What do you get when you combine science fiction, silly humor, existential horror, gorgeous animation and a whole lot of belching? Why, you get Adult Swim’s new hit TV show Rick and Morty, of course! Though it only has two seasons under its belt (with a third on the way), this sci-fi cartoon has already picked up a sizable cult following thanks to its clever writing and old school approach to animation.
We’re furiously counting down the days until the next season starts, despite the fact that creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon recently subjected fans to the greatest rickroll of all time. In the meantime, we thought it would help to revisit all the episodes that made us fans of the show to begin with. Below you’ll find every episode of Rick and Morty, ranked from decent (since there are really no bad ones) to absolute best. Whether you’re skeptical about checking it out for the first time or you’re a hardcore fan, there’s something to love in each one of these 21 episodes.
So get ready to pull down your pants and get schwifty. Here is Every Rick and Morty Episode (So Far), Ranked.
21. Something Ricked This Way Comes
After Summer gets her first job helping out in an antiques shop, Rick finds that the shop’s owner is actually the Devil who sells miraculous items that leave the user cursed. In typical Rick fashion, he opens up a competitive counter-business right across the street which removes curses from the items in an attempt to run the Devil out of business. Meanwhile, Jerry and Morty are transported to Pluto after Jerry enthusiastically announces that it should be considered a planet.
Let’s start off with the fact that there are really no bad episodes of Rick and Morty. Some of them just aren’t as strong as others, and “Something Ricked This Way Comes” happens to be one of them. The plot is very Summer heavy, and while her character is given room to shine, the story concerning the Devil and his antique shop just isn’t that interesting. However, it does get points for the Rick and Summer beat-down that they deliver on the Devil in the final sequence after packing on a ton of muscle mass.
20. Big Trouble in Little Sanchez
When Rick finds out that vampires have invaded Summer and Morty’s school, he transfers his consciousness into a younger clone of himself that he names “Tiny Rick.” It doesn’t take Tiny Rick that long to become the most popular kid in school, and Rick isn’t sure whether he wants to return to his old body or not. Meanwhile, after becoming fed up with the state of their marriage, Jerry and Beth decide to give couple’s therapy a shot, but attend a session that takes place on a bizarre facility on a different planet.
While the idea of a teenage Rick Sanchez opens up the door for a slew of crazy ideas, “Big Trouble in Little Sanchez” gets a tad heavy handed as Rick grapples with the idea of staying young. Though it doesn’t quite hit the emotional beats that it’s aiming for, there are still plenty of moments to love from this episode like Beth’s physical perception of Jerry at therapy, which happens to be a weak, pathetic looking worm. Poor Jerry, the guy never seems to catch a break.
19. Raising Gazorpazorp
While looking through a pawn shop in space, Morty lays eyes on a curious looking sex robot, which Rick happily purchases for his grandson as a gift. But Morty gets more than he bargains for when the robot conceives his child, Morty Jr., who is half human and half Gazorpazorp, a hostile alien race that thrives on violence. Morty Jr. becomes a teenager in mere days, and Morty struggles to raise his aggressive son who dreams of leaving the house and wreaking havoc outside.
Rick and Morty is never afraid to push certain boundaries, and a sex robot giving birth to a human/alien hybrid is about as boundary pushing as it can get. While the concept does get some laughs, there are a few moments that are a bit uncomfortable in “Raising Gazorpazorp.” Still, there are at least some decent jokes sprinkled in to keep the narrative’s momentum moving forward. The relationship between Morty and his son is particularly fun to watch, especially when Morty Jr. enthusiastically shows his dad his crayon drawings, which are pictures of the little guy slaughtering humans. Atta’ boy.
18. Auto Erotic Assimilation
Rick, Morty, and Summer stumble upon an alien planet which has been taken over by an assimilating hive-mind named Unity, who just happens to be a former flame of Rick’s. While Rick and Unity reignite their love affair, Summer tries to free the planet’s inhabitants by helping them regain their identities. Back on Earth, Beth and Jerry discover a bizarre alien Rick has been holding prisoner in the garage, who may or may not be a dangerous killing machine.
“Auto Erotic Assimilation” is a clever take on the various invasion movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which a single alien entity inhabits the minds of every living person on the planet. But instead of portraying it as a doomsday-like scenario, the episode asks the interesting question of whether life would be better off this way. The fact that Rick is romantically involved with an entire planet also provides some solid laugh-out-loud moments, including one in which the smitten scientist parasails into an entire stadium of naked aliens.
17. Rick Potion No. 9
The annual Flu Season Dance at Morty’s high school prompts him to ask Rick if he can make a potion that will make the girl of his dreams, Jessica, fall in love with him. The potion works, but perhaps a little too well as the effects are spread throughout the school thanks to the growing flu. As a result, everyone everywhere becomes infatuated with Morty. Things become further complicated when Rick comes up with a series of antidotes that work horribly, turning everyone on Earth into disfigured looking blobs that he dubs “Cronenbergs.”
While this episode has plenty of great gags and one-liners, it is its dark ending that sticks with the viewer after the credits roll. After realizing there’s no way to fix their world, Rick and Morty transport to a different reality where their duplicates die in an explosion. The original Rick and Morty bury their dead bodies in the back yard, leaving Morty emotionally scarred and existentially questioning his existence. Along with its bleak ending, the creature designs are truly disturbing in this episode, and it’s a nice touch for the writers to name them after body horror filmmaker David Cronenberg, who is responsible for equally disturbing works like The Fly and Scanners.
16. A Rickle in Time
The second season of Rick and Morty kicks off with Rick, Morty and Summer still living in suspended animation in an attempt to clean their house before Beth and Jerry get home. Not everything goes according to plan when Rick unfreezes time however, as their reality is split into numerous timelines that keep multiplying. As Rick desperately tries to figure out how to restore order, more timelines keep cropping up that threaten the existence of their dimension.
Rick and Morty deserves credit for not only its incredible animation, but for its monstrously creative ideas when it comes to science fiction. Each episode is packed with curious ideas and concepts that make the audience laugh but also makes us think. “A Rickle in Time” boldly makes use of alternate timelines, with each new reality getting its own separate bubble on screen. The viewer can go back and see the same event occur differently in each new dimension, keeping the replay value on this episode at an all-time-high.
15. Get Schwifty
After a giant alien head commands Earth to perform a catchy new song, Rick and Morty compose the hit single “Get Schwifty,” which is essentially about taking your pants off and defecating on the floor. Surprisingly, the head is pleased with the results, and transports Earth to an intergalactic music competition where the losing planet is destroyed. Desperate for ideas, Rick and Morty team up with Ice-T in order to write one more hit single that will hopefully save their planet from certain doom.
Though the writing staff of Rick and Morty usually thrive with on-the-cusp humor, their comedic attempts at musical improve just don’t hit as well as some of their previous episodes. The song “Get Schwifty” is certainly a successful gag that pokes fun at the relative ease in which modern pop songs are created, but the episode as a whole isn’t nearly as engaging as it could be. That isn’t to say there isn’t noteworthy moments, in particular the return of fan-favorite Birdperson and Dan Harmon’s fantastic Ice-T impression.
14. Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate
When Jerry wakes up in an otherworldly hospital, he’s given a huge request by the doctors which could save the life of an important alien freedom fighter. As his family sits in the recovery room, they pass the time by watching some good ol’ television, which Rick jury-rigs using his interdimensional crystals. The remaining runtime of the episode has Jerry trying to get out of his deal with the doctors, while Rick Morty and Summer flip through the channels to see if there’s anything good on.
A sequel to a season one episode, “Interdimensional Cable 2” is a collection of improve sketches that are made into animated commercials and television programs. While the writing staff try their best, the bits and characters aren’t nearly as memorable as the first interdimensional cable outing. Still, there are definitely some standout moments such as a satirical trailer starring forgotten action star Jan Michael Vincent, as well as a “How Do They Do It” video that shows the process behind a bizarre item called a plumbus.
13. Anatomy Park
It’s Christmas time at the Smith house, and what better way to celebrate than by visiting a microscopic theme park inside a homeless man, named Anatomy Park (a parody of Jurassic Park). When a series of deadly diseases escape their habitats, it’s up to Morty to shrink down to size and get the staff of the theme park out safely. Meanwhile, Jerry’s parents visit for the Holidays, revealing a disturbing secret that causes Jerry to completely snap.
Besides all of the fantastic references to Jurassic Park, “Anatomy Park” is a classic season one episode for its clever writing and irreverent humor. The animation is truly a sight to see here as Morty battles the giant representations of Hepatitis and E. coli, and the amount of detail in one gigantic homeless man is borderline disturbing. It’s also worth mentioning that the attention to detail in the Jurassic Park satire is really impressive. There’s a great running joke about Rick’s favorite ride he he’s constantly trying to push, “Pirates of the Pancreas,” as well as one of the best gags from the entire series involving Jerry’s parents and their twisted sexual escapades.
12. The Wedding Squanchers
Rick’s best friend, Birdperson, is getting married, and he’s invited the entire Smith family to attend the wedding. Rick, however, is reluctant to go, saying that weddings make people miserable and are nothing more than “funerals with cake.” He eventually warms up to the idea, which turns out to be a mistake as the Galactic Federation storms the wedding and kills Birdperson. On the run, the Smiths try to make a go of life on a tiny planet until Rick decides to do what he believes is the right thing and turns himself in.
Fans of Rick and Morty couldn’t believe their television sets at the end of this season two finale. Rick is locked up in a maximum security prison cell, while Earth is now under the control of the Galactic Federation. Though it’s not exactly a cliffhanger of The Walking Dead levels, “The Wedding Squanchers” leaves fans desperately counting down the days for season three. This is a rare Rick and Morty episode that will no doubt have consequences going forward, and is worth the watch alone for the emotional ending set to the Nine Inch Nails song, “Hurt.”
11. Lawnmower Dog
When Morty’s small dog Snuffles refuses to pee outside, Rick builds a knowledge enhancing helmet that allows the dog to communicate and reason with the family. While Morty and Rick are busy incepting the dreams of Morty’s math teacher, Snuffles starts to learn at an alarming rate, which leads to a K9 uprising led by super-powerful pooches who have gained sentience.
While most of the main plots of Rick and Morty tend to dominate the episode, the plot-B of “Lawnmower Dog” is built from equally impressive material. The Inception parody in Rick and Morty’s story is one fantastic gag after another, and Jerry’s confrontation with Snuffles is just as funny as it is philosophical. Both storylines provide some standout moments, including the super-powerful Snuffles shoving Jerry’s face in urine, and Rick and Morty on the run from a Freddy Kruger knockoff named Scary Terry, who is actually a pretty cool guy once you lend him a pair of much needed pants.
10. M. Night Shaym-Aliens!
Named after the king of movie twists, M. Night Shyamalan, this episode sees Rick and Morty being held captive by aliens inside a virtual reality system. Though they attempt to escape several times, they continuously find that there are various virtual realities hidden inside one another. Along for the ride is Jerry, who seems to be having the best day of his life thanks to the system’s various computer glitches caused by Rick.
Though it’s only been on for two seasons, “M. Night Shaym-Aliens” is what you would call a classic Rick and Morty episode. The premise is yet another intriguing sci-fi concept as Rick attempts to outsmart the aliens who have ensnared him in a string of high-tech simulations. The standout moments however, come from the side plot with Jerry, who is blissfully unaware that he is inside a virtual reality program. Jerry’s desperate attempt at selling an ad campaign for apples that he blatantly ripped off of “Got Milk” (Hungry for Apples?) is a classic moment, and Rick’s final f-you to the aliens at the end of the episode is a mindbender for the ages.
9. The Ricks Must Be Crazy
After Rick’s car breaks down, he and Morty shrink to microscopic size and journey inside the battery to try and fix it. Morty is taken aback when he discovers that within the battery lies an entire miniature universe, which Rick exploits by having its inhabitants power his car for him. Things get complicated when the intelligent life reveals that they too have created a miniature universe that they use for energy. Meanwhile, Rick’s ship takes a few disturbing liberties when trying to keep Summer safe.
Stephen Colbert guest stars as the alien who comes up with Rick’s mini/tiny/micro-verse who doesn’t know he’s inside one, and it’s the pair’s back and forth in their game of wits that provides the most laughs of the episode. “The Ricks Must Be Crazy” runs like a demented version of The Twilight Zone, which is how most Rick and Morty storylines usually play out. The subplot involving Rick’s car trying to protect Summer is just as clever as it is disturbing. In one instance, the spaceship generates melting clone children as a psychological tactic against enemies. It may seem overly dark, but nobody rides that line between unsettling and hilarious quite like Rick and Morty.
8. Ricksy Business
While Beth and Jerry are out of town on a Titanic themed vacation, Rick and Summer decide to throw a wild, crazy house party. Things get out of control when Rick invites a bunch of his intergalactic buddies over to join the party though, leaving the Smith family house on a foreign planet and Morty on the verge of a panic attack.
Season one’s finale isn’t its strongest episode, but “Ricksy Business” still has plenty of great material to mine from while continuing to build the series’ lore. It introduces us to both Squanchy and Birdperson, two fan favorite characters that usually steal any scene they’re in. Other notable additions include Abradolf Lincler, a Frankenstein’s Monster type individual created by mixing Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler together. Jerry and Beth’s date night is a fun enough side plot, which manages to mix together elements of classic films like Titanic and Cape Fear. While some jokes offer little payoff, like Morty going on a long quest to find Rick what is essentially intergalactic cocaine, the episode has enough highs to earn it a top ten spot on this list.
The first episode of the series starts off with Rick drunkenly barging into Morty’s room, taking his grandson on a joyride in his spaceship, and then threatening to wipe out the entire human race with a doomsday device. And that’s just the opening. Those first few moments of Rick and Morty are pretty indicative of whether you’re going to be a fan of the show or flat out hate it. The irreverent humor, the crazy creature designs, and Rick’s infamous belching aren’t for everybody, but for those who enjoy silly, irreverent humor will be hooked within the first five minutes.
While most series falter from weak first episodes, Rick and Morty’s pilot does a fantastic job of setting the tone for the entire series. Most of it works, especially the running gag that involves Rick asking Morty to shove mega-seeds up his butt to smuggle them past the Intergalactic Federation. It all caps off with Morty losing his brain function by the end of the episode, while Rick goes on a rant about the future adventures they’ll have: “Rick and Morty, forever and ever, a hundred years, Rick and Morty.” Let’s hope Rick is right and this sci-fi gem stays on the air for many years to come.
6. Look Who’s Purging Now
During a stop to pick up some windshield-wiper fluid, Rick and Morty discover that the planet they’ve landed on celebrates an annual killing spree called the Purge, a horrific festivity where all crimes, including murder, are legal. After being betrayed by a local, Rick and Morty are stranded on the planet and are forced to purge with the rest of its citizens against Morty’s better judgment.
“Look Who’s Purging Now” is an obvious parody/homage to the popular Purge movies, except that Americans are replaced with walking, talking cat people who wear clothes. Given its premise, it’s easily the bloodiest out of the show’s entire canon, and while it does get gratuitous at times, the violence never outstays its welcome. The best moments come from the unexpected rage of Morty, who is pushed to the breaking point by an old man in a lighthouse who has written a terrible screenplay. After snapping, Morty starts to get into the spirit of the Purge, leading to tons of uncomfortably hilarious moments of the socially awkward teenagers blowing away cat people in a high-tech super suit.
5. Mortynight Run
When Morty discovers that grandpa Rick is selling illegal weapons to a dangerous (yet oddly friendly) assassin, he sets out to protect the hitman’s target. As it happens, the target is a sentient bubble of gas who assumes the name, “Fart.” Although Rick just wants to play video games at Blips ‘N Chits (the intergalactic Dave & Busters) Morty drags him on a quest to return Fart back to his home world.
For starters, “Mortynight Run” features one of its best original songs courtesy of Flight of the Concords’ “Goodbye Moonman,” a David Bowie-esque jam that plays behind a psychedelic dream sequence. This episode also features the introduction of “Jerryboree,” a place where the Ricks from alternate dimensions ditch their Jerry’s when they don’t want to take them along on their adventures. Though it’s a blast watching an entire group of Jerry’s feebly attempt to set up a television stereo, the real standout moment of the episode takes place at Blits N’ Chips when Morty and Rick play the trippy fictional role playin game, “Roy.”
4. Meeseeks and Destroy
Feeling like his ideas are underappreciated, Morty convinces Rick to let him lead an adventure in a fantasy world where a village is being tormented by a group of giants. After slaying the gigantic beast, Rick and Morty get more than they bargained for when they’re placed on trial for murder. Meanwhile, Beth, Summer and Jerry mess around with Rick’s Mr. Meeseeks Box, which creates gangly blue beings who exist to help with miniscule tasks.
Unlike most episodes, “Meeseeks and Destroy” shines by letting Rick sit back and crack sarcastic jokes while the other characters mess with sci-fi technology and fail horribly. The main plot is a fairy tale turned on its head, getting progressively darker as Morty’s optimism slowly gets diminished. The Meeseeks storyline is also sidesplitting yet horrifying, who are driven insane by Jerry’s simple request to take a few strokes off his golf game. It’s the perfect blend of bizarre and dark humor that Rick and Morty has become so well known for.
3. Close Encounters of the Rick Kind
During a breakfast to celebrate Rick’s reunification with his family a year ago, a strange group of other Ricks suddenly appear through an interdimensional portal. Rick and Morty are then handcuffed, accused of murder, and taken through the portal to the fabled Council of Ricks. Determined to clear his name of murder, Rick escapes with Morty to hunt down the actual culprit responsible for killing a group of trans-dimensional Ricks.
While season one has some creative storylines, “Close Encounters of the Rick Kind” is by far the most imaginative. The mere concept of an interdimensional Council of Ricks opens up all kinds of new possibilities for the show. The rich sci-fi material also provides some laugh-out-loud moments, including the revelation that Motrys are essentially brain-wave camouflage for Ricks because of their stupidity. There’s also an endless amount of sight gags as Rick jumps through different dimensions, showing humans sitting in chairs ordering pizza in one universe, and then pizzas sitting on humans and ordering chairs in another.
2. Total Rickall
After revealing that the Smith’s beloved Uncle Steve was nothing more than an alien parasite in disguise, Rick puts the house on lockdown. The family becomes seemingly infested with numerous parasitic creatures that multiply each time a host brings conjures up fond memories of the past. Before he knows it, Rick is surrounded by an endless amount of wacky characters where even he can’t tell the difference between who is real.
The best episode of season two, “Total Rickall” has the perfect plot device to allow the writers to introduce an entire string of zany characters and side-splitting cutaways. The cast of animated personalities include a samurai whose armor is made from meat, a walking, talking refrigerator, and a top hat wearing humanoid named Mr. Poopy Butthole, who oddly enough, turns out to be real. The episode is one nonsensical gag after another, resulting in an all you can eat buffet of the madcap humor that Rick and Morty do better than any other show on the air.
1. Rixty Minutes
After expressing his complete disgust with modern television, Rick installs a cable box in the Smith TV capable of receiving infinite channels across multiple dimensions. While Rick and Morty are content with sitting on the coach and watching the newly powered-up idiot box, Jerry, Beth and Summer obsess over how their lives could have been different by using alternate dimensional goggles.
“Rixty Minutes” is the prime example of what Rick and Morty do best: providing a compelling, dark storyline and juxtaposing it against an entire backdrop of nonsensical humor. Beth and Jerry deal with some heavy questions revolving around their relationship, but the real pulse of this episode beats from Roiland’s silly, improvised television shows, movie trailers and commercials. These various skits include a ridiculous action movie trailer with the longest title in history, a commercial featuring a confused salesman who has ants in his eyes, and an entire cop drama where the characters are replaced with ears of corn. It’s silly, nonsensical, head-scratching, and a total blast, making “Rixty Minutes” our favorite Rick and Morty episode from the series so far.
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