Rick and Morty is essentially a study in existential horror. From the existential dread of knowing you're only one disposable version of yourself amongst nearly-infinite universes, to the Villain Protagonist's frequently cold and brutal solutions to his problems, there's plenty to disturb you and keep you up at night.
Unmarked spoilers ahead!
- Rick would have wiped out humanity, including his daughter and granddaughter, in the cold open of the PILOT if Morty hadn't stopped him. Making it even worse, consider the fact that there is no conclusive evidence that the universe at the beginning of the pilot is our Rick and Morty. After all, the ship confirms that the bomb is armed, Rick is passed out, and Morty is an idiot. How would he be able to disarm the bomb before it exploded?
- Rick's big speech at the end is pretty nightmarish. After going transcending different dimensions, getting badly injured, traumatised and eventually losing motor function, Rick tells Morty that there's more of this to come. Much more.
- Snuffles, once he upgrades the device that allows him to speak through his mechsuit.Snuffles want to be understood... Snuffles NEED to be understood...
- The voice modulator doesnt allow the dogs to speak with emotion, no matter how angry they are, making every action they take sound like Tranquil Fury.
- The Crapsack World instilled by the dogs' complete subjugation of humanity, complete with entire dumpsters filled with extracted human testicles. That part was just Snuffles' dream, but still.
- "Where are my testicles, Summer?" From that same scene, when Snuffles angrily smashes the mirror behind him right over Summer's terrified reflection.
- Rick shutting down Morty's kidneys as part of a Batman Gambit to get Snuffles to give up world conquest.
- The many diseases that attack the characters are all portrayed as hideous monsters.
- Generally being inside the human-body. Bonus points for a lot of it (the train being important, the general... fleshiness) being similar to Dead Space.
- The fact that this episode is one of the very few Fantastic Voyage Plots where the host actually dies during the voyage, partially due to the damage that the voyagers cause. Just watching that whole process happen at that close a scale is really, really off-putting. If you took away the all the comedy and Jurassic Park references, it'd be a pretty decent concept for a horror movie.
- The state of the liver is so bad that Rick constructed a haunted house in it because of the atmosphere. The host had an extensive history of alcohol abuse.
- The scene where the team discovers that the tuberculosis bacterium has broken free from its dormancy inside Ruben's lungs, and it proceeds to attack them in a swarm.
- Dr Bloom being eaten alive by a horde of E. coli viruses while the survivors try to escape.
- Roger drowning in human waste when the door sealing off Ruben's colon bursts.
- A mascot is sucked into Ruben's windpipe during a coughing fit; the G-forces skeletonize him alive before he is launched out of Ruben's mouth and splatters on Rick's face.
M. Night Shaym-Aliens!
- Rick finding out that he's inside of a simulation...that turns out to be inside of another simulation...which is also housed inside of a simulation, despite being Played for Laughs, can invoke bad memories of The Matrix and the general feeling of, "what if my life is part of one big simulation?" Especially when it turns out Morty is also part of the simulation too!
- Rick coming into Morty's room extremely drunk and unusually affectionate. He suddenly holds Morty at knife-point, screaming and swearing at him because he thinks that Morty is a simulation. Just as quickly, he realizes he was wrong and passes out.
Meeseeks and Destroy
- The attempted rape scene by Mr. Jelly Bean. It's played completely seriously, there are no sequences where it's ever played for laughs, and Morty is obviously very, very traumatized by it. And it's scarier than hell.
- Keep in mind, Mr. Jelly Bean is voiced by Tom Kenny, of all people. Hearing such an iconic and recognizable cartoon voice, twisted into that of a sadistic rapist, is disturbing enough on its own (though it's also pretty awesome on a meta level, as Kenny got to show off a darker side of his acting skills, and delivered a truly terrifying performance within just a few lines of dialogue).
- The reveal at the end, where Mr. Jelly Bean is the king of the village that Morty wanted to help. After Rick kills him, some villagers discover some disturbing personal photos of his, but decide to burn them to preserve the image of Mr. Jelly Bean, as portrayed in a statue: Mr. Jelly Bean as a benevolent helper to children.
- The all-too-serious hostage situation with the Meeseeks at the end of said episode also gets more than a little disturbing too, at least until Jerry finally manages to get his golf swing in order.
- The concept of a Meeseeks. Basically, a Meeseeks is brought into a world to solve a problem... but the thing is, existing causes a Meeseeks pain, which is why you give a Meeseeks a simple problem like "opening a mayonnaise jar" to solve, so that they poof out of existence as soon as possible. Otherwise, they'll go mad with desperation and try to solve the problem like "take two strokes off my golf game" in another way... that other way being killing you. They also can't die, but will constantly create other Meeseeks to try to kill the original. Who also cannot die. And then those Meeseeks will summon more Meeseeks to kill the other Meeseeks, who cannot die.
Rick Potion #9
- Imagine asking your super genius grandfather to make you a love potion so that the girl of your dreams will fall in love with you. Imagine that said potion is actually more like a super aphrodisiac that can become airborne, causing everyone (including men) to try to get into your pants. Imagine your grandpa creating a "cure" out of praying mantis DNA that mutates people into praying mantis people (including the girl of your dreams) that still want to get in your pants, but now want to eat your head afterwards. Imagine your grandpa creating another "cure" that turns people into mutated "Cronenberged" monsters... Then imagine that you escape that reality and go to one where your grandpa found a real cure- but both of you died after an invention blows up before burying your dead alternate self.
- The newscast of mantis-people that interrupts Summer's typical reality TV viewing is quite frankly horrifying, especially from Summer's perspective.
- Morty goes through an existential crisis at the end, wandering through the house just staring, in a dazed awe. Rick simply grabs a beer from the fridge and joins Summer in watching TV on the couch, so casually, almost like he's done this before, so many times that it doesn't even faze him anymore.
- Alternate Rick and Morty instantly died due to a small mistake. Really puts all their crazy, dangerous adventures into perspective. Similarly, Rick points out that if the entire "Cronenberg" incident hadn't happened, then they would have been killed just like their alternate selves.
- Morty acknowledges two episodes later that he spends every day knowing that his corpse is just a few yards outside. Eating his meals, seeing the grave outside that holds his dead alternate self...
- The fact that the graves are still plain to see from Summer's bedroom window, and it seems nobody has even noticed them.
- The main universe, as we can see, has never been fixed, and everyone is still living in what appears to be either a state of unbearable agony or (in the case of Jerry, Beth, and Summer) running dangerously low on supplies.
- The whole dance going silent, the Flu-hatin' Rapper rapping "I love Morty. And I hope Morty loves me...", and Morty realising that he's surrounded by sex-crazed people... sex-crazed for him. Everyone infected with the Love Potion also sports hideously enlarged pupils that magnify their creepiness. This becomes more horrifying when you consider that Morty was almost raped just a few episodes prior by Mr. Jelly Bean. Having the entire planet lust for you after something like that is more than enough to trigger some PTSD.
- The fact that Beth doesn't even miss Rick and Morty. Sure, anyone wouldn't miss a jerkass like Rick, but HER OWN SON?!
- The idea that Morty, who is normally Rick's Morality Pet would ask for a love potion in the first place, which as Rick points out is essentially a roofie cocktail. I know teenage boys can let their libidos get the better of them, but Jesus!
- Summer nearly getting raped by the brutish male Gazorpians when she and Rick first arrive on Gazorpazorp, completely with a horrifying POV shot of her struggling to keep her legs from being pried open. Thankfully, Rick kicks ass.
- The leprechaun commercial (which is a very dark parody of the Lucky Charms commercials) in "Rixty Minutes" is about fifteen seconds of pure, unadulterated nightmare fuel. Basically, it consists of a leprechaun who is shown sitting and enjoying a bowl of cereal, eating it quickly before any kids can steal it from him. After he finishes, some creepy children show up, restrain him with duct tape, then proceed to rip open his gastrointestinal tract and eat the cereal out of his innards, all while the leprechaun screams in agony and begs for the mercy of death while calling out for God and Jesus, only for his death visions to instead be demons. What's even scarier is that, throughout this whole scene, the children's faces are completely emotionless and robotic, which adds a layer of dissonance to the scene and raises some disturbing implications: either a) the reality it comes from is so sadistic and violent that torture of this level is used as children's entertainment to sell groceries, or b) the children in this reality are genuinely like the ones in the advert and the whole thing is the marketers playing to desires of their audience.. Even Morty is horrified of this. Overall, it's definitely one of the darkest and most hilarious things Rick and Morty has done thus far.
- Nearly all the programming we're shown is very surreal, something Morty comments on. Even if they aren't outright terrifying, it's still unsettling to imagine what kind of universe produces them, such as the rather avant-garde commercial about the fake doors.
- Alternate Jerry's breakdown, which makes Britney Spears breakdown look like a minor case of anxiety. And it's all because he didnt marry his version of Beth.
Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind
- The Morty Dome (folder image). Hundreds of screaming Mortys, constantly being tortured so they can hide Evil!Rick. It's even more horrifying when we discover that Evil!Rick was under Evil!Morty's control all along, meaning that a version of Morty doesn't care if other versions of himself suffer. And Main!Rick reveals that they could have achieved the same effect with just a few Mortys, so most of it is completely unnecessary.
- The final piece of the nightmarey puzzle comes when it is revealed it is Evil Morty who is in control of the dome, which actually makes it entirely needless as Morty Waves hide complementary Rick Waves and would serve no cloaking whatsoever for Evil Morty, who would share the same waves emitted by his alternate victims.
- Jerry nearly getting raped at gunpoint. After that happens, Beth says that she "didn't peg Lucy as rapist." Jerry responds with an initially sarcastic retort about what a rapist is supposed to look like, but it quickly devolves into an all-too-specific description of a man while Jerry starts looking more and more traumatized. It's all Played for Laughs, but the implication is that Jerry has been in a rape situation before.
- Imagine being familiar with someone who has up until now always had an answer for everything or at least was able to keep cool in a dire situation. You and that person find yourselves "lost in a timeless oblivion" trying to get back to "certainty" before everything around you disintegrates into nothingness. Suddenly he goes completely insane, ranting about the "other" him trying to kill everyone, before taking out a gun and shooting at apparent nothing as bullets fly in random directions out of thin air - and that's basically what happens when Rick gets de-synced across timelines in "A Rickle in Time".
- The fact that time has been frozen for six months since the Season 1 finale, to the point where MILDEW has started to grow on a frozen Jerry.
- Roy: A Life Well Lived: Imagine the ending of the game and coming back to reality. An entire life you just "lived" was nothing more but an arcade game. Everyone you know, everything you did, never really happened. While the show does show Morty coming to pretty quickly, it wouldn't be surprising if he is stuck with some conflicting memories for a while to come. Hell, when he crashes the ship into the prison, he mumbles something about his life as Roy.
- Fart. To elaborate, he along with members of his species sees "carbon based lifeforms" like humans as diseases that should be exterminated, and we get a glimpse as how he would do so when he helps Rick and Morty escape from the law: It's shown that they get into your head and play with your emotions (such as Morty's desire to be a hero, and a random gear cop's insecurity about his relationship with his girlfriend) to manipulate you into either helping them or worse - killing yourself in a way that somehow not only kills you, but a whole lot of innocent bystanders. AND THERE'S STILL A WHOLE DIMENSION OF THESE OUT THERE.
- Rick essentially ripping off Gearhead's testicles and putting them over his mouth, anybody?
- The Goodbye Moonmen music video can be quite eerie to some, for its surreal nature.
- Each time it plays, the context is different. The first time, Fart is singing it to Morty, and the bizarreness is the only thing that can make it disturbing. The second time, it plays over Fart driving a gear cop to a Disaster Dominoes-triggering suicide, resulting in some jarring Soundtrack Dissonance. The last time is Fart singing for Morty again at the latter's request...after Fart's true nature has been revealed. The song played over a scene of death and destruction because it's Fart's Villain Song about how he and his kind want to kill all carbon-based life.
- Unity. A Hive Mind who takes away your free will, even if those people were starting a race war, not unlike some real life atrocities. Rick is shown to be passionately in love with it, and even has sex with it and the many redheads it's possessing. But we have a word for this on TV Tropes. Those people are forced against their will to have sex with Rick, do drugs, and up and abandon their planet! Unity may be more utopian, but this is still horrifying.
- The natural state of the people Unity took over. They're actually part of an incredibly vicious race war over who has different shaped nipples, and try to murder Summer and Morty for not having their kinds of nipples.
- The ending: Rick creates life, a creature seemingly in pain, and then kills it with a laser. Then turns it on himself. Thankfully, he doesn't succeed, but this is a man who's been through so much Hell, and this is what drives him to the edge, someone he loves leaving him... again. None of the Smiths even enter the garage to check on Rick, so what would have happened had he succeeded?
- Even worse, according to the commentary: the liquid he drank before turning on the laser was meant to synchronize all of his alternate selves. So if he'd succeeded, he wouldn't have just killed himself, he would've killed every Rick in the multiverse.
- Rick just up and kills a beloved family member right in front of them. Except it wasn't a beloved family member. It was a parasite tricking everyone with false memories. Doesn't help the nightmare fuel though, given he attacked it out of nowhere.
- The parasites would be terrifying on the same level as Doctor Who villains like the Flood, Weeping Angels, and Silence if not for the fact that their taken forms were so intentionally ridiculous. All of a sudden, memories of illogical events are being created in your head to justify the existence of people who seem to be a single gimmick repeated ad infinitum. And the more you try to figure out what the true memories are, the more chances there are of the parasites filling in the gaps for you, allowing for more of their ilk to enter your memories and gain your trust. Even if you are aware of the threat, how can you trust anyone if they can alter your memories to make your own preventative countermeasures seem like nothing more than zaniness?
- Rick gets Mind Raped by them, visibly aware that the new memories are being forced into his head.
- The fact that the ONLY way to identify the parasites is that they can't create unpleasant memories. So you literally have to murder people who you only have happy memories of.
- You know the kind of laser blasters that cauterize the wound instantly? Rick's guns don't do that. Have fun bleeding to death! It hurts more than you'd think. Poor Mr. Poopybutthole found that out the hard way. Everyone (but Beth) are casually eating dinner happy and free... And Beth up and shoots him. The uneasy tension of the situation along with Beth drowning herself in wine really hits hard in this department. Bonus points for the fact that it isn't as if Beth can even really be blamed for shooting Mr. Poopybutthole - After what the family had been through, it's pretty difficult to blame anyone for thinking such an eccentrically named, odd looking character who she had no negative memories of was a parasite too. It arguably isn't quite as freaky an idea as the rest of the episode, since the chances of knowing anyone who one has only good memories of in real-life is extraordinarily slim, but the idea of a completely innocent person who's practically indistinguishable from a dangerous life-form that one has recently had ''very'' close encounters with is not a pleasant one, to say the least, and when the specifics are out of the way it becomes quite terrifying and not so implausible.
- Morty steals Rick's portal gun and leaves, jumping into several different universes consecutively. He has no idea how it works. Through sheer dumb luck he happens upon the universe Bird-Person lives in and promptly receives medical assistance. Rick spends the entire time trying to think up a song to save the world in a negative funk and, unlike before, visibly distressed- not just because he can't bail if he messes up, but also because he's now legitimately concerned that Morty will end up dead in some random universe completely alone and afraid.
- The Headists sacrificing people by tying them to balloons and having them float towards the Head.
- Just how thoroughly brainwashed Summer is to the Headism Religion to the point she has essentially a nervous breakdown just because she called her father "silly". Then being completely calm and happy at the idea of sacrificing her parents when they reject the religion.
- The religion of Headism only gets more frightening when you factor in that it was pretty much entirely baseless. In true Cosmic Horror Story form, the Cromulons don't even know the church exists, and yet their worshippers go to the point of human sacrifice to try and please them. And given the heavy-handed punishment they dish out to planets whose musicians don't want to perform, or whose performances don't please them, one could imagine what might have happened if they did learn about Headism and didn't like it.
- The mere concept of the reality show itself. Not only are they gathering planets without their consent and obliterating four out of the five chosen each season, it's been going on for 984 seasons! That's at LEAST three-thousand nine hundred and thirty-six planets that have been destroyed for their entertainment. TRILLIONS of lives. And that's not to mention the planets that DIDN'T pass "auditions." How many planets were destroyed by the Cromulons before Rick and Morty became the ultimate winners? It's horrifying to contemplate the ultra-genocide.
- The only reason Rick, Morty, and Ice T got picked to perform was because most of the talented musicians (or at least the ones who attended the Grammys) died in the widespread destruction caused simply by the Cromulons trying to communicate with Earth.
The Ricks Must Be Crazy
- Rick's ship is filled to the brim with nightmare fuel, even when its battery is empty. The first thing it does to "protect Summer" is to dice a human being into bloody cubes with a laser, later crippling his client by drilling into his spine with another laser. When Summer commands it to stop using physical force, the ship's idea of psychological warfare is to create a clone of a police officer's deceased son and have him melt into goo before his very eyes.Police Officer (sees his young boy emerge from a capsule): Hunter! (Sobbing) Oh, my dear, sweet God, Hunter. Oh, my boy. My boy. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. It was all my fault. I'm sorry."Hunter" : Daddy, leave the car alone.Police Officer: W-w-w-what?"Hunter" : (begins to melt) Leave the car alone.Rick's Ship: All of you have loved ones. All can be returned. All can be taken away.
- The whole concept of manipulating a miniature universe's inhabitants into generating power for you. Morty calls out Rick (who later calls out Zeep) for the monstrous implications, and it's completely unsurprising that the third scientist later on commits suicide upon this realization. Even scarier is the implication that ALL intelligent beings will eventually come to the conclusion that exploiting a smaller universe would be a viable means of energy production.
- At the end of the episode, Zeep is forced to decide between letting Rick destroy the entire microverse if they no longer generate power, or enslaving all its inhabitants to keep doing so. He chooses the latter.Rick: He knew that once I got back to my car, one of two things was gonna happen— I was gonna have to toss a broken battery, or the battery wouldn't be broken.
- As soon as Rick, Morty and Zeep exit the Miniverse, Rick smashes its container to show Zeep what he'll do to the Microverse if it doesn't continue generating power for him. Let's put that into perspective: Rick destroyed an entire universe (with its own Teenyverse still inside that), and threatened to do the same to the one he created, all for the sake of his car battery.
- The world they're on has giant telepathic spiders that trick humans into walking into their webs to become food. What happened on this reality?
Big Trouble In Little Sanchez
- Rick transfers his mind into a younger clone's body, but the clone's mind takes over his own while the original mind is still aware, but unable to directly communicate his situation to the outside world. And his original body is dying in the vat, meaning that if he hadn't managed to convince Morty and Summers about his true situation, he would have been permanently stuck like that.
- Once Rick's issues are dealt with he takes an axe, and hacks up his clones, which are based on his progressively younger forms, up to a fetus, all with a sadistic smile on his face.
- Jerry's image of Beth is a sociopathic Control Freak who treats Beth's vision of Jerry (a wimpy slug) as a mere pawn, pictured in this folder. After she breaks out, she tries to use Beth so that more Jerry Slugs are made, with the intention of taking over the universe. Thank God for Jerry's Big Damn Heroes moment.
- Her appearance is also quite horrifying, designed after the Alien Queen from Aliens.
- Beth's image of a spineless slug creature isnt a thrillride either. In fact, it's so submissive that when Jerry yells at it, it presents itself to be sodomized!Jerry: NO! No one is doing that!
- The latter bit is no doubt particularly problematic for Jerry given his explicit and implied history as a victim of sexual assault.
- The Jerry Slugs also prove to be much more dangerous than they seem, being able to quickly pounce on victims and crush them to death. Which actually turns out to be true of Jerry as well, by episode's end.
Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate
- The "Personal Space" guy tearing his skin off.
- Jerry being graphically shot, later confirmed to be 57 times, on live television, witnessed by his entire family.
Look Who's Purging Now
- The Purge is so gruesome that Rick, who was eager to watch it, gets sick after watching it for less than a minute.
- The planet Rick and Morty land on, in spite of being used to seeing intergalactic travelers, is still in a seeming pre-gunpowder state, as evidenced by the fact that main weapons we see are pitchforks, torches, and knives. So any and all murders are violent, up close, and bloody. It is one thing to just shoot a guy, it is quite another to impale someone, gut them, or set them alight with a torch. Unlike the film, The Purge, where most Purgers wear a mask, almost everyone does it without any sort of disguise. But not only does no one have a problem with this, they have no problem, at night's end, in going to their regular lives afterwards, knowing full well that their neighbors might be fully capable of murdering, mauling, and butchering anyone, including women and children. Even their family members.
- Morty going absolutely batshit and slaughtering innocent people who were just hiding and trying to survive the purge. Rick is so disturbed by it, he has no idea what to do and just knocks him out.
- The ending, where Rick mistakenly (or not) tells Morty that the bars they ate were filled with a substance that brought out violent tendencies, only for the camera to pan towards the discarded wrapper to reveal it's now "Purgenol-Free", and a short clip of the song from earlier plays before cutting to silence right before the credits roll.
- The Purge just starting up again at the end after the deaths of all the aristocrats who kept it going. After a violent disagreement, the townspeople immediately decide to revert to holding the Purge because they have THAT much pent up aggression and hostility and not having it to look forward to would wipe them out.
The Wedding Squanchers
- The Galactic Federation seems pretty stable on the whole, but the fact that Rick and Bird Person are part of a major rebellion against it hints that it may be more dystopian than it lets on. To whit, the nature of the honeypot operation they ran on Bird Person in order to uncover him and his rebel friends.
- The Galactic Federation does not treat prisoners well. Even those outside maximum security appear to be completely restricted with no freedom of movement or entertainment, 24/7. Being stuck in that situation, especially if you were claustrophobic and panicked by restraints, would be horrid.
- The entire second half of the episode is basically a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for Rick. He ruins the Galactic Federation by reducing their currency to nothing, causing them to kill and destroy each other in the chaos, slaughtered the Council of Ricks, and causes Beth and Jerry's divorce because the latter suggested turning him into the Federation in the previous season. The end of the episode shows that he's pretty much completely lost it.
- After Rick teleports the Citadel into the Galactic Federation prison, all the Ricks and Mortys from other dimensions start getting slaughtered while fighting each other and the Federation's aliens. One of the Ricks uses his Morty (who has a hammer for a head with Morty's face) as a Human Shield before getting eaten, and aother Rick pleads with an alien that grabs him before he promptly gets all of his limbs torn off rather messily.
- In a standoff as our Rick tries to kill a Council Rick that's holding Summer hostage, Morty holds up our Rick out of sheer desperation to prevent Summer getting killed. When this seemingly botches Rick's plan to rescue Summer and Morty is mocked savagely for it, his response is to scream and ''shoot our Rick in the head.'' Were it not for Rick intentionally giving Morty a fake gun for this (even though Morty didn't read the note on the side), Rick would be dead right then and there.
- One brief shot of a dishevelled Mr. Goldenfold leading a revolt against the Galactic Federation shows the negative effects that stemmed from allowing every single alien free reign on Earth. Keep in mind that this can't have been more than a few months.
- It's implied in most of the Galactic Federation videos on youtube that, for all the technological advancement and outward benevolence of the Galactic Federation, life on Earth under them is... not too good. Federation aliens show a complete lack of understanding of humanity, see them as disgusting, don't seem to care about accidentally crushing them underfoot, and often misunderstand human body language in the most harmful way possible. They view humans as primitive and see nothing wrong with mind-wiping them. They kidnap humans to perform unsettling experiments like surgically mutilating them or turning them into horrific meat-cubes or invading their memories for seemingly no reason without warning. Almost all human money and food has been replaced with pills (God only knows what they do!) and the commonly-issued butler robots come with a ridiculously lethal array of weapons. Also, signing up for the (mandatory) Federation Rewards program requires you to "surrender your rights to privacy and waive all individual rights." They also apparently removed the free will of one alien. No wonder it's become almost memetic to say that Rick did nothing wrong in this episode.
Rickmancing the Stone
- Robot Morty briefly gaining sentience, then having it taken away from him. Worse of it is that not only is he fully aware of his mind being reset, he tries to stop it and save himself, but fails! You can see the distress and fear on his face as his attempts to stop the reset fail. Imagine feeling your personality and memories being erased one by one and its completely beyond your control to stop it.
- Awesome as it is, Pickle Rick slaughtering a whole pack of rats is still pretty disturbing, as is his slaughtering of an embassy's worth of armed guards.
Rick: That'd be a lucky break for you. Because this pickle doesn't care about your children. I'm not gonna take their dreams, I'm gonna take their parents.
- The monologue Rick gives in the latter scene is chilling.
- Him licking the back of cockroaches' brains in order to move is this as well.
- Pickle Rick almost dies from being exposed to the sun, with a sudden thunderstorm saving him at the last second. Reminder, this show follows the multiverse theory. Meaning it's 100% possible there's a universe where he doesn't survive.
- The ending is Nightmare Fuel in a more subtle and depressing way. Rick and Beth are so obsessed with maintaining their delusional facade of having a "healthy life" that they are now actively worsening their children's lives. With Jerry gone, Dr. Wong was one of the last chances for Morty and Summer to finally get some normalcy back into their lives, but because of Rick and Beth's selfishness, that chance is irrevocably torn from them.
- The stinger, where we get to see the context (of a sorts) for the enormous piano Death Trap shown in the opening montage, along with the victims of the trap having already had their heads smashed into bloody mush by the piano's hammers.
Vindicators 3: The Return of the World Ender
- Jerkass they may be, but the deaths of the titular Vindicators are pretty gruesome. The most unlikable ignores the warning and runs facefirst into a Gory Discretion Shot Sound-Only Death in a panic, but it remains Nightmare Fuel for the sounds alone painting an all too vivid mental picture of what's happening. After the upper half of their body is utterly shredded, the severed lower half falls down as the only part that remains, before they get exploded. Another gets a quicker and comparatively more merciful death by getting instantaneously smashed to pieces and their blood and guts shower over everyone else in the room, and the third is killed when literally millions of ants force themselves down their screaming mouth and their body swells up from the sheer number of them (and presumably, from ant bites ''inside'' their body) until they also explode into gore, which not even Rick saw coming.
- World Ender isn't doing much better. Blackout-drunk Rick gutted him and hung him on the ceiling by ramming a hook and chain through the skin of his back for the Vindicators to find. What's worse? He's still alive when they find him.
The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy
- Summer tries to make her boobs bigger with one of Rick's growing machines. It morphs parts of her body to disproportionate sizes, and when Beth tries to fix it by hitting the "reverse" button, she causes Summer's skin to turn inside out.
- After the Whirly Dirly comes loose and breaks the immortality shield around the park, the brother playing with his sister earlier shoots her for real. Doubles as a Tear Jerker.
- Rick discovers Jerry's betrayal, and his Tranquil Fury as the man pleads for his life is pretty goddamn terrifying.Jerry: I'm sorry! I-I made a mistake. I won't do it again!Rick: Nobody ever does.
- Morty mutates Ethan into a freak for breaking Summer's heart. He definitely took after his grandpa in the revenge department, and his expression sells it, as pictured.
- The trippy wormhole sequence was horrifying, with body horror and unnerving imagery all over the place. The strange dialogue also might give a perspective of what the characters are going through. Not that it can't be funny as well.Rick: Who am I?Risotto: Who am I?Jerry: I'm TIME! I'm literally time!
Rest and Ricklaxation
- Expanding on what the previous episode showed of Morty: the machine designed to remove toxicity from the user removes what the user himself deems toxic. When Morty used it, it removed - amongst other things - his empathy.
- The toxicity beam causes a group of children at a birthday party to go all Kingsman on each other. When the beam's effects are reversed, the party entertainer is decapitated and some other kids are beaten up. They start crying once they're snapped out of it.
- Rick having a Chest Burster gun. As in it shoots darts that causes organic targets to "give" birth to a Rick in the same way Xenomorphs are born.
- Healthy!Rick casually kneecapping Toxic!Morty. It's explicitly stated he considers his attachment to him as a weakness.
The Ricklantis Mixup
- The episode goes into detail about the reconstruction of the Citadel of Ricks, showing that their new president is none other than Evil Morty from Season 1. What makes this especially bone-chilling is that as his Leitmotif starts to play he has several Ricks killed off and blown out the airlock as the camera focuses on dozens of Rick and Morty corpses floating in space.
- The Simple Rick Simple Wafer cookies, as made from Simple Rick. A Rick who eschewed the science and adventure, and decided to be a normal family man. His reward is being trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine, with his happiness used to make cookies. When a factory worker Rick sets him free with an unlicensed portal gun, he walks into "the blender dimension" and blood explodes out the portal. The factory worker Rick then tastes freedom when he thinks that his boss is setting him free... only for him to get tranquilized, and then forced to replace Simple Rick.
- Apparently, getting the fluid for Rick's portal gun wrong can destroy your body if you walk through, stripping it apart, molecule by molecule.
- Officer Rick finding what seems to be a crying, Broken Bird of a Morty and trying to calm him down before they stab him and he's narrowly saved by Officer Morty. Officer Morty assures him that he just needs to trust the right Morty - shortly before having the entire place and the Mortys inside get disintegrated as payback.
- It doesn't help that not long thereafter, Officer Rick has to put down Officer Morty when the latter's corruption gets too ahead of himself and he offs a criminal witness in a Suicide by Cop. He has an entire rant that encapsulates I Just Want to Be Normal, but dooms himself anyway because he knew death would be better than wasting away in the citadel like before. The implications are that these sorts of existential nightmares and pointless deaths is an everyday occurrence, even on the new Citadel, just with different Ricks and Mortys.Other Officer Ricks: What the hell happened in there?
- And to top it off, Big Morty and Officer Morty, alongside the Campaign Morty and many Ricks and others alike are unceremoniously dumped into space, both to get rid of any potential evidence as well as cost-efficient corpse disposal of the unwanted in Evil Morty's Citadel.
Morty's Mind Blowers
- Among the memories Morty wanted Rick to remove are him getting his hand chopped off by an alien, the two of them killing Santa Claus, and Morty unintentionally leading an alien to his death, which is followed by said alien being dragged to his species' version of Hell.
- The memory showing the squirrels plotting world domination, and the implication that Rick and Morty were forced to jump to another similar dimension.
- One memory reminds us just how little Beth thinks of Morty when she instantly chooses him to die without a moment's hesitation or a shred of remorse. Even the alien who was forcing her to choose is mortified.
- The simple fact that among the more traumatizing memories that Rick has erased are ones where Rick just made a simple mistake and then immediately erased the memory to save face veers into creepy levels of pettiness.
The ABC's of Beth
- The grotesque Froopyland creatures being products of incest, with some being eaten by Tommy for sustenance. Including newborns.
- Some of the insidious gadgets that Rick made for Beth when she was a child, such as a sentient talking switchblade with a love for stabbing.
- The true purpose of Froopyland is this. Rick didn't just make it to get out of taking care of Beth. He made it to protect the neighborhood FROM Beth. It begs the question of just what she did that caused Rick of all people to view his young daughter as a "Scary kid" to the point he needed to make a whole mini-dimension for her.
- Just how evil Young Beth was. She tried to murder her best friend because he had more friends than her and had a Nintendo, she asked her father to make her weapons, and she made Rick, someone who casually murders people in his way, so freaked out he made Froopyland JUST to protect the neighborhood.
- Rick stating he kept Beth in Froopyland not to protect people, but because it would be too much work cloning her victims. Rick's implying he didn't care that his daughter was murdering children.
The Rickchurian Mortydate
- Beth has a brief but still rather unsettling freak-out over possibly being a clone that just became self-aware, meaning that Rick would have to terminate her and make another one. Her breathing is shaky before she lets out a blood-curdling scream.
- Rick and Morty infiltrate the white house and demand that the President takes a selfie with Morty. The president refuses and orders a guard to arrest... then he dies instantly the moment he touches Rick for no explained reason. He doesn't explode, he doesn't turn to into vapor, he just... simply falls over. To make it more chilling, Rick warned him that there's no afterlife... Then when the other guards shoot him, the bullets get deflected back at them.
- When the President knocks Rick down and starts a fight, Rick proceeds to cut most of the remaining guards down with a wrist laser. What makes that creepier are Ricks' facial expressions while doing it. At first he kills two with a complete look of apathy on his face, then in the next cut his mowing them all down with a Slasher Smile.
- The President's Tyke-Bomb child assassins are fucking horrifying. As soon as the President blows the whistle their eyes roll back into their skulls and they leap on Rick, screeching like feral animals as they attack him. And then not two minutes later the President mows them down in his Mini-Mecha while trying to get Rick, in a Freeze-Frame Bonus moment! These kids got introduced and killed in the same space of time it'd take to make a Hot Pocket. And these kids aren't filthy urchins or dead eyed waifs; they are both well-groomed, fit, and generally pleasant looking, which makes their ferocity all the more jarring.
- Rick makes a device to ensure success in the stock market. While it seems innocent enough at first, since the running gag of the time detective indicates it works by telling the future, it actually rivals his microverse battery for casual cruelty. It works by merging their reality with one where the stock they invested in were successful. The result is bone-chilling - whatever they invested in succeeds, and the rest of that alternate timeline is completely obliterated.
- The Clackspire Labyrinth. It's a gigantic maze filled with the worst monsters, death traps, and other assorted hazards the galaxy has to offer. Criminals are sentenced to life in this place, which usually amounts to anywhere from a few seconds to months. Worst of all, it was created by Rick. One of the most deranged and unstable individuals alive, given absolute control over a section of land to warp into the deadliest place imaginable.
- The class-2 clonerbeasts. Unlike the parasites of Total Rickall, these don't insert false memories to justify their presence. They just replace your loved ones, imitating them for weeks at a time until they have the opportunity to replace you too. And unlike the Rickall parasites, they'll fight back, playing mental games with the victims and displaying open sadism.
- We finally see the typical alternate dimension, the one where the characters are reversed. Here, Rick's the idiot and Morty's the genius. But unlike the main universe, the dynamic doesn't work. Fed up with his condescending attitude, Rick brains Morty with a hammer. No cosmic horror or alien monster here, just an ordinary man pushed too far.
- And that is just the tip of the nightmare fueled iceberg. If normal Rick can resort to this then there is a good chance that Morty could be pushed to this kind of breaking point.
- The interdimensional assassin beast. It's a pile of goo and spikes with a creepy melted face that hunts and kills every alternate version of its target. In its first appearance it murders a Rick and goes after his Morty, only failing because he escaped with the dead Rick's portal device. Even that doesn't work for long because it tracks him to the new dimension and kills him. Rick's immediate reaction to it was to run screaming about how they're all going to die. According to him it was responsible for the deaths of untold Ricks, enough that the increased death rate was noted by the Council of Ricks. And with all their knowledge and power, they still couldn't stop it.
- The alternate Santa Claus, Mr. Chimney. He's disturbingly unhuman, can flay people to the bone with his voice, and doesn't bother acting like his spying isn't creepy, but that's not the half of it. He's omniscient to a horrifying degree, able to peer through dimensional barriers in addition to the standard 'watching you at all times'. Even Rick is scared of him.
- In response to Morty's traumatized fear from all the brushes with death he's had, Rick gives him a box. If he opens the box he will experience death, giving him the knowledge of what lies beyond the mortal coil. We never get to know if he was telling the truth because Morty chooses blissful ignorance, but Rick implies that the answer is the reason he drinks.
- In a parody of Event Horizon, Rick, Morty, and Summer stumble across a missing spaceship of Rick's design that had traveled to a hell dimension. While trying to use the ship's computer, Rick is locked on the bridge and the lights go out. They come back on (pictured) and boom, the room is flooded with blood and Rick is confronted by the ghostly visages of characters from the show (Xenon Bloom, Bird-Person, Nebulon, etc.) who he murdered or allowed to die, all asking, "Why, Rick?"