‘Rick and Morty’ Fans Can’t Agree on the Show’s Best Episode, But They Sure Know Which One’s the Worst
There are almost as many right answers to the question of “Which Rick and Morty episode is the show’s strongest?” as there are universes in the Central Finite Curve – but, much like the title of “Rickest Rick,” the dubious accolade of “Dumbest piece of shit episode ever” has exactly one winner.
As the show’s remaining co-creator Dan Harmon is well aware, the Rick and Morty fandom is a passionate one, brimming with opinions and emotions that aren’t always managed by a brain as nimble as Rick’s. Like many spheres within nerdom, the Rick and Morty community can be explosively divisive when discussing the series as superfans spar over theories behind Rick’s seemingly supernatural intelligence, the motivations of Evil Morty and, of course, the immortal question: When was the Rick and Morty at its best?
Some OG fans will say the first season was the strongest. Others say that Season Three was the peak, and everything that's followed has been on a steady decline. And, still, some Season Seven enthusiasts say that this current iteration of Rick and Morty is the funniest and most engaging the show has ever seen. However, as a recent top post from the Rick and Morty subreddit pointed out, there’s one point on which all Rick and Morty fans can agree – Naruto Smith should never get a little brother.
Ah, “Rickdependence Spray.” By Season Five, internal strife behind the scenes of Rick and Morty had already severed disgraced co-creator Justin Roiland’s relationship with the rest of the creative team, and the show’s writing reflected a bitter sense of malaise surrounding the production of the series. The entire ten-episode season was tonally inconsistent, but no entry was as jarring, uninspired and unimpressive as the time the Rick and Morty writers decided to milk Morty’s masturbation habits for a half-hour slog that’s as unfunny as it is uncomfortable.
In the episode, Morty secretly masturbates using the breeding mount from Beth’s horse hospital, unintentionally adding his DNA to a barrel of horse semen that Rick is planning to use in order to make a bioweapon capable of winning his fight against an army of subterranean horse-like creatures. The contaminated sample causes Rick’s plan goes awry as he creates a superpowered species of giant mutant sperm cells, descended from Morty, who eat human beings. The Smith family partners with the U.S. government to create a trap for the mutant Morty sperm, using one of Summer’s eggs as bait. The plan succeeds and leads to the creation of Morty and Summer’s Giant Incest Baby who gets shot into outer space and, if we're lucky, out of the show.
It’s not just that the humor in “Rickdependence Spray” is uncreatively crass, as semen jokes are spilled over every page of the script with scattershot precision – the storyline is also completely unoriginal. This was the second time Morty’s masturbation led to the creation of a hybrid abomination creature that the rest of the Smith family had to spend an entire episode dealing with – the Season One episode, “Raising Gazorpazorp,” used the exact same set-up to tell a far-superior story about fatherhood and gender dynamics. In comparison, “Rickdependence Spray” is a torturously base rehash of how Morty’s horniness creates havoc with the added flavoring of incest to spoil the sperm-filled broth.
As for the best episode? At the risk of sounding cringe, a wise man once said, “I turned myself into a pickle!”