When Rick and Morty first premiered, I don’t think anyone would have ever predicted the crazy amount of adventures that the titular characters would get into. However, over the last five seasons, we’ve seen a pretty standard trend – Rick Sanchez is a pretty bad grandfather.
Don’t get me wrong. He’s had some great moments and is a very complex character in general. But his moments of selflessness are few and far between, often putting his own happiness and wants before the safety and lives of the ones he’s supposed to care for, like his grandchildren, both Morty and Summer. From the very beginning of his time on the show to some of the latest stunts he’s pulled, here are some of Rick Sanchez’s worst moments as a grandfather.
Rick Completely Forgets Summer And Leaves Her Behind (Season 4, Episode 7)
While most of these on the list will be comprised of Rick with Morty, considering that’s who Rick goes on his adventures with the most, I had to at least include one moment between Rick and his granddaughter, Summer. In the Season 4 episode, “Promortyus,” Rick, Morty, and Summer end up going on an adventure to a world that is run by face-sucking parasites that control the brains of the ones they inhabit, before dying literally thirty minutes later after being born.
Summer is completely forgotten by Rick when they somehow find a way out, but instead of becoming a parasite, she ends up becoming ruler of the world because of a toothpick in her mouth that the parasites witnessed as a godly act, and encourages the Glorzo (the parasites) to rebuild their world. Thank God for that, because who would have known what would happen to Summer if she didn’t have that toothpick as that one episode “thing.”
Rick Keeps Several Memories From Morty (Season 3, Episode 8)
“Morty’s Mind Blowers” has always been one of the best episodes of Rick and Morty, because it shows just how much Rick truly keeps from Morty. When Morty wants a traumatic memory deleted, Rick reveals a room to him that is filled to the brim with deleted memories, all of which are usually bad.
While it’s fine to keep traumatic memories at bay, Morty finds out that Rick took many memories from his mind to keep Rick in a good light with him. Most of the memories he removed showed just how selfish Rick is and how often he would leave behind his grandson to survive.
Rick Ruins Morty’s Heist Movie Netflix Pitch (Season 4, Episode 3)
This episode of Rick and Morty, “One Crew over the Crewcoo’s Morty,” may seem simple at first, but when everything is broken down at the end, the epitome of Rick’s selfishness is revealed. When Morty begins to show a true passion for creating a heist script and pitching it to Netflix, Rick creates this whole entire crazy heist plot so he can tire Morty out of actually pitching his own heist movie.
Because of this, Rick still gets to keep Morty all to himself, because Morty loses that passion very quickly and continues to go on adventures with Rick. You can look at it from a different angle and think, “maybe Rick was just lonely,” but at the same time, no normal person would go to lengths like that just so they could have their grandson for some more adventures. Rick purposefully wanted to see the light die from Morty’s eyes when it came to his passion – and that’s just awful.
Rick Makes His Family Relocate To An Entirely New Planet (Season 2, Episode 10)
The Season 2 finale of Rick and Morty, “The Wedding Squanchers,” is my favorite finale throughout all the series, because so much happens. While the wedding-turned-massacre and “Tammy-was-an-evil-person-all-along-twist” were both great, the episode also gave another look into Rick’s character as a whole.
While Rick could have just easily turned himself into the Galactic Federation for all his crimes, he purposefully moves him and his whole family to another planet far away from the Federation so he wouldn’t have to own up. It changes all of their lives and they are absolutely miserable, but for the time, it didn’t matter because he was safe, right?
Thankfully, Rick makes the right decision near the end, turning himself in so his family could return to Earth without being in danger, but no one can forget what he did before that. It took hearing the whole family (minus Jerry) try and defend Rick for what he did for him to realize how horrible of a person he was being.
The Real Reason Why Rick Keeps Morty Around (Season 1, Episode 10)
I feel like this episode was the beginning of a whole new part of the fandom in Rick and Morty because so many people love it when Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland continue this amazing saga. “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” was one of the first couple of moments in the show where we see the real Rick – and why he brings Morty along on his adventures.
Turns out, it’s not because he loves his grandson dearly. In the Citadel of Ricks, when Rick is accused of murdering his alternate selves, Morty discovers that the reason Rick always forces him to come along on his adventures is because of his “Morty waves,” which basically means low-intelligence brain waves, to cloak Rick from various threats. Talk about an “ouch” kind of moment.
Rick Has Morty Bury His Own Dead Body (Season 1, Episode 6)
Another great moment in Season 1 of Rick and Morty, in “Rick Potion #9,” again shows the lengths Rick is willing to go, barely caring about the mental health or safety of his grandson. When Morty asks Rick for some kind of love potion, Rick gives it to Morty to use on his school crush, Jessica. However, Rick forgets to inform Morty that he can’t use the potion during flu season, otherwise, people will turn into infected monsters.
Well, guess what? It was flu season.
Because of this, the love potion spread through an airborne virus and ends up infecting the whole population, to the point where Rick and Morty can’t fix it after trying several different ways to try and end it. So, Rick takes Morty into another dimension so they can live normally without the mutation pandemic – but this, in turn, leads to the deaths of their alternate selves. Rick then has Morty, alongside himself, literally bury their own dead bodies before resuming their place in society quietly.
It’s screwed up in so many ways and honestly needs to be addressed more in the show. Poor Morty probably has PTSD at this point.
Rick Crafts His “Vat Of Acid” Lesson For Morty (Season 4, Episode 8)
“The Vat Of Acid Episode” is a mixed bag of amazing storytelling, great messages, and Rick just being an utter ass to his grandson. In this episode, Rick goes to drastic lengths to try and prove a point to Morty, relenting to Morty’s complaints about building a time-saving device, which he does. Morty is so excited at first to use it, and even ends up meeting the girl of his dreams before Jerry (of course) accidentally resets his whole life.
Later on in the episode, it’s revealed by Rick that the device doesn’t actually allow Morty to time-travel at all. All it does is create alternate realities where several different versions of Morty’s have perished and died. He was willing to literally kill infinite Mortys just to prove a point.
And what makes it worse is that Morty has to then give in to Rick’s idea of the brilliant “vat of acid” by faking his own death in front of the authorities.
It’s a real punch in the gut to Morty and again shows just how awful Rick is.
You think your daddy issues are bad, look no further than Rick Sanchez, for some serious issues. With Rick and Morty Season 5 well underway as part of the 2021 Summer TV shows, it’s only a matter of time before we get to witness more and more horrible schemes by Rick – that will most likely endanger Morty or Summer again.
If you want to re-watch all the trauma Morty endured, be sure to check out how to stream Rick and Morty.