Despite a loud, idiotic subset of fans who seem hell-bent on proving to the world they’re the worst sort of people, I still like Rick and Morty, the gleefully-nihilistic animated show about a dimension-hopping scientist and his hapless grandson and, occasionally, Buttworld. Like anything worthwhile, Rick and Morty has its share of cars, so let’s take a bit and really waste some time by identifying a bunch of cars from the show.
For the most part, I’m going to try and focus on cars from our world and dimension and reality, whatever that means anymore. Well, I guess it means cars that you’ll be familiar with, real cars, and not non-human made cars or spaceships or anything like that, but I may throw in some, because what the hell.
Also, I’ll do my best to just talk about the cars themselves and not spoil any episodes for anyone. It’s possible you may see something here that might spoil something, so here’s your fair warning. You’ll be fine.
Okay! Let’s look at some cars!
This is the car I saw that made me realize I should go through and find more cars in the series. It’s from a dimension were Earth is a post-apocalyptic wasteland that’s pretty much a dead ringer for the 2015 movie Mad Max: Fury Road.
The car here is a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, but mounted on some sort of monster truck chassis with a huge, front-mounted supercharged engine. Impressively, that Ghia appears to have an undented nose, which, if you’ve ever been looking at Ghias, you know is pretty rare. That thing would go for good money on The Samba.
From the same episode, we have what looks to me like a Dodge A100 front clip, modified into some kind of bone-festooned barbecue. Human meat was probably cooked on this thing, so if you see it for sale on fictional Craigslist, remember that.
Again, from the Mad Max-like episode, we see Rick driving a tracked vehicle with the body of what looks like a ‘57 Chevy Bel Air. It’s less weird to see it on tracks than it is to see it without a guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt next to it, making sure you don’t touch it.
This is from the Rick & Morty Wiki, where we see an animator’s model sheet for one of the cars, which looks to be based loosely on a Jeep Jeepster.
Morty’s sad-sack dad, Jerry Smith, drives the same car my family had when I was a little kid: what looks like a 1973 or 1974 Ford LTD Country Squire wagon, complete with wood paneling. Really, that car is way too cool for Jerry in 2017.
Morty’s mom, Elizabeth Smith, drives a fairly rational car, something that seems to be like a 2009-ish Honda Civic, but with aftermarket headlights, and, as we saw in a later episode, a hatch:
So, it’s not exactly like the Civics that we know in our dimension.
There’s some good forgotten, everyday cars around, too, like this fourth-gen (1978-1983) Chevy Malibu sedan Rick is seen driving in a sort of flashback. It’s easily one of the dullest Malibus ever.
There’s another Ford LTD wagon shown in a memory/flashback sequence, this time driven by Rick. Is it the same car as Jerry’s LTD, with a previous paintjob? Who knows?
Interdimensional cable provides a nice snapshot into other dimensions, like this one, where a new Fiat 500 is known as a Sneezy XL, has 45 horsepower, antilock brakes, is amphibious, and can drive in extreme off-road conditions, somehow.
It also has a horn that makes a sneeze sound, since it’s some sort of tie-in to an alternate dimension media personality named Mr. Sneezy.
In a delightful scene of chaos and terror in that episode where Rick makes Morty a sort of disastrous love-potion, we see a mid-’80s Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera...
... and also what looks to be a Ford Crown Vic...
... and then a 1990s Chevrolet Caprice police cruiser.
Also on interdimensional cable is the hit show Ball Fondlers, where they occasionally drive a yellow Lotus Esprit V8 with the Ball Fondlers stencil-look logo on the hood.
Again with the Ball Fondlers on interdimensional cable, we have what seems to be a JK-series Jeep Wrangler, soaring to its doom.
That cop car looks like a Crown Vic.
There’s a television show in another dimension called Man vs. Car (not to be confused with the Jalopnik TV show, Car vs. America!) where people, uh, fight cars. It doesn’t seem to go so well for people.
The car-opponent here isn’t even all that fearsome: it appears to be an ‘80s-era Volkswagen Polo. At first, I thought Golf, but looking at the taillight and how the rear overhang is completely made by the bumper and not sheet metal, I think this one is a Polo.
I checked on best cars-used-in-media source on the internet, and they seem to agree.
The Polo shows up again, free of blood and gore, parked innocently in front of a Mexican restaurant.
There’s a part in one of the episodes where it’s suggested that Rick has implanted nanites into Morty that can transform him into a car. When this does happen (in the kicker after the episode) We see the sort of car Morty becomes: a little red coupé with a big spoiler and the proper eye/headlight arrangement.
The car is grille-free (unless the mouth acts as a grille) so perhaps it’s rear-engined? It has an ever-so-slight Porsche feel, but, I’m not going to say anything for certain.
A commercial for Real Fake Doors shows us several identifiable cars, from left to right: a later ‘60s VW Microbus, I can’t quite ID that green car, what I think is a Saturn SL1, and a late ‘90s Honda Civic sedan.
The school parking lot is full of identifiable cars! The truck there is a late ‘70s Dodge D-Series Ram truck, some cool teacher has what could be a 1960 or 1961 Chevrolet Impala coupe on the right there, and in the back we can see a VW New Beetle and next to that, what I think is an old Datsun?
The rest I’m not sure of.
In the episode where Rick and Morty hop through people’s dreams a la the movie Inception, we meet a definitely-not-legally-close-enough-to Freddy Kreuger-like character named Scary Terry. Scary Terry seems to drive an early ‘90s Volvo 940.
Jerry, a fan of the miserable and bafflingly-successful tear-jerker movie Titanic goes on a Titanic-themed cruise. In the boat is a car, similar to the one that was famously and sweatily boned-within in the movie.
The movie car was a 1912 Renault; this one seems like someone drew the front of a Ford Model T onto a town car like the Renault.
Another parking lot shot. From right to left, we have what appears to be a 2nd or 3rd-gen Toyota Prius with a more exciting badge on the nose, what I think is a Ford Tempo, and finally a Ford Aerostar.
I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly sure what that Land Rover-like thing chasing Jan Michael Vincent there is.
Military jeeps! That’s easy.
I know I said I’d only do real cars, but some of the fictional cars used in the show are worth point out, I think. Like this police hover-car with a pleasantly retro design; it sort of reminds me of what Nash could have made if they continued into the early 1990s.
There’s also a nice little cameo of a very sleek, wedge-like sports-hovercar, and...
... this pimped-out gold-and-purple gullwing’d monstrosity is worth a mention, too.
This list certainly isn’t totally comprehensive, but it is sort of painfully geeky, which puts it into some sort of uncomfortable middle ground. Too late for regrets now, though!
Also, I didn’t talk about Rick’s ‘car,’ since it’s so much more than just a car, but perhaps we’ll cover that in its own article soon.
Okay. I’m glad I could help you ride out a Friday afternoon without accomplishing anything.