The long wait between Rick and Morty seasons is almost over. It’s about squanching time.
Fans have had to be extra patient in waiting for the fourth season of the hit animated series. Since the Season 3 finale aired in Oct. 2017, the show’s creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon signed a long term deal with Adult Swim, with the network ordering at least 70 new episodes.
Nevertheless, those episodes have been slow to materialize. Some of that is due to the show’s incredibly intricate sequences (think of Pickle Rick dicing his way through a mischief of rats) and detailed locations (like the Citadel of Ricks). But it’s also thanks in part to the vivid imagination of Roiland and Harmon, who seem to delight in creating strange and increasingly absurd characters for Rick and Morty to encounter.
Consider Scary Terry, who made his debut all the way back in the show’s second episode. A legally safe parody of Freddie Kruger, Scary Terry is a funny, tossed-off sketch of a character. And yet by the end of the episode, we’ve met his family and infant son, Scary Brandon, and learn that his insecurities are rooted in a bad experience in catchphrase class. For a guy with swords for fingers, he’s a deep and multifaceted character.
The Rick and Morty universe is populated with supporting characters like this. Here’s a look at 10 of our other favorites.
Any discussion about great Rick and Morty characters begins (and ends, obviously) with Mr. Poopybutthole. Mr. Poopybutthole — or MPB — makes his first appearance in the season 2 classic “Total Rickall,” in which an alien parasite preys on the Smiths’ memories. Mistaking MPB for a parasite, Beth shoots him at point-blank range. While this has obviously strained their relationship, Mr. Poopybutthole has been doing well: He got married, had a kid and even completed his GED. Here’s hoping in Season 4, he can finally reconcile with Beth (or her clone).
If you were to combine the DNA of Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler, one might think you’d get a “morally neutral super-leader.” Unfortunately, as Rick discovers, “turns out it just adds up to a lame, weird loser,” or as Lincler describes himself, “a suffering abomination tortured by the duality of its being.” It appears that Lincler gets a heroic death, something neither of his forefathers could claim. However, it turns out he wasn’t dead and the last we see of him, Abradolf is being used as a sex toy for giant testicle monsters. Don’t feel bad for him; one of his parents was Hitler, after all.
As played by television’s Andy Daly, Krombopulos Michael is without a doubt one of the friendliest assassins in the galaxy. Or rather, he WAS, because Morty accidentally (but kinda maybe on purpose, possibly?) lands a spaceship on him, killing him dead. But yeah, really, really nice guy, outside of the whole paid murderer thing.
Rick and Morty is imbued with a surprisingly rich mythology. No character illustrates this better than the deadpan yet deep Birdperson. He’s introduced as Rick’s friend in “Ricksy Business” and over the next season, he becomes an important figure in the show. His (SPOILER) apparent betrayal at the hands of Tammy Gueterman seemingly leaves him dead, but in the post-credits scene of the Season 3 opener, it’s revealed she’s resurrected him as Phoenixperson. Given how he’s factored into important plot points, it would be very surprising if he doesn’t swoop back (sorry) eventually.
When Pickle Rick — the beloved half-Rick, half-pickle with an exo-skeleton composed of rat and cockroach parts — makes his daring escape from the sewers, he surfaces inside a maximum security detention center that is home to, among other horrors, “Jaguar,” a wedge-shaped block of muscle and stubble, a freedom fighter of indeterminate nationality, voiced by the great Danny Trejo. As Pickle Rick kills one guard after another, the warden tells Jaguar, “You can stay, dead to the world and die in this room. Or you can kill a pickle for me and earn your freedom.” When the Pickle and the Jaguar find themselves in a shootout, Jaguar shouts, “This can only end with one of us dead, and I have never died,” an irrefutable boast that applies to literally everyone. Eventually, Rick and Jaguar find common cause, blow up the prison and escape in a helicopter. Be sure to stick around for the post-credit sequence where Jaguar comes to Rick and Morty’s rescue. – Scott Ross
With his gigantic, perfectly round head and a mouth the size of a dime, Tiny Mouth is the perfect spokesman for the fast-casual restaurant chain Lil’ Bits, which caters to people with tiny mouths, “where the food is tiny. It looks like regular food, but really tiny. You can put it in your mouth and eat it. Nothing gets stuck in your lips. It’s just tiny and tiny and fits right… fits right in.”
The ad forces you to confront one simple question: if you’ve got an abnormally small mouth, where else would you eat? “You hungry? Come on down… Eat some [Bleep] sh*t, you [Bleep] stupid bitch.” Honestly, there are a half-dozen characters from this episode (and its sequel,
“Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate”) that are Hall-of-Fame-worthy, but none of them have a tagline as simple, concise and snicker-inducing as “Lil bits.” – SR
To some (namely, Principal Vagina), The Cromulons are Gods capable of controlling the weather, reversing the magnetic fields and teleporting entire planets across the galaxy. But in the big picture, they’re really just a race of Giant Heads with a Simon Cowell complex. Thanks to Rick and Morty’s songwriting skills (along with a crucial assist from Ice-T, who is revealed to be a member of the alien race the Alphabetarians) Earth is declared the winner of the Planet Music competition and is saved from destruction at the hands…err, eyes(?) of The Cromulons. Not even the combined forces of Pharrell Williams, Randy Newman, Billy Corgan and The-Dream (RIP, all) could have done better.
Over the course of their adventures, Rick and Morty have fought off (and created) all sorts of enemies. However, the show seems to be slowly establishing one arch-villain of terrifying intelligence and power, and he’s not a Rick.
Evil Morty made his first appearance at the end of “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind” when (SPOILERS) he was outed as the puppet-master behind Evil Rick. After disappearing into a crowd of Morty refugees, it’s revealed in “The Ricklantis Mixup” that he is actually newly elected President Morty, and that he’s assumed control of the Citadel of Ricks on a campaign falsely built on inspiration and hope. As the corpses of his enemies float in the vacuum of space, the episode ends in genuinely chilling fashion (the soundtrack featuring Blonde Redhead’s haunting “For the Damaged Coda” helps a lot). Evil Morty is no joke; his character is a chilling representation of shadow power and it’s going to be interesting to see what the show does with him next.
With Morty longing to lead an adventure of his own and the rest of the Smith family once again coming to Rick to solve their problems, Rick has a choice to make. However, a choice between interdimensional adventure and helping his family is, for Rick, no choice at all. But before grabbing his grandson and firing up the old portal gun, he mollifies Jerry, Summer, and Beth by giving them an easy solution to their problems: a button that, when pressed, generates a little blue being who cheerfully announces, “I’m Mr. Meeseeks, look at me!” There are infinite Meeseeks, and they have a very specific purpose and a very specific lifespan: you tell the button what problem you want the Meeseeks to solve as you’re pressing it, and the Meeseeks gets to work on solving it; once that’s accomplished, the Meeseeks will disappear from existence.
But what happens when you ask the impossible of a Meeseeks, like helping Jerry take two strokes off his golf game? Because “Existence is pain for a Meeseeks,” they go crazy with frustration and long for the void that is their rightful home. Soon the Meeseeks are generating Meeseeks of their own to help Jerry, and the group eventually arrives at the only workable solution: If Jerry can’t keep his head down and his left arm straight, they’ll just have to kill him. Halfway through Rick and Morty’s first season, this was the episode that really hooked me on the possibilities of the show, using far-out sci-fi concepts to illustrate and satirize the human condition, and it’s still an all-timer. – Alex Castle
Rick and Morty viewers of a certain age recognize Squanchy as a riff on Snarf, sidekick to the Thundercats (or perhaps Smarf from “Too Many Cooks”) who speaks with the squanchy verb structure of the Smurfs. But where Snarf is timid and annoying, Squanchy is frisky and exuberant (perhaps a little too frisky). Like his friend Birdperson — whose wedding he officiates in the season 2 finale “The Wedding Squanchers” — his backstory is as unexpected as his berserker powers. We’re squanching hard for his comeback this season.
Rick and Morty returns for its fourth season this Sunday, Nov. 10 at 11:30pm ET. The pilot episode and season 3 are now available on Sling On Demand.