Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty might have its fair share of fart jokes — and a song about shitting on the floor — but its dark and bitter blend of nihilism with oddly uplifting existentialism lends itself to some really poignant quotes on life, love, and how much Morty sucks.
Rick has traveled across the universe and a myriad of different dimensions, and his hysterically anxious grandson often gets dragged along. They’ve both seen some serious stuff, especially considering they survived the destruction of their own universe and lived to bury their own bodies in an alternate reality they went on to live in. Yeah, that kind of fucked-up stuff.
Sure, Rick and Morty is irreverent and offensive at its worst, but it’s hilarious, uplifting, and brilliantly philosophical at its best.
Here are the 11 best quote from Rick and Morty to get you pumped for the rest of Season 3:
1. Morty Makes Fun of Summer
Morty: Oh Summer, [laughing] first race war, huh?
Despite being a throwaway line in “Auto Erotic Assimilation,” Morty’s jab at Summer is one of the most absurd and hilarious things Morty has ever done. In the first two seasons of Rick and Morty, it’s not often that Summer gets to do much of anything, and “Auto Erotic Assimilation” is one of the few instances when Rick goes on an adventure with both of his grandchildren.
There’s a running subtext that Morty is incredibly jealous of Summer, especially how she’s constantly acting more capable and trying to help people wherever she can. Morty tries — and struggles — to flaunt his “experience,” and when she frees a race of aliens from being controlled by a hive mind, they immediately revert to their former selves and a race war erupts. Morty’s contempt is just priceless, as is the realistic take on sibling rivalry as the two of them compete for the attention of their grandpa.
2. Rick Laments the Need to Sleep
Rick: What, so everyone’s supposed to sleep every single night now? Y-you realize that nighttime makes up half of all time?
C’mon. It’s a thought we’ve all had.
3. Rick’s Thoughts on Traditional Education
Rick: I’ll tell you how I feel about school, Jerry: It’s a waste of time. Bunch of people runnin’ around bumpin’ into each other, got a guy up front says “2 + 2,” and the people in the back say, “4.” Then the bell rings and they give you a carton of milk and a piece of paper that says you can go take a dump or somethin’. I mean, it’s not a place for smart people, Jerry. I know that’s not a popular opinion, but that’s my two cents on the issue.
A running bit for the show is that Rick’s insane brilliance so far transcends traditional education structures that he has nothing but contempt for school. Sure, he has his own selfish reasons for bringing Morty along on adventures, but he also genuinely seems to think that Morty will learn more traveling about the universe than he would in Math class with Mr. Goldenfold.
4. Rick on God
Rick: There is no God, Summer. Gotta rip that band-aid off now you’ll thank me later.
Rick and Morty comes out of the gate strong, boldly delivering Rick’s thoughts on education and God back-to-back within moments of the show beginning in its pilot episode. Rick’s zealous lack of respect for any and all gods is a recurring bit for the show, but it wanes as his relationships get stronger and when his life is legitimately in danger, which isn’t often.
5. Rick on Love
Rick: Listen Morty, I hate to break it to you, but what people calls “love” is just a chemical reaction that compels animals to breed. It hits hard, Morty, then it slowly fades, leaving you stranded in a failing marriage. I did it. Your parents are gonna do it. Break the cycle, Morty. Rise above. Focus on science.
Science > Love
Rick’s thoughts on love and marriage come at an interesting time, right at the start of an episode in which he concocts a love potion for Morty that winds up destroying their entire universe. It’s also a scene that firmly re-establishes that Beth and Jerry’s marriage is “hanging by a thread.”
6. Rick on Marriage
Rick: Weddings are basically funerals with cake.
It stands to reason given his perspective on love that Rick would totally hate weddings.
7. Rick on New Situations
Rick: Listen to me, Morty. I know that new situations can be intimidating. You lookin’ around and it’s all scary and different, but y’know … meeting them head-on, charging into ‘em like a bull — that’s how we grow as people.
It’s almost unfortunate that in the “Pilot” episode, Rick is completely bullshitting Morty with this speech about personal growth in the face of new experiences; otherwise, this would actually be really poignant and touching advice given from a grandfather to his meek grandson. Rick actually brings Morty along on their first adventure so Morty can smuggle Mega Seeds in his butt, and this speech is ultimately just a way to convince Morty to participate. It’s all a part of Rick’s manipulation of Morty.
8. Mr. Meeseeks’s Advice on Family
Mr. Meeseeks: Having a family doesn’t mean that you stop being an individual. You know the best thing you can do for the people that depend on you? Be honest with them, even if it means setting them free.
Beth’s request for the infamous Meeseeks Box is to “become a more complete woman.” During a wine date on a gorgeous restaurant patio, the gratingly shrill Mr. Meeseeks delivers this totally legitimate advice before disappearing in a puff of smoke. Many of Beth’s issues — especially when it comes to Jerry — is that her life as a mother and wife has overtaken what it means to be herself. This is Rick and Morty smartly pointing out how much our various relationships can stand to negatively impact our lives if we approach them in the wrong ways.
9. Morty Telling Summer to Get Her Shit Together
Morty: Well then get your shit together, get it all together and put it in a backpack, all your shit, so it’s together.
Morty: And if you gotta take it somewhere, take it somewhere, you know. Take it to the shit store and sell it, or put it in the shit museum. I don’t care what you do, you just gotta get it together.
Morty: Get your shit together.
Morty’s often at his most comical when his genuinely trying and totally struggling to be assertive in any way possible. In this particularly circumstance, Summer is actually the one that’s totally right. In “Big Trouble in Little Sanchez,” Rick transfers his consciousness into a younger clone of himself to investigate a vampire at Morty and Summer’s school. “Tiny Rick” as he calls himself is immediately popular at school, and Morty mooches off the temporary popularity boost. When Summer recognizes Tiny Rick’s obvious cries for help — that Morty ignores for his own self-gain — Morty gets defensive and delivers this awkward rant.
10. Rick’s Entire Wedding Toast
Rick: Listen, I’m not the nicest guy in the Universe because I’m the smartest. And being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets. Now, I haven’t been exactly subtle about how little I trust marriage. I couldn’t make it work, and I could turn a black hole into a sun, so at a certain point, you’ve got to ask yourself what are the odds this is legit and not just some big lie we’re all telling ourselves because we’re afraid to die alone? Because, you know, that’s exactly how we all die … alone. But … but … Here’s the thing. Birdperson is my best friend, and if he loves Tammy, well, then I love Tammy, too. [Cheers and applause] To friendship, to love, and to my greatest adventure yet … opening myself up to others.
A rare moment featuring Rick’s vulnerability occurs when he’s giving the toast at Birdperson’s wedding in the Season 2 finale, “The Wedding Squanchers.” Everything that makes him the Rickest Rick is there: arrogance about his intelligence, contempt of “nice” people, disgust with the institution of marriage, existential loneliness, yet also heartfelt loyalty.
11. Morty on the Futility of Existence
Morty: Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. We’re all going to die. Come watch TV.
In an emotional call-back to the time Rick and Morty destroyed their native universe, Morty pleads with Summer to stay when she’s vowed to leave the family during “Rixty Minutes.” To her credit, much of the episode is about how in alternate realities, each of her parents was better off when they didn’t accidentally have Summer and then wind up marrying one another.
Morty is cutting to the core of what Rick and Morty is about, how life itself is often cruel and absurd and the universe is so big that it makes people insignificantly small — yet still, there is ultimately meaning in the shared bleakness and the unfair comedy of it all.
Rick and Morty continues Season 3 Sunday, July 30 at 11:30 p.m. Eastern on Adult Swim.