|Premiere||December 2, 2013|
Rick and Morty is an adult animated science fiction action-adventure philosophical black comedy-drama television series created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Adult Swim. The series follows the misadventures of cynical mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his good-hearted but fretful grandson Morty Smith, who split their time between domestic life and interdimensional adventures.
As of June 1, 2017, 41 episodes of Rick and Morty have aired, concluding thefourth season. The season has been picked up for an additional seventy episodes over an unspecified number of seasons.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Characters
- 3 Production
- 4 Episodes
- 5 Release and reception
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 Philosophical themes
- 8 In other media
- 9 References
Rick Sanchez is an seventy-year-old alcoholic mad scientist who has moved in with his horse-surgeon daughter Beth Sanchez-Smith after spending nearly twenty years distant from his family and divorcing Beth's mother. He often takes her anxiety-ridden fourteen-year-old son Morty (and occasionally her seventeen-year-old daughter Summer) on bizarre adventures around space and through dimensions. The dysfunctionality of his family combined with constantly being put in deadly situations only makes Morty even more anxious, and threatens to shatter his moral compass. Through these difficult experiences, Morty learns lessons in existential nihilism and the apparent lack of meaning in life outside of what people choose to apply to it, while Rick learns how to open himself up to his family and be a better person than he used to be (at least at the show's most idealistic).
Unlike many other television programs, every episode of Rick and Morty except for the pilot ends with a post-credits scene.
Rick Sanchez (voiced by Justin Roiland)- A scientist with genius-level intellect (somewhat restricted by his alcoholism and possibly several mental illnesses) who is the father of Beth, father-in-law of Jerry, and maternal grandfather of Morty and Summer. He tends to make the family worry for the safety and well-being of Morty through his adventures, most frequently Jerry. The show is usually retroscripted for Rick's lines due to the unpredictable nature of the character. He displays "diagnosable qualities of various mental illnesses" according to Dan Harmon. He views his time as more valuable than anything else and disregards many human conventions such as school ("It's not a place for smart people."), marriage ("I can turn a black hole into a sun and even I could never get a marriage to work."), and love ("This thing people call love is just a chemical reaction in the brain that compels animals to breed."). Despite usually acting superior to those around him and too good for engaging in the mundane activities of normal human life, this all is a cover for a heavily lonely, depressed, self-loathing, and borderline suicidal old man. His alcoholism causes him to frequently burp in the middle of speaking. He is identified as the Rick of Dimension C-137.
Mortimer "Morty" Smith (voiced by Justin Roiland)- Rick's generally good-hearted but socially awkward and anxious fourteen-year-old grandson. Rick takes him on his adventures because the presence of Morty generates "Morty-waves" that cloak the "genius-waves" Rick claims to give off when traveling through space and the multiverse, allowing Rick to evade detection by most of the many enemies he has made over the years. At first, Morty is disgusted with nearly everything Rick does and is traumatized by most of what happens on his adventures with Rick. However, over time, Morty slowly becomes disillusioned with what was originally his own sense of morals after learning of multiple ethical gray areas within the situations he and Rick encounter, beginning in his experiences in S2E02 "Mortynight Run" and culminating in him violently killing multiple aliens after snapping from intense boredom and frustration in S2E09 "Look Who's Purging Now". The Morty of Dimension C-137 is referred to as the "Mortyest Morty" due to his much more courageous nature than most other Mortys across the multiverse, who are often sniveling, cowering wrecks that take to worship C-137 Morty as the "One True Morty."
Beth Sanchez-Smith (voiced by Sarah Chalke)- Rick's daughter, Summer and Morty's mother, and Jerry's wife, who is also a cardiac surgeon for horses. She and Jerry often have conflicts of ego stemming from their own insecurities. Much evidence shows that she could've been a surgeon for humans had Jerry not gotten her pregnant with Summer at age seventeen. She rarely objects to Rick's dangerous behavior around Morty because of how she views Rick more favorably than she does her mother and is desperate to have at least some element of her old family life back, and believes that if Rick weren't around, Morty would turn out in a similar manner to Jerry, because she'd rather be surrounded by bad people than unremarkable people. Harmon expanded upon this aspect of her characterization in an interview: "Kids can sometimes idolize their worst parent and blame their supportive parent for chasing off the dad with the guts to leave. [...] She believes that Rick, as crazy as he is, is the better of her two parents even though she was raised by her mother and she blames her mother's unremarkability on her father's departure and will do anything to keep her father back in her life.
Jerry Smith (voiced by Chris Parnell)- Summer and Morty's highly insecure father, Beth's husband, and Rick's son-in-law, who hates Rick for endangering his son and apparently turning his wife and daughter against him (Rick in response never lets Jerry hear the end of how stupid he believes Jerry is). Jerry worked at an advertising agency until the end of S1E04 "M. Night Shamay-liens!", when he was fired for giving one bad pitch too many. He got a new job at the end of S2E10 "The Wedding Squanchers" as an unknown position for the Galactic Federation after they turned Earth into an alien tourist destination. "Mortynight Run" reveals that due to the near-impossibility of Jerry surviving on Rick and Morty's sci-fi adventures, the Trans-Dimensional Council of Ricks established an intergalactic/interdimensional "daycare" that different versions of Jerry are kept at should they attempt to accompany Rick and Morty. The "daycare" treats all of the Jerrys there like small children, complete with a person dressed in a big-headed costume of Beth that acts much kinder and more coddling than the real Beth. Many Jerrys have chosen to stay at the day care indefinitely due to knowing how little they are cared for in their home dimensions.
Summer Smith (voiced by Spencer Grammer)- Morty's seventeen-year-old sister, a conventional and superficial teenager who will do anything to be popular in high school, and cares little for her family. It is revealed in S1E07 "Raising Gazorpazorp" that she is jealous of how up to that point in the series, Rick would only take Morty on his adventures, another exemplification of her feelings of mediocrity. She later plays a major part in the action-oriented adventure plots of S1E09 "Something Ricked This Way Comes", S1E11 "Ricksy Business", S2E01 "A Rickle in Time", S2E03 "Auto Erotic Assimilation", S2E06 "The Ricks Must Be Crazy", and S2E07 "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", and an indirect role in the action of S2E09 "Look Who's Purging Now". By Season 2, however, she is probably the most morally upright member of the family, and shows that she actually does genuinely care for Rick, Morty, Beth, and Jerry despite still holding them accountable for their flaws and negative or self-centered actions whenever she feels she needs to.
Jessica (voiced by Kari Wahlgren)- An attractive girl in Morty's math class that he has a crush on. Initially, it is not made clear whether or not she is aware of how Morty feels about her, but she is always kind to him regardless. In S2E07 "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", she is seen enjoying talking to Morty about Tiny Rick at the house party he and Summer throw, and later happily dances with him at the school dance in that same episode. It is not made clear as to whether or not she decided to stop hanging out with Morty after Tiny Rick got the rest of the school to shame Summer for getting him expelled, seeing as how she was never seen explicitly breaking up with Morty or saying he was guilty by association with Summer, and she is not seen with any other boyfriends after that point, so some interpret this as a sign that she actually is romantically interested in Morty, though whether or not they will become an official couple at any point is uncertain, seeing as how Morty has expressed attraction to plenty of other girls as well after that episode.
Mr. Goldenfold (voiced by Brandon Johnson)- Morty's awkward and rambling math teacher with plenty of apparent social, mental, and emotional issues, one of which is a repressed attraction to Summer represented within the dreams of his ideal woman Mrs. Pancakes in S1E02 "Lawnmower Dog".
Principal Gene Vagina (voiced by Phil Hendrie)- The principal of Harry Herpson High School, who is very insecure in his masculinity as a result of having the word "vagina" for a last name. He proclaims himself the leader of the religion Headism in S2E05 "Get Schwifty" until its disbandment at the end of the episode.
Brad (voiced by Echo Kellum)- Jessica's original boyfriend, who initially bullies Morty when he tries to ask Jessica to the Flu Season Dance in S1E06 "Rick Potion #9". He tries to pick a fight with Abradolf Lincler in S1E11 "Ricksy Business", which upsets Jessica along with his aggressive tendencies in general, making her briefly consider leaving him for Morty, though she inexplicably leaves the party with Brad at the end of the episode. Brad does not appear in Season 2, and Jessica is seen enjoying Morty's company even more in Season 2 than she already did in Season 1, so they may have broken up.
Ethan (voiced by Daniel Benson)- Summer's insecure boyfriend as seen in S1E03 "Anatomy Park", who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being molested by his older brother as a child. He and Summer most likely broke up some time after his last appearance in S2E05 "Get Schwifty".
Toby Matthews (voiced by Alex Hirsch)- A boy who appears in S2E07 "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" that Summer has a crush on. He begins to go out with her because of her association with Tiny Rick, but breaks up with her after she gets Tiny Rick expelled in order to save the real Rick from being lost inside the teenage clone.
Davin (voiced by Phil Henrie)- A co-worker of Beth's who is often openly flirtatious with her, making Jerry intensely jealous and believing Davin to be a threat to his and Beth's marriage. It is unknown if he exists in the Replacement Dimension or not because he has not appeared in any episode set after S1E06 "Rick Potion #9".
Mr. Meeseeks (voiced by Justin Roiland)- A race of blue creatures created by Rick for the purpose of performing simple tasks assigned to them. They start out as chipper, cartoonish, and obnoxiously loud, but become more psychotic and murderous the longer they are left alive without their task being completed (the loud voice remains). Jerry learned this the hard way when, while Mr. Meeseeks were able to help Summer become more popular at school and Beth become a more complete woman with ease, they could not help Jerry take two strokes off of his golf game due to the highly specific nature of the task, unlike the more broad nature of Summer and Beth's. This led the multiple Meeseeks summoned for the task to hold a restaurant hostage until Jerry could get better at golf. Mr. Meeseeks made cameo appearances in various episodes after their initial appearance in S1E05 "Meeseeks and Destroy", though they haven't had a major starring role since then. Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon have stated that they will try to find a way to incorporate Mr. Meeseeks into the plot of an episode of Season 3 even if they have to force them into the plot in a blatantly obnoxious manner that doesn't service the story at all as an act of making fun of pandering to the fanbase while also ironically pandering both to the fanbase and themselves.
Bird Person (voiced by Dan Harmon)- An alien with a resemblance to DC Comics' Hawkman and Hawk from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century that is Rick's best friend from their years as freedom fighters/anarchists together. He speaks in a monotone voice and dispenses various bits of wisdom, which he usually provides to convince Morty to trust Rick again when Morty considers stopping going on adventures with him, as seen in S1E11 "Ricksy Business" and S2E05 "Get Schwifty". Some fans have disputed the validity of his statements, however, due to how they usually involve Bird Person guilt-tripping Morty into supporting Rick after Morty has expressed a desire to leave him for generally sensible reasons. Despite this, Bird Person has become a fan favorite in the Rick and Morty fandom. In S2E10 "The Wedding Squanchers", he gets married to Tammy, the human teenage girl he picked up at Rick and Summer's party, and is subsequently shot to death by her when it is revealed that she is a deep-cover agent for the Galactic Federation.
Tammy Guterman (voiced by Cassie Steele)- A young woman that pretends to be one of Summer's high school friends and partake in a sexual relationship with Bird Person before revealing that she is an agent for the Galactic Federation who organized a honeypot operation in order to fake a wedding, gather all of the old Freedom Fighters at one location, and capture and/or kill as many as possible. She seemingly kills Bird Person and nearly captures the Smith family until Rick reworks his portal gun into a deafening weapon, incapacitating her long enough for the family to escape.
The series' two co-creators, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, first met at Channel 101, a yearly short film festival co-organized by Harmon. Roiland, who first worked as an associate producer of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, began submitting shorts to the festival in 2004. Most of his pilot shorts relied on shock value for their humor and generated confused reactions from audiences. In spite of the audiences' reactions, Harmon took a liking to Roiland's sense of humor and began collaborating with him on a variety of comedic projects. Roiland finally left reality television production for good in 2006 and began channeling his creative energies into creating what he hoped was his best short for Channel 101 yet. He tried to make a series of shorts called House of Cosbys, a parody sitcom about several clones of then-comedian Bill Cosby living in a home together. This led to Roiland receiving a lawsuit from NBCUniversal for unauthorized use of the theme song to The Cosby Show. Finding the lawsuit to be frivolous, Roiland wanted to make a short to mock the company. The end result was The Adventures of Doc and Mharti, a highly twisted parody of Back to the Future, well known as one of Universal Pictures' most beloved and valued film franchises.  Harmon referred to the short as "a bastardization and pornographic vandalization" of the film series that inspired it, with the humor largely centered around Doc trying to pressure Mharti into licking his testicles, claiming that it is the solution to all of his problems. The audience reacted wildly to this short, and Roiland began to make more shorts featuring the characters, which soon became less and less about parodying the Back to the Future trilogy over time. Eventually, Harmon and Roiland went their separate ways- Harmon developed the NBC sitcom Community, while Roiland became a lead voice actor and occasional writer on the Disney Channel cartoon Fish Hooks, and lent his voice to Cartoon Network's Adventure Time and Disney Channel/Disney XD's Gravity Falls.
In 2012, Harmon was fired from Community. Adult Swim was seeking to create a more prime-time and mainstream-accessible show at the time similar in nature to the half-hour animated sitcoms aired on the network in syndication from Fox that, despite the network's large variety of original programming, still were what more people were watching and where most of the advertising revenue for Adult Swim came from; and approached Harmon to create show ideas. He initially found the channel as unfit for his style of comedy and storytelling, as he was unfamiliar with animation, and his writing format was usually more about dialogue, character, and story rather than visuals. As he trusted Roiland with animation, Harmon called Roiland for possible ideas. Roiland immediately brought up the idea of using the Doc and Mharti characters, who he had now renamed Rick and Morty. Roiland initially wanted the show to be an eleven-minute program, but Adult Swim pushed for it to be a twenty-two-minute program. Harmon felt that the best way for the two characters to translate to television would be if a family was built around them, while Adult Swim development executive Nick Weidenfeld was the one who pitched the idea that Rick be Morty's grandfather. Having pitched three different failed pilots to Fox that were different variations of the Rick and Morty concept and feeling "burned out" with developing television in general, Roiland was initially unreceptive to others attempting to give notes on his pitch.
The first draft of the pilot was completed in six hours on the Paramount Pictures lot in Dan Harmon's unfurnished Community office. The duo had broken the story that day, sold the pilot, and sat down to write. Roiland, while acknowledging his own tendencies for procrastination, convinced Harmon to stay and finish the entire first draft with him. "We were sitting on the floor, cross-legged with laptops and I was just about ready to get up and go home and he said 'Wait, if you go home, it might take us three months to write this thing. Stay here right now and we can write it in six hours.' He just had a premonition about that." recalled Harmon. Adult Swim was initially unsure of Roiland doing the voices of both of the title characters, partially due to how Morty was undeveloped in comparison to Rick. Harmon wrote four short premises in which Morty takes a more assertive role and sent them to Mike Lazzo, Adult Swim's senior executive vice president. Adult Swim pushed for a TV-14 rating on the show so that it could easier broadcast in prime-time and compete with the programming of other networks, a decision initially met with reluctance by the show's staff.
The general formula of Rick and Morty consists of the juxtaposition of two conflicting scenarios: an extremely selfish, alcoholic, and sociopathic grandfather taking his grandson through space and to other dimensions intercut with domestic family drama. This has led Harmon to describe the series as a cross between The Simpsons and Futurama, balancing family life with heavy science fiction. Roiland has stated his and Harmon's intention for the series to lack traditional continuity, opting for discontinuous storylines "not bound by rules". In a similar interview session at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, he described each episode as being "[its] own point of entry. This has been done to prevent continuity lockout and allow viewers to start with any episode and watch in any order they choose, though some context is still important for some of the plotlines explored. The writers are also expected to apply more continuity in episodes being written for Season 3 and return to plot points mentioned in episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 but not explored in-depth.
The first season's writing staff consisted of Roiland, Harmon, Tom Kauffman, Ryan Ridley, Wade Randolph, Eric Acosta, and Mike McMahan. Described as a "very, very tiny little writers' room with a lot of heavy lifting from everybody", the show's writing staff, like most original Adult Swim productions, is not unionized with the Writers' Guild of America. The writing staff first meets and discusses ideas that eventually evolve into a story. Discussions usually include anecdotes from the writers' personal lives and their thoughts on different aspects of the science fiction genre. After breaking the story, a term used for developing a story's consistency and logical beginning, middle, and end, a writer is assigned to create an outline. Roiland and Harmon usually do a "pass" on the outline and send the episode back to the writers to go through several more drafts. The final draft of the script receives approval from either Roiland or Harmon at the end of its time being written. In producing the series' first season, episodes were occasionally written out of order. For example, "Rick Potion #9" was the second episode written, but animated as the fifth, as it would make more sense within the series' internal continuity. The series is largely inspired by British-style storytelling as opposed to traditional American "family television" stories. Harmon noted that the writers' room at the show's studio bears a striking resemblance to the one he used for Community. In comparing the two, he noted that the writing staff of Rick and Morty was significantly smaller and more "verbally rough and tumble", commenting, "There's a lot more Legos and Nerf guns."
Many episodes are structured with the use of a story embryo, a creation of Harmon's largely based on Joseph Campbell's monomyth, or The Hero's Journey. Harmon has stated that his inspiration behind much of the concept and humor for the series comes from various British television series, such as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who. He figured that the audience would only understand developments from Morty's point of view, but stated "We don't want to be the companions. We want to hang out with the Doctor, we idolize the Doctor, but we don't think like him, and that's really interesting, Rick is diseased, he's mentally ill, he's an absolute lunatic because he lives on this larger scale." 
Roiland's cartooning style is heavily indebted to The Simpsons, a factor he acknowledged in a 2013 interview, while also comparing his style to that of Adventure Time's Pendleton Ward and Regular Show's J. G. Quintel: "You'll notice mouths are kind of similar and teeth are similar, but I think that's also a stylistic thing that... all of us are kind of the same age, and we're all inspired by The Simpsons and all these other shows we're kind of subconsciously tapping into."
According to one of the technical directors, animation is done using Toon Boom Harmony with post-production work done in Adobe After Effects. The background art for the show is done in Adobe Photoshop. Production of animation is handled by Bardel Entertainment in Canada.
Several guest appearances were featured during the first season. Among them were Tom Kenny, Maurice LaMarche, Rob Paulsen, Alfred Molina, John Oliver, David Cross, Rich Fulcher, Claudia Black and Virginia Hey of Farscape fame, Jess Harnell, Phil Hendrie, Dana Carvey, and Aislinn Paul and Cassie Steele of Degrassi fame. The second season has featured appearances from Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Andy Daly, Jemaine Clement, Christina Hendricks, Patton Oswalt, Alan Tudyk, Tara Strong, Kevin Michael Richardson, Keith David, Matt Walsh, Kurtwood Smith, Werner Herzog, Stephen Colbert, Nathan Fielder, Chelsea Kane, Arin Hanson, and Alex Hirsch as well as the return of several guest stars from Season 1 such as Kenny, LaMarche, and Paulsen.
|Season||No. of episodes||Season premiere original airdate||Season finale original airdate|
|1||11||December 2, 2013||April 14, 2014|
|2||10||July 26, 2015||October 4, 2015|
|Episode||Title||Description||Original Airdate||Viewers (in millions)|
|1||Pilot||Rick moves in with the Smith family and establishes himself as a bad influence on his grandson Morty.||December 2, 2013||1.095|
|2||Lawnmower Dog||Jerry asks Rick to make the family dog Snuffles smarter, a decision he quickly regrets when Snuffles becomes aware of dogs' history as subservient to man and begins a hostile takeover of humanity. Meanwhile, Rick and Morty enter the dreams of Mr. Goldenfold to implant the idea of always giving Morty good grades in math so that there will be less trouble when Rick pulls Morty out of school for adventures.||December 9, 2013||1.510|
|3||Anatomy Park||In the show's Christmas/holiday special, Rick sends Morty into the body of an old friend of his, a STD-ridden hobo dying of alcohol poisoning, who harbors an amusement park within his organs, but the trip to Anatomy Park becomes a fight for survival when the old hobo dies with Morty still inside him. Meanwhile, Jerry asks the rest of the family to participate in a technology-free "human holiday" this Christmas with his parents, but quickly begins to regret this when he learns that his mother has taken up a sexual relationship with another younger man, his father has taken up voyeurism of his wife's relationship, and Beth and Summer see nothing wrong with Jerry's parents' newfound lifestyle.||December 16, 2013||1.302|
|4||M. Night Shaym-Aliens!||Rick, Morty, and Jerry become trapped in a life-like simulation by an alien race of intergalactic scammers known as the Zigerions.||January 13, 2014||1.476|
|5||Meeseeks and Destroy||Rick gives Jerry, Beth, and Summer creatures called Mr. Meeseeks to help them with their problems, but when Jerry's problems become too much for even the Meeseeks to handle, Jerry must put back what he has set free before the Meeseeks can kill innocent people. Meanwhile, Morty makes a bet with Rick that he can successfully and confidently lead an adventure with the promise of leading every tenth adventure if he can and never complaining again if he can't.||January 20, 2014||1.610|
|6||Rick Potion #9||Morty asks Rick to make him a love potion to make Jessica fall in love with him and want to go with him to the school's annual flu season dance, but when the potion goes airborne and becomes mixed with the flu, it leads to everyone on Earth that's not a blood relative of Morty's to fall in love with him, and Rick and Morty must take drastic measures to fix the problem.||January 27, 2014||1.746|
|7||Raising Gazorpazorp||Morty buys a sex robot from an alien pawn shop that produces an alien Gazorpazorpian baby that want to kill everyone and everything on Earth, and Morty must keep him distracted and inside the Smith house for the safety of everyone outside. Meanwhile, Rick and Summer go to investigate Gazorpazorp, the planet of the baby's origin, and discover a planet that is a parody of a radical feminist utopia, with the females in charge with an iron fist and the males shot into space upon birth in order to preemptively stop their destructive tendencies.||March 10, 2014||1.762|
|8||Rixty Minutes||Rick installs an interdimensional cable box and watches various twisted programs from around the multiverse with Morty. Meanwhile, Jerry, Beth, and Summer watch the lives of alternate versions of themselves on an interdimensional headset, and Summer is distraught to learn that she was a teenage prom-night pregnancy on the part of Beth and Jerry and that her parents were more successful in the realities in which she was aborted.||March 17, 2014||1.477|
|9||Something Ricked This Way Comes||Summer begins working for Mr. Needful (guest voiced by Alfred Molina), a human shape of the devil that sells various cursed objects, and Rick opens up a curse-removing store across the street from the cursed-object pawn shop to troll Mr. Needful. Meanwhile, Jerry helps Morty make a solar system diorama for science class, which is made more difficult for both of them by Jerry's insecurities in his intelligence and desperation to be right in going against the scientific consensus that Pluto is just a dwarf planet and not a full planet, resulting in a trip to Pluto and learning a dark secret about why exactly it's a dwarf rather than a real planet.||March 24, 2014||1.543|
|10||Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind||Rick and Morty are framed for crimes committed by an evil Rick and Morty from another dimension and must clear their names. Meanwhile, Jerry bonds with Doofus Rick, a slower but kinder version of Rick that comes to his house along with a variety of other versions of Rick from across the multiverse to try and detect Rick.||April 7, 2014||1.750|
|11||Ricksy Business||Rick and Summer throw a house party while Jerry and Beth are away that gets sent to another dimension, and Morty learns some things about why Rick does what he does from Rick's old friend Bird Person. Meanwhile, a Titanic-themed getaway becomes a disaster for Jerry and Beth when the ship's mechanism for faking a sinking fails.||April 14, 2014||1.823|
|Episode||Title||Descripton||Original Airdate||Viewers (in millions)|
|1||A Rickle In Time||After freezing time at the end of the Season 1 finale, Rick, Morty, and Summer's attempt to restart and recalibrate time has disastrous consequences when they accidentally separate the time surrounding the house from the rest of their timeline and enter a quantum-uncertain state of existence, made even worse when it splits into sixty-four copies of itself. Meanwhile, Beth's quest to heal an injured deer she and Jerry may have ran over quickly becomes less about saving the deer and more about satisfying Beth's animal-surgeon ego.||July 26, 2015||2.123|
|2||Mortynight Run||Rick gun-runs for the cheerful alien assassin Krombopulous Michael (guest voiced by Andy Daly), disgusting Morty, so Morty tries to save Michael's target, a living gas cloud he names Fart (guest voiced by Jemaine Clement), but ends up creating more problems than he solves. Meanwhile, Jerry is dropped off at an intergalactic/interdimensional daycare set up by the Interdimensional Council of Ricks for leaving Jerrys at should they attempt to accompany Rick and Morty on their adventures due to the very low chance of them surviving away from Earth in their respective dimension and is treated like a young child at the daycare.||August 2, 2015||2.185|
|3||Auto Erotic Assimilation||Rick, Morty, and Summer meet a hive mind named Unity (guest voiced by Christina Hendricks) that was an ex-lover of Rick's, and Rick's influence makes it become more unhinged and accidentally restarts a race war among the species Unity had assimilated. Meanwhile, Jerry and Beth get locked in Rick's laboratory under the garage and argue over Rick's intentions for keeping an alien there.||August 9, 2015||1.94|
|4||Total Rickall||Parasites come to the Smith household and implant memories of themselves as various cartoonish characters claiming to be friends of the family, and distort the family's perceptions of reality and who can be trusted.||August 16, 2015||1.96|
|5||Get Schwifty||Earth gets teleported to another galaxy overseen by giant heads that take various planets from around the universe, pit them against each other in a singing competition, and destroy the losing planets, so Rick and Morty must think of a hit song to perform in order to save Earth. Meanwhile, the rest of the townspeople begin to view the giant heads as the icons of the one true religion and begin to worship them, making Beth, Jerry, and Summer all have questions about faith and doubt.||August 23, 2015||2.12|
|6||The Ricks Must Be Crazy||Rick's spaceship battery dies, so he and Morty go into it to fix it and see the microverse full of living organisms Rick created in the battery to power the ship, which Morty feels like is a form of slavery. Meanwhile, Summer looks after the ship and is traumatized by how the artificial intelligence programming chooses to handle potential threats when given the simple command of "keep Summer safe".||August 30, 2015||1.91|
|7||Big Trouble in Little Sanchez||Rick sends his consciousness into a teenage clone of himself to help Morty and Summer slay their vampire lunch server, but Rick somehow doesn't want to return to his normal body. Meanwhile, Beth and Jerry go to a marriage counselor in deep space, and their mental views of each other become real, living creatures called Mythologs- Beth as a deadly, egotistical alien monster and Jerry as a servile, slimy worm- and the Beth Mytholog attempts to take over the marriage clinic and universe.||September 13, 2015||1.97|
|8||Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate||Jerry comes down with an alien illness, and the family watches more interdimensional cable while at the space hospital to pass the time. While being treated, Jerry is given the opportunity to save the life of Shrimpy Pibbles (guest voiced by Werner Herzog), a beloved alien civil rights activist, but it would require him giving up his penis to be used as an alien heart.||September 20, 2015||1.79|
|9||Look Who's Purging Now||In a parody/satire of The Purge social science fiction action horror thriller film series, Rick and Morty get stranded on an otherwise peaceful planet during its yearly Festival, a one-night event in which the planet's inhabitants are allowed to kill each other without consequence in order to prevent aggression on the planet the rest of the year, and Morty may have to "release the beast" in order to survive the night. Meanwhile, Jerry attempts to better connect with Summer.||September 27, 2015||1.89|
|10||The Wedding Squanchers||The Sanchez-Smiths go to the wedding of Bird Person and Tammy, where Tammy reveals herself to be a deep cover agent for the Galactic Federation, murders Bird Person, and attempts to arrest Rick for his many crimes. The family escapes and is forced to go on the run and find a new planet to live on.||October 4, 2015||TBD|
Release and reception
The series was first announced during Adult Swim's 2012 Upfront presentation. Adult Swim ordered ten half-hour episodes (not including the pilot) to comprise the first season. Matt Roller, a writer for the series, confirmed via Twitter that the network renewed Rick and Morty for a second season, which premiered on July 26, 2015.
The first season of Rick and Morty holds a Metacritic score of 85, indicating "universal acclaim". David Weigand of San Francisco Chronicle described it as "offbeat and occasionally coarse... the takeaway here is that it works." He praised the animation direction by James McDermott for being "fresh, colorful, and as wacky as the script", and compares the series as to having "shades of Futurama, South Park, and even Beetlejuice", ultimately opining that its humor felt "entirely original". Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times praised the series and compared it to the film Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa; he concluded his review stating: "Grandparenting at its unhinged finest."  Todd Spangler of Variety gave the series a lukewarm review; while he found the series was passable, he contrasted it with other Adult Swim series as "often seems overly reliant on simply being frenetic at the expense of being witty" and enjoyed it as "a welcome attempt to dream just a little bigger". David Sims of The A. V. Club gave the series an "A-". In reviewing the first two episodes, he complimented the animation for its "clean, simple style." He stated that while the series had "a dark, sick sensibility", he praised its "effort to give each character a little bit of depth," further applauding Roiland's voice talent for the eponymous characters.
Adult Swim has made the pilot episode available on iTunes and Google Play, bundled as part of the complete first season, as well as a thirty-seven-minute interview with creators Harmon and Roiland at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International. Second season episodes were made available on iTunes and Google Play the day after they each aired. Some of the episodes are available for free streaming on Adult Swim's website, a U. S. cable subscription is required for the rest of them. The first six episodes were uploaded to YouTube for a short period; those episodes and the rest are now available on YouTube for two dollars per episode. S1E08 "Rixty Minutes" was released early by the network through one-hundred-nine fifteen-second videos on Instagram. Season one was made available for on-demand viewing on Hulu in June 2015, and season two episodes were made available the day after they each aired.
DVD and Blu-ray release
The complete first season was released on DVD (Region 1) and Blu-ray on October 7, 2014. Before its release, Roiland had confirmed that it would contain uncensored audio tracks. Season 2 was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 7, 2016.
Awards and nominations
|2015||Annie Awards||Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production||Rick and Morty||Nominated|
It has been suggested that Rick and Morty carries some of its messages in a philosophical vein, including criticism of certain western attitudes towards science such as scientism (the belief that scientific social viewpoints are the only ones of any worth to the human experience), existentialism and the debate of searching for meaning in life versus one making meaning themselves, the unpredictable nature of science as a force of nature and the perceived futility of attempts to control it by scientists, the many-worlds interpretation and the idea that all possible alternate outcomes of even the most insignificant moments in history have either already happened or are going to happen in another universe, whether or not the lack of an immediately clear purpose in life makes living of any worth, whether or not free will is the cause of human evil, and various other philosophical concepts pointed out by viewers. These and other concepts as they relate to Rick and Morty have been discussed in a variety of YouTube videos, podcasts, and online television opinion pieces.
In other media
In popular culture
A 2015 episode of The Simpsons, "Mathlete's Feat" opened with an elaborate couch gag featuring Rick and Morty. Matt Groening described it as "probably the most ambitious and lengthy couch gag" on The Simpsons to date.
At New York Comic Con 2014, editor in chief of Oni Press James Lucas Jones announced that a Rick and Morty comic book adaptation would be released in early 2015. On April 1, 2015, the series debuted with its first monthly issue, entitled "BAM!"  The series is written by Zac Gorman and illustrated by CJ Cannon. Artist Tom Fowler wrote a multi-issue story arc that began in March 2016.
Dota 2 announcer pack
On August 10, 2015, a Rick and Morty-themed announcer pack was released for the competitive multiplayer video game Dota 2.  The announcer pack can be purchased by players and replaces the Default announcer and Mega-Kills announcer with characters from Rick and Morty voiced by Justin Roiland.
Pocket Mortys is a Pokemon parody game set in the "Rick and Morty Rickstaverse", released on iOS and Android as a free-to-play game from Adult Swim Games on January 13, 2016. Coinciding with the many-worlds interpretation, the game follows versions of Rick and Morty that belong to an alternate timeline, rather than the duo followed in the show. (This was most likely done so that it could fall in line with the loose continuity of the show, as it was released after the Season 2 finale when Rick was separated from the rest of the family, and Bird Person is alive in the game. This may also fall in line with the fan theory that every episode, or at least almost every episode, of Rick and Morty is about a different version of Rick and Morty.) The game uses a similar style and concept to the Pokemon video game series of turn-based role-playing games, with catching various "wild" Mortys from different dimensions and battling them against a variety of aliens, Ricks, and Jerrys. The game features voice acting from Roiland and Harmon.
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