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The Other Back To The Future Reference You Missed In Rick And Morty

Although it's hard to imagine Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown screaming "wubba lubba dub dub!" in Michael J. Fox's face during Back to the Future, it's no big secret that Adult Swim's Rick and Morty is loosely based on the time-traveling franchise. And it's not difficult to see the parallels between the two projects, as they both follow an eccentric scientist and a young, naive sidekick as they embark on wild adventures. In a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, co-creator Justin Roiland explained that Rick and Morty was born out of an animated short called The Real Adventures of Doc and Mharti, an obvious Back to the Future parody. Roiland's impressions of the duo would become the basis for the Adult Swim series when he was approached by Dan Harmon.

"In 2006, or something, I was recording the voices for this short The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti. I was having fun doing these really crappy Doc Brown and Marty McFly impressions," Roiland explained. "Then, with Rick and Morty, Dan [Harmon, the show's co-creator] was like, 'Hey, Adult Swim wants to do a show, do you have any ideas?' I said, 'Well, what about these two voices?'"

The references didn't stop there. Obviously, the show is crammed full of Easter eggs and not-so-subtle callbacks to other classic shows and movies from an array of genres, but there's another sneaky nod to the Back to the Future franchise beyond the setup of the series, and it comes from an alternate version of the dynamic duo.

Cowboy Rick and Cowboy Morty mirror Back to the Future Part III

Over its run thus far, Rick and Morty has introduced many alternate versions of the pair that hail from different dimensions — even dumping millions of them on screen when the characters visit the Citadel of Ricks, a secret society filled with Ricks and Morties from throughout the multiverse. There's even a set of partners who are an obvious nod to Back to the Future Part III. The third film in the franchise takes Doc Brown and Marty McFly back to 1885, the old West, where the two had to dress like cowboys to avoid suspicion. And in the Rick and Morty season 1 episode "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind," the show briefly introduces Cowboy Rick and Cowboy Morty. The main version of Morty spots the Western Rick and Morty early in the episode and is impressed by them (before Rick berates him for being "easy to impress").

The pair look similar to the typical Rick and Morty designs, except they both have cowboy hats and big belts. Cowboy Rick wears a bolo tie, and Cowboy Morty has a waistcoat and bandana. They're also seen in the background of a season 3 episode involving the Citadel of Ricks, titled "Tales from the Citadel." 

It's a simple joke, but it works a treat considering the show's origins as a Back to the Future parody.