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Rick Sanchez

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"I'm a genius. I build robots for fun!"
Voiced by: Justin Roiland

"You seem to alternate between viewing your own mind as an unstoppable force and as an inescapable curse. And I think it's because the only truly unapproachable concept for you is that it's your mind within your control. You chose to come here. You chose to talk—to belittle my vocation. Just as you chose to become a pickle. You are the master of your universe, and yet you are dripping with rat blood and feces. Your enormous mind literally vegetating by your own hand. I have no doubt that you would be bored senseless by therapy, the same way I'm bored when I brush my teeth and wipe my ass. Because the thing about repairing, maintaining, and cleaning is, it's not an adventure. There's no way to do it so wrong you might die. It's just work. And the bottom line is some people are okay going to work, and some people... well, some people would rather die. Each of us gets to choose."
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A cold-hearted yet brilliant elderly scientist and inventor living with his daughter's family, and Summer and Morty's maternal grandfather. Rick constantly drags his grandchildren along on adventures that serve purposes rarely expressed. He has access to all sorts of technology he's supposedly invented all on his own, or acquired from alien species, and he is (in)famous among aliens as one of the most intelligent beings in existence. Despite that, he drinks and behaves like a Jerkass most of the time, and finds that his technology is really cut out for bigger problems than found everyday in the family, though when the two combine the result is never a pretty sight.


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  • Above Good and Evil: Due to his insane intellect (confirmed by the Galactic Federation to be the smartest mammal in the galaxy) and his portal gun revealing to him infinite realities that allow him to avoid punishment for his misdeeds and infinite versions of his family members (which he views as replaceable), Rick views morality as something utterly meaningless.
  • Absurd Phobia: Up until "The Rickshank Rickdemption", he apparently used to have a fear of wicker furniture, and in the Season 3 finale, he proves to be absolutely terrified of pirates though his hatred of criticsm can override it, hence his fierce defence of the offensive and nonsensical Pirates Of the Pancreas ride..
  • Abusive Parents: He was a terrible father who was emotionally abusive of Beth, and still exploits her after returning to her life, and his treatment of his grandson Morty, while played for Black Comedy, is highly abusive and toxic by the most forgiving real-world standards.
  • Achilles' Heel: His portal gun. If it gets lost, stolen or broken, Rick (and usually Morty along with him) will be stranded in that universe until he can construct a replacement. Fortunately, he's always smart enough to do so, even from scratch.
  • Adorkable: He has a love for science and inventing while having a lot of dorky and cute moments.
  • Agent Mulder: In contrast to what you'd expect from a TV scientist, he's surprisingly open to the supernatural things like vampires or Satan although he ultimately believes (correctly for the most part) that he can outdo them all with science.
  • The Alcoholic: He's either drunk, chugging down whiskey from his flask or acting like a know-it-all asshole.
  • Alcoholic Parent: And his daughter Beth is shown to have inherited some of the traits.
  • Allergic to Routine: A family therapist concludes that his inability to form healthy relationships despite his brilliance is because doing so would be "work", and Rick would rather die than be bored. Although he dismisses this, his reaction to hearing it strongly suggests she hit the nail on the head. When he starts a successful business lifting curses on Blessed with Suck items, undoing their downsides, he gets bored and torches his business. His marriage counts as well as it is likely he became bored with his wife and left her.
  • All for Nothing: His stated goal in "The Rickshank Rickdemption" was to supersede Jerry as The Patriarch and focal point of Morty's life as well as the family's lives in general. The end of "The Rickchurian Mortydate" sees all of that fall apart as Morty decides to stay with his family and help his (possibly-clone) mother, who has gotten back together with Jerry after some ill advice from Rick regarding her possible nature as a clone sent her into an Identity Crisis that led her back to Jerry as the one simple constant in her life. At the end of the episode the Status Quo at the start of Season One is restored and looks like it's going to stick since the family is genuinely happy now instead of the near-dysfunctional state they were in back then.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: He brutally murders the Worldender. Offscreen. While black-out drunk. In a matter of hours.
  • Ambiguously Brown: "Sanchez" is a Latin American name and he has a very slightly different skin tone from the other characters, but that's about it. When asked about this, Roiland stated that he considers it irrelevant. In the commentary of "Auto-Erotic Assimilation", Rick was confirmed to be of Hispanic descent. "Rest and Ricklaxation" shows that his skin tone might have something to do with his lifestyle, as once he's removed of his psychological toxins his hair and skin become brighter.
  • And I Must Scream: In "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", he puts his mind in a clone of a younger version of himself, which takes complete control and shoves our Rick to the back of the mind. While in this state, he can only communicate to the outside world through the clone's angst. This gets fixed at the end of the episode, of course.
  • Anime Hair: You could have sworn that a blue, spikey up-do would have better suited an anime character, but then again, he is a Mad Scientist. Considering that he is based on Doc Smith from The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti which in and of itself is a lawyer-friendly parody of Back to the Future, it seems to lean towards the latter.
  • Anti-Hero: The good he does is mostly incidental and the result of greater evil pissing him off. He even acknowledges this himself, stating several times that any benevolence on his part is more likely to be a side-effect of his own needs.
  • Anti-Role Model: At the end of "A Rickle in Time", when he is falling in fourth dimensional space he blurts out that he hopes Morty doesn't become like him.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: It didn't just take a lot of intelligence to get where he is supposed to be for someone who swam across the vast ocean of realities that make purpose of humanity very insignificant or even irrelevant by default, all the while not driving himself to commit Seen-It-All Suicide after realizing this in his lifetime; as his grandson Morty learned in "Rick Potion #9".
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In "Morty's Mind Blowers" he refused to believe in some "regular dude" living on the moon, citing that he's been on 300 versions of Earth's moon and never saw such a thing. Turns out, he's right.
  • At Least I Admit It: In "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy" he tells Jerry that impregnating his daughter is only part of the reason he hates him. The rest is that, like Rick, Jerry ruins other people's lives for his benefit. However, while Rick is straightforward about screwing people over, Jerry subtly manipulates people into pitying him to get what he wants.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Rick's marriage to Beth's mother started out with them being very much in love but over time, the love faded and their marriage failed and Rick left her. Beth even states that her mom fought with Rick about his willingness to risk his family's safety for his experiments. Despite this, he speaks gently of his ex-wife, indicating his problem may have been with being married rather than her and that he may still have some feelings for her.
  • Ax-Crazy: "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" has Rick killing several inactive clones of himself with an actual ax before realizing he has to get Jerry and Beth and getting one more hit in before cheerfully declaring "one for the road!" He isn't like this most of the time but the right trigger could send him off the deep end as seen in "A Rickle in Time".
  • Badass Bookworm: He is the most intelligent human alive on Earth, a prodigious scientist and he is very able to kick ass despite his age; see below.
  • Badass Cape: When he beats the Council of Ricks (or really, 5/6ths of them and Mysterious Rick) in Pocket Mortys, he takes Mysterious Rick's cape as a prize.
  • Badass Labcoat: Wears a white lab coat and is one of the most badass people in the multiverse.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: He ends up accidentally becoming the villain of Vindicators 3 during a drunken stupor. By the end of the episode all but one of the Vindicators are dead, he's proven that they're horrible people to Morty, and he gets away with all of it.
  • Bald of Awesome: Downplayed. Rick's head is mainly Spiky Hair, but he does have a bald on the back. Still a major badass.
  • Bamboo Technology: Many times throughout the series, but most impressively in "Pickle Rick" where Rick cobbles together a power armor made from rat body parts and various materials found in the sewer he is trapped in. He then goes on to completely One-Man Army armed security guards with only office supplies. Not to be outdone, he continues by creating a functional laser weapon powered by batteries that is strong enough to melt through people. All while being a pickle. Solenia indeed.
  • Batman Gambit: He manipulated Morty's repressed rage in "The Rickshank Rickdemption" to get a clear shot at the last Council of Rick leader.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Whenever someone asks him to fix a problem, Rick generally uses one of his inventions to fix it. While these inventions do function properly, they often have unforeseen consequences that often endanger the user or make situations worse.
  • Been There, Shaped History: In "A Rickle in Time", Rick beats a fourth-dimensional being to unconsciousness. As a result, said being tries to beat Rick up in retaliation. Instead they accidentally mistake Albert Einstein for Rick (due to them having a similar haircut), prompting him to develop e=mc2. This means Rick inadvertently caused Einstein's most important discovery.
    Fourth-Dimensional Being: You don't mess with time, motherf[beep]er! (leaves)
    Einstein: (gets up) I vill mess vith time!
    (begins to write "E=mc2" on his chalkboard)
    Einstein: ...I vill mess vith time.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Having his Pirates of the Pancreas idea criticized.
    • And on a more serious note, crossing him. Gearhead wound up with his gearsticles shoved into his mouth, and Jerry was manipulated into divorcing Beth for proposing turning him in to the Galactic Government.
  • Big Bad: A few times he is this. If he is seemingly heroic, though, it's just that he wants to be back on top of this level.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Justin Roiland stated himself that Rick is "well hung."
  • Big "NO!": Immediately after Tammy guns down Birdperson.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: He has one. One of his alternate counterparts even quips that Seal-Team Rick "split his unibrow with a bullet" after hearing that he had been assassinated.
  • Blessed with Suck: One of the biggest running themes is Rick despising his own vast intellect, since it ends up being the cause of many of the problems in his life. He knows there's an infinite number of parallel universes with an infinite number of other Smith-Sanchez families out there exactly like his own, which is a major reason why he struggles to form emotional attachments to them and doesn't really see them as unique individuals. This same awareness can be attributed for his cynicism and nihilism; nothing means anything and no one is special, this is just one universe in an infinite multiverse of infinitely chaotic possibilities, and it just so happens he's currently in this one.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Morty describes him as somewhere around this or Chaotic Neutral during his and Summer's trial at the Citadel of Ricks. invoked
    Morty: Well, he's not a villain, Summer, but he shouldn't be your hero. He's more like a demon, or a super fucked up God.
  • Body Surf:
    • How Rick escapes the Galactic Prison (by switching with his interrogator). He then travels through multiple alternate reality versions of himself to bring down the Council of Ricks.
    • Both "Healthy Rick" and "Toxic Rick" (Rick's personality separated into two bodies) do this in the middle of fighting each other, using a device to clone and transmit their consciousness into new bodies right before killing each other. In the end, the original Rick persona ends up being recreated when these two new Healthy and Toxic bodies merge (It Makes Sense in Context, sort of).
  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: He was one in his past with Bird Person and Squanchy, committing atrocities against the Galactic Government, and he continues to be an anti-authoritarian and anti-institutional maverick in the present, mocking school, family, marriage, society, and even the Council of Ricks. In The Rickchurian Mortydate, his condescension and belittling of the POTUS, the man in charge of the country which he is a citizen of in the Multiverse, leads to a major crisis, with Rick being branded as a terrorist, and having his citizenship removed, and Rick coming close to killing the head of state which he probably would have gone ahead with had Morty not found a safe place for him and his family, forcing Rick to restore the status-quo.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Generally sees humans as annoying and needy, and has briefly forgotten the word for humans more than once.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Rick could revolutionize human civilization overnight with his genius intellect, if only he cared enough to do it. Quite a few plotlines are started by him being faced with a problem he finds inconsequential and whipping up a quick and easy solution in response that tends to have disastrous side-effects attached to it.
    • In "Something Ricked This Way Comes" he creates a robot with artificial intelligence for the sole purpose of getting him butter when he's eating.
    • In the Season 3 finale "The Rickchurian Mortydate" he negotiates peace between Israel and Palestine, just to spite the President.
    • A very brief list of his inventions includes cybernetic prosthetic limbs, teleportation, interdimensional travel, faster-than-light spacetravel, a device that freezes time, shrinking technology, advanced cloning technology, and memory manipulation. He hoards all of these technologies in his garage for his own use.
  • Broken Ace: Rick is a genius scientist and inventor who builds robots for fun and invented inter-dimensional travel. He's also a raging alcoholic and substance abuser who neglects his family, is deeply cynical and jaded about pretty much everything, and struggles with being a Death Seeker who wants to die. His catchphrase "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub" translates to "I am in great pain, please help me" which is why he tries to numb his emotions with substances. Nevertheless he almost always is able to save the day (even if it was mostly his fault to begin with).
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Morty slowly loses his respect for Rick as the series goes on. Rick is family and Morty loves him, but he slowly understands that Rick is a selfish asshole that hardly cares about anyone but himself, and he doesn't even fully care about himself either, no matter how people might feel about him. By season 3, Morty has given up on Rick, feeling that he'll never change and will just keep bailing when things get bad for him.
      Morty: (after Summer says he's bailing on Rick) He bails on everybody! He bailed on Mom when she was a kid! He — He bailed on tiny planet! And in case I never made this clear to you, Summer, he bailed on you. He left you to rot in a world that he ruined because he doesn't care! Because nobody's special to him, Summer, not even himself. So, if you really want your grandpa back, grab a shovel. The one that won't let you down is buried in your backyard!
      Morty: (after showing Summer dimension C-137) These are the parts of Rick's adventures you don't get to see, the parts he leaves behind.
    • For years, Beth has had nothing but admiration for her father, to the point where she blames her mother for their failed marriage. While she has her limits, she never ceases in trying to make him proud of her or taking his side. Come "The ABC's of Beth", that starts to change. She not only learns that he made an alternate dimension named "Froopy Land" that he would leave her in, but he's negligent to the fact that her childhood friend Tommy was in that world for years and became a cannibalistic tyrant while his father is going to be put to death for allegedly eating him. Beth even admits at the end she realizes Rick isn't the great guy she convinces herself he is.
  • Bungled Suicide: Rick attempts to disintegrate himself after Unity leaves him due to Rick's negative influence on everyone around him. Rick is only saved after passing out, missing the heat ray by a hair.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In spades. He's a massive drunk, has borderline Blue and Orange Morality, and has a habit of dragging his grandson along on dangerous adventures, but the guy is a very talented and accomplished Mad Scientist... even if a lot of his experiments are odd.
  • But Not Too Gay: Is pansexual according to Word of God, but the only time he actually tries to sleep with a man (as in, not out of accident or humiliating someone else) is in the Vindicators comic, where he tries to pull the moves on Vance. Otherwise, he sleeps with women in the show, comics and everything else plenty of times. invoked
  • Byronic Hero: Minor hints here and there, that Rick has a pretty troubled past. He is also moody, cynical, and very passionate about his science. However, while his scientific habits may not be self-destructive as much as they are outwardly destructive, his drug habits most certainly are, and he occasionally shows cracks in his narcissism that betray a strong self-loathing.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Rick is almost totally incapable of handling critiques of what he creates and becomes extremely defensive when he faces some, no matter how insignificant and/or petty the criticism is.
    • He throws an outright tantrum when his business-partners in the Anatomy Park project points out that concept behind "The Pirates of the Pancreas" is kind of hard to understand.
    • He gets extremely grumpy when Beth discusses how silly the name of "Froopy Land" is.
    • He even once wiped Morty's memory after he corrected his grammar for saying "taken for granite" instead of "taken for granted".
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Don't think about it!"
    • In later episodes, he tries to make "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub" his catch phrase. According to Birdperson, it means "I am in great pain, please help me." in his language.
    • From the same episode he states that "I Don't Give a Fuck" is his new catchphrase.
    • "Run, Morty!"
    • "Total Rickall" shows that "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub" is apparently one of many nonsensical catchphrases he makes up on the fly, including (but not limited to) "And that's the way the news goes", "Grass tastes bad", "BurgerTime", "AIDS", and last but not least, "Lick-lick-lick my balls!"
    • "And awaaaaaaaaaayyy we go!"
    • "I'll be in the garage."
  • Character Development: Seen towards the end of season one and even more so in season two. Rick goes from being vaguely concerned about his grandchildren to actually enjoying their company and obviously trying to look out for them (even though he tries to hide it). He even begins caring about what they think of him, as he tells creatures like the assassin to not mention some of his darker deeds while they are around. Taken Up to Eleven when he is willing to sacrifice himself to save Morty.
    • Sadly not all development is positive for him; he's also shown hints of an abysmally lonely and broken side, as well as indications he really just wants it all to end.
    • However, some positive character development has taken place over time, because in "Get Schwifty" he tells Ice T that he can't just "float around space forever, not caring". Since Rick was the one to proclaim how little he cared for everything all the time in Season One (particularly in "Something Ricked This Way Comes"), that's nice to hear coming from him.
  • Characterization Marches On: Early in the show he was a drunken lunatic whose inventions worked well enough to be dangerous but who clearly wasn't nearly as smart as he thought he was, culminating in him causing the destruction of the world through sheer incompetence in "Rick Potion #9". After that, he quickly became a lot more competent while still being crazy and amoral.
  • The Chessmaster: It turns out Rick's Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the season two finale was all part of a bigger scheme to topple the intergalactic federation, get Jerry and Beth to divorce, and to get the promotional Mulan dipping sauce.
  • Comedic Sociopath: Deconstruction. Rick certainly comes across as one, but it's implied to be a defense mechanism fostered over decades — if he ever stopped to empathize with those he's wronged over the years or consider the full consequences of his actions, he just might go completely insane.
  • Cool Old Guy: When he's not being drunk, or a dick, or a drunk dick, which is rare. Ironically, when he's being these things, he's much more likely to be this to anyone except his own grandchildren. He's unnaturally strong and agile for a 70-year old man, and can deliver an ass-kicking when needed. Also has access to many dangerous weapons he built himself. In "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind" he takes on several massive, alien beasts in melee combat and wins. Possibly justified; the bodies he occupies (the crazy things that happen to him tend to cause him to Body Surf semi-frequently) usually have a few cybernetic augmentations.
  • The Corrupter: Jerry openly sees him as a corrupting influence on not only his children but also Beth. Morty ends up doing horrible things in his adventures with Rick, including several acts of murder which has traumatized him emotionally and psychically, and Rick's constant humiliations and undermining of him makes Morty and even Summer into a darker person. Likewise, Evil Morty more or less implies that he was the product of Rick's abuse and treatment.
  • Cyborg: Zig-Zagged. According to "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy", Rick's body (or at least the body he currently has) contains a lot of advanced cybernetics. It's never said whether his original body was this, though it'd admittedly explain a lot of his unnatural strength. "Rest and Ricklaxation" resulted in Rick's body being killed off by Toxic Rick, but his quick thinking allowed him to grow a new body out of Toxic Rick himself, which brought him back to full human, but then he gets his right arm ripped off in "The ABCs of Beth", but has a replacement robotic arm ready to immediately replace it. Within the same episode, he's already grown back his organic arm. Considering how advanced the technology Rick deals with actually is, it's possible there's little difference between mechanical and biological enchancements.
  • Cynical Mentor: To Morty, naturally. There actually is well meaning behind some of it such as him advising Morty to not get involved with love and instead focus on science, wanting to spare Morty heartache.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Rick has been through a lot in his life, to the point where he is numb to pretty much everything. It's also hinted that he had a troubled relationship with his parents who were unsupportive of him. He also had a marriage that failed, resulting in his disappearance.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Does this a lot around Jerry or the inhabitants of any world he travels to.
  • Death Glare: In "Meeseeks and Destroy" he quickly and quietly realizes that Morty was nearly raped by King Jellybean. He doesn't say anything to upset or insult Morty, only giving a look that mixes horror and Tranquil Fury. In fact when Rick and Morty return to earth, Rick quickly grabs a gun and kills Jellybean through the portal. Rick didn't want to ruin Morty's adventure and made sure that it goes great for him without Rick ruining it but as soon as Morty's back is turned, Rick doesn't hesitate to murder his most deserving victim.
  • Death Is Cheap: Having spent decades seeing the infinite expanse of the multiverse, Rick's belief in the value of an individual life (if it ever existed) has been ground down to almost nothing: after all, there's always more copies of people out there somewhere.
  • Death Seeker: In Season 2 especially, Rick is more or less waiting for the end to find him. However, he's also shown a fear of dying and has sought ways to cheat death such as his attempted Body Backup Drive in "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez". He seems okay with the idea of dying if he has absolutely no way out of it but will quickly jump on any possibility of avoiding his demise.
  • Defrosting Ice King: While still a snarky Mad Scientist, Rick has slowly mellowed out over the course of the series, and the season 2 finale even has him making a speech about opening up to people for the first time. Even when the frost comes back after everything goes to hell, he turns himself into the Galactic Federation so his family can live on Earth in peace. Averted when it turns out he only turned himself in so he could topple the Galactic Federation (changes in plan also allowing him to kill the Council of Ricks) and get Beth to divorce Jerry for crossing him.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Hits it in "Wedding Squanchers". He'd managed to give a beautiful speech (though it didn't seem that way at first) about emotionally opening himself up and enjoying himself and his friend's happiness... Only for it not to work out later. He refers to this as "letting his guard down", and says he'll never do that again.
  • Determinator: Zigzagged. Nothing stops Rick once he sets his mind to it...unless he just stops caring.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In "Something Ricked This Way Comes", he starts a business in which he removes the curses from the cursed items of Mr. Needful's store solely to troll him. He manages to drive the devil into attempting suicide.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: After Mr. Needful "Zuckerbergs" Summer, the two work out heavily and proceed to kick the shit out of him.
  • Dimensional Traveler: His portal gun lets him hop between dimensions, universes, and timelines at will.
  • Dirty Old Man: Rick is seen in BDSM gear, having wild sexual requests with Unity and in one of Morty's bad memories is hitting on some hot alien babes as Morty is being dragged away by a giant lobster.
  • Disappeared Dad: He ran out on Beth and her mother when she was a child after growing bored with his marriage. There are vaguest hints that very deep down, Rick is actually deeply ashamed at this, and realizes he is a terrible father and grandfather, and this is one of the root causes of his alcoholism and self-loathing.
    • Moreover, some episodes (most visibly "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind" and "Get Schwifty") show Rick with an infant and a young child Morty, strongly suggesting Rick had been keeping tabs on his grandson well before his official return to his daughter's life.
  • Discard and Draw: His love for his daughter isn't nearly substantial enough to make him not abandon her so he can go to another parallel dimension that he didn't mutate to live with a near-identical Beth. Probably not the first time he has done this either.
    • A bit of Fridge Horror here, in that Rick, being able to travel across alternate dimensions, must be aware that infinite different versions of his daughter (and other loved ones) exist all the time, and an infinite subset of them must be dying fairly horrible deaths at any given time. It's fundamentally impossible to change this, so he seems to have made a conscious decision "not to think about it". Dealing with this kind of horrifying awareness may be a contributor to his substance abuse problem. invoked
  • Ditzy Genius: Can easily qualify when it comes to his drunkenness and sociopathy.
  • Doom Magnet: Even if Rick likes you or at least tolerates you, being around him isn't easy. The longer you are around him, the more likely you are to die, be injured, endure psychological trauma, be used as bait to lure Rick to a trap, stuck in another dimension, or any other number of horrible fates.
  • Doting Parent: The one person (at least in the Smith family) Rick is never seen disrespecting is his daughter Beth. He even calls her "sweetie" sometimes. He also doesn't think someone like Jerry is worthy of his daughter and isn't shy about expressing that.
  • Driven to Suicide: He attempts to commit suicide after Unity breaks up with him. He also tries to goad Morty into killing him when Morty accuses him of being a parasite. Both attempts fail.
  • The Dreaded: Rick is the most hated and feared criminal in the universe, and the top target of The Federation for it.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: He evidently uses drugs and alcohol to dull his pain.
  • Einstein Hair: Comes with being a Dr. Brown parody. There's even a moment where a pair of vengeful Time Cops mistake Einstein for Rick.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the opening of the pilot, Rick drags Morty out of his bedroom in the middle of the night, drunk off his ass, and takes him for a flight in his spaceship ranting he has to nuke the world to start over, but tells Morty he'll spare Jessica so they can be the new Adam and Eve; Morty refuses to go along with this so Rick stops, and tries to pass it off as a Secret Test of Character before passing out. This sets up the character traits that will define him for the show's run — alcoholism, misanthropy, access to advanced technology, love for his grandson, consumate liar, and Morty is his moral compass.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He is, in general, a very morally-questionable man, but there are still lines he won't stand being crossed.
    • For all his rudeness to the grandchildren he calls "pieces of shit", he has a line to how indifferent he is to them. In "Meeseeks and Destroy", he and Morty bet on the latter leading an adventure and if it goes South then Rick will choose all adventures from now on; while Rick was willing to use any inconvenience to make Morty give up, Mr. Jellybean's attempt to rape Morty clearly shocked him and Rick instead encourages the traumatized Morty to finish the adventure before Rick kills Jellybean. In "Lawnmower Dogs", he's fine with being a part of a sex dungeon from Mr. Goldenfold's dreams, but he's repulsed to find out Goldenfold has a sexual attraction to Summer, who appears in a revealing outfit and tries to hit on him and Morty.
    • In the post-credits stinger of "Something Ricked This Way Comes", we see him that he loathes neo-Nazis, animal abusers, Westboro Baptists, and school bullies.
    • He calls out Morty for using a Love Potion to get Jessica to like him, calling him a "creep" at one point. During his What the Hell, Hero? speech to his grandson, Rick compares the Love Potion to drugs used to commit rape. (Though as Morty correctly points out, Rick still made said Love Potion for Morty when he asked. And the only protest Rick raised back then was it was a waste of his talents. So the point is kinda downplayed.)
    • In "Auto Erotic Assimilation", he was horrified when Unity blew up a city to prove that it can "let go".
    • In "Total Rickall", he's horrified when Beth shoots Mr. Poopybutthole.
    • In the Council of Ricks episode, among the multiple Ricks, Rick is shown to be the only one who cares about his Morty beyond the kid being a resource for cloaking himself.
    • While he and Jerry don't get along, Rick has his limits to what he'd do to him. When Jerry ends up being shot-at, he's just as shocked and horrified about it like the rest of the family. While Rick does show a willingness to kill Jerry, he's horrified that Jerry thought Rick was going to kill him and leave his naked corpse drifting aimlessly through space. He may not like his son-in-law much if at all, but he does still care for him.
    • "Look Who's Purging Now" has Rick eagerly awaiting the violence of a purge night on the planet they're on, but he quickly becomes disgusted a few seconds into it, and is clearly worried when Morty starts getting involved in it.
    • He has an absolute breakdown when Tammy kills Bird Person.
    • When we see his memory of where he was on 9/11, we see Rick standing in front of a television with a distraught look on his face. Subverted in that he was saying things like "They're going to use this to take away our freedom!"
    • In "Rickmancing the Stone", he decides that even explaining a plan to Morty is better than eating human flesh.
    • In "Pickle Rick", he seemed to be disgusted with the head of a foreign agency when he finds out that he lied to Jaguar about his daughter being alive. He also put a bottle that was in a trash can into the the recycling bin next to it.
    • In "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender", he was deeply disturbed by the possibility that he espoused anti-Semitic views when Morty revealed that he ranted about Israel when drunk. When Morty said that all he did was babble about defense budgets and the U.N., Rick was quick to point out to the Vindicators (whom he intensely dislikes) that there was a difference between being anti-Semitic and referencing the broader geo-political issue of the situation.
    • In "The ABC's of Beth", he admits he made Froopy Land for Beth to roam in because he was disturbed by her Troubling Unchildlike Behavior, showing her numerous objects she begged him to make for her, including a teddy bear with anatomically correct innards and a pink sentient switchblade. He was also horrified when Tommy rapes one of the Froopy Land denizens so that he could devour the offspring.
    • As "Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat," shows Rick's a lot of things, but he is NOT a fascist.
  • Evil Is Petty: "Morty's Mind-Blowers" shows that he abuses his memory-erasing technology to take away Morty's memories of Rick messing up. This includes things like memories of Rick skiing into a tree while Morty does well, Morty beating Rick at checkers, and Morty busting Rick's balls over believing a saying was "taken for granite" instead of "granted."
  • Experienced Protagonist: Rick has been doing his thing long before the show began. He's explored The Multiverse extensively, knows all the ins and outs about existence itself, is often familiar with the antagonists that appear, and just has a storied past in general.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: According to Word of God, he is pansexual. Roiland even confirms it. Comes up in "Auto Erotic Assimilation", where among the things he ends up having an orgy with are a group of (presumably male) miners and a giraffe. In the Vindicators comic he tries to seduce Vance. He had a human wife at one point, with whom he had Beth. invoked

    F-J 
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: By Season 3 it's becoming apparent that Rick is being recognized as this both in and out of universe. His nihilistic and superior than thou attitude brought on by his genius has actually made him a very poor role model to follow. In-universe, while Morty and Jerry were often the brunt of Rick's antics, Beth and Summer both viewed Rick as a brilliant scientist adventurer but by the end of Season 3 even they've had enough. Meanwhile, Rick's behavior and lack of facing consequences for it has inspired obnoxious fans to try emulating his M.O., resulting in riots breaking out over Szechuan sauce.
  • Fan Disservice: Rick in after changing to blend in the pleasure chamber, a scene which also features fanservice from Summer. Him and Morty walking naked through a Zygerian simulation counts as well.
  • Fantastic Racism: Rick does not like Gromflomites. Mostly for being bureaucrats.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Rick's destructive tendencies (and his unwillingness to change) tend to put the lives of his family in danger and strain his relationships with them. Even Morty has his limits with Rick.
    • Tying into the above is that Rick is very prone to Didn't Think This Through often causing problems by using his science for quick fixes and never giving forethought to trouble down the line, forcing him to solve things as they happen.
  • Final Solution: He commits genocide of the tiny universe inside the Microverse for the sake of his car-battery.
  • First-Name Basis: While Summer calls him grandpa and Beth calls him dad, Morty only calls him Rick. It's an indicator of their relationship as they are more like friends than family and about the fact that Rick was a very distant and absent grandfather for most of Morty's childhood.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Which is strange, considering that he once lectured the family about the importance of Jesus during Christmas, and that he and Morty have encountered vampires, demons, and all sorts of other supernatural phenomena. Not to mention he's flat-out scammed the Devil himself.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: There's some evidence that Rick is at least partially aware that he's in a TV show, usually in the form of saying goodbye to the audience at the end of an episode, even going so far as to celebrate the season 1 finale.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: In "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" he smashes up a series of clones of himself with an axe while nude. It makes a bit more sense in context, but only a bit.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: He builds robots for fun, among other things. In one case, he built a robot for the sole purpose of passing butter, and endowed it with enough intelligence for it to become depressed by its lot in life.
  • Gaslighting: How he keeps exerting control over his family, and especially Morty. He undermines their self-esteem and confidence in their selves and abilities, while never fully being honest to them about how much he needs them. Morty's Mind Blowers makes this clear when it's revealed that he chooses to delete the memories of Morty, as well as Jerry, as and when he sees fit. Notably, the memory vials that are red in colour, are memories where Morty pointed out Rick's mistakes, which he chooses to delete solely to maintain his authority over him. This finally bites him in the ass in the Season 3 finale where his gaslighting leads to Beth doubting whether or not she's a clone and ends up going back to Jerry and talking things out, leading to their remarriage.
  • Gasshole: He frequently belches in the middle of his sentences when he's drunk, which is often. This has been noticeably downplayed since the pilot, though. He's also capable of letting out massive farts on command. What convinces him to stay with his family at the end of season 3 is when Summer reveals she has inherited his ability to fart on command.
  • Gag Penis: In "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", when his penis is shot fullscreen, in its blood-covered, censored glory, it's shown to reach well down almost to his knees.
  • A God Am I: "Rest and Ricklaxation" explicitly states that Rick sees himself as a god, thanks to his insane amount of intellect.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Word of God states that one of the reasons why Rick is such a crazy bastard is the fact that his advanced intellect puts him above normal humans and lets him realize how truly chaotic the universe is. Similarly, one of the reasons that he treats others with contempt is the fact that he doesn't see anyone as particularly special since there are infinite versions of them in other realities. Though it was only part of a Batman Gambit, he did refer to the portal gun's creation as what separated him from being a man and an unfeeling ghost. invoked
  • Gone Horribly Right: As mentioned previously, the main problem with many of Rick's inventions are that they often work precisely as they're intended. But it's often to the point of having unforseen catastrophic, not to mentioned, dangerous side effects.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: One of his subtle but consistent peeves are his relationships being threatened by someone other than him; when Summer chooses Mr. Needful over him because she respects him less, he devotes his time to destroying Mr. Needful's business. When Morty praises the Vindicators over him as real heroes, he gets black out drunk, outdoes them by destroying the Worldender singlehandedly, and sets up an elaborate Saw-like death course to destroy Morty's faith in them by proving them as self-absorbed assholes no better than him.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Rick may be a genius, but he's mostly an extremely grumpy scientist. The old man is super cynical and pessimistic even on his best days.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: He's had the same hairstyle, including grey hair, for his entire life.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Rick gets easily annoyed by mostly everything but his family's antics seem to piss him off a lot. This is mostly seen by Jerry and Morty.
  • Hard on Soft Science: Doesn't believe in psychology, to the point where he tries to avoid going to an appointment by turning himself into a pickle.
  • The Hedonist: Rick regularly indulges in any vice he thinks is worthy of his time, ranging from snorting inter-dimensional crystal for a fleeting high to engaging in wild orgies with alien life forms of both sexes under the control of a Hive Mind.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: While Rick isn't what most would consider a "hero", he does seem to have a fetish for red-haired people as seen in "Auto Erotic Assimilation", in which he has his hive mind lover fill a stadium solely with redheads.
    • It's also speculated that Beth's mother was a redhead, due to both the above reason and because Summer's existence means that the redhead gene runs in the family some way or the other.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Near the end of "A Rickle in Time", one of the singularity-Ricks follows Morty through the abyss. Thinking that there is no other way out, Rick gives Morty his own collar that would allow them to reemerge with the many realities, allowing Morty to leave as Rick continues to fall through time and is content with this fate. He finds the other collar and fixes it soon after to return himself, but he did not know that.
    • In a possibly slightly less lethal way, he turns himself in to a Galactic Federation prison at the end of "The Wedding Squanchers" so that his family can live a safe and normal life on Earth. Subverted in the Season 3 Premier, where he reveals being Captured on Purpose was All According to Plan to destroy the Galactic Government.
    • An indirect example, but in "Rest and Ricklaxation", Toxic!Rick gives up his freewill to try and save Toxic!Morty after Healthy!Rick kneecaps him.
  • Hidden Depths: He occasionally makes remarks that hint at wanting to be seen as a good person, at least by his family. Season 2 also shows that he is incredibly aware of his own flaws and that he uses a partial Hidden Heart of Gold-hiding facade to hide his troubles from others because he doesn't know how to cope with them on his own.
    • "Auto Erotic Assimilation" has Rick horrified when a town gets destroyed For the Lulz.
    • "A Rick-Le In Time" has him (technically 1 of 64 instantiations of him) pray to God to have mercy on him when it looks like he's going to die, only to go back to mocking his existence when he is saved.
      • In addition, it is implied that Rick is insecure about his alcoholism; earlier in the episode, Rick claims that he is still in sync with his alternate reality self because he's never unsure, but when Morty makes an offhanded comment about his drunkenness, it causes Rick's certainty to falter just long enough to desynch.
    • "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy" has him reveal the true nature of his disdain for Jerry is that his son-in-law chooses to be spineless and pathetic as a manipulation tactic, with the not-so-subtle suggestion that Rick would gladly respect Jerry if he'd just make the effort to live up to his real potential.
    • From the same episode, it's also implied that his relationship with Morty is in part to lacking a son and possibly a result of his own dad issues. It's telling that Jerry is the one who realizes this and gives perhaps a bit more depth into his and Rick's relationship.
    • Rick dabbles in music and can play keys, bass, and guitar. His vocals and lyrics, which qualify as So Bad, It's Good in real life, were catchy enough In-Universe to save the planet Earth TWICE in "Get Schwifty".
  • His Own Worst Enemy: As Morty notes, Ricks tend to hate themselves the most, and C-137 Rick is the most himself, so he has even more self-loathing issues than other versions of Rick. Rick is deeply unhappy, embittered, and incapable of really being happy and satisfied with himself, and consciously and unconsciously (though Rick would of course deny that anything he does is unconscious), wrecks his life up.
    • The Season 3 finale best shows this: Season 3 started with Rick becoming The Patriarch of the family by manipulating Jerry into divorcing Beth. The finale has him start a fight with the President that just pushes Morty into the threshold of frustration and ditches him to protect his mom. Beth meanwhile suffers an identity crisis over if she is or is not a clone and goes to Jerry who would best know. They have a heart-to-heart moment which has Beth realize her Character Development and try and be happy with or without Rick. Rick's flaws ended up destroying his plans.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Subverted. Even though he's deeply unhappy and bitter, his lack of faith isn't treated as the cause or symptom of those faults. He also casually refers to the non-existence of a higher power about as often as he casually refers to and-or talks out loud to God, so it seems like he doesn't give it too much thought either way, and is atheistic as a way of covering his jerkass bases, to annoy God just in case He is actually listening. He also insists there's no afterlife when he's in a standoff with the President's bodyguards to scare them away from touching his insta-death field.
  • Hollywood Autism: Again, subverted. In the Season 3 finale, he blatantly and proudly admits to being autistic. Makes sense, as co-creator Dan Harmon has Asperger's.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Calls Morty "gay" despite being openly pansexual.
    • Rick really can't stand having to comply with others' wishes, but expects everyone around him to defer to his authority and whims at all times. Even Morty has pointed out Rick's seemingly bottomless selfishness.
    • In "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy", part of his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jerry is that Jerry ruined Beth's life by impregnating her while they were teenagers, conveniently leaving out the fact that his Parental Abandonment of her is easily the biggest reason the family is so messed up.
    • In "Morty's Mind Blowers", he won't give sexual favors to an alien for information because there are "some lines [he] won't cross", tricks Morty into doing it for him, and then tells Morty that if he's comfortable with applying torture (as Rick is), then he should be comfortable with that.
    • He blames Summer for the shit that goes down in "The Wedding Squanchers", because Summer introduced Tammy to Birdperson. When Summer retorts that Tammy only befriended her in the first place to get close to Rick, his only rebuttal is, "Fuck you, Summer!"
  • Hot-Blooded: Rick may have a cold and aloof personality but with his Large Ham moments such as his cathphrase "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub" and with a few parties he starts to release some of his energetic tendencies. This also comes into play when the Purge is involved. His temper is also a key factor as he riled up easily.
  • Hurting Hero: Well...Insofar as Rick can be called the hero. However, his catch phrase "wubaluba dub dub" translates to "I am in great pain. Please help me." so at the very least, he's definitely hurting.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Rick often harshly insults Morty, particularly about his intelligence, but apparently it's only acceptable if he does it — when Vance refers to Morty as a "learning disability kid we do photo-ops with", Rick looks pissed.
  • Ignored Epiphany: You can make a drinking game out of how many times Rick has done this. He's gotten several wake-up calls about being a toxic human being and destroying his family, like when he learns Morty has dismantled multiple bombs while Rick has gone blackout drunk. When a therapist gave him a Kirk Summation about how his adrenaline junkie tendencies will eventually kill him, his Death Glare implies he knows that she's right. It is likely that his habit of abandoning universes whenever he screws things up beyond repair before he can properly lay down roots and face any real consequences for it might have conditioned him into it.
  • Insistent Terminology: He travels through dimensions, he does not, never has and never will time travel.
  • The Insomniac: He is shown to frequently wake Morty up for adventures or just in general in the middle of the night and questions why Beth and Jerry think people need to sleep every single night. It's probably due to his alcoholism and general paranoia.
  • Insufferable Genius: Oh definitely. Rick flaunts the fact that he is the smartest man around and that everyone is inferior to him.
  • Invincible Hero: For a certain definition of "hero", but it's noticeable given the Sadist Show nature of the series that Rick has a near-perfect win record. Be it against genius alien scientists, the Devil himself or even alternate versions of Rick, Rick is never bested. Given the revelation that Rick intentionally allowed the Galactic authorities to arrest him in order to destroy them from within in the second season finale, "Anatomy Park" and "Auto-Erotic Assimilation" are the only episodes in the first two seasons that end with Rick not coming out on top.
    • In the third season, this appears to be the case more than ever, especially in "The Rickshank Redemption" where he successfully gets rid of Jerry and becomes The Patriarch of the house, and "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender", where he actually becomes the villain of the episode while black-out drunk and gets away with it. However, it's ultimately subverted at the end of the season in "The Rickchurian Mortydate", which can not only be added to the list of episodes where Rick does not win in the end, but in which Rick's actions end up undoing everything he accomplished earlier in the season, and he's back to being an even lower-status member of the house than he was in Season 1.
  • It Amused Me: What his motivation seems to be half of the time. He will casually abandon a plan or a scheme if he finds it to be boring.
  • It's All About Me: Somewhat, as he's shown to be pretty selfish and is well aware that his intellect far surpasses everyone around him, though he doesn't make too big a deal about becoming the center of attention.
    • Notably, when this is spelled out for Birdperson (in "Get Schwifty"), and Morty and Summer (in "Wedding Squanchers"), they don't counter-argue this.
    • Issue 51 shows that Rick refuses to let Morty have friends because they distract him from his adventure responsibilities.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Rick has a very jaded attitude towards the weird things in his adventures. Even more so towards normal things, such as school, religion and love. Which is strange, since in some episodes he takes the exact opposite stance on at least two of these topics. It's probably to emphasize Rick's ego.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Rick may be an abrasive, self-centered alcoholic, but he knows more about how the multiverse works and how to survive in it than anyone else. Basically, if he tells you NOT to do something, such as trying to raise a human/alien hybrid that could potentially destroy humanity or freeing a sentient gaseous entity from space jail who ultimately reveals that its race considers corporeal life a disease fit only for extermination, it's a good idea to listen. Unfortunately, Morty and his family have yet to realize this, and/or don't want to give him the satisfaction.
    • It gets worse. People's feelings might get hurt when Rick says they're not special, but he's pretty much always right when he does.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be an insane, abusive drunk who constantly drags his grandson on life-threatening adventures, but he clearly loves his daughter and grandchildren enough to keep them safe. In the episode "Mortynight Run", an alternate version of him even created a daycare center at an inter-dimensional junction for other Ricks to deposit their Jerrys at. In "Get Schwifty", when the world is in danger of a floating head, he and Morty go straight to the Pentagon to help the President deal with the situation. In "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" Rick actually comforts Jerry over the fact that the best day of his life was a simulation.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: In "Wedding Squanchers" Rick turns himself into the Galactic Federation so that his family can have a normal life, only to later reveal that this was an elaborate scheme to score points with Beth, giving her that final push into divorcing Jerry. Most of the time however, he's more or less just playing the part of one. At this point implying that he could still just be saying this no matter how badly he actually treats Jerry.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: Despite being an atheist (except for 2/64ths of him in "A Rickle In Time"), Rick still complains when he sees the family texting on their phones on Christmas. And he specifically references, “Jesus Christ, our Savior” being born on Christmas in his complaint.
  • Jive Turkey: He has a fondness for hip-hop lingo, with such examples as "Don't even trip, dawg" or "Riggety-Riggety Rekt". He also in one episode called Morty the "M-bomb".

    K-O 
  • Karma Houdini: Karma almost never seems to hit Rick as he frequently escapes being punished for his actions. So far he has got away with taking advantage of his daughter and grandson, murdering several people, and destroying an entire tiny universe. He seemed to be getting some punishment from the galactic federation but that was all just a ploy for him to get the chance to take them down. The "Pickle Rick" episode though had karma hit him very hard with his attempt to avoid family therapy had him end up being put in several consecutive life threatening situations and them getting called and chewed out by the therapist within just a couple minutes after just meeting her, though he didn't particuarly care for he latter.
  • Kavorka Man: Invoked; while describing an alternate, technologically-advanced dimension where everyone was forever young, he mentions that his elderly nature made him the planet's biggest celebrity, and he "had a lot of fun with a lot of young ladies". He also had a past relationship with Unity, an entire hivemind. In a flashback in "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind" he is seen having sex with a beautiful blond woman, who turns into a monster. Rick also had a wife who he had Beth with.
  • Kick the Dog: He murders an entire universe at one point. On a more personal level, he's physically and emotionally abusive towards those close to him, the severity of which is mostly dependent on his mood. He has his limits though.
  • Kindness Button: Rick has shown to at least be nice to people who laugh at his jokes.
    • "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind": He takes a liking to a nearby creature who laughs at his jokes, only for Evil Rick to tell him that "laugh" is just a noise it makes every 10 seconds.
    • "Rickmancing the Stone": Gives a friendly wink to a Deathstalker who credits him for his burn.
    • "Vindicators 3: The Return of World Ender": His actions were all because Noob-Noob credit him for his jokes. Of course, when Rick became sober, he forgot who Noob-Noob was.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Rick tells Summer and Morty to always respond to distress signal because often the aliens are dead and he can steal their stuff. Also in the Simpsons couch gag featuring them, Rick is seen stealing their stuff while waiting for Morty to come back.
  • Knight Templar Parent:
    • If Rick does go Papa Wolf for his grandkids, then he will invariably go straight for horrific overkill in the process. The scammers and King Jellybean got an instant death sentence for what they did with Morty and when he sets his car up to protect Summer the thing resorts to straight up Nightmare Fuel measures until she talks it down. invoked
    • In a deleted scene from "Interdimensional Cable", Rick kills Jerry in the alternate reality where Jerry and Beth achieved their dreams, saying afterwards "Hey, sweetie! I saw this creep on the news, was he bothering you?"
  • Knight of Cerebus: Downplayed in that he's still funny, but in the third season he was able to manipulate Beth into divorcing Jerry. He even lampshades this.
    Rick: Welcome to the darkest years of our adventures, Morty!
  • Lack of Empathy: Zig-Zagged. Rick's empathy is always questionable, but never abundant even at the best of times. If you aren't his family, Birdperson, Squanchy, Unity, Mr. Poopybutthole or a select few other characters, he likely doesn't regard you in any meaningful way. But even to those characters, mainly his family, Rick has been known to treat them poorly, or with indifference. While it is rarely outright stated, the implied reason for Rick's lack of empathy is the horrible things he has seen on his adventures and his realization that every decision they make is ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of the multiverse (although, it's implied that he's simply using that as an excuse to justify his actions). Also, Rick doesn't see it as worth the effort to bond with any particular version of his family, since they can be interchanged with any other of the infinite versions of them that exist just one portal-gun trip away. Though he seems to love his family, he still views them as interchangeable.
  • The Last DJ: Proudly states to be the Rickest Rick for not joining the Council of Ricks. It's implied that this is the reason he still cares so much for his Morty.
  • Lean and Mean: Rick is a rather tall, lanky guy (based on Morty's official height of 5'2", Rick is probably around 6'6") and his general Jerkass behavior and destructive antics definitely qualify him for the trope.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: According to an index of Ricks we see in "Close Rick-Counters", our Rick's not as evil as he could have been. Given that Evil Morty actually compiled it, however, that should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Rick is a loner even by the standards of other Ricks. The Council of Ricks deems him a renegade because of his non-cooperation, and main Rick specifically mocks them for being too cowardly to go it alone. However, while he's against the council itself as a whole, he's cool with a couple of the head members.
  • Love Is a Weakness: "Rest and Ricklaxation" shows that he considers his attachment to Morty a personal weakness, which becomes part of his Enemy Without.
  • Mad Scientist: He is a scientific genius and astounding inventor. He's also an eccentric Heroic Comedic Sociopath.
  • Manipulative Bastard: One can interpret him as taking advantage of Morty's naivete to fool him into helping him with his work, though he pretty obviously tricks Morty's parents into letting him go on adventures with him.
    • In the season 3 premiere it is revealed that Rick turning himself in during the season 2 finale was all just part of a big Batman Gambit. After he overheard that Jerry wanted to turn him in, he did it himself to drive Jerry and Beth apart and at the same time destroy the entire Galactic Federation (and the Council of Ricks when they interfered and forced him to improvise). Now Rick has defeated the two most powerful organizations in the show and is the man of the house, meaning he can force Morty to go on adventures with him and nobody will believe Morty if he tells them the truth.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Rick" is another way for saying "Dick", and, well, he can be kind of a jerk at times.
    • "Rick" means 'mighty, brave ruler'.
  • Mind Rape: He has been doing this to Morty for a long time, as revealed in Morty's Mind Blowers, deleting memories without the latter's consent. Some of those memories are genuinely traumatic and disturbing, but others including the vials marked red which is entirely filled with his petty mistakes and removed mostly to assert his dominance over Morty, prove how selfish he is.
  • Morton's Fork: Forced into choosing between his freedom and his family's security in "The Wedding Squanchers". He chooses the latter.
  • Mr. Exposition: Rick is usually the only person in the show that can make sense of the chaotic situations that befall the family, or the ones that he gets them into. He then proceeds to explain, contextualize and alphabetize everything in impatient tirades between belches and the vomit coming up.
    "Well, it's possible that your dog became self-aware and made modifications on the cognition amplifier, then turned on Jerry, Beth, and Summer after learning about humanity's cruel subjugation of his species, but your guess is as good as mine, Morty."
  • Mundane Utility: A recurring theme with Rick is him using his incredible intellect and technology for very boring things that are only important to him. He creates a robot with Artificial Intelligence that only exists to bring him butter when he's eating, creates a helmet that raises the family dog Snuffles understand English just so they don't actually have to train him, and has a device that lets him and Morty enter dreams that he uses to psychologically scar Mr. Goldenford into giving Morty good grades.
  • Mysterious Past: The details of his life before he moved back in with the Smiths is almost entirely unaccounted for; all we know is that he was at least still living with Beth and her mother around the time she was a young child. Other than that, both his life before getting married and the whatever he was doing while separated from his family is entirely unknown. Beth even alludes to his "incredibly vague backstory" at one point. It's mentioned in "The Wedding Squanchers" that Rick and others were involved in numerous atrocities fighting for freedom from the Galactic Federation, to the point of being labeled a terrorist. Exactly what these atrocities were are unknown though. Knowing Rick, probably best it remains that way. There's also a memory of him holding an infant Morty that doesn't fit in with the shows established timeline.
  • Narcissist: Rick rarely does anything that doesn't benefit or please him in some way. It's almost always about him. So much so that whenever he does do a truly selfless thing for someone else, it always stands out as a big deal.
  • Never My Fault: He will be the last one to admit that he screwed things up (often because he was right to begin with), though he does give in on occasion.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: For a loose definition of "hero", some of Rick's attempts at fixing things only made everything worse.
    • In "Rick Potion #9", he created a love potion for Morty, but neglects to tell him that it can piggyback off of the flu virus. His attempts at curing the potion's effect only resulted in turning humanity into mantis creatures and later Cronenburg monstrosities.
    • In "The Rickshank Redemption", Rick single-handedly destroys the Galactic Federation and the Council of Ricks. While doing so has freed Earth and countless other planets, Rick's actions created a power vacuum that allowed Tammy and Evil Morty to take over the whatever is left of the Galactic Federation and the Citadel of Ricks respectively.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Took his sweet time eliminating the mantis creatures in "Rick Potion #9" because of how cool they looked. Also, he got to be a literal nightmare fetishist in "Lawnmower Dog".
  • Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Averted. He's in his seventies and is casually pansexual.
  • Nominal Hero: Pretty much the only consistent reason for Rick getting involved with non-adventuring conflicts is that one of the family members believes in a cause that he doesn't care about, and solving it is at the very least quicker and less annoying than ignoring the problem. According to him, this was also his reason for creating Froopyland.
    Rick: It was just more practical to sequester you before I had to start, you know, cloning a replacement for every less-than-polite little boy or gullible animal that might cross your socio-path.
  • Noodle Incident: Prone to spurting these concerning his (sometimes disturbing) adventures in the past. For instance, he claims to have done something akin to Beth's incident with Mr Poopy Butthole, only on a planetary scale. He leaves it at that.
    • Whatever he did with The Vindicators soured their relationship.
  • Not So Above It All: While visit a "Purge World", he stops to check out the violence for some kicks, and when Morty refuses to watch, Rick says that is because Morty is afraid to face his own primal instincts. However, when a person is mangled off-screen, he is visually sickened, to the point of puking out the ship window, and admits he may have bitten off more than he could chew.
  • Not So Different: Played straight and subverted with the Council of Ricks. Rick calls them all a bunch of sellouts, but admits that, like him, they all can't resist in tormenting Jerry. Similarly, Rick picks on Doofus Rick just as much as the Council Ricks do. The similarities end when Council of Ricks marks off Mortys as their main resource and not as their respective grandsons, the moment evil Rick/Morty baffled that C-137 Rick!Prime actually loves his grandson cements this.
  • N-Word Privileges: He described the term "Glip Glop" as being to Traflorkians "like the N-word and the C-word had a baby and it was raised by all the bad words for Jews". Later in the same episode, he greets a large group of green aliens by saying "Yo! What up, my Glip Glops?" to absolutely no objections.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Jerry sees him as this. Rick himself isn't all that fond of Jerry since he did get his daughter pregnant when she was just a teenager. Even in the rare moments that Jerry tries to be friendly to him, Rick is quick to lash out and mock him. There have been times though where Rick has been at least pleasant to him such as in "M. Night Shaym Aliens" where Rick actually comforts Jerry over the fact that the best day of his life was a simulation. Unlike most examples, Rick never tries to break them up. He even signs them up for an off planet marriage therapist to help them fix their relationship and is pleased when he sees them happy together again. That is, until Jerry proposed turning Rick into the Galactic Federation, leading Rick to manipulate Beth into divorcing Jerry as revenge for crossing him.
  • Odd Friendship: With Morty and later on, Summer. Doubles as an Intergenerational Friendship. Although it wouldn't be right to qualify their relationships as entirely friendship, since there isn't a lot of reciprocity on either side.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Destroys the Miniverse that powers Zeep's planet, thereby killing everyone in the Miniverse as well as everyone in the Teenyverse. It's also implied that it's not the first time he's caused massive planetary destruction, with him mentioning that he did something similar to Beth's shooting of Mr. Poopybutthole "on a planetary scale." He's a lot more blatant about this when he's very drunk, due to the fact that he usually sets up neutrino bombs to blow up wherever they are.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Gadgetry, chemistry, medicine, he can accomplish nigh-impossible feats with them all. That's... not always great.
  • One-Man Army: Rick single-handedly brings down the Galactic Federation and the Council of Ricks, the two most powerful organizations in the show, by teleporting the latter's headquarters into a Federation prison, then devastating the Federation's economy.
  • Only Friend: To Morty. According to Beth, Rick is the first friend Morty had.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The beginning of "Rest and Ricklaxation" has Rick freaking out and explicitly admitting the situation was not under his control and him and Morty got out alive thanks to sheer dumb luck.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Rick is usually at odds with his many alternate selves, most notably the entire Citadel of Ricks (who've tried multiple times to capture or kill him ever since he refused to be one of their members) and Evil Rick. As Morty puts it, Rick "hates himself most of all", so it's no wonder why he never seems to get along with... well, himself.
  • Out-Gambitted: Pulls this off against the aliens in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" and the Devil himself.

    P-Y 
  • Papa Wolf: Rick may not show it too often in general, but don't even think about harming or taking advantage of his grandkids. Anyone who does will get blown to bits or get a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
    • He doesn't take kindly to people messing with his grandson. Just ask the aliens who spied on a naked Morty to create a 100% accurate simulation in order to steal Rick's secrets and the jellybean king who tried raping him. Oh wait, you can't. They blew up!
    • He's very protective of his granddaughter Summer, if the episode Something Ricked This Way Comes is of any indication. Then there's him gunning down a bunch of male Gazorpazorps who tried to rape Summer in "Raising Gazorpazorp."
    • Rick doesn't think that Jerry is worthy of his daughter and is angry with him for getting her pregnant when she was only 17 and marrying her when she had "options".
  • The Patriarch: At the end of first episode of Season 3, after Beth tells Rick about her divorcing Jerry, Rick brags to Morty about how he usurped Jerry as head of the family.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Given Rick's near god-like intelligence, incredible technology and science that doesn't seem bound to any actual scientific laws, total indifference to the pain or suffering of almost anything else, and that he usually "solves" problems that are too difficult by just traveling to another dimension, is it really shocking when it becomes clear that Rick has been responsible (even if only indirectly) for the total destruction of countless worlds and dimensions?
  • Pet the Dog:
    • In "Meeseeks and Destroy", Rick convinces Morty to keep going on their adventure and blows up the Jellybean King when he knew that he did something bad to Morty that traumatized him. It's especially heartwarming due to Morty's original reaction in the first place.
    • A somewhat strange example, because the dog in question wasn't really physically there, but after the aliens from "M. Night Shaym-Aliens" use Morty in their scheme to scam the recipe for dark matter out of Rick, he does not take this emotional deception lightly. As punishment for using his grandson, Rick ends up blowing up the aliens' spaceship instead of just leaving like he had in the past.
    • In "A Rickle in Time", when Morty falls into a timeless abyss after his collar broke in one of the timelines, Rick does not hesitate in diving in to save him and sacrificing his own collar so that his grandson may live. He even calmly accepts his death and quietly begs Morty to be a better man than him. At least, until he finds Morty's collar and fixes it in time.
    • In "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind", one of Rick's memories moves him to tears: picking up an infant Morty.
    • In "Auto Erotic Assimilation" he is shocked when Unity bombs a town just for a fun and relieved when she reveals that that she had evacuated it beforehand.
    • "Total Rickall" has him tearfully admit that he cannot kill a parasite that calls itself 'Pencilvester', asking Morty to do it for him.
    • In "Big Trouble In Little Sanchez", he feels bad about insulting Summer earlier, so he Body Surfs into a younger clone of himself to help her out.
    • In "Look Who's Purging Now", he tells Morty that his murderous rampage was due to the candy bar he ate earlier filled with aggression-increasing chemicals, even though the wrapper states that the bars are Purginol-Free.
    • In "The Wedding Squanchers", he calls the Galactic Federation pretending to be Jerry and claims the family was abducted by Rick (and therefore innocent victims) and then asks that the family be allowed to go back to Earth safely in exchange for tipping them off.
    • He takes the time to actually befriend Jerry in "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy", even offering him a chance to spend the evening with the rest of the family, and he seems to have taken to heart Jerry's observation that Jerry stayed by the family when Rick didn't.
    • He takes Morty on a romping, apparently sexy adventure to Atlantis during "The Ricklantis Mixup", and the two have a blast. Off-camera, of course.
    • On the subject of "The Ricklantis Mixup", he's one of very, very few Ricks that seem to show anything resembling affection for their Morty, or Morties in general.
  • Physical God: Rick is still very much a physically normal human, but his intelligence and scientific feats are such that Morty and the President have respectively compared him to and even classified him as a god. Considering he made an alternate dimension/universe with sentient life on two occasions, they may be on to something.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Invoked and discussed by Morty, but subverted in "Something Ricked This Way Comes". When Rick mentions the microscope would make him retarded, Morty says he can't talk like that, to which Rick explains he is not making fun of differently capable people, he is stating the fact that, were he to use the microscope, he would become mentally retarded in the literal sense.
    Morty: Okay, yeah, but I don't think it's about logic, Rick. I-I think the word has become a symbolic issue for powerful groups that feel like they're doing the right thing.
    Rick: Well, that's retarded.
  • Power Trio: With Birdperson and Squanchy, and then with Morty and Summer.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • In "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind", he denies killing numerous alternate versions of himself, on the grounds that it wouldn't profit him to do so.
    • In the same episode, he frowns upon the wall of tortured Mortys used as a camouflage, deeming it "barbaric overkill", because the same result can be achieved with five Mortys and a jumper cable (he assures Morty that he's never actually tested the theory).
    • This is a mindset Rick often demonstrates, often criticizing excessive effort being put in towards reaching a goal or bemoaning when someone takes things too far.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: In "A Rickle In Time", Rick and Morty's timeline gets split into 64 possibilities. At least two of those possible Ricks prays to God in desperation, despite claiming to not believe in God on multiple other occasions.
    possible Rick falling into a time abyss: Oh, sweet Jesus, please let me live. Oh, my God, I have to... I've got to fix this thing. Please, God in heaven. Please, God. Oh, lord, hear my prayers.
    Second possible Rick: Please God, if there is a Hell, please be merciful to me.
  • Proud to Be a Geek: Wants to get his entire family limited edition Nintendo 3DS'es, just so they can play video games together. He also carries his 3DS around with him, so he can pull it out whenever he gets bored.
    Rick: You guys! You gotta hurry! I just got back from Walmart, they're selling Nintendo 3DS systems for $149.99 on sale, plus every time you buy one you get a $50 dollar gift card! Brings the total down to $110 after tax! Now listen, we can flip those sons of bitches for $230 a piece EASY! They're all limited edition Zelda ones! Hurry! Hurry come with me! We can be rich and we all get to keep one and we can play Nintendo games!
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: He puts a big premium on HIS personal liberty. Other than that, he sees nothing wrong with enslaving an entire universe just to power his car battery. Deconstruction since there's rarely a time he isn't called on this by someone In-Universe.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Despite being in his 70's, Rick acts more like an unstable teenage boy. He makes frequent toilet jokes, sex jokes, swears a lot, has a huge house party (possibly to spite his granddaughter's idea of a party) when his daughter and son-in-law are away, blows money at an arcade, disrespects authority and treats Summer and Morty more like his friends than his grandkids. During said house party, he fits in seamlessly, becoming the life of the party... even when it's among people who are almost a quarter his age.
  • Psychological Projection: Some of the stuff he accuses his opponents of doing (while valid) could equally be said of his own actions and behaviour:
    • In "Something Ricked This Way Comes", be mocks Mr. Needful (The Devil) for his Faustian Jackass Genie shtick but most of Rick's own devices and contraptions work in similar ironic fashion. Such as giving a device that can make Snuffles understands humans while knowing that it would eventually lead the dogs to be Turned Against Their Masters, the Mr. Meeseeks Box (which he admittedly does warn should only work simple requests). Most of the times his simple contraptions to help the family only complicates their lives.
    • In "Vindicators 3" he mocks the superhero group for keeping sidekick as Tagalong Kid just to make themselves look cooler in the eyes of the gullible, but that applies to his dynamic with Morty, where he drags Morty against his will into crazy adventures mostly to prove how awesome he is and prevent his grandson from idolizing anyone but himself. Toxic Rick proves this to Toxic Morty by openly invoking A God Am I and insisting how dumb Morty is in comparison to him.
  • Pungeon Master: Shows shades of this, especially in the comics:
    • In Rick and Morty Comics #19, Rick attacks a famed intergalactic space traveler named Peacock Jones with his Bee Gun (it shoots bees). What did he say? "Let it Bee, motherfucker."
  • The Rain Man: Autistic and as smart as a god.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He makes a pretty big one to Jerry which could pretty much explain his disdain for his relationship with Beth.
    Jerry: You self-righteous piece of shit! You took my family!
    Rick: I took your family? Who do you think had more taken from them when you shot 20ccs of liquid dream killer into my daughter? She was Rick's daughter, Jerry! She had options! That all ended because she felt sorry for you! You act like prey, but you're a predator! You use pity to lure in your victims! It's how you survive! I survive because I know everything, that snake survives because children wander off, and you survive because people think, "Oh, this poor piece of shit! He never gets a break! I can't stand the deafening silent wails of his wilting souls! I guess I'll hire him or marry him!
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Rick could probably solve most of humanity's problems in an afternoon if he really wanted to. After all, "Doofus Rick" — one of his less intelligent counterparts — managed to cure cancer in his universe. However, Rick simply doesn't bother with humanitarian efforts because he couldn't care less.
  • Red Baron: As part of the Vindicators, he's known as the "Tinkerer of Terror".
  • Replacement Goldfish: Sees basically everyone as this. Because there are infinite universes he basically has infinite family members, so he sees no point in forming any connections to them or valuing one more than the others. He and Morty have moved to new dimensions at least two times, replacing everyone they know in their lives, including their loved ones, with alternate versions of themselves. It is even implied that Rick has done this several times before. When it was first seen in "Rick Potion #9" he abandoned Beth, Jerry, and Summer to die in a world that he ruined and took only Morty with him to a new dimension, instead of working to find a possible cure. When Morty asks him about the dimension they left behind all Rick has to say is "don't think about it."
  • Roaring Rampageof Revenge: When he sees Tammy gun down his best friend Bird Person he completely loses it and shoots at all the Galactic Federation killing some of their members. But is mostly targeting at Tammy and gives her a Death Glare to show his murderous hatred towards her.
  • Sadistic Choice: Indirectly gives one to Zeep in "The Ricks Must Be Crazy". After he and Morty escaped, Rick knew that Zeep would be forced to choose between either having his world destroyed just to spite Rick, or have the inhabitants continue to be unknowingly enslaved in order to generate power for Rick's ship. He ends up choosing the latter.
  • Safety in Indifference: His advice to Morty to all of the crazy things they see, "Don't think about it".
  • Sand In My Eyes: While his memories are being played on a screen for Evil!Rick to watch, our Rick tears up at seeing his memories of Morty. When Evil!Rick blatantly asks him if he is "crying over a Morty", Rick says, "No, I'm just allergic to dipshits."
  • Science Hero: While he's a man of science through and through, whether or not he can be considered a hero is debatable.
  • School Is for Losers: In his opinion. Not so much for losers, just not for smart people.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He has a tendency of running from his problems rather than dealing with them. This ranges from abandoning Beth and his wife to jumping to a new dimension after being unable/unwilling to fix the one he's in. He even abandons his own body in the season 3 premiere.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: The finale of Season 3 has him express the sentiment that just because he isn't "the patriarch" of the household anymore, that automatically makes him "the lowest status character" in his "idiot family".
  • Seen It All: He's seen so much crazy shit that practically nothing fazes him anymore.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man (a foul-mouthed, aloof Sociopathic Hero) to Morty's Sensitive Guy (an awkward, sweet All-Loving Hero).
  • Shipper on Deck: Though Rick has tried to discourage Morty from pursuing romance at all ("Rise above. Focus on science."), he nonetheless seems happy for him when he does get some action, and in particular, appears to be a Morty and Jessica shipper:
    • The first episode has him drunkenly planning to destroy human civilization, except for Morty and Jessica, because they could repopulate the Earth together.
    • In "Rick Potion #9", though he later calls Morty out for asking him to make a love potion to use on Jessica (calling it a "roofie juice serum"), Rick still does make it, even after telling him just a few minutes before that he should just give up on romance.
    • In "Ricksy Business", he encourages Morty multiple times to talk to and make a move on her at the party.
    • As Tiny Rick in "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", he serves as Morty's wingman and helps him score a date with her to the school dance.
    • In "Rest and Ricklaxation", after Healthy Morty runs out on the family to have his own life, Jessica is the one Rick calls (albeit while drunk-dialing her and crying) to help him get Morty back to normal.
  • Shipping Torpedo:
    • For the first two seasons, he's annoyed by Beth's and Jerry's marriage and needles Jerry about it whenever he can, but doesn't actively try to break them up. However, after hearing that Jerry wants to turn him in to the Galactic Federation at the end of the second season, he starts the third season seeking to ensure Beth and Jerry are divorced. He succeeds, only for Beth to decide she loves Jerry and gets back with him at the end of season 3.
    • Towards Birdperson and Tammy. At first he was displeased of their marriage, but not because of his dislike towards Tammy, just his distrust towards the whole idea of marriage. But he later makes a toast saying that if Birdperson loves Tammy, then Rick loves her as well. Tragically, he was right to some extent — Tammy was undercover agent for the Galactic Federation.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Comes off as second nature to him. He has little inconvenience calling his grand kids "pieces of shit". And then showing off anequation he made a while ago for why they are.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: Shares this dynamic with Jerry.
  • Slasher Smile: Has a pretty good one in "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", when he kills the clones he created at the end.
  • Stepford Snarker:
    Bird Person: Morty. Do you know what "Wubalubadubdub" means?
    Morty: That's just Rick's stupid, nonsense catchprase.
    Bird Person: It is not nonsense at all. In my people's tongue, it means, "I am in great pain. Please help me."
    Morty: Well, I got news for ya. He's saying it ironically.
    Bird Person: No, Morty. Your grandfather is indeed in very deep pain. That is why he must numb himself.
    Morty: Cmon', Bird Person. Rick's not that complicated. He's just a huge asshole.
  • Straw Misogynist: He "respects" women in so far as they either do what he says or don't get in his way. When they don't, he freely starts throwing out sexist slurs to the point that Summer has become desensitised to being called "a dumb bitch."
  • Sociopathic Hero: Outright confirmed by Word of God — Rick makes a consistent effort to stay as unattached to people as possible. He is considered a troublemaker even by alternate Ricks, upon whom main Rick frowns because they formed a government to protect themselves. According to Evil Rick, Rick C-137 is only slightly less evil than he is. Of course, "Evil Rick" does turn out to be a puppet for the highly resentful Evil Morty, so this is probably an unreliable assessment. invoked
  • Speech Impediment: Like his grandson, Rick has a noticeable stutter that cause him to repeat words multiple times in sentences.
  • Straw Nihilist: While Rick does find things to do and reasons to keep going on, at the same time he has a very jaded view of existence. Interestingly his Nihilism and Anti-Nihilism are just two sides to the same coin, as while he finds freedom in there being no purpose to existence, he also values nothing (except maybe his family but even this is contextual).
  • String Theory: In one episode we see Rick's bedroom. One wall has notes connected this way.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Rick prefers to emotionally distance himself from others, and normally is aloof and uncaring to someone else's problems. He cares for Morty and the rest of his family, but it is certain that he will never say that out loud.
  • Survivorship Bias: Rick has hundreds of dimensional counterparts as seen in the Citadel of Ricks, most of whom display comparable intelligence. He manages to win each time quite possibly because he's "the Rickest Rick".
  • Sweet Tooth: Has an affinity for wafer cookies. An affinity shared by all Rick's if the success of the morally dubious "Simple Ricks" is any indicator.
  • Talkative Loon: Usually as a result of alcoholism.
  • Therapy Is for the Weak: Discussed with him by Dr. Wong in the above quote.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: In the trailer for Alien: Covenant, Rick's liver proves to be more powerful than the entirety of a facehugger's immune system when said facehugger dies of poisoning from all the drugs and alcohol in Rick's body mere seconds after latching onto him.
  • Touch of Death: He can make people die instantly if they touch him. He refers to it as a "deterrent".
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Rick tends to bring the worst out in people, which is the reason why Unity broke up with him.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He's seemingly obsessed with the Szechuan dipping sauce McDonalds used to promote Mulan (he presumably also likes the nuggets themselves, but the sauce is the main draw). So much so that he himself has dubbed his search for it as the series' Myth Arc. He is also fond of a restaurant called Shoney's, so much so that he refers to it as being like home to him and visualizes his mind like it while he's being interrogated. Wafer cookies also pop up a lot as his favorite snack, a trait apparently shared by many Ricks of the multiverse. He also likes Eye Holes, and keeps a box of them on his private kitchen shelf, despite the danger of enraging the Eye Hole Man (he even tells Morty it's worth the risk).
  • Troll: Towards the Devil in "Something Ricked This Way Comes". He even lampshades it by comparing it to "when Bugs Bunny fucks with the opera singer for 20 minutes", though even he didn't plan on driving the Devil into suicide.note 
  • Übermensch: Deconstructed. Tells Beth in the penultimate episode of Season 3 that "when you know nothing matters, the universe is yours", but immediately adds that he's "never met a universe that was into it." So while smart people get a chance to "take reality for a ride", they will inevitably get bucked off in a painful, catastrophic, and sometimes lethal fashion as evidenced by how he was viciously injured and maimed by his own creations earlier in the episode.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: If Diane is how his real ex-wife looks. She's a beautiful blonde and Rick is pretty goofy-looking.
  • Unreliable Narrator: It's very questionable in Season 3, Episode 1 just how much of what he says is the truth. When he's being interrogated by a Galactic Federation agent within a brainalyzer, he shows them a memory in which the Council of Ricks contacted him with news of dimensional travel, then killed his family in his original world. He then implies he swore revenge and their deaths spurred him on to make the portal gun, and that's why he's so callous and unfeeling. However, the memory in which this occurs is full of sloppy details, and is revealed several seconds later to be completely fake. However, it's become popular for fans to suggest that the Council of Ricks did something terrible to him, though nobody can agree what. On a lesser note, he claims that everything he does is driven by a need for a discontinued dipping sauce from McDonalds later in the episode. invoked
  • Vague Age: While his toxic self indirectly mentioned that Rick is 70 years old, it's impossible to tell how old he really is since he's body surfed across several different versions of himself and/or created new bodies to inhabit multiple times; as long as his past remains unclear, it's entirely possible that his consciousness could be older than his actual body at this point.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • He finds himself constantly dropping Morty's name when talking to him. Just listen to his speech at the end of the pilot.
    • Though it's hardly a tic, Rick can barely talk without constantly belching or tempting to throw up.
    • Like Morty, Rick also has a stutter.
  • Villain Protagonist: A great deal of his actions can be seen as questionable at best, from dangerous experiments to child endangerment to outright genocide to being neglectful of his family. In "Wedding Squanchers" Birdperson reveals that Rick is a wanted criminal and is considered a terrorist by the Galactic Federation. (Of course this is by a despotic organization so the perspective there is more than a little skewed.) The devil even lampshades this.
    Devil: I may be the devil but your grandpa is the devil.
  • Villain Has a Point: Even at his worst moments, he's still right about a lot of things. In "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender", he was definitely the villain but he was completely right about The Vindicators. They were only doing their jobs for the sake of glory and gratification rather than actual heroism. Rick may be an arsehole of the highest order, but he's one you definitely need on your side.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Rick and Morty are more like friends than grandfather and grandson. That doesn't stop Rick from using Morty to his benefit and constantly putting him in danger.
    • Explicitly seen in Rest and Ricklaxation when Toxic!Rick struggles to not show any concern about Toxic!Morty when Healthy!Rick kneecaps him.
      Toxic!Rick: Morty, not that I give a shit, but are you okay?
      Toxic!Morty: Jesus Christ, it hurts!
      Toxic!Rick: Quit your bitching, you're gonna be fine! Grandpa's here...
  • Weaponized Weakness: As a 3rd dimensional being, Rick is at a distinct disadvantage when accosted by the Time Cop who exists in the 4th dimension in "A Rickle In Time". How does he get around this little temporal snafu? Purposefully render his timestream into 64 different uncertainties and then gang up on said Time Cop with his 63 other temporal clones who, due to Rick being certain that they're all operating on the same idea that he is, proceed to beat the everloving shit out of the alien that exists in every uncertainty at once simultaneously and thus takes 64 times the beating it would have otherwise.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Hinted at in Auto Erotic Assimilation when one of his sexual demands is to be observed by a stadium packed with "Every man that remotely resembles my father."
    Men: [chanting] Go, son, go! Go, son, go!
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Chews out Summer for introducing Tammy to Birdperson, after the former revealed herself as an undercover agent for the Galactic Federation and killed him during their wedding reception, resulting in them out on the lam.
    • He calls out Morty for asking him to make a love potion for Jessica.
  • World's Smartest Man: He and several others have referred to him as the smartest man in the universe.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Rick has no qualms over killing women if they should attack him or his family.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: On the other hand, he is significantly more protective of his female descendants than Morty. Beth is the only person Rick treats with respect, and Summer is rarely taken into danger. As an example, the Morties of the Citadel are treated like garbage. However, Radicalizing a Summer is considered a crime.
    • He also completely lets Supernova off the hook and escape despite the fact she tried to kill him and Morty. It's doubtful he would have done the same with her male teammates.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Frank Palicky in the pilot, who was bullying Morty and got frozen to death by Rick. Played with since Rick assured Morty it was completely reversible (at least it would have been if Summer didn't accidentally shatter his body).
    • His reaction to the baby created by Morty's sexbot is to try and kill it with his laser gun, believing it will grow up to be a threat. He's at least polite enough to back down when Morty names it, though he was also right.
    • Every episode of the online flash game ends with Rick beating up Morty. (In Episode 3 he beats up Morty fused with Summer, but it still technically counts.)
    • He brutally murders multiple clones of himself at the end of "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" with an axe. At least two of the clones were children.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Is an active rebel against the Galactic Federation led by the Gromflomites. When asked what he was incarcerated for after turning himself in, his response is simply "everything".

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