When billionaire inventor Elon Musk changed his Twitter display name to “Elon Tusk” in March 2019, he claimed that he “was just playing the fool on Twitter,” but the third episode in Rick and Morty Season 4 confirms he was hinting at his guest-starring role on the series. In “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty,” he voices an alt-reality Elon Musk with monstrous teeth named Elon Tusk — and he has a fittingly innovative and powerful position in the Rick and Morty multiverse just days after the Cybertuck reveal.
If you’ve ever wanted to watch Elon Musk with big tusks cooking a turkey, then “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty” is the Rick and Morty episode for you. It’s peppered with little in-jokes about the peculiar real-life behavior of Tesla and SpaceX’s founder as he awkwardly asks people to move (“Let’s talk over here.”) and thanking them for their input (“Guys, you’re doing a great job getting all these Tusklas out the door, and we owe it all to everyone’s input!”).
This cameo is the culmination of years’ worth of speculation. The real Musk first tweeted about his love for Rick and Morty in 2017 and met the show’s creators later that year. Musk’s adoration continued in the form of a Rick and Morty shirt he wore during a 2018 shareholder meeting. By the time he co-hosted PewDiePie’s “Meme Review” with Justin Roiland in February 2019 , a cameo on the show felt certain, even more so when Roiland accidentally teased as much in May.
Full spoilers follow for Rick and Morty Season 4, Episode 3: “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Next.”
“This is a team operation, and regular Elon can be a little bit controlling,” Rick explains when he and Morty recruit Elon Tusk for a heist midway through the episode. Rick wanted an alt-reality Elon that would be more of a team player.
“Growing up with tusks did pose social challenges,” Tusk theorizes. “It’s possible overcoming them raised my self-esteem and incentivized collaboration.” Rick’s theory about it is less heady: “Yeah, or you’re less sure of yourself because you have monster teeth.”
All of the workers in his Tuskla factory, however, also have tusks, so we’re led to assume that everyone in this universe have tusks as well. How would that make Elon Tusk insecure if having tusks was commonplace? It’s like if Fascist Shrimp Rick was insecure about being a shrimp in a world full of shrimp. This, coupled with the fact that Elon Tusk recognizes Rick and Morty when they show up — and that he acknowledges the existence of “Regular Elon Musk” — mean that Elon Tusk is already aware of the multiverse.
Are only some humans tusked in his reality, and Tuskla hires only tusk people? Or did Elon Tusk himself migrate into an alternate reality full of tusk people to be more comfortable? We will never know for sure because it doesn’t matter whatsoever, but the overall implication here is that all versions of Elon Musk are aware of the multiverse to some extent. They might even be able to travel between realities somehow.
That makes the infinite number of Elons out there closer to the Rick Sanchezes than almost anyone else in the multiverse.
As a Rick and Morty episode, “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Next” is a chaotic, overwhelmingly satirical adventure that pokes fun at ensemble heist movies. It also takes a stab at commercial convention culture. Elon Musk’s role is just one piece of it.
At the start of the episode, Rick and Morty raid an ancient tomb looking for treasure, but heist artist Miles Knightley (Justin Theroux) has already taken it. So Rick decides to confront Knightley at his convention aptly called “Heist Con.” Things go from bad to worse when Rick’s Heistotron robot — designed to help them one-up Knightley by plotting out really contrived heists — goes rogue and begins taking over the universe one planet at a time.
That’s when Rick assembles a crack team of utterly random characters to defeat Heistotron’s predictive algorithm derived from heist movies. These random characters include Mr. Poopybutthole, the Greek god Hephaestus, and Elon Tusk, among other titans of industry.
In the end, Rick and Morty defeats predictable plot twists with utter randomness that borders on the incoherent, but the best part is probably watching Elon Tusk cook a turkey.
Rick and Morty airs Sunday night on Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.