Written By: Nick Poulimenakos
Tonight is the night we have been waiting for ladies and gentleman. Rick and Morty finally makes its triumphant return to the small screen with the second episode of its third season. Fans had been waiting almost a year and half for the season three premiere when the unthinkable happened. On April Fools of all days, the series showcased its premiere episode and fans have been clamoring for more ever since. Well, tonight is the night. The smartest and stupidest show on television is back at 11:30pm and I thought it would be a great time for another Talkies Network top 10! So, without further-a-do, here’s our ranking of the ten best Rick and Morty episodes!
This ranking is dedicated to Daniel Bianchi. We miss you and love you Daniel.
- Meeseeks and Destroy (Season 1, Episode 5)
In this episode, we have Morty convincing Rick that it is time for him to lead an adventure which leads the duo to a Lord of the Rings style fantasy world where a village is being tormented by giants. After the gigantic beast is slayed, Rick and Morty find themselves on trial for murder. Obviously, hijinks ensues. Back on Earth, Rick gives the rest of the family a meeseeks box which creates lanky blue beings who exist to help with small tasks and then immediately die. What makes this episode so great is the fact that it is the family messing around with Rick’s sci-fi tools while Rick sits back and cracks crude and sarcastic jokes for 20 minutes. Watching Jerry fail miserably when using the Meeseeks made for some truly hilarious moments but it is the main plot of the episode that truly shines. The Morty-led adventure to the medieval world progressively got darker as Morty’s willingness to lead diminished. Blend that with the Meeseeks slowly losing their minds due to Jerry’s incompetence and it makes for one of the darkest and best Rick and Morty episodes yet.
- The Rickshank Rickdemption (Season 3, Episode 1)
The season premiere that no one saw coming. The episode takes place sometime after Rick surrendered himself to the Galactic Federation. The Federation has taken over Earth leaving the citizens unhappy with current life. Summer, not being able to accept Rick being gone, goes with Morty to rescue their grandpa. Meanwhile, Rick is interrogated by the Federation in an attempt to get his portal gun secrets. This inevitably leads to Rick fighting back and taking on both the Federation and the Council of Ricks all while rescuing his grandkids. The episode managed to further increase the hype for the anticipated third season. Series creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon produced a dark, hilarious and action-packed episode that satisfied fans’ want for more, and teased what comes next. We thought we finally discovered Rick’s backstory but it proved to be a lie. Rick remains the mysterious, sociopathic scientist we all know and love to hate. If the season three trailer demonstrated anything, it’s that this season might be the best ever.
- M. Night Shaym-Aliens! (Season 1, Episode 4)
As the name says, this episode features quite a few M. Night Shyamalan-esque twists. Rick and Morty and, for some reason, Jerry, are kidnapped by a group of aliens and put in a virtual reality system. Through several escape attempts, they continuously realize that they are trapped in one virtual reality inside another. Then there’s Jerry, who thinks he’s having the best day of his life thanks to the various system glitches inadvertently caused by Rick. The episode remains as one of the most whacky Rick and Morty episodes as it takes its constant twists concept and adds classic Rick and Morty stupidity. Seriously, aliens scared of naked humans? Only a show of this caliber could make that kind of humor work. The real highlight though comes from Jerry’s desperate attempts to sell his “hungry for apples?’ ad campaign and fail miserably when he’s fired by the end of the episode which just goes to show how stupid and annoying Jerry really is.
- A Rickle in Time (Season 2, Episode 1)
The second season premiere picks up six months after Rick, Morty and Summer freeze time in an attempt to clean up the mess made by Rick’s party before their parents see it. However, when time is unfrozen, it is accidentally broken in the process due to the three being displaced for months and Morty and Summer being uncertain of their relationship with their grandpa. This is by far the most out-of-the-box episode of Rick and Morty ever. For its animation alone, it deserves a spot on this list. Splitting the screen with several versions of the trio was a mind-trip and made for some entertaining television. “A Rickle in Time” brashly uses alternate timelines with each Morty and Summer being more and more unsure about their lives. It combines bold sci-fi ideas with classic R&M humor and charm and it gave way to an incredible season premiere. The episode may have been a nightmare to produce, but damn is it funny as ever.
- The Ricks Must be Crazy (Season 2, Episode 6)
In “The Rick Must be Crazy,” viewers get to see once again Rick’s evil side. After his ship breaks down, Rick and Morty shrink down to microscopic size to enter the ship’s battery. Morty then discovers that the journey is actually into a universe that lies within the battery. The inhabitants are what power Rick’s ship, which annoys Morty. Things get murky however when a scientist living in the battery has also made a universe that his people use for energy. The sub-plot follows Summer trying to keep the actual space car from killing innocent civilians. With this season two episode, we see once again how sadistic Rick can be since he has technically enslaved a planet to power his car. The episode features Stephen Colbert as the alien who creates another mini-verse within the already mini-verse and has some great back-and-forth dialogue with his creator, Rick. The episode is another dark one for the show but it’s also another unique tale that could only work on a show like this.
- Rick Potion #9 (Season 1, Episode 6)
I know I’ve mentioned this in two previous paragraphs but this episode is where viewers first witness how crazy Rick really is (sorry for the repetition). Morty is desperate to make the girl of his dreams fall in love with him so he goes to Rick for help. Rick makes him a love potion that Morty uses on the girl, Jessica. In a not so shocking move, things go wrong and the potion ends up mutating everyone due to it being flu season. Everyone on earth becomes infected with the flu infused potion and become obsessed with Morty. Rick then attempts to fix his wrongdoing but effectively turns everyone into horribly disfigured monsters which he names “cronenbergs.” Another dark episode, “Rick Potion #9” is more of a horror episode than comedy but that doesn’t mean the episode isn’t hilarious. Rick’s quips and one liners during this episode are some of the best. On top of that, we get another dark ending as we see Rick and Morty abandon their destroyed universe and slip into another one, leaving Morty to realize how careless Rick is when it comes to the multiverse. The animation in this episode must also be held in high regard. Each mutated blob is different and unique and it just furthers the notion of the show being incredibly dedicated to detail.
- The Wedding Squanchers (Season 2, Episode 10)
The season two finale was mind-blowing. Birdperson, Rick’s best friend, is get married and he’s invited the whole family to attend the ceremony. Rick is reluctant to go, stating that weddings make people miserable and are nothing more than “funerals with cake,” but eventually warms up to the idea after seeing how happy his best friend is with his bride to be, Tammy. This of course turns out to be a huge mistake when Tammy is revealed to be an undercover agent of the Galactic Federation and kills Birdperson. The Smith family goes on the run but it all ends when Rick seems to realize the severity of the destruction caused and turns himself in to the government. The episode holds the distinction of having the saddest ending of the series so far. Rick’s realization of what he has done over the course of his life and how it has led to this moment was heartbreaking. He turns himself in and earth falls under the control of the Galactic Federation. The cherry on top is the entire end sequence happening while “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails plays, adding another emotional layer to the tear-jerking ending. The cliff-hanger left fans clamoring for season three but, as we now know, we had to wait almost a year and a half to watch Rick get his revenge.
- Close Rick-counters of the Rick-kind (Season 1, Episode 10)
What a Rick-diculous episode am I right? During a breakfast celebration, Rick and Morty are arrested and accused of murder by a group of Ricks. They are then taken to a citadel which houses the Council of Ricks, a government formed by trans-dimensional Ricks to protect themselves from the Galactic Federation. Determined to prove his innocence, Rick escapes with Morty and hunts down the true culprit behind the string of murders all while the Council is hot on their tail. “Close Rick-counters of the Rick-kind” definitely had the most unique storyline in season one. The sheer introduction of the Council of Ricks opened up the show to a whole new realm of possibilities. Not only that, it was the first episode that gave heat to the theory that some Rick and Morty episodes don’t have the same Rick and Morty, since we now know that there’s an entire multiverse of Ricks and Morty’s just like the one’s from dimension C-137. The episode also introduced several running gags in the show such as Rick’s hatred for other versions of himself and why Rick actually has Morty on his adventures. The revelation has Rick explaining that he has Morty tag along because his brainwaves are cancelled out by Morty’s stupid brainwaves. Brutal right? Well that’s our Rick.
- Rixty Minutes (Season 1, Episode 8)
Inter-dimensional cable. What an incredibly genius concept. When Rick expresses his general hate for modern television, Rick installs a cable box in the Smith household that is capable of receiving infinite channels across the multiverse. While Rick and Morty sit and relax, Beth, Jerry and Summer obsess over how their lives could have been different by seeing alternate versions of themselves through alternate dimensional goggles. “Rixty Minutes” is the perfect blend of emotional storytelling and laugh-out-loud comedy as Rick and Morty channel surf through otherworldly T.V all while Beth and Jerry watch their marriage slowly crumble and, to top it all off, Summer realizes that she is an unwanted mistake. But, what makes this episode truly phenomenal is the improvisation done with the inter-dimensional T.V. Justin Roiland improvises almost every single commercial, trailer and T.V show seen in the episode. Ridiculous action films, whacky commercials and sports segments were all improvised by the series co-creator. It’s nonsensical, it’s hilarious, and it’s a complete blast from beginning to end but, there’s only one episode that proved to be better than this one.
- Total Rickall (Season 2, Episode 4)
Well, here we are, the best Rick and Morty episode so far, “Total Rickall.” After discovering that alien parasites have infiltrated the household, Rick puts the entire home on lockdown. This proves to be unsuccessful as the house becomes filled with parasites that multiply and form into zany and whacky characters that fill the family’s minds with fond memories. This leaves Rick surrounded by dozens of crazy characters where even he can’t tell the difference between whose real and who’s not. “Total Rickall” is one crazy gag after another, giving writers the perfect plot device to showcase an entire rolodex of weird and zany characters. The cutaway gags where the fake characters remind the Smith family why they are all friends, the introduction of Mr. Poopy Butthole, Rick and the family taking on every character infesting their house, the episode really has it tall. An emotional punch, a fantastic action sequence, gut-busting humor and wonderful animation, all in one 22 minute episode. Finally, I must give props to my all-time favourite R&M side-character, Pencil-vester. Watching Rick being unable to kill the small pencil… truly heartbreaking… and unquestionably hilarious and that’s why “Total Rickall” ranks at the top of our list of the ten best Rick and Morty episodes.
Honourable Mentions: Pilot, Mortynight Run, Look Who’s Purging Now, Ricksy Business, Lawnmower Dog and Get Schwifty
What do you think of our ranking? Let us know in the comments and on social media!
Rick and Morty Season 3 premieres on July 30, 2017 at 11:30pm EST.