Is Rick And Morty Based On Back To The Future Movie?

Here's the answer!

By Manisha Priyadarshini

September 3, 2021

Just a while ago, a new promo clip for Rick and Morty live action was released featuring Christopher Lloyd as Rick Sanchez.

Ever since the show came out, fans have been wondering whether Rick And Morty is based on Back To The Future movie that was released back in 1985.

With the announcement of Christopher Lloyd joining the team for a live-action episode and all the previous references for Back To The Future we have observed in the show, it’s not hard to connect the dots between the two.

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OFFICIAL TRAILER #3: Rick and Morty Season 5

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It is true that the basic plot of Rick and Morty was conceived out of Justin Roiland’s earlier Channel 101 ideas titled The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti. And this cartoon started out as a parody of Back to the Future.

The humor in Doc and Mharti was much cruder and simplistic. But the core premise and the voices remain the same. One would question why a random teenager would hang out with a mad scientist anyway. But by the time Rick and Morty shaped up, their relationship evolved beyond that and they become grandfather and grandson in the show.

If you watch the journey of Rick and Morty as well as Doc and Mharti, it’s not hard to figure out that the relationship between Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith is similar to Doc Brown and Marty McFly from Back to the Future.

However, Roiland’s idea added a lurid twist to the original theme of Back to the Future. There was a point in Roiland’s career where he was simply daring lawyers to come after him taking a dig at big studios. And the X-rated Doc and Mharti pretty much proves this point.

Even though the final form of Rick and Morty is now safe from the legal and PR nightmare that could arise from Roiland’s original cartoon, we can still see some of the raw energy in the voice-overs of the characters, especially for Rick with his random burps.

The Hidden References To Back To The Future

If you have watched Back to the Future, you can pick up some of the references in Rick and Morty. Here are a few of them:

1. The names

This is the biggest clue and hard to miss. Even though the show has come a long way from its origin which was a lewd, crude little short film called Doc and Mharti — The names are still the same and it matches Doc Brown and Marty McFly from the movie.

2. The time-traveling device

Apart from the classic mad scientist hair and incredible talent for creating an array of gadgets, we can definitely draw some parallels between the movie and the show. They both create time-traveling devices as Rick has the gun with fluid that powers it whereas Doc develops the Flux Capacitor in the movie.

3. Morty wearing Marty’s puffed red jacket

We have already seen the concept of numerous Ricks and Morties from different universes. So does the same principle apply to Doc and Marty. Alternatively, one can also ask if Doc and Marty are the alternate versions of Rick and Morty. Here’s one such reference to this concept:

In the “The Ricklantis Mixup” episode, we can see one of the background Morties wearing the red puffed jacket which is similar to Marty’s jacket in Back to the Future.

And this is just one of the examples. There have been multiple other references to the movie in the Rick and Morty show. So it’s hard to deny that there is some connection between the two.

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Manisha Priyadarshini

Manisha: A technology enthusiast who enjoys gaming and writing about it. Also Manisha: A couch potato who loves to binge on anime, memes and food.

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