This zany sci-fi sensation, Rick and Morty, has fast become one of the most popular animated comedies this side of Family Guy and South Park. In its simplest form, the show follows a timid boy named Morty and his mad scientist grandfather Rick in a series of insane intergalactic and multidimensional adventures.
But the show's premise extends beyond just trippy environments and glitzy sci-fi. It's often a deep, comedic examination of humanity, technology, and philosophy. These traits culminate in the show's witty co-protagonist, Rick Sanchez, who exudes a sort of blunt nihilism and arrogance to counterbalance Morty's naive optimism and uncertainty. He maintains a critical eye and a pretty grim outlook on the universe; a sort of cynical wisdom that comes with being a powerful scientist who's seemingly done and seen it all.
But Rick's also provided a plethora of memorable quotes that range from hilariously wacky to profoundly epic - and everywhere in between. These quotes encapsulate both the goofy and thought-provoking nature of the show. So let's blast off to Dimension C-137 and beyond as we take a look at the very best of Rick's many great quotes.
"What, so everyone’s supposed to sleep every single night now? You realize that nighttime makes up half of all time?"
When Summer accuses Morty of being out with Rick all night during an early scene of the pilot episode, Rick defensively responds with the above quote, helping to establish his character, which isn't too fleshed-out at this point. The quote isn't just a humorous bit of dialogue - it informs the viewer that Rick is an ambitious fellow who spends a great deal of his time engaging in scientific shenanigans and adventures.
It exemplifies his defiance and critical nature, while also giving us an idea of the zany nature of Rick and Morty as a whole. It also stands as one of those swift and subtly mind-blowing realizations the show is so good at nailing.
"Listen Morty, I hate to break it to you, but what people call “love” is just a chemical reaction that compels animals to breed. It hits hard, Morty, then it slowly fades, leaving you stranded in a failing marriage. I did it. Your parents are gonna do it. Break the cycle, Morty. Rise above. Focus on science."
When Morty requests his grandfather to concoct a potion that will make his crush, Jessica, fall in love with him, Rick doesn't just initially turn him down, but even downplays the nature of love itself. He is of such a scientific mind that he merely equates these palpable human emotions to "just chemicals" and "animalistic."
There's probably no better example of Rick Sanchez' nihilistic, no-nonsense view on modern society than this comment about the nature of love. Being a man of science, Rick emphasizes logic (or at least what he perceives as logic) and frank, often inconvenient facts of life rather than flowery words or emotion. The quote represents Rick's (especially this particular version of Rick) rebellious go-again-the-grain spirit. There's also a funny sense of irony that he closes this line with "focus on science," when he himself has attributed love to science.
"Listen to me, Morty. I know that new situations can be intimidating. You're lookin’ around and it’s all scary and different, but y’know … meeting them head-on, charging into ‘em like a bull — that’s how we grow as people."
Sure, this inspirational quote from Rick might just be a disingenuous pep talk meant to coax an apprehensive Morty into going on an adventure to collect Mega Tree seeds. Still, it stands as a pretty awesome line with a degree of truth to it. It also reveals the ambitious - and sometimes reckless - nature of Rick Sanchez. In some ways, it also captures an underlying theme of exploring new frontiers in Rick and Morty. It's a refreshing change of pace for Rick, as it portrays him in a more positive light, which seems to be increasingly overtaken by cynicism as his character develops later in the series.
During this episode, The Sanchez family is invited to the wedding of Summer's friend Tammy and Rick's friend Birdperson. However, they soon discover they've been bamboozled by Tammy, as she reveals that she is in fact an undercover agent for the Galactic Federation, and the wedding was just a ruse to gather a group of wanted criminals.
This makes Rick's rather cynical comment earlier in the episode, which he likens weddings to a "funeral with cake," all the more prophetic. It's a funny bit of dialogue to be sure, but it also further drives home the brutally frank and nihilistic nature of Rick, though it's certainly validated here.
During a classic intro scene at the dinner table that blends lighthearted humor with a depressing dose of philosophy, a small robotic mechanism asks Rick what his purpose is, to which Rick replies "to pass butter." After accomplishing this task and pondering his true worth, he asks again, only to be informed that this is his only purpose. The distraught robot hangs his head in sadness and can only mutter "oh my God," before Rick replies, "welcome to the club, pal."
The neatest thing about this quote is that there's more to it than meets the eye - or in this case, the ear. It's a sort of clever, roundabout means of posing the age-old philosophical question, "what's the meaning of life?" The robot represents humanity's own desire to feel important in this universe, which Rick - and thus we as an audience - relate to by acknowledgment that he too lacks any real "purpose." To make such a simple scene so thought-provoking shows that context and content can go a long way - and it's part of the brilliance of the show.
"I'm a scientist; because I invent, transform, create, and destroy for a living, and when I don't like something about the world, I change it."
After Rick turns himself into a pickle and gains enough augmentation to escape his self-inflicted predicament - or his "pickle, if you will - he makes it to a therapy session with his daughter Beth, along with Morty and Summer. When the therapist asks why he didn't want to show up, Rick reponds with the above quote. He downplays the session by commenting that "explaining which words mean which feelings has never helped anyone do anything."
This quote certainly exemplifies Ricks smarmy, rebellious attitude. it also highlights his practical, scientific mindset which casts emotions aside as "unnecessary" or at least marginal in the scheme of things. And the fact that he is still in pickle form when explaining this just makes the quote all the more enduring.
When Rick's potion goes awry, and produces the undesired effects of turning all infected by it into Morty-obsessed creatures, Rick shrugs it off and claims that "sometimes science is more art than science." This, despite the horrifying implications of this fast-spreading disease which forces the two to migrate to another dimension. At first glance, it might simply seem to highlight Rick's nonchalant personality, but there's more to it than that.
Rick and Morty, with its surreal, mind-trippy undertones, contains prominent themes of paradoxes and contradictions. That's what makes this line from Rick such a spot-on representation of the nature of the show itself. Though despite its amusing, paradoxical nature, it actually does make sense. Science is often a process of trial and error, and it's imperfect - or at least the human implementation of it can be. Rick is very aware of this, and so are we, after it's shown his scientific display of artistry is far from perfect, despite his genius.
Taking a break from the profundities of most of Rick's quotes, this seemingly random line invokes laugher from its sheer goofiness, especially when contrasted with the intellectual bits elsewhere. Though this isn't just a random catchphrase or dumb comic relief - there's meaning behind it.
Believe it or not, "wubba lubba dub dub" actually means "help me, I'm in great pain" in Birdperson's language, as his bird compansion informs Morty during the episode "Ricksy Business." What was once a silly, meaningless bit of gibberish suddenly takes on a deeper, sadder meaning. This seems to exist to reinforce the multiple layers and almost jarring degree depth to Rick and Morty. It also reminds the audience of the dark undertones to Rick's zany, comedic nature.
"The universe is basically an animal. It grazes on the ordinary. It creates infinite idiots just to eat them."
During an episode in which Rick demonstrates to his daughter that her imaginary land as a child, Froopyland, was actually created by him, Rick tells her "when you know nothing matters, the universe is yours," before following up with this similarly epic, but more grim line.
It's not as if Rick's negative attitude needed to be driven home further, but this quote marks a particularly amusing way to demonstrate this attitude. There's also that amusing trademark Rick arrogance. The line sums up many of the chaotic events of Rick and Morty rather nicely, while also injecting some perspective-based philosophy for the viewer to ponder.
"To live is to risk it all; otherwise you're just an inert chunk of randomly assembled molecules drifting wherever the universe blows you..."
This quote is pretty much the whole package - it essentially sums up the crazy, philosophical themes of the show, while also being a perfect representation of Rick's driven, blunt, and often complex character. This Mad Max-themed episode of season 3 starts off with a bang. Rick, Morty, and Summer randomly tumble out of a portal from an apparently action-packed adventure. Morty questions why Summer put them in peril when failing to turn her ringer off while hiding in a "Colorkian echo nest." Summer tells him "carpe diem" and Rick takes that concept a step further with this gem of a line.