Since its premiere, Rick and Morty has maintained its quality by keeping its seasons brief and precise. While other popular animated series like Family Guy and The Simpsons churn out an average of 20 episodes every season, outside of its first season, the sci-fi comedy avoids exceeding the 10-episode mark. Today, Rick and Morty has 71 episodes across seven seasons.
Still, those jonesing for more Rick and Morty do not need to fret, as Adult Swim has renewed the show through Season 10. While such a significant renewal may be risky for other shows, no chapter of Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith’s story has failed to impress. Even though every episode is incredibly entertaining, a few stand out from the rest.
Updated December 26, 2023, by Anthony Jeanetta. With Season 7 of Rick and Morty recently concluding, fans must wait a while for Season 8. These episodes are great for any fan to dive into for the best Rick and Morty has to offer. This list is updated to reflect CBR’s most current style guidelines.
15 Mortynight Run Is As Silly As It Is Serious
Season 2, Episode 2Runtime: 23 minutes
Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon teases that Adult Swim’s popular series might finally get a movie adaptation soon from Warner Bros.
Morty has quite a confusing series of adventures in Season 2’s “Mortynight Run,” one of the best Rick and Morty episodes. These adventures begin with him visiting an intergalactic arcade, “Blips and Chitz,” where Rick forcibly plunges Morty into a hyperrealistic VR game called “Roy.” After, while trying to shake off the emotional devastation from “Roy,” Morty attempts to stop the assassination of a mysterious lifeform, a gaseous organism dubbed “Fart.”
Like the best of Rick and Morty, “Mortynight Run” is a delightful combination of high-octane fun, deeply profound moments. For example, although Morty saves “Fart,” the creature eventually confides in Morty, disclosing his secret scheme to eradicate carbon-based life from the universe. The episode also includes a side adventure for Jerry, who’s stuck in an adult daycare specifically built for Jerry’s. While it’s not Rick and Morty’s best episode, it deserves inclusion on this list.
14 Meeseeks And Destroy Establishes A Classic Series Character
Season 1, Episode 5Runtime: 22 minutes
In a show full of unique characters, Mr. Meeseeks is one of the most iconic Rick and Morty characters ever created. Introduced in “Meeseeks and Destroy,” this entity receives a significant spotlight throughout the episode. While Mr. Meeseeks eventually returns in later seasons, most notably a hilariously uncooperative Kirkland version, this episode remains his best showing.
In “Meseeks and Destroy,” every family member receives a Mr. Meeseeks to help with their various problems. But when Jerry’s request becomes practically impossible to fulfill, the Meeseeks go on a rampage, threatening to kill Jerry unless he manages to prove he has improved his golf game. There’s also a B-storyline featuring King Jellybean, but it pales in comparison to the Meeseeks narrative.
13 The ABCs Of Beth Flesh Out An Underused Character
Season 3, Episode 9Runtime: 22 minutes
Rick has never been a good father; it’s one of his greatest reoccurring regrets. Consequently, he occasionally tries to involve his daughter in his zany adventures. In “ABCs of Beth,” audiences learn that Rick went to great lengths to protect the neighborhood from his vicious daughter when she was a child. Much of the episode occurs inside Froopyland, a kid-safe fantasy dimension Rick devised for Beth to play in.
When Rick and Beth reenter Froopyland to save Tommy, Beth’s childhood friend whom she unwittingly trapped there for decades, only to find he’s turned into an incestuous cannibal. While attempting to right this wrong, Beth also rediscovers her former perchance for violence, permanently altering her opinion of herself. This change leads Beth to ask her father to create a clone of herself, a plotline that continues to bear fruit many seasons later.
12 Get Schwifty Is One Of The Show’s Zaniest Episodes
Season 2, Episode 3Runtime: 24 minutes
Rick and Morty Season 7 ends on a trippy note, setting up a Season 8 that could find the mad scientist alienating his family and making other enemies.
“Get Schwifty” isn’t a stereotypical Rick and Morty episode, showing viewers how far the series was willing to go in its quest for eccentric sci-fi silliness. In the episode, an alien race – the Cromulons – teleport Earth to their territory, demanding they produce an original song for them to enjoy.
After an earthquake destroys an assembly of Grammy Award-winning musicians, Rick takes matters into his own hands and composes the rather bizarre yet undeniably catchy number, “Get Schwifty.” The episode also demonstrates the impact of these seemingly unexplainable manifestations on gullible people, as those living in the Smith’s neighborhood begin to worship the floating heads in the sky. Plus, the post-credit scene in “Get Schwifty” is one of the show’s best.
11 Rick Potion #9 Demonstrates The Show’s Multiverse
Season 1, Episode 6Runtime: 22 minutes
Morty’s perennial longing for his classmate, Jessica, comes to a head in “Rick Potion #9,” one of the best Rick and Morty episodes and one that showcases Rick’s fallibility for the first time. As a man who enjoys being right all the time, the fact that he makes the situation infinitely worse demonstrates that, even for a super-genius, there’s no such thing as perfection.
Rick first formulates a love potion for Morty to get Jessica to fall in love with him. Unfortunately, the flu virus interacts with Rick’s potion, and the entire world soon becomes desperate for Morty. Rick seeks to rectify the situation with two other serums, but these only inflict more damage, transforming the planet’s population into hideous David Cronenberg-inspired blobs. Rick and Morty eventually must abandon their dimension and replace themselves in another nearly identical universe, leaving their original Jerry, Summer, and Beth behind.
10 Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat Is An Action-Packed Romp
Season 4, Episode 1Runtime: 22 minutes
The show’s titular characters tend to be on good terms in most episodes of Rick and Morty, so “Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat” feels distinctive because Morty chooses to go his own way. This split occurs after Rick dies, and Morty refuses to resurrect him using DNA samples from his corpse.
The rest of “Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat” heavily relies on the hero-turned-villain trope as Morty steals Rick’s weapons and becomes malicious after being corrupted by “death crystals.” Still, the story is more entertaining than those that have used a similar format before because the character battles multiple alternate versions of his mentor. Adopting elements of the hit manga and anime Akira also helped make this episode more spectacular, and one of the best of the entire series.
9 Pickle Rick Features Some Of The Best Action Sequences Of The Series
Season 3, Episode 3Runtime: 23 minutes
The Rick-centric episode, “Pickle Rick,” sees the brilliant scientist refuse to go to family therapy and instead turn himself into a pickle. It’s yet another moment that highlights Rick’s stubbornness and need for novelty in his life. This time, though, he accidentally bites off more than he can chew.
After being left alone by his family, he experiences plenty of mobility problems but proves his innovativeness by constructing a mini-mech suit from the body parts of rats and cockroaches. “Pickle Rick” has some of the best fight scenes out of any Rick and Morty episode, with a guest appearance from Danny Trejo that adds to these action sequences. The show won its first Emmy Award for this episode, and is a favorite of one of its co-creators.
8 The Wedding Squanchers Is Equally Hilarious and Heartfelt
Season 2, Episode 10Runtime: 23 minutes
“The Wedding Squanchers” explores the general assumption that friends stop being close once they get married and have families. In this episode, Birdperson ties the knot, leading Rick and the Smiths to travel to Planet Squanch for their friend’s wedding. For once, fans see Rick in a deeply distressed state as he wonders whether his friendship with Birdperson will be the same again.
“The Wedding Squanchers” is one of the best episodes because it isn’t just a simple story about love and friendship. When everything finally appears to be going well, and Rick has accepted his friend’s love, the show gives audiences one of its biggest twists, having Tammy kill Birdperson before revealing herself as a Galactic Federation agent.
7 The Vat Of Acid Episode Is An Emotionally Poignant Escapad
Season 4, Episode 8Runtime: 22 minutes
One of Rick and Morty’s best episodes, “The Vat of Acid Episode,” examines ideas of consequence, responsibility, and reform. It begins when Rick invents a “save point” device that allows one to go back and correct their mistakes and even avoid death. As expected, the overenthusiastic Morty abuses the device and doesn’t learn the importance of changing his ways.
Parts of “The Vat of Acid Episode” play out like Adam Sandler’s Click, where the main character also uses a remote to rest areas of his life. Apart from the science-fiction tropes, this episode tugs at the heartstrings through a subplot where Morty falls in love with a girl, only to erase her via the accidental use of a “save point.”
6 Close Rick-Counters Of The Rick Kind Details The Show’s Multiversal Rules
Season 1, Episode 10Runtime: 23 minutes
“Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind” is recommended for any new viewer confused about the multiversal aspects throughout Rick and Morty. This episode explains many of these multiversal rules in detail, helping viewers understand the show’s internal logic.
Apart from slightly parodying Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the episode introduces the earliest overarching villain, Evil Morty. “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind” kicks off a multiversal feud when Rick is accused by the Trans-Dimensional Council of murdering 27 other Ricks from alternate universes, forcing him to try to clear his name. Fans then witness several visually confusing chase scenes involving variants of both Rick and Morty battling each other.
5 Mort Dinner Rick Andre Expertly Develops A Side Character
Season 5, Episode 1Runtime: 22 minutes
There’s no part of pop culture that Rick and Morty won’t draw inspiration from, and “Mort Dinner Rick Andre” is an excellent example of this ability to play off almost any concept. This episode showcases Rick’s frenemy, an Aquaman-themed entity known as Mr. Nimbus. Rather than have the two fight it out, the season premiere focuses on a truce between the former friends.
In a diversion from the show’s typical cynicism, “Mort Dinner Rick Andre” ends with Nimbus and Rick proving how friendship can surmount almost anything. Elsewhere in the episode, Jessica receives long-awaited character development through a storyline where a new character, Hoovy, kidnaps her, forcing Morty to try to rescue her. Upon her return, she demonstrates a better understanding of how time works in the show’s universe, making her more than just a love interest.
4 Rickmurai Jack Is A Near-Perfect TV Season Finale
Season 5, Episode 10Runtime: 22 minutes
Rick and Morty actor Sarah Chalke reveals promising production updates for Season 8 of the animated sci-fi sitcom as Season 7 concludes.
“Rickmurai Jack” has the most impressive season finale cliffhanger, making it one of the best Rick and Morty episodes. It primarily involves Evil Morty watching all universes in the Central Finite Curve, before stepping through an esoteric gold portal. Additionally, the episode’s post-credits scene is profoundly emotional.
“Rickmurai Jack” ends with Mr. Poopybutthole lamenting the failure of his relationship and recently losing his job. Despite the character’s inherent silliness, it’s a moment that is astonishingly relatable. Furthermore, it’s made even better by Mr. Poopybutthole’s advice to viewers to always care for those who mean everything to them. The episode also ties up some loose plot threads, specifically those surrounding the construction of the Citadel of Ricks.
3 Total Rickall Introduces One Of The Show’s Most Memorable Figure
Season 2, Episode 4Runtime: 22 minutes
Something Rick and Morty does particularly well is extract themes and plots of different movies or TV shows and merge them to form a coherent story that fits its style and sense of humor. In “Total Rickall,” an alien parasite invades the family home and implants fake memories in each of its inhabitants. The parasite behaves similarly to the extraterrestrial villain in John Carpenter’s The Thing.
This parasite, combined with the idea of implanting fake memories taken from the Arnold Schwarzenegger flick Total Recall, makes the episode a rollicking good time. Besides these aspects, the episodes is distinctive for its different opening theme, which features Mr. Poopybutthole in every scene. “Total Rickall” is a hodgepodge of surrealism and hilarity, two themes littered throughout the series. It’s easily one of the funniest Rick and Morty episodes.
2 The Rickshank Redemption Explores Rick’s Positive And Negative Traits
Season 3, Episode 1Runtime: 22 minutes
True to its name, “The Rickshank Redemption” redeems Rick by having him destroy the Galactic Federation, which he does by making its currency worthless. The episode further impresses by linking various episodes and making the show’s continuity more sensible.
For instance, “The Rickshank Redemption” revisits the colonization storyline set up in “The Wedding Squanchers,” showing aliens occupying many high offices across the land. The Council of Ricks also returns after last appearing in Season 1. Similarly, the episode returns to the Cronenberged Earth from “Rick Potion #9.” Each of these factors makes “The Rickshank Redemption one of the best Rick and Morty episodes.
1 The Ricklantis Mixup Is A Weighty Exploration Of A Fictional Universe
Season 3, Episode 7Runtime: 22 minutes
“The Ricklantis Mixup” is a buffet of several weighty themes, most extremely relevant to current times. Through the Citadel world, full of only Ricks and Mortys, the episode features discussions revolving around LGBTQ+ rights, when a Morty Pride rally turns violent. Likewise, it analyzes police brutality and racism through Cop Rick, who’s radically different from the primary Rick.
“The Ricklantis Mixup” also delves into critical topics, including poverty, unemployment, and politics, through an informal Morty settlement in the Citadel, which has a high crime rate. This disparity leads to the rise of Politician Morty from ordinary legislator to the Citadel’s president. Even after seven seasons, “The Ricklantis Mixup” is still the best Rick and Morty episode.
The fractured domestic lives of a nihilistic mad scientist and his anxious grandson are further complicated by their inter-dimensional misadventures.
- Release Date
- December 2, 2013
- Justin Roiland, Dan Harmon
- Justin Roiland , Dan Harmon , Chris Parnell , Spencer Grammer , Sarah Chalke
- Number of Episodes
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