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The ‘Pickle Rick’ episode of ‘Rick and Morty’ was actually inspired by Breaking Bad

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Tom Victor
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The ‘Pickle Rick’ episode of Rick and Morty was actually inspired by Breaking Bad

Four years have passed since Breaking Bad left our screens and plenty of us still miss it dearly.

But now, at long last, there’s a high-profile show on our screens which has been heavily influenced by the Vince Gilligan creation, giving us what we’ve craved over these years.

No, not literal Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. We’re talking about Rick and Morty.

The ‘Pickle Rick’ episode of Rick and Morty was actually inspired by Breaking Bad 5

You’ve probably watched the recent ‘Pickle Rick’ episode, or at the very least you’ve seen a bunch of your friends saying “I’m Pickle Rick” for no apparent reason.

If you fall into the latter camp, then (a) you might need some new friends and (b) let me precis the episode for you, so you’re not completely lost.

I say ‘me’. What I really mean is ‘let Netflix precis the episode for you’. They describe it as follows:

‘Rick turns himself into a pickle while the rest of the family goes to therapy. Now Rick has to figure out how to stop being a pickle’. So far, so pickled.

But Tom, I hear you cry, what does this have to do with Breaking Bad.

Well, if you shut up for a second I’ll tell you. Jesus, have some patience won’t you.

The ‘Pickle Rick’ episode of Rick and Morty was actually inspired by Breaking Bad 1

Dan Harmon, co-creator of Rick and Morty, has been chatting to Fast Company about the third season of the show, currently airing on Adult Swim and Netflix, and he revealed the inspiration for ‘Pickle Rick’ came from one specific Breaking Bad episode.

“It’s more than a bottle episode, it’s specifically a bottle episode of Breaking Bad where we get to see Walter White up against primal forces instead of watching him negotiate and bluff with street dealers and kingpins and using his access to cool chemicals and any equipment he wants to make any bombs and crystal meth and stuff,” Harmon said.

The comment was a reference to ‘4 Days Out’, an episode from Breaking Bad’s second season and credited by some fans as one of the episodes that saw the show go from good to great.

It involves Walter face a life-and-death situation where he is forced to improvise a working battery from materials inside a winnebago, and involves the same quick-thinking and use of science deployed by ‘Pickle Rick’ as he fights off an army of rats with improvised weapons.

“I thought it was cool, the idea that Rick has all these gadgets all the time, he has these guns and vehicles and robots,” Harmon added.

“He can make anything with his human hands that he wants because he’s always near a big toolbox.

“How smart is Rick, though? Is he so smart that with his mouth alone he could gain an advantage over biological killing machines in an environment that wasn’t built to sustain him?”

The ‘Pickle Rick’ episode of Rick and Morty was actually inspired by Breaking Bad 6

You’re probably also wondering how the idea of a ‘Pickle Rick’ episode came about in the first place.

Naturally Harmon has you covered there too.

“I think it was a case of somebody just saying, ‘What if we started the episode this way, with him turning himself into a pickle?’”

Of course.

(Images: Adult Swim)