Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Weird Way Rick And Morty Is Connected To Disney

While both shows are animated, and both involve heroes going on wild adventures with family members, the differences in tone and content between Adult Swim's Rick & Morty and DIsney XD's Gravity Falls make them very different programs.

In Gravity Falls – a series geared towards tweens and younger teens — twins Dipper and Mabel Pines find adventure in the eponymous Oregon town filled with strange mysteries and supernatural creatures. The twins help their great-uncle (or as they call him, "Grunkle") Stan solve paranormal problems and run his tourist trap shop. Rick & Morty, on the other hand, is a decidedly family unfriendly comedy about the degenerate mad scientist Rick who drags his grandson Morty along on the most violent and mind-bending adventures he can find, with enough swearing, gore, and other adult content to make the backstage of a Motley Crue show seem tame in comparison.

So it may surprise you to learn there are some pretty blatant links between these two series. In fact, there are enough Easter eggs and other references between Rick & Morty and Gravity Falls that some fans theorize they're part of the same narrative universe. And even if they're not, there's at least one undeniable personal connection. 

The creators of Rick & Morty and Gravity Falls are besties

The most obvious connection between Rick & Morty and Gravity falls is in their very creation. Rick & Morty co-creator Justin Roiland and Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch are reportedly two of the animated world's tightest besties, evidenced by their back and forth on Twitter, as well as some joint appearances like showing up together on an episode of the H3 podcast. Roiland and Hirsch also collaborated on the 2010-2014 Disney Channel series Fish Hooks. Judging by the media they've produced, one of the ways they celebrate their friendship is a wealth of fun Easter eggs. 

The lion's share of the on-screen references show up in Rick & Morty. For example, in the season 3 premiere of Rick & Morty  — "The Rickshank Redemption" — the heroes go to the Citadel of Ricks where different versions of Rick and Morty can be found from multiple alternate dimensions. On his way into the citadel, Morty carries a stack of books, including one that looks a lot like the infamous Journal 3 — Stanford Pines' mysterious journal which the heroes of Gravity Falls reference throughout the series. In the same shot in which Morty can be see carrying the journal, in the background are two alternate Mortys who are respectively dressed as the twins Dipper and Mabel from Gravity Falls

Other Easter eggs include one of the villains of Gravity Falls – the dream demon Bill Cipher — showing up a couple of times on the series. He winds up on an alien computer monitor in the season 2 Rick & Morty episode "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez," and there's a taxi sign made to look just like the big bad in season 1's "Rixty Minutes."

Many of Gravity Falls' nods to Rick & Morty can be found in a book

Most of Gravity Fallsnods to Rick & Morty show up not on the screen, but in printed media. 

In 2016, Disney released a hard copy of the legendary Journal 3, and it contains a wealth of Rick & Morty references. For example, a wanted poster for Stanford Pines shows up in the book, which — once translated via a Gravity Falls cipher — includes the message "Rick was here." A journal entry from Pines also mentions battling talking chairs, which seems to be a reference to the world Rick and Morty encounter where people are furniture for sentient chairs and sofas in their season 1 episode "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind."

There's also a double page spread featuring the outlines of various creatures — most of which are from Gravity Falls, but there are a few from Rick & Morty. These latter creatures include the airborne Cthulhu monster who flies after Rick's spaceship in the opening credits of every episode, the disturbing Plumbus device which shows up multiple times on Rick & Morty (technically not alive, but made from living matter), and the Zigerionon aliens who first appear in the season 1 Rick & Morty episode "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!"

There's some proof that Rick & Morty and Gravity Falls could exist in the same narrative

There actually is some evidence that Gravity Falls and Rick & Morty could be a part of the same narrative. 

First, there are two characters that some believe may actually be the same guy. In a since deleted 2017 Reddit post (via Decider), a fan put forth the theory that — pointing out physical similarities, and the fact that both act as somewhat omniscient in relation to the rest of the characters – Rick & Morty's Mr. Poopybutthole and Bill the Cipher of Gravity Falls are actually the same character.

Second, there are some obvious similarities between Rick and Stan, including the fact that both have been fugitives at one time or another, and both have traveled across dimensions. Some fans even wonder if Stan was along for the ride back when Rick used to get up to shenanigans with characters like Squaunchy and Birdperson.

Third and finally, the creators of both shows did connect their universes. In the season 1 Rick & Morty episode "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind," while Rick and his grandson flee a pack of alternate universe Ricks, the scientist uses his portal gun to open lots of interdimensionals portal to lose his pursuers, and out of one of these portals flies a pen, a notebook, and a coffee mug. Six months later, in the season 2 Gravity Falls episode "Society of the Blind Eye," Stan loses these three items as they fly into an interdimensional portal. 

So, will we see an official Gravity Falls/Rick & Morty crossover one day? Considering the adult content of the latter show, and Disney's avoidance of that material, don't hold your breath, but you never know. Maybe Meeseeks could make it happen.