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What Are CHUDs From Rick And Morty Season 5 Episode 4?

Contains spoilers for "Rick and Morty" Season 5, Episode 4: "Rickdependence Spray"

Every episode or "Rick and Morty" Season 5 so far has been characteristically full of odd moments, and the fourth episode of the Adult Swim show, "Rickdependence Spray," doesn't exactly stop the trend — in fact, the vast majority of its plot is difficult to discuss in a family-friendly environment. Let's just say that Morty (voiced by Justin Roiland) visits Beth's (Sarah Chalke) workplace, and things escalate to a point that one of the chillest things in the episode is a dangerous, man-eating underground race called CHUDs.  

The CHUDs in "Rick and Morty" are underground-dwelling, humanoid horse-people who can tunnel through the soil, and appear to exist in a state of conflict with the humanity — or, at least, Rick (Roiland) and the President of the United States (Keith David), which is really all it takes. They also have a fondness for eating people, to the point of having an elaborately choreographed chant that describes the experience right down to the inevitable problems with digestion. However, that's not all they are. So, what are the CHUDs from "Rick and Morty" Season 5, Episode 4?

CHUDs are a reference to infamous 1980s movie monsters

If the name wasn't a big enough hint, fans of questionable 1980s sci-fi horror will immediately recognize the CHUDs' whole "underground humanoid who eats people" aesthetic as a not-so-subtle allusion to "C.H.U.D.," the 1984 movie that features a race of mutant monsters known as Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. Granted, the original "chuds" are rubbery, glowy-eyed reptilian monsters instead of an equine warrior race with a penchant for embarrassing war cries, but hey, this is "Rick and Morty" — everything comes with at least three different layers of twists and allusions.  

Per Rotten Tomatoes, "C.H.U.D." is a bit of a stinker, but it has a certain reputation that transcends its artistic values. In fact, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon aren't the only pop culture-savvy creators who have played with "C.H.U.D." as of late. Jordan Peele's 2019 horror movie "Us" also included a sneaky reference to the movie.