Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Rick And Morty S 1 E 2 Lawnmower Dog

Go To

Season 1, Episode 02:

Lawnmower Dog
Written by Ryan Ridley
Directed by John Rice

"I thought the whole point of having a dog was to feel superior, Jerry. If I were you, I wouldn't pull that thread."
Rick Sanchez

Rick equips the Smiths' dog Snuffles with a device that makes him smarter, but the dog soon becomes self-aware and upgrades the technology to lead dogs into a rebellion against mankind. Meanwhile, Rick takes Morty into the dreams of his math teacher in an effort to convince him to give Morty better grades.


  • All-Ghouls School: Scary Terry apparently went to school full of similarly scary students.
  • All Just a Dream: The Bad Future where Snuffles takes over the world.
  • Androcles' Lion: Rick and Morty helping Scary Terry in his nightmare leads to the latter becoming a friend.
  • Animals Fear Neutering: "Where are my testicles, Summer?"
  • Auto-Tune: Used to give the dogs' mechanical suits a funny-sounding robot voice.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • Snuffles allows Morty to live with him and keep his testicles because he was the only human who treated him kindly before he became sapient.
    • Advertisement:
    • Scary Terry also helps Rick and Morty work through the various dreams in return for them standing up for him in his nightmare.
  • Brain Bleach: When Morty and Rick see their half-naked sister/granddaughter Summer in dream level 2.
  • Brick Joke: When the family is reunited, Summer embraces Morty and he's briefly smothered by her breasts. Having just seen a rather explicitly perverted version of her from his teacher's repressed fantasies, he's especially uncomfortable about it.
  • But Now I Must Go: Snuffles has Rick open a portal to an empty dimension so he and his army of sapient dogs can live as they please without taking over the world.
  • Captain Ersatz: Scary Terry, a parody of Freddy Krueger.
    Rick: Looks like some sort of legally safe knock-off of an '80s horror character with miniature swords for fingers instead of knives!
  • Advertisement:
  • Canines Gambling in a Card Game: Five intelligent dogs play poker and smoke cigars while using their advanced robotic suits.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "You don't knowww me!" for Mrs. Pancakes.
    • Arguably "bitch" is this for Scary Terry, to Verbal Tic levels.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    Snuffles: You're being very aggressive, Jerry. Perhaps tomorrow Dr. Scraps will solve that problem with a bit of surgery.
    (Another dog comes out with a pair of scissors)
    Jerry: Huh! You think you can control me with a haircut?
  • Concealment Equals Cover: On the airplane, the seats protect Rick and Morty from the teacher's machine gun fire.
  • Creepy Children Singing: Happens in the Centaur's dream.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: Scary Terry suddenly appears in the backseat of the car Morty and Rick were sitting in.
  • Deadline News: A newswoman reporting on the dog rebellion ends up getting attacked and muzzled by said dogs on the air.
  • Dirty Old Man: Apparently, Morty's teacher has a pervy attraction to underaged Summer.
  • Dramatic Thunder: The nighttime scene where a fully sentient Snowball first confronts Summer takes place during a thunderstorm, dramatically flickered to that effect.
  • Dream Within a Dream: Part of the episode's Inception parody.
  • Exploding Calendar: Showing the time passage in the last dream level.
  • Fan Disservice: Morty is understandably grossed out by his teacher's repressed perverted fantasy about his (underage) older sister. Rick tries to get him to swallow his pride, but he gets disgusted too.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: While they are in free fall, Rick slaps Morty who starts losing it.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Terry slicing the Centaur in two.
  • Hippie Teacher: The Stinger features Scary Terry's new teacher Scary Mr. Johnson (or, as he prefers, Scary Glen).
  • Horrifying the Horror: Parodied. Morty wonders what horrible things someone like Scary Terry has nightmares about. It turns out, his nightmare is a fairly benign (for taking place in an All-Ghouls School) dream about failure as a student.
  • Laborious Laziness: Morty points out that in the time it took Rick to build his dream-invading device, he could have just helped Morty with the homework. Rick is just that disdainful of school and ordinary life.
  • Made Myself Sad: When Beth sarcastically comments how the dog gaining intelligence will go well, Jerry states that is exactly what she said to him on their wedding day. After a brief pause he becomes depressed and slouches in his chair.
  • Mini-Mecha: Snuffles builds walking frames for himself and his army. Blue Tron Lines mean "civilian" and yellow ones mean "combat" and are piloted by rotweilers.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Scary Terry's nightmare.
  • Off with His Head!: The girl in the Centaur's dream suffers this fate, thanks to Scary Terry.
  • Oh, Crap!: Confronted by Scary Terry, Rick and Morty try to escape by entering the dream of a little girl, but they're faced with Scary Terry soon afterwards.
    "He can jump from dream to dream!"
  • One-Liner, Name... One-Liner: Rick's final line.
    "What do you know, Morty, what do you know?"
  • Opinion-Changing Dream: The whole idea for the inception plot. Rick wants to manipulate the teacher's subconsciousness to give Morty an A so he won't have to bother with homework.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: Said word for word by Rick when he and Morty happen upon the dog rebellion when getting back to their house.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Both Rick and Morty demand this of stripperific Summer in the math teacher's dream.
  • Powered Armor: Exoskeletons really, but they are mostly similar in function, including weapons. Snuffles builds walking frames for himself and the rest of the neighborhood dogs. Blue Tron Lines indicate civilians, yellow lines indicate soldiers.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Scary Terry. Not only is terrorizing people literally just his day job, after he's done he goes home to a perfectly normal-looking suburban house, complete with an equally-scary wife and infant son.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: After making up with his wife, Scary Terry shares a passionate kiss with her that also involves him copping a feel on her butt. Rick even states that he and Morty should wait until the couple's "scary coitus" is over before going in. The next time Scary Terry and his wife are seen, they are both naked with their bed and bedsheets torn.
  • Shout-Out:
    • This episode parodies both The Lawnmower Man and Inception.
    • Scary Terry is an obvious parody of Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street.
    • While Snuffles watches a documentary on how canines were turned from wild hunters into man's subservient pets, a clip of a dog playing basketball is shown.
    • During the dog rebellion, we see five dogs playing poker, although they're playing while controlling their robotic suits.
    • Snuffles calls himself "Snowball" as a nod to revolutionist pig Snowball from "Animal Farm" by George Orwell.
    • The scene where dogs are playing cards is a reference to "Dogs Playing Poker" by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge.
  • Sinister Scraping Sound: Scary Terry makes this noise with his blade fingers on a metal pipe.
  • The Stinger: We see Rick and Scary Terry back in the dream world's classroom being taught by the new teacher.
  • Swapped Roles: When dogs and humans switch places and Snowball tells Morty to sit by his side.
  • Take That!: Rick jabs at how confusing Inception is.
    Rick: Dreams move one one-hundredth the speed of reality, and dog time is one-seventh human time, so, you know, every day here is, like, a minute. It's like Inception, Morty, so if it's confusing, it's stupid, then so is everyone's favorite movie.
  • Tap on the Head: Mrs. Pancakes goes out after a slap from Rick.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Scary Terry likes to say "bitch" a lot. Lampshaded by Morty.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: While Jerry and Summer are thrilled by the device Rick built to make Snuffles smarter, Beth immediately expresses that this will clearly end well.
  • Totally Radical: When they get into Scary Terry's dream, Rick and Morty start talking in very stilted hip-hop slang for some reason.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Scary Terry is a Punch-Clock Villain, but his recurring nightmare left him in a bad mood and regularly fighting with his wife. After Rick and Morty help him, he becomes a lot more relaxed and upbeat.
  • Toppled Statue: During the dog rebellion, a statue of Benjamin Franklin is toppled.
  • Verbal Tic: Scary Terry's usage of the word "bitch", even when the duo surprises him by providing him with a pair of pants in his dream.
    "Awwww, bitch!"
  • Wall Crawl: Scary Terry crawls on the ceiling when chasing the heroes in the cellar.
  • What Happened to the Mouse??: The subject of Rick's and Morty's adventures getting in the way of Morty's schooling was a central plot point in the previous episode, and is important again here since attempting to stop this from being an issue anymore is the catalyst for their adventure. But after this episode, it isn't brought up again.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Lampshaded. Rick notes that Scary Terry looks like a legally safe knockoff of an 80s horror character.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time moves faster the deeper they go in Goldenfold's subconscious. Snuffle's All Just a Dream apocalyptic scenario at the end goes on for a year, despite everyone involved only being asleep for six hours, which Rick chalks up to the dream being measured in dog years:
    Rick: "And if that doesn't make any sense, then neither does everyone's favorite movie!"
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Rick and Morty stick up for Scary Terry when the latter is being criticized for his inability to come up with puns in his nightmare, and provide him with a pair of pants.
  • You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: Parodied. Scary Terry keeps saying this as he stalks Rick and Morty. The duo then discuss why they are listening to him, pointing out that since Scary Terry is the villain, he probably wouldn't offer them advice that would actually help them, so they decide to try and hide from him anyway. It turns out to be very effective. Scary Terry spends hours searching for them unsuccessfully before giving up and going home.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Rick tells Morty that you die for real if you die in someone's dream.

"I can't believe how mean Snuffles got just because he's smart. This is why I choose to get C's."

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: