The end of Rick and Morty’s Season 2 saw the titular crazy grandpa surrendering to the Galactic Federation to protect his family. He’s perhaps the most wanted man in the galaxy, and now he’s in the highest-level detention facility there is. We’ve only seen a small portion of what Rick Sanchez is capable of throughout the course of the show, but what is he really in for? The IRL GalacticFederation.com offers up only a bit of insight, and his specific prison record says that he’s wanted for “Everything.”
Aside from just being an all-around jerk to his friends and family, Rick continuously does some questionable, immoral things that you might not necessarily be able to prosecute him for. Incepting Morty’s teacher? Giving a dog sentience and almost inciting a Planet of the Apes-style worldwide rebellion? Using the physiology of a homeless man as an amusement park? Only traveling with Morty because his dumb brainwaves prevent scanners from picking up Rick’s genius brainwaves? Okay, Rick’s a total dick. But what are the charges, broh?
Let’s take a closer look at the many actual crimes of Rick Sanchez in increasing order of severity.
Corrupting the Youth
Corrupting the youth was enough to get Socrates poisoned to death in ancient Greece. As evidenced by so many things in modern entertainment, this is no longer a punishable offense; but in the litany of Rick’s many egregious crimes, endlessly corrupting Morty is perhaps the most consistent. Not only does he expose Morty and the rest of the family to the horrors of interdimensional cable and goggles, but Rick coerces Morty into smuggling illegal seeds in his rectum (1.1); enables Morty to essentially roofy his crush, resulting in the end of the world (1.6); buys Morty a sex robot that ultimately gives birth to his great-grandson, a half-human, half-Gazorpian (1.7); allows Morty and Summer to host a party during his own during which he coerces them to harvest snortable alien crystals (1.11). And that’s all just Season 1!
It’s also worth noting that Morty incurs many injuries throughout the series occur because of Rick, who could be accused of negligence with ease.
Use of Illegal Substances
In the Season 1 finale, “Ricksy Business” (1.11) Morty is tricked into fetching some Kalaxian Crystals after the family home is teleported to a strange planet and Rick says he needs them to get back. Instead, Rick crushes and snorts the pink crystals.
In “Auto Erotic Assimilation” (2.3), Rick basically does a planet-full of drugs as he continues his casual sexual relationship with the hive mind Unity. At the episode’s end, he also consumes a beaker full of a strange pink liquid in his lab just before a failed suicide attempt.
Beyond that, it’s tough to really say what is or isn’t an illegal substance, but Rick’s bound to have done a LOT of everything.
Driving Under the Influence
Within 60 seconds of the series starting, we’re privy to Rick driving his saucer-like spaceship while getting belligerently drunk. Complemented by frequent burps, spills, and drools throughout the series, Rick’s BAC is over the legal limit more often than it’s not. You can usually gauge his drunkenness by the size of the spill on his shirt.
Driving with Open Container(s)
Coupled with driving under the influence, Rick almost never doesn’t have an open container going in his car. He’s also got a flask tucked into his coat pocket, which may or may not count under open container laws? It depends on the solar system you’re in, broh.
In the Season 2 premiere, titled “A Rickle in Time” (2.1), Rick and his two grandchildren fracture time itself; a Fourth Dimensional Being then shows up and tries to arrest Rick — along with Summer and Morty — to throw them in Time Prison for stealing a Time Crystal. It’s tough to say if Fourth Dimensional crimes would hold up in a Gromflomite Galactic Court, but that crystal is far from the only thing Rick has stolen.
Each season of the show thus far has featured Interdimensional Cable, which usually represents the show at its most zany and out-there. “Rixty Minutes” (1.8) has Rick installing some bootleg cable in the family home and the same happens in a space hospital after Jerry becomes ill in “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate” (2.8).
Burglary / Breaking and Entering
Otherwise known as the Inception/Freddy Krueger crossover episode (of sorts), “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” (1.4) shows Rick and Morty breaking into the house of Morty’s teacher so they can incept him into giving Morty better grades. It’s unclear what the typical punishment is for inception, but burglary is a pretty clear-cut crime.
Assault (with a Deadly Weapon) and Battery
Sure, infrequent murder and genocide are worse, but oftentimes Rick is pretty keen on just beating people up to get his way. Rick uses a freeze ray on a bully that was harassing Morty in school during the pilot, so label that one as “Assault with a Deadly Weapon.” Later, Summer accidentally knocks the frozen teenager over, and he shatters into a bunch of icy chunks. So I guess this one could be murder, huh?
In the interdimensional customs incident (from the first episode: “Pilot”), Rick smacks a smoking alien, destroying the dude’s hookah in the process as yet another distraction for the guards. Tack “Destruction of Private Property” on there.
During the post-credits scene of “Something Ricked This Way Comes” (1.9), Rick and Summer get buff in a montage and then beat the living crap out of the Devil. That’s followed up by them giving similar treatment to a neo-Nazi, a schoolyard bully, an old homophobe, and a derpy-looking man who abuses his dog. So that right there is five counts in only a few minutes of screentime at a net value of six and a half brapples.
In a petty attempt to screw with the Devil earlier in “Something Ricked This Way Comes” (1.9) — specifically his shop which sells cursed objects — Rick opened up a shop right across the street that scientifically removed the curses from said objects. But, when a bunch of whiney people tax his patience, he ultimately gets “bored” and torches the place. It’s unclear whether he did this as part of a tax fraud scheme or not.
Smuggling of Illegal Materials
In the pilot, Rick and Morty successfully smuggle mega seeds through interdimensional customs by having Morty hide them up in his butt. Sure, “successfully” is a loose term here, considering when the pair realizes that a new machine allows customs to “detect stuff all the way up your butt,” they have to make a run for it make a run for it. The resulting chaos involves Assault and — presumably — Manslaughter. And the seeds dissolve anyway.
Dealing Illegal Arms
Towards the beginning of “Mortynight Run” (2.2), Rick sells an antimatter gun to alien assassin Krombopulos Michael, a fan-favorite side character. Though Michael’s mission fails … considering Morty parks the car on top of him, the gun is later used (by Morty) to kill Fart. Yep, the interdimensional being’s name was Fart.
Murder in the First Degree
Straight-up murder is definitely in Rick’s wheelhouse.
In the pilot, while Rick and Morty flee from customs officers, Rick shoves a vat housing an alien in liquid over, presumably killing it and a customs officer. Another murderous distraction comes from a metal crate full of tentacles that sort of just consumes a Gromflomite.
Episodes later, in “Meeseeks and Destroy” (1.5), Rick vaporizes Mr. Jellybean after realizing that the bean attacked Morty in one of the show’s most fucked up moments.
In “Mortynight Run” (2.2), after Morty accidentally commits vehicular manslaughter against Krombopulos Michael, Rick slices a Gromflomite in half with his portal gun, and in the ensuing chase, a number of other guards meet unfortunate ends in an incident that Rick is ultimately responsible for.
“Auto Erotic Assimilation” (2.3) concludes with a heartbroken Rick euthanizing a small blob creature suffering from space AIDs before he tries and fails to kill himself, both moral quandaries in their own right.
As part of “The Ricks Must Be Crazy” (2.6), Rick’s car goes to extremes to “protect Summer,” severing spines and slicing people into chunks with robotic tentacle arms and precision lasers. If somebody gets charged for that, it sure as hell isn’t the car’s A.I.
At the conclusion of “Big Trouble in Little Sanchez” (2.7) — during which Rick goes to school with his grandchildren as Tiny Rick to root out a vampire — Rick brutally chops up five of his own clones. Presumably, they were just empty shells, but it’s still pretty messed up. Can you be prosecuted for destroying clones of yourself that you created in the first place? What’s the standard for the status of clone shells as “people”? Regardless, cloning is actually illegal on this Earth as a violation of ethics.
In “The Wedding Squanchers” (2.10), following the death of Birdperson, Rick goes on a bit of a rampage against the Gromflomite Galactic Federation soldiers, killing several before making an escape. Bonus charges here for resisting arrest.
While Rick’s intentions were to get his grandson to stop complaining about his crush not paying attention to him in “Rick Potion #9” (1.6), Rick’s development of a “love potion” led to the Cronenberging of their entire reality. Bummer. They then move into a parallel universe and replace dead versions of themselves. Keep in mind that impersonating someone else is also illegal!
Mass Murder, Genocide, and the Destroying of Universes
In “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” (1.4), Rick tricks a race of “intergalactic scammers” called the Zigerions — who are trying to get the recipe for Concentrated Dark Matter by putting Rick into a simulation — into using the wrong recipe to blow up their entire ship.
Remember that “Rick Potion #9” (1.6) saw the end of the world from a mutated love potion of Rick’s design that Cronenberged every human being except for the Smiths. Rick and Morty go into an alternate reality to replace dead versions of themselves, but hey, at least Cronenberg Rick and Cronenberg Morty are able to go move there.
The aptly titled “The Ricks Must Be Crazy” (2.6) follows Rick and Morty on a string of adventures as they delve deeper into the microverse battery that powers Rick’s car. In the end, Rick destroys the container encasing the Miniverse — which also results in the destruction of the Tinyverse within that. Not only did he destroy those two universes, but he had been basically enslaving them all for who knows how long.
As part of a Purge event — called “The Festival” — in “Look Who’s Purging Now” (2.9) on a random planet, Rick single-handedly racks up at least 11 confirmed kills and presumably many more based on the number of laser blasts he shot off from his blaster and the Iron Man-esque suits he has sent to them from Earth. Perhaps the most memorable kill occurred when Rick fired a rocket into an aristocrat’s butt, sending the alien flying across the room to explode.
Treason, Rebellion, and War Crimes
At the Battle of Blood Ridge, Rick is said to have committed “horrible atrocities” in violation of the Blobbadobo Accords, including but not limited to teabagging a Gromflomite, all in the name of a Galactic Rebellion that he might have been a leader of.
We know for sure that Rick considers Birdperson’s real “big day” to be at the Battle of Blood Ridge, and at BP’s wedding, the avian dude says to Beth, “The road your father and I walked together is soaked deeply in the blood of both friends and enemies.”
Though Rick must have killed countless enemies as part of some kind of galactic civil war, the accounts of Gromflomite veterans tell us that not only did Rick “rub his human lower danglers all over [a] soldier’s dying face” but another soldier’s account says, “He offered me a meal from his food hole, and even squatted over my face to make sure I could eat.” So … gosh yeah, that’s bad, even for Rick.
These represent only the confirmed crimes of one Rick Sanchez as we’ve seen them on the show and through second-hand accounts of his (mis)deeds. The show thrives off a deep, implied history between Rick, Birdperson, and Squanchy in their efforts against the Galactic Federation. It’s unclear how Rick’s ultimate fate will play out in Season 3, which is bound to air only in an alternate universe where Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon actually get squanch done.
And because we know you’re curious, here’s everything we already know about Season 3 so far.