Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty is always good at hiding Easter eggs and other little surprises in its episodes, and Season 4 Episode 2 is no exception. You might be surprised to learn that the funnel hat Rick wears during the robot wars actually has a QR code that works. [Note: This story has been updated since it was originally published to reflect an interesting find that an alert viewer sent us that I originally missed.]
The QR Code Leads to a Website Where You Can Buy the Hat
It’s all very meta. If you pause on the scene where Rick’s wearing the hat and follow the QR code, it really does take you to a webpage. But that webpage is designed to sell you the hat. (This doesn’t always work when you’re watching online, but it works consistently on TV.)
Yes, we still don’t know in-universe just why the hat worked and made the robots do whatever he said. Some fans hoped they might have gotten a clue about that when they followed the working QR code.
But instead, the QR code takes them to where they can buy an upside-down funnel with the same QR code on it. I mean, maybe in-universe the QR code had a source code that only the robots could see, which made them view Rick as their leader. We’ll just go with that.
In reality, the QR code takes you to Shop.RickandMorty.com.
So unfortunately, it looks like there’s no secret message or ARG you can embark on like you might on Mr. Robot (which also airs on Sunday nights and is a great show, by the way.)
However, an alert reader DID write us to note that there is more to the link than meets the eye, and we missed it in earlier versions of this story. The QR Code first takes you to a URL Defense link that then redirects you to the Shop Rick and Morty page. We tried it and they were right – sure enough, the QR Code first goes to URL Defense and then to the Shopping page.
If you shorten the URL Defense link at all, you’ll get this message: “Every link starting with ‘urldefense.proofpoint.com’ is part of the TAP system. This checks that websites are safe to visit, with no malware. If the site is deemed safe by Proofpoint, your browser will redirect you to the original URL web destination. If the site is hosting malware, TAP will block users from accessing the malicious site.”
The URL Defense full link reads as follows: “https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__shop.rickandmorty.com&d=DwIGaQ&c=W8uiIUydLnv14aAum3Oieg&r=JjX0WYph6oSjWnsPHfhqXVcX92mJ1MhizPLodIBJHf4&m=_clSWoh-rnhqOaeDXkL9c5J18BLiChMXycdm3hDLSEM&s=Bqanc0xRlTxGFc8ygZ3eP7NiW3-xDM5JiEYqnEpcm3g&e=”.
It’s a URL Defense Proofpoint link, which many clients set up so their employees don’t become victims of phishing scams.
The alert reader told us: “[The link] contains a few GET parameters which /may/ contain a secret message. Or they may be honest parameters that this anti-DDoS service uses. I haven’t managed to decode them to anything meaningful yet.”
A quick search revealed that URL Defense Proofpoint is a service that provides Targeted Attack Protection. It detects, catches, and analyzes malicious URLs that might target email recipients. The company describes its services this way: “Targeted email attacks containing malicious links represent one of the most dangerous IT threats facing enterprises today. Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection is the industry’s first comprehensive email analysis solution for combatting targeted threats using a full lifecycle approach, monitoring suspicious messages containing malicious URLs or malicious attachments, and observing user clicks as they attempt to reach out. The Proofpoint Essentials URL Defense feature takes a more advanced approach to identifying suspicious email messages containing malicious URLs. This helps small to mid-sized enterprises to add additional layers of security scrutiny that cannot be matched by traditional security solutions and gateways.”
Isn’t that interesting? Maybe in Rick’s universe, URL Defense makes robots obey you.
After using the QR Code and reaching the destination website, you can buy the funnel hat as seen in “Rick’s Special Place.”
The description reads: “Congratulations, you’ve found us. Now buy this magic funnel and never worry about suffering the gaze of mindless robots again.”
Profits from the sale of the hat will benefit Notes for Notes Inc. The description reads: “Notes for Notes, Inc. builds, equips and staffs after-school recording studios packed with drums, guitars, synths, DJ gear, groove stations, podcasting and full digital recording giving young people the opportunity to explore, create and record music for FREE! We’ve got 25 studios across the country in Boys & Girls Clubs, youth centers and soon schools allowing young people to discover their sound! Whether you are Morty’s age or wishing Rick could beam you back in time to when you were, check out notesfornotes.org to learn more, get involved or join a studio near you!”
‘Rick and Morty’ Schedule
Season 4 Episode 2 was called “The Old Man and the Seat.” The description, which doesn’t reveal a lot, reads: “We all have one thing in common broh. I don’t know broh. Watch this one.”
After Sunday night, here’s what we’re looking at for the next three episodes.
Season 4 Episode 3: November 24 – One Crew over the Crewcoo’s Morty
“Lots of twists and turns this time Broh. Wear your helmets.”
Season 4 Episode 4: December 1 – Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim’s Morty
“Morty gets a dragon in this one broh. It’s a wild ride broh.”
Season 4 Episode 5: December 8 – Rattlestar Ricklactica
“Lots of things in space broh. Snakes and sharp stuff. Watch this broh.”
There will be a total of 10 episodes this season.