It's rare for a TV show to come along—an animated TV show at that—that so uniquely captures the public imagination like Rick and Morty has been doing since its release in 2013.
For one reason or another, the titular Rick and Morty grandfather-and-grandson duo have managed to do just that. In the past few years, Rick and Morty has risen to become one of the most critically adored TV shows of all time, and it still has so much left to offer.
Whether you've never seen the show and you're curious what the hype is all about, or you're already a fan and want to revisit the highlights, here are the best episodes of Rick and Morty!
8. "Anatomy Park" (Season 1, Episode 3)
This episode plays out as a parody of the classic Steven Spielberg film, Jurassic Park. "Anatomy Park" is a hilarious thrill ride through a dying human body—and the dangers that await in it.
The premise of the episode is that Rick sends Morty into a vagabond—one within whom Rick has built a theme park—to figure out what's going wrong. But the whole operation goes haywire after the vagabond starts dying on Rick's operating table.
Rick tries everything he can to stop his park from being ruined, while Morty leads the team out from inside. The parody aspect is what makes the episode so good, and it really does feel like a good Jurassic Park homage—in classic Rick and Morty style.
7. "Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri" (Season 4, Episode 10)
After four seasons of the show, Rick and Morty finally took on Star Wars. And it didn't disappoint!
The plot continues Beth's storyline from the previous season, in which she doesn't know whether she is or isn't a clone. We find out that Rick did indeed clone Beth, and now she's coming back from her own space adventures to confront her father.
The episode ends up in a Death Star-like situation where Rick and the family must blow it up before it can harm Earth. The parody works very well, and the episode itself is a distillation of classic sci-fi clichés. That's always been Rick and Morty's greatest strength.
6. "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender" (Season 3, Episode 4)
In this episode, Rick and Morty makes it clear that the duo had already been on an Avengers-style adventure before that the audience has never seen. That was a great way to start the episode.
The idea that Rick and Morty are members of a galactic team of heroes who have defended the universe against evil is hilarious in itself—making them face off against a drunk Rick is even better.
When Morty insists that the pair answer the call of The Vindicators, they end up in the middle of a Saw-inspired plot that sees a drunk Rick kill off almost the entire team of heroes.
It's a classic episode that features some great guest stars in Christian Slater, Gillian Jacobs, and Lance Reddick, all of whom are expected to return for the Rick and Morty spin-off series, The Vindicators.
5. "Rick Potion 9" (Season 1, Episode 6)
"Rick Potion 9" is an important episode in the history of Rick and Morty since it brings into play the main duo's ability to move universes on a whim, when necessary.
When Rick accidentally messes up a potion that's meant to help Jessica fall in love with Morty, the whole world ends up mutated due to Rick's botched attempts to fix what he has done. As a result, they decide to give up on their universe and move to a new one.
As an episode, it's full of great dialogue and fun moments, but it also tells us much more about how Rick and Morty's universe works. While "Rick Potion 9" is everything a great Rick and Morty episode should be, it's also hugely important for events later down the road.
4. "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind" (Season 1, Episode 10)
This episode opens with our presumed Rick enjoying breakfast with his family, who's interrupted by another pair of Rick and Morty arriving through a portal and capturing Morty while assassinating said Rick.
This leads the Trans-Dimensional Council of Ricks to issue an arrest warrant for the show's original Rick, believing him to be the culprit that's been going around and killing the other Ricks.
The pair are chased across the multiverse by Ricks until they find and defeat the real perpetrator—only for us to find out that it was the eyepatched Morty controlling an animatronic Rick all along.
"Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind" isn't a great episode solely because of its fun premise, but for its introduction of a Morty who's capable of outsmarting a Rick. That's not supposed to be possible!
3. "The Wedding Squanchers" (Season 2, Episode 10)
When Rick and Morty are invited to Birdperson and Tammy's wedding, they look to be enjoying themselves—until Tammy reveals that she's a mole and kills Birdperson, while the Inter-Galactic Government rounds up everyone attending the wedding.
"The Wedding Squanchers" is a great installment for several reasons, but the main reason is that we finally see Rick caught and sent to prison for his crimes. As it was the last episode of the season, fans waited eagerly for 18 months to see how Rick would escape.
It's still one of the most out-and-out hardcore episodes of Rick and Morty, one that packs an emotional punch in the final sequence.
2. "Pickle Rick" (Season 3, Episode 3)
For many fans, "Pickle Rick" is the best episode of the show because it shows just how smart Rick is as a person—and the lengths he's willing to go to avoid spending time with his family.
When Rick turns himself into a pickle to avoid going to family therapy, he ends up being washed into the sewer. From there, he manages to build himself a suit with functioning arms and legs out of rats, then ends up in a fight with an assassin named Jaguar.
Even by Rick and Morty standards, "Pickle Rick" is bonkers. It has some of the best moments of the entire series, with an amazing guest cast of Susan Sarandon, Danny Trejo, and Peter Serafinowicz.
1. "The Ricklantis Mixup" / "Tales from the Citadel" (Season 3, Episode 7)
Surprisingly, the absolute best episode of Rick and Morty doesn't even feature Rick or Morty as the main protagonists. While Rick and Morty are on an underwater adventure, we're shown what life is like on the Citadel of Ricks now that the Council of Ricks is gone.
The Citadel needs to elect a new leader, and all the candidates are Ricks aside from one. The Morty candidate is treated as a joke, until he wins the election after giving an impassioned speech. In the end, we realize that this is the smartest Morty (or "Evil Morty").
Not only is the ending a total shocker, but it also means that Evil Morty is now the President of the Citadel, and that implies another future meeting with Rick C-137 (the show's original Rick). The episode is powerful, brutal, funny, and tantalizing all at once.
How to Watch Rick and Morty
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Unless you have a cable TV plan that includes Adult Swim, your best option to watch Rick and Morty is purchasing the season DVDs or Blu-rays—or purchasing the digital edition of seasons—so you always have the episodes available on hand.
However, if you have an active Hulu subscription, Rick and Morty is available in its entirety as part of your service. If you're already paying for Hulu, that might be the best option for you.