I’ll list the top three for each season, then make the excruciatingly hard decision of my overall choice for best ever. So, without further Apu (random Simpsons gag…sue me!), Earth C-137 is waiting for us to get schwifty and find out which one will be crowned the best Rick and Morty episode.
The Best Episodes of Season 1
1. Rick Potion #9 (Ep. 6)
Like a lot of these episodes, this has one of Rick and Morty’s best moments. Rick, the great uncle that he is, gives Morty a love potion to use on Jessica at the prom, not realizing that a strain of flu is ripping through the school.
The love potion mutates and infects the entire world. Rick tries to help but makes things worse and they are left with no choice than to abandon their version of Earth C-137 for another version of Earth, where they both happen to be dead.
The episode plays out brilliantly, leaving the viewer wondering whether Rick is the good guy or just a good bad-guy.
It concludes with Rick and Morty burying the new Earth’s versions of themselves and assimilating back into everyday life, with Morty visibly shaken and traumatized.
2. Rixty Minutes (Ep. 8)
If there was one episode that I was going to show to someone who has never seen a Rick and Morty episode, this would be it, one of Rick and Morty’s best episodes.
A simple premise that evolves into a fantastic emotional piece. Rick ‘upgrades’ the family’s cable box to receive every channel from every universe. The creativity is unbounded as Harmon and Roiland can just make any program up, no matter how unbelievably stupid.
They basically have free reign, and it shows with some hilarious trailers, ads, and news programming with improvisational voice-over.
The main thread running through the episode is whether Beth and Jerry regret their life choices after each of them see how they turned out in an alternate reality. It gets pretty deep in places, but I won’t spoil the ending to this one, you’ll just have to watch it unfold.
3. Close Rick-Counters Of The Rick Kind (Ep. 10)
Some of the best Rick and Morty episodes and even some of Rick and Morty’s best moments are when we are transported to the interdimensional home of all Ricks and Mortys, the Citadel.
Rick is accused of jumping through universes and killing all the different Ricks, and Morty kickstarts a Morty revolution. The episode is brilliantly done, showing the parallel between all the Ricks and Mortys at the Citadel, a parallel which is shifting ever so slightly, but we’ll come to that later on.
Also, I love the sub-story between Jerry and Simple Rick (another alternate Rick). Jerry, as ever, is gold!
The Best Episodes of Season 2
1. Total Rickall (Ep. 4)
One of the best Rick and Morty episodes, mainly because it introduced us to the iconic cult character of Mr. Poopy Butthole (look out for him again later). But in all seriousness, this is a fantastic episode and made more so by the fact that it is Morty who saves the day for once.
Alien parasites cause the Smith family (and Rick) to have flashbacks of memories containing different characters, which in turn, helps the parasite to multiply.
A wealth of new, short-lived characters are introduced, each with their own personal relationship to either the Smiths or Rick.
Characters like Sleepy Gary, who is Beth’s husband; Mr. Beuragard, who served as the Smith’s butler; Pencilvester, who is close friends with Rick; and Tinkles, a magical ballerina lamb, who is also Summer’s imaginary friend.
2. Auto-Erotic Assimilation (Ep. 3)
Here, we get a glimpse into some of Rick’s backstory when he runs into Unity again. Unity is an omnipresent entity and inhabits everyone on her planet. Rick and she have a history that is never really discussed at any length, other than they had a romantic affair of some kind.
Here, they rekindle that affair, which sends Rick down a dark path. Summer and Morty beg him to come home. Unity neglects herself and her planet, as race wars break out. But the hard thing is Rick finally looked happy, at peace, in love. For a man who it seems happiness had eluded, here he was, finally settling down.
In what is considered one of Rick and Morty’s best moments, the ending is where we really see Rick Sanchez the man, instead of Rick Sanchez the crazed heroic scientist. The song “Do You Feel It” by Chaos Chaos perfectly accompanies the mood of the scene.
3. The Wedding Squanchers (Ep. 10)
One of the best Rick and Morty episodes sees one of my favorite minor characters, Bird Person, getting married to Summer’s friend Tammy. With Rick as the best man, what could possibly go wrong?
Well, if I told you that by the end of the episode, the Galactic Federation has control of Earth and Rick is in high-security person, you would have some idea of how it went so wrong.
I won’t give any spoilers to this one as it is a real swerve that will hit you for six, but all I will say is that it is a fantastic season finale, and it ties up a lot of stories.
Jerry finally finds his place in society as on the Smiths’ return to Earth, he is assigned a job by the federation. As with all Rick and Morty episodes, there is a small scene after the credits, but instead of relating to the episode in some way, here we see the return of Mr. Poopy Butthole nursing the injury he sustained at the hands of Beth.
He breaks the fourth wall in a hilarious way, adding that fans would probably have to wait a year and a half for season 3. He wasn’t wrong!
The Best Episodes of Season 3
1. The Ricklantis Mixup (Ep. 7)
Season 3 had already blown my mind up to this point (see no. 2), but then it released what some may consider the best Rick and Morty episode ever, chock full of some of the best Rick and Morty moments ever.
The other often-used title for this episode is “Tales from the Citadel,” which should give you a clue as to what the episode is about. For starters, our Rick and Morty are not even in the episode. Instead, we see what life at the Citadel is like since its near destruction.
Mortys and Ricks live side by side in a desperate and downtrodden society that mirrors real life. Crime riddled streets are pushing once good cops to the brink; factory drones are kept quiet and obedient; society is run by the richest Ricks…sound familiar?
A very clever episode that is satirical and equally dark. Probably one of the best-written episodes of any animated TV show.
2. Pickle Rick (Ep. 3)
When I first watched this episode, I sat there for a minute thinking, ‘what the hell did I just watch?’ It is both brilliant and utterly ridiculous, which is probably the standard for the best Rick and Morty episodes, yet this one takes it to the extreme.
I rewatched the episode, and the first thing I thought was: ‘who had the balls to pitch an episode that has Rick become a pickle?’
First off, it is so much more than that, as it revolves around Rick’s avoidance at family counseling. From the first few moments, he is alone as a pickle (which seemed improvised by Justin Roiland). This leads to breaking into a top-secret building, killing everyone in it, helping rescue Jaguar, and BUILDING A LASER GUN!
If possible, he seemed more brilliant as a pickle, using his entire intellect to get himself out of situations that keep escalating. A fantastic episode showcasing some of Rick and Morty’s best moments!
3. Morty’s Mind Blowers (Ep. 8)
Rick and Morty set a new standard for writing animated comedy, always improving and doing things their own way. Here is a perfect example, as it is essentially a ‘clip show’ episode, yet the clips haven’t been shown.
This is commonly used by Harmon, and he showed that in a previous creation, Community, in the episode entitled “Paradigms of Human Memory.”
Morty, wanting a memory removed, is taken by Rick to a basement below the garage filled with different colored vials, and discovers that they each represent a memory he has asked to be removed. Rick then breaks the fourth wall and explains this is what we will be watching instead of interdimensional cable.
I won’t list all the memories, but a few of them are the best Rick and Morty moments. You’ll have to watch it and find out for yourself.
The Best Overall Rick and Morty Episode
It was a very close call between Rick Potion #9 and The Ricklantis Mixup, and I mean only Squanchy whisker between them.
I think they are both high caliber episodes and the best of Rick and Morty, but in the end, I decided to go with:
The Ricklantis Mixup.
Everything about it is nigh on perfect, and it continues a story arc that runs like a black vein throughout the show. It truly is the best Rick and Morty episode…so far.
Do you agree with my list? What is your favorite episode of Rick and Morty per season? How about your favorite overall? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you!
From Skywalkers to superheroes; from a Gunslinger to Gollum; From a time travelling police box to a time travelling delorean, my obsession with everything fantastical and geeky began when I was around 6, aboard the USS Enterprise, with Captain Jean-Luc Picard at the helm.
Now, being 6 seems like a lifetime ago, and a lot has changed in my life but my love for all things geeky remains a constant.
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