Way back in 2014, when the world was a much more innocent place, we did a list like this for Rick and Morty season 1.* In these current, turbulent times, we grope for comforts of the past, such as quaint top ten lists, so how about another one!
Also, Rick and Morty season 2 is coming out on DVD and Blu-Ray, so why not let’s do it again for this season, yeah? What, you got a good reason we shouldn’t? Get up on outta here with my eyeholes!
10. The Plumbus
The Plumbus is probably the second-most iconic thingy to come out of the second season. The combination of co-creator Justin Roiland ad-libbing a slew of nonsense words and the artists figuring out how to depict those various nonsenses makes for what’s essentially an episode of How It’s Made about an imaginary alien doohickey with no clear discernible function. But we do know that it all starts when they take the dinglebop and smooth it out with a bunch of schleem. After that, quite a lot of rubbing takes place.
The Plumbus is so darned famous, the DVD/Blu-Ray release comes with a Plumbus manual (helpfully printed in both English and some alien language). It’s very detailed! You still won’t know what the hell a Plumbus does though.
9. Rick Cancels Community
In the episode “Auto Erotic Assimilation,” there’s a moment of blatant fan service with a quick nod to co-creator Dan Harmon’s other sitcom, Community. I happen to be a huge fan of Community so this goes on my list!
Having a bit of fun abusing the powers of his lover, hive-mind entity Unity, Rick has her use a group of mind-controlled aliens to create his own sitcom, some of which sounds awfully familiar (“Now make ‘em all make fun of the blonde one!”) and some of which deviates from what aired on NBC (“Now make ‘em all do it on the table!”). And then, just like the real Community, the show is canceled and then it’s put back on and then everyone just kind of gets bored with it.
8. Jerry’s Brief and Horrible Alien Adventure
An underrated sequence I don’t see mentioned often, after getting sick of being coddled at the Jerryboree! Daycare Center, Morty’s dad decides to take his chances exploring the surrounding alien world. What follows is a series of unfortunate otherworldly events.
Jerry tries to pet some tentacle-faced rat creature and then runs into an alien who seems to be begging for something, but then explodes, covering Jerry in a blue goop, which smaller aliens come to scoop up and drink. Jerry then runs into the guy in the above image, who is easily one of my favorite alien designs of the whole series. He seems to have fat baby legs coming out of his orifices? Very nice.
7. Rick Tries to ‘Splode His Own Head
I always love when Rick and Morty drops the really dark shit and the ending of “Auto Erotic Assimilation” is some of the show’s darkest. Rick tries to kill himself in an awfully convoluted way with some sort of sci-fi exploder machine while the melancholy “Do You Feel It?” by Chaos Chaos plays. It’s Rick and Morty’s signature move to abruptly, but believably, flip in an instant from comedy to tragedy and this moment fits alongside the show’s best sad junk!
I also feel really badly for that lumpy little alien Rick murders just to test out his suicide machine.
6. Morty Turns into a Car
According to Rick, he apparently gave Morty the ability to turn into a car in a pinch. Even though Rick’s scientific genius makes pretty much anything possible, this still seems almost too ridiculous, so it’s great that the show handles it as such. Morty doesn’t manage to turn into a car when it’s actually useful, but it does happen at completely inopportune times, like in the middle of math class, making for one of the series’ best ever end tags.
5. Werner Herzog’s Penis Speech
My personal favorite moment of the mostly improv’d “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate” is actually a tightly scripted monologue performed by the great Werner Herzog. For a half a minute, an alien in a wheelchair voiced by Herzog somberly explains how the human race is obsessed with penises.
“It’s funny to say they are small. It’s funny to say they are big. I’ve been at parties where humans have held bottles, pencils, thermoses in front of themselves and called out, ‘Hey, look at me, I’m Mr. So-And-So Dick, I’ve got such-and-such for a penis.’ I never saw it fail to get a laugh.”
Incidentally, in the DVD commentary for this episode the crew talks about what it was like to work with Herzog and it’s as awesome and Herzogian as you would hope.
4. Keep Summer Safe
This side plot in “The Ricks Must Be Crazy” is chock full of deliciously dark material. Rick leaves Summer in his highly intelligent spaceship/car, giving it the basic directive to “keep Summer safe,” which the car interprets as “kill everyone who comes close to it.” Summer, not unlike a young John Connor, is no fan of this and has to keep revising the car’s directive to stop it from inflicting violence on people.
Unfortunately, the car’s solutions to the problem end up being far worse than a wee spot of murder, culminating in a cop being introduced to a clone of his dead son who informs him to “leave the car alone” before melting to mush in his poor father’s hands. This show is a real gas!
3. Mr. Poopy Butthole
Ah! It’s everyone’s favorite character. I know he’s been with us from the beginning so it seems unfair he gets his own entry on a list specifically about season 2, but can you blame me?! It’s Mr. Poopy Butthole! Rick and Morty’s unofficial mascot! Ooowee!
2. Roy: A Life Well Lived
A brilliant gag in “Mortynight Run,” Roy: A Life Well Lived is a fully immersive VR (or maybe like VR+++++) experience you can play at Blips and Chitz in which you live the life of an average Earth man from childhood until death. If you’re not that great at the game, like Morty, you might die from a fall while working at the carpet store. But a pro like Rick knows how to game the game so Roy rips up his social security card early on and goes off the grid.
It’s a hilarious notion that there’s an arcade game purely concerned with living the most interesting life possible. The machine even spits out tickets depending on how well you do. It’s also a great riff on that Star Trek episode, “The Inner Life” that manages to do what that episode did in a fraction of the time! Eat it, Star Trek! It’s also worth noting there’s a sequel, but all we know of it is the title: “Roy 2: Dave.” The mind boggles…
1. Get Schwifty
If I’m being honest, “Get Schwifty” the episode was one of my least favorites of the season. It was just too goofy to get deeply invested in (though maybe Water-T and the Rise of the Numbericons should get an honorable mention on this list). But I can’t deny how catchy that damn song is. I was singing it for weeks after the episode aired. I’ve got it in my head right now just from typing this.
It also took on a life of its own. There are countless remixes on the web, like this one Adult Swim actually endorsed or this one by a guitarist/producer from an actual band. Or perhaps you wanted a metal version? Coolest of all is artist Sage Francis regularly performing a pitch-perfect cover of the song at his live shows.
Pretty impressive for some stock track from a sound library that Justin Roiland ad-libbed nonsense over in one take!
Okay, go get the Rick and Morty Season 2 DVD and/or Blu-Ray to relive all this sci-fi rigmarole business and be sure to comment below about how I’m a stupid moron for not including Krombopulos Michael on this list!
*We put “ridiculously” and not “Rickdiculously” in the title last time. I promised I wouldn’t let that happen again. I am a man of my word and a hero of modern times.