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Western Animation / Rick and Morty

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We got our own *URP* trope page, Morty!note 

"I wanted you to have a normal life. That's something that you can't have when Rick shows up. Everything real turns fake, everything right is wrong, all you know is that you know nothing and he knows everything. And, well... 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."
Morty, "The Rickshank Rickdemption"

Rick and Morty is an [adult swim] original that premiered in 2013. The cartoon is created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon. Originally, the series was based on Channel101's The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti, a Back to the Future parody.

This bizarre series centers around the misadventures of Morty Smith (voiced by Justin Roiland), a troubled young high school student, and Rick Sanchez (also voiced by Justin Roiland), Morty's alcoholic Mad Scientist grandfather. Rick constantly pulls Morty and his family out of their normal lives to go on sci-fi acid trips across the multiverse and help him carry out insane science experiments. Morty's parents think of Rick as a negative influence on their son, but they keep Rick around the house anyway just as long as he sort of keeps Morty in school.


An official licensed comic based on the show is available from Oni Press, as well as two spinoffs (Little Poopy Superstar, starring Summer and Mr. Poopybutthole, and Pocket Like You Stole It, based on the Pocket Mortys game—see below). There also exists several official licensed games: a mobile balloon-popping game called Jerry's Game, an Adventure Game called Rick & Morty Rushed Licensed Adventure, a Mon parody game called Pocket Mortys for iOS and Android by Adult Swim Games, a card game based on the episode "Total Rickall" by Cryptozoic, and a virtual reality game called Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Ality by Owlchemy Labs.

The first episode was released online on November 27, 2013, and aired on Adult Swim five days later, on December 2, 2013.

Now with a Best Episode Crowner!

For episode-specific summaries and tropes, check out the recap page.


In May 2018, after months of contract negotiations following the end of the show's third season (and fears of cancellation), the series was announced as being renewed for an unprecedented 70 additional episodes.

Rick & Morty contains *URP* the following tropes, bitch!!:

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  • Absurd Phobia: It turns out Rick is afraid of clowns and pirates.
  • Absurdly Youthful Parents: Morty became one in "Raising Gazorpazorp" when he convinces Rick to buy him a sex bot that turns out to be an alien reproductive device. Taken Up to Eleven when the half-alien baby ages extremely quickly, making him appear to be older than Morty in only about a day.
  • Abusive Alien Parents: Downplayed with the Gazorpians, who raise female babies just fine but literally catapult male ones outside to live on their own. Their society justifies this because the males are shown to be incredibly violent and try to gang rape Summer the moment they see her.
  • Abusive Parents: Due to the above-mentioned species divide, Morty accidentally became one in "Raising Gazorpazorp", as chronicled in his half-alien son's book My Horrible Father.
    Jerry: It's a thankless job, son.
    • Beth and Jerry aren't necessarily abusive, more neglectful. They didn't pay their children much attention when they were babies, one reason could be because they became parents so young. Jerry tries a little harder at being a good parent than Beth.
    • Jerry also mentions how "they can't all be raised like reptiles by a mentally ill scientist" suggesting that Rick may have been this to Beth when she was a child. He was neglectful of her, to the point where she would draw him into family pictures with a crayon.
      • However, this is turned back on Beth when Rick shows her the box of inventions she specifically asked him for. Some highlights include stickers that cause amnesia, shoes that make no sound (for sneaking up on people), and a sentient switchblade. Rick mentions that Beth was a "scary kid" and that he did everything he could to limit her interactions with other people. He fully admits his inability to be a good parent, but makes Beth take some responsibility for her own actions.
  • Action Girl: Summer proves to be a pretty good shot with a laser pistol in "Total Rickall."
    • Invoked with Beth a few times. She is shown kicking just as much Cronenberg ass as Jerry in "Rick Potion #9" and again in "ABC's of Beth" as she walks back into the garage liberally soaked with blood.
    Beth: "So.... Timmy gave me his finger."
    Rick: "He "gave" you his finger?"
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Subverted, Evil Rick's henchman randomly makes a laughing noise every few seconds which our Rick mistakes for approval of his zingers.
  • Adam and Eve Plot: The very first thing we see Rick do in the series is drunkenly plan to exterminate the human race except for Morty and the girl he likes.
  • Adding Insult to Injury: After enslaving all of the Ricks, Doofus Jerry ordered them all to address him as the "Miggity Miggity Miggity Mack."
  • Ad Hominem: In the episode "Something Ricked This Way Comes", Morty argues with Jerry's theory of Pluto being a planet by presenting a well-worded and bulletproof argument backed by a vast majority of professional scientists. Jerry's response is to remind him of the time when he was five years old and he threw his poopy undies out the window and it landed on a bush while Jerry was trimming it. The Plutonians (influenced by their own biases) immediately accept Jerry's statement as a witty and appropriate rebuttal.
  • Adult Fear: Morty almost getting raped in "Meeseeks and Destroy". Even Rick was horrified by it.
  • Aerith and Bob: The upper-class Gromflomites (the ones who wear clothes) are unique in that their first names are always something alien and exotic while their last names are more typical. Examples include Krombopulous Michael and Cornvelious Daniel. Apart from them, this trope is generally justified due to the many alien species in the series obviously having different cultures from Earth.
  • Aesop Amnesia: When Mr. Goldenfold became impotent from his woman-attracting Deal with the Devil, he learned a lesson about lust and hubris, but when Rick then cures his impotence, leaving him with no negative side effects, he instantly runs home with two armfuls of ladies, screaming, "I haven't learned a thing!"
  • Affably Evil: Krombopulos Michael is perhaps the most cheerful and friendly assassin ever
    Krombopulos: Oh boy, here I go killing again!
  • The Alcoholic:
    • Rick always has a flask handy and constantly has slobber dripping from his mouth. It's very rare that we see him totally sober, though with the personality he's got, it's pretty hard to tell.
    • Though she's not as bad as her father, Beth can be seen gulping down copious amounts of wine on several occasions. "Total Rickall" has Summer remember Beth piss drunk in bed, and her sloppy attempts to get out of bed cause her to give Summer a black eye when she is swinging a wine bottle around.
      • Beth's reaction after shooting Mr. Poopybutthole is to immediately pour a large glass of wine and shakily drink it.
  • All-Ghouls School: Scary Terry apparently went to school full of similarly scary students.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Summer had a crush on Morty's bully, Frank Palicky.
    • Played with concerning Jessica and her boyfriend. She hates how he always picks fights, and yet they're still together no matter what.
  • All Men Are Perverts/All Women Are Lustful: Most of the human characters (and even some exceptions therein) place their sexual priorities a little too high. To give some perspective, Rick is one of the lightest examples on the show, and he spent almost the entirety of "Auto-Erotic Assimilation" having an orgy involving, among other things, a giraffe, a hang-glider, and a football field covered with redheads and the stadium seats filled with guys that look like Rick's dad.
    • This trope is discussed to hilarious length in "Interdimensional Cable 2" when Jerry is approached by alien surgeons who want him to donate his penis to save the life of an important alien political figure.
      • This of course leads to one of the greatest lines in cartoon history:
    Jerry: "I'm a good person, and I demand that you put my penis in that man's chest."
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The Cesium-Water mixture in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" might not be enough to blow up an entire star cruiser, but cesium (and other metals of its type, like the more common, albeit not as explosive, lithium, sodium, or potassium) do combust on mixture with water. Maybe the Plutonic Quarks serves as an amplifier?
  • Always a Bigger Fish: When Morty was shrunk down to microscopic levels and being chased by Gonorrhea, it ended up getting crushed by Hepatitis C, which even gave Morty a thumbs-up.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • The main focus of "The Rickchurian Mortydate" is how the President of the United States cannot accept that Rick is infinitely superior to him and the government. Even brokering the "Blatantly Obvious If You Think About It" peace accord between Israel and Palestine and giving him full credit pissed him off because he can't make Rick submit to him.
    The President: The office of the Presidency cannot coexist with an infinitely superior god who refuses to submit to him... well, except for Poseidon, but he's locked up in Area 51, so it doesn't count.
  • Amazing Technicolor World: Several planets and alternate realities Rick and Morty visit.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: The whereabouts of Beth’s mother have not been given a proper explanation. Rick has implied that his marriage to her was not stable, and that they did separate before his disappearance. Beth sheds a tear in "Pilot" when Rick tells her that he wishes her mother was present to eat the family’s breakfast, but it is never confirmed if Beth’s mother is actually dead. In “The Rickshank Redemption”, Rick is shown a memory in which a woman named Diane is his wife as well as Beth’s mother, and she is killed in it; however, this specific memory was fabricated by Rick to fool his interrogator, so Diane may not even have existed. The cover artist for the comic book adaptation has created a character named “Bonnie Sinclair”, who fills the role of Beth's mother in several illustrations, but it is not known if she will ever appear on the show.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • It's strongly implied in the first episode, and Jerry explicitly speculates to the same effect, that the reason Morty is underperforming in school is because he has some kind of learning disability. This is never picked back up, however.
    • Rick's drinking and substance abuse problem has been acknowledged in canon, but he also often has a notable mix of a lack of empathy and suicidal tendencies.
    • Dan Harmon, co-creator of the show, is on the autism spectrum and has spoken before about how he tries to create positive representations for the autistic community with his characters. Both Rick and Morty (but especially Morty) display symptoms of autism - like stuttering or difficulties forming sentences, failing to pick up sarcasm, and only in Rick's case, lack of empathy.
      • In "The Rickchurian Mortydate", in his usual cynical tone, Rick asks if Mine Craft was made for autistic people, because he's starting to enjoy playing it.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Unity is an entity that is capable of possessing bodies whether they are male of female. It also had a relationship with Rick but it's unknown whether this makes Rick bi, or if he remains heterosexual. On one hand, Rick requests that a stadium be filled entirely with busty redheaded females for him to hang glide into. On the's Rick. There's also the fact that Rick asks Unity if it can take over a giraffe.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The Galactic Federation. Rick shows a lot of disdain towards the organization and his friends see themselves as Freedom Fighters going against them. The Federation are made out as oppressive and have been seen to be apathetic to civilian casualties. At the same time this information comes from Rick and they do keep their word when Rick turns himself in so his family can return to Earth.
  • Ambition Is Evil: In the episode "Rest and Ricklaxation", "healthy" Morty may exemplify this as he is sociopathic and wildly successful.
  • Analogy Backfire: Played with when Summer’s sentient phone asked Jerry if he wanted to take a dick pic. Jerry replied yes, since he thought it meant taking a photo with someone named Richard.
  • And I Must Scream: The Morty-Dome from "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind". Hundreds of Mortys are strapped to a huge dome and have their sides repeatably stabbed in an attempt to hide the rogue Rick who had been murdering other Ricks across realities. They can scream, and in fact their screaming is the reason why this Rick is getting away with it. What makes this worse is that our Rick acknowledges that only five Mortys and a jumper cable could achieve the same effect (and even admitted that he thought of an idea like this before), and that a Morty is behind all of this.
  • Anti-Hero: Rick just barely has enough humanity left in him to avoid being a Villain Protagonist.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • One-off or even recurring characters might as well have countdown clocks over their heads. If someone survives a guest appearance, it's highly probably they'll be killed off for a dramatic moment when they next appear.
    • Overlaps with Death Is Cheap for the main characters, who can be replaced by alternate-universe versions of themselves and thus might occasionally suffer a sudden Plot Armor failure.
  • Arms Dealer: Rick sells guns to various buyers (a Gromflomite named Krombopulos Michael is his best customer) much to Morty's chagrin.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • Poncho's grievances against Dr. Bloom include his pompousness, negligence, and giving iTunes gift cards as holiday bonuses.
    • In "Get Schwifty", the first three undesirables sent to the Cromulons are a thief, a Goth, and a "movie talker".
    • In "The ABC's of Beth", Rick goes through some of the things Beth asked him to make for her as a child: rayguns, a whip that forces people to like you, invisibility cuffs, a parent trap (Bear Trap), a lightning gun, a teddy bear with anatomically correct innards, night-vision googly-eye glasses, sound erasing sneakers, false fingerprints, fall-asleep darts, a lie detecting doll, an indestructible baseball bat, a taser shaped like a ladybug, a fake police badge, location tracking stickers, rainbow colored duct tape, mind-control hair clips, poison gum, and a pink, sentient switchblade.
    • From "The Rickchurian Mortydate":
    The President: You're a terrorist, you're an enemy of the state and you kicked me in the balls ten minutes ago!
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: In "Rixty Minutes", alternate reality Beth keeps large parrots like macaws and cockatoos in old fashioned bird cages that are too small for even a parakeet, yet alone large birds.
  • Artistic License – Geography: In "Anatomy Park", it is said the giant body's penis must be over the Rocky Mountains, and it's shown casting a shadow over them - however when the body is seen over the Continental US, his penis should be hanging over the Great Plains.
  • Art Shift: The post-Season 1 promos has Rick and Morty (and Mr. Meeseeks) appearing as puppet versions of themselves.
    • The commercials for "Two Brothers" and "Jean Quadrant Vincent 16" are animated in a more dramatic, realistic comic style.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Summer started off as a recurring character in the early episodes. She has become more major to the show since "Raising Gazorpazorp".
    • Season 2's "Mortynight Run" has Jerry stowing aboard, leaving Beth as the only family member yet to accompany Rick & Morty on an adventure. Though, she did accompany the entire family on an adventure to Hamsters-in-Butts world.
    • In "Wedding Squanchers," Beth admits that going with Rick to the wedding was the closest she had been to her father in "years."
    • Arguably Squanchy Cat himself. He appears as an almost throw-away gag for Rick's party, in which Rick seems to not know him very well. By the second season finale, it is discovered that Squanchy was a member of Rick's freedom fighters and rock band.
  • Asleep in Class: Morty falls asleep during math class in the pilot, and ends up having a naughty dream about Jessica.
    • In the stinger of "The Ricks Must Be Crazy," Morty very nearly falls asleep, only to end up turning into a car.
  • Ass Shove:
    • Rick makes Morty shove two mega-seeds up his ass so that he can smuggle them through inter-dimensional customs.
    Rick: When we get to customs, I’m gonna need you to take these seeds into the bathroom. And I’m gonna need you to put them waaaay up inside your butthole Morty. Put them way up inside there, as far as they can fit.
    • One alternate dimension is populated entirely by hamsters who live inside people's butts. It's pretty ambiguous if the people are even living things, since they seem to function like mobile homes.
    • In "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind", when viewing photographs of the murders of 27 other versions of Rick, one of the Ricks was killed by having his head literally shoved up his ass.
  • Atlantis Is Boring: A meta version. The writers don't bother following Rick and Morty on their trip to Atlantis, instead going to the Citadel of Ricks to find more interesting stories for the episode. Rick and Morty seem to enjoy their trip, though, and even managed to find a way around the Mermaid Problem while they were there.
  • Attempted Rape: Quite a bit.
    • Happens to Morty during an adventure. Luckily, Morty kicks ass, and then Rick kills the attempted rapist.
    • Happens to Summer on another adventure. Luckily, Rick kicks ass.
    • Rick argues that love potions are basically this, though he takes his time before saying so. In the same episode, everyone outside of his family is infected by the potion, turning the tables on Morty.
    • In yet another episode, Jerry is the victim of it. Luckily, Beth kicks ass.
  • Audience Murmurs: Our Rick claims to a crowd of other Ricks from other dimensions that they're hypocritical for banding together to protect themselves from the government. The other Ricks murmur at this, and our Rick says "yeah, murmur it up, d-bags."
  • Author Appeal:
    • In "Something Ricked This Way Comes," the final victim of Rick and Summer's rampage is a dog abuser. Harmon and Roiland are both dog owners. Harmon put his dog on his Vanity Plate, while Roiland named Jerry after one of his dogs.
    • Ice-T showing up in "Get Schwifty," with Dan Harmon doing the voice. Harmon loves doing Ice-T impersonations in Harmontown
    • Dan Harmon does what sounds like an improvised rap in "Rick Potion No. 9." Improvised rapping is a big part of Harmontown.
    • In a Harmontown episode, Harmon tells the story about how he went for years without realizing he had a thing for redheads; A friend looked through his erotica collection and pointed it out to him. In the episode "Auto Erotic Assimilation," Rick has an orgy with a stadium full of redheads. In "Morty's Mind Blowers", Rick has an invention that works like a huge magnet on anything and Morty uses it to attract redheads.
    • In "Interdimensional Cable 2," an alien voiced by Werner Herzog criticizes humanity for doing things like putting an object up to their crotch and saying, "Look, I'm so-and-so penis!" A recurring feature on Harmontown had Harmon singing a song about a man with a chicken noodle soup can for a penis. Also on the podcast, comptroller Jeff Davis would occasionally sing a song called "Pringles Dick," about a man who puts his penis inside a Pringles can.
    • In "Interdimensional Cable 2," the commercial for Little Bits, the restaurant that only serves tiny food, is based on Bytes, the same idea for a restaurant frequently endorsed by Dan Harmon's friend "The Real Abed."
    • The plot of season 3 reflects Dan Harmon's divorce.
  • Auto-Tune: Used for Snuffles' robot suit in "Lawnmower Dog" as a goofy way of giving him a robot voice.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • Jerry and Beth do not have a good marriage, and are sometimes unsure if they're even in love, but one always has the other's back when push comes to shove.
    • The titular characters as well. Rick, despite his abrasive behavior, always wants what's best (well, at least what he thinks is best) for his grandchildren and isn't above having fun with them once in a while. He's abusive as hell to Morty and typically treats him as a means to an end, but there's little doubt he does genuinely care about him.
    • This is a show where you spend 99% of the time laughing/cringing at all the Black Comedy, and saying "D'aww" at least Once an Episode.
    • In ''Get Schwifty", Jerry outright says he's sick of pretending they only stay together for their kids. He married Beth because he loves her and wants her to know that.
    • "Rixty Minutes" shows an alternate timeline where Summer was aborted. Jerry becomes a movie star, and Beth is rich enough to sit at home all day. This leads to a lot of hurt feelings between "our" Jerry, Beth, and Summer. It turns out that in the alternate universe, Jerry's miserable and Beth is a Crazy Parrot Lady. Jerry has a meltdown and drives all the way to her house on a Rascal mobility scooter in nothing but his underwear, police and media on hot pursuit, to confess his love for her. This leads to "our" dimension's Jerry, Beth and Summer to patch things up.
    • In "The Wedding Squanchers" The Smith family become fugitives after Rick is discovered to be wanted for terrorism by the galactic federation. Jerry suggests that they turn Rick in so they can have a normal life but the rest of the family refuses because they love Rick(for the most part). Rick has a revelation and turns himself in anyways. Though later subverted when it turns out he got caught on purpose to not only topple the government but push Jerry and Beth to separate, letting him in his own words "become the de-facto patriarch of the family and the universe.
    • "The Ricklantis Mixup shows a Rick who is "more into working with wood than science," and creates a jewelry box (complete with a cartoon horse on top) for his daughter's birthday, truly demonstrating his love for Beth. This is then ruthlessly invoked as the scene pans out to reveal that this Rick is kept a prisoner, with this memory being played on an infinite loop just so the "happy" chemical his brain secretes can be extracted. This is done by other Ricks, to add flavor to a wafer.
    • Rick is reluctant to see Jerry killed, being genuinely horrified along with the rest of the family when Jerry was almost shot to death in "Interdimensional Cable II: Tempting Fate", keeping him alive despite Jerry betraying him in "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy", killing his ex-girlfriend's jealous boyfriend in "The ABCs of Beth", and not going through with killing him in "The Rickchurian Mortydate".
    • While fighting the Gorpathian the Smiths remembered all the loving memories they had of each other.
    • One sidedly anyway in issue 36 a bunch of bank robbers forced Jerry to be their getaway driver threatening to kill his wife and kids if he tried to drive away. Though he joked that it wasn’t much of a threat he stayed.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: After their first encounter with Rick in "Get Schwifty", the President and the United States Government got to work on creating their own form of portal transportation. It works, but the military has to spend the time and resources to manually airlift the portal platform to its destination just for one person to transport through.
    • Invoked again the same episode. The US Government has developed a pill that will shrink the user to near microscopic levels. Unfortunately, it doesn't shrink their clothes, and seems to take a decent amount of time while the user shrieks in agony. Rick creates one in a day that circumvents all of these shortcomings.
  • Baby Planet: In "The Wedding Squanchers", the family is forced to relocate to an Earth-like planet about the size of a small neighborhood. Rick can walk to the south pole in under a minute, and after some practice, Morty can throw a frisbee around the world and catch it himself.
  • Baby's First Words: In "Raising Gazorpazorp", Morty tries to raise a Half-Human Hybrid baby where he is the dad and the mother is an alien from a Proud Warrior Race. He tries to make the baby say "dada" but the baby ends up saying "death", "domination" and "destruction".
  • Back from the Dead: Bird Person, now rebuilt as a cyborg for the Galactic Federation as "Phoenix Person".
    Tammy: "Is that the name we went with? I thought.... you know, #&%* it!"
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In "The Ricklantis Mix-up", Evil Morty succeeds seizing control of the Citadel.
  • Badass Boast: From Jerry of all people - "No one's killing me until I catch my wife with another man!"
  • Badass Family: The Smiths. This trope is most evident in "Rick Potion #9" and "Total Rickall."
  • Badass Grandpa: Rick on many occasions.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Due to the editing, it at first seems like Rick's emergency plan in "Rick Potion #9" managed to save the day offscreen (after he "[did] some scouting"). As it happens, he was actually scouting for a dimension where he and Morty managed to save the day... and then died soon after.
    • Invoked in the episode "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind". The episode begins with Rick and the family (except Morty) being shot to death by another Rick and Morty that appear from a portal in the dining room. Turns out this was Evil!Morty and Robot!Rick the whole time, but it led to some initial confusion at the first viewing.
    • In "Auto Erotic Assimilation" after seeing Unity bomb a city it seems like Rick's going to realize their relationship is toxic for the both of them and leave. He doesn't but Unity moved everyone out of the city without telling him just to screw with him.
    • In "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy", when Rick gets the drop on Risotto Groupon, he activates the cybernetics in his arm to reveal what appears to be a large, overly-complex gun, only for it to shoot out a suction dart which he uses to grab Risotto's gun and kill him with it.
    • "The Ricks Must Be Crazy" has Rick's ship, which has been put under strict orders to keep Summer safe, stick out a device and scan a person it sees as a potential threat, only for the scanning to actually have been a Laser Cutter that turns him into a fleshy pile of cubes.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In "Get Schwifty", Rick uses a wrist laser that turns people into snakes. Subverted at the end when he reveals it's actually a mundane particle beam that vaporizes people and the snakes are kept in a tube strapped to his leg.
  • Balloonacy: In "Get Schwifty", Principal Vagina's head religion sends undesirables up to the heads by tying balloons to them.
  • Bamboo Technology: When trapped on a Stone Age world in "The Ricks Must be Crazy", Rick and Zeep design Mini-Mecha made of wood, rocks, vines, and various animal parts.
  • Batman Gambit: In "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!", Rick looks genuinely distraught over having been fooled by a simulation inside a simulation inside a simulation, but he was in control the whole time. He knew that if Morty mixed the ingredients together just as he said, that he would have blown himself up, and that the aliens were only trying to get the recipe the whole time.
    • Rick's plan in the season 3 premiere also counts. He fully anticipated the Galactic Federation trying to snoop through his memories to learn how his portal gun was created, so he crafted a fake origin story where he used a virus that would grant him access to the device searching his subconscious. He then used it to Body Surf into a Galactic Federation agent and several Ricks so he could enact revenge against both the Galactic Federation and the Council of Ricks. He also anticipates Morty getting agitated enough to shoot him with a fake gun, allowing him to get the jump on the leader of the Council. Then he emotionally manipulates Beth into divorcing Jerry by saving Morty and Summer, gaining Beth and Summer's respect, and allowing Rick to take Morty on more adventures.
  • Battle Couple: Jerry C-137 and Beth C-137 become this in "Rick Potion #9".
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: The asteroid on which Jerryboree is situated more or less qualifies.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Rick argues that the Interdimensional Council of Ricks are less Rick than he is because they formed a government to protect themselves from the governments they pissed off.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Mr. Needful's store offers magical items that ultimately screw people over (for example, cologne that makes you irresistible to women while making you impotent). Rick ends up starting a business where he removes curses with science.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: When the dogs take over the world, Snuffles/Snowball makes Morty his personal pet since he treated him well.
    • Summer wants to support Mr. Needful and his business and compete against Rick, only to be 'Zuckerberged' by him later on.
    • When caught in a Spot the Imposter Morty shot the original rick because of this even though the imposture was a walrus
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Ice-T is actually a being made of water from the realm of Alphabetrium, where all beings are shaped like letters and embody various simple substances (H2O, magnesium, etc). He was turned to ice and banished for his apathy. In the stinger of "Get Schwifty", he returns to his homeworld and becomes Water-T.
  • Berserk Button: Don't eat Eyeholes cereal unless you want the Eyehole Man to show up and beat the hell out of you.
  • Big Damn Movie: A game, in this case. Episode one of the game has Rick be fully aware that the sudden problem that starts the plot makes no sense.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Invoked with most of the shows Rick and Morty watch in "Rixty Minutes".
  • Big "NO!":
    • Rick lets one out in the season 2 finale when Tammy shoots Birdperson to death.
    • Also, from "Total Rickall" when Rick sees the room full of parasites:
      Rick: NOOOOOOOOshoot, now look. It's like a Where's Waldo? page. Can you find me? Check out all these zany characters. We'll be right back after these messages.
    • Past!Rick lets one loose in the season 3 premiere when his wife and daughter are killed.
      • This is soon followed up with one from the Galactic Federation agent when he realizes Rick has tricked him and the rest of the Federation.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • The stairs up the dais where the female Gazorpians carry out sentencing reads "Sis Semper Calumniam," which means "You are always wrong."
    • In "The Rickchurian Mortydate", the Chinese character on the back of Jerry's robe means "weak/feeble".
  • Bi the Way: Rick's previous relationship with Unity, a genderless entity who inhabits male and female bodies, and quotes from some members of the crew heavily suggest that Rick is canonically pansexual.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: So many examples that it could have its own subpage. Lampshaded in the pilot, when Rick points out a random alien creature and says it "defies all logic."
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The Gazorpians. Male Gazorpians are large, stupid, brutish beings driven by violence and lust, while females are much more human-looking and are empathetic, intellectual, and telekinetic.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The combination of cynicism, black comedy, and the general Crapsack World that is the universe leaves the series with barely any characters who ever really do the right thing otherwise it would be more Grey and Gray Morality. Morty started off the series fairly optimistic and cheerful, but season 2 and especially season 3 have already worn him down. No character ever gets to live their lives and do everything they want without appropriate consequences. For example, Morty's desire to win the love and affection of his crush resulted in—as Rick describes it himself— a date rape drug being spread throughout the entire planet's atmosphere and transforming all non-family members into Cronenberg-style mutants. There are clearly nefarious characters and entities that clearly fall under black, but almost everyone else is grey.
  • Black Comedy: Most definitely. Most of the humor revolves around Rick's sociopathy and alcoholism and the resulting damage it does to Morty's psyche. After "Rick Potion #9", the show takes a realistic look at the traumatic damage that the pair's adventures can have on Morty.
  • Black Comedy Rape: An interesting subversion. There are a few passive jokes about rape in the dialogue, but the act itself is always depicted completely seriously. For example, Rick makes a passive comment about Prison Rape during his and Morty's trial in "Meeseeks and Destroy," which is meant as a joke, but Morty almost getting raped in a bathroom later in the same episode is not. Rick's reaction to it cements this.
  • Blatant Lies: Rick claims that the bug security officers chasing them are robots. When Morty shoots one, it starts bleeding to death, and another bug starts yelling for the shot bug's wife and children to be notified. When Morty tries to call Rick on this, he admits it was just a figure of speech. They're bureaucrats; he doesn't respect them.
    • At the end of 'The Rickshank Redemption' Rick declares that he will never take Jerry on any adventures because he 'crossed him.' Four episodes later: "RICK AND JERRY EPISOOOOOOOODE!!"
  • Bloodier and Gorier: While the show has never been one to shy away from on-screen violence, it was rarely extravagant, with most episodes in the first two seasons being rated TV-14. Season 3 has taken the violence Up to Eleven, with almost every episode getting a TV-MA rating. Nearly every episode involves a sequence where one of the main characters engage it a brutal, graphic and creative slaughter of a crowd of enemies. Usually the crowd is a collective Asshole Victim, but it is still the heroes gleefully engaging in Bloody Hilarious violence. The late Season 2 episode "Look Who's Purging Now" is a hint at the beginning of this, with Rick and Arthrisha literally dance in a river of the blood to Toni Toni Tone after killing all the aristocratic "fat cats".
  • Body Backup Drive: Rick attempts this in "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez". He deems the experiment a failure after this teenage body, dubbed Tiny Rick, compartmentalizes Rick's true personality, leaving only his hedonistic urges. After he returns to his old body, he dubs "Project Phoenix" a failure and proceeds to kill off the various clone bodies he made.
  • Body Horror:
    • The "Cronenbergs", which are genetic monstrosities Rick accidentally engineers by inaccurately replicating human DNA.
    • Summer's body turning inside-out in "The Wirly Dirly Conspiracy", as well as Morty horrifically deforming Ethan.
  • Body Surf: In the opening of Season 3, Rick escapes from prison when a Galactic Federation agent links into his subconsciousness in order to attempt to dig up his memory of when he first created the portal gun. Rick tricks him into thinking they had the info, then traps him inside his own body and uses the machine linking them to jump into the agent's body. Then an assault squad of Ricks invade and shoot all the guards along with Rick. Rick uses the same machine to jump into multiple other Ricks.
  • Book-Ends: "Rickmancing The Stone" begins and ends with Jerry hearing the wind blow by and whisper "Loser..."
  • Born Winner: Doofus Jerry
  • Bottle Episode: "Rixty Minutes", which consists almost entirely of Rick and Morty watching TV (though in staying in the spirit of the series, it is interdimensional TV). The majority of the dialogue heard on the shows was ad-libbed on the spot by the voice actors, something that Rick and Morty both lampshade.
  • Brain Bleach: In "Lawnmower Dog" Rick and Morty run into a sexy dream version of Summer and get grossed out when she starts hitting on them.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Jerry, of all people, looks straight at the camera and shrugs at the end of the Christmas Episode.
    • All five characters at the end of "Meeseeks and Destroy". Rick even says "See you next week!" to the audience. He does this again in "Raising Gazorpazorp."
    • At the end of "Ricksy Business", Rick ends the episode by ordering to roll the credits, and repeatedly yells that it's the end of the first season.
    • In-universe, the Titanic reenactment cruise that Beth and Jerry are on fails to sink as it was supposed to, and to make up for it the captain of the ship offers everyone free "James Camer-Onion Rings". This prompts Jerry to angrily say "...and now the fourth wall is broken."
    • "Total Rickall" features Rick telling viewers that the show will be back after a commercial break.
    • The same episode has a fake flashback of Rick detailing a get-rich-quick scheme involving selling Nintendo 3DS systems. At the end of the scene, he turns to the camera and asks Nintendo to give him free stuff.
    • Mr. Poopy Butthole mentions how "The Wedding Squanchers" ends on a huge cliffhanger, and how it'll take a year and a half or possibly longer to see how it'll be resolved at the start of season 3.
    • At the end of "The Rickshank Redemption" Rick goes on a rant about how finding some way to acquire more Schezuan sauce from McDonald's is going to be his "series arc" and he will achieve it, even if it takes him "nine seasons" or 97 years to do so.
    • Rick looks right at the camera with a deadpan face by saying "We'll be right back" before cutting to the commercial break in "Rickmancing the Stone."
    • In the cold open of "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy", Rick calls it a "Rick and Jerry episode!"
    • During the introduction to "Morty's Mind Blowers", Rick looks directly at the camera and says: "It's a clip show of clips... [beat] you've never seen! [deadpan] And we'll be doing this instead of Interdimensional Cable." Cue the intro.
    • At the end of third season finale "The Rickchurian Mortydate", after Beth and Jerry decide to get back together, Beth makes an explicit comparison to season one.
  • Break the Cutie: Morty in "Meeseeks and Destroy" after he is almost raped.
    • Also Morty in "Mortynight Run" when he has to kill Fart.
  • Brick Joke: Earlier in the episode "The Ricks Must Be Crazy", the microverse president responds to Rick with "Fuck You", which Rick taught them to understand as "Much Obliged". Later when Zeep tells Rick "Much Obliged!", after he found out Rick created his universe, he is really saying in his culture, "Fuck You!".
  • Broken Ace: Dear Lord, Rick. He's smarter than anybody else on Earth, can whip up practically any sci-fi gadget one can think of with minimal effort and is a complete and total badass, but he's also an alcoholic sociopath who's been put through too much trauma to really give a crap about anything anymore. There's a reason his Catch-Phrase secretly translates into "I am in great pain. Please help me."
  • Broken Pedestal: As of "Pickle Rick", the kids have started to realize that their mother might not exercise the best judgement in regards to Rick.
  • The Bully: Frank Palicky. Frozen to death in his debut scene. And there was NO EVIDENCE that a Latino student did it. (Everyone wants to make this a race thing.) And this was technically true: a Latino student did not do it. A (White) Latino non-student (Rick) did.
  • Bully Hunter: The newly beefed-up Rick and Summer become this in The Stinger to "Something Ricked This Way Comes", taking out a racist skinhead, a schoolyard bully, a Westboro protester and an animal abuser.
  • Buffy Speak: Used occasionally. One example is this exchange that took place when Rick had a massive hangover.
    Rick: Bring me the thing.
    Morty: What thing?
    Rick: The thing, the thing. It's got buttons and it and lights on it. It beeps.
    Morty: Rick, that describes everything in your garage!
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Rick has a lot of enemies that he doesn’t remember until it come back to bite him in the ass
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Poor Morty. Putting up with all that crap can't be easy.
    • Taken to an interdimensional scale with Jerry. No matter where he goes or what he does, he never seems to catch a break. Christmas with the family? His parents reveal they're in a three-way relationship. Finally gets to go on an adventure? Dropped off at a day care specifically catered to him. Best day of his life? Simulation running at 5% capacity. The list goes on.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: In "Get Schwifty", the Earth is teleported by alien heads to participate in a game show. Rick casually tells everyone at the Pentagon that all the astronauts in orbit are now dead.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Emerald City Comic Con exclusive cover for #1 of the official comic has cameos from Mr. Meeseeks, the guy from the Gear Wars, one of the anthropomorphic Pop-Tarts, and Gazorpazorpfield (in the form of a tattoo).
    • Rick's insane "Rick and Morty 100 Years" speech at the end of the first episode gets a call back at the end of the first episode of the third season. It even has the same music playing during the speech, and both end with the garage door closing while a confused Morty, on the floor, watches Rick absolutely lose his marbles.
    • Morty pulls his "every 10th adventure" card in "Vindicators 3", calling back to the agreement he and Rick made in "Meeseeks & Destroy" that Morty would get to pick one out of every ten adventures they went on. It's even a literal card, complete with nine Morty ink stamps.
    • In "Rick Potion #9", Rick makes a meta joke that they can mess up their own dimension and shift to a new one only a few times. "Morty's Mind Blowers" reveal that they had to jump dimensions again, with Rick reminding Morty on that very issue.
  • Call to Adventure: When the Vindicators activate their distress beacon to summon Rick and Morty, Rick adamantly refuses a "literal call to adventure", but Morty invokes his right to choose one out of every 10 adventures to force him into it.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Summer has been shown willing to do this with Rick.
    • She also did it with her mother for not caring about the fact that Morty had a sexbot.
    • Morty Jr. did this to Morty in "Raising Gazorpazorp".
    • Morty calls Beth out for being as irresponsible as Rick in "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy".
    • "The ABC's of Beth" has quite a bit of this, with Beth finally calling Rick out for neglecting her as a child, and Morty and Summer calling Jerry out on quite a few of his flaws, as well as being unable to admit to his new girlfriend that he wants to break up.
  • Cassandra Did It: The Parasites try to use this to make it seem like Rick is the Parasite due to his own zany wacky personality and incredibly vague backstory. Beth starts to believe them despite the fact that Rick is her father.
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • Parodied with Rick's "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!". Birdperson later tells Morty that this saying translates to "I am in great pain. Please help me."
    • As of the season 1 finale, his new catchphrase is "I don't give a f***".
    • He also has a fondness for saying "It's gonna be great!" when talking about his inventions.
    • "And away we go!" should probably also qualify.
    • (In Universe) "You don't know me!" Mrs. Pancakes in her self-titled series.
    • With power running low, some of the computer simulations are reduced to one sentence Catch phrases like 'Yes!' And 'My Man!'.
    • Later parodied in "Total Rickall" when we see a string of Rick's "really weird made-up sounding catchphrases", which are a series of strange Non Sequiturs such as "AIDS!" , "Shum shum shlippidy-dop!", "Graaaaaassss... tastes bad!" and "BURGER TIME!" The context of the scene would lead the viewer to assume that they're the result of the memory-tampering parasites, except that the none of the flashbacks feature the parasites and none of them seem to be pleasant memories, meaning Rick really does have these catchphrases even if they've never appeared on screen before, or since (although he re-uses "Riki-tiki-tavi" and "And that's the way the news goes" in the last part of the episode, after all the parasites have been exterminated).
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Generally involving the 14-year-old Morty.
    • In one flashback, his 17-year-old sister Summer walks in on him.
      Summer: Oh my god!
      Morty: I thought you went to a concert!
      Summer: We forgot the tickets! Why in the kitchen?!
      Morty: I do it everywhere! Stop shaming me!
      Summer: You're not the victim here!
      Morty: I hate you and I was thinking about your friend Grace!
      Summer: *inarticulate scream*
    • Referenced in one episode where Jerry opens Morty's bedroom to ask him a question. At the end of their conversation, Morty gives him a protracted warning that he's asking for trouble by bursting into a teen's bedroom without warning.
    • Invoked by Jerry in "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate." When nearly caught by the doctor browsing confidential patient documents, he drops trou and loudly declares he was masturbating.
    • The season three intro features a butt-faced Morty watching porn where a woman has her faces on her ass and quickly trying to cover it up when a butt-faced Beth comes into his room.
  • Central Theme: Nihilism and Cosmic Horror.
    • Embracing the inherent chaos, unpredictability, and cosmic meaninglessness of the universe and finding something to keep yourself tethered to the mortal plane in spite of nihilism. While nihilism is usually portrayed in media with the mindset of "Life is pointless, so why bother?", Morty actually points out a positive note in "Rixty Minutes" when he tells Summer that nobody and nothing is designed to happen, and that it's up to everyone to find their own purpose and enjoyment.
      Morty: Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die. Come watch TV?
    • The mental conflict between intelligence and human connection.
    • Both Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have stated that the study into nihilism is really to help find a sense of purpose and live a better life by finding on human relationships and experiences, and not preoccupy our minds with unanswerable questions.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • Although an observant viewer may have inferred it prior, it's revealed at the end of "Ricksy Business" that Rick's constant drinking and abuse of the occasional Fantastic Drug isn't just for fun; he's actually numbing himself from an intense amount of emotional pain.
    • In the same episode, his "Wubba lubba dub dub!" catchphrase, previously portrayed as just a parody of other nonsense-word catchphrases, is revealed to actually be a phrase in an alien language. It means "I am in great pain. Please help me."
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster:
    • While the series never stops being dark, whether dark elements are played for laughs or treated seriously vary greatly. While most of Rick's actions and the horror Morty goes through because of them are treated as Black Comedy, things like his near-rape experience or replacing himself in an alternate universe are not. The marital troubles between Beth and Jerry can go either way.
    • A self-contained example is the episode "Rixty Minutes", which is simultaneously regarded by fans as one of the funniest and one of the most mature and emotional episodes of the entire show, after an excuse to throw around a bunch of random jokes inadvertently triggers a B plot where Summer learns she was nearly aborted.
    • "Total Rickall" features the appearance of several absurd characters, one being named Mr. Poopy Butthole. But the same episode features Rick goading Morty to fatally shoot him in the head, someone accidentally seriously injuring a long-time friend to the point they required physical therapy, and an implication that Beth also has a drinking problem.
    • "Pickle Rick" alternates between the absurdist comedy of Rick turning himself into a pickle and Dr. Wong pointing out the hubris and self-destructiveness behind such a stunt and the way Beth rationalizes it and refuses to acknowledge the deleterious effect it has on her family.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Or at the very least, Chekhov's dead gunman. In the season 3 premiere, Summer digs up the dead body of her own Rick that died in ''Rick Potion No. 9" in order to get the portal gun that ultimately sets her and Morty's plan to rescue their Rick in motion.
    • The quiet, eyepatch-wearing Evil Morty in "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind" turns out to have been remotely controlling Evil Rick all along, meaning that he was the true mastermind behind the serial killings of Ricks. He proves to be this once again in "The Ricklantis Mix-up", where we find out that the newly elected leader of the Citadel of Ricks, President Morty, is actually him.
  • Chekhov's Skill: A minor, easy to miss example, but in season one, Beth mentions Jerry's education in civics (and implies it was a waste of time). In season two, his "Cervine Institute" con exploits the jurisdiction limits of Brad's Law to let Beth save the deer's life.
  • Chekhov's Time Travel: Defied by the creators, as Rick has a box on his shelf with the text "Time Travel Stuff", but time travel is about the only sci-fi trope they haven't touched yet. Word of God said the box on the shelf is a Stealth Pun, indicating that all time travel stories are "shelved" for the series. (It's for this reason that Rick can't simply go back in time to when Mulan was running in theaters to try McDonald's Szechuan sauce).
  • Clip Show: Following from the episodes of Dan Harmon's Community which parodied clip shows by featuring clips from episodes the audience had never seen, "Total Rickall" gives us the same joke taken to the next level - the things that everyone keeps remembering never even happened.
  • Clock Roaches / Time Police: When Rick attempts to repair the fractured timelines in "A Rickle in Time," a cadre of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who don't agree with his methods appear and antagonize our heroes. The aliens' odd appearance is inspired by another, particularly iconic group of Clock Roaches.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: In the season 3 premiere, Summer starts acting crazy, thinking there must be some way to reconnect with Rick. She goes into the garage, which has now replaced all of Rick's gadgets, and sees a group of dead flies on the countertop. She thinks that maybe if she rearranged the flies, they'd activate a hologram or a door of some sort. When Rick later comes back to the garage, he sets everything back to normal by setting the flies a certain way. Summer's placement wasn't even that far off.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Evil Rick tortures hundreds of alternate versions of Morty to hide himself from the Council. Plus, the fact that it's actually Evil Morty at the wheel here makes this an especially wicked Expendable Clone scenario.
  • Comedic Sociopath: Rick definitely fits this, although it is implied he is more empathetic than he lets on and his sociopathic tendencies are some sort of defense mechanism.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Two: Rick and Morty and Lil' Poopy Superstar.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When Snuffles has Jerry threatened with a pair of surgical scissors, Jerry thinks they're threatening to cut his hair.
    • Played with in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" Rick is pointing out things that don't make sense to convince Morty that they're in a simulation, specifically a living Pop Tart with a toaster-themed house and car. Morty agrees, noting that a Pop Tart would be too scared of toasters to live in one. Rick cites this trope as he clarifies his point — its car is also a toaster, and someone's car is not normally a smaller copy of their house — but really, both observations are valid, it's just that they're both overly sophisticated compared to "one of our neighbors is a living Pop Tart."
    • When Morty asked Doofus Jerry where his mother was he replied that she was in the bedroom but he shouldn’t go in there unless he wanted to see something he really didn’t want to. Morty thought he was talking about the The Golden Girls buttholes.
    • The comic deconstructed this when Morty didn’t realize he was talking to a walrus version of Rick. This level of stupidity just disgusted the original Rick
    Rick: I mean, itt’s literally—- No. I’m nt gonna walk you through this. You shouldn’t need me to. If it’s not perfectly obvious to you, I need to reassess who I’m taking with me on adventures.
    • Thus pointing out that anyone who something so blatantly obvious is Too Dumb to Live
  • Jerry in "Something Ricked This Way Comes":
    Morty: "Dad, what's your endgame here?"
    Jerry: "Ain't no game, sucka!"
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Aside from the immediate threat of death, almost nothing in the multiverse fazes Rick, not even having to bury his own corpse.
  • Conjoined Twins: A pair of conjoined twins named Michael and Pichael (the former being a news reporter and the latter being the host of his own cooking show) appear in "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate".
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The council of Ricks lives on this trope. Despite, in theory, being all the same insanely clever scientific genius, the original Rick and the evil Rick are able to easily outsmart them. Taken even further in "The Rickshank Redemption", where they are reduced to mooks, with the original Rick being able to sabotage them repeatedly without effort, despite them expecting him, and the federation security being able to inflict heavy casualties on them, if not about to overpower them. The same security the original Rick could smack around effortlessly by himself.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • "Rixty Minutes" has a few, one of which is surprisingly Played for Drama.
      • The goggles that let people see through their alternative timeline doppelganger’s eyes is the same one Rick uses to find a replacement universe after everyone gets Cronenberged in "Rick Potion #9"
      • One of the TV shows they watch calls back to the previous episode and the planet Gazorpazorp.
      • Morty reveals to Summer his own grave in the backyard, explaining how him and Rick destroyed their own world in "Rick Potion #9" and crossed over to this reality mere moments after the local Rick and Morty died from one of Rick's inventions.
    • In "Something Ricked This Way Comes," Rick can be seen watching Ball Fondlers, one of the shows he and Morty watch in "Rixty Minutes," near the end of the episode.
    • Cronenberg Rick is a member of the Council of Ricks.
    • In "Ricksy Business" there are two of the Councilman Ricks at the party.
    • In "Mortynight Run" there's a Mr. Meeseeks in the background of Blips and Chits helping someone play an arcade game. When the game starts lighting up from some sort of jackpot, the Meeseeks winks out, his job complete.
      • Also in "Mortynight Run", a Hungry for Apples ad can be seen hanging over a vending machine.
    • In "The Ricks Must be Crazy", Rick, Summer, and Morty visit a universe with a Ball Fondlers movie, which was first shown in "Rixty Minutes". There are also movie posters for French Toast (a piece of toast was part of Saturday Night Live's cast) and Three Brothers (a sequel to the nonsensical Two Brothers).
    • Also in "The Ricks Must Be Crazy", Rick opens a hatch on the leg of his Mecha, releasing a snake, similar to the "snake holster" in "Get Schwifty!"
    • "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" has Morty eating Strawberry Smiggles for breakfast. Jerry is also seen playing his iPad game again, there's a picture of Snuffles on the wall of the Smiths' dining room, and Morty has a picture of Jessica in his locker.
    • After the events of "Ricksy Business" ( in which the Smith's house gets transported to another dimension), there is always a crack around the house from when it resettled after being transported back.
    • The season 3 premiere shows Summer digging up Rick's grave from "Rixty Minutes", along with a trip to the Cronenberg dimension from "Rick Potion #9". Hammer Morty is also seen later in the episode, used by a Rick to kill Galactic Federation guards before being shot.
    • The stinger in "Morty's Mind Blowers" has Jerry finding a box for Jerry's Mind Blowers, which contain tapes labeled "Apples Campaign" and "Sleepy Gary".
  • Conveniently Close Planet: The plot of "Look Who's Purging Now" is kicked off by a large alien bug hitting the windshield of Rick's spacecraft, and Rick heading for a nearby planet to get more windshield wiper fluid.
  • Cool Old Guy: Definitely Rick. Not only is he capable of making almost any sci-fi gizmo you can think of, he's a total badass both physically and mentally and spends almost all of his waking hours spending his idea of quality time with his grandkids, which ranges from death-defying inter-dimensional adventures to freezing time to play pranks on the neighbors to dancing to booty jams in the front yard. He's even shown to be "cool" in the more traditional sense in "Ricksy Business", co-hosting a killer party and getting, in his own words, "Riggedy-riggedy-wrecked."
  • Corpsing: In "Rixty Minutes", you can hear the voice actors bursting into laughter on some of the alternate-reality TV shows.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The horror that we are insignificant specks in a vast universe, at the mercy of beings whose power and motives are beyond our comprehension. Rick And Morty has Cosmic Horror tropes in spades, and surprisingly, they are usually Played for Laughs. Examples include:
    • Morty convinces Rick to help him get a date with his dream girl, but something goes wrong, then Rick's attempt to fix it makes it worse, then Rick's attempt to fix that makes it worse, culminating in every human on Earth except Morty's family turning into gibbering mounds of flesh and limbs. Rick gives up on trying to fix the world, and just takes Morty to another dimension where Earth isn't completely ruined. This also involves Rick and Morty burying the mangled corpses of that dimension's Rick and Morty in order to take their place.
    • Rick creating an entire universe in a box, so the intelligent denizens living in that universe can perform slave labor to act as a battery for his spaceship.
    • Played for Drama: In "Rixty Minutes," Morty talks Summer out of running away when she finds out her birth ruined her parents' dreams. By revealing the events of "Rick Potion #9," Morty turns what would otherwise be a horrifying statement about mankind's insignificance into a very touching moment.
      Summer: So, you're not my real brother?
      Morty: I'm better than your brother. I'm a version of your brother you can trust when he says "Don't run." Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die. Come watch TV?
  • Cosmic Plaything: Jerry in issue 36
  • Creator In-Joke: When Rick talks his interest in watching a show about a world of intelligent dogs, it's a reference to Roiland's previous project Dog World that never aired. Earlier in the episode, Rick name-drops a character from the proposed series, Ruffles.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Despite looking like a pretty innocent cartoon, it's a pretty grim series. That is, if the alcoholic scientist and neglected kid protagonists didn't give it away.
  • Create Your Own Villain: It turns out years ago Krombapulus Michal heeded Ricks advice and fell in love and got married. When she was informed of his death all she was told was that Rick had something to do with it. Unfortunately she turns out to be a master assassin as well.
  • Creepy Child: The little girl that haunts the centaur's dreams in "Lawnmower Dog" certainly qualifies. Doubles as a Shout-Out to "The Shining", even though there is only one of them.
    • Subverted in "The Ricklantis Mixup" by a Morty to Cop!Rick. The Morty is by himself, crying in a filthy room and asks if Cop!Rick is "his new Rick." Cop!Rick picks him up in a carry and it looks like there will be a tender moment, then Mood Whiplash strikes as the Morty stabs Cop!Rick several times, forcing Cop!Rick to shoot and kill him. Also of note is the crib present in the room, which Cop!Morty explains being there as a "way to make you (Rick) feel bad."
  • Crossover Punchline:
    • This video teases a minor crossover with Gravity Falls. However, because Alex Hirsch and Justin Roiland are really good friends, it's probably just a joke. Although Gravity Falls' Big Bad, Bill Cipher, does show up on a screen at the marriage counseling clinic in "Big Trouble In Little Sanchez," strengthening the theory.
    • Rick and Morty also appeared in an extended Couch Gag in The Simpsons.
    • A background character occasionally appears in the show with rainbow suspenders and a football on his shirt with stitching that looks like Roman numerals. The corresponding letters of the alphabet were supposed to be part of a crossover hidden message along with Gravity Falls and Murder Police. Only Rick and Morty followed through with the plan, and given the fact that Murder Police was pulled from Fox's schedule before it ever aired, the crossover may never happen.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jerry is pretty on the ball when he’s not being constantly emasculated.
    • Morty may be a neurotic, dim-witted wimp, but when push comes to shove, he can put up a surprisingly good fight. Mr. Jellybean and Evil Rick learned this the hard way.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The various Mortys in "Close Encounters" offer a Chick Tracts-like booklet that describes "The Path of the One True Morty", which was available in physical form with DVDs of the first season and describes a religion which preaches them to never follow Rick and live a simple, independent life, after which they go to an afterlife filled with space motorcycles and all the Jessicas they can ever want.
  • Curse Cut Short: The head alien in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" says, "This is going to be such a mind f——!" cut to commercial.
  • Cursed Item: In the episode "Something Ricked This Way Comes", the Devil opens up a store selling antique items that all have curses associated with them, such as making someone impotent. Rick quickly undermines this operation by inventing a device that can identify and remove all the curses, allowing people to use the items with no ill effects.
  • Cutaway Gag: A major plot point of "Total Rickall". The mind parasites manifest themselves in the form of flashbacks, which are presented as these.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Justified / deconstructed. Rick is often involved in various bizarre get-rich-quick schemes despite the fact that he could easily make himself wealthy simply by selling his inventions to the public or use them for more productive purposes...but that would require Rick to give a crap about other people. This is best illustrated in "Something Ricked This Way Comes": Rick combats the Devil's shop of Be Careful What You Wish For cursed items by starting a shop of his own that de-curses the items leaving just the benefits, but as soon as the reality of running a business rears its head and he finds himself at the butt end of a lot of paperwork, he loses interest and sets fire to the place.

    Not to mention, selling his inventions to people would only get Rick money for Earth C-137. Not exactly a big motive when he travels to all sorts of planets and dimensions, and just wants to do things like spend the afternoon at Blips and Chitz.
  • Daddy's Girl: Beth is willing to abandon her marriage and allow her kids to go on "adventures" which constantly expose her children to the repeated threat of death and rape (as well as making them complicit in countless murders and other crimes) all so that her daddy won't leave again. Cemented in "Pickle Rick" when she flat-out ignores her children's emotional health in favor of bonding with Rick. Later dialed back in "The ABCs of Beth" when details from Beth's childhood are revisited and she's forced to accept that Rick was a pretty awful father.
    • To be fair, Beth was forced to admit that she was also a pretty awful child as well. One of the "toys" Rick made for her was a sentient knife. Who was worse is debatable, the child that requested items like "silent shoes" and "sleepy darts" so her father would pay attention to her, or the father that made these things for her?
    Knife: "Hi, Beth! You've gotten taller. Shall we resume stabbing?"
  • Dance Party Ending: A very unique one at the end of "Ricksy Business".
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: Rick takes advantage of this at the end of "Rick Potion #9"; when he causes a Cronenberg Apocalypse, he and Morty escape to a very particular universe where their counterparts cure the Cronenberg plague and are killed almost immediately afterwards by an unrelated incident.
  • Deadly Game: The Cromulons have a show called Planet Music, wherein they travel to planets looking for talent, teleport qualifying planets to their region of space, then force them to compete against each other. Losers and those who refuse to participate are disintegrated by plasma ray.
  • Death Is Cheap:
  • Death Glare: Rick pulls one off after he realizes that Morty was almost raped in the bathroom. He later kills Morty's attempted rapist.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Of Western Animated Fantastic Comedy.
  • Delivery Stork: In "Get Schwifty", Prinicpal Vagina's head religion believes that undesirables should be sent up to the Cromulons by balloons, whereupon they'll be sneezed back as better babies.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Played for Drama in "Meeseeks and Destroy" with King Jellybean, who outright attempts to rape Morty. It is also implied that he has done so to other young boys.
  • Destructive Romance: Beth and Jerry's rocky relationship starts off as darkly humorous squabbling before becoming full-on toxic by the middle of season 2, where it's shown just how badly their unhealthy dependence on one another despite being totally mismatched is shown to be more damaging that it first seemed.
  • Devil, but No God: Rick's established as a Hollywood Atheist in the pilot, when he tells Summer "There is no God, gotta rip that Band-Aid off now, you'll thank me later." When the Devil shows up in "Something Ricked", there's no mention of God, and Rick's only reaction is to figure out how to defeat his evil powers with science.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Beth was able to convince Mr. Hapsburg to keep st e open after she had not only saved mr kwinanes’ horses life but delivered its baby as well. Then the police burst in to arrest mr Kwinanesas he had been holding the place hostage. This caused him to trip and accidentally blow Mr. Hapsburg face off. Since his father had retired no one was left to run the business so it was shut down anyway.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: At the end of "Something Ricked" Rick and Summer get their revenge on Mr. Needful by bulking up and beating the shit out of him in front of thousands of people at the product launch.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Rick nonchalantly "buys" an ironically-cursed item from Louis Cypher (you don't pay for items in his store... not with money), analyses it, takes out the curse while keeping the supernatural benefits, and offers to do the same for other "customers" of Satan's store in exchange for cash. This drives Satan to attempt to commit suicide, only being saved by timely intervention of Summer and a Monkey's Paw.
  • Dirty Old Man: Rick. It's first seen in the pilot where Rick spends a large amount of time having sex with beautiful women in another dimension, to the point where his portal gun has no charge left. In "Lawnmower dogs" Rick is seen to have a fetish for BDSM. In "Auto Erotic Assimilation" he makes a lot of rather bizarre sexual requests to Unity, including a giraffe and stands of men who remotely resemble his father.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Fart's "Goodbye Moonmen" song is accompanied by bizarre visuals whenever he sings it to Morty.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate", alien doctors need Jerry's penis in order to save an old ruler. When Beth is given a catalog of prosthetic penises to choose from, she reads it like a Playgirl magazine.
    Jerry: Hi, honey, so, here's the thing... these guys... they want to completely remove my penis and use it as an alien's heart. And we just need you to sign off on it.
    Beth: What?!
    Jerry: (to the Alien Doctors) Uh-oh. Maybe we got a problem here after all, guys. Yikes.
    Alien Doctor: (to Beth) His penis will be replaced with a sophisticated prosthetic. Now, there's a wide range of options to choose from. They're all in this catalog. (gives Beth the catalog)
    Beth: I don't care about prosthetics. This is insane. What do you people think you're doing?
    Alien Doctor: I understand your feelings, Mrs. Smith.
    Beth: Oh, I don't think you do. I-I bring my husband in for emergency treatment, he's gone an hour, and now you want his penis, (opens catalog) and you hand me some... catalog. (sees catalog's contents) It's-it's-it's-it's-I mean...
  • Distress Call: In "Auto Erotic Assimilation", Rick insists that you always answers these. Nine out of ten times, it leads to a ship full of dead aliens waiting to be looted. (And a bunch of free shit, Morty!)
  • Disproportionate Retribution: What does Morty do in response to Ethan breaking up with Summer? Forcibly turn Ethan into a horrible living abomination.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The monsters in The Stinger for "Ricksy Business" seem to be getting a lot of pleasure from shoving people into each others' holes. The human teen seems to enjoy it, too. Abradolf, not so much.
    • Also, from the same episode Squanchy was always looking for a place to squanch. We never find out explicitly what that is, but it sure looks a lot like auto-erotic asphyxiation.
    • The mining of Pluto in "Something Ricked This Way Comes" is a pretty clear allegory for oil drilling and global warming.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Doofus Jerry could be seen as this as at least there is one Jerry that can take Rick down a peg.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: In "Rick Potion #9", several donuts can be seen on the ground next to the dead police officer when Jerry grabs his rifle.
  • Doting Parent: The one person Rick is never seen disrespecting or swearing at is his daughter Beth. He even calls her "sweetie" sometimes. He was absent for a large portion of her life but it's hinted that he is actually deeply ashamed of this.
  • Doting Grandparent: Not seemingly as Rick often curses at Summer and Morty and treats them like crap, but he does love them deep down and supports them and protects them from other threats(besides himself). He enjoys spending time with them and treats them more like his friends than his grandchildren
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male
    • Possibley inverted, as Morty's almost rape by the giant jellybean is treated with weight and seriousness, but Summer's almost gangrape by the Gazorpazorpians is used as a set up for a joke about Rick not taking girls on adventures.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: After attempting a Kill and Replace with a popular version of herself Summer made out with her girlfriend
  • Downer Ending:
    • "Rick Potion #9" is up there with "Jurassic Bark" and "You're Getting Old" as one of the biggest downer endings in the history of adult animated sitcoms. Rick and Morty destroy civilization with a plague and have to move to an alternate timeline where they fixed everything, but died shortly afterwards. They had to leave behind their family from the original timeline, but in the post-credits scene it's shown that in the original dimension Jerry and Beth got over their marital problems and are happy without Rick and Morty around. It's a fairly disturbing ending, since it still involves real characters dying (only to be replaced just like that). But as Rick says, just don't think about it. The irony to this is if Morty had followed through with helping Rick in the first place, it would've killed them in their own universe, so he inadvertently saved their lives. Rather twisted indeed. The irony here is twofold: As Rick explains to Morty, if he hadn't screwed up as bad as he did (i.e. if he had managed to cure the Cronenbergs instead of abandoning the world to its fate and traveling to a universe where his counterpart succeeded instead) then they (the original Rick and Morty) would be the ones who died and were replaced instead.
    • Rick gets his first downer ending in "Auto Erotic Assimilation" when he runs into an old mate of his, Unity the Hive Mind. They get back together until Summer convinces Unity that Rick is a bad influence on it/them, and it/them leaves him. At the end of the episode we see him drunkenly prepare to commit suicide via a disintegration ray aimed at his head. However, he passes out moments before it fires and it misses, leaving us with him passed out on his desk as uncharacteristically emotional music plays in the background.
    • "The Wedding Squanchers" serves as this for the entirety of Season 2. It turns out Tammy was an undercover agent for the Galactic Federation and was planning on using her wedding to Birdperson to trap as many of Rick's friends as she could. The Smiths managed to escape, but Birdperson was killed and Squanchy's fate is unknown. Rick had a Heel Realization and decided to turn himself in so that his family could resume their lives on a now alien occupied Earth, but only Jerry (who is Rick's most vocal critic and benefits greatly from the Federation taking over Earth) ends up happy because of this. Oh, and Mr. Poopybutthole molested a pizza guy in The Stinger. Season 3's got a hell of a starting point.
    • Pretty much the entirety of "The Ricklantis Mix-up". Factory Worker Rick snaps and attempts to escape the Citadel, inadvertently killing Simple Rick in the process. He's then captured and forced to replace Simple Rick in a Lotus-Eater Machine. Rookie Rick's innocence and idealism is shattered when he's forced to kill the corrupt Officer Morty. Campaign Manager Morty is killed after unsuccessfully trying to stop Evil Morty from winning the presidency. Then Evil Morty kills the cabal of Ricks secretly running Citadel, seizing full control of the station. The only non-evil characters that get a decent ending are the Stand By Me Mortys with the exception of Slick Morty, who essentially committed suicide by jumping into the "Wishing Portal".
    • In the Rick Identity subplot of the comic Morty-Summer finally tired of Rick escaped into the main universe before he/she could have her memory erased. Only to be killed by the shows Rick.
  • Dramatic Ellipsis: In "Lawnmower Dog", when Rick and Morty go from the completed A Plot to the developing B Plot.
    Rick: Out of the frying pan, dot dot dot, eh Morty?
  • Dream Land: In "Lawnmower Dog", Rick and Morty traveled into the dreams of Morty's math teacher.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Rick sticks his head into a disintegration ray at the end of "Auto Erotic Assimilation". It only fails when he passes out at the last second.
      • It's especially noteworthy that, in a show that runs off some of the blackest Black Comedy out there, this is played completely humorlessly.
    • In "The Ricks Must Be Crazy", the scientist who created the teenyverse in the hope of harnessing its energy commits suicide when he realizes his own planet was created by another scientist for the same purpose.
    • Mr. Lucius Needful, until Summer saves him.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: It becomes more and more obvious as the first season goes on that Rick doesn't just drink because he wants to. In "Ricksy Business", Bird Person flat out states that he does it to cope with a dire amount of emotional pain. Rick no doubt feels remorse over his failures as a father and a grandfather as well as the traumas he's seen.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: In "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" Jerry has sex with a stalled simulation of Beth and seems to find it more enjoyable because she wasn't moving.
    • Or, knowing Beth, because she's not making comments about how disappointing he is
  • Dumb Is Good: Doofus Rick - ten times dumber than our Rick, but at least a hundred times nicer. Perhaps having all the other Ricks making fun of him constantly has made him compassionate.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Rick is an alcoholic sociopath, Morty is a neurotic teenager who gets broken several times, Jerry is hopelessly insecure, Beth is thinking about leaving him and is slowly regretting marrying him, and Summer is starting to feel unwanted. Even worse than the Simpson family.

  • Early-Bird Cameo: "Get Schwifty" appears on Summer's MP3 player in the Point & Click web game before Season 2 premiered.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The short that the show was based on, "Doc and Mharti," had the title characters having totally different names, was animated much more sloppily, and was essentially a Shallow Parody of Back to the Future. The short also crossed the line much farther and was much more vulgar than its current incarnation. It also featured a fairly explicit display of "Mharti" giving "Doc" oral sex.
    • The first real episode has Rick spend the first several minutes in an incoherent stupor, constantly repeating Morty's name and stumbling around. While Rick continues to be a substance-abuser, he's much more of a Functional Addict and Magnificent Bastard for the rest of the show.
    • The first episode has no post-credits stinger.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: In "Get Schwifty", the Cromulons destroy planets with a plasma ray when they fail their music contest or refuse to participate.
  • E = MC Hammer: Parodied; an equation flies by in the opening credits to establish the sci-fi nature of the show, but it's "3 + 3 = 6".
  • Einstein Hair: Rick has it. In fact, his 'do caused the Time Police to mistake the famous physicist for Rick from just seeing the back of his head. They gave Einstein a beat-down and warn him not to mess with time, apparently inspiring him to create his famous E=MC squared formula out of spite.
  • Ejection Seat: Rick's car has a "Passenger Purge" button, which dumps everyone in the backseat out of the bottom of the car. Rick being Rick, it's entirely on him to do this in such a way that the passengers survive the landing.
  • Eldritch Abomination: In the opening credits, the team is seen fleeing from a Cthulhu-esque creature with a smaller, baby version carried by Summer. It is unknown if this will end up as an episode, and whether or not they stole it from him, or the scene is implying darker subtexts.
  • Eldritch Location: Parodied with Cob Planet. Everything is on a cob, down to a molecular level. Rick is terrified of the planet, but it's never explained why.
  • Emotion Eater: The Cromulons in "Get Schwifty" feed on the talent and showmanship of less-evolved lifeforms
  • Enemy Mine: To defeat Doofus Jerry rick was forced to call the aid of the Council of Ricks.
  • Enemy Without: The marriage counselors at Nuptia 4 use a device which manifests the user's unconscious perception of their partner into a living, breathing monster. Jerry's perception of Beth manifests as a giant, Xenomorph-like beast while Beth's perception of Jerry manifests as a pathetic slug-like creature. The two end up working together to escape and cause havoc due to the Smith's codependent relationship.
    • Another case comes up when Rick and Morty visit an alien spa and undergo a mental detoxification, which removes the worst parts of their personalities literally, manifesting them as physical copies of the pair with all their negative traits cranked up to 11. Toxic Rick soon tries to murder his detoxified counterpart.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The cold opening of the pilot has a stinking drunk Rick barging into Morty's room in the middle of the night, dragging him off to a flying machine he built out of "stuff in the garage" and revealing he built a bomb and plans to make Morty and his crush the new Adam and Eve after he nukes the world. When Morty stops him, he tries to pass it off as a Secret Test of Character, then collapses drunk in the dirt.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: Parodied at the end of "Meeseeks and Destroy".
  • Everyone Has Standards: Rick's morality is pretty loose, but occasionally he finds his limits:
    • Despite outscamming the Zigerians, Rick was genuinely affected by their mind tricks and especially their imitating Morty. The Stinger shows him still sort of reeling from the deception.
    • In "Rick Potion No. 9", Rick calls Morty a little creep for wanting to use a love potion on his crush. He even compares it to roofies.
    • In "Look Who's Purging Now," Rick gets excited to see some "purge" carnage, but something off-screen disgusts him so much that he regrets watching.
  • Evil Laugh: Mr. Needful usually has one after saying "you don't pay for anything in this store... not with money". Rick sarcastically joins in.
  • Evil Counterpart: Played with with Toxic Rick & Morty, the result of the original Rick and Morty being purged of the "toxic" parts of their psyche, leading to Toxic Rick being a self-aggrandizing, abusive Jerkass, and Toxic Morty being a self-loathing ball of neuroses and cowardice, while "Healthy" Rick & Morty are far friendlier and more well-adjusted. Because there's no objective measure of what thoughts are toxic or not, however, the purging instead goes by what the person thinks the toxic parts of themselves are, leading to Toxic Rick & Morty retaining some more positive traits that Healthy Rick & Morty are now missing, such as Toxic Rick retaining his "irrational" attachment to Toxic Morty, and Toxic Morty retaining his moral compass.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Parodied; before Unity took over an entire unnamed alien civilization and made everyone live in hive-mind bliss, the planet was on the verge on tearing itself apart via an extremely volatile race war based on nipple shapes. Eventually, Morty and Summer conclude that the only problem with the situation is Rick being a terrible influence.
  • Exact Words:
    • Mr. Needful's microscope lets you see things beyond comprehension. It makes you too dumb to understand anything. Unfortunately for him, Rick is too smart to fall for it.
    • When Morty asks Rick how many people Rick invited to the party in "Ricksy Business", Rick claims it's only six. A flying saucer then lands and out pours a few dozen blob-like aliens, which aren't technically people.
    • In "The Ricks Must be Crazy", Rick orders his car AI to keep Summer safe. What follows is an escalating series of exact adherence to her commands as she balks at the lengths it will go to protect her. First, it unceremoniously kills people that might be a threat to Summer. When Summer tells it not to kill anyone, it instead uses a precise laserbeam to paralyze them from the waist down. When Summer orders it not to physically harm anyone, it resorts to psychologically scarring them.
  • Executive Veto: In-Universe example. The Stinger of "Anatomy Park" had Rick's Pirates of the Pancreas ride axed by the Chief "Imagineerian".
  • Existential Horror: The multiverse, which holds a practically infinite numbers of other Ricks and Mortys, and for that matter other Beths, Summers, and Jerrys, is played as such. Imagine that you are just one of a near-infinite number of yourselves, some of who has died anti-climatically, unmourned, and unremembered, while others still are much more successful and well-off than you yourself will ever be. The fact that you are where you are isn't even down to luck; it just is. Then there is other stuff like the alien parasites that can fill your head with Fake Memories and make you believe you've know them your whole life, to the mere concept of Mr. Meeseeks. Safe to say, the show has plenty to choose from when it comes to existential nightmares.
  • Expendable Clone: Evil Rick who turns out to be controlled by Evil Morty tortures hundreds of alternate Mortys in order to hide himself.
    • In Season 2 Rick murders a handful of younger clones of himself. With an axe.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: Parodied. Rick irreversibly ruins Earth in one universe, and travels to a different one. Rick doesn't care at all. Morty on the other hand is horrified. And in the stinger, Cronenberg Marty and Rick (referring to each other as such) come out of a portal in the abandoned world, having mutated everyone in their home world into 'normal' humans, and abandoned it in the same manner.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In "The Ricks Must Be Crazy", Zeep tries to convince a scientist within his miniverse not to develop his own teenyverse, as he wants to keep stealing power through the old method. When he catches himself making the same arguments Rick was making earlier, he realizes that his own homeworld is a microverse made by Rick.
  • Expy:
    • Rick is basically Doc Brown if he were an alcoholic sociopath, and Morty is Marty McFly if he were Doc Brown's dimwitted grandson. In fact, the show started as a web series directly parodying of them.
    • Scary Terry is basically Freddy Krueger. Rick even says that he's a knock-off of some '80s horror film. It is also pointed out that Terry has miniature swords, not knives, on his fingers.
    • The Pop Tart living in the toaster oven looks like the one featured in current Pop Tart commercials.
    • Morty's speech pattern and awkwardness are very similar to Bobby Calzone from Drowning Mona.
    • A less subtle one is Gazorpazorpfield. Although, Rick and Morty noticed that it's just an alternate version of Garfield.
    • Rick also seems to have a few elements of The Doctor, having adventures through time and space with a companion and being considered a rogue by a high council of his peers. There's also the fact that he secretly harbors a great deal of personal emotional pain.
    • King Jellybean looks almost identical to the character Crumply Crumplestein in Roiland's previous short "Unbelievable Tales."
  • Exotic Eye Designs: All the characters have somewhat jagged-looking pupils.
  • Extreme Doormat: Downplayed by Morty - he may put up with a lot of crap from Rick with little to no objection, but he does have his limits, as he shows in the very first episode before any Character Development.
  • Eye Awaken: Happens with Abradolf Lincler in The Stinger for "Ricksy Business". He even shouts "REVENGE!" right before getting slurped up by some testicle monsters.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Evil Morty. And boy, is the "power" element literal. He used it as an interface to control Evil "Rick". When he goes into hiding, he simply takes it off to reveal an intact eye with some wires sticking out.
  • Fake Memories: The parasites in "Total Rickall" create happy memories in the minds of their victims, taking the form of a non-existence relative or some such, then assume the appearance of the subject of the memories. They breed by repeating this process ad nauseum. It quickly takes a turn for the ridiculous as the parasites assume ever-more implausible forms, such as fictional monsters like Frankenstein's monster, talking animals, and so forth, all of which the family accepts as commonplace because the memories tell them they are.
  • False Cause: In "Get Schwifty", Principal Vagina forms a religion around the Cromulons, ignorant of the true reason behind their appearance. Beth even discusses it. Principal Vagina quickly lets the power go to his head.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: It bears noting that since this is an adult show, it doesn't have any compunctions about showing realistic firearms. Though this is subverted with Rick's various energy weapons - while a lot of them have a sort of Raygun Gothic aesthetic, Rick's favorite pistol loads like a conventional 21st-century automatic, and when shown, their effects are even gorier than one could expect from contemporary weapons.
  • Fan Disservice: Rick wearing BDSM gear in "Lawnmower Dogs".
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Implied in "Meeseeks and Destroy", where the giants seem to be very prejudiced towards "tiny people". Given that the villagers' only idea to get money boiled down to breaking into an innocent giant family's castle and stealing from them, this might be justified.
    • "Rixty Minutes" features a political ad for a universe where there are men with trunks surgically attached to their faces, which allows them to have sex with both men and women. They're fighting for the right to get married.
    • The episode "Auto-Erotic Assimilation" has two instances; Rick spray-painting gang graffiti on a starship bulkhead to make the police think that a certain group of aliens looted it; and the blue-skinned people differentiate race by the shape of their areolas, and feel so strongly about it that a pogrom can be declared with no more emotional weight than a food fight.
    • Tumbler-like Federation videos mention the Galactic Federation "cubifying" some humans to make them more efficient. The normal humans find this disgusting and horrifying, and go so far as to discriminate against "cubified" humans until the Federation passes laws preventing this.
    • The Aliens of the Galactic Federation seem to have disdain towards humans. The humans respond in kind by drawing-and-quartering aliens in School Courtyards and calling it patriotism.
    • Rick is racist towards Gear People. He calls Revolio Clockberg Jr. "Gearhead" instead of his real name, which by itself could just be Rick being Rick and not caring enough about Revolio to even bother remembering his name, but he also openly calls Gear-people greedy to Revolio's face.
    Revolio Clockberg Jr: "Calling me Gearhead is like calling a Chinese person Asia face!"
  • Fantastic Slur:
    • Glip-Glop for Travlorkians. It's like the N word and C word had a baby and was raised by all the bad words for Jews. Rick greets an entire saucer of them by calling them this.
    • When the dog Snuffles becomes super intelligent and enslaves the family, he insists they call him Snowball because "Snuffles was my slave name". Technically it's more of an anthropomorphic slur.
    • Gearhead's real name is "Revolio Clockberg Jr." Calling him "Gearhead" is like calling a Chinese person "Asia Face".
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: The episode "Anatomy Park" is a mixture of this and Jurassic Park.
  • Fate Worse than Death: This is the punishment that the Council of Ricks has in mind for a rogue Rick believed to be responsible for a murder spree.
    "Earth Rick C-137, the Council of Ricks sentences you to the Machine of Unspeakable Doom, which swaps your conscious and unconscious minds, rendering your fantasies pointless while everything you've known becomes impossible to grasp. Also, every ten seconds, it stabs your balls."
    • According to Rick, no one should have to live in a world where a Jerry can beat a Rick.
    • Averted: Death and child molestation are the only things worse that Gorpathian Anal Probing.
  • The Federation: The series occasionally mentions a Galactic Federation, which Rick is stated to have issues with. According to Bird Person, he and Rick are at war with the Federation and are considered terrorists. Earth joins at the end of Season 2, but the Federation collapses at the start of Season 3, thanks to Rick.
  • Fictional Currency:
    • The schmeckle. Twenty-five of them are enough for a boob job or a ride down some very tall stairs, and a sackful can bail a village out of poverty. According to Dan Harmon during a Reddit AMA, he said a schmeckle is worth roughly 148 USD.
    • The flurbo. Three-thousand of them is enough for two humans to spend an entire afternoon at Blips and Chitz!
    • The blemflarp. The cure to a highly infectious disease that you could call "space AIDS" is worth billions of them.
    • The repbul. A plumbus is apparently worth six repbuls.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Despite the fact that he's personally met Satan and a few demons, Rick is still a Hollywood Atheist. Although "Rickle in Time" gives us the "No atheists in a foxhole" gag, where Prayer Is a Last Resort is immediately laughed off when things start going the right way.
    Rick #30: (as he flies through Uncertainy) I'm okay with this. Be good Morty. Be better than me. Bullsh*t. The other collar! I'm not okay with this! I am not okay with this! Oh, sweet Jesus please let me live. Oh, my God I—I've gotta fix this thing, please God in Heaven, please, God, oh Lord, hear my prayers.
    (fixes device) "Yes! Fuck you God! Not today, bitch."
    • And later:
    All Ricks Except Rick #30: "Please, God, if there's a Hell, please be merciful to me."
    Rick #30: "Yes I did it! There is no God! In your face. One dot, motherfuckers!"
  • Flipping the Bird:
    • Rick does it frequently.
    • In "The Ricks Must be Crazy", Rick taught his Pocket Dimension that this is the symbol for peace. He thought it was hilarious. Zeep also teaches his Pocket Dimension their equivalent of Flipping the Bird for the same reason. What makes it especially funny is the fact that is the symbol for peace in Rick's dimension. Rick also had some other language-based fun at their expense.
      Mayor: F*** you!
      Rick: (grabbing the mayor by the collar) What did you say to me?!
      Mayor: F-f*** you! Y-you told me it means "much obliged"!
      Rick: Oh. Right. Uh, b-blow me.
      Mayor: No, no, no. Blow me.
  • Foil: Jerry is a foil to Rick. Rick is smart while Jerry is stupid, Rick is brave while Jerry is cowardly (or vice versa), and Rick is reluctant to bond with others while Jerry is quick to bond with others. The only similarities they have are that they're in the same family and they're both assholes.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!"
      • Jerry is still wearing a suit after it's revealed that they were inside a simulation inside a bigger simulation. The suit disappears when it's revealed that they were actually still inside a third layer of simulation.
      • Also, if you watch the episode a second time, the first one minute and twenty-four seconds are foreshadowing of the fact that Rick suspected that simulated! Morty was a simulation all along, and the first line "this is just poor craftsmanship" referring to the possum he's dissecting is a complaint about the simulators - he's probably doing it to determine how many levels down he is.
      • Also, the alien simulation of Morty smiles knowingly as Rick brags that he's going to beat the aliens at their own game.
      • Also also, the aliens say that there's another human in the simulation, not a third human when they find Jerry. The language makes it ambiguous, but it sticks out on a re-watch.
      • Also yet again, Rick lampshades the Contrived Coincidence of Morty going into another room and immediately finding the exact ingredients for concentrated dark matter, because he correctly suspected they were still in a simulation. The recipe was fake, but the aliens cluelessly try it anyway and get vaporized.
      • If you listen closely in the beginning, the aliens note that Jerry was in a different sector of the simulation and had to lower the processing power for him so Rick doesn't get wise. Later on we see that Jerry is in his own room on his own treadmill, which means he was in his own simulation independent to that of Rick's. However, this was before we find out that they were in fact in another layer of simulation, which explains why lowering the processing power in his separate room boosted that in Rick's room, since they're both technically in the same room the entire time. This is also why Jerry's simulation starts glitching out more and more, eventually freezing entirely, at the same time Rick successfully crashed his own.
    • In "Rick Potion #9", Rick's skewed view of love, being "just a chemical reaction that compels animals to breed" hints at what his love potion actually is.
    • In the same line, 'I did it. Your parents are gonna do it. Everyone can see that.' foreshadows Jerry and Beth's eventual divorce in Season 3.
    • "Rixty Minutes": Jerry and Beth's first trip with the goggles both being realities in dimension C-500 A.
    • In "Close Rick-Counters", when Rick and Morty are on their way to the council, Rick is offered Morty insurance.
    • In the pilot, Rick mentions that he builds robots for fun. In "Something Ricked This Way Comes" we see one - a tabletop model whose only purpose in life is to pass the butter. It's sophisticated enough to be extremely disappointed at not being used for anything else.
    • Fart's song "Goodbye Moonmen" in "Mortynight Run" sounds like Word Salad Lyrics comprised of extraterestrial Technobabble, but it's actually about establishing peace throughout the universe by wiping out all carbon-based life.
    • In "Total Rickall,":
      • The first memory being brought up is from Mr. Poopy Butthole, about him and the family getting stuck in an elevator. Jerry and Beth getting into (yet another) argument, Morty almost pissing himself and Summer already pissed on her pants on purpose are definitely far from being a pleasant experience.
      • When everyone's going through their cellphones looking for pictures to show who is and isn't real, Mr. Poopy Butthole says he doesn't have any of them either. We learn not long after that the parasites can only create POSITIVE memories, so him not having any would go against the nature of the parasites, and it's also notable that ONLY characters that are real check their cellphones for photos. This foreshadows that Mr. Poopy Butthole is NOT one of the parasites.
      • In addition, despite Mr. Poopy Butthole being inexplicably in the opening credits, it's notable that none of those memories would've been good. In fact, there's only one scene in the opening credits which is a 'good memory': Mr. Beauregarde appears in the pillow fight, revealing the true original parasite.
      • Also, Rick's catchphrase montage is the first flashback of the episode to only contain real characters. It's also the episode's first set of negative memories, judging from the collective groan from the room immediately afterwards. This is an early suggestion that the parasites can't create negative memories.
      • Subverted by showing family pictures that only contain the real characters in the background of some shots, which are never used to solve the problem, and might have resulted in false negatives if they were.
    • In "The Rickshaw Redemption", Rick says that the day he invented the portal gun was also the day he lost his wife. When we see it happen, we see that one of his project resulted in an explosion that killed her and Beth. This, combined with Beth not having the age she should have according to the chronology, tells us those are not Rick's memories, but a fabrication. Rick materializing butts around as a joke also counts as one, establishing that he can create fake things in his mind.
      • Also of note was that Rick correctly identifies which type of device is being used on him, including model number. It isn't a stretch to think that Rick knows the flaws and shortcomings of this particular device, allowing him to manipulate it easily.
    Rick: "Six folds, huh? W-W-What, have you guys got me in a Series 9000? You cheap insect [bleep] didn't think I was worth your best equipment?"
    • In "Auto Erotic-Assimilation", Unity tells Rick it cannot be with him because he is a toxic influence, telling him "I lose who I am and become a part of you". Fast forward to Season 3, Morty has become more hostile and rude to those around him, responding to bad situations with the same violent streak that Rick possesses.
  • Flying Saucer:
    • Rick's homemade spaceship uses this aesthetic, albeit with wheels and headlights like a normal car.
    • The Travlorkians fly one to Rick's party.
  • Forced Perspective: In "The Wedding Squanchers," the family's first selection for a new home planet looks very Earth-like from a distance... until Rick tries to get closer and bonks the spaceship into the planet, revealing that it is much closer and much smaller than they realized.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Despite Rick supposedly being away from the family for 20 years, one of Rick's memories and a picture in Bird Person's house show that Rick was secretly visiting Morty (who is 14) when he was an infant. Morty doesn't remember this. This has led to some Wild Mass Guessing that our Rick and Morty aren't natives of the same dimension. It's also possible that Rick did come for the meeting but never offically returned into his family's lives until much later.
  • Formula For The Unformulabe: Rick has worked out a mathematical proof that both Morty and Summer are "pieces of shit" and is all too pleased to wheel out the whiteboard to show off his work.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: With Morty as the Optimist, Rick as the Cynic, Summer as the Realist, Beth as the Apathetic, and Jerry as the Conflicted.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Rick framed Peacock Jones for his drug operation after he tried to rape his granddaughter
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Rick is flipping through the channels in "Rixty Minutes", one channel has Game of Thrones on, except all the cast members are dwarves. Except for Tyrion who is the sole tall person.
      • In the same episode, Weekend At Dead Cat Lady's House II is rated G.
    • "Something Ricked This Way Comes" has an unintentional one where a man is holding a "God hates fags" sign and it changes to "God hates you" for one frame. They changed it to "God hates fags" after the censors approved it, but they accidentally left in that one frame.
    • In "M. Night Shaym-Aliens", there's a brief shot of the back of a Plutonian from "Something Ricked This Way Comes" during the anti-gravity sequence.
    • In "Close Rick-Counters", a notebook, a pen, and a mug with a question mark on it can be seen falling out of one of the portals Rick opened.
    • "Auto Erotic Assimilation" has the hive-mind Unity create a show just for Rick, which turns out to be Dan Harmon's previous show, Community. Also serves as a Stealth Pun.
  • Freudian Threat: In "Lawnmower Dog", Snowball threatens to have Jerry neutered. Jerry assumes he's being threatened with a haircut.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Morty, the kid who doesn't want to hurt anyone and if anything cares too much (Id)
    • Rick, the mad scientist who claims that all love is an illusion (Superego)
    • Summer, the middle ground between the two (Ego)
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • In "Rick Potion #9" Rick tries to cure a virus that made everyone infected want to have sex with Morty with a stronger virus mixed with praying mantis DNA. The end result turned the people into mutated mantis people who want to have sex with Morty and then bite his head off. And then Rick makes a cure for the virus (composed of the DNA of a myriad of different animals) which, although effective in making everyone stop being madly in love with Morty, Cronenbergs them into hideous, mutated monsters. Rick and Morty end up just abandoning the world to its fate and settling in an Alternate Universe where Rick succeeded in fixing everything only to kill him and Morty in a lab accident just as the prime duo arrive to replace them.
    • The Strawberry Smiggles commercial opens with the cereal's mascot desperately rushing to eat his Smiggles before any kids steal it from him. It doesn't help. Oh, BOY does it not help.
    • In "The Ricks Must Be Crazy," Rick insists Morty wear cheesy fake antennae to fake an alien appearance. Rick and Morty, being human, look nothing like the people they're trying to fool anyway.
    • In "Wedding Squanchers" the wedding ends with the reveal of Tammy being a deep cover agent for the Galactic Federation and the federation storming the building. Birdperson is then killed and the Smith family goes on the run. Eventually Rick turns himself in to spare his family a life on the run.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In "Ricksy Business", Morty tosses a bag of crystal narcotics outside into an environment full of giant testicle monsters. A tentacle immediately scoops the bag up, after which the monster can be seen tripping balls in the background.
    • In The Stinger for "A Rickle in Time", the two four-dimensional testicle-headed beings (played by comedy duo Key And Peele) find each other in the Ice Age, which startles a mammoth.
      • While the two bicker, a small rodent crawls into the creatures' time displacement bubble and ends up being carried with them through thousands of years of history and meets an unfortunate end when it leaves the time bubble just as it materialises over the sea.
    • In "Mortynight Run", when Rick and Morty are at Blips and Chitz playing Roy, you can see an Alien playing pinball with a Mr. Meeseeks next to him. After the alien beats the game, Mr. Meeseeks disappears.
    • The Gaussian Girl introduction below takes place during a rowdy party. A thrown beer bottle can be seen flying in the background and smashing into a wall, also in slow motion.
    • In "Close Rick-Counters of The Rick Kind", when Rick and Morty arrive in a universe where sentient chairs sit on people using pizzas to order phones, the chairs can be seen starring in utter shock at our equivalent of two talking chairs walking on the street.
  • Gaussian Girl: Parodied in "Ricksy Business". Jessica is introduced this way, only for Rick to scold Slow-Mobius for messing with time to create the effect.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In the party chatter in "Ricksy Business", one of Summer's high-school friends is discussing how she enjoys watching bukkake, and is considering whether to do it herself. The word is a genre of pornography, which some censors might not be aware of.
    • In "Total Rickall", Rick is shown wearing an apron reading "Suck My D__k".
    • "Schmeckle" is an alien unit of currency in the show, but it's also Yiddish slang for a penis.
    • In "The Wedding Squanchers," the wedding band's conga drums are shaped like purple scrotums. Several laser blasts hit them and make them wobble.
    • In "Rick Potion No. 9" Jerry states how he wishes Beth's shotgun was his penis, after watching her cock it and fire it repeatedly in quick succession. Beth says that if it were, he could call her Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway committed suicide with a rifle in his mouth. Lampshaded by the fact that Jerry doesn't get the joke, but he doesn't need to.
  • Giant Spider: In "The Ricks Must be Crazy", the universe Rick, Morty, and Summer are visiting has giant, telepathic spiders.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: All over the place in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens". The simulation isn't that high-quality to begin with, and Jerry's section is running on 5% processing power.
  • Godwin's Law:
    • In the pilot, Morty tells Rick he's worse than Hitler (since even he cared about Germany, "or something") when he shows no empathy over Morty breaking his legs.
    • At the end of "Rick Potion #9", when Morty is freaking out over having to replace his Dead Alternate Counterpart in another dimension, he asks Rick "What about the reality we left behind?" Rick responds by telling him "What about the reality where Hitler cured cancer, Morty? The point is, don't think about it."
    • Jessica's boyfriend invokes it on Abradolf Lincler. He probably gets this a lot. Though, to be fair, Lincler played the Lincoln card first. He was asking for the rebuttal.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In the season 1 finale, Beth and Jerry go to a fancy Titanic-themed cruise line, complete with a crash into a prop iceberg that's supposed to result in the ship sinking in a safe, controlled manner to give the passengers a chance to reenact scenes from the movie. The ship misses the iceberg and doesn't sink. This is treated like a disaster.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: In "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", Rick sends Beth and Jerry off to an alien couples therapy retreat to fix their marriage. It works by taking the couple's unconscious perception of each other and manifesting it as monsters which they can then observe. Monster!Beth proceeded to use Monster!Jerry's gelatinous form to blend in with the wall and escape her cell. By the time Beth and Jerry solved the problem, the entire retreat was destroyed.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: In season 1, episode 8, Summer overhears his parents state during an argument that they tried to abort her. Summer is so upset about this (and about the fact that her existence made her parents give up on their dreams) that she almost runs away before Morty convinces her not to by explaining that everyone is an accident. At the end of the episode we learn that the alternate dimension versions of Jerry and Beth are miserable and regretful.
    Alternate Dimension Jerry, having a breakdown: "Beth Sanchez, I have been in love with you since high school. I hate acting, I hate cocaine, I hate Kristen Stewart. I wish you hadn't gotten that abortion, and I've never stopped thinking about what might've been."
  • Gorn: Graphic violence is quite frequent, mostly involving aliens. It reaches its zenith in "Look Who's Purging Now."
  • Groin Attack:
    • The Machine of Unspeakable Doom swaps your conscious and unconscious minds, rendering your fantasies pointless while everything you've known becomes impossible to grasp. Also, every ten seconds it stabs your balls.
    • When Rick is sold out by Gearhead, he kicks Gearhead in the crotch, rips out his "gearsticles", then swaps them for his mouth gears.
    • Rick and Zeep do this to each other in "The Ricks Must be Crazy", Rick with a kick and Zeep with a punch. Rick, surprisingly, just powers through it.
    • In "Wedding Squanchers", Rick warns his family that the Galactic Federation will torture them by hooking their testicles/labia up to the alien equivalent of a car battery.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Beth and Jerry only got married because Jerry got Beth pregnant after prom. Their fragile marriage is a recurring theme, and they are quite aware of it, but it's usually resolved at the end of the episode, and the marriage seems to improve somewhat over the course of the first season. The first episode of the third season ends with then splitting up.
  • Harmless Freezing:
    • Averted with Frank Palicky in the first episode. Rick had insisted he'd be fine, but the frozen Frank fell over and shattered.
    • Played straight in "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind" when one of the Ricks freezes Jerry. When he later unfreezes Jerry, not only is Jerry unharmed, he doesn't seem to have noticed he was frozen.
    • Averted again in the Simpsons crossover. Flanders is frozen, then knocked over and shattered when the spaceship takes off.
    • Played straight again in the season 3 premiere, when the Council of Ricks freeze the Jerry, Beth, and Summer from Dimension C-137.
  • Hellhole Prison: Two examples.
  • Heroic BSoD: Morty suffers one at the end of "Rick Potion #9" as he tries to cope with his entire world going to hell, and then suddenly finding himself in a world where nothing went wrong except that he just replaced his own self, who had died just moments before.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the second season premiere, at least one out of 64 versions of Rick was prepared to sacrifice himself (and the other 63 Ricks) to save Morty, though Rick managed to survive anyway through sheer luck.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Morty's love interest, Jessica. Also Rick and Unity.
  • Hidden Depths: There's a lot more to Rick than just a drunk asshole who's good with science. We have yet to see all of it, but you can tell it's there. Directly referenced at the end of "Ricksy Business", where an embittered Morty says that Rick "isn't that complicated" and Bird Person explains that he's wrong.
    • The Jerry from Dimension C-132 is shown to be an exceptional gambler
  • High-School Dance: In "Rick Potion #9", Morty's school held a "Flu Season Dance."
    Principle Vagina: Please note: if you have the flu, do not attend this dance. It's about awareness, not endorsement. You don't bring dead babies to passover.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: The horrors that Rick has put Morty through (not to mention the constant verbal abuse) would be enough to drive any full grown adult insane, much less a 14-year-old boy. Morty seems to take it most of the time though.
  • Hobbes Was Right: In the climax of the Season 3 premiere, the value of the Galactic Federation's centralised fiat currency, whose value is apparently set by its own value, gets set to zero by Rick. Literally moments after learning this, the Federation's president kills himself and the entire Federation collapses into complete anarchy due to disagreements over who gets paid to do what, and abandons Earth.
  • Hobos: Reuben from "Anatomy Park" is one. Justified since you don't agree to have a theme park built inside you if your life is going great, though he is a more modern variant.
    Robot Reuben Tour Guide: My story begins in the Dot Com Crash of the late '90s...
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In Season 3, Rick's constant belligerent attitude to his family results in three things during the finale:
    • The first is that Morty finally grows a spine and as a result leaves Rick, and takes his family off to a retreat in the woods. While Rick does find them, Morty is finally able to say no to his grandfather's demands.
    • The second is that Beth is told in no uncertain terms that she is not the clone discussed in the previous episode, but the completely flippant way that Rick disregards her fears only makes it worse, and as a result drives her back to Jerry, who she sees as simple and predictable.
    • The third is that Rick's inability to stop his grandiose A God Am I complex causes a falling-out with the President that results in an all-out battle that results in the first point happening and placing Rick at the bottom of the family hierarchy. Essentially, Rick's mad rant at the beginning of the season? Completely null by the end.
  • How We Got Here: Parodied in "Look Who's Purging Now." Morty listens to a screenplay that begins with a trite scene of danger and then flashes back to "Three weeks earlier." Morty groans.
  • Huge Holographic Head: The Cromulons are an entire race of partially-transparent floating heads.
  • Humble Goal: When Rick introduces the problem-solving Meeseeks to the family, he tells them to keep their requests simple. Summer asks to be more popular at school, and Beth asks to be a more complete woman. Trying to heed Rick's warning, Jerry just asks to take two strokes off his golf game. Guess which problems are solved easily and which one turns into a huge ordeal.
  • Hypocrite: The Council of Ricks was formed because of government attempts to control other Ricks, yet they enforce their will on all Ricks regardless of whether or not they have joined.
    • In The Ricks must be Crazy: Rick calls Morty gay despite himself being openly pansexual. '
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In "Total Rickall" the house becomes infested with alien parasites who embed themselves in memories and act like old friends and family. Rick warns his family to "keep an eye out for any zany, wacky characters that pop up". He then accepts help from a strange creature called "Mr. Poopybutthole" we've never seen before. It turns out this isn't so hypocritical, as Mr. Poopybutthole is shown to be real at the end of the episode.
    • "The Ricks Must be Crazy" has Rick bemoan that the Pocket Dimension powering his car in turn invented and then copied his scam. When Morty brings up the hypocrisy, Rick merely realizes that he can use this to convince the one from his creation to switch back to the original power source. Then it goes a layer deeper as instead of the scientist just realizing that he's a hypocrite, he realizes they're both hypocrites so Rick is probably doing the exact same thing he is but one universe higher.
    • "The Ricks Must be Crazy" also has this bit:
      Morty: What's wrong, Rick? Is it the quantum carburetor or something?
      Rick: "Quantum carburetor"? Jesus, Morty, you can't just add a *burp* sci-fi word to a car word and hope it means something. Huh, looks like there's something wrong with the microverse battery.
    • "The Wedding Squanchers" has Beth's conversation with Birdperson. While he opens up with secret details about Rick's past, she ignores him and keeps complaining about how Rick was a wayward father. After Birdperson leaves, she mutters that it's "like talking to a brick wall."
    • In "Morty's Mind Blowers", Morty is shown a memory where he and Rick are on a planet called Venzenulon 9 with the car broken down. Rick panics, saying the night temperature reaches 300 below and they need to find shelter. Morty suggests finding a cave, to which Rick replies "you've seen too many movies". Rick then proceeds to cut open their Animal Companion so they can hide in it's warm innards.
    • In issue 35 after Rick ripped off Jurassic Park his investors got cold feet and dropped out. Just as he was complaining about how low it is to just run off and leave someone hanging. He, Summer and Morty came across the workers Rick abandoned there when the park was shut down.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Most episode titles are based on a movie title with "Rick" inserted into it somewhere. It is even lampshaded by Rick in one of the promos.
    Rick: What's [the episode] called?
    Morty: "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind"!
    Rick: What, really? That's horrible! What kind of formula is that?! Take a movie title and arbitrarily shoehorn my name into it?
    Morty: I don't think they put a lot of thought into it, y'know. I think they save their creative energy for the show.
  • Idiot Ball: Oh boy, do Rick's enemies ever hold it. Among the most noticeable ones, the Federation not using the most recent Brainalyzer to deal with Rick, who they know to be the "smartest mammal in the universe", the council of Ricks for having a system for moving the whole structure around that can activated easily by a single person (which also raises the question of why would a room full of Rick be needed for it) and without any security measures to avoid it materealizing into anything solid, or the blue ape aliens from "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy" that try to kill Rick before he's out of the immortality field. It's actually surprising when villains dodge it, the only ones so far being Zeep, the memory parasites and, supposedly, Concerto (who, however, still doesn't outright kill Rick and Morty when he has the chance).
    • And Fridge Logic gives us the two most blatant examples:
      • The council of Rick doesn't have the immortality field of "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy". Which means that an organization made with the explicit purpose of protecting Ricks from their enemies doesn't have the single most powerful form of protection avaliable. Actually, the immortality field is an Idiot Ball for the whole universe, if not multiverse, since despite everything it could be used for, it's only used for an autogrill.
      • The Federation has a currency that's regulated after itself. Which means that every slight variation from the value of 1 would have catastrophic results, either skyrocketing the value to infinity or dropping it to 0. And, just to make it sure it will bite them, they have no way to fix it once it happens. And since it's not enough, the one computer that can change the value is in the same secured area that keeps all the Federation's worst criminals. Guess how Rick disposes of them?
    • A non-villanous one (well, technically, would be more accurate saying a non-antagonistic one) is from Krombopulus Michael, an alien Professional Killer who hands out cards that can be used to track him. Fittingly, it ends up being the cause of his demise.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: At the climax of "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", Morty and Summer have to do this with Rick who's trapped in a younger clone of himself that's taken over his personality.
  • I Love the Dead: One alternate version of Jerry wrote and directed a film called "Last Will and Testameow: Weekend at Dead Cat Lady's House II", a film about how nine cats move their owner's putrefying corpse to make her seem alive. The film also features a guy having a romantic relationship and sleeping with the dead woman, thinking she's still alive.
  • Immediate Sequel: The second season starts where the first season ended.
  • Impossible Pickle Jar: Jerry's inability to open a jar results in Rick giving him the Meseeks box, sparking the B-plot of "Meseeks and Destroy".
  • Improbably High I.Q.: Word of God puts Rick's IQ at 350.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Played for Black Comedy in "The Wirly Dirly Conspiracy" when Rick takes Jerry to an amusement park that has an immortality field that revives anyone who gets killed. Jerry calls bad parenting when a couple of kids run around blasting each other in the head. When the immortality field is destroyed later on, one kid gets shot in the head for the last time.
  • I'm Standing Right Here:
    • Rick suggests to Morty that they kill Fart and go home. Fart is telepathic and says as much, to which Rick retorts that he was being polite.
    • This is a Running Gag with Summer and Unity, as the latter always complains when Summer tries to complain about it assimilating the planet into a single Hive Mind.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: After they escaped a bunch of raptors Morty called them Idontthinktheysaurus. Summer quickly called him out on that.
  • In-Joke: Rick makes a fake one referring to "Redgren Grumbholdt" at Jerry's expense, and calls Morty and Summer out when they laugh along.
  • Indy Ploy: "Rest and Ricklaxation" begins with Ricky and Morty going on a quick 20 minute adventure that turned into a 6 day epic that resulted in them becoming heroes for an entire civilization. When they finally get a chance to catch their breath, they freak out from the stress. Rick admits that he had no control over any of it. They were flying by the seat of their pants.
  • Informed Flaw: Morty being an idiot. While he's not on Rick's level, to be sure, Morty seldom does anything that could genuinely be called stupid. In fact, in Season 3 we establish both that he's smart enough NOT to mess around with alien devices when he clearly doesn't know what they do AND has taught himself how to disarm Neutrino bombs that Rick makes while black-out drunk.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Many alien names and terms used by the show fall under this category, but it reaches critical mass with the entire Plumbus skit in "Interdimensional Cable II" which is made up almost entirely of goofy-sounding nonsense words.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: When Tricia Helfer and James Callis show up for the season 2 finale, they're voicing characters who are dead ringers for their most famous previous roles. As an added bonus, they turn out to be homicidal cyborgs. Jerry and Beth also strongly resemble their own actors.
  • In Medias Res: Discussed in "Look Who's Purging Now". A man wrote a screenplay using How We Got Here, a version of this trope, and asks Morty for feedback:
    Morty: I feel, you know, we should start our stories where they begin, not start them when they get interesting.
  • Insane Proprietor: Ants in My Eyes Johnson. Though, his low prices are not due to insanity, but rather due to blindness caused by the ants in his eyes.
  • Insane Troll Logic: In-Universe. Drunk Rick's second puzzle asks the vindicators to choose a location that has a dark relation to themselves. The answer is Israel, and the vindicators themselves don't know what that is.
    Morty:It's just something Rick starts talking about when he's blackout drunk.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Many aliens see "Ee-arth" and its inhabitants as undeveloped, primitive and simple by comparison. Those who've attended Earth parties note that Earth cultures are built around bad sex jokes. The Federation believes they all eat spaghetti and pray to kangaroos. Tourism to Earth wasn't common until its acquisition by the Federation, amidst the search for Rick.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Most realities have a Rick, and most Ricks have a Morty. Even some of the really strange realities, like the one where Morty was an anthropomorphic hammer for some reason. Maybe not a perfect example, since there are an infinite number of universes. For the infinite number of universes that have a Rick and a Morty there are theoretically also an infinite number of identical universes that have no Rick and no Morty, and another set of identical universes with only one or the other. Most of the universes we see have a Rick and a Morty, because most of the alternate universes we see are because of different versions of Rick are interacting.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Seconds after Rick told Summer there was no such things as ghost the ship they were on was flooded with them.
  • Insufferable Genius: While they were running from dinosaurs Morty took the time out to explain the Artistic License that the movie used to Summer
    Summer: SHUT UP, MORTY!
  • Insult to Rocks: In the pilot, after Morty breaks both his legs and Rick observes him in a matter-of-fact fashion as he writhes on the ground, Morty accuses him of being "like Hitler, but at least Hitler cared about Germany or something."
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: With Gravity Falls in "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind". After Rick opens multiple portals to distract his pursuers while he and Morty hop between universes, one of the portals spits out a pen, a notebook, and a cup with a question mark, the same items sucked into a portal during the stinger of an episode of Gravity Falls that aired over half a year after "Close Rick-Counters".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Rick treats Morty and, to a lesser degree, Summer, more like friends than grandchildren.
  • iPhony: The logo on Rick's laptop.
  • Irony:
    • Rick claims that "To escape the government you became the government" to the Council of Ricks.
    • Rick favors Morty over Summer despite genuinely caring for both, but it is shown several times that he actually has more in common with his granddaughter than with his grandson.
  • Is the Answer to This Question "Yes"?: The U.S. president asks if the Pope's member can fit through a donut in place of "I'm not sure" when asked if he can fly a Blackhawk.
    Morty: Uh, I don't know?
    Mr. President: Exactly.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: While flipping through channels in "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate", the entire Smith family sans Jerry stumble upon the following scene: Jerry, in an operating room, with his pants down, keeping the doctors hostage with an alien dildo for a weapon, demanding that they remove his penis. Naturally, their immediate reaction is that it must be an alternate reality where this sort of thing is normal.
    • Heck, this trope happens a lot, and "alternate reality" or "alternate dimension" explains most of the instances.
  • It Only Works Once: Rick tells Morty that they can only do the jump into another reality after irreversibly ruining our own thing three more times, four tops. He knows the viewers wouldn't be impressed if they did it more than that across the series.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: In "Rixty Minutes", Beth and Jerry use one of Rick's devices to learn about alternate versions of themselves, and find out how their lives might have gone differently if Summer had never been born.
  • I Work Alone: Rick claims this as a reason he hasn't joined the Council of Ricks.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In "Rick Potion #9", Rick calls Morty out for using a love potion to force a girl to fall in love with him, at one point comparing it to roofies. But Morty fires back by noting that Rick still made it for him (and his only initial objection was that it was a waste of his talent), while also noting that Rick wound up turning the whole planet into David Cronenberg-ian monstrosities through his own carelessness and a lot of bizarre assumptions in regards to biology.
    • Later lampshaded by Rick and then defied by Morty in "Vindicators 3":
      Rick: I knew you were sucking the Kool-Aid out of the Vindicators' dick, so the fact that I was right must be pretty hard to admit.
      Morty: Yeah, it is. You know why Rick? Because when you're an asshole, it doesn't matter how right you are, nobody wants to give you the satisfaction!
  • Jerk Jock: Morty runs into one in "Rick Potion #9" when trying to ask out his crush, Jessica, to the Flu Season Dance. He's actually pretty self-aware:
    Brad: Dude, stay in your league! Look at how hot she is! You don't see me going to a bigger school in a wealthier district and hitting on their prettiest girl!
    Jessica: Gee, thanks Brad.
    Brad: I throw balls far. You want good words, date a languager.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Decidedly more gravitated toward the "jerk" part of a spectrum, Comedic Sociopath Rick is shown on occasion to have a bit of leftover humanity in him, occasionally reaching out to Morty in a more thoughtful, sympathetic manner than usual (usually with traumatizing results). Although Rick acts like he doesn't care about most things, his actions repeatedly imply that this is at least partially an act.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Though with the season 3 premiere, it seems as though he is veering into this. He manipulates everyone to get what he wants, manipulates Summer and Beth into loving him, manipulates Beth into divorcing Jerry when Jerry crosses Rick, and then in a mirror of the first episode's ending, tells Morty that he is going to help Rick get what he wants and if Morty tries to cross him, he will turn Summer and Beth against him as well.
  • Just a Flesh Wound: Rick gets shot in the liver with his laser pistol and yet seems pretty good to go. A few scenes later he puts some science gunk on the wound, which apparently heals it.
  • Just One Second Out of Sync: In "Mortynight Run", Rick and Morty go to a "cross-temporal asteroid" which seems to exist in all timelines at once, yet isn't perceptible unless you know where to look. One version of Rick set up a Jerry daycare there in case other Ricks needed somewhere to dump their Jerrys for a while.
  • Karmic Nod: Mr. Goldenfold's reaction in "Something Ricked This Way Comes" upon learning that the "gift" the Devil gave him that made him irresistible to women also made him impotent. Though it's less of a nod and more of an all-out Scenery Chewing.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Played for Laughs at the end of "Rickmancing The Stone". Summer develops a relationship with the leader of a band of Mad Max-ian post-apocalyptic humans, but eventually creates a new civilization when Rick reveals that the MacGuffin that was causing the episode's conflict could be used to power everyone. Summer's relationship with the leader falls out, and she leaves him heartbroken. Before Rick jumps through the portal, he steals the MacGuffin and robs them of electricity just because he can.
  • Kill and Replace: Summer attempted to do this to a popular version of herself
  • Kissing Warm-Up: When Morty falls asleep at the breakfast table after one of Rick's escapades, his mother asks him if he's feeling well, and then asks if he's been kissing the pillow that the dog sleeps on.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero:
    • The Adventures of Stealy follows a strange creature who steals from everyone and chloroforms people who get in his way.
    • Rick has also been known to steal randomly, as seen in "Total Rickall" and the Simpsons crossover.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Mr. Jellybean, who completely unironically attempts to rape Morty in "Meeseeks and Destroy".
    • Evil Morty. In his debut episode, "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind", it was built up that Evil Rick was the threat. At the end though, it turns out that Evil Morty was the mastermind all along. Throughout the episode he shows little signs of emotion, and never has a single funny line, his lines in particular being quite the opposite. This clip really sets it in though just how serious the character is compared to the rest of the show, and appears to be hinting at the bigger picture. This is reinforced by his next appearance two seasons later in "The Ricklantis Mix-up", in which he manipulates the members of the Citadel of Ricks into electing him as their new president, with his first act as the new leader being to have almost the entire Shadow Council murdered, and the bodies of numerous dead Ricks and Mortys (and one Morty who was still alive but knew too much) Thrown Out the Airlock.
  • Lack of Empathy: One of Rick's primary character traits; he very seldomly gives a shit about anybody other than himself, to the point where "Just don't think about it" is practically one of his catchphrases. Character Development, however, has shown that not only is this attitude only a little more than skin-deep, but also it didn't occur without provocation. By the end of Season 1, he's officially in Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory.
  • The Lancer: Morty is decidedly a foil for Rick, described by the latter as "as dumb as [Rick is] smart." This is actually one of his key motivations for bringing Morty along on adventures.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: "Morty's Mind Blowers" flashes back to memories of experiences that Rick erased from Morty's mind. Most of them were too horrific for Morty to live with, but Rick also wasn't above abusing the technology when he made a fool of himself and didn't want Morty to remember.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • "Meeseeks and Destroy": King Jellybean attempts to rape Morty and Morty beats the crap out of him, and later Rick kills him.
    • "Something Ricked This Way Comes": Mr. Needful/Lucifer scams Summer, Rick and Summer beat the shit out of him.
    • "Ricksy Business": Lucy almost rapes Jerry at gunpoint and Beth beats the crap out of her, and later she gets run over by a car.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others:
    • Lampshaded and averted in "Anatomy Park".
      Morty: Spleen Mountain? Bladder Falls? Pirates of the Pancreas?
      Rick: You got a problem with that last one, Morty?
      Morty: No, I'm just saying them in the order that I see them.
    • In "Rixty Minutes", an alternate reality Saturday Night Live has a bizarre lineup of a piece of toast, two guys with handlebar mustaches, a guy painted silver who makes robot noises, Garmanarnar, three creatures even the narrator is stumped by, a peep hole, and Bobby Moynihan.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • In "Rick Potion #9," Rick states that they can't replace themselves in another dimension "every week" and should only do it "three or four times, tops." This is an insinuated promise by the writers to not hit the Reset Button too often.
    • In "Mortynight Run", when Jerry gets frustrated playing poker with other Jerry's at Jerryboree, he says "I can't believe Rick did this. This is the eighth to the last straw!" The episode was the eighth to the last one of the season.
    • At the beginning of "Interdimensional Cable Part 2," the Sequel Episode to "Rixty Minutes," someone asks Rick what he's doing, and Rick responds, "A sequel." He then mutters about how he doesn't know whether it's really warranted because he "kind of nailed it the first time." The original episode was one of the most popular episodes of the first season.
    • At the end of "Look Who's Purging Now," Rick mentions the candy bars "that we got in the first act."
    • The Stinger of "The ABCs of Beth" is a string of messages on Jerry's answering machine, the last of which is a message from an antique phone rental place, saying that they intend to let Jerry off the hook for the $70 late fee and allow him to keep the answering machine because 'nobody really uses those anymore except to provide exposition on TV shows anyways'.
  • LEGO Genetics: Played for Laughs in "Rick Potion #9". First Rick tries to use praying mantis DNA to counter-act vole DNA (with the theory that mating once and then killing your mate is the opposite of living only to mate), then he admits genetics is more complicated than that, and so develops another cure:
    Rick: It's koala, mixed with rattlesnake, chimpanzee, cactus, shark, golden retriever, and just a smidge of dinosaur. Should add up to normal humanity.
    Morty: I don't— that doesn't make any sense, Rick!
    • Rick also tries it in "Ricksy Business" with Abradolf Lincler: a genetic combination of Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler who was intended to be a morally neutral super-leader. Turns out he's just a jerk who can't deal with his conflicting emotions.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Morty and Jerry — both are insecure, neurotic, emotional, and tend to put up with a lot.
    Scroopy Noopers: Is everyone in your family an idiot?
    Morty: For sure, me and my dad are.
  • Listing The Forms Of Degenerates: Why Pancho released tuberculosis in "Anatomy Park"
    "That's right, baby. A lot of people would pay top dollar to decimate the population. I'll take the highest bidder. Al Qaeda, North Korea, Republicans, Shriners, balding men that work out, people on the Internet that are only turned on by cartoons of Japanese teenagers — anything is better than working for you, you pompous, negligent, iTunes-gift-card-as-a-holiday-bonus-giving..."
  • Literal Metaphor: In "Pilot", the "two plus two" part of Rick's rant about school sounds like it's just a metaphor but then it turns out that Morty's math test really consists of simple calculations like that.
  • Logic Bomb:
    • Three regarding golf in "Meeseeks and Destroy". Square your shoulders and keep your head down. Choke up and follow through. Try to relax.
    • Rick makes the first level of the simulation shut down in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" by talking to a crowd of people and making them do increasingly more complex things.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The parasites in "Total Rickall" are able to implant happy fake memories in their targets, then assume the identity of the focus of those memories. The parasite can then in turn inspire more memories, allowing its offspring to assume the forms within. The targets never question this because, to them, the parasites are trustworthy friends who have never done them wrong. Morty manages to snap everyone out of it by realizing the flaw in their deception: the parasites are incapable of fabricating negative memories. Because their family has no shortage of personal issues between them, it doesn't take long for them to weed out the parasites. Except for Mr. Poopy Butthole. He was, in fact, just that nice a guy.
    • Rick put Summer in one of these to keep Doofus jerry from having sex with her.
  • Louis Cypher: In "Something Ricked This Way Comes" the proprietor of the cursed items shop, who is actually the devil, goes by the name "Lucius" Needful.
  • Love Potion: In "Rick Potion #9" Morty has Rick make one so Jessica will like him. Unfortunately, due to it being flu season the potion is transmitted through air, quickly causing the school (and eventually the entire world) to be in love with Morty. Rick later points out how Morty essentially asked him to make roofies.
  • Lovecraft Lite: It's only "Lite" for lack of a better word, but mostly the show's science-fiction is highly Lovecraft-inspired. Humanity is a speck in an infinite cosmos and beings which appear godlike are entirely different to our civilization and alien in intelligence, and to the extent they comprehend us, or we comprehend them, it's as a joke (the Cromulons who see Earth as merely a reality-show contestant).
  • Lower-Deck Episode: "The Ricklantis Mixup" begins with Rick and Morty going off to visit the lost city of Atlantis, but the entire episode focues on the various lives of the thousands of Ricks and Morties that live at the newly reconstructed Citadel of Ricks.

  • Magic Feather: A variant occurs in "Look Who's Purging Now", when the normally meek Morty goes on a bloodthirsty warpath during the Purge. At the end of the episode, Morty is worried that he has several demons to work out within himself, only to be told by Rick that a candy bar he had eaten earlier contained Purgenol, which increases aggression. Cue the shot showing that the candy bar is "Now Purgenol-Free".
  • Magic Tool: The season 2 DVD set actually reveals (what are implied to be just a few) uses of the plumbus tool that seems to be used in nearly every other dimension except for a few Earths in the central finite curve. Just a few of the device's uses include: toilet-cleaner, portable stove, food utensil, sex toy, religious icon, babysitter, and vacuum cleaner. Of course, you no doubt knew all this as everybody has one.
  • Maintain the Lie: In "Meeseeks and Destroy", The Stinger has a servant finding disturbing pictures (most likely of exploited children) in King Jellybean's closet and being ordered to destroy them so the people will remember him for what he represented, not what he was.
    • Zeep at the end of "The Ricks Must Be Crazy" is forced to do this, rather than reveal to his people that Rick is using their entire universe to power his car battery, or else Rick would destroy the "broken" battery along with the multiverse inside it.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Or rather, In Front Of The Man. In "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind," Evil Morty is this to Evil Rick, who was only his cyborg puppet.
  • Manchild: Rick is about 60 but has the maturity of a teenager, swearing, making dirty jokes, and being involved in rather reckless antics. One example is him finding it hilarious telling an alien race that flipping the bird meant "Peace among worlds". Morty's expression says it all.
  • Man Hug: Jerry and Doofus Rick part ways with one. Also Rick and Morty at the end of "Get Schwifity".
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Mr. Needful before he upgrades to his simpler Steve Jobs turtleneck.
  • Marshmallow Hell: In "Lawnmower Dog" after Rick and Morty unchain the rest of the family Summer pulls Morty face-first into her chest, made worse by the earlier Brain Bleach moment.
  • The Masquerade: Utterly averted. Everybody seems to be aware that Rick's a superscientist, but outside of the family, nobody seems too concerned. The town and school are aware, but react with indifference. Rick's unknown outside of town before "Get Schwifty." Considering Rick's on the run from The Empire, he takes no special precautions to hide his presence.
  • Meaningful Name: Beta 7 acts like a Dogged Nice Guy to Unity. A common slang term for men who act like that towards women is "beta male," as opposed to Rick's "alpha male" personality.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • Rick says a universe run by intelligent dogs would be interesting to watch "at 11 minutes a pop".
    • In "Rixty Minutes", Rick and Morty comment that TV from other dimensions has a "looser feel" and an "improvisational tone." As they say this, the camera is positioned in such a way that although they're looking at the TV, it seems like they're looking at the audience.
    • The same episode runs the concept of alternate universes in two different directions, and one turns out to be significantly funnier than the other. Rick says to the characters stuck in the B-plot "you guys clearly backed the wrong conceptual horse."
    • When Morty and Summer express concerns about their parents in "A Rickle in Time", Rick says that "They're probably living it up in some pointless grounded story about their shitty marriage." The B-plot does indeed involve Beth and Jerry in a grounded story about their marriage.
  • Mind Rape: Being a gaseous creature, this seems to be Fart's only method of attack. Of course, since it can turn a perfectly adjusted person suicidal in less than a second, it's hardly anything to sneeze at.
  • Missing Mom: Rick has mentioned that his wife and Beth's mom has since passed (though it's possible she's just not around much). Knowing Rick, it's... probably best if we don't know the details. It's later mentioned that Rick left her. It's rumored that she might make an appearance in season 3 to assist Rick.
  • A Mistake Is Born: Jerry and Beth only got married because they accidentally conceived Summer when they were teenagers.
  • Mistaken for Racist: In one episode Rick explains that an item he received is booby-trapped to lower the intelligence of whoever uses it, and uses the word "retarded" in doing so. Morty points out he doesn't think he can use that word. Rick has to clarify he means it literally and not as an insult. Subverted seconds later when Morty continues that even though Rick meant it literally, some important groups still might not be too happy that Rick used the word in any context, to which Rick replies "Well, that's retarded."
  • Mister Seahorse: The Season 1 opening title sequence shows a scene where Jerry is getting ready to give birth.
  • Mohs Scaleof Science Fiction Hardness: This show just barely manages a 2. It follows its own rules fairly consistently, but rarely, if ever, attempts to justify its technology or phenomena with any real or invented natural laws.
  • Mohs Scale of Violence Hardness: Level 7. It's very common to see most acts of violence involve a fair amount of blood and occasional acts of dismemberment. There are specific examples that spike into higher levels, but for the most part the series stays at level 7.
    • In "Rixty Minutes", the violence spikes up to level 10 for one scene as a couple of children nonchalantly hold down the Strawberry Smiggles leprechaun, slicing open his belly, and eating his own cereal right out of his own stomach while he's screams in agony.)
    • In "Total Rickall", when the Smith family begins killing all the parasites, the violence falls squarely into level 8. The parasites spectacularly explode into alien blood while transforming back into their parasite forms.
  • Monstrous Germs: In "Anatomy Park", the various diseases are portrayed as hideous monsters who chase the protagonists around in an homage to Jurassic Park.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Twice in "Meeseeks and Destroy". Firstly, when a Giant accidentally smashes his head and dies from the trauma, almost leading to Rick and Morty being convicted as murderers; and secondly, when Morty is almost raped in a restroom. It even cuts to Rick singing karaoke and the ridiculous Mr. Meeseeks brawl in the middle of the latter.
    • The Stinger for "M. Night Shaym-Aliens" has Rick drunkenly enter Morty's room, telling him he's a good kid and a trooper for putting up with all the crap he's been through. A sweet, if slightly disturbing, gesture. He then pulls a knife and holds it to Morty's neck, screaming at him to tell him if he's a simulation or he'll cut his throat. After a minute of this, Rick passes out on the floor, leaving Morty confused and terrified.
    • The A plot of "Rixty Minutes" is a series of absurd sketches improvised by the voice actors, with the framing device being that Rick has upgraded the family's cable to pick up channels from other dimensions. The B plot is the family having an existential crisis after learning of a dimension where Beth aborted the unplanned pregnancy that would have been Summer, and as a result, Beth and Jerry didn't get married and ended up with their dream jobs instead. The mood switches again when the Beth and Jerry from the alternate dimension are revealed to be unhappy in their dream jobs and still in love with each other.
  • Moon-Landing Hoax:
    • Suggested in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens" that the aliens faked the Earth Moon Landing when Rick, Morty, and Jerry run past a simulation of it.
    • During their fight scene in "The Rickchurian Mortydate", Rick and Mr. President run past numerous sound stages of faked historical events, including a lunar lander and the planting of the flag on the moon. The government also apparently actually carried out the murder of Tupac Shakur and staged the JFK assassination, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and George Washington crossing the Delaware.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The third episode of the game, Rick lampshades the moon-logical solution of one of the puzzles. How do you give Morty his missing dimension back and make him a 2D sprite again? By cutting a cup from a DD bra and giving it to him, since it's now a single D.
  • Moral Myopia: Beth spent years putting Jerry down because she thought she was better than him, but was very offended when she found out she was holding him back as well.
  • Motivational Lie: In "Get Schwifty", Rick tells Morty that his portal gun only has enough charge for two trips: one to grab their family and one to get off planet. This is to get Morty to focus on placating the Cromulons rather than worrying about his family. Rick blows his own ruse when he casually portals out to pick up some snacks for Ice-T.
  • MST3K Mantra: In-universe example. For every disturbing thing Morty sees or experiences, Rick's advice is "Don't think about it!"
  • Multiboobage: In "The ABCs of Beth", Jerry starts dating a Green-Skinned Space Babe named Kiara, who has three breasts.
  • The Multiverse:
    • Rick exploited this in "Rick Potion No. 9" by simply slipping into one universe where he and Morty suddenly died after curing the Cronenbergs. Apparently, he hasn't managed to find very many universes where they both died in such a way that everything's okay afterward.
    • There's an entire group of alternate Ricks who have banded together to form a society known as the Council of Ricks. However, the Rick we know refuses to be affiliated with them. This refusal to join the Council makes "our" Rick the "Rickiest Rick there is." By default, that makes Morty the "Mortiest Morty."
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Rick builds a self-aware, sentient robot to pass the butter, which is about an inch out of his reach and which he could have easily just leaned forward and grabbed in a fraction of the time it took to build the robot. When the robot finds this out, he's devastated.
    • Rick created a Pocket Dimension, manipulated the intelligent life within into generating massive amounts of power, and then channeled that power into... his car battery.
  • Mundane Solution: When Rick is about to destroy the Galactic Federation, his grandchildren suggest two options: Summer suggests that he'll set all their nukes to target each other. Morty suggests reprogramming all their military portals to disintegrate their entire spacefleet. While Rick appreciates the Hoist by His Own Petard nature of these plans and claims that he's "almost proud," he ultimately decides on this and reduces the value of their credit-based economy to zero.
  • Musical Spoiler: In "The Ricklantis Mixup", right before it's revealed that President Morty is the Evil Morty from "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind", the theme that played at the end of that episode when he was revealed starts playing.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: This hits Rick at the end of "Autoerotic Assimilation," when Unity says that his manipulative personality ends up bringing down all of his loved ones. It's enough to make him attempt suicide.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The o3o expression the characters use is one of the few things from Doc and Mharti that hasn't been changed.
    • At one point, Rick says that a whole world populated by dogs would make an interesting TV show. This is a reference to an actual pilot Justin Roiland made in the past.
    • Certain parts of Cronenberg-Rick might bring back some...memories.
    • The Cloning Blues invoked with the gradual mental degeneration of the Meeseeks brings to mind the defective Cosby clones from Roiland's earlier Web series House Of Cosbys. The alternate-dimension TV channels are also a similar concept to the series' nonsensical final episode involving alien satellite transmissions.
    • Are are a few instances where Rick tells someone to "lick [his] balls." It's one of his catchphrases in "Total Rickall" and he plays samples of himself saying "balls" to annoy Morty in "Get Schwifty." In the original "Doc and Mharti" short, Doc repeatedly asks Mharti to lick his balls as part of his science experiments.
    • Tiny!Rick's drawing in "Big Trouble In Little Sanchez" is of Doc.
  • Naked People Are Funny: In "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!", Rick figures out that he and Morty are being monitored by a race of aliens. The aliens also happen to be really uncomfortable with nudity, so Rick and Morty strip to have some privacy.
  • Name and Name: Rick and Morty.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Summer had one of these when Peacock Jones got tired of playing nice.
  • Never My Fault: Beth blames all of her failures on Jerry.
    • After their separation she started blaming it on her kids
    • Rick repeatedly uses his intelligence to absolve himself of responsibility for his actions. For examples in the comics after he switched everyone’s mind around he just erased their memories when he couldn’t figure out how to switch them back. When Summer regained her memories and reacted with anger Rick ask why Summer was making him the bad guy when he was just trying to make everyone happy.
      • He even pointed out that she only realize she was Summer because he told her she didn’t actually remember being anyone but Morty.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Rick constantly encouraging Morty to "purge" in "Look Who's Purging Now?" caused Morty to go psycho and almost kill Rick.
    • Rick's overthrow of both the Council of Ricks and the Galactic Federation from "The Rickshank Redemption", respectively gave Evil Morty and Tammy the opportunity to take over what's left of each.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Lampshaded by Summer when a Powder Keg Crowd who are divided by their nipples ask Morty and Summer to show them theirs:
    Morty: [pulling up his shirt to show his nipples] We're neither. S-see?
    Summer: [Not pulling up her shirt] Yeah, take my word for it.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Beth and Jerry. If they're the focus of an episode's plot line, it's probably about their struggling marriage. Deep down, they still care about each other, but there's so much resentment between them that the only reason they're still together at this point is for the sake of the kids. Well, that and Status Quo Is God.
  • No Dead Body Poops: Ruben's death causes such a buildup of fecal matter in his sphincter that it overloads the artificial barrier Rick built there, destroying the enlargement ray at the base of his colon.
  • No Fourth Wall: In the point & click game both Rick and Morty constantly refer to them being a video game and talk directly at the player.
  • No Indoor Voice:
    • Mr. Meeseeks! (Look at him!)
    • The Cromulons, though it's be a difficult task for a moon-sized talking head to take it down a notch.
  • No More for Me:
    • Beth attempts to kiss Mr. Meeseeks just as he disappears. A waiter asks if she wants more wine, and she decides she's done.
    • In an alternate universe where chairs and people are reversed, a chair discards the rest of his booze after seeing Rick and Morty walking around.
  • Nominal Hero: Rick is just barely a hero by virtue of him caring about his family, and there being even worse people.
  • Non-Indicative Title: The family likes a show from an alternate reality called Ball Fondlers. It's basically just The A-Team, a peppy action show with no fondling of balls or even any innuendo. Rick does do a fondling motion with his hand when suggesting it to Morty and Summer, but that's it.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The characters in the "Strawberry Smiggles" commercial have regular-looking cartoon pupils instead of the weird squiggly things all the other characters have.
  • Noodle Implements: In "Auto-Erotic Assimilation", Rick tells Unity that he wants to perform a sex act involving a hang-glider, a crotchless Uncle Sam costume, and a football stadium full of redheads and men who look like his father. Subverted when we get to see exactly what the act entails shortly afterwards.
    • The plumbus and its creation are nothing but inexplicable noodle instruments.
  • Noodle Incident: In "Wedding Squanchers", Bird Person tells Beth that he and Rick once fought in a vicious war, and are now considered terrorists by the Galactic Federation. However, he never says exactly what he and Rick did during that period.
    • Half of the clips in the opening sequence are these, including Jerry in a Mr. Seahorse situation.
    • C-137's Rick and Morty's adventure in "The Ricklantis Mixup." All we know is that Morty hooked up and likely had sex with a mermaid and wants to go back.
  • Note to Self: In "Total Rickall", when Rick first discovers the mind-altering parasites trying to infiltrate the family, he writes the current number of family members on a piece of paper and tapes it to the wall. Whenever the parasites multiply and try to disguise themselves as new family members, Rick kills the likely suspect. The parasites beat this by implanting a new memory in which Rick wrote the number for a nonsensical reason rather than for a logical purpose, foiling that plan.
  • Not Helping Your Case: In "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind", when Rick is suspected of having killed several Ricks from other dimensions, he decides to act rude to the council then kill several Ricks in his escape.
  • Not So Different: Evil Rick to Rick. "Duh", proclaims our Rick.
  • No, You: When Jerry and Beth are packing away Rick's stuff, he tells them that they shouldn't be messing with it because it's beyond their reasoning. Jerry retorts "YOU'RE beyond our reasoning!" To which Rick counters with "Takes one to know one!"
  • Nuke 'em: In "Get Schwifty", the general constantly advocates nuking the Cromulons. When he finally manages it, it's about as effective as flicking embers into someone's beard.
  • N-Word Privileges: According to Rick, the word "Glip-Glop" is like the N-Word and C-Word had a baby and was raised by all the bad words for Jews. Not that it stops him for referring to his alien buddies as "My Glip-Glops".
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: A strange example: Morty's irregular brainwaves literally obscure the normally-distinctive brain emissions that would otherwise allow the numerous multiversal governing bodies to track the various alternate selves of the mad scientist. This is at least part of the reason that every Rick hangs out with a Morty if possible, essentially hiding someone else's intelligence by the former's stupidity. Of course, Rick would normally lie to his grandson about this just so he could spend more time with him as otherwise he'd be normally be dead right before he even have grandchildren for the first time.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Rick and Jerry very much act this way with each other, though to be fair, they probably wouldn't like each other anyway. The creators say that Rick hates Jerry due to circumstance as he blames Jerry for ruining Beth's life by impregnating her when she was only 17.
  • Obvious Beta: The simulated world in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens" has quite the number of bugs in it, to say the least.
  • Odd Friendship: Between Rick and Morty.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: The episode "Rixty Minutes" has a fake trailer of a movie where a bunch of cats manipulate the corpse of their owner to convince people she's alive. She's still very obviously dead; with green soft tissues and a maggot infestation. Strangely enough this is a sequel.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Rick when told it is flu season, while Morty literally says the phrase in "Rick Potion #9" twice.
    • "A Rickle in Time" had this, when 32 Ricks were attempting to fix 32 broken collars:
      16 Ricks: Now hand me that flat-head screwdriver.
      Other 16 Ricks: (in unison with above line) Now hand me that Phillips screwdriver.
      16 Ricks: Actually, make it a Phillips.
      Other 16 Ricks: (in unison with above line) Actually, make it a flat-head.
      (Time splits in half again, creating 32 new variants)
      All 64 Ricks: Ohhhhhh, shit.
    • Rick and everyone at the wedding reception in "The Wedding Squanchers" when Tammy reveals herself as a deep cover agent for the Galactic Federation and has the building surrounded.
    • Morty has one of these in '"The Rickshank Redemption" When Rick is ranting about how he got rid of Jerry and the government because Jerry threatened to turn Rick in.
      Rick: Ohhh, it gets darker, Morty! Welcome to the darkest year of our adventures! First thing that's different? No more dad, Morty! He threatened to turn me into the government so I made him and the government go away!
      Morty: Ohhhh fuck...!
  • Rick when he realized just how smart Doofus Jerry was after bringing him to the council
  • Once a Season:
    • In-universe, in Planet Music, there's always one planet per season that protests the show and gets disqualified.
    • For the series as a whole it appears a movie-based episode. Inception for Season 1, The Purge for Season 2, and Ensemble Cast superhero movies such as The Avengers for Season 3.
    • So far, episode 8 of each season has featured many short unconnected clips, along with an over-arching plot in-between them. For the first two seasons, the clips were from alternate reality television with an improv skit feel. For the darker third season, the clips were from previously-unseen Rick and Morty adventures instead.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Rick tries to invoke this in "Total Rickall" when he gets tired of playing Spot the Imposter, instead intending to shoot everyone in the shoulder so only the weaker parasites will die from their wounds. It doesn't pan out because, understandably, no one likes getting shot and the parasites manage to take his gun.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: You wouldn't expect this show to get so serious at times.
    • In "Auto Erotic Assimilation", Rick tries to kill himself after Unity tells him that his reckless and self-desctructive nature only ends up causing the people around him to suffer. The DVD commentary to the episode reveals that the chemical he drank before doing it was meant to synchronize all his parallel selves - He wasn't only trying to kill himself, but also all other versions of himself in other dimensions.
    • Morty almost getting raped by King Jellybean in "Meeseeks and Destroy." Rick figures out what happened, and proceeds to murder the king with a single gunshot.
      • The creators themselves have stated that jokes about rape are ok, but that the act itself will always be treated seriously on the show.
    • Beth and Jerry finding out about their miserable lives without each other in "Rixty Minutes", and realizing how good they have it together after all.
    • Rick turning himself in in "The Wedding Squanchers" after overhearing the others talking about him and realizing how much of a burden he is to them. When calling the Galactic Federation to share his location, he asks for his family to be able to have a safe life on earth.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Tammy's parents are incredibly accepting of the fact that their high school daughter is marrying a middle-aged alien. It helps that they're actually robots to help her cover identity.
    • Beth is usually pretty ok with Morty and Summer getting involved with Rick's antics. Beth also defended Morty's use of the sex robot when Jerry wanted to intervene, saying that would mess up his development.
  • Overnight Age-Up: Male Gazorpians reach adulthood in one day. Being half-human, Morty Jr. goes through typical human stages of growing up, including teen rebellion, in that time span. By The Stinger of the same episode, Morty Jr. has grey hair and has written a bestselling novel, whereas none of the other characters have aged nearly so far.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • The famous "Rick and Morty forever and forever, a hundred years" moment at the end of the pilot.
    • The cereal commercial in "Rixty Minutes".
    • The fake door commercial, enough that Morty has to ask Rick to not change the channel, and then gives up on it himself.
    • Personal space!
    • In the first episode of season 1, Rick goes on a rant saying Rick and Morty will go on for "a hundred years". 3 years and 120 days later, when the first episode of season 3 premiered, Rick goes on another rant and mentions they've got "97 years" left to go.
  • Papa Wolf: Rick may be an incredibly flawed individual with practically no regard for the lives or well being of others, but there's one moral misstep he will not forgive you for: messing with his grandkids.
    • Also, when Beth and Jerry disagree or fight in front of Rick, he echoes this trope by typically taking his daughter's side, belittling Jerry in the process.
    • Jerry is a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass with extra Moron and a side of Butt-Monkey who will field any Idiot Ball that is hit anywhere near him, but when his family is threatened, he can suddenly become a Papa Wolf.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: When Rick was telling Snuffles they need to perform more surgery on Morty you can notice he's wearing fake dog ears and a fake dog nose.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-Universe for Rick in The Stinger of "M. Night Shaym-Aliens" when he bursts into Morty's room drunk and, after an out of character moment of praise, pulls a knife on him and demands to know if he's still inside a simulation.
  • Parents as People: Both Jerry and Beth often show concern for their kids and the effect Rick's antics can have on them, however they are continuously hindered by their own psychological problems and their failing marriage.
  • Person as Verb:
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: The Galactic Federation is an intergalactic Empire controlled by one alien species that turns the world is conquers into a Police States.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Morty protests that "schwifty" isn't an actual word.
  • Piss-Take Rap: "Flu Hatin' Rap" from "Rick Potion #9".
  • Planet of Hats:
    • In "Rixty Minutes", there's a universe where Earth is populated by corn people, and one where it's populated by hamsters living in human butts.
    • All Zigerians are scammers who are prudish towards nudity.
    • Several alternate universe versions of Rick and Morty in "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind", including a cowboy version, multiple alien versions, a robot version, and Cronenberg Rick and Morty.
    • In "The Wedding Squanchers," when searching for a replacement home planet, the Smiths happen upon a large Earth-like planet where everything — strawberries, flowers, birds, mountains, ants, and even atoms — is on a cob. Upon this revelation, Rick hastily makes the family leave and nixes relocating there, for reasons never explained.
  • Pocket Dimension: In "The Ricks Must be Crazy", Rick's car is revealed to be powered by one. One of the inhabitants created his own, and one of its inhabitants in turn discovered his own.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: In "Something Ricked This Way Comes", when Rick tells Morty that the microscope he got from Summer's boss will make him retarded, Morty tell him that he probably shouldn't use that word because, despite the fact that he was speaking objectively and the microscope would have literally made him mentally retarded, it would still offend "powerful groups who feel like they're doing the right thing". Rick's response? "Well, that's retarded."
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: Parodied at the end of the second episode. Rick suggests that the world populated by dogs "could be developed into a very satisfying project for people of all ages", and that he would watch it "for at least eleven minutes a pop".
  • Poor Man's Porn: While living with the tree people, Morty was without access to internet porn and instead used an extra curvy piece of driftwood.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: At the end of "Meeseeks and Destroy" Rick makes an Arsenio Hall reference, making Beth and Jerry laugh, but then Beth says she doesn't get it, as she's too young.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: Many episode titles are puns of other works, like "The ABCs of Beth" being a pun on The ABCs of Death.
  • Potty Failure: Happens to Summer twice: First in "A Rickle in Time", out of shock of Morty knocking out Rick, and again in "Total Rickall" during the elevator flashback, though both aren't explicitly seen, but mentioned by Morty the first time and Summer the second time.
  • The Power of Love: Played with in "Morty's Mind Blowers". One of the memories is of Morty being possessed by a demon worm, which Rick, Beth, and Summer discover can be coaxed out of Morty by telling him they love him. However, they can't help but crack jokes at Morty's expense as the spectacle becomes more disgusting and drawn out, leading to the Power wavering and creating extended discomfort for Morty.
  • Powered Armor: In "Lawnmower Dog", Snuffles builds walking, humanoid exoskeletons for himself and all the neighborhood dogs, due to becoming an Uplifted Animal with genius intellect by way of a helmet Rick invented to make him smarter. Models with yellow Tron Lines are combat-capable, sporting shoulder guns; whereas blue denotes civilian.
  • * Powerupfood: Enelda Eggs
  • Prison Rape:
    • In "Meeseeks and Destroy", Rick and Morty are about to be sent to Giant Prison. Rick bemoans that, if someone drops the soap, it will land on them and crush their spines. It would be real easy to rape them, then.
    • The fourth dimensional lifeform in "A Rickle in Time" tells Rick, Morty, and Summer that they're going to Time Prison.
      "You know what they do to third-dimensional lifeforms in Time Prison? Same thing they do in regular prison, only forever!"
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: In-universe, lampshaded in Rick and Morty's Rushed Licensed Adventure. It's right there in the title! The characters frequently complain about not being able to perform certain simple actions because the developers were too lazy to implement it (The game is actually not that bad for a free to play Flash game).
  • Product Placement: Blatantly lampshaded in "Total Rickall". A flashback shows Rick walking into the living room with his arms full of Nintendo 3DSs, rambling on about how they can take advantage of the Walmart sale to turn a profit and sell them for more money because they were all the limited edition The Legend of Zelda versions. At the end, he turns right to the camera and yells "Nintendo! Send me free stuff!" Apparently, Justin Roiland did this once in real life.
    • Done again in The Rickshank Rickdemption with the Mulan Szechuan sauce.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: The collateral damage wreaked by Rick's schemes, whether implied or shown outright, is often absolutely gruesome in its sheer body count, but receives no serious repercussions for it, week after week. He's destroyed an entire reality just through incompetence, and that's probably not the first.
    • Averted and played with in "Mortynight Run". After Rick sells a gun to K. Michael for an assassination, Morty argues that's as bad as pulling the trigger. Morty then goes and tries to save the life of K. Michael's target, causing hundreds of casualties as a result. Rick doesn't let him hear the end of it.
  • Pun-Based Title / Punny Name :
    • On "rigor mortis"...or 'brick and mortar'.
    • The B-plot of the official comic is called Summer Spectacular. It focuses on Summer.
  • Punch a Wall: Jerry does so after having to say goodbye to Doofus Rick.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Parodied by Scary Terry, the "legally-safe knock off" of Freddy Kruegar living deep in Mr. Goldenfold's dreams: not only is terrorizing people literally just his day job, after he's done he goes home to a perfectly normal-looking suburban house, complete with an equally-scary wife and infant son.

  • Rain of Blood: The result of Reuben's enlarged corpse exploding in "Anatomy Park".
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: As mentioned under "Black Comedy Rape," the show has a strict rule regarding this subject, both In-Universe and among the writers: comments about rape can be jokes, but depictions are treated 100% seriously, regardless of gender. Even when the would-be rapist is an anthropomorphic jelly bean.
  • Raptor Attack: Photography Raptor from "Total Rickall" is your standard oversized Jurassic Park raptor covered in scales instead of feathers. Justified, in that he's an alien parasite in the guise of a velociraptor.
  • Rated M for Manly:
    • Alien Invasion Tomato Monster Mexican Armada Brothers Who Are Just Regular Brothers Running In A Van From An Asteroid And All Sorts Of Things: The Movie. (Or, just Two Brothers.) The sequel Three Brothers, though never shown, likely matches or exceeds the manliness level of the original.
    • Ball Fondlers.
  • Real Fake Door: The Trope Namer is Rixty Minutes, where one advert is for "Real Fake Doors", doors which just open to a wall.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Averted. Characters surprisingly speak in a realistic manner, filled with stutters, mumbling, and belching. Some of the alternate-dimension TV especially falls into this, with Harmon and Roiland improvising it on the spot.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie:
  • Reality Ensues: Being a Deconstructor Fleet, a lot of plot points and punchlines are centered around this.
    • Rick succeeds in besting Satan by opening a new store. Afterwards, faced with the responsibilities of running the shop, he announces he's bored of it and closing, douses it in gasoline and sets it on fire during regular business hours.
    • In "Ricksy Business" Summer, seeking to get in with the cool kids, blows off one of her nerdy friends and essentially throws her out of the party to get her out of the way - and then finds out that when you do un-squanchy stuff like that no one wants to hang out with you.
    • Rick's alcoholism and Morty's constant brushes with death, which are usually played for laughs and brushed aside, are occasionally shown to weigh on them heavily.
    • "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate" features the TV show "Man vs. Car," in which a man tries to fight a car. The man is quickly run over, and the chuckling announcer asks, "Wouldn't the cars always win?"
    • Other ways to destroy the Galactic Federation? Why not disrupt their credit economy by reducing their spending power to zero?
    • At the end of "Rick Potion #9", Beth and the rest of the C-137 family appear to have found happiness despite being the last humans on a post-apocalyptic Cronenberg earth. Skip ahead 2-3 years to "The Rickshank Rickdemption" and the C-137 family has devolved to the level of cavemen due to the brutal realities of living on such a world.
      • Furthermore, In "Rick Potion #9" Beth and Jerry C-137 don't seem to mind that Rick and Morty have disappeared (in fact they feel as if it has made their lives better). However by the "The Rickshank Rickdemption", Jerry smashes the portal gun to keep Morty C-137 from leaving and is ready to kill new Summer because she admires Rick. It stands to reason that the C-137 family would come to loathe the man who stole their son and destroyed their world, the Season 1 happy ending not withstanding.
    • What happens when you try and outsmart the smartest man in the universe (maybe multiverse?) You lose....badly. As the Federation agent trying to interrogate Rick found out when he attempted to get Rick to reveal the secret of the portal gun.
    • In the B-plot of "Rixty Minutes", Summer is annoyed that while her parents' alternates are doing amazing things like movies, surgery, cocaine and Kristen Stewart, her alternates all seem to be playing board games with her family. Of course, since time-travel isn't a thing, of course she's not going to see some life-fulfilling self — all her alternates are still teenagers. Generally speaking, one doesn't become a movie star or a surgeon while they're still in high school.
  • Recursive Reality:
    • Half of "Lawnmower Dog" is an Inception parody, so it naturally involves dreams within dreams.
    • In "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" some aliens try to trick Rick into giving away his formula for concentrated dark matter by trapping him in a multi-layered simulation.
    • In "The Ricks Must Be Crazy" it's revealed that Rick's spaceship is powered by a small universe. It turns out that a scientist in that universe is also developing a smaller universe to use as a power source. Then it turns out that a scientist in that universe is also developing an even smaller universe to use as a power source...
  • Red Herring: In "Total Rickall" The concept of "mind parasites", creatures that telepathically insert false memories into people in order to convince them that they know the person, and can therefore trust them, is introduced during the cold open shortly before we meet a never-before-seen character, Mr. Poopy Butthole. The intro then shows Mr. Poopy Butthole throughout the entire sequence, spliced into every scene as if he was always a main character. Finally, at the end of the episode, Mr. Poopy Butthole sits down with the family after they have slaughtered dozens of mind parasites, and Beth, remembering only good memories of the character, fires a blast at his chest...only to have red blood gush out like a gunshot wound instead of dissolving the disguise and causing the "parasite" to explode. The Stinger reveals Mr. Poopy Butthole survived and is now undergoing physical therapy, and is not pressing charges, but does not wish to associate himself with the Smiths anymore.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Rick is a mercurial and self-centered alcoholic with a very strange set of priorities. He has the technology to become extremely rich and powerful, but doesn't seem to care. The fact that he's technically in hiding from the Galactic Federation might be at least partially responsible. His occasional profit schemes tend to be subverted in some way:
    • Rick opens a store that removes the curses from magical items that Satan has been giving people. As soon as Satan admits defeat, Rick loses interest in the whole thing, not even caring that the store seemed to be making a good profit.
    • Rick gets a bunch of money from an underworld deal so that he can blow all of his profits at Blips and Chitz, an arcade.
    • Rick drunkenly rambles about cornering the market on Nintendo 3DS consoles, which never goes anywhere, then turns to the audience and asks Nintendo to send him free stuff.
  • Remember the New Guy?: "Total Rickall" is an elaborate Deconstructive Parody of the trope, featuring tons of never-before-seen characters whom our protagonists insist have always been on the show, but only because they've been conditioned to think so via telepathy; the new characters are actually a species of shapeshifting parasites who can implant Fake Memories in their hosts, convincing the hosts that the parasites are long-time friends who have always been around. Rick and the gang eventually figure out how to tell a parasite masquerading as a friend from an actual friend: the parasites can only create happy, pleasant memories, whereas real relationships generally contain a mix of both pleasant and unpleasant experiences. And then that idea is deconstructed when the gang starts killing everyone in the room that they have no negative memories of and end up shooting a real friend by mistake, whom the cast have no negative memories of not because he's a parasite, but because he was just that great a guy. The post-credits scene, however, shows that he actually survived the incident.
  • Reset Button: An incredibly grim example appears in "Rick Potion #9". When Rick's cure irreversibly turns everyone into monsters, Rick "fixes" the problem by finding a parallel universe where Rick somehow fixed his screw-up just after their parallel selves have died in a freak accident caused by Morty's doing what Rick asked him to do at the beginning of the episode. Rick then makes Morty help him dispose of the corpses, allowing them to resume normal life in place of their dead parallel selves, leaving their own universe destroyed.
  • Ret Gone: Inverted with the parasites; they retroactively insert themselves into the cast's memory.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Rick and Morty from the pilot were C-132.
    • The bomb turned out to be a dud.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Most episodes contain a line or two that seems like a throw away but ends up being crucial or really illuminating upon rewatching the episode. In "Meeseeks and Destroy", Rick assures Summer after one dies off by saying "Trust me, they're cool with it", which really foreshadows later on what happens when a Meeseeks stays around too long.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: After the Galactic Federation is kicked out of Earth, aliens are drawn-and-quartered in the school courtyard and it is considered patriotism.
  • Right Through The Ceiling: When Morty is, uh, playing with the sex-bot Rick bought him.
  • Robotic Reveal: Evil Rick in "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind." Evil Morty is his Man Behind the Man.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • The second half of the season 3 premiere is one for Rick. He exploits a device that transfers the user's consciousnes to bring down the Galactic Federation, the Council of Ricks, and Jerry.
    • In issue 35 when ricks Jurassic Park ripoff went under he shut off the islands power to steal the embroyes leaving all the workers there to die for twenty year. Needess to say they didn’t waste anytime in trying to kill him when he came back for a dinosaur egg.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: The Gazorpians try to save face by claiming this after realizing that simply crushing Rick with a boulder is too simple.
  • Rule of Three: Morty could accept the bun being placed between two hotdogs and the old woman walking her cat on a leash. But the Pop Tart living in a toaster oven.... ok, something weird is going on.
    • In "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick-Kind", Rick and Morty run through a dimension where pizzas sit on chairs and use phones to order people, a dimension where phones sit on pizza and use people to order chairs, and a dimension where chairs sit on people and use pizzas to order phones.
  • Running Gag: The writers seem to intentionally make alien names and terms sound like random sounds made up on the fly, leading such creations as Doctor Glip-Glop and planet Gazorpazorp.
    • A lot of the aliens and otherworldy flora tend to have incredibly phallic designs.
  • Sadistic Choice: In "Morty's Mind Blowers", at one point a villain held Beth, Morty, and Summer hostage, and told Beth it would spare one of her children, but she had to choose. Without even thinking about it, she immediately blurts out Summer with absolute certainty. Rick shows up at the last minute to kill the villain, but apparently the experience was so traumatizing for Morty that he begged Rick to erase the memory.
  • Safety in Indifference: This is the main reason Rick is as heartless as he is. Even if you ignore the countless amount of people and creatures that die whenever he's around, having access to The Multiverse makes attaching to people borderline impossible, what with the fact that there's trillions of copies of them out there that are, for the most part, identical.
  • Sand In My Eyes: When Evil Rick is looking through Rick's memories, seeing memories about Morty makes Rick start to cry. Evil Rick makes fun of him, and Rick says that he isn't crying, he's just allergic to dipshits.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Rick, willfully:
    Summer: Careful Dad, jealousy turns women off.
    Jerry: Well, isn't that convenient.
    Rick: Not for the men they cheat on, no.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Done by evil Rick in "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind". Lampshaded by Rick who points out how cliche the gesture is to which evil Rick explains that in his alternate universe, he is its inventor. This trope is referred to in the show as "Slow Clap".
  • Scenery Porn: Rick takes Morty to a bizarre dimension in the pilot that's very colorful and bizarre with phallic imagery and hanging sacks. Like actual porn.
  • School Is for Losers: Rick believes this. He is a very intelligent Mad Scientist who cares about Morty, so there might be some reasons.
    Summer: Grandpa, can you help me with my homework?
    Rick: Sure....don't do it.
  • Script-Reading Doors: Rick's portals open and close when it's narratively convenient, in addition to simply appearing whatever surface works for the scene.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • Rick unconvincingly claims this was the case with his plan to wipe out the human race and start over. This confession is immediately followed by a 'sure, why not, I don't know'.
    • One interpretation in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens" suggested says Rick suddenly started acting uncharacteristically playful with important science stuff as a test to see if Morty would notice and say something. Morty didn't and just played along, confirming Rick's suspicion that he too was a simulation.
  • Seen It All: When Summer accidentally sort of causes a race war between two groups of aliens (who look exactly alike, nipple shapes aside), she is horrified. Morty however just chuckles and says "Oh Summer. First race war, huh?"
    • Gay Summer has repeatedly had to fend off alternate versions of herself trying to Kill and Replace her for her happy life.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Morty and Rick, respectively.
  • Sequel Episode: "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate" to "Rixty Minutes", with Rick even Breaking the Fourth Wall to lampshade it.
  • Serial Escalation: The parallel dimensions in "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind" become increasingly absurd variations on a theme, from a world where slices of pizza order human delivery, to a world where phones sit on pizza and order chair delivery on human phones, to - finally - a world where chairs sit on inanimate humans and order phone take-out on pizza. Rick and Morty even visit an Italian restaurant and purchase some edible phones for themselves.
    • Arguably the entire show, on a high concept sci-fi scale. The first episode starts with the most ridiculous thing being that Rick has created a flying car from garage junk, and introduces the concept of the multiverse. By episode six of the first season, the titular characters have replaced alternate universe versions of themselves who managed to solve a problem our Rick and Morty couldn't, and also coincidentally died around the same time. The Council of Ricks in Episode 10 escalates this even further, and by the beginning of Season 2 we're in full-blown mind-fuck territory, if we weren't there already. And it escalates further from there.
  • Serious Business: Mr. Kwinanes was going to kill everyone at St. Equis Hospital because his horse died
  • Servant Race: Meeseeks, who are created by one of Rick's devices to serve a single purpose and die in a puff of smoke after they're done. However, if they take too long to get a task done then they'll end up going murderously insane until it gets accomplished.
  • Sex Bot: Rick buys one for Morty in "Raising Gazorpazorp". As it turns out, the robot is actually a Gazorpian breeding chamber that results in a half-human half-Gazorpian baby.
  • Sex Sells:
    • In the Fan Art Contest promo, Rick promises bonus points for "scantily clad artwork of Summer!"
      Morty: W-what!?! Th-th-that's disgusting, Rick!
      Rick: Hey, look, Morty, I agree. But, uh, sex sells, you know? We gotta push product, right? Just don't look at it.
    • The "Turbulent Juice" commercial in "Rixty Minutes".
      Morty: What in the hell?!
      Rick: Sex sells.
      Morty: Sex sells what?! Is that a movie, or does it clean stuff?!
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • In "Mortynight Run", Morty disobeys Rick to save the life of a gaseous creature targeted for assassination. In the process, he endangers himself and Rick, and causes the injury or deaths of dozens, if not hundreds, of innocent bystanders. Just before the creature makes it home, however, it reveals that it's going to return with reinforcements to purge all organic life like a disease, and Morty has no choice but to kill it himself, so despite Morty's best intentions, he has only succeeded in making things objectively worse.
    • In "The Ricks Must Be Crazy", Rick claims at the beginning of the episode that the parallel universe they're in has "the best ice cream in the multiverse", but when the family finally gets to the ice cream shop at the end of the episode, all ice cream has been declared to be for all beings, including telepathic spiders, meaning that it has flies in it now.
    • In "Look Who's Purging Now", Rick and Arthricia kill all of the rich to stop the purge, but it's implied it will happen again, regardless of their influence.
  • Shaped Like Itself: While investigating a robbery of a Mortymart in Mortytown, the shopkeeper describes the robbers as "about 14, about my height and wearing yellow shirts." This is lampshaded by Cop Morty.
    Cop Morty: "Yeah, make sure you get THAT one down."
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: When the President takes a shrinking pill, Morty pokes fun at how his clothes aren't shrinking with him. Rick makes a shirt for him that grows with him when he enlarges again, but intentionally left out pants just to rile him up.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The third season, billed as darker than usual, sees Jerry divorced from the rest of the family and not appearing at all in several of the episodes, and suffering more than usual on average when we do see him. He returns to the family at the end of the season.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • In "Anatomy Park", the tuberculosis/scar tissue relationship is described correctly.
    • In "Rick Potion #9", Rick tells Morty that he got his vial of oxytocin from a vole, an animal that mates for life. Not only is the chemical correct - oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that is basically the closest thing there is to love in chemical form - but voles (prairie voles specifically) do indeed mate for life and are well-known for their aid in the study of this chemical.
    • In "Something Ricked This Way Comes," one of Needful's cursed objects is a beauty cream that makes women beautiful and blinds them. Radium cream and eyeshadow were once prized for making women literally glow, before the radiation blinded and killed them.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Averted, as Morty is, indeed, missing school to go on adventures with Rick. Rick at least made sure to brainwash Mister Goldenfold into giving Morty an A, but that doesn't really cover all his other classes.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • Pregnant Baby
    • The Life and Times of Mrs. Pancakes (Rick's a fan, but a season behind watching).
    • There are loads of these in the episode "Rixty Minutes," and again in "Interdimensional Cable 2."
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis / Obnoxious In-Laws: Jerry and Rick toward each other.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • When Rick is explaining to Summer that he and Morty are stuck on a planet that is currently undergoing a purge and need her help before they get killed, her first action is to express her opinion of the movie.
    • Rick's morality results in a lot of gags like this. In "Get Schwifty," he uses his portal gun to get snacks but not to get the rest of the family in case Earth is destroyed, because it's "planning for failure." In a flashback in "Total Rickall," aliens are performing experiments on Morty, and Rick runs in to steal their medical equipment.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Easily the most nihilistic and pessimistic cartoon on television. Rick and Morty the show has a habit of taking any sense of optimism you would normally expect with a show and smashes it into pieces. With that said, the series can actually still present some positive notes and insightful ideas.
  • Slow Clap: Subverted in "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind".
  • Smart People Build Robots: In the pilot, Rick mentions that he builds robots for fun. In "Something Ricked This Way Comes", he built one for the specific reason of passing butter on the table. Note that this robot is advanced enough to be horrified when Rick told him what his only purpose is.
    Robot: What-is-my-purpose?
    Rick: You pass butter.
    Robot: (looks at his hands) Oh-my-god!
    Rick: Yeah, welcome to the club, pal.
  • Smurfing: Discussed and justified, in a rather surprising turn. Squanchy the talking cat uses "squanch" and variations thereof for everything, including auto-erotic asphyxiation; when Beth lampshades that this is "like the Smurfs", Rick explains that Squanchy's language is more contextual than literal. When Beth tries to do it (saying that she squanches her family) both Rick and Squanchy start cringing in disgust.
  • Snap Back: Pretty much every episode that has a B-plot about Beth and Jerry ends with them reconciling their marriage. They're back to fighting by the next episode.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: In episode two of the game, Morty complains that the jar puzzle does not display normal refrigerator behavior.
  • Somewhere, an Entomologist Is Crying: In "Rick Potion #9", one of the most serious and dramatic episodes in the series, the show remains very persistent that Praying Mantises cull one-another during mating. Even the matching genders.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: In "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", Rick transfers his mind into a younger clone body. His teenage hormones cause a different personality to develop and take over. The real Rick communicates through Tiny Rick's subconscious, causing him to beg for Morty and Summer to save him from himself through Tiny Rick's artistic endeavors.
  • Split Screen: Used extensively in the first episode of the second season, representing different timelines.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Heavily implied that "Weekend at Dead Cat Lady's House II" was this for Jerry C-500a, as at the end he has a complete breakdown and admits he hates everything to do with being a celebrity.
  • Spock Speak: Birdperson from "Ricksy Business" speaks in this manner. Veers into the Comically Serious.
  • Spoof Aesop: In "Raising Gazorpazorp" Summer saves the day with a seemingly-heartfelt speech that amounts to "Straight men are terrible, but gay men are alright." It only works because the Gazorpazorpians are brutally sexist against men (understandably so given the ways their sexual dimorphism differs from humans, but still).
  • Squick: So, so much. Some examples:
    • Morty and Rick have this reaction in-universe when Summer appears in BDSM gear and acts seductively towards them in Morty's dream world in "Lawnmower Dog".
    • Anytime Rick appears completely in the nude, doubling as Fan Disservice, such as in "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" and "Rest and Ricklaxation".
    • In "The Ricklantis Mixup", it is revealed that the Morty's freed from Evil!Morty are now living in a slum area of the Citadel. One of the businesses of "Mortytown" is a strip club called the The Creepy Morty. The only denizens of Mortytown are, well, Mortys. So, this is a strip club where Mortys dance.... for other Mortys.
    • When Rick put summer in a pocket dimension for her own protection Morty didn’t know she could see out of it so repeatedly had A Date with Rosie Palms in front of it.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Both averted and played straight at the end of "Rick Potion #9". After infecting the entire planet with a Body Horror virus, Rick ultimately solves the problem by taking himself and Morty to an alternate universe where their counterparts invented a successful cure for the virus and but died on the same day, so that he and Morty can take their place. Rick tells Morty not to think too hard about it all, but Morty is visibly traumatized by the events.
    • The ending of Season 2 resulted in Earth joining the Galactic Federation. The opening of Season 3 results in Rick escaping from prison through Body Surfing his mind from his body into a GF agent, and then into another Rick who was part of an assault force tasked with killing Rick himself. He surfs from one Rick to another, eventually destroying both the Galactic Federation and the Council of Ricks in succession. Earth restores itself to normal by the end of the episode.
    • No matter how many episodes end with Beth and Jerry rebuilding their marriage, expect it to be falling apart again by the next episode. It remains to be seen whether Beth seeking a divorce at the start of season 3 will change this dynamic for good.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • At the end of "Meeseeks and Destroy", the family comments on how the Meeseeks destroyed the room. All five then proceed to break the fourth wall.
    • Pluto's society is controlled by the wealthy. In other words, it's a plutocracy.
    • The Moonmen that Fart sings about in "Mortynight run" turn into asses.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" has Tiny Rick, Morty and Summer kill the vampire in their school, who turns out to be Coach Foratu. The Stinger lampshades this, with a Vampire elder getting really annoyed at how vampires infiltrating human society always like using obvious identity-blowing references as their names rather than regular human names.
  • The Stinger: Not counting the pilot, every single episode of the series has one after the ending credits.
  • Straw Feminist:
    • The female Gazorpians have a society that's practically built on straw. It's so extreme that they'll automatically kill any male who enters their domain, even if he isn't a threat. Their behavior is actually understandable, because female Gazorpians are intelligent and empathetic whereas male Gazorpians are incredibly violent and dangerous, but their hatred spreads to males of all species, which winds up making them pretty intolerant and hypocritical.
    • Summer showed signs of this as well in the same episode as she refused to objectify herself even though her life and her chastity was threatened. Though that was more of a reaction to Rick being a Jerkass.
  • String Theory: In one episode we see Rick's bedroom. One wall has notes connected this way.
  • Stylistic Suck: The full version of the flu-hatin' rap from "Rick Potion #9", with lyrics that sound like they're made up on the spot.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Rick is smart enough to analyze magical items from the devil's shop, then remove the curse while still retaining the magical benefits.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: This happens several times in the "Two Brothers" trailer in "Rixty Minutes". Tornadoes push away cat monsters, a UFO sets aside the tornado, and so on.
  • Take Our Word for It: In "Meeseeks and Destroy" Summer's Meeseeks makes her popular by delivering a speech to the entire student body in the auditorium. We only hear the very end of the speech, but it was apparently really convincing.
  • Take That!:
    • Rick says that a chorus of Morties screaming in agony is better to listen to than Mumford & Sons.
    • In "Lawnmower Dog", Rick tells Morty that entering dreams will be just like Inception, except "it'll make sense."
    • Rick's big rigged escape area in "Vindicators 3" is very blatantly a Saw reference. When Morty points this out, Rick initially denies it and replies "I'm a genius, not a hack." Then his drunk self contradicts him.
    • The Vindicators episode itself is one long mean-spirited "screw you" to the superhero genre in general. Peppered with plenty of vitriolic jabs that would make Garth Ennis proud.
    • According to "Something Ricked This Way Comes", Mark Zuckerberg's name is literally synonymous with betrayal.
    • The comics had a pretty brutal one for Doctor Who presenting him as The Casanova who only takes his companions on adventures to seduce them, engineers Clothing Damage to get them into sexy clothing, and if all else fails, just resort to raping them.
      • When he did this to Summer she picked up a random screwdriver to stab him.
    • "Rest and Ricklaxation" fired off a subtle blink-and-you-miss it one at the Sbarro restaurant chain. When "Toxifying" the Earth, it showed toxified Salad Works patrons going to Sbarro, and toxified Sbarro patrons leaving the store and eating out of the dumpster.
    • After defeating a giant kaiju with a giant robot rick told Morty that he pulled a Zack Snyder on the place.
  • Take That, Us: When Rick reveals the idea of Morty's stored memories in season 3's eighth episode, "Morty's Mind Blowers", he states that they won't be doing an Interdimensional Cable episode this time. The Interdimensional Cable episodes are always situated as the eighth episodes in seasons, and the last installment, "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate" wasn't well received.
  • Talking Appliance Sidekick: Rick turns all the household appliances into this in issue 17
  • That Came Out Wrong: When Jerry, Beth, and Summer use Rick's goggles to look at alternate timelines of themselves, Summer says that she doesn't see anything. Beth responds and realizes what she said without even pausing to breathe.
    "Well, you should select a different timeline. I mean, if your father and I achieved our dreams, there's a chance you were never born — that came out wrong, that came out very wrong."
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Discussed in "Rick and Morty's Rushed Licensed Adventure." invoked
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Rick is made of these. Expect at least one an episode as he delivers them to just about everyone he talks to. The main cast members get them constantly, especially Summer and Morty.
    "I know the two of you are very different from each other in a lot of ways, but you have to understand that as far as grandpa's concerned - you're both pieces of shit! Yeah. I can prove it mathematically. Actually, l-l-let me grab my white board. This has been a long time coming, anyway."
    • Invoked mercilessly by Dr. Wong, a psychiatrist the family goes to visit in "Pickle Rick"
    Dr. Wong: "Rick, the only connection between your unquestionable intelligence and the sickness destroying your family is that everyone in your family, you included, use intelligence to justify sickness. 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."
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: This is the main reason Rick is so mentally disturbed: humanity was clearly never meant to have access to The Multiverse, encounter the horrors therein, and most importantly, face the existential nightmares it causes. Just look at how Morty reacts to having to find and bury his Dead Alternate Counterpart in "Rick Potion #9" and compare it to Rick.
  • The Show Must Go On: Rick and Summer's party hits a few speed bumps, including the entire house being accidentally teleported to an alien planet, but for the most part, everyone just keeps partying.
  • The Stoic: Subverted in the first episode in which Rick assures Morty that he's seen it all and will keep him safe, only to be interrupted by a fierce alien creature. "Run Morty, I've never seen one of those before! This is bad, we're going to die, Morty!"
  • Technicolor Science: Many of Rick's inventions and much of the alien tech emit all manner of glowing light and strange energies, but this often just goes with the brightly colored nature of the show. More straight examples of the trope occur when the characters are playing with chemicals. The test tubes seen in "Rick Potion #9" and "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind" are filled brightly colored liquids, and weirdly, this makes them seem mundane in comparison to the rest of the show's science.
  • Teens Are Short:
    • Morty is at least a head shorter than the adults in his family, and Summer is slightly shorter than her mother.
    • Rick's teenage version of himself is a head shorter than his adult version and appropriately dubbed Tiny Rick.
  • The Theme Park Version: Played with in "Anatomy Park". The "Pirates of the Pancreas" ride is a ride through a pancreas with pirates, but Rick claims that they don't whitewash it and the pirates are "really rapey". Rick is proud of that ride, since it was his own creation. "The Rickchurian Mortydate" revealed that Rick is afraid of pirates, so that's supposed to be his "scary ride."
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted in season 3, when some school accidents leads Beth to schedule a family therapy session with the kids and they visit Dr. Wang. She then goes on to make several comments about the fact that their issue might come from rationalizing and using science to justify their problems rather than deal with them and also that building a healthy relationship is hard work, correctly also noticing Beth's tendencies to put her father in a pedestal and let him do whatever with his family and house without justification. Then played straight when it's clear that, despite the kid's wishes, Beth and Rick gleefully ignore her and them and don't intend to ever come back.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
    • Scary Terry can't help but end his sentences with "bitch".
    • After screwing over Summer, Mr. Needful declares "I'm the Devil, BIATCH! What-what!" before he busts out a solo on his fiddle.
    • Near the end of "Close Rick-Counters", our Rick calls one of the Council Ricks to get them to come to his location to arrest the real Rick-murdering culprit, saying, "I caught the real killer, BIIIIITCH!"
    • In "Total Rickall," one of Rick's random catchphrases is "Rikki Tikki Tavi, biiieeeaaatch!"
    • When Jerry is messing with a drugged Rick in "The Whirly-Dirly Conspiracy", he acts like he's about to punch him, and when Rick flinches: "That's what I thought, bitch."
  • This Was His True Form: The parasites in "Total Rickall" revert to their original appearance when they are killed.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare:
    • Morty has this by the end of "Rick Potion #9". Given the events of the episode, you can't blame him.
    • Summer ends up with this by the end of "The Ricks Must Be Crazy".
  • Throwing Out the Script: Parodied. Rick's "script" consists of two and a half sentences, then some notes telling himself to crumple up the script and start ad-libbing.
  • Time-Freeze Trolling Spree: Rick stops time to be able to clean up after a party they had when Beth and Jerry were away. Instead of just cleaning up they decide to play pranks on people instead.
  • Title Drop: Go ahead and count the number of time Rick drops it in the page quote alone.
  • Toilet Humor: It isn't guaranteed in an episode, but it shows up every now and then. The episode "Mortynight Run" features a gaseous alien being that Rick dubs "Fart", and Rick farting loudly is something of a Running Gag.
  • Training Montage: "Something Ricked This Way Comes" has Rick and Summer working out and taking steroids set to "X Gon' Give It To Ya" by DMX so that they can go beat up Mr. Needful (and after the credits, assorted assholes).
  • Tranquil Fury: After putting together what happened between Morty and the Jellybean King, Rick simply wears an expression of silent rage.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes:
    • Rick gives Morty a pair of grappling shoes that will allow him to walk down a cliff. Unfortunately, Morty tries doing this before Rick tells him that they need to be turned on.
    • Mr. Needful gives one of his customers shoes that offer superhuman speed, but they're also cursed so the user can't stop once they started, which would force them to run until they drop dead. Rick manages to remove the curse.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Real life example. The producers released the episode "Rixty Minutes" a week early on Instagram in 100+ 15 second bits. Time will tell if this becomes an industry standard.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Summer's friend Tammy reveals herself to be an agent from the Galactic Federation during her wedding with Bird Person in "The Wedding Squanchers".
  • Underside Ride: Rosa clings to the underside of the Smiths' car while cackling "I'm doing Cape Fear!" right before she loses her grip at the first bump and gets mortally wounded from being run over by the back tires.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Rick to Doofus Jerry. When he was forced to call the Council of Ricks for help they taunted him for needing it. Even moreso when they found out he was Doofus Jerry as the thought his intelligence would be equivalent.
  • Unfulfilled Purpose Misery: The Meeseeks box summons a creature called Mr. Meeseeks, who obeys one command of their summoner before disappearing. If the task is too hard or takes too long (in this case, helping Jerry get better at golf), they start breaking down but still can't disappear until it's done, so they might find alternate solutions like summoning more Meeseeks or killing their summoner.
  • Unseen Character: Beth's mother is not seen in the show but is mentioned several times. Whether or not she is deceased or simply not around is unknown. She seems to make her apparent first appearance in the Season 3 premier, but since this a fabricated flashback inside of Rick's mind, it's unclear whether or not this is actually her.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • It seems this extends to the entire show when it comes to human/alien interaction. None of the human characters seem phased or bothered by having to interact with multiple alien species.
    • In "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" everyone who learns that Tiny Rick is just Rick having transferred his consciousness to a teenage clone of himself reacts completely casually to it.
    • At the end of "The Wedding Squanchers", Earth becomes a member of the Galactic Federation. Aliens are integrated with human society, and nobody thinks anything of it.
  • Unwanted Harem: In "Rick Potion #9", after Morty's love potion backfires and goes airborne, it results in everyone on the planet that isn't related to him biologically desperately wanting to have sex with him. Then Rick adds in some mantis DNA and they want to kill him after the fact.
  • Uplifted Animal: Snowball and his dog army.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: If Rick's younger clone can be considered, Rick was cheerful and nice in his younger days. No doubt the horrors he was exposed to later in life made him into what he is as an old man.
  • Uterine Replicator: Female Gazorpians use a combination Uterine Replicator/Sexbot to go and "mate" with the male Gazorpians and then give birth to babies, since the females don't want to do either.

  • Vast Bureaucracy: In "The Wedding Squanchers", we get a glimpse of both the scope (6,047 other planets) and yet the inefficiency of the Galactic Federation, when Earth is added within a day, and the ensuing news report summarizes humans as a species "who love to eat spaghetti and pray to kangaroos."
  • Vampire Episode: The comic book deals with vampires in it's 37 and 38 issues.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Rick continually addresses Morty by his name when talking to him. This is toned down in the second episode, but is still present. You could also count the constant belching Rick does in mid-sentence whenever he's drunk, which is most of the time.
    • In "Lawnmower Dog", Scary Terry constantly ends his sentence with "bitch!"
    • "Hi, I'm Mr. Meeseeks! Look at me!"
    • Female Gazorpians are always telling each other "I'm here if you need to talk", to the point that it may just be a casual greeting.
    • Mr. Poopy Butthole is constantly saying "whoo-wee!"
  • Villainous Incest: Upon finding out that Summer was his daughter Doofus Jerry replied that he had done worse things
  • Violence Is Not an Option: Rick has no problem with just shooting whatever ails him, so typically, he's only not killing things when doing so wouldn't solve his problems. A specific example comes with the Cromulons, giant floating space-heads that force Earth into a musical reality show, where they explicitly state the losers' planets will be destroyed by a plasma ray. Rick plays along, but a nuke-happy general doesn't care and disqualifies Earth... to predictable results.
  • Viral Transformation: In "Rick Potion #9", Rick's attempt to cure everyone of Morty's love potion turned them into Mantis Men. His attempt to cure everyone of that turned them into "Cronenbergs".
  • Visual Pun: In "Morty's Mind Blowers", we see Rick owns a device that can magnetically attract whatever is programmed into it. When Morty toys with it, dozens of horrified girls start flying towards the garage. A literal babe magnet.
  • We Really Do Care: Birdperson questions why Morty cares if he no longer can have adventures with Rick if he thinks Rick is just a huge asshole. Morty realizes Birdperson is right and Morty wakes Rick up in time to prevent his parents from seeing the house trashed.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: Downplayed in "The Ricklantis Mixup". The assembly line Ricks and construction worker Ricks and plumber Ricks and so forth on the Citadel of Ricks are working class rather than slaves, and they're technically living in the present, but they're part of a society half composed of super geniuses. Having robots handle the unpleasant jobs would make more sense, but of course it would also undercut the citadel being used as a parody of present day society.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Rick is implied to be this, as he wanted a stadium of men who remotely resembled his father to watch him have sex with Unity. They're heard chanting "Go son go!"
  • Weirdness Censor: None of the people Summer invites to the mutual house party seem at all fazed by the extra-dimensional oddities Rick keeps company with. Nor do they seem to notice the entire house has been suddenly teleported to another world or dimension.
  • Wham Episode:
    • If fan consensus says this, then "Rick Potion #9" is definitely this, given how Rick and Morty abandon their doomed reality for a non-doomed one... and take the places of their dead counterparts.
    • The Season 2 Finale "The Wedding Squanchers" where Rick allows himself to be taken prisoner while Earth becomes a member of the tyrannical Galactic Federation.
    • "The Rickshank Rickdemption" resolves the Season 2 cliffhanger. Rick successfully escapes from the Galactic prison and destroys both the Galactic Federation and the Council of Ricks. Morty shows Summer the doomed reality of Earth C137 from "Rick Potion #9" and Beth is divorcing Jerry. Rick also says that his Pet the Dog moment in "The Wedding Squanchers" was just part of a Batman Gambit and that he doesn't really care about his family, but it's hard to know how seriously to take that. Tammy also rebuilt Birdperson as an evil cyborg. It was also unexpectedly aired on April Fools two years after the last season ended. Phew.
    • "The Ricklantis Mixup" ends with a Morty becoming the President of the initially destroyed Citadel. However, it's revealed that he's Evil Morty in disguise as he seizes complete control of the station.
    • "The ABCs of Beth" confirms something that many fans had suspected for a while: that Beth is every bit as amoral as Rick himself. As of this episode she finally comes to terms with that, possibly leaving to wreak havoc across the universe while leaving a clone to watch the kids. Oh, and Rick lost an arm. (He got it back.)
  • Wham Line:
    • Some occurs with "Rixty Minutes".
      • This argument between Jerry and Beth, regarding Summer's birth:
      Jerry: All this time, you've been thinking, "What if that loser Jerry hadn't talked me out of the abortion?"
      • At one point, the audience knew this already (provided that they have knowledge about "Rick Potion No. 9"), but Summer didn't.
      Morty: (points to the graves in the backyard) That out there? That's my grave!
    • Tammy's speech at her wedding reception in the season 2 finale:
      Tammy: But then I think, y'know, in a lot of ways I'm not a high school senior from the planet Earth. In a lot of ways what I really am is a deep cover agent for the Galactic Federation and you guys are a group of wanted criminals and this entire building is, in a certain sense, surrounded.
    • Not a spoken line, but a song at the end of "The Ricklantis Mix-up." "For the Damaged Coda" begins playing once the newly-elected President Morty has the shadow cabal of Ricks killed, revealing just who we're really dealing with.
  • Wham Shot: A giant one for "The Ricklantis Mix-up". At the end of the episode, Candidate Morty has finally become President of the Citadel, and he has disposed of some Ricks and Mortys who have disagreed with his rule, even his presidential campaign manager. As their bodies are ejected into space, contents of classified documents that Campaign Manager Morty had are shown to the audience while they are drifting in space: pictures of the Candidate Morty with a familiar eyepatch and a robotic Rick. The real Wham? The Rick that gave Campaign Manager Morty the pictures is floating in space too. Nobody left alive on the Citadel knows who Evil Morty actually is.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: A character on Pregnant Baby says this when she decides she doesn't need protection since she's already pregnant.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: In "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender", Rick gets so blackout drunk that he single-handedly kills the Worldender character threatening the universe and makes matters worse by creating an even bigger threat. He acknowledges that he officially had too much to drink last night.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: Inverted. One episode featured a Titanic (1997)-themed ship which is designed to hit an iceberg and sink every time it sails. It misses the iceberg completely.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?
    • All the people who had bought cursed items and were waiting to be served when Rick got bored and closed. Enjoy your curses everyone.
    • Subverted in "Rickle in Time." The neighbor that Summer forgot to put a mattress under takes a nasty fall off his roof, and is then forgotten about, until the very end of the episode, which offhandedly reveals that he survived the incident, but is now in a wheelchair.
    • In "The Ricklantis Mixup", the ending shows short epilogues for all of the surviving characters except for Rick J-22, who was last seen still hooked up to a Lotus-Eater Machine so his brain fluid can be used to make wafer cookies.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Morty sometimes tries to take a stand with his grandpa after the situation inevitably devolves into chaos and horror. In "Rick Potion #9", Rick turns it back on him, rightly comparing Morty's love-potion request to a bid for date rape.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?:
    • Rick tells Morty in the pilot episode that it's okay to shoot the spaceport security guards, because they're "robots". They aren't, but Rick contemptuously refers to them as such because of his hatred for bureaucracy.
    • The last thing the Sigerian leader mentions before mixing together the chemicals that destroy the entire warship in a massive explosion is how all of his staff members have families.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Constantly abused and exploited for comic effect. Of course, it's not like the series places a great deal of emphasis on human life, either.
  • What Were They Selling Again?: Discussed in "Rixty Minutes" after a very confusing ad for "Turbulent Juice" featuring hordes of shirtless men.
    Morty: What in the hell?
    Rick: Sex sells, Morty.
    Morty: Sex sells what? Is it a movie? Does it clean stuff?
  • Whole Plot Reference:
    • Owing to its origins as a parody of Back to the Future, multiple episodes pastiche sci-fi and speculative fiction works, often times blatantly lampshaded in a very tongue-in-cheek manner.
    • "Lawnmower Dog" is one for Inception. The act of entering someone's dream is even referred to as "Incepting".
      Morty: But I-it's been like a whole year!
      Rick: It's been six hours. Dreams move one one-hundredth the speed of reality, and dog time is one-seventh human time. So, you know, every day here is like a minute. It's like Inception, Morty, so if it's confusing and stupid, then so is everyone's favorite movie.
    • The "Lawnmower Dog" plot itself is a reference to The Lawnmower Man, a movie about a mentally challenged man who gains intelligence through the application of technology, and it turns him toward malevolence.
    • "Anatomy Park" is a hybrid of Fantastic Voyage and Jurassic Park.
    • "Something Ricked This Ways Comes" initially starts off as one to Needful Things, down to the storeowner being named Mr. Needful. And then Rick blatantly references The Twilight Zone, Ray Bradbury, and Friday the 13th: The Series when he comes back with his device that scans and analyzes what each object's Jackass Genie twist is gonna be.
    • Invoked in universe by the Titanic-themed cruise ship that Jerry and Beth go on in "Ricksy Business". People can live out their Jack and Rose fantasies by recreating scenes from the movie.
    • The main plot reference of "Ricksy Business" itself is rather obvious.
    • "Raising Gazorpazorp" cribs much of its A-plot from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Abandoned", in which the crew deal with a fast growing infant Jem Hadar boy left on their station. Its B-plot is based on the somewhat-comprehensible parts of Zardoz.
    • "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind" is this to the Tom Baker era Doctor Who serial The Deadly Assassin, where the president of the Time Lords is assassinated and the Council of Time Lords blames the Doctor. It turns out the killer was The Master.
    • The Time Cop in "A Rickle in Time" is a Langolier, only with skinny arms and less teeth.
    • "Look Who's Purging Now" is one for The Purge, in which a society has achieved world peace through a night of wanton cathartic murder. Rick even references the film itself and states that multiple civilizations across the universe have their own Purges under different names.
  • Widget Series: The show explores some well worn sci-fi tropes and warps them to hell and back. The Interdimensional Cable channels take the trope to crazy extremes themselves.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: Parodied in "Total Rickall" when Summer goes into a Sugar Bowl music video and suddenly a very aggressive rapper who is incredibly out of place shows up and changes the entire tone of the song.
  • Wild Teen Party: In "Ricksy Business", Summer immediately calls up one of these while her and Morty's parents are away. Rick decides to one-up her party idea, by inviting hordes of his own "friends and acquaintances" to his party, and whoever they know. After Morty has a small mishap with one of Rick's inventions, while attempting to woo his would-be girlfriend Jessica, the party becomes literally 'out of this world', teleporting the house to another universe entirely. Despite the nonsensical and dangerous events therein, one notably involving a human teen getting "lucky" with a bunch of gargantuan creatures lurking outside the house's perimeter after it had been teleported, the odd mixture of guests find the time to mingle with each other, and have fun, regardless.
  • Wimp Fight: Rick gets into one with the Devil in "Something Ricked This Way Comes".
  • With Due Respect: "Rick, with all due respect—what am I saying? What respect is due?"
  • Womb Level: All of Anatomy Park, which exists inside of a homeless man named Reuben. The main attraction of the park happens to be all of Reuben's many diseases.
  • Women Drivers: Invoked in "A Rickle in Time". Jerry was the one driving when he hit a deer, but insists that Beth say she was at the wheel because he was eating rum-raisin ice cream.
  • World of Snark: Not every single character introduced on the show is a straight Deadpan Snarker, but they all get their moments. At the very least, the main cast certainly have had at least one good sarcastic comeback. Even Jerry.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Rick, in "Rushed Licensed Adventure Episode 3". He usually ends each level by beating up Morty, but seeing as Morty and Summer end up fused together, he ends up beating up Summer too, and doesn't seem to have much of a problem with it.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • In the pilot, Rick freezes a teenager threatening Morty with a knife. This ultimately kills him when he tips over and shatters (although in Rick's defense, Rick didn't intend for this to happen).
    • He also beats Morty's ass at the end of every "Rushed Licensed Adventure" level.
    • All of the adventures he takes Morty on can be counted to. He isn't above risking Morty's life or having him be a mule for him.
  • Wraparound Background: Jerry drives through this when he's in a simulation running at low capacity. Rick has the same three people passing behind him as he talks on the phone in the same episode. Neither notice, but Rick knew what he was in from the very start, so it's completely beneath him.
  • Writer on Board:
    • In one episode parodying Inception, Rick makes a point to mention how overrated that film is, which follows Dan Harmon's comments about it in his podcast Harmontown.
    • In "Look Who's Purging Now," Morty criticizes screenplay gimmicks like the use of How We Got Here. Dan Harmon often complains about clichés he hates in screenplays.
    • Played with in "Interdimensional Cable 2". When Summer complains about juvenile violence in the media, Morty becomes enraged and rants that people shouldn't have to communicate through the filter of her comfort. It's immediately undercut by Rick implying that Morty is just sexually frustrated.
  • * Yandere: Summer’s phone started acting like this after it became sentient
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • Done with Jerry in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens", where he has the perfect day and wins an award right before Rick comes in and reveals that the whole thing has just been one giant simulation. When Jerry tries starting off his next day the same way in real life, it stops as soon as it started in the simulation.
      Rick: Don't worry about it, Jerry. Who cares if the greatest day of your life was just a simulation running at minimum capacity?
    • Also happens to Morty in "Lawnmower Dog" when Rick shows up to reveal the life of luxury he had been living as Snuffles' pet was just part of a dream.
      Rick: Right before I incepted you, you crapped yourself. I mean, real bad, Morty. It's a total mess out there, Morty. Of all the things that you thought happened, you crapping yourself is the only real thing.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside:
    • The nesting Pocket Dimensions in "The Ricks Must be Crazy" have time which runs progressively faster the further down you go. A period of months spent three dimensions down equates to a few hours outside.
    • The same thing happens in "Lawnmower Dog" as a spoof of Inception, where time moves faster the deeper they go in Goldenfold's subconscious. Snuffle's All Just a Dream apocalyptic scenario at the end goes on for a year, despite everyone involved only being asleep for six hours, which Rick chalks up to the dream being measured in dog years:
    Rick: "And if that doesn't make any sense, then neither does everyone's favorite movie!"
  • You All Look Familiar: Both parodied when Jerry fails to notice he keeps passing the same simulated background people and played straight when Rick uses the fact to get large numbers of people to work on the same problem at the same time, thereby freezing the program in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens"!
  • You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: Parodied in "Lawnmower Dog". Scary Terry keeps saying this as he stalks Rick and Morty. The duo then discuss why they are listening to him, pointing out that since Scary Terry is the villain, he probably wouldn't offer them advice that would actually help them, so they decide to try and hide from him any way. It turns out to be very effective. Scary Terry spends hours searching for them unsuccessfully before giving up in frustration and going home.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: After Rick locks down the house in "Total Rickall":
    Beth: Dad, why does our house have blast shields?
    Rick: Trust me Beth, you don't wanna know how many answers that question has.
  • You Monster!:
    • Morty calls Rick a monster before comparing him to Hitler. He then takes this last part back, saying that at least Hitler cared about Germany.
    • Zeep Zanflorp calls Rick a monster after the latter destroys his pocket universe.
  • Your Mom: Morty discusses his feelings for Jessica with Jerry, and Jerry says that he used to feel that way about a lady named "Your mom"—and then specifies that he's speaking literally and not as an urban diss.
  • Yo Yo Plot Point: In some episodes, Jerry and Beth's marriage is on the verge of collapse before some event in the episode brings them closer together, rekindling their interest in each other and making them determined to give their marriage another try... until the next episode shoves them back into square one and they have to work through their failing marriage all over again. "Rick Potion No. 9" also justifies the trope by having Rick and Morty jump to another dimension, where Jerry and Beth never repaired their marriage as we saw them do earlier in the episode. "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" lampshades their ever-waffling relationship and explains that they're codependent.

Morty: Jeez Rick, I, uh, I'm not sure our own trope page is the best idea for the, uh, situation...
Rick: Oh yeah Morty? Wha- What are you trying to say, Morty? You saying what you do on the internet is a more productive use of your time than TV Tropes? You're saying you have better things to do than painstakingly cataloging every trivial storytelling device in every form of fiction ever as a means of studying and analyzing fiction as an entertainment medium? Is that what you're trying to say, Morty?
Morty: N-No, I just-
Rick: Well t-*URP* too bad because you'd probably be right.

Rick & Morty Oni Press Comics contains examples of:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: After being goaded into an argument with Jerry about the 'noble nature' of sports, Rick takes Jerry and Morty to the biggest game in the Galaxy, where parents bet on their children as they fight to the death. Then, after getting into an argument with another fan, Rick bets that Morty could win the next match.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The comics All New All Different Vindicator’s are a lot more heroic then the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing originals.
  • Always Someone Better: From the Rick & Morty comics, there exists Jerry J19zeta7 aka "Doofus Jerry". In the same vein that Doofus Rick is looked down upon by other Ricks for being a genuinely nice person and possibly not as intelligent as normal, Doofus Jerry is the exact opposite of a normal Jerry. He's an evil, cunning, always successful manipulative bastard who's business savvy and ambition makes him a masterful tactician capable of single-handedly taking down the Council of Ricks.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Doofus Jerry’s hunger for achievement and his desire for greatness is tireless
    • He is the literal definition of success
  • Armoured Closet Gay: The comic insinuates that Summer is this.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • Rick calling out Morty for always asking for help in issue 31
    Rick: grandpa, pick me up from the mall. grandpa, help me with my homework. Grandpa, help me fight a giant kaiju monster because I’m a f&#*ing dum-dum
    • The Facist dimension in issue 29 is caused by centuries of income inequality and poverty that dipshits can use to turn folks against each other. A nearby planet that’s been at war for millennia full of immigrants and refugees who are just trying to find a better life. A history of intellectuals wiped out by lies. Some Weimar republic shit. Even unimaginative graphic design.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mr. Hapsburg comes across as a kindly old man who loves horse but like like rick he abandoned his wife and child then attempted to have his son Follow in My Footsteps without bothering to know if he wanted to or could.
  • Despair Event Horizon: In Rick and Morty Issue 22 Rick told Morty how he had since tried several times to kill Doofus Jerry, but to no success. He showed Morty his last attempt, the Neutrino Bomb he had made in the Pilot episode.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Knowing that the dinosaurs in his island were specifically breed to be subservient to him. Summer dressed up as Rick to rescue him from the angry workers he’d abandoned there. She and Morty didn’t realize that a bunch of huge carnivores would eat them until after it had happened.
  • Evil Is Petty: Rick's old drinking buddy has been dethroned and imprisoned by the new queen that Rick told him not to marry. Rick risked not only his own life but Morty’s as well (the aliens on this planet are very germ-phobic and he's inoculated Morty with dozens of infectious diseases to sneak by them) just to deliver a letter to the king telling him that he told him so.
  • For the Evulz: Rick creates a Bland-Name Product of Jurassic Park yet when it went under he stole the dinosaur embryos even though they were his.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Jerry proved to be a very good gambler causing him to receive the interest of a powerful mob family who decided to follow his system. Rick turned him in for gambling fraud which resulted in his hands being cut off, but on the way home not only did he call him out for cheating (which he didn’t) but also for gambling in the first place. However it turns out that by turning Jerry in Rick not only received reward money, but all of Jerry’s winnings as well. He also has already fixed the game.
    Rick: Well,, Yeah, MUTHAF*CKAAAAZZ. You don’t think the old Rickster’s gonna get his beak wet?!
    Jerry: but after all that about my…
    Rick: the difference between you and me jerry—-aside from the ability to comb my hair—-is “planning”. I make my own luck.
    • Beth has a lot of issues from Rick abandoning her during her childhood, resulting in her attempts to get him to stick around even though his presence damages the family. Yet when Mr. Hapsburg’s son shut down the company specifically because his father did the same thing to him she tried to get him to reconsider. Telling him that St. Equis Hospital was a family and while they do put in a lot of hours and there are sacrifices they save lives.
      • This line says it best
    Beth: Mr. Hapsburg, I have sympathy for you too. I know what it’s like to come from a broken family—my dad was gone for over twenty years. But I also know we chose our actions and our actions are who we are. I chose to be the type of person who kept things alive, not to shut them down.
  • Origins Episode: Issue 34 is this for Krombapulus Michal. He got his name when he was recruited for a government strike force. Since they already had a Michael the commander started calling him Krombapulus Michal after his birth town to distinguish them.
    • The reason he became a hired assassin is that the night before the mission micheal unable to wait entered the compound and killed everyone himself. The next day after seeing the level of devastation he left they refused to work with him.
  • Papa Wolf: Jerry Smith
    • Case in point upon finding out that morty was kidnapped by drug lords in Issue 18 he didn’t hesitate to pick up a gun and demand that rick take him to go rescue morty.
    • In issue 31 when the family was abducted by aliens Jerry didn’t hesitate to step up to be the first for the Anal Probing. Even Beth was surprised
    Beth: Geez, Jerry really throwing yourself on the proverbial sword there, eh
  • Parental Neglect: In Issue 37, Beth noticed that Morty had locked himself in his room for a week, but not that Summer had been missing for days.
  • Poisonous Person: Rick's old drinking buddy has been dethroned and imprisoned by the new queen that Rick told him not to marry. Rick takes Morty on a mission to restore his buddy's throne, supposedly because Morty's such a great travel companion. Of course, Rick doesn't tell Morty that the aliens on this planet are very germ-phobic and he's inoculated Morty with dozens of infectious diseases to sneak by them. It's not like Morty's going to DIE or anything... probably.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Averted Doofus Jerry never got a chance to sleep with Beth as she had an emergency at the hospital. However Beth was devastated at what she almost did.
  • Stupid Evil: In issue 35 realizing that the workers he’d abandoned just wanted to get off the island Summer and Morty convinced Rick to negotiate with them. Yet when they tranked him he started bragging about his Acquired Poison Immunity. Needless to say they just shot more darts at him. He continued to taught them when he woke up.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Rick abandoned his workers on a dinasuar island for twenty years. After they caught him instead of killing him they just demanded a way off (even going so far as to chastise the one survivor who kept threatening torture). Yet they are all eaten and Rick, Summer and Morty get off the island scot free.
    Rick: G-Good work, kids. You just saved me a ton in likely workplace lawsuits. Y-y-y-you want to see some real bloodthirsty carnivores? Get tied up with some labor attorneys.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: In issue 37 after Morty locked himself in his room for a week Rick and Beth started panicking that he’s gotten past the parental controls.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In Rick and Morty Issue 21, Jerry Smith stole Rick's Portal gun and traveled to imension J19ζ7 to meet Doofus Rick. They went to Percy Puss Land, a cat-themed amusement park, which Doofus Jerry owned. When he saw the Jerry from an alternate dimension on his surveillance camera, he had both Jerry and Doofus Rick brought to his office. He showed Jerry how much he had achieved (even being the definition of "Success" in the dictionary) and how he was the richest man on Earth. When he accidentally heard Doofus Rick mention interdimensional travel, he offered to trade his successful life to Jerry in exchange for his interdimensional technology. Jerry refused the offer as despite their hardships he wanted to stay with his wife and kids. Yet when Rick offered Beth the same thing by cloning her it’s left ambiguous of weather or not she accepted.