Rick and Morty: An A-Z Guide To Dan Harmon's Rick-Rolling Cartoon
Rick and Morty
The time has come for more dimension-hopping, reality-warping, Jurassic Park-spoofing, Cronenbergian shenanigans that only Rick Sanchez can offer us. With his anxious grandson with a lifetime of therapy ahead of him, Morty; his horse surgeon daughter, Beth; his annoyingly inferior son-in-law, Jerry; and his in-over-her-head granddaughter, Summer; the drunken mad scientist is in for the long-awaited season 3 of Rick and Morty. As a refresher course for fans struggling to survive the episode drought between seasons — and an intro for the newly converted —EW has compiled a dictionary guide to all the wacky, wild, and WTF terminology of this cartoon.
Rick and Morty season 3 premieres on AdultSwim Sunday, July 30 at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Rick’s attempt to create a “crazed, morally neutral superhero” by splicing together the DNA from Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler resulted in this walking contradiction. Abradolf Lincler died after attending Rick’s party when the house was accidentally thrown into another dimension. The creation sacrificed himself so that Morty could bring back rare kalaxion krystals, having been led to believe they were needed to fix their predicament. Little did he know, Rick would just use them as some sort of amphetamine to keep the party going.
Rick became the first person to build an amusement park inside a human being that also served as a living museum of humanity’s diseases. That human was a drunken mall Santa named Rueben and the park was Anatomy Park, filled with attractions like Spleen Mountain, Bladder Falls, the Haunted Liver, Colon Log Ride, and Rick’s baby brainchild that the investors didn’t seem to like, Pirates of the Pancreas. Rick sent Morty to the park to find his associates when security was mysteriously shut down and Hepatitis A, Gonorrhea, Tuberculosis, and other such attractions broke free.
Rick’s best friend is half man, half bird and attends his big house party and falls in love with Summer’s friend Tammy. She ended up being an undercover agent for the Galactic Federation, but they got married in an intimate off-world ceremony. Bird Person was killed by Tammy when she revealed herself at the wedding reception and attempted to cart all his guests to prison.
Jerry wanted the family dog, Snuffles, to do more than just pee on the carpet, so Rick put a helmet on the pup’s head to increase its intelligence and awareness. Unfortunately, Snuffles discovered he could become even more aware if he added more batteries to the device, which led him to assume the name Snowball (because his fur is “pretty and white”) and lead his dog brethren in a hostile takeover.
Morty’s first trip with Rick (that we’ve seen) was to this psychedelic world filled with terrifying monsters, but the terrain was perfect for a plant species called the Mega Tree. Rick needed the tree’s “incredibly powerful” seeds to help with his research, but Morty was forced to smuggle them in his butt through Intergalactic Customs. Unfortunately for Morty, the incredibly anxious kid kept them inside for too long, granting him temporary super-intelligence followed quickly by loss of motor skills and brain functionality for 72 hours.
Rick created small devices to be placed in the ear, allowing the user to enter people’s dreams. His goal was to enter the head of Morty's teacher to improve his grandson's grades, but things went crazy and they were forced to incept deeper dream levels. As Rick said, “It’s like Inception, Morty, so if it seems stupid and pointless, then so is everyone’s favorite movie.”
Earth Dimension C-137
Rick and Morty are often identified as belonging to Earth Dimension C-137 within the multiverse, and it's presumed to be the one that became unihabitable. Pestered by Morty for a love potion so he could win over the girl of his dreams, Rick concocted a serum to make her fall in love with him. Unbeknownst to them, Morty’s target had the flu, which caused the chemicals to piggyback off the virus and make everyone not genetically related to Morty become obsessed with him. An attempt to reverse the effects transformed the people of the world into grotesque praying mantis creatures. Another attempt turned them into giant blob monsters that Rick could only describe as Cronenbergs. The world was so overrun, Rick and Morty fled to an alternate reality and then assumed the identities of its Rick and Morty.
This creature has no name other than the one Rick bequeathed him, Fart, due to the telepathic being’s gaseous state. Morty, attempting to maintain his moral compass, saved Fart from being assassinated, but ended up killing him when he realized Fart was only planning to destroy humanity with the rest of his species.
You know the Purge movies in which murder becomes legal for 24 hours? This is exactly like that. The Festival takes place on a planet populated by a humanoid feline species. Rick and Morty touch down looking to refuel their hovercraft, but stay long enough to help one rebel woman suit up in mecha armor and wipe out the society’s upper class, which have been manipulating the poor to kill each other.
This overarching police force oversees travel points and criminals across the galaxy. Summer’s friend Tammy was one of these agents who went undercover as Bird Person’s fiancée to set a trap for the most-wanted criminals -- including Rick.
The inhabitants of the planet Gazorpazorp have two extra limbs protruding from each of their heads. A female Gazorpian takes a more human form with higher intelligence and telekinetic abilities. The male is much more monstrous and one of the galaxy’s most savage creatures. During an event known as The Great Passive Aggression, the females separated from the males due to their behavior. They now maintain their population by sending mechanical surrogates (i.e. sex robots) to acquire the males’ reproductive fluids and incubate children. Females are offered a place in society, while males get thrown (quite literally) to the wasteland.
Gwendolyn was the name Morty gave to one of the Gazorpian sex robots. He found it in a pawn shop on one of Rick’s adventures and brought it home for... let's say, uh, teenage boy purposes. The resulting child was named Morty Jr. — half human, half abominable Gazorpian, and obsessed with domination and destruction.
The rapper and Law & Order: SVU star actually hails from a planet called Alpha Betrium, where every being takes the shape of a letter of the alphabet. He was exiled, turned to ice, and stripped of his “T” shape for not caring about anything. He finds it in his heart to save the world from a collective of floating heads and returns home to accept redemption, returning to his true form, Water T.
Rick invented a cable box he can hook up to a television screen to watch shows and commercials from any reality in the multiverse. There’s a universe where Jerry has become a big-time Hollywood actor and stars in Cloud Atlas, there’s an ad for a store called Ants in My Eyes Johnson Electronics in another (where a man literally has ants crawling around in his eyes), and yet another where a super-awesome action movie exists called Alien Invasion Tomato Monster Mexican Armada Brothers Who Are Just Regular Brothers Running in a Van from an Asteroid and All Sorts of Things: The Movie.
A Rick from another universe got sick of dealing with his son-in-law every time he tagged along for an adventure, so he created Jerryboree, a daycare designed specifically for Jerrys that is located on an unregistered cross-temporal asteroid. Now every Rick from every dimension can drop off their version of Jerry if their mission is too dangerous — or he’s just being annoying. Activities include a ball pit, a mascot in the shape of his wife, Beth, and screenings of Midnight Run with director’s commentary.
At the push of a button from the Meeseeks Box, anyone can conjure a blue-skinned helper whose entire reason for being is to fulfill requests and then vanish from existence in a puff of smoke. The requests must remain simple. Existence is pain to a Meeseeks, so the longer it exists, the more desperate it will become to fulfill the request. Jerry learned this the hard way when he asked a Meeseeks to teach him how to take two strokes off his short game in golf. Unable to fulfill the request, the Meeseeks created a whole army to try their hands. When that wouldn’t work, the Meeseeks tried killing Jerry in the hopes that they would vanish since the request would no longer be valid. A common phrase of the Meeseeks is, “I’m Mr. Meeseeks! Look at me!”
Rick invents a battery designed to provide an infinite supply of energy for his hovercraft that stems from the mini-universe within. He introduced electricity to the intelligent civilization that formed inside of it so they could power their society — but also Rick’s car. Soon, that micro universe created their own micro universe to do the exact same thing for them.
The Devil came to earth disguised as Mr. Needful and opened an antique shop, Needful Things, filled with cursed items. For example, a typewriter that wrote best-selling murder mysteries would eventually make those murders happen in real life. Summer took a job there, which put her at odds with her grandfather. Rick created a rival Curse Purge Plus! business that stripped curses from these items. It didn’t last, though — he got bored.
The galaxy’s most successful marriage counseling retreat claims to be able to repair the relationship between a dog and a bar of dark chocolate, and between a porn star and a porn star. Their tagline is, “Your marriage can rest easy now.” Part of the therapy involves mythologs, artificial lifeforms unique to each couple. How a person sees his or her partner deep down in their subconscious will influence the shape of the mytholog. Rick shipped Beth and Jerry to Nuptia 4, causing a massive panic when their mythologs — a ferocious xenomorph-esque beast and a mopey slug — broke free of their confines and attacked the guests.
Rick created various clones of himself in different stages of life so that he could transfer his consciousness between them. The purpose for this wasn’t exactly made clear, but when his grandkids needed help tracking down a vampire at their school, he popped into the body of a teenage clone, called himself Tiny Rick, and enrolled in high school.
Oxytocin is the chemical released in the brains of voles that prompt the mammals to mate for life. At the behest of Morty, Rick used it to create a serum so that his grandson could make the girl of his dreams fall in love with him. This alone led to the transmogrification of their world into a Cronenbergian one.
Twenty-four hours. Five planets. Five songs. Planet Music is a talent competition reality series in which giant floating heads force the inhabitants of worlds to show them what they’ve got. Representative bands for each planet perform songs and the heads vote on the best one, while the losing planets are blasted out of existence. Rick and Morty’s earth was swept up in this hype, while the rest of their community saw the heads as gods and formed a cult.
A longtime friend of the Smith family, this Mr. Peanut-looking being was injured by Beth when their home was infested with a species of telepathic alien parasites. The vermin had the ability to implant themselves in memories and then use those memories to multiply. The house was quickly filled with absurd characters like Photography Raptor, a butler named Mr. Beauregard, Ghost in the Jar, and Reverse Giraffe — all of which the Smiths believed to be lifelong pals. The family learned to snuff out the aliens, since they could only generate positive memories, and commenced with extermination. Beth mistook Mr. Poopybutthole for a parasite and he never got over it.
Rick’s most frequently used gadget, the portal gun, allows him to open portals to other dimensions. The device is used primarily for travel, but in a bind, it can also be used to transport creatures and substances from other realities into the one it's in.
Roy: A Life Well Lived
One of the most popular video games at the intergalactic arcade, Bliptz and Chitz, this virtual reality experience allows users to inhabit an avatar named Roy. Unaware of what was happening, Morty woke up as the character and lived out a simple life -- marrying his high school sweetheart, working at her father’s carpet shop, and beating cancer only to die from a fall off a ladder at work. Morty, on the other hand, took Roy off the rails with… no social security number?!
Scary Terry is a “legally safe knockoff of an ‘80s horror character with miniature swords for fingers instead of knives," but with Freddy Krueger's ability to travel through dreams. He went to scare school to learn how to terrorize dreamers and he now lives with his wife, Melissa, and son, Scary Brandon. He likes to say "b—" a lot, as in, “Welcome to your nightmare, b—!”
Shleemypants is a being from the Fourth Dimension who monitors time and takes time criminals to time prison. Equipped with a slug creature he calls Chris, which can turn people into third-trimester fetuses, he popped in to reprimand Rick when he stole a time-freezing crystal from testical monsters and accidentally split his reality into multiple parallel ones.
This creature looks like a malnourished talking street cat, but he’s one of Rick’s longtime buddies. He says “squanch” a lot — which, if you aren’t familiar with his ways, could stand for virtually anything. Squanchy enjoys alcohol and autoerotic asphyxiation, the latter of which freaked out Morty so much he accidentally knocked over one of Rick’s transport devices and blasted his house off into another dimension.
The Transdimensional Council of Ricks
For every reality, there exists a Rick. A few thousand versions of the mad scientist had the idea of banding together in an effort to stop people from stealing their knowledge and inventions. This resulted in a governing body of Ricks known as The Transdimensional Council of Ricks. During a “Rick-icidal Epidemic,” 27 Ricks from different realities were killed by one rogue Morty, but the council blamed the Rick from Earth Dimension C-137, since he’s the most hostile.
One of Rick’s exes is a hive mind that can transfer its singular consciousness into multiple entities by barfing into their mouths. Unity had taken over an entire planet previously torn apart by a civil war over — of all things — who had the better nipples. The being got back together with Rick for a bacchanalian fling, complete with snorting fractal dust and chugging velocitinis, before the hive mind realized he was too toxic to date.
Rick, in a constant state of drunkenness, came up with his own catchphrase, which is pretty much just nonsense. In Bird Person’s native tongue, it roughly translates, “I am in great pain, please help me."
The galaxy’s most ambitious, least successful con artists are on a never-ending mission to steal Rick’s inventions, specifically his recipe for concentrated dark matter, a fuel for accelerated space travel. They tend to abduct people and place them in computer simulations that are reminiscent of their own societies (but with far too many glitches to ignore) in an effort to trick them out of their secrets. The main weakness of Zigerions is nudity. The species is incredibly uncomfortable around the naked body. Rick, in the end, tricked a ship full of Zigerions into blowing themselves up by giving them a faulty recipe for dark matter.