Rick, still in galactic prison, puts an intricate escape plan into action. Back on Earth, which is now under federation control, Morty and Summer have an argument about their grandpa.
Rick Sanchez: Not so fast, Morty. You heard your mom. We’ve got adventures to go on, Morty – just you and me – and sometimes your sister and sometimes your mom, but never your dad. You want to know why, Morty? Because he crossed me.
Morty Smith: Okay, take it easy, Rick. T-T-That’s dark.
Rick Sanchez: Oh, it gets darker, Morty. Welcome to the darkest year of our adventures. First thing that’s different – no more Dad, Morty.
Morty Smith: Oh, geez.
Rick Sanchez: He threatened to turn me in to the government, so I made him and the government go away. I’ve replaced them both as the de facto patriarch of your family and your universe. Your mom wouldn’t have accepted me if I came home. without you and your sister, so now you know the real reason I rescued you. I just took over the family, Morty, and if you tell your mom or sister I said any of this, I’ll deny it, You’re gonna deny it. and they’ll take my side because I’m a hero, Morty. And now you’re gonna have to go and do whatever I say, Morty, forever! And I’ll, I’ll go out and I’ll find some more of that Mulan Szechuan teriyaki dipping sauce, Morty.
Morty Smith: What are you talking about?
Rick Sanchez: Because that’s what this is all about, Morty.
Morty Smith: Szechuan?
Rick Sanchez: That’s my one-armed man! I’m not driven by avenging my dead family, Morty! That was fake. I-I-I’m driven by finding that McNugget sauce.
Morty Smith: McNuggets?
Rick Sanchez: I want that Mulan McNugget sauce, Morty! That’s my series arc, Morty.
Morty Smith: What the hell?
Rick Sanchez: If it takes nine seasons, I want my McNugget dipping sauce, Szechuan sauce, Morty.
Morty Smith: What are you talking about, Rick?
Rick Sanchez: That’s what’s gonna take us all the way to the end, Morty. Season – Nine more seasons, Morty. Nine more seasons until I get that dipping Szechuan sauce. What is that? For 97 more years, Morty! I want that McNugget sauce, Morty.
Rick Sanchez [Rick’s memory of 9/11, heard in the background]: Oh god, oh god, they’ll use it as an excuse to strip away our freedoms!
Citadel Commander-in-chief: D-99, this is the commander in chief of the Citadel’s militia.
Rick Sanchez: Good enough.
Citadel Commander-in-chief: He’s a spy. Blow him up. I’m gonna go take a shit.
Rick Sanchez: …How do you plead?
Morty Smith: How is this a fair trial? Our laywer is a Morty.
Rick Sanchez: It’s not fair, you have no rights, and he’s not a lawyer. We just keep him here ’cause he’s fun. Look at him go! Ha ha ha ha!
Summer Smith: We’re miserable Morty! There’s a mandatory curfew, their weird calendar made me 47, and they’ve weaponized the Eiffel tower!
- The Fugitive (1963) (TV Series): Rick says the McDonald’s Szechuan sauce is his one armed man.
- Dune (1984): “He who controls the pay, controls the galaxy!”
- Twin Peaks (1990) (TV Series): In his rant at the end of the episode, Rick compares his search for McDonald’s Mulan Szechaun Teriyaki dipping sauce to Dale Cooper’s pursuit of the one-armed man.
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994): title reference
- Sliders: Pilot (1995) (TV Episode): Rick’s more advanced alternate self shows up and gives him the missing piece to interdimensional travel.
- Mulan (1998): Rick obsesses over the movie’s promotional tie-in with McDonald’s for a McNugget Szechuan dipping sauce.
- The Hunger Games (2012): Summer refers to Dimension C-137 Summer as “Hunger Games Summer”.
- Gravity Falls (2012) (TV Series): 2 of the Mortys in the background resemble Dipper and Mabel Pines.
- The planet which Rick and family finally decides to stay is too small to have a strong enough gravity to hold them to the surface.