Rick And Morty: 5 Times Rick Was The Worst (& 5 He Was The Best)

As Morty said in the season 5 premiere, “sometimes you’ve gotta be an a**hole. My grandpa taught me that.” Over the years on Rick And Morty, Rick Sanchez has proven time and again that he’s not winning any popularity contests. After all, he completely abandoned his daughter to go on space adventures.

With infinite versions of his family over multiple dimensions, he often says he has little attachment to the people around him. But, viewers have also seen him risk his life and even become emotionally vulnerable at times. Underneath the guise of just being an “a**hole,” Rick is actually a much more complex character who can be both good and bad.

10 Worst: Waited To Heal Morty’s Broken Legs

Rick’s first appearance on the show was his search for mega seeds, and when Morty incorrectly used the wall-walking boots and fell off the planet’s cliff, Rick was in full obnoxious-genius mode.

Not only did he spend a few minutes annoyedly criticizing Morty for not knowing how to turn the shoes on, but he also goes off to get healing medicine and leaves Morty there—which is only one of several horrible things he’s done to Morty over the course of the show. While he’s away, he spends so much time sleeping with the women that he ran our of portal fluid.

9 Best: Being Best Friends With Mr. Poopybutthole

Mr. Poopybutthole, who first appeared in the episode “Total Rickall” was a fan favorite almost immediately. What fans really loved was Rick’s love for their friendship. Rick shows more emotional attachment to Mr.Poopybutthole than he does to several iterations of his biological family—and definitely more than he shows to Jerry. They had lots of fun, sweet memories, and Rick even tends to Mr. Poopybutthole’s gunshot wound and visits him in the hospital.


8 Worst: Turned Himself Into A Pickle To Get Out Of Therapy

Therapy is not something a skeptic like Rick holds in very high regard, and he proved that when he turned himself into Pickle Rick to avoid going to family counseling and then lied to Beth about it.

Not only was he dishonest to his daughter about his ulterior motives, but, when he finally does make it to therapy, his arrogance—perhaps one of Rick’s greatest weaknesses—prevents him from participating in the session. He berates Dr. Wong and then settles back into his unhealthy father-daughter dynamic with Beth.

7 Best: Defended Morty From King Jelly Bean

Morty led his own adventure in Season 1 episode “Meseeks And Destroy,” except it wasn’t exactly how he thought it would be. In the bathroom of a space saloon, Morty was assaulted by King Jelly Bean. Rick catches on to what happened pretty quickly and comforts Morty in a Rick and Morty moment that was as heartwarming as it was tragic, telling him they’re going to finish his adventures and help the villagers as he wanted.

His attitude is completely changed from the annoyed indifference he had at the beginning of the episode. Then, just as Rick and Morty are passing through the portal, Rick’s hand pops back out and he shoots King Jelly Bean, who explodes all over the villagers.

6 Worst: Made A Drunken ‘Saw’ Room And Didn’t Make The Emotional Part About Morty

Rick’s disdain for the Vindicators took on a more violent form when he got drunk and turned their mission into Saw-style tests as an insult to their intelligence. Morty, unphased and irritated, gets them through to the last room.

When Morty solves the “only part of the Vindicators of any value to me” riddle by placing himself on the platform, he’s unexpectedly dropped down into a train with a video of Rick talking emotionally about someone who he cares for and has always been there for him. Morty is almost touched—but then Rick says that the entire display is for Noob Noob, the janitor who laughed at Rick’s joke the previous day.

5 Best: Gave Morty His Timeline Collar

In the season 2 opener, Rick, Morty, and Summer mess around with time and end up making a break in the timeline. Eventually, they end up in a Schroedinger’s Cat-like scenario as reality and time break apart for them and they have to merge the timelines.

Morty ends up falling through the floor and floating out into space. Rick jumps after him without hesitation, and, when Morty tells him he dropped his collar, Rick instantly gives Morty his and accepts his fate in space, wishing Morty to “be better than me” before he sees Morty’s collar and saves himself. It was a heartwarming moment that proved how good of a grandpa Rick could be.

4 Worst: Psychologically Tortured Morty Over The Acid Vat

Morty had the upper hand at the beginning of “The Acid Vat Episode,” poking fun at Rick for the idea and goading him into making one of his invention ideas. Rick, sore over the criticism, devises a plan for revenge by making Morty think that he’s using a “save your place” style device when in reality he was hopping between dimensions, and all of his actions had consequences.

Morty even had a relationship and survived a plane crash only to find out that the entire thing was orchestrated by Rick so that Morty would have to use the acid vat and admit that it was a good idea. Rick even makes Morty kiss it.

3 Best: Had A Heart To Heart With Beth

In the new episode, “Mortiplicity,” a version of Rick and the family hide in adorable costumes and wait out some of the other decoys to kill each other. While they’re waiting, Rick and Beth share a tender moment where Beth points out that he pretends to not value life, but made an ocean of decoys to avoid losing his family. He tells her she’s right, apologizes, and tells Beth he loves her.

2 Worst: Didn’t Look At Which Beth Was The Clone

On the other end of Rick’s parenting skills, when Beth asks Rick to choose whether she stays with her family or adventures out into space, he makes her clone, takes the labels off of the tanks, and doesn’t look as they’re shuffled around.

To make things worse, he then mind-blows himself and removes the memory so that he wouldn’t be able to tell which was which. When Rick finally watches the memory back, even he’s disappointed in himself, calling himself a terrible father.

1 Best: He Turned Himself In To Protect His Family

In the season 3 opener, Rick claims that he was captured on purpose for an alternative motive and to unleash chaos and collapse the government, but, in the season 2 finale, there was a clear look of sadness and conflict on Rick’s face before he chose to leave.

He had just heard about how his family didn’t trust him to not double-cross them, and he felt he had disappointed them. So, to save them from the consequences of his “wanted” status, he turns himself in, resulting in one of the second season’s best moments.

Next10 The Vampire Diaries Memes That Perfectly Sum Up The Show

About The Author

Amanda Suarez (178 Articles Published)

Amanda is a Writer for Screen Rant, using her love of binge watching movies and television to make lists of everyone’s favorite moments, theories, and recommendations. She’s an alumnus of the University of Southern California, and wrote Opinions and Entertainment articles for Neon Tommy/Annenberg Media. She also got to flex her comedy muscles writing for the Sack of Troy, USC’s second best satirical newspaper.

A la pandemic, Amanda’s been based out of Ohio to be closer to her family. When she’s not up until 3am rewatching Outlander, she can be found hand-making cosplays, obsessing over Halloween year-round, or fantasizing that she’s in a Victorian drama.

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