As we hit Rick & Morty’s 10-year anniversary date at the end of 2023, it feels like a perfect time to see just how far the show has reached into popular culture and what legacy it has created.
In this article, we’ll look at all the places that Rick & Morty has shown up in the wider world, what influence it has already had, and the way it is likely to be seen in the future.
A Pop Culture Phenomenon
Considering how niche the original concept was, it’s fair to say that Rick & Morty has come remarkably close to being a mainstream name. It has cropped up in other adult-oriented animated shows like Family Guy and American Dad, as well as the show to which it owes a lot of inspiration, South Park. In the case of American Dad, it was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance of Pickle Rick, one of the most enduring memes to come from the show.
On that note, Rick & Morty is something of a meme factory and has taken over certain corners of the Internet. It’s hard to find dedicated Internet denizens who don’t know what Get Schwifty means, won’t recognize the Pickle Rick mentioned above, or don’t cringe at a horde of bots yelling ‘Wubba Wubba Dub Dub’. That’s not even counting the Szechuan Sauce incident, where Mcdonald’s was pressured into recreating a promotional sauce from well over a decade ago.
The Merchandise Empire
The unique characters and styles of Rick & Morty can now be found on pretty much any product imaginable. Aside from having its own official store page packed with clothing, shoe lines, and even home decor options, it has also cropped up on a wide range of other licensed products such as the Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality game. It has even entered the world of casino games, with not one but three separate slot game releases. These are not small releases either, with most online mobile casinos such as MrQ in the UK keeping them in their libraries.
On the weirder end of the scale, there are even items such as underwear, bizarre plumbus earrings, and even a human-sized plushie Pickle Rick. In fact, the amount of Pickle Rick items out there is incredible, with the character taking on more forms than should be allowed in many cases.
The Future of the Show
The showrunners still have more than half of their 70-episode order to get through, so even with new seasons being inevitable at this point, many fans are looking at what the legacy will be in years to come. The tricky part with edgy, random shows like these is that they can often get a bit stale after a while, with the biggest case being one of Rick & Morty‘s biggest influences, Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
The hope is that the focus on character development within the show is enough to keep viewers coming back, as everyone knows that the memes will eventually run out. The good news is that recent, emotionally-charged stories seem to be doing just the trick.