Naruto is not simply one of the countless pop-culture references that Rick and Morty throws willy-nilly, but quite a significant part of the animated sitcom’s overall canon.
Things tend to get weird real quick in Rick and Morty. Sometimes the weirdness is cranked to an eleven and sometimes to an eleven million.
One such weird example is the unholiness that is Morty and Summer’s giant incest baby who has been floating in the endlessness of the vast cosmos.
The outré origins
It all starts in Rick and Morty season 5 episode 4, “Rickdependence Spray” when Morty visits his mom at her hospital. That is where he comes across a “breeding mount”. It’s a contraption that’s used to collect horse semen.
Being the hormonal teen that he is, Morty is unable to exhibit self-control and gives in to his urges. Unbeknownst to Beth and the other medical staff, Morty lets loose his reproductive material which eventually gets collected in a can.
Time passes, and Rick is about to make some diabolical bioweapon of mass destruction, which he intends to use on his enemies, the Underground Dwelling Cannibal Horse People (aka CHUDS).
To make the bioweapon, he brings home the same canister Morty unleashed his teenhood in — a fact that Rick isn’t aware of. Morty keeps the fact hidden from him out of embarrassment as well.
Rick subjects what he believes to be horse semen, with some “otherworldly forces”, and out comes countless giant sperm cells, all sporting carnivorous teeth and other complex organs, plus an incredible ability to hover in the air.
As all Morty’s sperm cells wreak havoc in the world, the titular duo sets off to destroy them. Meanwhile, Summer, Jerry, and Beth assist the US President in mitigating the crisis in another way.
Summer pitches in an idea that involves taking her egg and enlarging it to a colossal scale, all in an effort to attract all the sperms to head for it before the egg is launched into space, carrying all the abomination with it.
However, the two factions do not know that the sperms and the egg belong to two siblings and then the weirdness occurs — Summer’s egg is fertilized by one of Morty’s sperms. Summer goes to obliterate the egg before it reaches escape velocity but the president stops her since he needs the pro-life votes.
A beast and a baby
And so the egg flies away into space and the giant incest baby is born sometime later, with a great many inhuman abilities.
Morty and Summer’s colossal red-haired, space-wandering infant is able to survive in space, thanks to all the otherworldly forces that Rick subjects to Morty’s sperms, resulting in the evident superpowers.
Other than the incredible size and powers, Morty and Summer’s baby, who’d later come to be known as Naruto, is pretty much like a normal human baby.
Two episodes later, the giant baby returns and Summer reveals to the family that she’s been in contact with him. She was taken by the Pentagon to a secret base on Mars, where they’ve kept the baby captured.
They wanted to see if he’d respond to his mother as an instinct, which he did. The US government wanted her to discipline the kid but she taught him to love and how to believe in himself. Later on, the baby escapes the base and flies off to space again.
This proves that Naruto is just a human baby with all the sci-fi weirdness confined to his stature and extraordinary abilities. However, how does Naruto come to be known as Naruto?
It’s Naruto, believe it!
In season 5 episode 7, “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion”, the baby returns and this is also when the baby’s name is mentioned for the first time.
As is clear from the title — a play on the title of the anime “Neon Genesis Evangelion” — the episode parodies anime, one part of which is referencing the popular shonen anime Naruto.
During the climactic battle, Summer and the rest of the family ride atop the giant incest baby, directing him by a Ratatouille-style hair-pulling technique, all in an effort to save Rick from the villains.
As they launch their onslaught, Summer calls her baby Naruto, directing him in the direction of the conflict and making him wreck the enemies into oblivion.
Naruto still traverses through the vastness of the universe, floating with his sense of wonder and goo-goo-ga-ga speech. Naruto is referenced again in episode 3 of season 6 “Bethic Twinstinct”.
Naruto will likely return to future episodes and even play an integral role in the important canonical turn of events.