Rick and Morty is a pretty crazy show. Originally inspired by Back to the Future (1985) and designed as an homage to science fiction capers and mad scientists, it's no wonder the show found success among geeks.
Part of what makes Rick and Morty so great is its colorful characters who infuse the world they live in with endearing insanity. Whether they're in the background or foreground, these personalities keep us wonderfully entertained on their romps across episodes.
Here are my picks for the best, funniest, and most interesting Rick and Morty characters and what they bring to the show.
7. Summer Smith
Summer Smith is the show's resident teenage girl—and her brash, sardonic manner is evidence enough of that. Though the majority of her episodes find her interacting with Morty (often aggressively), they have their brief moments of familial love.
With enough sarcasm to make even Rick feel insecure, she's perhaps the most similar to Rick of all the Smith family members—and that's not necessarily a good thing. (We see this starkly in one particular episode from season six, called "Night Family.")
On top of that, it's the juxtaposition of Summer's social concerns about high school against the cosmic randomness of the universe that makes for great plots that remind us to keep life in perspective.
Birdperson doesn't appear too often compared to others, but he still manages to be one of the best recurring characters in the series.
He's half bird, half person, with all the weird personality quirks you'd expect when these two species are merged into one entity. Though he's incapable of understanding humor, he's nevertheless funny and offers a lot of hilarious moments.
Plus, Birdperson is also Rick's oldest friend. And knowing what we know about Rick, that says a lot about who this guy is.
5. Beth Smith
Beth Smith is far from the greatest mother and she's nowhere close to being the kindest wife, but a lot of that can be excused once you learn that she grew up as Rick's daughter.
Indeed, Rick even went as far as abandoning her when she was just a child. Yeah, that'll leave you a little rough around the edges...!
In spite of, Beth is highly intelligent and always driven to improve herself. She doesn't always succeed, but it's her constant attempts to do better for herself—and her family—that make her a lovable character.
4. Mr. Poopybutthole
Mr. Poopybutthole is rarely in the show besides its season finales, but that's partly what makes him a great character who's easy to love.
With his first appearance in the second season's "Total Rickall," it was fair to assume he was a parasitic being from outer space who had embedded himself into the Smith family's memories.
However, as it turned out, he was actually a real person—and the only person at the dinner table whom no one had bad memories about.
After his life was ruined by Rick persuading him to assault his college students, Mr. Poopybutthole now breaks the fourth wall to converse with the audience at the end of each season.
It's nice that he keeps us up-to-date with the vicissitudes of his life. It all makes this yellow, blob-shaped character that much more human.
3. Jerry Smith
While much of the show's fan base hates Jerry Smith for not being as cool as Rick, I personally think that that's what makes him so great: he's his own person and isn't ashamed of who he is.
Now, this isn't to say that Jerry demonstrates healthy attributes or attractive qualities much of the time. However, he's a simple father who cares about his family and is even quite adept at communicating his feelings—even if it comes across as whining sometimes.
Besides all of this, he acts as a great foil to Rick: one is hyper intelligent, the other slightly below average; one is closed off and guarded, the other open and vulnerable. It gives Rick and Morty an interesting dynamic to watch.
2. Morty Smith
Morty Smith is the epitome of an awkward teenager. He isn't entirely sure where he fits in at school, with his family, or in the huge, giant cosmos that he finds himself lost in.
While Rick incessantly tells him that he's an idiotic pain in the neck, for whatever reason Morty continues to be loyal to him and helps him out in the worst of his predicaments.
To some, this is a huge personality flaw that Morty needs to fix because it's far from healthy. To others, this is a trait that demonstrates his kind soul and his deep desire to love and be loved.
And if that weren't enough, Morty is also a slave to his basest impulses, which can often get the duo in trouble—and it's fun to watch.
1. Rick Sanchez
Rick Sanchez is the smartest man in the universe, but he isn't without his problems and issues. In fact, he's one of the most troubled characters to ever grace our television screens.
He's a high-functioning alcoholic, which is balanced by his capability to do something that no one else can: interdimensional travel. This puts a target on his back, and most episodes find him battling someone who either wants his genius or his head.
What makes Rick the best character on Rick and Morty is his complexity. Despite his intellect, he's also misanthropic, rude, arrogant, disdainful of anyone who exhibits inferior intelligence, capped off by all the other personality traits that befit a sociopath.
And yet, there are rare moments where he shows that he really does care. His nihilistic worldview is mostly a front to guard him against his emotions, as a way to avoid confronting those pains and fears.
For Rick Sanchez, it's just easier to invent a fancy new gizmo or embark on a death-defying space mission than it is to face what's within. It's something we can all relate to, deep down.