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  • Accidental Aesop:
    • "Lawnmowner Dog" teaches us to appreciate the idiocy of lower lifeforms than humans.
    • "Meeseeks and Destroy" teaches us that adventures aren't always fun, and that looks can be deceiving. It also teaches the opposite from Rick's perspective, that even the silliest or dumbest sounding ideas can be exciting in practice (although he gets a severe Aesop Amnesia in season 3).
    • "Get Schwifty" teaches us not to let religion control your life. True, it could lead to being a better person, but let it rule over you and it could lead you to do horrible things while believing you are doing good.
    • "Interdimensional Cable II" teaches us about being wary of guilt trips and peer pressure, especially since people who do so are as liable to lie about the details and urgency of their request.
    • "Vindicators 3" is a fine lesson in that you should probably never meet your heroes, or even better, you shouldn't even have heroes to start with. Or that intoxicated people are still very much accountable for their actions (especially when they harm others).
    • "Something Ricked This Way Comes" teaches us that everything comes for a price and/or requires taking responsibility. Trying to evade that is a recipe for disaster.
    • "The Ricks Must Be Crazy" calls into question the idea of having a divine purpose, pointing out that any such purpose might not serve the interests of anyone but the hypothetical God who gave it to us.
    • Part of “Childrick of Mort” can be taken to argue that all people have value, and that social outcasts are victims of particular societal norms rather than objective failures. Beth and Rick left those clay people they deemed “the Unproductives” to die, but Jerry teaches them to survive and melds them into a functioning primitive civilization within a week.
    • "Mort Dinner Rick Andre" has the Hoovan society accidentally wiping themselves out and being replaced by robots, and the "Demon-Child" story had been so woven into the Hoovan society's cutlure that even the robots are obsessed with Morty. Even if they had Sci-Fi, every Hoovan story would be about the heroes defeating Morty instead of, say, Skynet. This could be taken as a lesson about the nature of a society entirely based around a single threat, unable to even consider the possibility that there are other problems in the world. They are ultimately destroyed by a fish-man.
    • "A Rickconvenient Mort" could be a warning about giving an activist free rein to do what they believe to be the right thing. Leaving any cause up to vigilantes with no restrictions and ignoring the rule of law, even someone championing a good cause such as Environmentalism might commit mass murder and honestly believe they are still doing the right thing.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Morty's enhanced arm. Given that he's a teenage boy with raging hormones, fans immediately started joking about how he got it so muscular.
  • Adorkable:
    • Morty in some episodes, when one remembers he's an Ordinary High-School Student dragged into zany sci-fi adventures by his unethical grandpa. There are plenty of times he is shy and endearing such as his attempts to woo Jessica.
    • Doofus Rick. He acts as The Heart of the Citadel and shows humility and empathy that no other Rick displays. He's able to make his way into the heart of Jerry and the viewers.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Has its own page.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Despite being a major villain and a highly-trained Galactic Federation agent, Tammy is taken down rather unceremoniously by Rick and Summer.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Jerry getting shot 57 times in multiple places gets waved away with the justification of him being in an alien hospital that somehow revived him.
    • Tammy being a Galactic Federation undercover agent in "The Wedding Squanchers". There's zero foreshadowing up until the critical moment, which is bizarre considering Bird Person and Tammy DID make an appearance in Season Two prior, which could've planted even a subtle hint.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After complaints that Season 3 made Rick out to be too much of an unsympathetic Physical God Villain Protagonist, as well as producing some serious accusations of Unfortunate Implications in regards to how the show treated intelligence justifying committing morally dubious acts, Season 4 reels both of these back in quite a bit. Rick is made much more fallible, in line with his Season 1 portrayal, and the show puts more effort into demonstrating why Rick is an Anti-Role Model. It also makes him more sympathetic by giving him some much needed Pet the Dog moments, which helps refocus his character into an asshole who still cares about his family.
    • Season 4 as a whole is this to fans who disliked the Darker and Edgier tone of Season 3. While Season 4 had its fair share of violence and black comedy, it nonetheless returns to the more episodic nature of the first two seasons while also showing the characters being able to handle themselves without Rick more often and retaining some of the Character Development they received beforehand. Though this is bit of a point of contention, as some fans felt that the lighter tone compared to Season 3 damaged the show overall, given how a lot of fans liked the show during its first three seasons for taking itself more seriously than many other adult cartoons, and fear that the show will disregard everything that once made it good just to prove that the writers won't be beholden to some fans' (admittedly unrealistic) expectations.
    • The announcement of a Vindicators-based spin-off appears to address complaints about the titular team being killed off in their debut episode by granting them more focus.
    • In the Season 5 premiere, Rick finally gets his ass kicked by his nemesis, Mr. Nimbus, and then arrested right after being called out for being an asshole. To fans who enjoy Rick’s character but we’re sick of him coming out on top all the time, this was a long time coming.
    • While the Season 4 finale, "Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri" was very well-liked overall, especially for bringing back a couple of majorly-hyped-up enemies (Tammy and Phoenix Person), some fans felt that Tammy was too much of an Anti-Climax Boss and was killed off too quickly (despite her death also being a major case of Catharsis Factor), and that the New Galactic Federation didn't get enough opportunity to serve as a major antagonist. Two different episodes in Season 5 take steps to fix this:
      • "Rickternal Friendshine of the Rickless Mort": Despite the real Tammy being dead, she reappears in Bird Person's memories, getting a bit more of a send-off, and it's also revealed that she and BP had a child together who's currently being held in a Federation prison, continuing this story arc and making it very likely that the Smith-Sanchez family will cross paths with the G-Fed again in the future.
      • "Rickmurai Jack" brings back another highly-anticipated antagonist (Evil Morty), who avoids falling into many of these same pitfalls and whose confrontation with Rick and Morty feels even more satisfying. Mainly, he's definitely not an Anti-Climax Boss, as he survives the episode and even gets to win their confrontation, but Rick and Morty still manage to avoid all of his attempts to kill them. The ending of the episode leaves room for him to return in the future, but also works just fine as his exit from the series if the writers don't want to revisit him again, and doesn't leave the audience feeling like he got short-changed in his arc.
  • Awesome Art: While the character designs (at least for the humans) are often quite bland, the actual backgrounds are quite detailed and vibrant. This is especially true for the planetary settings, where the backgrounds are lusciously colorful and psychedelic enough to provide Scenery Porn.
  • Awesome Ego: Although he's meant to be seen as a Deconstruction of this trope, a lot of fans still think of Rick as this. He claims to be the smartest man in the multiverse and has an ego that's just as big, but it's hard to blame him for this since he's a genius Mad Scientist who can create absolutely anything, teleport anywhere with his handy portal gun, and frequently uses the Batman Gambit to get whatever he wants while avoiding the consequences of his actions (most of the time).
  • Badass Decay: Rick suffers through this in Season 4. In the first three seasons, Rick is portrayed as an unstoppable force of nature that can singlehandedly topple entire galactic governments. However, in Season 4, Rick repeatedly ends up losing the fights he gets into, often having to rely on Deus ex Machina (literally, in the case of "Never Ricking Morty") to prevail. This comes to a head in the season finale, where the New Federation no longer considers Rick their greatest threat, and him being ostracized from the Smith family due to the circumstances surrounding Beth and Space Beth.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Rick himself to some. He has many of the traits of a standard Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist; however, while most fans think he is a wonderfully complex deconstruction of the trope, others think the show too often tries and fails to make him seem genuinely likable. This has also led to a debate on whether he's an Anti-Hero or a Villain Protagonist.
    • Jerry and Beth have started to become this since occupying most of the subplots in Season Two, their arc concerning their dysfunctional marriage either considered entertaining tragicomedy or bland spotlight stealing from two unlikable characters.
      • Beth is a particularly divisive character because of her more Closer to Earth personality, as some prefer her for being more lucid and less pathetic than Jerry, while others find her insufferable for this very reason, considering her an equally, if not more terrible, human being but with little to none of the show's trademark Comedic Sociopathy targeted at her (if you don't like Rick or Jerry, you can at least take amusement in seeing them getting humiliated or dismembered on a regular basis; Beth, not so much).
    • Bird Person. On one hand, his stoic warrior-esque personality is awesome and his death is considered a legitimate gut-puncher. On the other, most of his appearances consist of him guilt-tripping Morty to be submissive to Rick's abuse.
  • Better on DVD: For those who like hardcore swearing, the Blu-Ray and DVD versions, unlike the network versions have all the f-bomb tirades uncensored (and thus carry a TV-MA-L rating.) The show itself also loves to use the Freeze-Frame Bonus. HBO Max is also the only streaming service that has the series uncensored, as Hulu and many of the overseas versions of Netflix have them censored.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In the first episode, Rick and Morty get chased by a monstrous creature, and it looks like it's going to be a serious conflict in the plot; however, in the next scene, the duo is continuing on with their task, and they never mention the alien afterwards.
    • In "The Ricks Must Be Crazy", Rick casually commits genocide against an entire planet by smashing the box containing their universe. What could easily be a Moral Event Horizon is the never commented on again, not even by Morty, who earlier in the episode had been upset by merely exploiting the inhabitants of miniature universes for energy.
  • Bizarro Episode: "Rickdependence Spray". Basically, because Morty was too embarrassed to admit he used the equipment at Beth's office to jerk off, Rick accidently creates a race of sperm monsters. To fight the monsters, Summer and The President create a beacon made out of one of Summer's eggs. At the end, the last living sperm monster fertilizes the egg, creating a giant incest baby that can breath in space. Also, Rick has sex with a horse person and we see her give birth to their cross breed baby. As you can guess from the vast amounts of Squick, everyone who worked on it is baffled how the episode made it to air, nor are they particular proud of it.
  • Broken Base:
    • Rick's constant belching and saying "Morty" is either funny or irritating. It seems to have dramatically toned down come the second season.
    • Even the art style of the show has been controversial. Some praise the show's lush alien backgrounds and lack of Off-Model moments, while others believe the character designs are overly simplistic and compare them to Bitstrips.
    • The episode "Get Schwifty" is becoming one as not many can agree on, especially coming after two well-liked episodes "Auto-Erotic Assimilation" and "Total Rickall". Some think it's terrible, some think it's just alright, and others think it's excellent (with "Get Schwifty" and "SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT" being two of the standout memes of the season).
    • The fandom in general, especially after the infamous Szechuan sauce release in early October 2017, has caused opinions to get rather split about the show and its fans. On one hand, you have people who respect the show and lay off the fandom, so long as the fandom leaves them alone. But on the other hand, you have those who are sick of the meme-spam, irritated by the elitism expressed by some of the fans, who think that all the humor in the show is a giant Genius Bonus and people who don't get it are stupid, and generally are not fans of the show itself.
    • Season 3 is this due to the episodes focusing more on Character Development. Some fans enjoy the new style and seeing the characters becoming more human and three dimensional while others fan dislike the fact that the comedy is taking the backseat, that the characters don't really end up developing in the long run, and have been complaining on how the season doesn't hold up as well as the previous two.
      • "Pickle Rick." Even if one doesn't take into account the public outcry against the fandom that resulted from this episode, it has proven to be quite divisive: Some enjoy the a-plot of Rick being turned into a pickle as an intense, high concept parody of action movies but found the B-plot revolving around the therapy sessions to be dull, some find the therapy sessions a fascinating look at the family's messed-up dynamic but found the a-plot to be a shallow gore-fest, some enjoyed both and considered it one of the series' best episodes, and some consider it one of the series' worst. Likewise, Dr. Wong's speech to Rick at the end is either an insightful and brutally honest takedown of his character or a pretentious slog that only re-states what was already obvious.
      • "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender". The fans that liked it found it a hilarious Take That! on the nearly saturated superhero movie genre, gave Morty some time to shine, did amazing characterization on Rick and introduced cool characters such as Million Ant Man and Supernova. Others rejected it as a mean-spirited attack on a well-loved genre (particularly for its potshots against The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy) that threw away its own plot for the sake of gore and again prove that Rick is right about everything and can do anything better than anyone without even trying.
      • "The ABC's of Beth". Fans of the episode enjoyed it for finally giving Beth some much needed Character Development by revealing her troubled childhood and having her finally acknowledge just how horrible she and her father both are. Others rejected it for abruptly turning Beth into a sociopath just to finally realize what both the audience and the other characters knew from the beginning. One thing even defenders of the episode seem to agree on, however, is that Jerry's sub-plot was a waste of time that backtracked on his growth from earlier in the season (in "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy," one of the season's better received episodes).
      • "The Rickchurian Mortydate". Haters of Season 3 completely tore the episode apart for being completely anticlimatic, and not acknowledging Phoenix Person, Tammy or Evil Morty, three characters that had brief cameo appearances throughout the season. People who loved Season 3, however, praised the conclusion of each character arc in the Smith-Sanchez family, and how Rick basically had to eat humble pie, as his own words caused Beth to panic and reconcile her relationship with Jerry, something that Rick was strongly against. There was also a minority group who still loved parts of the episode, but question its placement in the season, and feel that "The Ricklantis Mix-Up" should have been the finale instead, with its Evil Morty reveal.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After the Downer Ending of the second season finale and the ensuing year and a half hiatus, the season 3 premiere was this for watching Rick back in action, taking down both the Galactic Federation and the Citadel of Ricks. Of course not everyone agreed, since the Galactic Federation plotline seemed to be a little too prematurely resolved, and things took a turn for the dark when Rick (supposedly) drove Jerry out at the end.
    • After she Took a Level in Jerkass and had been acting terrible to her own children after her divorce with Jerry, Morty calling Beth out on her awful behavior can be extremely satisfying.
    • In "The Ricklantis Mixup", after seeing how terrible and arbitrary life is on the Citadel for alternate Ricks and Morty, including the fact that one Rick who refused adventure for Beth's sake has been kidnapped and used to make a snack food, there is something satisfying about Evil Morty assassinating the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Ricks in power who have been abusing the common Ricks and Mortys, and on the surface at least improving life for the people who elected him.
    • Tammy finally getting shot in the head by Rick in "Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri" is immensely satisfying after everything she pulled in the Season 2 finale.
    • For people who disliked how Rick always got away with his actions and/or is always proven right in the end, him getting the crap beaten out of him and ultimately arrested at the end of "Mort Dinner Rick Andre" was something long overdue.
  • Contested Sequel:
    • Although "Rixty Minutes" is one of the show's most beloved episodes, its Sequel Episode "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate" is much more divisive. Whereas the serious half of the first one was down-to-earth and emotional, filled with Tear Jerkers and Heartwarming Moments, the sequel applies Informed Wrongness to Jerry for the sake of drama, claiming that he's wrong for not wanting to donate his penis even though there are alternative solutions to the problem that don't require him to sacrifice his genitals. While most fans agree that the serious parts aren't as good, the division lies in the funny part: are the new sketches good enough to carry the episode? Many of them are very popular, such as the Plumbus and Jan Michael Vincent, but the episode's detractors point out that the novelty of improvised comedy sketches being inserted into the episode isn't there since it had been done before.
    • Season 3 returned after a long hiatus of a year and a half, Word of God has even admitted that the reason why they took so long to make season 3 was because they were afraid of this trope happening to it and wanted to make sure that each episode was well written and well constructed before releasing them.
      • Now that the season is over, there is still a decidedly mixed reception for the season. Fans consider "The Rickshank Rickdemption," "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy", "Rest and Ricklaxation" and especially "The Ricklantis Mixup" to be among the best and most insightful episodes in the series, with "Ricklantis" and "Rickshank" potential contenders for overall best episode of the entire show, but other episodes are more polarized: "Rickmancing the Stone", "Pickle Rick", and "The ABC's of Beth" all have fans who dislike them for their gimmicks, the imbalances between the A and the B Plot, and the darker tone, while others like it for just that same reason. "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender" irritated fans of superhero movies who didn't like the episode's mean-spirited digs at the genre.
      • The Season Finale, "The Rickchurian Mortydate", was quite the deal breaker for being deliberately anti-climactic, as many felt the resolutions to the episode's plots like Rick becoming an enemy of the country and Beth and Jerry's divorce were rushed and the overall Reset Button to the Status Quo Is God of the first season upset many who had become invested in knowing what would happen to characters like Tammy, Phoenix Person, and especially Evil Morty in the finale. It is considered weaker and dramatically more unsatisfying than the finales of Season 1 and Season 2, with many noting that "Ricksy Business", S1's Finale, did what S3 was trying to do better, i.e. making the finale a Breather Episode rather than a Wham Episode without making it feel anti-climactic.
      • On the other hand, Season 3 is the highest rated and most critically acclaimed of the entire series at this point, the point where R&M went from cult-favorite to mainstream, and the show's experiment with arc-based serial continuity in Season 3 was itself polarizing to some fans who wanted the more one-off nature of Season 1, and felt that the anti-climactic and unsatisfying parody at the end of Season 3 actually did fulfill Rick's dramatic arc: his constant attempts to escape normal life and search for adventure as Doctor Wong pointed out in "Pickle Rick" while also making the finale action's the result of his own actions backfiring, namely his constant taunting of Beth for her Cloning Blues.
  • Crazy Is Cool: Rick comes up with the most bizarre, whackiest schemes and inventions, and fans love him for it!
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Crosses the Line Twice: A pretty decent chunk of the show's comedy comes from this, but it has enough regulation to keep its effect fresh.
    • Rick threatening to, quote, "9/11" the plane in Mr. Goldenfold's dream is a pretty good example of just how far they went with it.
    • It's as if "Anatomy Park" was designed to be as visually disgusting and horrifying (like the human body actually is) as possible, yet it can still be incredibly funny. Case in point: a human corpse the size of the United States floating through orbit in nothing but a Santa hat.
    • The female-dominated Gazorpian empire in "Raising Gazorpazorp" deliberately plays every single female and feminism stereotype so unapologetically straight that it's hard not to laugh. Although Dan Harmon circa S3 agrees with critics and considers it a Cliché Storm.
    • "Weekend at Dead Cat Lady's House II". Mother of God, "Weekend at Dead Cat Lady's House II".
    Written and directed by Jerry Smith!
    • The "Strawberry Smiggles" ad from the same episode is probably the most explicitly morbid thing they've shown so far, and its juxtaposition as a freaking cereal commercial makes it hilarious.
    • Abradolf Lincler (a fusion of Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler) is so ungodly offensive it's impossible not to laugh at him.
    • In "Something Ricked This Way Comes" Rick manages to make the Devil himself attempt suicide.
    • Arthricia and Rick's jolly slaughter of the rich Cat Folk in "Look Who's Purging Now" leaps headlong into this, with at one point the two literally dancing in their blood.
    • Rick going Ax-Crazy and gleefully murdering his younger clones while naked at the end of "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez".
    • The creepy "personal space" guy in "Interdimensional Cable 2" pulling off his own skin? Horrifying. Rick shouting "What an asshole!" in response? Hilarious.
    • Pickle Rick using an AA-battery powered laser to shoot through three people's heads, allowing us to see all the gorn? Brutal and terrifying. Rick using that same weapon to bisect three more at the legs, with one of them emitting a Howie scream? Freaking hilarious.
    • Rick takes Jerry to a resort in "The Whirly-Dirly Conspiracy" that is surrounded by an immortality field - all mortal injuries in its area of effect are immediately rectified, and visitors casually slaughter each other for fun. This includes a young brother and sister, who run about laughing as the boy keeps shooting his sister dead. When the collapse of the titular attraction destroys the immortality field, the kids continue playing oblivious to the fact and the girl ends up really dying, with her brother wandering over to her corpse and calling her name when she doesn't revive.
    • Practically everything regarding Tommy in 'The ABC's of Beth", as well as the hints we get about Beth's childhood.
    • When the dragons all merge into the massive orgy slut dragon... which apparently causes a... very aroused experience from everyone involved. Rick's line sells it.
    "Maybe don't tell your parents we did this!"
    • In "Promortyus", in the middle of a destructive spree of an alien planet, Rick and Morty come across the planet's version of the World Trade Center and just fly by it in an awkward silence. They then have a discussion about howe tasteless it would have been to destroy it...and then proceed to destroy the planet's version of Pearl Harbor.
    • The entirety of "Rickdependence Spray": there isn't a single plot element which isn't one of the more disgusting things the show has ever done.
  • Cry for the Devil: Tommy may have become a Cloud Cuckoolander Caligula who rapes the Froopyland inhabitants and eats their children to stay alive, but it's clear that Beth betraying him and leaving him to die broke his mind. He spent decades in a false world that he was unable to leave, gave up hope of ever returning home, and had to do terrible things to survive. When he sees two more human beings, his first reaction is to explain who he is, and to put on a play about how he got trapped. Disturbing as the play is, and his demonstration of the rape and cannibalism, it's obvious that Tommy's mind has reached a breaking point. It says something that Rick is disturbed about what Beth did, and tells her that since she made this problem, she has to fix it on her own. Then at the end, Beth still refuses to take responsibility, while Tommy is cowering from her on learning who she is, and he sets his children on her when she won't apologize. Whether or not Beth killed Tommy, she did murder his children and cut off his finger, without suffering any consequences for her actions.
  • Designated Villain:
    • The Time Police from the season 2 premier. While planning on taking Morty and Summer to time prison is a bit overboard, Rick did steal a time crystal and caused one helluva Time Crash that he just made worse trying to fix. At least he gets his revenge in The Stinger... kind of.
    • The hunter from the same episode is technically within his rights to claim the deer he unsuccessfully tried to bag, and is ultimately tricked into letting it be taken away. He still gets a minor victory by putting a big check on Beth's ego before that happens, and neither he nor his lawyer find out about the deception.
    • The Galactic Federation at least in Season 1. In the first episode of the series, they tried to stop Rick from smuggling mega seeds so they were just doing their job. However, the "designated" part soon came into question for them in the Season 2 finale "The Wedding Squashers" before some posts on tumblr combined with their actions in "The Rickshank Redemption" caused that part to get thrown out the window.
    • Ethan from "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy" is portrayed as a shallow misogynist because he dumped Summer for Tricia. Summer and her family all take for granted that his motivations must have been because Tricia had bigger breasts, even though the one interaction we see between the two gives hardly any indication of this, and he's then held responsible for Summer getting turned into an inside-out giant, which was entirely the fault of Summer and Beth for idiotically using the Morphizer-XE to change their appearances without having any idea how it worked. In the end, Morty uses the Morphizer to horribly disfigure Ethan yet is never punished or called out for this completely disproportionate act.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The show naturally suffers from this. While the audience is meant to see Rick's life as miserable, he is still shown to almost always be in the right and most episodes end with him winning, often against villains who deserve what he does to them. His hedonistic lifestyle that is meant to show that he is a shell of man, but he is still shown to be having fun a lot of the time. The result is that while he is meant to be a satire of an Escapist Character, for many fans he still is an Escapist Character.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Currently, there's a very strong theory among the fandom, which may even be hinted at by some of the writers that Evil Morty is actually the Morty from C-137 Rick's original dimension. Doesn't helps Rick has hinted he had Morties before the current one. This is eventually Jossed, though, in Season 5, where it's confirmed that, since Rick's original Beth was killed when she was just a child, his native dimension doesn't even have its own Morty (or Summer) at all.
    • Another very popular theory is the idea that Rick and Morty are the same person, or more specifically that Morty will grow up to be Rick, an idea supported by non-canon official material like Rick and Morty vs. the Genocider as well as some variants of the duo like "Tall Morty" (a mentally-handicapped Rick who believes he's a Morty) and "Scientist Morty" (a Morty with the intelligence and similar appearance to Rick).
  • Estrogen Brigade: Rick has a surprisingly large group of fangirls. This is especially notable as these fans often avoid Self-Fanservice with depictions of his character as well as rarely using Draco in Leather Pants to justify his occasionally abusive behavior.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Evil Morty may be, well, evil, but it can't be denied that he earns this trope thanks to his magnificent performance in "The Ricklantis Mixup", where he abandons his quiet persona to become a charismatic leader that takes over the Citadel.
    • Tammy has won quite a few fans over with her single appearance in Season 3. With her getting a well-needed Costume Evolution and becoming the leader of the remaining Galactic Federation, she pretty much became a No-Nonsense Nemesis for Rick, which fans found more appealing than The Mole characterization she had in the previous season. Needless to say, fans were pissed that this was her only appearance in this season.
    • Phoenixperson. He's a brainwashed cyborg version of Birdperson who shows how competent he is by fighting Rick himself and actually winning, only being thwarted by Jerry distracting him by pretending to be Tammy.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Believe it or not, some fans like Evil Morty for this reason. It goes even further in "The Ricklantis Mixup", where Evil Morty dresses up in a snappy suit and tie for his takeover of the Citadel.
  • Fanon:
    • Rick is often explicitly described as Latino in fan-works, whereas his surname, Sanchez, only means he's of Hispanic origin. While Word of God has confirmed that he is Hispanic, his Hispanic nationality is never touched upon.
    • It's common for fans to call Evil Morty the "Rickest Morty", in the vein of the "Rickest Rick" and the "Mortyest Morty" but this term has never been used once in the show.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • The show developed one with Samurai Jack in a matter of hours after [adult swim]'s 2017 April Fool's prank, where they suddenly aired the Rick and Morty Season 3 premiere on a loop from the beginning of their programming until midnight, delaying the highly-anticipated next of episode of Samurai Jack until the week after.
    • Ever since the spike in popularity that occurred right after said April Fool's prank, it's become commonplace to see Futurama fans bashing the show for doing several concepts that Futurama has already done.
    • Though it's hard to tell how serious it is, the fandom of Xavier: Renegade Angel has developed a fierce rivalry with Rick & Morty, bashing R&M and its fans for being edgy atheist faux-intellectuals while Xavier is truly intellectual and deep. Apparently for acknowledging that being intellectual and deep and also preachy is shallow. Whether it's genuine or not, the rivalry somewhat succeeded in causing a resurgence of interest in the 10 year-old show.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • The show often shares fans with Gravity Falls. Understandable, since the shows share many common elements and their creators are personal friends who have made guest appearances on each others' shows.
    • Also with Bojack Horseman, in sharing a similar mix of very dark, yet smartly done humor with many dramatic character scenes that are played surprisingly seriously despite their sharing surreal settings.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • From the first episode: Rick tells Morty to keep shooting the Galactic Federation soldiers, yelling "You have no idea what prison is like here!" It seems like a throwaway gag, but as of "Wedding Squanchers", Rick has been thrown into Maximum Security of said prison, and it's revealed to be a place where inmates are kept affixed, immobile, to giant X's. Presumably forever.
    • In "Meeseeks and Destroy", Rick sarcasmtically tells Morty that they will be easily raped in giant prison because, when they drop the soap, it'll land on them and crush their spines. Mr. Jellybean's attempts to rape Morty minutes later are not quite so funny.
    • Anytime Rick says "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub" becomes this once Birdperson reveals what it means in his language: "I'm in great pain, please help me".
    • Every interaction between Tammy and Birdperson when it's revealed that she was fooling him into falling for her so that she could spring a trap on him and all of his anti-government friends at their wedding.
    • Rick takes offense in "The AB Cs of Beth" when Beth says that Froopy Land was a dumb name for the secret world she thought that Tommy had disappeared into when she was a kid. He tells her that he put a lot of effort into making it for her so that she would never get hurt and would remain safe. "Rickmurai Jack" confirms that our Rick lost his Beth when she was a child, meaning that knowing that multiple Ricks built Froopy Land as a safeguard to ensure their daughters would reach adulthood
    • Rick in "The Rickshaw Redemption" claimed that he made up a memory just to get Szechuan Sauce from MacDonald's that was cancelled in the 1990s. "Rickmurai Jack" confirms that the memory was real, meaning Rick actually relived his daughter and wife's death as a means to escape.
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    G - P 
  • Genius Bonus:
    • The painting in the living room with the Multiple images of the horse in motion is a reference to Eadweard Muybridge's famous experiment of showing horses in motion, a landmark event in the history of cinema.
    • In "Anatomy Park" when Morty is being attacked by the hepatitis virus, Hepatitis C attacks it and leaves him alone, due to it being benign in the short term (the long term effects are not benign).
    • In "M. Night Shaym-Aliens" Rick lists caesium and water as one of the fake ingredients of concentrated Dark Matter. Any person with basic knowledge of chemistry would know that mixing the two together would cause an explosive reaction, just as Rick intended.
    • Deliberately invoked in "Rick Potion #9" with this:note 
      Jerry: I wish that shotgun was my penis.
      Beth: If it were, you could call me Ernest Hemingway.
      Jerry: I don't get it and I don't need to.
    • A minor one that's used as a joke in "Raising Gazorpazorp," but Rick says that the alien pawn shop clerk is part of a species that eats sulfur. During the argument Rick has with the clerk over a multiphase quantum resonator (which Rick thinks is a broken defraculator), he offers to "throw in a fart" as part of his payment. Sulfur is one of the chemical compounds found in farts.
    • Morty's "Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die. Come watch TV" line in "Rixty Minutes" is a paraphrased Nietzsche quote:
      "No one is accountable for existing at all, or for being constituted as he is, or for living in the circumstances and surroundings in which he lives. The fatality of his nature cannot be disentangled from the fatality of all that which has been and will be. He is not the result of a special design, a will, a purpose; he is not the subject of an attempt to attain an 'ideal of man' or an 'ideal of happiness' or an 'ideal of morality'—it is absurd to want to hand over his nature to some purpose or other. We invented the concept 'purpose': in reality purpose is lacking."
      Friedrich Nietzsche - "Twilight of the Idols"
    • The entirety of Rick's subplot in "A Rickle in Time" is based around superposition, a principle in quantum mechanics infamous for its abstract and confusing nature. Comedy or not, it's not every day you see a show use cartoony-but-still-decently-accurate quantum mechanics as a plot device.
    • One of Rick's made up catchphrases in "Total Rickall" is "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, beeyitch!" Many viewers thought that this was gibberish, and few realized this was a reference to the Rudyard Kipling story of the same name in The Jungle Book.
    • Rick's summation of the Expendable Alternate Universe in "Rick Potion #9" - "What about the reality where Hitler cured cancer, Morty? The answer is don't think about it." - is one; Hitler had a pathological fear of cancer, and gave Otto Heinrich Warburg - The greatest cancer researcher of the time - a blank check to research it. After the war, Otto's Nazi ties made his theories unpopular, and he died a relative unknown. However, modern researchers are starting to believe he was on to something; given a few more years of unlimited resources, he might have cured cancer. Yipe.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The show is insanely popular in the United Kingdom, where it's been praised for its twisted humour, creepy yet quirky character designs and has been described as "Doctor Who on acid". British music and movie retailer HMV sells an abundance of merchandise and the show was one of Netflix UK's highest rated shows until they lost the rights to the first season and half of season two. After a huge outcry from UK fans, network Channel 4 later snapped up the broadcast and streaming rights, alongside a selection of other shows from the [adult swim] library, though Netflix UK has since added the show back to its own library. note 
    • It's also said to have gained popularity in Japan as well, thanks to Morty's Moe-like personality and also appeared on an episode of Toku Da Ne. While the show does quite well on its own, its popularity is notable among Western adult animation due to the fact that it tends to flounder in the Eastern market, with few exceptions.
  • Growing the Beard:
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Seeing the Vindicators getting killed off in their "third" big adventure can sting a bit if you've had to see your favourite character die in Avengers: Infinity War. Ironically, the founding members all survived in that one.
    • A lot becomes downright harsher when one sees the Season 5 finale
      • Beth says she has a lot of abandonment issues about how Rick exited her life and came back as nothing happened. Rick in the meantime maintains that she uses her Freudian Excuse as a reason to not confront her own violent and assholish tendencies. As a result, Morty assumes that Rick is just a dimension-hopping asshole that takes his family for granted because Rick can always get a new family or a Morty even if he wishes. "Rickmurai Jack" confirms that our Rick lost his Beth when she was a little girl, meaning that he didn't abandon any Beth when she was young.
      • The season 3 premiere "The Rickshank Redemption" had Rick seemingly reveal his tragic backstory, only for him to say he was making it up for the purpose of staging a breakout. "Rickmurai Jack" has a shocker: the tragic flashback was real! Our Rick did lose his wife Diane and Beth when the latter was a child. That shock on his face as he was reliving the memory was not acting; he was actually responding to the trauma.
      • There's a bit in "Mort Dinner Rick Andre" where Nimbus calls out Rick for being a selfish apathetic asshole, telling him that his wife Diane wouldn't have liked the person that Rick had become. Rick becomes downright cold at Nimbus, telling him not to establish "canonical backstory" while the blow obviously hits. The season 5 finale proves that Mr. Nimbus was right; our Rick used to be more idealistic until an unknown Rick killed his wife and preteen Beth, prompting the former to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and hunt down his family's murderer. By the time our Rick gave up, he devolved into the cynical alcoholic deadbeat father that our Beth knows.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • In "Total Rickall," Sleepy Gary the parasite implants false memories into Jerry's head to make him believe that Sleepy Gary is Beth's actual husband and they are having an affair behind Beth's back. When Jerry is convinced he's a parasite, he begs Sleepy Gary to stay with him and keep him safe, sobbing when Beth is forced to shoot Sleepy Gary. The Season 5 premiere confirms that Jerry is attracted to male bodies given how Mr. Nimbus invites him and Beth for a threesome and keeps the invitation open when Rick tries to betray Mr. Nimbus.
    • Likewise, Beth's terrible memory of Jerry was him failing to protect her from a homeless man. The season 4 finale has him try to stand up to Tammy for beating up his wife— emphasis on "try" but it's progress for Jerry— and brave a Galactic Federation spaceship to save her, even using puppetry and Tammy's dead body to distract Phoenixperson from killing both Earth and Space Beth. Even better, it works! 
    • Beth is forced to take the kids to see a therapist named Dr. Wong under protest, belittling her because she doesn't want to be there. Nevertheless, Dr. Wong makes progress with the family and advises that they come to see her again because therapy does take boring work. The season 4 finale reveals that Beth and Jerry have been going to her regularly for marriage counseling, and she continued doing so in season 5 despite Rick destroying her office
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Rick and Summer beating up a member of the Westboro Baptist Church in an episode that premiered roughly a week after the death of the church's founder, Fred Phelps. Those familiar with the circumstances of Phelps' death might feel otherwise.
    • In the Pilot, Beth yells "It's not like he's a hot girl, he can't just bail on his life and set up shop in someone else's!" Which makes the ending of "Rick Potion #9" bitterly, and hilariously, ironic. Also doubles as a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.
    • "Two Brothers" becomes a thing when the trailer for the 2014 musical comedy Walking on Sunshine opens with the line "Two sisters!" Not to mention the existence of a real-life film, video game, and comic book (all unrelated) going by the title Two Brothers.
    • In "Ricksy Business" Rick claims that the word "Glip-Glop" is an alien swear word. A few episodes later in "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate" the Smith family briefly meet an alien named Dr. Glip-Glop.
      • Also from "Ricksy Business", Rick performs a dance known as the "Rick Dance." 8 years later, and soon Rick is a playable character in Fortnite and one of the emotes shown is the Rick Dance.
    • Rick isn't the only obscene, Fourth Wall breaking, heroic comedic sociopath to beat people up while listening to DMX.
    • Close Your is a Kickstarter-funded game that is remarkably similar to the Roy arcade game in "Mortynight Run".
    • In "The Ricklantis Mixup," one of the Mortys wishes that incest porn had a more mainstream appeal. One day later and Senator Ted Cruz's Twitter page apparently liked an stepmom-incest porn video.
    • The Vindicators preparing to fight a villain known only as "World-Ender" is ironic for two reasons. Steppenwolf, the villain from Justice League (2017) had "The End of Worlds" as his Red Baron moniker and Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War - whom World-Ender was most likely based on - turned out to be a very misguided world-preserver.
    • The "Summer & Tinkles" song sounds very similar to the Cupcake and Dino opening theme.
    • The butter-passing robot from "Something Ricked This Way Comes" has an existential crisis after performing its sole function. The T-800 in Terminator: Dark Fate had pretty much the same character arc offscreen.
    • The Mandalorian could join Hemorrhage on a list of masked warriors who look surprisingly handsome when unmasked, complete with inexplicable mustaches. Mando's actor even collaborated with both Dan Harmon and Hemorrhage's actor at a Community charity table read.
    • There was an anime rendition of the Rick and Morty theme song long before the show did it themselves.
  • Hype Backlash: Butch Hartman actually tried the Szechuan sauce. He liked the sauce just fine, but didn't see what all the fuss was about.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Rick's entire adventure in "Pickle Rick" only happened for 2 reasons: Beth didn't pick up Rick to force him to come the therapy session anyway, and Beth forgot to close the garage door.
    • Everything about Rick bringing down the Galactic Federation in "The Rickshank Redemption". Apparently the only logical thing to do with your most powerful, sensitive, and dangerous information is to keep it right in the same place where you have your most dangerous prisoners and interrogate terrorists that are a threat to your galaxy spanning government. In addition to that, you should definitely give that same location complete and unfettered access to your financial system, so that anyone from within that prison can destabilize the currency whenever they want by pushing a few buttons. Oh, and it should also apparently be the only place capable of doing this, since nowhere else in the entire galaxy spanning civilization simply undoes all this and resets Rick's sabotage.
    • While it's partially justified in that Morty doesn't always make the smartest of decisions, but his entire subplot in "Mort Dinner Rick Andre" could've been nowhere near as problematic had he told Hoovy to just not come through the portal. In addition, Rick said that Nimbus likes fancy wine and didn't specify the brand, so he didn't have to ferment it at the last minute. He could have simply bought expensive champagne or such from the store. Then again, Rick said this was punishment for Morty "touching the ocean" and Rick hates boring errands.
  • Incest Yay Shipping:
    • A fair amount of Rick/Morty fanfiction exists for some inexplicable reason. It might be a result of the original video, where "Doc" repeatedly asked "Mharti" to give him a blowjob, or the fact that they showered together in the show. But then again, "Doc" wasn't "Mharti's" grandfather in the original video (as far as we know), and the nudity thing was a result of avoiding nudity-squeamish aliens. Roiland himself has even stated that due to the nature of the series, there may indeed exist a timeline where Rick and Morty are in a loving relationship. The face-huggers that fall in love while possessing Rick and Morty's bodies in "Promortyus" may be the closest thing so far.
    • Alongside that, Morty/Summer isn't far behind when it comes to incestuous pairings.
      • Weirdly, the now infamous episode "Rickdependence Spray" may have actually fanned the flames of this one as it made it so that Morty and Summer canonically have a child together.
  • Inferred Holocaust: In "One Crew Over The Crewcoo's Morty", the Heistotron goes rogue and steals several planets, including Earth, to put into its collection. The episode ends with the Heistotron's space station exploding while Rick tows Earth back to its place. It's never shown that Rick also saved the other planets, which Heistotron claims had hundreds of trillions of inhabitants when put together, so they were most likely destroyed along with the space station. Given that this is Rick we're talking about, it might have been on purpose.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • Jerry in "Anatomy Park". He's portrayed as being a jerk for not liking the fact that his parents have a guy named Jacob living with them who carries on a sexual relationship with his mother, while his father watches them ("sometimes from a chair, sometimes from a closet, almost always dressed as Superman"). While Jacob seems like a nice enough guy, you can't really blame Jerry for his reaction to the fact that some guy whom he's never met before is now in a relationship with his mother, and came for Christmas dinner without being invited. Jerry at least remains civil and undoes the no-electronics ban to avoid the Elephant in the Room.
    • In Mortynight Run Jerry is treated as a Straw Loser for willingly staying in the daycare made for Jerrys. However this disregards the fact that the daycare is on an extremely dangerous planet in who knows what universe and Jerry has no concept of either the language or currency. The daycare is literally the only safe place for him. It also doesn't help that Summer was put in a similar situation in The Ricks must be Crazy.
    • Jerry again in season 3. In the second episode, Morty ends up declaring that it'd be up to him to fight to get his family back if they really matter to him, and in the fourth Rick berates him for being a predator that "lures his victims with pity", and as such just as bad to his family as he was. While Jerry is far from perfect, however, this blatantly ignores that every time Jerry tried to be more assertive on anything he got nothing but utter contempt from his whole family, and that fighting for his family (specifically, to make them admit the toxic hold Rick had on Beth) was what led to him being kicked out in the first place. (However, it could be argued that his family is supposed to be in the wrong for not respecting his assertive side, especially considering the bad effects of the divorce on all of them.)
  • It's Popular, So It Sucks!: A lot of potential 2nd wave and 3rd wave viewers were turned off by some portions of the Fandom that treat the show like its high-minded commentary and a masterwork of comedy.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Believe it or not, Rick. His cynical selfishness and alcoholism seem to be his way of trying to cope with the vast and bizarre universe his raw intellect has brought to his awareness. "Don't think about it" is one of his catchphrases for a reason. And according to "Ricksy Business", his other catchphrase "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub" translates from another alien language into "I am in great pain. Please help me". What does that say about his behavior? This is magnified in season 2, where Rick takes being called on his flaws more personally than he had in the previous season, apparently well aware that he's a mess. In "A Rickle In Time", one jab at his alcoholism puts the various reality versions of him out of sync with each other immediately, in "Auto Erotic Assimilation" he attempts to kill himself after being told he drags people down with him and will never change, and in "Total Rickall", he goads Morty into pulling the trigger and killing him because he barely has any good memories and wants to be put out of his misery.
    Dan Harmon: [...] Rick is diseased, he's mentally ill, he's an absolute lunatic because he lives on this larger scale.
    • Rick's daughter Beth, meanwhile, is a textbook example of how trauma can turn someone into a destructive person. Her abandonment issues convinced her to stay with a man she has no respect for just because he got her pregnant out of wedlock, she kowtows to her father's every whim despite his obvious negative influence simply because she's afraid he'll leave her again and and the few times she's shown to actually care about her children's well-being, it's only ever for what she assumes is wrong with them. Unlike her father, she doesn't have the excuse of being an awesome mad scientist whose nihilism comes from having seen all there is to see across the multiverse. She's just a bitter person pathetically taking out her anger on anyone who'll stay around her long enough. Rick even calls her out for this in "The ABC's of Beth"; while he admits he is a terrible father, she won't admit that she's exactly like him in the worst way.
    • Tommy Limpet, Beth's childhood best friend. Beth took him to her private world, Froopyland, pushed him in honey as a means to drown him, and left him to die. Tommy believes, and we have no reason to doubt him, that Beth did so because she was jealous that Tommy had a loving family and caring father. To survive, he raped the inhabitants and ate the resulting offspring for protein, becoming their tyrant and The Caligula. By the time Rick and Beth find him in the present, Tommy is a disheveled, violent Cloud Cuckoolander who has given up hope of returning home and can no longer tell fiction from reality. He even cowers from Beth when she reveals her identity, calling her "The Destroyer," and tells her that she can deny what happened, but it was his reality. It's hard to not sympathize when he sets his children on her after Beth refuses to apologize for what she did.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some viewers don't care about the characters and interesting variations of common media tropes at all, but watch the show anyway to see what types of bizarre action adventures that Rick will go on next. Others only care about it for the memes.
  • Magnificent Bastard: "Evil Morty" is a version of Morty Smith who grew tired of being Rick Sanchez's sidekick and planned to break free from his role by escaping the Central Finite Curve to enter a multiverse where Rick isn't the smartest man. Evil Morty mind controls one universe's Rick, proceeding to kill other Ricks and kidnapping Morties, torturing the Morties to make a force-field to prevent the the Citadel from finding them while framing Rick-C137 and his Morty for the crimes, luring them to their hideout where they scan Rick's mind. Making his brainwashed Rick his scapegoat, Evil Morty hides amongst the kidnapped Morties to go to the Citadel where he runs for president, using his charisma to get the majority to vote for him and killing anyone who could pose a threat to him. Using his position to modify the Citadel into a giant portal gun, Evil Morty invites Rick-C137 for dinner to complete scanning Rick's mind before having the Ricks and Morties killed to use their blood to activate the Citadel's portal gun for him to escape the Central Finite Curve. Matching Rick's intellect and even outwitting him, Evil Morty manages to succeed in escaping the Central Finite Curve and destroy it.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some fans consider Rick to be a hero despite his abusive nature. We are meant to see Rick as a compelling individual (i.e. an interesting character who has his points, and is funny) but in no way are we meant to ignore the negative impact he has on his family and friends. He uses his intelligence, skill, and Straw Nihilist tendencies to justify gaslighting Morty and Beth in order to assert his perceived superiority. Morty starts taking on some of Rick's negative traits, and is frequently horrified by how much he has been corrupted by his grandfather. Rick's refusal to emotionally open up to his loved ones damages Rick himself even more. The third season acknowledges this fact by deconstructing Rick's abusive influence on the family. Morty states in the season premiere that Rick shouldn't be seen as a hero and, by the time the third season ends, even Summer and Beth have grown tired of Rick's toxic behavior.
  • Moe:
    • Morty.
    • The ever-Adorkable Doofus!Rick from "Close-Rick Counters of Rick Kind".
    • Aww, Hunter! You know, the policeman's deceased son from "The Ricks Must Be Crazy"?
    • Beth as a little girl from "The Rickshank Redemption" and "The Ricklantis Mixup".
    • One of the Ricks cloned as a baby from "The Ricklantis Mixup".
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The real culprit that framed Rick in "Close Encounters of the Rick Kind" ends up being... the Morty that was seemingly forced to work with a Rick that was kidnapping random Mortys throughout the multiverse. He basically betrayed his parallel selves by constructing them as a giant mind wave shield, leaving them to writhe in agony while tethered to the shield. Even our Rick was horrified to see the "inefficiency" since three Mortys and a jumper cable could do the same job, and his Morty was about to suffer the same fate. It's no wonder the fandom called this guy Evil Morty shortly afterward.
    • In "The Wedding Squanchers" Tammy reveals that she's been working a Honey Trap on Birdperson on behalf of the Galactic Federation, and immediately guns him down when he expresses confusion over the betrayal. In the next season, she resurrects him as her cyborg sex-slave.
    • Beth crosses it in "The ABC's of Beth", in which it's revealed that as a child, Rick had to create a fantastical pocket dimension called Froopyland for Beth to play in, mainly to protect the rest of their neighborhood from her. The episode's main plot involves Beth and Rick venturing into Froopyland to rescue Tommy, a childhood classmate who Beth brought over to Froopyland to play in only to leave him there after pushing him into a pond of honey, mainly because Tommy's completely innocent father was accused of murdering Tommy and eating his remains and is about to be executed. Tommy, who has been trapped in Froopyland for at least thirty years, has been forced to have sex with the wildlife and then cannibalize the quickly born offspring in order to survive, driving him insane. What makes this worse is the fact that, from what we can gather from what both Rick and Tommy tell Beth, it's heavily implied that she intentionally trapped Tommy within Froopyland and left him to die there because she was jealous of Tommy and his family, especially his relationship with his father. Towards the end of the episode, Beth becomes determined to get Tommy out, but he refuses to come with her unless she apologizes for ruining his life and causing him and his family to suffer. Beth refuses, claiming she was totally innocent, even though all she would have to do to end it peacefully is to own up to what she did. She appears to have murdered Tommy, rather than just swallowing her pride and apologizing. Beth herself seems to be horrified by what she's done and begins to question if she's evil, and this plays into her character arc in the next episode.
    • In "Rickmurai Jack" aside from another example by Evil Morty above, It's revealed that most of the backstory from "The Rickshank Rickdemption" was in fact real, meaning that not only was there an alternate Rick who killed the Diane and Beth of Rick C-137's original dimension, but that it also indirectly caused just about every time our Rick would go on to cross this himself.
      • And pretty much every Rick ever: Rick C-137 went on a massive killing spree of alternate-universe Ricks, harvesting their brains to become the smartest Rick in existence, until his slaughter created the Citadel. In turn, the Ricks created a pocket-multiverse called the Central Finite Curve consisting of only the universes where they rule supreme, and spent all their time making their Beths completely miserable by manipulating them into marrying Jerrys in the first place, and cloning Morty over and over so they can murder and torture him at their leisure.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Anytime Rick shouts "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!" can put a smile on anyone's face. Until you learn just what that translates to in English.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • The Lucky Charms commercial parody from "Rixty Minutes".
    • "Pickle Rick" has enough gross moments that it's probably a good idea not to eat anything while watching it.
    • "Edge of Tomorty" shows a universe where everyone is a giant wasp/bug, and eat their prey alive—exemplified by a scene of the Wasp-Smiths eating a Worm-Mr. Goldenfold as he screams in agony. Gross, but pretty typical for the gore of the show...until Mr. Goldenfold births three larvae, which Wasp-Morty happily devours. Eugh!
    • "The ABCs of Beth". You will know the scene when you see it. Both Beth and Rick don't wanna see it.
  • Never Live It Down: Some fans will never forgive Rick for his actions in "One Crew Over the Crewcoos Morty". Rick has Cronenberged entire planets, but that was by accident. He tore the Galactic Federation apart, but that was a combination of self-defense and vengeance. Here he (possibly) orchestrates the destruction of multiple inhabited planets to make his grandson give up on his dream of selling a script to Netflix.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The A.V. Club's review of "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind" gushed over how original and brilliant the idea of an interdimensional council of Ricks is. And it was original and brilliant... when it first appeared in the pages of Fantastic Four.
    • The plot of "Get Schwifty", in which inhabitants are kidnapped and forced to participate in an alien game show with the losers having their planet destroyed? It was done in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, of all shows, in the special "Win, Lose, and Kaboom". It was also done in a Donald Duck comic strip from the 90s, though there it was about space Olympics, not music.
    • The Season 3 finale was somewhat hated by people who claimed that "The Ricklantis Mix-Up" should have been the finale instead of the aforementioned episode, due to the former ending on a more personal note, and the latter being both experimental and a Wham Episode. Defenders have already referenced the episode ordering of "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind" (a Wham Episode that contained multiple versions of Ricks and Mortys) and the succeeding "Ricksy Business" (a wacky, character-driven, party-based Season Finale) as having already happened, and criticize haters for being surprised by this Anti-Climax.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Frank Palicky, despite appearing for all of fifteen seconds, is pretty popular with the fans too. In the DVD commentary for the pilot episode, his voice actor expressed interest in reprising the role seeing as how they're in a new universe since "Rick Potion No. 9," and basically pushed the Reset Button, but Harmon and Roiland seemed uninterested.
    • The alien parasites in "Total Rickall" spawn new memorable characters with every flashback like Photography Raptor, Mr. Beauregard, Frankenstein's monster, Reverse-Giraffe, Pencilvestyr, Tinkles the Lamb, and Sleepy Gary. They're all dead by the end of the episode.
    • The season 3 finale has a reptilian stripper in the background of the alien strip club scene. Despite being a nameless background character who's face is partially obscured she still somehow managed to amass a quite a bit of fanart... mostly of NSFW kind.
    • Slippy the snake from "Rattlestar Ricklactica". She manages to start a time-traveling war just by being a snake and showing affection to the professor that can understand her. Her last scene is defending her snake babies with a Mamabear expression.
  • Paranoia Fuel: A lot of things in the series can be this, but the crowning moment of this is in "Total Rickall." These parasites can come in out of nowhere and mess with your memory to add themselves in, for the prime purpose of leaching off you and then multiplying enough to take over your planet. Even if you're aware of it, they can still mess with you. If you take preventative measures, such as counting the number of people in the room and writing the number down, they can alter the memory and make you think you just wrote the number down for no reason. If you get too persistent, they'll use said mind games to convince others around you you're the parasite and to try to destroy you.
  • Periphery Demographic: Although this show is definitely not one of Adult Swim's tamer programs, it has several fans in the 6-12 range and is usually the reason why kids stay up against their parent's wishes to watch [adult swim]. There was even an incident at a San Diego Comic-Con panel, that was featured in a RebelTaxi video, where a child in the audience called Rick and Morty his favorite show of all time, causing everyone to wonder why someone this young watched Adult Swim.
  • Popular with Furries: The series has garnered quite a lof of the interest from furries, scalies and the like. With characters like Squanchy, Arthicia (and her Cat Folk people) and then Pocket Mortys introducing Rabbit Morty, but then that interstellar gigantic big-breasted reptile demon stripper thing came along and sparked that interest even further. Season 4 character Balthromaw also seems to have his fair share of popularity with dragon scalies. The Season 5 comes along with bringing in the CHUD horse people.

    R - Z 
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Beth Smith as she got redeemed in the season 3 première when she divorces Jerry. Part of the reason why fans have hated Beth beforehand was because she and Jerry took too much of the show's screen time bickering with each other but Beth made perfectly clear that this bickering wasn't going to continue on into the third season. If Rick really did set up the divorce like he claimed, then this could be one implication that he actually had some valid reasons for doing so. Even though Beth does eventually get back together with Jerry by the end of the season, this is after she has Heel Realization and resolves to become a better person and a better wife and mother, which she has been consistently sticking to in Season 4 and Season 5 so far.
    • In the early two seasons Jerry Smith was considered a base breaking character for being too bland for the audience to care about and the constant focus of him and Beth's marriage problems didn't help either. However, the third season has achieved in making Jerry look pretty sympathetic since his divorce and helped give the character some much-needed depth. "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy" ends with Jerry promising to drop his self-pitying act and take control of his life, a much-needed bit of Character Development that many fans are really hoping will stick in future episodes and not fall victim to the status quo. Surprisingly enough? It has!
  • Rooting for the Empire: Evil Morty may be a mass-murdering sociopath, but he's so cool to watch as he flawlessly puts his plans into motion that some people are actually rooting for him to win. It helps that Rick and his infinite other versions aren't a whole lot better.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Revolio "Gearhead" Clockberg Jr. He's hated mainly for being a minor Creator's Pet, having taken the most amount of episodes out of all of Rick's friends. His first appearance in "Ricksy Business" has him take up a chunk of screen time that robbed another of Rick's friends, Scropon of decent screentime and caused Scropon to become a wasted character in that episode. His next appearance doesn't redeem him either, having him betray Rick for the selfish reason of making money and he gets beat up for this. However his third appearance in the Vindicators episode has him shockingly Easily Forgiven by Rick and invited to another one of his parties but in that same episode, he trips in the end credits scene. The creators have pretty much realized Gearhead's status as this and have subjected him to a few Take That, Scrappy! moments. In "Edge Of Tommorty: Rick, Die, Rickpeat", an alternate version of him is kidnapped by Fascist Morty into going on an adventure with him and our Rick, and is accidentally killed when Fascist Morty's gun goes off and shoots him in the head. Then in "Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort", it's revealed that he's the younger brother of someone who fought and died with Rick and Bird Person, and they only hang out with him out of respect for his deceased brother.
    • Naruto, Summer and Morty's giant incest baby. Many fans are disgusted by his mere existence. Although this was the intended reaction, not many people found it so disgusting it's funny, but instead just found it plain disgusting. He's only in two episodes so far, and the episodes he is in are currently the worst rated on IMDB of the entire series. How badly are they rated? Both are the only episodes to get less than a 7, and the debut episode the only to get less than a 6.
  • Seasonal Rot: Fans near-unanimously regard the first two seasons as some of the best tv airing at the time (in spite of a few lesser episodes in the second season, like "Interdimensional Cable 2" and "Get Schwifty") but have wildly varying opinions on the ones that come after.
    • Despite critical acclaim and the series moving from cult status into mainstream popularity, Season 3 is quite divisive among fans: some consider it the best one yet for its character development and darker turn (especially where Morty is concerned), while others consider it the worst, due to contrived drama, Beth and Jerry remaining a drain on the show despite having divorced, and an increase in gross-out humor. In particular, episodes 2-4 of the season, "Rickmancing the Stone," "Pickle Rick," and "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender" are polarizing among fans, some of whom dislike them for their gimmicks, the imbalances between the A and the B Plot, and the darker tone, while others like it for just that same reason. The season is generally considered to have improved afterwards, with "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy", "Rest and Ricklaxation," and "The Ricklantis Mixup" receiving near-universal acclaim as some of the best and most insightful episodes of the series, with "The Ricklantis Mixup" in particular a contender for the best episode of the series. Sadly, the season finale, "The Rickchurian Mortydate," had torn down much of the goodwill the season had built up for many, as it served as a rushed and unsatisfying Status Quo Is God ending to the season's Story Arc.
    • After a two-year wait, season 4 would prove similarly divisive. While the 'back to basics' approach (alluded to at the end of the previous season) managed to win back several fans who were disappointed with season 3, some have criticized this batch of episodes for its over-reliance on meta humor ("Never Ricking Morty" being the biggest offender in this regard), and episodes that relied heavily on repeating a single joke for their duration and revisiting ideas already explored in seasons 1 and 2, causing some to fear the series is running out of steam. The five-month long hiatus between the season's first and second-half, on top of the already long wait for the first five episodes certainly didn't help, only making its flaws stand out more. That being said, the season finale, "Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri", which unexpectedly featured Call Backs to seasons 2 and 3, is widely regarded as a far stronger payoff than the previous season finale.
    • While seasons 3 and 4 created a lot of Broken Base, and were still mostly well-liked by critics, both fans and critics seem to agree season 5 is a step down in quality. Initially it was well-received, with the premiere, "Mort Dinner Rick Andre," receiving praise for its plotting and the entertaining Namor-expy Mr Nimbus, and the follow-up "Mortyplicity" being hailed by many fans and critics as an insightful, insane head-trip in the vein of classic episodes like "Total Rickall." But just about everyone agrees that the season veered into rot with the infamous "Rickdependence Spray," which quickly became the series' most hated episode due to its boundary-pushing crossing into the realm of the gross and uncomfortable, culminating with the creation of Morty and Summer's giant incest baby. The season has also come under criticism for the nerfing of Rick, who is now helpless and unprepared before enemies who previously would have been no threat to him, like the President, as well as many other episodes relying on randomness and pop references at the expense of actual jokes. That said, many feel that the season had gotten back on track with the intense and insightful "Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort," and the hour-long finale which provided payoff to long-gestating plot threads - namely, the return of Evil Morty, and the origins of Rick, Morty and the entire Citadel - ended the season on a high note.
  • Signature Scene: As season 3 leads Rick and Morty into a more mainstream audience, some of these scenes have become commonplace:
    • Rick and a traumatized Morty burying their dead alternate counterparts in the backyard and assuming their lives at the end of "Rick Potion No. 9".
    • The Reveal of Evil Morty being behind the events of "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind", complete with his now well-known Leitmotif, "For the Damaged Coda".
    • "Pickle Rick":
      • Dr. Wong's cold, logical and precise deconstruction of Rick's character and his influence on the family in her "The Reason You Suck" Speech at the end episode.
      • The reveal of Pickle Rick since Memetic Mutation means that it's oftentimes the first and only thing people who don't watch the show will know about it.
    • The ending of "The Rick-lantis Mix-up", with Evil Morty's speech and take over.
    • Evil Morty destroying the Central Finite Curve barrier and escaping to the other side of the Multiverse in "Rickmurai Jack".
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Some fans ship Summer and Jessica, despite them having very little interaction.
  • Squick:
    • Rick and Morty's reaction to the sexy dream version of Summer.
    • Due to taking place inside the human-body itself, the episode "Anatomy Park" isn't for the squeamish or the faint-hearted. The giant naked hobo near the end of the story (in fact the person inside of whom all this is taking place to begin with, just enlarged massively by that point) floating in space and then blown up only further turns it into Nausea Fuel.
    • In "Rick Potion #9" Jessica's flu causes the love serum to mutate into an airborne virus, causing other people to be sexually attracted to Morty, including people who are much older than him. It only gets worse when people then mutate into Mantis monsters and THEN further mutate into hideous random-organ blobs.
    • In "Ricksy Business" - when we find that "squanching" is auto-erotic asphyxia.
    • "Big Trouble In Little Sanchez" has naked Rick chopping up his younger clones with an axe.
    • Tommy's method of surviving all alone in Froopyland for thirty years in "The ABC's of Beth".
    • Naruto Smith's entire existance given that he is an incest baby.
  • Stoic Woobie: Birdperson. Although he doesn't really look like a Woobie at first, he's been through a lot. In the Season 2 finale he was going to get married to Tammy, only to be shot dead once Tammy reveals herself as a mole for the Galactic Federation. Later on, he's revived as a brainwashed cyborg, who, despite knowing what Tammy did to him, still loves her and gives into Tranquil Fury when Rick states he killed her. Even when Rick tries to cure him of his programming, Birdperson is content to let himself die after what happened to him, only allowing Rick to save him when he realizes he has a daughter, who he vows to find and keep safe.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The Japanese dub is considered to be truly exceptional. The script translation is spot-on, the songs sung by the characters are translated well, the performances by Yohei Tadano (Rick) and Keisuke Chiba (Morty) are particularly great, and many Americans things Lost in Translation are cleverly changed to keep the show intact for Japanese viewers: for example, children calling elders by their first name is unheard of in Japan, so Morty refers to Rick as jiichan (which is pretty much on the same level as "gramps").
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The montage of Beth performing surgery on the deer in "A Rickle In Time" is set to a soundalike of "Return To Innocence". The soundtrack even calls it "Enigma Parody Song".
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Parodied. The parasites in "Total Rickall" are only capable of creating good memories, so they're this to varying degrees. The best example would be Summer's "friend" Tinkles, a flying lamb from "Never-Past-Bedtime Land". It helps that she's voiced by a Bubbles-esque Tara Strong.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Quite frequent, considering minor characters are usually either killed off unceremoniously or forgotten about after their first appearance.
    • Frank Palicky, the school student who bullied Morty in the pilot episode is the first example of such a wasted character on this show. He only had around a minute of screen time with half of it consisting of him being a bully before being frozen by Rick and then accidentally killed by Summer. He would have been a good obstacle for Morty to overcome. Even Frank's own voice actor felt that Frank was wasted and wanted to continue voicing him, arguing that since "Rick Potion #9" transferred the setting to the replacement dimension, it completely justifies bringing Frank back on the show. However, the shows creators were not very interested in bringing him back.
    • Scropon is a huge example on how this show wasted a character that gave out a lot of potential. He appeared in "Ricksy Business" as a friend of Rick's but he when he was given the spotlight, it only lasted for a few seconds and he unable to speak at all in that episode, having Rick explain why Scropon was in grief and he was not seen again for the rest of the episode. Some fans felt that Scropon should have been given the chance to talk to Morty about his life but instead he completely vanished from the episode after the mention that his planet was destroyed. Scropon appeared again in "The Wedding Squanchers" but once again he was regulated to being a background character with no lines not to mention being one of the characters shot during the wedding massacre, leaving his fate unknown.
    • Shrimpley Pebbles was an important character for half the plot of "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate" but he never personally appears until his heart surgery near the end and he never gets the chance to speak due to being under anesthetic and he doesn't even get to put in his own opinion on whether or not Jerry should donate to him. What's more hilarious about this was that some fans mistook an alien in a wheelchair for Pibbles due to that alien being voiced by Werner Herzog. The episode never even reveals whether the surgery on Pibbles was successful or not due to Jerry's interference.
    • Krombopulous Michael, as he is popular among fans yet has only appeared in "Mortynight Run". His past, friendship with Rick, and his motives for being an assassin are all vague. Plus it's revealed that he had a girlfriend but his relationship with her is never elaborated upon. He even gets killed off simply because Morty fell asleep behind the wheel of Rick's flying saucer.
    • The President of the Galactic Federation would have been a good Big Bad of the show due to his position but he is never seen or mentioned in seasons one and two and in season three, he finally appears but only gets less than a minute of screen time before committing suicide.
    • Jessica had a healthy amount of appearances in season one as Morty's primary crush but she falls Out of Focus in season 2. The Third season did give her a episode "Rest and Ricklaxation" with a role and hopefully she have a larger role in future seasons.
    • Snuffles was the Smith Family dog, which would have made him a main character on the show but during the second episode, he gets Put on a Bus after getting his own time in the limelight and is never seen again outside of family photos and was only mentioned at least once in a later episode.
    • Concerto, the villain of the post credit scene of "Pickle Rick" could have been quite a great villain if his screen time was extended. That whole post credits scene could have been part of a great episode for season 3 and Concerto could have had his villainy and grudge against Rick and Morty explored. Instead he only gets a minute of screen time before having his throat sliced by Jaguar.
    • The Vindicators could have been interesting recurring characters had their backstories gotten fleshed out a little more but instead, their concepts were wasted as a cheap Take That! joke towards the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the bulk of the group got killed off before we got a chance to really know any of them. Luckily, however, a spin-off miniseries focused on the Vindicators is in the works.
    • Worldender seems to be this intentionally. In the Vindicators episode, he's stated main antagonist and by far one of the most evil villains to exist on the show as played up by the creators on an Adult Swim clip but by the time he finally makes his on screen appearance, he was already killed off by Rick. His atrocities and motives were not given much focus either.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Rick's My God, What Have I Done? moment at the end of season 2? Turns out it was all fake. Maybe.
    • The subplot of "Something Ricked This Way Comes" had many fans disappointed because its villain, King Flippy Nips, somehow became a Karma Houdini as he did things like send his own son to Plutanamo Bay for opposing the mining of plutonium, excessively mining plutonium to the point where Pluto was put in danger of being destroyed, and even lying to his own people about Pluto being a planet so he could keep up his rich lifestyle. He never gets punished for it, though he'll probably perish anyway along with the rest of his race once Pluto inevitable collapses.
    • Both Mr. Needful and the Federation's memory extractor were perfect set-ups for a deception-within-deception plot, "M. Night Sham-aliens" style, particularly the former, whose whole scheme could have been to set up conflicts between Rick and Summer. Both cases are instead perfectly linear, with no further layers, and easily dealt with.
    • "The Rickshank Redemption" features both the Council of Ricks and the higher-ups of the Galactic Federation as villains. You think that'd make an incredible villain team-up, or a spectacular double threat. Nope, both are merely Mooks for the original Rick to toy with, splitting the screen time in a way that lessens the threats for both of them. They're easily pitted against each other, and Rick eliminates both factions' leadership without breaking a sweat (Summer is the only one in danger during that confrontation). It just feels like a waste of two powerful and interesting enemies. Even the Earth being now under the Federation's control is shown at the beginning, then again at the end to show them leaving, and is never mentioned again.
    • The piano execution scene from the theme song of season 3 just turns out to be a quick post-credits gag in "Pickle Rick". A number of fans found it could've made a very creative episode, and would've loved to see how Rick and Morty got into that situation in the first place and just what Concerto's deal was.
    • There are those who wanted an episode featuring the flying Cthulu monster from the OP which seems to swallow the camera before the "Rick and Morty" logo shows. The idea of Rick bringing down this Cosmic Horror with the power of science would be awesome indeed.
    • There are some complaints that the Galactic Federation got destroyed too easily in season 4.
  • Ugly Cute: Scary Brandon, Scary Terry's son in "Lawnmower Dog". Scary Terry himself qualifies after mellowing out, bizarrely.
    • The Gagablagblag aliens that appear occasionally. They can only make that one sound, appear to work menial jobs, and can explode into goo at will. Despite that, they're still oddly endearing.
    • Rick can come off as this to some people, such as the time he got neutralized or his nicer Alternate Universe counterparts.
    • A brief flashback in "Morty's Mindblowers" shows Rick turning Morty into a monster. And while he looks absolutely nothing like himself, looking more like a squid with five eyes, a huge mouth full of fangs and loads of tentacles, he's still kind of adorable.
    • Tommy's Froopyland spawn could be cute as well, looking past their origins.
    • Caterpillar!Mr. Goldenfold's mustachioed offspring.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Every character has weird scribbled pupils instead of regular round ones, which can be distracting during close-up shots.
    • The puppet versions of Rick and Morty seen in announcements and bonus materials for the show fall squarely into this area. The fact that Morty's puppet totally lacks eyebrows unless required for a certain expression doesn't help.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Jerry. He's not without his flaws but he does go through his fair share of crap. He clearly sees how Rick's influence is damaging his family but is too helpless to do anything about it. And that's without getting into him losing his job and his marriage falling apart. Not to mention the entire multiverse seems to be making jokes at his expense.
    • One particular case is the climax of "Total Rickall" where the parasites infect the family with false memories and in the climax Beth shoots Mr. Poopybutthole assuming justifiably that he's a parasite, since he is a Remember the New Guy? joke character. The episode plays Beth shooting Mr. Poopybutthole for Bait-and-Switch Black Comedy to guilt-trip Beth into drinking but it comes across as a contrived moment that, however funny in context, comes across as especially mean-spirited on the part of the writers to the character.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Made a little complicated since it's very hard to tell how sympathetic these characters are actually intended to be.
    • Rick is a clear Anti-Hero and a major Jerkass Woobie, but it's hard to entirely be on board with his character given how he frequently downplays any humanizing moment he has. It also does not help that he doesn't give a crap about anything or anyone else besides his daughter and grandkids, and even then, he isn't above using them for his own selfish goals and cares little about how traumatizing the calamities he drags them into are for them. Indeed, when Morty says Rick doesn't care about anything but himself, Bird Person doesn't actually deny that, deciding to appeal to Morty's morality and to mention his own positive experiences with Rick.
    • This also applies to Beth a lot of the time. While it's understandable that her father abandoning her caused her issues and that she didn't have a very good role model in him, she also allows him to get away with way too much, including traumatizing her own children. She gets worse in Season 3, and while she was supposed to be a hate sink then, some people felt like it was supposed to be a somewhat downplayed trope, due to the sad aspects of her life, but it failed in that regard. It doesn't help that it turned out she always knew (or at least suspected) that the current Rick and Morty aren't her own and she can live just fine with that. Also, the expansion of her backstory in "The ABC's of Beth" felt like an unconvincing Freudian Excuse, as it's heavily implied that she trapped her best friend Tommy for years in Froopyland because she was jealous of his close relationship with his father. Until then, there was no indication that Beth had psychopathic tendencies and while Rick indeed was a bad influence on Beth (he did agree to build dangerous toys for her and he only created Froopyland to keep her from terrorizing the neighborhood so that he wouldn't have to fix her messes), he's at least honest about what kind of person he is and even he doesn't purposefully attack innocent people out of jealousy (at least not as long as they stay out of his way).
    • Many fans will not forgive Arthricia for her actions in "Look Who's Purging Now" of shooting Rick, stealing his and Morty's ship, and leaving them to die as Morty puts it. She tries to justify it while being held at gunpoint by saying she needed their ship to stop the Festival. Thing is, she could have simply asked Rick and he would have participated happily as he does in the end. We are supposed to forgive her in the end and be happy that she and Rick reconciled, but after what she did, most viewers find her beyond deserving of sympathy or forgiveness.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Unity is a hivemind that takes over the bodies of males and females, leading to confusion whether or not the men it controls identify as female by proxy, or not - and that's even assuming Unity identifies as a female at all. Rick being canonically pansexual doesn't help matters. The lead person she controls is female and has feminine characteristics, but Rick uses gender-neutral pronouns to refer to Unity, so it might not identify as either gender. Perhaps it's best to take Rick's typical advice and "not think about it".
  • Win Back the Crowd: "Rickmancing the Stone", "Pickle Rick" and "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender" were three episodes that divided viewers. The next episode, "The Whirly-Dirly Conspiracy", received unanimous acclaim due to Ryan Ridley's writing, with people likening it to other episodes he wrote, such as "Meeseeks and Destroy" and "Auto Erotic Assimilation". The rest of the season (with the possible exceptions of "The ABC's of Beth" and "The Rickchurian Mortydate") met similar acclaim.
    • For Season 4, in particular the second half, after the controversial episode "Never Ricking Morty" led plenty of fans to believe that the show would be disregarding all overarching continuity elements in favor of making the show a fully episodic sci-fi parody sitcom, and the following episode "Promortyus" was generally considered unremarkable, the show gradually got more praise again with each following episode- "The Vat of Acid Episode" for its plotting, well-done dialogue-free sequence, and shocking reveal of how the save point remote really worked, "Childrick of Mort" for featuring the whole family in its plot, showing off their strengths, and having a firm emotional foundation for its comedy, and lastly "Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri" for bringing back Tammy and Phoenix Person for real in contrast to how they were brought back in "Never Ricking Morty" (even if some feel they were underutilized in this episode), showing on full display the ways in which the Smith family have grown over the course of the series, and its emotional ending that hammers home Rick's failures as a father.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The show seems like an innocent children's cartoon at first, being about a young boy and his adventures with his Mad Scientist grandpa, along with a simplistic art-style to match. However, it isn't. It contains plenty of violence, gore, threat, and peril that's better off in teen and adult entertainment. It also has several sex jokes, a good deal of cursing note  and adult themes, up to including a disturbing Attempted Rape at the main character, and the aforementioned scientist is an uncaring sociopath and raging alcoholic who always puts his family and grandson in danger due to his bizarre experiments. Despite the "super-scientist on an adventure through the universe" plot, it's definitely not Doctor Who. It doesn't help that there is an innocent spinoff mons parody game called Pocket Mortys, that is only rated E10+, or that that it occasionally starts the [adult swim] block after Cartoon Network ends. Both season sets also appear in the children's section of Overstock.com, even though other Adult Swim shows have managed to avoid this, and have also appeared as sponsored items on Amazon listings of DVDs aimed at kids such as The Loud House and My Neighbor Totoro.
    • At an official Comic Con panel in 2017 for the show, a nine-year-old boy said that Rick and Morty was the best show ever. Everyone at the panel, including the people speaking at the panel, responded in shock and asked him "Why are you watching Adult Swim?".
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Although the show as a whole does have enough ground in reality to be relatable, the alternate dimensions that are explored are almost always filled with things straight from the deepest depths of this trope.
  • The Woobie:
    • Morty. Dear god, his life utterly sucks. The pilot spells out that Morty is a below-average student and possibly has a learning disability, he likely doesn't have a lot of potential to say the least, and contrary to what his parents are led to believe he's not learning anything about science from Rick. The adventures he goes on are almost never fun, and are usually disgusting, horrifying and traumatizing. The ending to "Rick Potion #9" probably seals the deal with Rick's attempts at a love potion for Morty leaving 99% of the world as horrifying abominations, which forces Morty, along with Rick, to abandon his reality and family for an alternate universe one where everything's normal. "Close Rick-Counters Of The Rick Kind" then reveals that the main reason Rick hangs out with Morty is because he's so stupid that he cancels out Rick's genius brainwaves, thus preventing the latter from being tracked. So not only is he dumb, he starts believing he is nothing but a tool of his grandfather (though it's hinted that he's not, despite Rick not wanting it to be known). Rickless Morties "play video games, date girls" which is apparently pitiable from a Rick's point of view. Morty actually lampshades this in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens" after Rick passes out after threatening Morty with a knife, thinking he was a simulation.
      Morty: What a life.
      • He also lampshades it in the comic series when he tells alternate versions of himself and Summer that it's not Summer's, Rick's, or anybody else's fault that his life is so fucked up across most realities; the universe simply hates him.
      • This gets even worse after a major reveal in "Rickmurai Jack"; see Woobie Species below.
    • Speaking of "Close Rick-Counters of Rick Kind", Doofus!Rick; he appears to put up from a lot from the other Ricks, being the Token Good Teammate and all...
    • After the events in "Rick Potion #9", original Summer. Original Jerry and Beth at least have each other, but original Summer has nobody except her parents for company.
    • Jerry. The entire multiverse seems to go out of its way to make him miserable. No wonder his voice actor referred to him as "a pretty sad, pathetic guy". May cross into Jerkass Woobie since he'd rather publicly humiliate his son than admit he's wrong about something, and not to mention the time he tried to bum money off of Summer by softening her up with childhood memories. He becomes a bit more of an Iron Woobie after some Character Development in Season 3.
    • Beth as well. While she can be just as terrible as her father, she is clearly messed up from his abandonment and from her own issues. She even showed a tremendous amount of guilt in shooting Mr. Poopybutthole, as seen when she starts sobbing and pours some wine while shaking the bottle nervously.
    • Beth and Jerry both get this even more after "Rickmurai Jack" reveals that the Citadel of Ricks literally manipulated many iterations of them across the multiverse into getting together—sometimes even to the point of drugging them with some kind of love potion or pheromone to ensure they become attracted to each other—just to make sure they'll eventually give birth to Morty so the Citadel can clone and mass-produce him. In other words, in many dimensions, their relationship originally only exists for breeding purposes. While the main Jerry and Beth of the show have a happy marriage by now, the majority of them in the multiverse do not, and the fact that it was purposely manipulated to happen just makes it so much worse.
    • Summer through a lot of "The Ricks Must Be Crazy". Also the poor policeman who had his dead son brought back to life, only to see him die again in his arms.
      • Summer in most of Rixty Minutes as well. Even if you dislike her character, you'll probably still feel bad for the poor girl; her parents accidentally confess they would've been happier without her, and worse, she was almost aborted.
      • "Rickmurai Jack" is also arguably an example for Summer too, in an indirect, subtle way, since she already has insecurities about her existence due to being an unplanned pregnancy and feeling like her parents would have been more successful without her. Not only were Beth and Jerry tricked into getting together, but also into creating Summer first—whom the Ricks as a whole in the multiverse don't care about any more than her parents—just so that Morty, her younger brother, could eventually exist.
    • Mr. Poopy Butthole at the end of "Total Rickall".
    • Scropon. Sure, he is a character who has not spoken, does not have much screen time, and looks very monstrous and terrifying but he definitely needed some hugging after Rick revealed in "Ricksy Business" that Scropon's home planet was destroyed and Scropon was looking and feeling grieved and depressed during the party. It's a shame that his backstory is not further elaborated upon to reveal who was responsible for the planet's destruction or why it was destroyed.
  • Woobie Species:
    • The decoys from "Mortyplicity". The main Rick created one or more decoy families and those decoys created their own decoys and so on until there are hundreds of decoys of the Smith family, most of whom believe they are the originals. After some of the decoys start hunting the other decoys, (presumable) they all die in various ways. Some die bissfully unawhere of what is going on, some desperately try to survive, some accept their fates, and some kill themselves out of despair. Even worse, some know that they are decoys right off the bat because of how poorly they were made (some are made out straw and wood).
    • An example of a "species" of one particular person: all of the Mortys in the multiverse become this as of "Rickmurai Jack", wherein it's revealed that the Ricks of the Citadel purposely manipulate Morty's parents into getting together, falling in love, getting knocked up with his older sister, and subsequently having a Shotgun Wedding, across countless dimensions, all for the purpose of making sure Morty is born, so they can clone and mass-produce infinite amounts of Mortys to act as disposable, expendable slaves that can be replaced as needed. For the solid majority of Mortys in the multiverse, the reason they exist is to be servants and beleaguered sidekicks to their shitty, abusive grandpa.
  • 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.
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