Rick and Morty is a zany sci-fi wonder of a show. The animated sitcom, which follows the grumpy but lovable Smith family through interdimensional and intergalactic misadventures, is populated by a ton of wacky minor characters. While each of the main characters is lovable in their own right, some of the greatest laughs come from the random-ass guest stars and one-off characters who sometimes steal entire episodes, even when they only get a couple minutes of screen time. Here’s a tasty little roundup of the eight best of the best:
In The Adventures of Stealy — a show within the show in which Stealy runs around innocuous places stealing things and narrating exactly what he’s doing — we see Rick and Morty at its zaniest in Season 2, Episode 8: “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate.” Rick sets up a bootleg cable box, again, that lets the family watch cable from other dimensions — this time in a hospital. His weirdly stretchy arms, empty smiling face and voice, and commitment to thievery just do it for people. His short segment is easily worth, like, fifteen and a half grepples.
After Jerry complains about the family dog’s intelligence in the first season’s second episode — “Lawnmower Dog” — Rick builds a collar that enhances the canine’s intelligence. Before long, Snuffles builds himself a mechanical suit and a collar that allows him to “speak” in a way not unlike that dog from Up, but with a frightening, emotionless voice. Snuffles builds himself a dog army and is eventually talked down and sent to an alternate reality, but not before he can display his righteous fury and hatred for Jerry. (The show is at its best when lampooning Jerry.) One of his best lines is his demand to be called Snowball instead … because his “fur is pretty and white.” His residual loyalty and admiration for Morty also makes this formerly lovable maniac somehow still lovable.
Squancy is a small-ish, mangy-looking feline creature who walks upright. His main bit of comic relief comes with his almost Pokémon-like use of his own name in dialogue. Basically, variations of “squanch” can replace any verb, noun, adjective, etc. and somehow this is all comprehensible to Rick. (“Squanchy culture is more contextual than literal. You just say what’s in your squanch and people understand.”) He’s also remembered fondly for his shocking moments of auto-erotic asphyxiation and a trick tooth that allows him to literally Hulk out in times of need. To top it all off, he also officiates Birdperson’s wedding in what is positively one of the most squanch-warming scenes from Season 2.
5. Tiny Rick
Less a unique character and more a different version of Rick, Tiny Rick is a younger clone that Rick controls (his “real” body is in a vat in the garage) who repeatedly says, “I’m Tiny Rick!” Rather than see Rick as a belching, nihilistic drunk, we get a version that is all smiles, the life of the party, and beloved by all … eventually to the chagrin of his grandchildren, because their classmates like Tiny Rick more than either Morty or Summer. Over time, Tiny Rick’s emotional misery comes to the forefront and the show devolves into its occasional macabre potency that makes us love Rick for his depth and untold backstory.
The deadpan, Vulcan-esque and accurately named Birdperson has deep respect for Rick, having fought alongside him in some sort of rebellion against the oppressive Galactic Federation. He appears in the season finales of both Seasons 1 and 2. In the first, Birdperson explains to Morty the meaning of Rick’s catchphrase “Wubalubadubdub: “I am in great pain. Please help me.” He’s consistently the type of character that distills the “point” of the plot in direct terms when the characters themselves are too caught up in their own BS to really understand Rick. It’s also his matter-of-fact way of speaking that serves up some comedy gold whenever he appears, brandishing cryptically obtuse phrases like, “The road your father and I walked together is soaked deeply in the blood of both friends and enemies.” Yeah, he’s a real gas at parties.
3. Krombopulos Michael
World-class Gromflomite assassin and all-around genuinely nice guy, Krombopulos Michael is a merc for hire that Rick sells an anti-matter gun to in the opening moments of the second episode of Season 2, “Mortynight Run.” Ever the buzzkill, Morty gives Rick a hard time about dealing weapons to assassins, but K-Michael is just such a charming businessman that he’s impossible to dislike, especially with a line like “Oh boy! Here I go killin’ again!”. No garrote needed; this assassin is all hands.
2. Mr. Meeseeks
Less a “character” and more a “being” or even just a device, Mr. Meeseeks first appears in the fifth episode of Season 1. Rick and Morty go off on their own adventure with Morty leading, but Rick leaves a Meeseeks Box for the rest of the family. It’s a cube that can be used to summon loud, jittery blue helpers that aggressively help the user with a goal or task before disappearing in a puff of smoke. In true Beth and Jerry fashion, the former wishes to be a more complete woman and the latter seeks help improving his golf game. Summer just wants to be more popular at school. These overcomplicated requests prove too much for the poor Mr. Meeseeks, who crack under pressure and wind up summoning more of themselves to handle the workload (à la Duplicity). From there, pretty much everything goes to hell.
1. Mr. Poopybutthole
Popping up in Season 2, Episode 3 “Total Rickall,” Mr. Poopybutthole is a gloriously cheerful friend of the Smith family’s introduced in the pre-credits scene. He winds up being something of a red herring for the episode’s villain. In the opener, Rick kills Jerry’s brother “Uncle Steve” who turns out to actually be an alien parasite that creates and manipulates happy memories to convince its host(s) that they have always been there. What develops is a ludicrous chain reaction of increasingly bizarre characters that include a number of honorable mentions for this list (Sleepy Gary, the third point of a love triangle between Beth and Jerry; Pencilvester, a talking … pencil?; and even Frankenstein’s Monster). They eventually solve the problem by realizing that the parasite cannot create unhappy memories, which they have plenty of amongst their real family members. Though the episode is Rick and Morty at its most bizarre with some of its most colorful and memorable characters, Mr. Poopbutthole stands as the greatest with his unflappable enthusiasm and kindhearted soul; after Beth thinks he’s a parasite in disguise and shoots him, he later apologizes, feeling sorry that they “didn’t have bad memories of him.”
Truly, Mr. Poopybutthole is too good for this world.