One of the smartest, funniest, best animated shows to ever hit television, here's a ranking of all the episodes along with my thoughts.
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- The Rickshank Redemption S3E01.
This one episode is so brilliantly bonkers and totally insane that, to me, it completely encapsulates the entire series. It's jam-packed with such a scary amount of Rick & Morty that I actually encourage people who have never seen the show to watch this episode first. They won't understand any of it, but it will give them a delicious tease as to why the show is so incredible.
- The Ricklantis Mixup. This is probably the biggest departure in the entire series... reaching for a haunting real-world metaphor, and nailing it.
- Total Rickall S2E04
At this point there had been more than a couple "throw a bunch of crap to the wall and see if anything sticks" episodes, but this was by far the most successful. An endless parade of bizarre and imaginative characters pop up, but it's all in a context of an alien infestation that totally works. No lame B-story distraction, just a full episode of singular brilliance. Plus... Mr. Poopy Butthole.
- Pickle Rick. This episode more than any other illustrates how the show can hold together under even the most insane ideas. It also has a rock-solid
- Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender. XXX
- Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind S1E10.
Here's where things in season one took a leap into lasting relevance by introducing The Council of Ricks and Evil Morty. It was a bold move that was bound to have consequences. The story was full of genius ideas and funny moments, but also had a disturbing revelation for Morty as to his true nature. They kinda walked it back for "our" Rick & Morty, but it's still a punch in the gut knowing that he knows. But that wasn't even the harshest moment... Jerry's friendship with Doofus Rick was a sad note to end on. On a happier note? The Scientist Formerly Known as Rick.
- Mortynight Run S2E02.
You've got Jemaine Clement voicing a gaseous blob that Morty rescues from assassination. What more do you want? There's plenty of funny-laced action from start to finish, but nothing more hilarious than the idea of Jerry Daycare. Brilliant.
- Rick Potion No. 9 S1E6.
This episode revolved around a disturbing twist which had Rick & Morty abandon their home dimension for an entirely new one because they accidentally turned earth's entire population into mutant Cronenberg zombies. That they also abandoned Jerry, Beth, and Summer almost pushed things too far. Then Rick & Morty had to bury the bodies of their dimensional duplicates and you know they did go too far. Except... that's what makes the show so brilliant.
- M. Night Shyam-Aliens! S1E4.
Rick & Morty being trapped in a glitchy VR simulation was a great concept for a story. But having it all be a scheme by aliens who want Rick's secrets was what made it great (and having David Cross be the voice of the alien leader was icing on the cake). But what I really liked was how the B-story with Jerry was actually relevant to the main story. It helped to make the most out of the short run-time.
- Pilot S1E01.
It was dangerously apparent that Rick & Morty (and family) was one of the smartest shows on television from the very first episode, and it's far from the best episode. The pilot merely hinted at the genius it would become. That being said, things were off to a rough start. Rick's alcoholism was practically a third character and was more irritating than funny. The story was also pretty shallow. I did like how Rick's complete disregard for everything and everybody was put into such vivid relief, as it is the key to his character.
- A Rickle in Time S2E01.
This wasn't a particularly great episode, but it had a very cool way of dividing up the screen into multiple timelines which were off-enough to be different in a clever way, but converged enough to not be a mess.
- Meeseeks and Destroy S1E05.
This episode was two very different stories smashed together in a single show and I think it suffers because of it. That being said, there was much entertainment to be had. The Meeseeks themselves were a fun construct to build a story around even though their story didn't really go anywhere.
- Anatomy Park S1E03.
This show was half-good, as I thought the idea of putting an amusement park inside a rotting Santa corpse was disturbingly funny (as was casting John Oliver as Dr. Xenon Bloom)... but the B-story with Jerry's parents fell totally flat. Even so, there's some great funny moments to keep the episode form failure.
- Get Schwifty S2E05.
While the concept was good... all-powerful aliens descend from the heavens to judge earth in a music competition... and the idea that Rick can just pop in on the president whenever he wants is gold... but there's some really stupid stuff in here too. Like the whole Headism religion and the idiocy with Ice-T. It is inane enough that I really just wanted the episode to end.
- Auto Erotic Assimilation S2E03.
One of those times where the idea was better than the implementation. Sure it added an emotional component to Rick's loneliness that hadn't been explored much, but there just wasn't much else to it.
- Rixty Minutes S1E08.
Nothing quite like having an episode where the writers get to toss out any weird idea that enters their head and put it on Rick's inter-dimensional television. Problem is, I didn't find many of them to be very funny. The B-story with Jerry and Beth pondering the life they could have had if they had an abortion instead of Summer was pretty messed up, which made a weak episode even worse.
- Ricksy Business S1E11.
What if Rick and Summer threw a party and everybody came? Here's another episode where the writers came up with an excuse to unload the bizarre crap that wasn't enough for a full episode. It could have been fun but, unfortunately, it was tied to an utterly pointless B-story where Jerry and Beth visit a Titanic attraction, and neither story was anything special.
- Lawnmower Dog S1E02.
Parodying the movies Inception and Friday The 13th, it was established in the second episode that nothing in pop culture would be safe from Rick & Morty's writers. Sadly, this episode is pretty removed from all the things that make the series interesting to me, and the B-story with Snuffles is plain boring.
- Something Ricked This Way Comes S1E09.
The opening with Butter-Bot getting a reality wake-up call had me hyped to see where things would go next. Unfortunately it was to a shop called "Needful Things" where Summer is working for The Devil. Even more unfortunate? Neither this story nor Jerry's Pluto arc (which went absolutely nowhere) amounted to anything. About the only thing I enjoyed (other than Butter-Bot) was Rick and Summer beating the shit out of reprehensible people in the credits scene.
- Raising Gazorpazorp S1E07.
While I didn't hate this one, it just seemed so low-concept compared to the rest of the first season, and positively anemic compared to the series as a whole. I was terrified that Harmon and Roiland had run out of ideas after just six episodes, but they (mostly) bounced back in the remaining four episodes, so