‘Rick and Morty’: The Worst Things Rick Has Ever Done to Morty

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‘Rick and Morty’: The Worst Things Rick Has Ever Done to Morty

When it comes to grandfather-grandson relationships, Rick and Morty is about as good a blueprint of an appropriate family dynamic as The Simpsons is a primer for nuclear safety.

Over the last seven seasons of Rick and Morty, Morty Smith has had to endure a level of trauma that no other 14-year-old in the history of Harry Herpson High School has had to face. He’s lived through the destruction of his original home planet, the death of his first family, his own death at the hands of Bigfoot and the Pope and all sorts of horrific, near-fatal, nightmarish occurrences that even the talented therapist Susan Sarandon could not hope to help his developing brain process. In so, so many ways, being born Rick Sanchez’ grandson and eventual sidekick was the worst thing that ever happened to Morty — and the best thing that ever happened to Adult Swim. Morty’s misery is an entire network’s cosmic cash cow.

Since the number of instances when a Rick horribly abused a Morty exceeds the number of universes in the Central Finite Curve, our list of the worst Morty mistreatments in Rick and Morty will be limited exclusively to Rick C-137’s crimes against Morty Prime. Here they are in ascending order of awfulness, starting with…

Destroying Morty’s Original Earth

Rick’s Cronenberg-ing of the show's original planet in “Rick Potion #9” is inarguably the most traumatic event of Morty Prime’s life, but it only gets fifth place on the list because, despite the massive internal and external devastation that Rick’s reckless DNA tinkering unleashes on the world and on Morty, none of it would have happened if Morty didn’t pester his grandfather to make him a roofie, er, “love" serum.

Exposing Morty to the Mind-Crushing Perfection of True Level

“Lambs to the cosmic slaughter” indeed — Rick must have known the damage that would be done to Morty’s feeble mind when he experienced the nirvana of a perfectly flat surface, and yet, Rick still subjected his sidekick to true level anyways just to dunk on a stick with a bubble in it. 

Pulling Morty’s Pants Down and Pushing Him Down A Flight of Stairs in Front of Some Girls at His School

The entire montage of bad memories that saved Rick from a garage execution in “Total Rickall” could have made this list. Despite being the least potentially lethal of the sequence, there’s something extraordinarily shameful and sadistic about the pantsing prank, which makes this inexplicable act of bullying the worst of the bunch.

Letting Morty Unknowingly Murder Other Mortys Just to Prove That the Vat of Acid Wasn’t Stupid

In the hilariously direct entry “The Vat of Acid Episode,” Morty’s punishment for insulting Rick’s roundabout escape plan for a run-of-the-mill alien gang encounter was interdimensionally operatic. Rick’s “save point” button puts Morty through the pains of love and loss and straddles him with the guilt of murdering multiple dimensions’ worth of his own self before finally returning to where it all started — the vat of acid.

Destroying Multiple Developed Planets Just to Tank Morty’s Netflix Meeting

“One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty” proved that the space where Rick’s pettiness overlaps with his capacity for genocide is the most dangerous place in the universe. Rick contrived his most winding, complicated and world-destroying scheme that ruined the entire genre of heist movies for the simple reason that he couldn’t stand the thought of losing his grandson to a development deal with Netflix. That son of a bitch.

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