|Rick and Morty episode|
Snowball standing on Summer's bed, equipped with a robotic exoskeleton
|Directed by||John Rice|
|Written by||Ryan Ridley|
|Original air date||December 9, 2013|
|Running time||21 minutes|
"Lawnmower Dog" is the second episode of Rick and Morty. It premiered on Adult Swim on December 9, 2013, was written by Ryan Ridley, and directed by John Rice. In the episode, Rick gives Jerry a device to enhance the dog's intelligence, whilst Rick and Morty get lost in the dreams of Morty's math teacher. The episode was well received, with approximately 1.5 million viewers when airing.
The title is a reference to the movie The Lawnmower Man (1992), in which a scientist enhances the intellect of a simple-minded gardener. Meanwhile, the plot involving Rick and Morty's adventure is a reference to the 2010 film Inception.
Morty's dog Snuffles angers Jerry by continuously peeing on the carpet. Upset, Jerry asks Rick for a device that could make Snuffles smarter. Rick makes the device, and it makes Snuffles smart enough for him to be able to do things like a normal human, like going to the bathroom. Meanwhile, Rick plans to enter the dreams of Morty's math teacher, Mr. Goldenfold, in order for him to increase Morty's grades, thus letting Morty adventure with Rick more often. The two enter Goldenfold's dream. The dream takes place on a plane, where Rick pretends to be a terrorist threatening to blow them up if Goldenfold doesn't give Morty better grades, but Goldenfold decides to fight back and pulls out two machine guns. Rick realizes that Goldenfold has more control over his dreams than he had anticipated, and also reveals that if they die in the dream, they die in real life.
Meanwhile, Snuffles attempts to verbally communicate with his owners but is unable. He opens the battery compartment on the helmet and realizes that it can be boosted with additional batteries.
Still stuck in the dream, Rick tries to negotiate with Goldenfold using his idol, Mrs. Pancakes, as a human shield. Instead, chaos descends on the plane. The doors to the plane are opened, and everyone gets sucked out. Mrs. Pancakes finds a parachute and opens it, while Goldenfold has already landed the plane. Rick and Morty grab onto Pancakes, but Goldenfold has created a device to pluck Pancakes out of the sky and leave Rick and Morty to fall in a pool of lava. The two then incept themselves into Pancakes' dreams to slow time down. Pancakes' dreams are of an intergalactic sex club and S&M dungeon, filled with dominatrices. A lingerie-clad Summer makes the two feel uncomfortable, making them standout. A centaur guard threatens to kill them, and they venture into the centaur's dream, where the three have to run away from a knockoff of Freddy Krueger, named Scary Terry.
Meanwhile, Snuffles has created a robotic arm and a speaker that he uses to grab things and communicate, albeit in broken English. Snuffles' view on life changes after watching a TV special about dogs being domesticated and being forced into subservience.
Still finding an escape, Rick and Morty travel into a little girl's dream to escape Scary Terry. After returning to what looks like the same dream, the two also find out that Terry can travel across dreams.
After building himself into a robot hybrid, Snuffles changes his name to Snowball and assumes dominance over the household.
While in a new dream, Rick and Morty are still being chased by Terry. The two follow him back into his house and enter his dreams. They see that he is fearful of being a failure in his job and save him from being embarrassed in school. In return, he helps them return to reality, and in the process convince Goldenfold to raise Morty's grades.
Back in the regular world, they find that Snowball has led an army of hyper-intelligent dogs into the verge of global domination over humanity. Snowball allows Morty to live by his side while the rest of the world are entrapped and enslaved under the whim of the dogs. While the dogs are subjecting the humans to similar practices the humans subjected the dogs to, Morty lives in luxury. Rick reveals to him that the two are actually in Snowball's dream. Rick poisons Morty's kidneys, making Snowball care for Morty's health. Snowball comes out of his dream and realizes that oppressing the humans just brings heartbreak and cruelty. So Snowball and the dogs decide instead to inhabit a world of their own.
In the post-credits scene, the old teacher of Scary Terry's class has been replaced by Scary Glenn, a hippie drum player. Rick and Scary Terry are sitting as his students, smoking marijuana, satisfied with this change.
The A.V. Club gave the episode an A rating, with reviewer Zach Handlen noting that it was the "pinnacle of the show thus far". Junkey Monkey's reviewer William Manzo praised the episode, saying that the episode was "a welcome surprise when compared to the pilot", giving it a 10/10. Topher Ruse of Bubble Blabber gave the episode a 9.5 out of a possible 10.
- The Futon Critic Staff (December 10, 2013). "Monday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: Monday Night Football, Voice Continue Reign". Ratings. The Futon Critic. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- "Adult Swim's 'Rick and Morty' Takes On 'Inception' (Exclusive Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- "Rick And Morty: "Lawnmower Dog"". www.avclub.com. Retrieved 2016-01-17.
- "Rick And Morty: "Lawnmower Dog" Episode Review | Junkie Monkeys". www.junkiemonkeys.com. Retrieved 2016-01-17.
- "Review: Rick and Morty 'Lawnmower Dog'". Bubbleblabber. Bubbleblabber LLC. Retrieved 2016-01-17.