Rick and Morty is funny. It’s really a show that can be anything, with characters that can go anywhere, and be in any story, but at its core it is really, really funny. It’s science fiction comedy pushed to its very limit, all fueled by the (probably unhinged) mind of Justin Roiland and tempered by the steady hand and experience of Dan Harmon (the man behind Community). The result is a half hour of insanity, hilarity, darkness, and a surprising amount of heart starring a brilliant and amoral scientist and his painfully average grandson. Even though it borrows and pays homage to so many other pieces of pop-culture history, Rick and Morty is a show like no other, and is currently my favourite one airing on TV. Here are 5 hilarious moments from the show that help illustrate the brilliance of its humour.
*Be warned, there are some “joke spoilers” here*
They’re just robots Morty
This is was a joke from the first episode in the series, and one that served an important purpose. It perfectly set the tone for the type of black comedy that would be present in this show’s DNA. It establishes just how screwed up an influence Rick is having on Morty’s life, and the jarring tonal shift from frantic escape to outright murder of a sentient life is darkly comic. Also, Rick’s declaration about the nature of bureaucrats gets me every time. The first episode isn’t on the level of what comes after, but this joke definitely showed a glimpse of this show’s brilliance.
You can run, but you can’t hide
This moment illustrates this show’s genre savvy nature. When Scary Terry (an obvious riff on Freddy Kruger) gives chase to Rick and Morty, loudly declaring that they could run but they couldn’t hide like so many monsters have before, the dismantlement of that trope that follows is incredible. Rick and Morty’s frank breakdown of what that line means really, the fact that just hiding seemed to be the best way to go, pointing out that attempting to do so would carry no risk anyways… just all of it was such a delight to watch. It was a perfect showcase of the treats this show has to offer for pop-culture nerds like myself, and it is far from the only one.
“Meeseeks and Destroy” is already considered something of a classic among Rick and Morty fans. Thought of by many to be the best episode of the series, this one focused on creatures known as Mr. Meeseeks. Created solely for the purpose of helping people accomplish a specific task, these guys crave completion and non-existence. When they help fulfill the person who called for them’s task, they disappear into blissful oblivion, but when that person’s goal is too unattainable they begin to crack up and lose it. What happens in this clip is like the perfect culmination of that, and when that Meeseeks at the end inquires into Jerry’s (Rick’s son in law’s) short game while holding a hapless bystander at knife point, it was like a singularity of humour. Everything coming together in a perfect blend of comedy and darkness. What this joke shows about Rick and Morty is that it will be a series remembered by many for a long time, that it is truly destined for greatness.
Rick’s gon’ give it to you
“You want dumb random humour done well? This show has that as too!” That was pretty much the message I got with this sequence featuring Rick and his granddaughter Summer pumping up so they could get revenge on the devil; just really getting jacked to beat him up, and then deciding they should be doing more of that to other people that deserve it. From attacking Neo-nazis, to schoolyard bullies, to homophobes, and then eventually settling for beating on a guy who’s kinda rough with his dog is hilarious. The aggressive rap music blaring in the background of all this is like the big x-shaped cherry on top.
Your father’s children
This joke from the season 2 premiere kept me afloat for the rest of the episode alone. It touches on the new dynamic between Rick and his two grandchildren, it provides nice character moments for everyone involved (Jerry’s patheticness, the kids and the their desperate attempts for approval, and Rick’s general apathy and cruelty), and it was also one of the funniest jokes I’ve seen all year. For me, it showed that the show still got it in the humour department, and also in its characterization. It totally took me off guard with the way Rick was soothing them along with a sentiment of shared interest, and then suddenly turning on them with a sharp lesson on individuality. This show has so many huge and insane moments in its constant stream of sci-fi adventures, but sometimes its the little things that make it.
So those are 5 of the funniest moments on the show. They weren’t in any particular order, and this doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other things that anyone reading this didn’t or won’t find more hilarious. This just gives a general sense of the different types of humour present here, and to maybe get some people who weren’t watching into the show (although I think I may have ruined a joke or two for you folks). All I’m saying though, is that I watch a lot of TV, and there’s a very good reason as to why this show is my favourite one that’s currently on the air.
Quote of the Day (and another example of a line that had me rolling):
“Uh Morty, I’m not disparaging the differently abled. I’m stating the fact that if I had used this microscope it would have made me mentally retarded.”
Rick Sanchez, Rick and Morty.