Season 1, Episode 01:
Directed by Justin Roiland
Mad scientist Rick Sanchez moves in with his daughter's family. Capable of intergalactic and -dimensional travel, Rick drags his grandson Morty Smith through some epic and painful adventures. Meanwhile, Jerry attempts to convince his wife (Rick's daughter), Beth to put Rick in a nursing home because he believes that Rick is a horrible influence on Morty.
- All Deserts Have Cacti: There are cacti in the place they land towards the end of The Teaser.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Summer has a crush on Frank Palicky, despite the fact that he's perfectly willing to pull a knife on someone and threaten to stab them for an imagined slight.
- Amusing Injuries: Morty's broken legs.
- And the Adventure Continues: Rick says he and Morty are gonna go on more adventures and that Morty's gonna keep his mouth shut about them.
- Asshole Victim: Frank is a violent bully quick to pull out a knife.
- Big Damn Heroes: Rick freezes Frank just as the guy talks about cutting Morty with his knife. Of course, this is less about saving Morty from physical harm and more about getting help for an errand.
- Blatant Lies: Rick trying to brush off his intention to nuke humanity, by telling Morty that it was a secret test of his character.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Jerry to Rick for dragging Morty off on adventures and affecting his school performance.
- Chekhov's Gun: The grabbling shoes come in handy when fleeing customs security.
- Dumbass No More: Morty demonstrates a good deal of knowledge at the end of this episode. Subverted in that this was just a temporary side-effect of the mega seeds dissolving in his rectal cavity.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- Rick has become significantly more coherent since the pilot, and doesn't repeat Morty's name as much as he used to.
- The first episode has no Stinger.
- This is also one of the only times Rick is shown to panic in the face of danger.
- When Rick runs out of juice for his portal gun, he gets home through a public portal. "The Rickshank Redemption" shows that interdimensional technology belongs to Rick and Rick alone.
- Godwin's Law: When pushed too far, Morty compares Rick to Hitler, only to back down from this as "Hitler at least cared about Germany".
- Hypocritical Humor: Rick gives Morty a heartwarming speech about courage - only to run away screaming mid-sentence as an alien creature shows up.
- Immediate Self-Contradiction: At the end, Rick promises to be 100% honest but lies right afterwards when claiming he doesn't know anything about Frank's death.
- Just a Machine: To get him to open fire, Rick tells Morty that the armed guards are just robots. However, the one Morty hits screams out in agony and bleeds out.
- Literally Shattered Lives: Frank dies this way.
- Overly Long Gag: Rick's And the Adventure Continues speech to Morty at the end as Morty's body reacts violently to the seeds he shoved up his ass earlier.
- Secret Test of Character: Invoked; when Morty convinces Rick not to destroy humanity, Rick claims that Morty "passed the test." He is almost certainly less than sincere.
- Series Establishing Moment: Rick freezes Frank Palicky in a moment of desperation and leaves him there, only for him to tip over and shatter into a million pieces, effectively killing him. Not only does it immediately do away with The Bully cliche, but perfectly illustrates just how seriously the show takes absurd concepts like Harmless Freezing.
- Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Rick is constantly pulling Morty out of school because he thinks school is a waste of time. It's revealed he has caused Morty miss so much school he only attended 7 hours in two months.
- Sinister Switchblade: Frank pops one.
- Stock Scream: While Morty exchanges gunfire with the intergalactic agents, "Wilhelm" flees in horror.
- The Teaser: This and most of the following episodes would have a cold opening.
- Treasure Chest Cavity: Rick convinces Morty to keep seeds in his rectum in order to sneak them through customs. They end up dissolving, incapacitating Morty for 72 hours.
- What Happened to the Mouse??: The subject of their adventures getting in the way of Morty's schooling is never mentioned again. In the second episode though, Rick makes it so Morty's math teacher gives him an A.But other than this, it isn't brought up again.
- With Due Respect: Morty's father when talking to Rick:"Okay, with all due respect, Rick... What am I talking about? What respect is due?
- You Monster!: Morty says this to Rick, even comparing him to Hitler.