It's no secret that there are a ton of ridiculously smart Rick and Morty jokes - the whole show is basically about a man so brilliant he's virtually an omniscient god. What's even more impressive than the scientific principles they totally nail is their ability to make such things funny. Of course, not all the Rick and Morty jokes that went over your head are based on obscure scientific theories, even something as simple as a dog named Snowball is actually a clever literary reference. Like The Simpsons before them, Rick and Morty has some of the smartest jokes on television.
While referential humor isn't brilliant and hilarious of its own accord, Rick and Morty has an impressive track record of making such jokes just that. In fact, their referential humor is so complex it occasionally spawns fan theories.
If Your Wife Says "Sis Sempur Calumnium" To You, She Just Burned You And She's Probably A Rick And Morty Fan
While no one's accusing Rick and Morty of being feminist, there's just something about Latin that makes it inherently intellectual (at least on a superficial level). So in "Raising Gazorpazorp," in which the stairs of the exclusively female society read, "Sis Sempur Calumnium," Latin for "You're Always Wrong," it is a joke that is both brilliant and a touch misogynistic. Plus, it's hilarious.
Jerry's Robe Is Just Weak. Literally.
Jerry's robe, which he wears in numerous episodes, features the Chinese character ruò, which roughly translates to "weak." Jerry's weakness of character is one of the greatest obstacles in his marriage, especially coupled with Beth's domineering nature, resulting in an unhealthy dynamic of co-dependence between the two.
What's so brilliant about this Jerry jibe is that the robe itself with its Chinese character is symbolic enough, representing Jerry's pathological need to look cool, regardless of whether or not he understands the contract he's entering into.
This Hateful Sign Switches For Just A Frame
In "Something Ricked This Way Comes," Summer and Rick team up to get super buff and beat the living Hell out of Summer's former employer, Satan. They take the time to beat up a few other folks who deserve an ass-whooping, like a homophobic protestor holding up the sign "God Hates F*gs."
For a frame, the sign changes to "God Hates You." The sign changes just as the hateful protester sees a swole Summer heading in his direction. There are a fair amount of God jokes in Rick and Morty - most of which paint religion in a negative light. Harmon and co. point out that if a god exists, he hates the people who holds up those signs.
Snowball The Orwellian Lawnmower Dog
"Lawnmower Dog" is the second episode of the series and contains a subtle literary reference that perhaps even the best high school AP English students may have missed. When Rick builds a device to boost the intelligence of the family dog Snuffles, it's not long before things get out of hand.
Snuffles builds an EXO-Suit for himself and seeks to subjugate humanity, renaming himself Snowball. Snowball is the name of the pig in George Orwell's Animal Farm who shares Snuffles's views on humanity, wholeheartedly believing in an animal uprising.