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Rick and Morty is famous for its pop culture references, allusions, and parodies. From doing episodes about The Purge and Inception to making a (apparently canonical) Pokémon-parody phone game, it seems that nothing is off limits. Season four is still a "really long time" away and the information we have on what will happen in it is limited. So it’s time to get speculating! Here I count down the top five stories and franchises we could see the show parody in the future.

#5: Freaky Friday

Body-swapping is already established as part of the show since Rick uses it to escape prison at the beginning of season three, and doing an episode where some characters swap bodies is almost a rite of passage amongst shows that can work it into their canon, with it occurring in: Adventure time, Angel, American Dad, American Dragon: Jake Long, The Avengers and Avengers Assemble without even leaving the A’s.

So, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rick and Morty do their take on the classic body-swapping genre.

While this might be a little done to death for the writers over at Rick and Morty, it could still be a bunch of fun to watch. It’s possible this is just wishful thinking. To be honest, this one is mostly on the list because I want to see Jerry swap with Rick!

#4: Doctor Who

While there was a reference to Doctor Who in the season three finale, there is so much more they could do here. Doctor Who has been running for thirty-eight years (or twelve, or fifty-four depending on how you’re counting) and has spawned four different spin-offs. Suffice to say, there is a fanbase there Who (get it?) might be enticed to watch a parody episode and get into R&M from there, so it makes financial sense to do an episode involving The Doctor.

Doctor Who is also, even die-hard fans will agree, more than a little silly. A somewhat famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) phrase from the show is “wibbly wobbly, timey wimey” for goodness’ sake. So, there is plenty of opportunity for making jokes at its expense.

Quite apart from all this, a Doctor Who-ish character fits nicely into the universe/multiverse of the show. It wouldn’t be that hard for the show’s writers to have Rick lose his portal gun (possibly leave it lying around somewhere while black-out drunk, again), and to have it found by some do-gooder with a female companion. It wouldn’t be hard to write some reason for Rick and Morty to have to go along with them on some of their adventures to get the portal gun back after that and Bob’s your uncle, we have a Doctor Who parody episode ready to go.

#3 Avatar (not The Last Airbender)

Rick and Morty have a rich history of poking fun at sci-fi films and franchises that are both popular and, dare I say it, maybe a little silly.

Whether or not you liked Avatar, it was certainly popular enough that everyone would get references to it. And, whether or not you liked Avatar, there is certainly enough vocal criticism of the film that there are ample sources for jokes with broad enough appeal to fuel an episode.

Plus, because one of the main complaints about Avatar is that the plot is very derivative, an episode parodying it could play up that element in order to parody other big-budget movies that skimp a bit on plot (I’m looking at you Transformers), or even go the other way and parody other stories that have been Disney movies. Either way, there is a lot of jokes to mine here.

So, while it might be difficult for Rick to use Avatar as a verb throughout the episode (which seems to be one of the main criteria for the show parodying a movie), I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Rick and Morty on a planet of blue Pocahontas knock-offs in the future.

#2: Lovecraft and Cthulu

Dan Harmon, the showrunner for Rick and Morty, is very self-aware and certainly no stranger to a meta-joke or two. I mean, the guy made Community, which was just about as meta as you can be while still being, you know, funny. With that in mind, and given that Rick and Morty fans have been talking about the Cthuluesque creature that chases the titular characters (and Summer) in the show’s opening since freaking season one, I wouldn't put it past Harmon to cook up a Lovecraftian episode of the show.

But, even if this happens, we might not actually get the scene from the opening of the show. The writers might very well take the opportunity to poke fun at the fans and build up a Cthulu episode only to have it end in an anti-climax. Maybe the Cthulu-like creature is prevented from being reawakened, or maybe it is awakened but it’s a bit pathetic. Either way, I think some kind of Lovecraftian Cthulu-themed episode is reasonably likely in the future.

#1: A Christmas Carol

The reference to a “big white Santa-Claus beard” in the teaser for season four at the end of season three has a lot of people thinking that we might see a Christmas 2018 release date for the next season. If that happens, then a parody of A Christmas Carol could be very much on the table.

Apart from the fact that the title, "A Rickmas Carol," pretty much writes itself, Rick certainly fits the kind of character archetype that would be visited by three ghosts to try to get him to change his ways. Of course, given the general tone of the show, the attempts to teach Rick a lesson would almost certainly not go very well for our Ghosts of Christmas Whatever, but that’s what makes it fun!

I can just about hear Rick making snide remarks to the omniscient bathrobe that is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come already. If we do get a Christmas 2018 release, this would be my pick of most likely parody episode to see in the next season.

Until next time...

So those are the top five Rick and Morty parody-episodes I think we are most likely to see in the future. Of course, if the writers are planning on doing any of these episodes and they read this list, they might change their mind in order to be less predictable. So, I guess this whole thing might be completely pointless and a waste of our finite time here on earth. But, on the bright side, that's fairly appropriate given the tone of the show! Until next time Rick and Morty fans!