in Arsenio Hall fashion. Roiland, who is dyslexic and often misinterprets lines, simply improvised it as a failed Arsenio Hall imitation by Rick. The makers liked "Wubba Lubba Dub-Dub" so much that it stuck with them. They later decided that it means "I am in great pain. Please help me".
The title characters of the show are based on the main characters from Justin Roiland's animated short "The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti."
Morty is generally accepted as being based on Marty from Back to the Future (1985). In "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind," one Rick has a Morty who looks like Eric Stoltz character in the movie Mask. Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty in Back to the Future (1985).
Chris Parnell, the man who plays Jerry, was on Saturday Night Live for six seasons, and was one of only two people to have been fired and then rehired by Lorne Michaels.
On April 1st, 2018, Adult Swim aired a surprise Rick and Morty short called the Bushworld Adventures that has a much different take on the characters. The short was written and produced by youtuber Michael Cusack.
The vehicle driven by Jerry is the Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon's Vacation (1983).
David Cross as the leader of a group of aliens uncomfortable with nudity, in this show, seems to have something in common with his character, Tobias Fünke, in Arrested Development (2003).
The main universe in the show's story line, "C-137", might be a reference to Cesium-137, a byproduct of nuclear fission and the most problematic environmental hazard after nuclear reactor accidents. In at least one episode Rick uses cesium against a powerful enemy.
"Unacceptable" and "the thing, the thing" have both made it into the show; both are lines from the Adventure Time (2010) character The Earl of Lemongrab, also voiced by Justin Roiland.
Alex Hirsch, the creator of the animation series Gravity Falls (2012), made a guest appearance on this show in the second season episode, "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez." He voiced a character called "Toby Matthews."
In the episode "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez," the drawing Tiny Rick draws that says "HELP ME" has a drawing of "Doc" from "The Real Adventures of Doc and Mharti," above the writing.
Unlike most animated shows, Rick and Morty's seasons aren't done simultaneously. Instead, the seasons are announced after they're finished and each season is usually separated by two years. Other animated shows post 2010 tend to separate seasons by a few months.
Morty's voice is very reminiscent of Michael J. Fox's when he was younger and especially in Back to the Future. Rick and Morty was based on an original cartoon where Rick was "Doc" and Morty was "Mharti".
The last thing that Rick says to Beth before his suicide attempt is No, he's not going to teleport somewhere and never come back.
In season 2 episode 1, the fourth dimensional beings are a reference to the creatures from The Langoliers, a made for tv miniseries based on a Stephen King novel of the same name, in which the characters get caught outside of time and encounter bizarre creatures that devour reality after time has moved on.
In an episode where Rick and Morty are playing Minecraft, they have to stop and go on an adventure. Morty asks, "What about Minecraft?" with Rick responding, "South Park did it 4 years ago." Morty follows by saying, "Wow! They're really fast!" and Rick relies, "Yeah, or we're really slow." This is a reference to the fact that episodes of South Park are made during the week before they air and episodes of Rick and Morty aren't aired until the entire season is complete.
In the pilot episode, when Rick and Morty are in line at the intergalactic customs, in front of them is a Ferengi from the Star Trek universe.
Almost any time Rick's spaceship door is opened, cans and bottles are heard falling out.
Keith David played the President of the United States in the episode "Get Schwifty," which is a step up from Vice-President Keith David in Saints Row IV.
There was an exhibit similar to "Anatomy Park" at London's Millenium Dome when it first opened.
The picture of sunflowers in the Smith house is a parody of "Vase With Fifteen Sunflowers" by Vincent van Gogh.
In this show, Sarah Chalke voices Beth, who is a blonde doctor. In Scrubs (2001) and How I Met Your Mother (2005), she also played the role of a doctor, and is blonde.
A strange-looking helmet can be seen on Rick's work bench in many episodes. He can even be seen fiddling with the helmet at the beginning of the episode Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender. The presence of said helmet has led to a dark new fan theory that is based around the urban legend of the suicide helmet, in which a troubled teenager builds a helmet rigged with shotgun shells that he uses to commit suicide. Rick's helmet contains several red tubes protruding from its surface that look unsettlingly like shotgun shells. Rick has had many close calls with death over the show's run, but given his unstable and often highly depressive mindset, it is believable yet very unfortunate that he would willingly build a device for such a purpose. Others have argued that the helmet looks a bit like the the brainwave-analyzing helmet worn by Doc Brown in Back to the Future (1985) as he tries to reads Marty's mind. Given that the show is based on Doc and Marty from Back to the Future, this theory isn't too far-fetched either (and the helmet seems to contain a set of goggles, which seems a bit unnecessary if its purpose is to kill the wearer).
Along with a rough version of Morty's caricature, a rough version of both Rick and Morty's voices can be heard in the second to last episode of "Mr. Sprinkles." Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland used the pseudonymous John Dreams and Larry Dune, respectively, for the two-minute eighth episode show. It was described by critics as "Heavy Handed."
In the episode "Raising Gazorpazorp," the ruler Mar-Sha and the other Gazorpian with her are voiced by Claudia Black and Virginia Hey, respectively. Black and Hey also both played leading roles in the science fiction series Farscape (1999).
The picture of a running horse with a horseman in the Smith house is a parody of "The Horse in Motion" by Eadweard Muybridge.
In regards to scenes shown during the different opening sequences for each season, only about half of the scenes showed are featured in episodes during that specific seasion. The only constant of the opening sequence is Rick ditching Morty through a porthole to escape attacking aliens and Rick, Morty, and Summer escaping an alien in pursuit of Rick's car.
Community stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash, and John Oliver all lend their voice talents to former Community show runner Dan Harmon. Keith David was also in Community before its demise.
The picture of the umbrella in the Smith house is a parody of "Hegel's Holiday" by René Magritte.
Chris Parnell (Jerry) and Sarah Chalke (Beth) previously voiced characters in the animated special 'Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice.'
This show reunited Virginia Hey and Claudia Black, since they had (mostly) retired from acting since Farscape (1999).