As many Rick and Morty fans already know, Adult Swim’s animated competition with Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future (1985) was very inspiring. However, the similarities are rare. Doc and Rick are different in appearance. The equal can be said about Marty and Morty, even though the names are almost identical. Bad Santa (2003) also has a special relationship with Billy Bob Thornton in memory of Rick and Morty in Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and Thurman (Brett Kelly).
What is a bad Santa?
Bad Santa is a dark Christmas comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton as Willie T. Stokes, a professional thief and Santa Claus impersonator, Tony Cox as Marcus Skidmore, Willie’s dwarf assistant, and Brett Kelly as Thurman Merman, a silly little boy. Bad Santa starred Lauren Graham, Lauren Tom, Bernie Mac, and John Ritter.
The film follows Willie and Marcus, villains who claim to be Santa Claus, and his little helper robbing department stores on Christmas Eve. His criminal life is turned upside down as Willie befriends Thurman, a troubled child, and the incredible friendship reveals his friendlier side. In the end, Thurman needs a gift from “Santa,” and Willie does his best to accommodate the request.
How similar Santa Claus and Morty look like
Rick and Morty, the animated sitcom starring Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, aired on Adult Swim in 2013. The main anti-heroes, Rick and Morty, bear a strong resemblance to Willie and Thurman; Rick is a depressed alcoholic who commits cellular crimes to fill the void in his soul and is no doubt known as a “genius.” Morty is an underperforming teenager involved in Rick’s stormy adventures as he leaves the site. Like rick.
In many ways, Willie is fascinated by Thurman’s naivety and stupidity, just as Rick likes his nephew Morty for the incompetence he can pursue his personal needs. Similarly, Thurman and Morty ask their ancestors for permission. Like Morty asks Rick to help him flirt with girls, look “cool,” and solve problems, Thurman turns to Willie for advice on homework, bullies, and life problems.
When Thurman visits Willie – disguised as Santa Claus – and tells him about his experiences with bullying, Willie decides to hit him for Thurman’s sake. There is also a case where Morty attacks Mr. Jellybean, a famous child abuser, and Rick kills Mr. Jelly with her spear gun to avenge Morty.
Other connections are more apparent between Bad Santa and Rick and Morty. For example, Rick develops the respect for Morty that he risks his life to save his grandson. Similarly, Willie risks his life and limbs by giving his new partner, Thurman. Likewise, seamless scenes depict Rick and Morty from Bad Santa as Willie opens his car door and beer bottles come out – a funny gag that happens almost every time Rick opens the door to his car, his spaceship. So Rick and Morty seem to have more in common with the Bad Santa duo than they got real inspiration from Back to the Future.