The Best ‘Rick and Morty’ Episode for Each Family Member
“I’m a scientist because I invent, transform, create and destroy for a living, and when I don’t like something about the world, I change it.”
Fewer words can be as inspiring as this sentiment from Rick and Morty’s Rick Sanchez. Of course, these words would be much more inspiring if they weren’t said by an alcoholic narcissist who continuously puts his family in danger just to further his own interests and entertainment.
Even with Rick’s decades of abandonment and interdimensional travel — to say nothing of how no two family members are that much alike — the Smiths have somehow remained a tight-knit family. It’s this dichotomy that’s led to several interesting individual outings. Although no character is defined by one episode, each can claim a Rick and Morty adventure as their own, so we’re breaking down the best showcases for each family member of the Smith/Sanchez clan below...
Episode: “Big Trouble in Little Sanchez,” Season 2, Episode 7
Why It’s His Best: In the world of Rick and Morty, Jerry Smith is an iconic sad sack who doubles as a punching bag. While on a trip to a marriage-counseling planet, Beth and Jerry are literally declared the worst couple ever. Using a machine that manifests spouses’ opinions of one another into physical figures, Jerry and Beth create doppelgangers of each other: Beth’s is a massive, murderous alien; Jerry’s is a meek, spineless worm. The two toxic beings then conspire together, embarking upon a rampage through the entire facility until Beth saves the day by unleashing a bunch of Jerrys.
This is Jerry’s highlight because he gets to confront some of the buried, negative feelings he has for Beth. He also hits his full range here as we watch him flip from coward to hero, with multiple versions of Jerry coming to save the day.
Episode: “Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri,” Season 4, Episode 10
Why It’s Her Best: While fighting the Federation, Space Beth discovers she has an explosive implant in her body, causing her to set her sights back to her father, Rick. Space Beth returns home to find not much has changed, except this time, she accidentally brings the entire Federation with her as they try to hunt down the elusive Beth Smith. It’s the first time the homemaker version of Beth deals with her very accomplished, rebellious clone. The Beths are identical to each other, with both trying to figure out which one is the original until deciding life may actually be more pleasant with two Beths in it.
Mrs. Smith, in all shapes and forms, is great in this episode as she proves capable of conquering her insecurities and achieving inner peace (so long as she has another Beth by her side).
Episode: “Something Ricked This Way Comes,” Season 1, Episode 9
Why It’s Her Best: Summer enters a rite of passage as she takes on the teen experience of getting her first job, which just happens to be working for the Devil in a cursed antiques shop. Rick goes to check out her new gig and ends up at war with the disguised Beelzebub. After losing to Rick, Summer’s new employer tries to kill himself but is saved by her, both physically and literally, as she provides sound advice and inspiration for him to start a massive company.
Summer shines here because all her sides are on display — she is sweet and noble when defending the Devil but relentlessly vengeful after he “Zuckerbergs” her and cuts her out of the company entirely. Rick helps Summer with her payback via an intense steroid-filled workout regimen followed by a public ass-kicking of the Lord of Darkness delivered by the now completely yoked niece and her uncle.
Episode: “Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat,” Season 4, Episode 1
Why It’s His best: While on a mission, Rick and Morty happen upon a Death Crystal, which reveals to Morty an elderly death involving him and Jessica. Morty allows the crystal to guide his every decision and grows in strength as he screws over Rick for a possible future with his high school crush. Rick is continuously downloading himself into other realities, trying to get back to C-137 as he discovers that the multiverse is wrought with strangely specific (and sometimes fascist) versions of life.
This episode shows the lengths a teenage boy like Morty is willing to go in the thirsty desperation to achieve even the potential of future sexual gratification.
Episode: “The Rickshank Redemption,” Season 3, Episode 1
Why It’s His Best: Rick takes on the Galactic Federation and the Citadel of Ricks, all of whom are either trying to kill him or after his interdimensional travel technology. The Season Three opener was a classic Rick adventure and helped introduce the audience to his tragic backstory. The tale of Rick’s murdered wife and daughter ends up being a massive launching pad for the character’s overall arc. All the while, he tees up big laughs and proves to be a total badass.