L-l-listen. Rick and Mor*burrp*ty is one of the best shows to hit television in decades. It’s funny, heartfelt, and explores concepts most cartoons shy away from. Three seasons in, there are a ton of great moments from the world’s favorite grandpa and grandson sci-fi team.
To give the uninitiated a taste of how great this show is—or to push those who’ve already seen it to sit down for their fourth rewatch—here are the ten best Rick and Morty moments.
10) The Psychedelic Wormhole
On a spaceship that travels through wormholes, Jerry attempts to disarm an alien who’s trying to kill Rick. In the struggle, the alien shoots the ‘temporal shield’ that protects the spaceship from the strange effects of traveling through a wormhole.
Turns out, those effects are psychedelic in nature. Some of the images are disturbing, like a time lapse of a rotting alien corpse or Rick and Jerry wrestling naked. Some are just interesting, like Jerry with giant clocks for eyes. Oh, and at one point Rick’s disembodied head floats by while it says “I have shit on my ass.”
9) The E.B. White Joke
Rick asks a murderous, Mad Max style post-apocalyptic tribe of cannibals if they ever use their Thunder Dome. When one of the cannibals tells him it’s a “Blood Dome,” Rick replies “save it for the semantic dome, E.B. White.”
Most people know author E.B. White for “Stuart Little” and “Charlotte’s Web,” but he also co-wrote “The Elements of Style,” a style guide for writing in English. One of the cannibals gets the joke so Rick points and snaps at him. A lot of Rick and Morty fans like to pretend the show is too smart for the average person. It’s not, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t insanely clever jokes worth looking into if you don’t get them right away.
8) Rick’s Rant
The end of the very first episode distills the hilarity of Rick and Morty in a single moment: a one-minute long speech from Rick.
While Morty writhes in pain from the Mega Seeds dissolving in his rectum, Rick lays out his plans for adventures. Well, he lays out that he wants to go on adventures…for a hundred years. Something about Rick’s abusive speech, the soaring music, and Morty’s pained whimpers ties together this whole scene and introduces us to the show’s key characters in a way that gives us a pretty good idea of what’s to come.
7) Evil Morty Returns
Maybe the most memorable moment from the first season comes in the last episode. Rick and Morty square off against evil versions of themselves and come out on top. The evil Rick dies, but evil Morty walks away from it all, only to reveal that he was controlling the evil Rick the entire time through his eye patch. That moment was awesome, but it has nothing on evil Morty’s come back.
While normal Rick and Morty have a self-contained adventure in Atlantis, The Citadel of Ricks (a collection of Ricks and Mortys from different universes who’ve formed a government) has an election. For the first time, a Morty looks like he might become president of the Citadel. Eventually, that Morty wins the election, and we learn that it’s actually evil Morty after a cold and calculated speech.
The genius of this scene isn’t a returning villain. It sets up a whole other arc for the next season. Plus, the reveal doesn’t include any dialogue. We hear Blonde Redhead’s song For the Damaged Coda, which is basically evil Morty’s theme. Then we see a photo of Evil Morty with his old eye-patch. Evil Morty plotted in the background for 19 episodes. There’s no way to know when and if he’ll be back, but if he does show up again, expect a colossal showdown.
6) Rick and Morty Lose it
The opening of this episode shows Rick and Morty on a kind of classic adventure. They save the day, are awarded medals Star Wars style, and get back in Rick’s space car.
But instead of Morty having trouble with the ethical implications of their actions, both Rick and Morty just break down and cry. They nearly died, again, and the strain is just too much. It’s a revealing moment that offers a glimpse into our heroes’ vulnerabilities.
5) Rick’s Rant II (Szechuan Sauce)
In a throwback to the pilot episode, Rick lords over Morty and rants in the garage…again. This time Morty’s not paralyzed by seeds in his anus, he’s paralyzed by the realization of Rick’s evil plan to take over the family. This whole rant is hilarious, but most people probably know it from the real world debacle it caused because Rick talks about how much he loves Szechuan Sauce.
4) Where are my testicles, Summer?
When Rick makes the family dog intelligent, dogs in mech suits take over the world. During the canine rise to power, Snuffles questions Summer, Rick’s granddaughter, and Morty’s sister, about what happened to his testicles and announces that his name isn’t Snuffles, it’s Snowball because his fur is pretty and white. Not a lot of analysis needed here, it’s just funny.
3) Pickle Rick’s Mech Suit
The show does a great job of humanizing Rick. But, when Rick’s a pickle, all bets are off and he’s a full-blown action hero. This starts with Rick falling down a sewer, cracking a cockroaches’ skull open, and poking its brain to move its body. A pickle killing a cockroach and controlling its body sounds disturbing, not funny, but Rick and Morty make it both.
2) Keep Summer Safe
This is less of a moment and more of an entire plot. Rick tells his car to “Keep Summer Safe.” When a man with tattoos approaches the car, it cripples him. Summer horrified tells the car not to kill the next man who approaches so it instead paralyzes him. It’s dark and totally messed up, but in the end, there’s peace between Giant Spiders and humans, so it’s not all bad.
1) Rick’s Near Suicide
Rick breaks up with his partner, the collective consciousness called Unity. That and Rick’s already isolated nature compounds his loneliness, and he tries to take his own life. He passes out just in time and ultimately survives. It’s an absolutely gut-wrenching moment that isn’t treated lightly. The music (Chaos Chaos’ Do You Feel It) ties the whole scene together with sadness. There’s nothing funny about this moment, but it gives this absurd show gravity which it makes it so much better than your run-of-the-mill sitcom.