Rick and Morty

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"Don't think about it, Morty."

Rick and Morty is an [adult swim] original that premiered in December 2013. Created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the series is based on "The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti", a short on Channel 101 parodying Back to the Future.

Rick Sanchez, an alcoholic Mad Scientist, constantly pulls his grandson Morty into crazy sci-fi trips and wild scientific experiments. Morty's parents keep the old man around half-begrudgingly, as long as Morty stays in school. Besides, they have their own problems to solve.

Tropes used in Rick and Morty include:
  • Alcoholic Parent: Rick, who is Morty's grandfather.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The Talking Cat from "Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim's Morty" seems to be your average Talking Animal at first, but its true form (which the viewers do not see) is so horrific that it actually causes Rick - who has stood up to planet-sized Eldritch Abominations and The Devil himself without fear - to panic and nearly commit suicide.
  • Autoerotic Asphyxiation:
    • A character called Squanchy turns up in "Ricksy Business" (S1E11) for a spot of "squanching", which in context means this.[context?]
    • Season 2's third episode is named "Autoerotic Assimilation", and messes with the concept a bit - Rick ends up accepting an orgy with 'Unity', a Hive Mind that has assimilated several planets' worth of people and isn't afraid to get "creative" with their many bodies.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: In "Get Schwifty", rapper Ice-T reveals he is actually an alien made of water, and his real name is Water-T.
  • Body Horror: in "Rick Potion No. 9" and "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy".
  • Bottle and Switch Episode: Does this at least once a season by parodying the Clip Show trope or making fun of the Bottle Episode concept:
    • The first Interdimensional Cable episode "Rixty Minutes" featured channels from different shows. In addition, Rick gives Beth and Jerry a device that shows how their lives would have been different if Summer had never been born.
    • "Total Rickall" in season 2 takes place entirely in the Smith household, because Rick puts it under lockdown after he accidentally gets contaminated with alien parasites. Each time a parasite introduces itself, it uses fake memory flashbacks to create more of them. By the next commercial break, Rick lampshades their home has become a Where's Waldo picture. Unsurprisingly, it was the most expensive episode of season two.
    • While "The Ricklantis Mixup" has only three voice actors total -- the Rick wafers narrator, child Beth, and Justin Roiland-- it is one of the most ambitious episodes of season three. While our Rick and Morty spend time in Atlantis where Morty loses his virginity to a mermaid, the audience is taken to the Citadel, where several plotlines center around the idea of Ricks and Mortys escaping their programming of hero and sidekick, and an oncoming election which promises change. It ends with a Wham! Shot of most of these characters who died onscreen or offscreen in space, revealing that Evil Morty won the election.
    • "Morty's Mind Blowers" features countless clips of episodes that Rick has erased from Morty's memories. Sometimes they are at the boy's requests due to his screwups or his family causing further trauma. Other times, Rick has erased the memories out of spite. Due to Mind Screw, they may not even be from this episode.
    • "Never Ricking Morty" has the plot being that Rick and Morty are trapped on a train where all the characters know them and are exchanging stories about their adventures with the duo. We see new trippy stories that Rick confirms are not real-- the conductor of the train, Storylord, was messing with reality to drain Rick and Morty of their story potential.
    • "Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort" features Rick going into Birdperson's comatose mind to save him and revive memories of their friendship. We get a very trippy journey as a result, especially when the mind starts trying to eject him.
    • "Full Meta Jackrick" has Storylord come back for an encore when he traps Rick and Morty within a meta adventure.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • When Mr Poopy Butt-hole talks to the audience at the end of seasons 2 and 3.
    • Broken twice and lampshaded in S2E11 "Ricksy Business" when the captain of the Titanic ride says:

Captain: Sorry for the inconvenience folks, we should resume sinking shortly. In the meantime, please stay on the ship and enjoy a complementary plate of James Camer-onion rings."
Jerry: Great. Not only is the ship not sinking, now the fourth wall has been broken." (see Awesome)

    • At the end of season 3:

Rick: "That's my series arc, Morty, if it takes 9 seasons."

  • Call Back: In S2E2 ("Mortynight Run"), a few scenes after playing "Roy", Morty crashes the craft into K. Michael. Morty emerges from the craft, confusedly saying "We are out of off-white Persian," calling back to a customer asking 'Roy' about a particular type of carpet.
  • The Cameo / Couch Gag: In the Couch Gag for The Simpsons episode "Mathlete's Feat", Rick and Morty crash into the family's living room, killing them in the process, and Morty is tasked to revive the Simpsons in a cloning facility from another universe, while Rick fools around in the house.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Rick: "Wubba-lubba-dub-dub!" (Translates as "I am in great pain, please help me.")
    • Beth: "Get a job, Jerry."
    • Morty: "Ah Geez."
    • Mr Poopy Butthole: "Ow-whee."
    • Meeseeks: "I'm Mr. Meeseeks - look at me!"
  • Cliff Hanger: Season 2 finale.
  • Comically Misidentified Foreign Technology: In the second Interdimensional Cable episode, Jerry attempts to hold a group of aliens hostage with what he believes is an alien ray-gun. It's a prosthetic penis.
  • Cosmic Horror: frequent encounters with, due to inter-dimensional travel. Notably the being known only as "Fart."
  • Crapsack World: multiple
    • "Rick Potion No.9" - as of this episode, Morty's family no longer inhabit their original dimension as the cure to the love potion turned everyone on Earth (presumably) into hideous mutants or "Cronenbergs". Everyone, that is, except the 3 generations of Morty's immediate family, a fact which is handwaved as they all survive intact.
    • "Rest and Ricklaxation" - when the world is turned into a toxic version of itself:

[World is toxified]
Vicar: God is a lie, we made him up for money!
[World returns to normal; vicar ceases licking the nipple of a male parishioner]
Vicar: God is not a lie...

    • "The ABCs of Beth"- Froopy Land (visually averted, but really and truly it's a well-meaning childhood fantasy dreamland gone from bad to worse and subverted in the process.)
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Season 3, episode 1.
  • Deus Ex Machina : lampshaded in "The ABC's of Beth" (S03E09) when the ex of Jerry's alien girlfriend turns up. This is also a pun on ex. Morty breaks the 4th wall here too, by looking at the viewer as he walks away, so this seems quite intentional.

Morty: Dad, you just got handed an ex machina: you're taking it.

  • Downer Ending: Season 2 finale.
  • Easter Egg: This show has plenty. For example:
    • The house that Rick envisions in "The Rickshank Rickdemption" is Walter's house from Breaking Bad
    • There are also references to Gravity Falls, placed there because of a longtime friendship between Alex Hirsch and Justin Roiland. For example, in "The Rickshank Rickdemption", there's a scene where a Rick and a Morty emerge from a portal, with Morty carrying Journal #3 among other books, and in the same scene there are two Mortys in the background that look like Dipper and Mabel. Possibly the strangest one occurred in "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind", which borders on an Intercontinuity Crossover: After Rick opens multiple portals to distract his pursuers while he and Morty hop between universes, one of the portals spits out a pen, a notebook, and a coffee cup with a question mark, the same items sucked into a portal during The Stinger of an episode of Gravity Falls that aired over half a year after "Close Rick-Counters".
    • Subverted when Rick tries to think of a singer, and comes up with "Tiny Rogets" (Little Richard).
  • Elseworld: Rick, with his portal gun or his flying car, has the ability to travel through infinite dimensions and universes, making this trope a natural occurrence in the show.
  • Establishing an Unreachable Baseline: In "Morty's Mind Blowers", irked by Morty's insistance on using a level (a crude instrument by intergalactic standards), Rick builds a machine that creates a surface with "true level". After stepping on it, Morty (sarcastic at first) experiences orgasmic pleasure from standing. And then Summer takes him back to a normal floor...

Morty: Everything is crooked! Reality is poison! I wanna go back! I hate this!

    • This prompts Rick to remove that memory from Morty's mind.
  • Exposition: Beth's appraisal of the situation in Froopy Land (S03E09) falls under this trope, as well as these sub-tropes:

Rick: Guys, if I could interrupt: we're way ahead with the reveal here.
Beth: Yeah, just take us to King Tommy.

Rick: Man, that guy is the "Redgrin Grumble" to pretending he knows what's going on.
[Summer and Morty laugh]
Rick: You like that "Redgrin Grumble" reference? Well guess what? I made him up. You really are your father's children. Think for yourselves. Don't be sheep.

  • Lampshade Hanging: this show likes to do this in interesting ways (see breaking the fourth wall above).
    • In S1E8, "Something Ricked This Way Comes", King Flippynips has Scroopy Noopers sent to Plutonimo Bay. Afterwards, he says to Jerry:

King Flippynips: I can see you are confused: Plutonimo Bay is a military prison, a sort of play on words...

  • Law of Alien Names: Many of the characters have silly names, primarily to reflect their "alien-ness".
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: In the Sanchez's garage.
  • Rickursive Reality: in "The Rick's Must Be Crazy", Rick's car battery is composed of a "microverse". In order to fix it, he has to enter it, whereupon he discovers that one of his creations ("Zeep Xanflorp" voiced by Stephen Colbert) has designed a similar device called a "miniverse", which he and Rick enter only to discover yet another iteration, called a "teenyverse".
  • Milkman Conspiracy: In a Season 3 episode, the plot of the day's conspiracy was all orchestrated by squirrels.
  • Mind Screw: just about every episode - especially "Morty's Mind Blowers". (Events so extreme that they had to be erased from Morty's memory, a selection of which are recalled in this episode).
  • The Multiverse: An essential part of the setting; exploring other realities is Rick's specialty.
  • Parody: see
    • "Interdimensional Cable" - random cable programmes, such as "Ball Fondlers", (a possible A-Team spoof)
    • "Get Schwifty" - TV talent shows, the The X Factor, The Voice etc.
    • "Look Who's Purging Now" - The Purge x (Look Who's Talking Now).
    • "Rickmancing the Stone" - Mad Max x (Romancing the Stone).
      • Also Westworld (TV series) is parodied with the android versions of Rick, Morty and Summer.
  • Post Modernism: references both reality and other fictions, and is aware that it is fiction. Frequently Breaks the Fourth Wall.
  • Refuge in Audacity: every episode pretty much.
  • Rule of Three: lampshaded in S03E01 when Rick loses his ability to improvise and remarks "comedy comes in threes". This is called back to 3 times in the remainder of the episode when Rick says "I'm gonna go take a dump/shit" 3 times.
  • Russian Reversal: In one episode where Rick and Morty are fleeing the Citadel, they enter a dimension full of pizza-people who eat humans, evidenced by one of the pizza people ordering out for one on the phone while lounging in his chair. They hop dimensions again and wind up in one populated by phone-people who eat chairs, use humans for phones, and sit on pizza-shaped chairs. They hop dimensions again and complete the joke by ending up in a dimension with chair-people who eat phones, use humans as chairs, and use pizza for phones. These chair-people are rather friendly so they hide out there for a few scenes, eventually giving the pursuers the slip using chairs that look like them as decoys.
  • Scavenger World: An universe inspired by Mad Max is featured in "Rickmancing the Stone".
  • Surgery Under Fire: Rick has done this quite a few times. Rick being Rick, he's Crazy Prepared enough to have portable prosthetic limbs in case a weird Froopy Land hybrid bites it off or if he gets in a shootout with an assassin. In the latter case, he was transformed into a pickle and used office condiments as well as a stapler to patch a wound.
  • Shout-Out: frequent. i.e. David Cronenberg, Freddy Kruger, David Bowie, Ice T, Clive Barker (Hellraiser).
  • Talking Animal:

Snuffles: Where are my testicles, Summer?

  • Time Travel: Averted. Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon have both stated that they won't be using time travel in the series.
    • And contradict themselves in "A Rickle In Time" when a time-travelling testicle monster turns up...