"Rick & Morty's Thanksploitation Spectacular " is the sixth episode of the fifth season of Rick and Morty, and the 47th episode of the series overall. It premieres on July 25, 2021. It was written by James Sicilliano and directed by Douglas Finar Olsen.
Rick turns himself into a turkey after he ruffles the President's feathers on Thanksgiving, and the situation soon spirals into total clucking carnage.
On Thanksgiving, Rick and Morty break into a government building that houses the Constitution, looking for a supposed treasure map hidden inside it. Morty accidentally destroys the glass surrounding it, the Constitution itself, the Lincoln Memorial, the Liberty Bell, and the Statue of Liberty using a laser cutter, and a robot hidden inside the statue goes on a rampage. The government traps the two inside the Smith house. Two Soldiers attack but a satellite dish deploys a plant like alien which promptly devours the Two Soldiers.
Rick and The President both state their separate plans to get a presidential pardon/stop Rick to their parties. In the past, Rick had turned himself into a turkey and gotten a pardon from The President, so The President has sent out multiple armored trucks, only one of which contains the presidential turkeys and will be guarded by marines. Rick plans to sneak aboard by turning himself into a turkey before they arrive, because the human eye cannot recognize a turkey's face, but The President has a solution: turning several marines into turkeys, all of which swallow capsules that identify them as humans in turkey form.
Rick and Morty turn themselves into turkeys and distract the soldiers surrounding their house with robots. They land on top of the truck, knock out two turkey marines, and disguise themselves using the marines' headsets. The President, realizing Rick's deception, turns himself into a turkey, and enters the pen where turkeys wait to be selected for a pardon. He immediately recognizes Rick and the two fight. In the scuffle, Rick knocks out The President's identifying capsule, which is swallowed by a random turkey. The marines pull out the wrong turkey and inject it with The President's DNA, which turns it into a doughier, slightly feathery version of The President. The remaining turkeys are sent into an underground chamber where the unpardoned ones go, and are met by a polio vaccine-mutated Franklin Roosevelt, who has become a large human-spider hybrid. Rick and Morty turn back into humans, the President saves Rick and Morty, and Morty burns FDR alive. Rick makes a deal with the President to make him human again in exchange for a pardon.
The Turkey-President begins making large, muscular turkey-human hybrids as guards and sells states, giving the profit to congress to keep them satiated. Rick, Morty, and a now human President arrive on the scene, but congress, enjoying the Turkey-President's new leadership, vote to keep him. The three escape the turkey guards and have Thanksgiving dinner at Rick's house, where Rick and The President discuss what to do next. The group observes on the news that the Turkey-President is turning every turkey he can into turkey guards, making some the size of skyscrapers. The President rallies his marines, and they stage a plan to break into "The Crypt of the New World", under the Lincoln Memorial.
The group fights through the turkeys, and The President, Rick, and Morty make it to the crypt. Pictographs on the crypt walls reveal that Americans had been fighting turkey dinosaurs for centuries. In the 15th century, a group of aliens crash-landed on Earth and fought off the turkeys, some still being preserved in the modern day. The President frees them, and they are revealed to be two races of alien—one that resemble pilgrims, and another that resemble Native Americans, previously warring but now united by their hatred of turkeys. They easily massacre the turkey guards, while the trio are met by the Turkey-President, who sends the Washington Monument into space with the ray that turns turkeys into humans attached. Rick and Morty fly into space to stop it, while The President fights his turkey counterpart.
Rick fights more turkey guards in space, while Morty ends up destroying the Monument with the same laser cutter from the opening. The President defeats the Turkey-President, who blows himself up in a last-ditch effort to kill him. As The President sends the aliens back underground to hibernate, Morty laments that he doesn't know how to feel about America, now that he knows it was built on the backs of aliens. The President, looking at the destroyed monument and the burning grass around it, tells him to feel thankful.
In a post-credits scene, the wife of a marine who had expressed worry about her husband being turned into a turkey shops with him and their baby. A basket of blueberries gets knocked over, and the husband experiences PTSD-induced psychosis from when he was a turkey, dropping down and pecking at the blueberries. As onlookers watch and remark that they won't pay for his healthcare, the wife weeps.
- Summer Smith
- Beth Smith
- Jerry Smith
- Pregnant Women
- Mary Lou
- Pilgrims and Indians
- Turkey human hybrids
- Turkey President
- Humans that were turned into turkeys
- Franklin Roosevelt
- Rick decoy and Morty decoy
- Many soldiers
- Normal turkeys
- Unidentified human bones
- Turkey supplier
- Entirety of New York City
- Replacement dimension
- This is the second chronologically released Season 5 episode to make use of the Portal Gun, although it can be considered as the third due to the leak of "Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion".
- In celebration of Season 5, Pocket Mortys' weekly updates will coincide with new episodes, including new avatars for players to collect. With the release of this episode came Turkey Rick as an avatar, plus Turkey Soldier Morty and Soldier Morty to catch.
- The crack around the Smith house from "Ricksy Business" and "A Rickle in Time" is still visible.
- It's noted that years have passed since Rick first moved in with the Smith family, but Rick avoids giving a specific number. This is a nod to how the show uses a floating timeline where "years" go by without characters increasing in age.
- Rick and Morty attempting to steal a hidden treasure map on the back of the Constitution references the plot of National Treasure, however, the Constitution is targeted in this episode instead of the Declaration of Independence.
- The Smith home is surrounded by an anti-portal shimmer similar to the one in Annihilation.
- The whole plot with turning the marines into turkeys can be a reference to Avatar.
- The military uses a David Blaine box to test if the robot Rick and Morty are real, referring the magician of the same name.
- In the Bar, one of the military men mention famous country singer, Jonny Cash, and famous NASCAR Driver Dale Earnhardt.
- When attacking the White House, robot drones of Rick and Morty pilot an AT-AT from the Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back.
- The Turkey President attempts to blow up the President, similarly to the ending of Predator. One of the Alien Pilgrims tosses the President his rifle is a reference to Predator 2 and the pilgrim even mentions having taken it from a Predator.
- The President says "stay frosty", which is a line from Aliens.
- After the President's DNA is mistakenly injected into a turkey, the turkey/President entity emerges from the steam in a crouch, reminiscent of Jeff Goldblum after his transfer in The Fly. This would go along with the producers' many other references to David Cronenberg.
- The spider creature is a reference to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). He is attributed the quote, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself", from his inaugural address. He was also known for his "fireside chats", a series of evening radio broadcasts.
- The President tells his Vice President that he was only chosen to get 10% of the white vote, referencing President Obama's choice of Joe Biden for VP in his autobiography, A Promised Land.
- The Vice President, Dwayne, resembles lawyer and politician, Lindsey Graham.
- As The President flashbacks to the greatest moments in his life, various PlayStation consoles are mentioned.
View a full transcript of this episode here.