As Rick, Morty, and their new ally Bigfoot storm the Vatican to confront the Pope, they try out different armor and weapons to avoid dying over and over again. Among them is a set of armor made entirely out of pillows, which doesn’t work because they all get killed by Spears of Longinus straight out of “Neon Genesis Evangelion.” The pillow armor looks identical to the “doomsday device” Pierce wears in the “Pillows and Blankets” episode of “Community,” when he turns into a pillow monster that obliterates everyone in his path.
“Pillows and Blankets” was an episode of season 3 that is played as a Ken Burns documentary like “The Civil War.” The episode followed the campus-wide pillow fight that broke out after a disagreement about a blanket fort. It is the kind of weird, out-of-left-field, experimental parody episode that made “Community” so great. Not because of the parody itself, but because of the way the characters took the wacky situations seriously. Whether it is a paintball game that turns into a Star War, a floor-is-lava game that spirals out of control, or a new social media app that turns dystopic, a big part of the joke was how quickly the entire campus of Greendale Community College would embrace any and all stupid ideas.
An entire campus’ worth of students spending their day and night building a blanket fort at the college, and then spending days fighting each other with pillows is stupid, and yet, it makes sense. I suppose we can say the same about almost every single episode of “Rick and Morty.”