'Rick and Morty': The Sign in 'Die Hard 3' Explained

Rick and Morty Season 6, Episode 2 had an obscure reference to Die Hard: With a Vengeance that may be hard to track down online for the uninitiated. The episode's entire B-plot was a loose parody of Die Hard with plenty of meta-commentary, while the post-credit scene made an incredibly obscure reference to the third Die Hard film. Here's a quick explainer, but fair warning: there will be spoilers for Rick and Morty and for Die Hard: With a Vengeance.

At the end of this week's episode "Rick: A Mort Well Lived," we cut to an unfamiliar snowy setting on an alien world. We see two new characters watching a third one through binoculars as he stands below them wearing a sandwich board sign that reads: "I hate everybody." The show makes it clear that this is a joke about Die Hard 3 in its typical rapid-fire dialogue, but that's about all you're likely to understand unless you've seen the movie recently for yourself.

In fact, in Die Hard: With a Vengeance, John McClane was forced by terrorists to stand in the middle of Harlem wearing a sandwich board himself. In it, his had a racial slur, reading: "I hate n-s." This is presumably meant to prompt violence between the New York City Police Department and the Black American population of the city, and before long McClane is chased out of the borough along with his new friend Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson.)

However, in the made-for-TV cut shown on broadcast TV and cable, this scene was edited so that McClane's sign reads "I hate everybody." This met the requirements of the FCC, but it made the plot a bit more confusing. First-time viewers found it hard to imagine why Harlem residents would go after McClane for wearing such a bland sign. Rick and Morty pokes fun at this while also poking fun at themselves for making such an obscure, dated reference.

All in all, this bumper scene is in keeping with the theme of the rest of the episode. It centers mostly around a high-concept virtual reality adventure for Rick and Morty themselves, but in the real world, their bodies are being defended from terrorists by Summer. She is up against a small group of alien terrorists led by Chans (Peter Dinklage), who is modeled after Die Hard's Hans Gruber.


New episodes of Rick and Morty Season 6 air on Sundays at 11 p.m. ET on Adult Swim. You can stream the episodes afterward on the Adult Swim app or on a digital store, but it will be a while before they are added to a subscription-based streaming service like HBO Max or Hulu with the rest of the series.