Rick and Morty is one of the best shows on television, animated or not, but one of the greatest things about it is its consistency. You’d be hard-pushed to pick a bad episode out of the 36 that exist so far, but there are some all-time greats which stand out among all the hits.
While the show will return for the second half of season 4 at some point in 2020, we thought we'd pass the time by ranking every episode of Rick and Morty so far. As with all internet lists, we doubt you'll entirely agree with our choices, but we hope you enjoy reading this.
If you're in the US, watch Rick and Morty on Hulu, and if you're in the UK, you can find the first three seasons on Netflix UK. You can buy episodes 1-5 of season 4 on Amazon.
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36. Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktims Unit (season 4, episode 4)
A rare miss for Rick and Morty came as Game Of Thrones' Liam Cunningham lends his voice to a dragon. It had potential, but there were too many sex jokes and none of them really landed. Making Rick's science useless only to give him magic five seconds later was an uncharacteristically weak storytelling choice, too.
35. The ABCs of Beth (season 3, episode 9)
'Claw and Order' was destined to be bottom, but it feels harsh on the rest to pick an episode to go second-to-last. The ABCs of Beth has some great visuals, but it just loses control of its plot threads too often to climb any higher. Seems like an important part of Beth's story, but it hasn't had much of a long-term impact on the character.
34. Raising Gazorpazorp (season 1, episode 7)
As Summer and Rick’s first adventure together, this is well worth a watch, and has some interesting things to say about gender and parenting. It’s just not quite as funny as the other episodes on this list, though, and feels like a series of separate shorts rather than a coherent story at times.
33. Rickmancing The Stone (season 3, episode 2)
The Mad Max parody certainly commits to the bit, and again comes packed with great visuals. That’s not enough to sustain it in such illustrious company though, and with a fair few jokes missing the mark, we've chosen its ranking accordingly. The running gag with Morty's arm is certainly memorable, though.
32. One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty (season 4, episode 3)
This is a great episode to watch in isolation, but as the worst ‘team up’ episode, it suffers in a ranking. The characters aren’t given much personality beyond a one-note joke, despite the show usually excelling with this. We're still waiting for someone to explain why Elon Musk’s cameo was funny or even necessary.
31. Pilot (season 1, episode 1)
A lot of fans are going to have a nostalgic love for the pilot, but like most shows, the first episode is just a taste of things to come. The typical crass and surreal humor is still there, but it doesn’t have the same rhythm. Still a good jumping on point, but Rick and Morty has gotten exponentially better and more ambitious since, of course.
30. Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate (season 2, episode 8)
Like 'One Crew Over The Crewcoo’s Morty', this suffers in the rankings from being the weakest of its episode type. Stealy is a highlight, along with Werner Herzog’s monologue about the human obsession with penises, but it’s trading on another episode’s concept rather than bringing anything new.
29. Anatomy Park (season 1, episode 3)
An early precursor to show how Rick and Morty could push boundaries, reinvent old tropes and deliver great sci-fi storytelling. It just loses itself a little too much to rank higher, but it's the first episode here without any real problems. John Oliver has a noteworthy cameo, too.
28. Something Ricked This Way Comes (season 1, episode 9)
Continuing the trend from Anatomy Park, Something Ricked This Way Comes doesn’t do too much wrong. Rick vs Satan and Summer working for, with and then against Satan are both great dynamics, but the episode doesn’t know how to end. Fizzles it and that hurts the ranking.
27. Auto Erotic Assimilation (season 2, episode 3)
Christina Hendricks adds a solid guest spot as Unity, and the show certainly goes for it with the mind control elements. The riff on Community is clever, and the nipple war is vintage Rick and Morty. Still, this episode feels like it’s lacking the gloss of a top 20 contender.
26. The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy (season 3, episode 5)
The whole point of Jerry is that he’s a bit of a drag, so building episodes around him can be tricky. This one swings back and forth with his dynamic with Rick, but still feels a little weighed down. The children shooting each other unaware of the immortality shield going off is possibly the most darkly funny gag of the show, too.
25. Get Schwifty (season 2, episode 5)
One of the most meme-worthy episodes of the show, the actual episode isn’t as good as the final song tricks you into thinking. A lot of the cast act out of character, and the ‘save the world’ vibe is more Futurama than Rick and Morty. The actual song ‘Get Schwifty’ is brilliant, though.
24. Ricksy Business (season 1, episode 11)
The first season finale introduces a plethora of soon-to-be-fan-favorite characters (Birdperson, Squanchy Cat). It also closes off Season One well and sets up season 2 efficiently. It’s just a bit too busy, and it's dragged down a little by Beth and Jerry’s wayward Titanic B-plot.
23. Look Who’s Purging Now (season 2, episode 9)
Like Rickmancing The Stone, this one really commits to its parody, taking on The Purge this time. An important episode in the evolution of Morty’s character, its only real downfall is that it’s a little too self-aware with the references it throws out. The action is beautifully animated, though.
22. The Old Man and the Seat (Season 4, Episode 2)
This Rick-centric episode explores the idea that Rick is lonely, he’s desperate for control, he pushes people away and he’s not as heartless as he makes out. By season 4, though, that’s not exactly new territory for the show. Decent jokes, interesting moments of characterization, but not much new to say.
21. Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender (season 3, episode 4)
Dan Harmon’s least favorite episode is actually pretty great, with a colorful cast, developed personalities for its guest characters and a fine riff on both Saw and Avengers. It also gives us a mix of stark emotional moments and the biggest rug pull the show has ever done. This is an overlooked episode in terms of how funny it gets.
20. Lawnmower Dog (season 1, episode 2)
The series’ second ever episode set the standard high straight away, demonstrating that the show was finding its feet extraordinarily quickly. This episode has a high concept blown way bigger than most shows would dare trying, which is exactly what Rick and Morty does best. It also gave us Scary Terry.
19. The Rickchurian Mortydate (season 3, episode 10)
The season 3 finale is a very good episode by itself, but a distinctly average finale. Each scene is pretty funny and keeps the spotlight on Rick well, but doesn’t round off the season quite as well as other finales have. The president has been used better in other episodes, but by giving Rick new situations, it is memorable.
18. Mortynight Run (season 2, episode 2)
A difficult one to rank, given that most people’s take away from the episode is the incredible Blips and Chitz sequence with Roy and the Jerry daycare. The episode is actually about Rick and Morty with Fart and, suitably, it whiffs a bit. How much you enjoy this one will mostly depend on what you’re watching it for.
17. Rick Potion #9 (season 1, episode 6)
Rick Potion #9 was the first episode to really dig into the fabric of the show’s mythology, with different timelines and universe-hopping going on. It also gave us Jessica’s first leading role and more spotlight on Beth and Jerry’s relationship before it fully imploded.
16. M. Night Shaym-Aliens! (season 1, episode 4)
A lot of fans think Rick and Morty is at its best when it’s surreal, and with this simulation hopping episode, it definitely delivered. Most impressively, though, it managed to keep its storytelling tight and its jokes on-point, while its Jerry apple advertising B-plot is a great aside. A real all-rounder.
15. Morty’s Mind Blowers (season 3, episode 8)
With the third Interdimensional Cable episode of the series, the show tried something different by ditching the TV shows for Morty’s memories. Still not as much of a classic as the original, but ‘take for granite’, the moon man and the squirrels pull it from under the shadows.
14. Rest and Ricklaxation (season 3, episode 6)
It’s always interesting when Rick and Morty uses new pairings, especially given it has a relatively small cast. This time around, it’s Jessica and Rick working together, and her ability as an outsider to twist an emotional reaction out of Rick gives this one a shot in the arm, while various versions of Rick and Morty go through the ringer.
13. Big Trouble in Little Sanchez (season 2, episode 7)
Tiny Rick is a hilarious riff on Rick’s personality, and the fact they can make it funny and find a sensible way out of the convoluted story is a credit to the show. Beth and Jerry’s half of the episode, with Jerry a limp slug and Beth a flesh-eating Xenomorph, does a fair share of the heavy lifting too.
12. Edge Of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat (season 4, episode 1)
The season 4 premiere splits up Rick and Morty to good effect, with Morty’s gem letting him see how he’ll die being an inventive narrative device. ‘Can our eventual goals get in the way of living in the moment?’, this episode asks, only with more blood and sci-fi murder. Rick’s multiverse-hopping isn’t new, but at least it’s funny.
11. Pickle Rick (season 3, episode 3)
In the episode 'Pickle Rick', Rick turns himself into a pickle. Other stuff happens too, but do any of us really care? It has some solid action sequences and ends on a powerful Susan Sarandon monologue, but the pickle is why fans either love or hate this one.
10. The Wedding Squanchers (season 2, episode 10)
Easily the squanchiest episode. This one fills out the stories of Tammy and Birdperson. It's an impressive bit of world-building and it’s frequently hilarious. As a finale, it does a brilliant job of driving a wedge between Jerry and the other Smiths, while letting Rick show off his selfless side for once.
9. Rattlestar Ricklactica (season 4, episode 5)
The only episode from Season Four so far to enter the top ten, it’s yet another amazing high concept. The episode revolves around a snake planet, where Morty’s interference in their ecosystem causes a civil war to spiral into a revolt against humanity.
8. Close Rick-Counters Of The Rick Kind (season 1, episode 10)
The penultimate episode of season one gave us the Council Of Ricks, Evil Morty and most importantly, Doofus Rick. It was nice to see a Rick (any Rick) bonding with Jerry, too. This might be the ‘Rick and Morty-est’ episode of the lot.
7. Meeseeks & Destroy (season 1, episode 5)
If you asked a Meeseeks to show you an all-time great Rick and Morty episode, they might well show you this one. While the Meeseeks take the spotlight to establish themselves as icons of the series, Morty’s busy almost getting molested by King Jellybean in another unforgettable adventure. Brilliant on all fronts, this one.
6. A Rickle In Time (season 2, episode 1)
A Rickle In Time gives us possibly the best insight into Rick we ever get, when he prepares to sacrifice his life for Morty to survive. Aside from that, the multiple timelines happening simultaneously is animated spectacularly, and Key and Peele’s guest spot as the time cops is criminally underrated.
5. Rixty Minutes (season 1, episode 8)
The first Interdimensional Cable episode is still the best, bringing a level of improv comedy that's previously unseen in the world of animation. Real Fake Doors, Ants In My Eyes Johnson, Two Brothers… this episode doesn’t put a foot wrong. The alternate dimension version of Jerry and Beth doesn’t feel necessary, but doesn’t detract from anything either.
4. The Rickshank Rickdemption (season 3, episode 1)
Season 3's premiere dropped on April Fools’ Day, though it was anything but foolish. It took us inside Rick’s story, fired out constant jokes and set the season up magnificently. Maybe it should lose points for starting the cringe-inducing Szechuan sauce fiasco, but this only just misses the top three.
3. The Ricks Must Be Crazy (Season 2, Episode 6)
The Ricks Must Be Crazy is unfairly known for the ‘slavery with extra steps’ meme when it’s actually one of the most well-rounded episodes the series has ever done. Sinking further and further into microverses, this episode just gets better and better, and is definitely one to rewatch.
2. The Ricklantis Mixup (season 3, episode 7)
The Ricklantis Mixup is one of the best episodes in modern animation, but it just misses out on the top spot because it’s not really a Rick and Morty episode. Not our Rick and Morty, anyway. Instead it’s a near perfect noir tale of politics, deception, friendship, and the return of Evil Morty.
1. Total Rickall (season 2, episode 4)
Ooh wee! Total Rickall takes the top spot with a magnificent collection of memory-invading parasites. It's a first-class example of how to raise the stakes constantly, tap into what makes the characters tick and tell a genuinely great sci-fi story. The episode introduced us to the legendary Mr. Poopybutthole, of course, but there's so much else to love in this dense episode, including the way it examines Jerry's lack of self-worth through the character of Sleepy Gary. A worthy winner.