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This Is Why Biblesaurus From Rick And Morty Looks So Familiar

Rick and Morty is a show created by and for the Easter egg-obsessed. While the point of the series has always been to tell a good story and skewer a few sci-fi tropes along the way, the entire series is peppered with sly nods to nerd culture deep cuts that reward repeat viewing. On their way through a fourth season, Rick and Morty dropped perhaps its most reference-heavy episode ever. 

"Never Ricking Morty" found the title characters on a space train the sole purpose of which was to generate new Rick and Morty stories. As the title characters progressed through the train to more and more stories about themselves, the episode threw out reference after reference to the our, and the show's own, universe. One particular character stood out for children of the '80s, creating a gnawing feeling of vague recognition among the audience: Biblesaurus. 

If you feel like you've seen Biblesaurus before, you probably watched Saturday morning cartoons in the late '80s. As one Reddit user pointed out, he bears more than a passing resemblance to Denver, the Last Dinosaur. 

Who was Denver, the Last Dinosaur?

In his eponymous cartoon, Denver was a dinosaur unearthed by a group of Californian teenagers. He was fond of wearing sunglasses and skateboarding. Episodes found him running around town with his friends while learning about environmental conservation or friendship. Denver would frequently take his friends back to the time of dinosaurs via a magical chunk of his own egg's shell. Meanwhile, the kids who uncovered Denver protected him from an evil show promoter who wanted to capture Denver and use him to put on stage.  Denver, the Last Dinosaur ran from 1988-1990, releasing a grand total of 50 episodes.

The sunglasses and skateboard that Biblesaurus uses to complete his outfit make him an undeniable reference to Denver. The show in question wasn't religious, but clearly the writers of Rick and Morty are working in a universe where Denver found God after he stopped kicking around with SoCal teens. 

Who else was referenced in "Never Ricking Morty?"

The framework of "Never Ricking Morty" made it easy for writers to load it down with callbacks and winks. Just in the prayer portion of the episode, during which Rick and Morty call Not-Denver and other Bible cartoons forward, there are references to plenty of children's religious programs. A talking cucumber and tomato, for example, are obvious nods to Bob and Larry of Veggietales fame. 

As you might expect from people willing to unearth a largely forgotten cartoon for a quick bit, Rick and Morty goes a little deeper than arguably the most-popular Christian children's program of all time. The cartoon hymnal appears to be a reference to Psalty the Singing Songbook, a musical hymnal created by Debby Kerner and Ernie Rettino.

Elsewhere in the episode, Rick grows a third butt cheek in a nod to Total Recall, a musicals train car calls to mind Cats, Hairspray and Phantom of the Opera, just about every side character returns in an explosive battle between realities, and the entire episode turns out to be one long homage to the Twilight Zone classic "Five Characters in Search of an Exit." You know you're operating in rarified territory when a Denver, the Last Dinosaur reference isn't the deepest cut your episode drops.