Rick and Morty is an incredible show, but it has a habit of crossing the line sometimes. Although that’s part of the animation’s charm, there is such a thing as going too far. Shocking audiences might be standard procedure for Rick and Morty, but that doesn’t mean we should let it slide all the time. There have definitely been a few times when we’ve questioned if something on the show was appropriate.
Starting off strong
In the first episode alone, the series made it clear it wasn’t always going to be comfortable viewing. After taking his grandson to another planet, Rick requests that he look after some precious seeds for when they go through customs. However, it’s where he tells him to put them that has us all questioning what we’re doing with our lives. This is something no man should ever ask of someone in their family, let alone their grandson. We can all feel Morty’s pain watching this episode.
As the series progress, Morty’s sister Summer becomes a more important character in the show. She takes an interest in the things her brother and grandpa get up to, but that isn’t always a good thing. In the episode “The Ricks Must Be Crazy,” she has to stay behind in the ship while the others go inside the battery to get it working again. Rick tells his spaceship to establish the protocol ‘Keep Summer Safe,’ but it has disastrous consequences. The vehicle kills unsuspecting people in the most brutal way, and every time Summer tells it to stop hurting them, it misconstrues the meaning and causes more damage. The whole time, all this teenage girl can do is sit and watch as innocent people are psychologically and physically harmed right before her eyes.
So much death
That’s not the only time the series has been a bit too gruesome. The episode “Pickle Rick” sees the titular character transform himself into a pickle to avoid family therapy. An unfortunate turn of events sees him end up in the sewer, but he isn’t defenseless. He manages to take out a cockroach and control its body to make it easier to move. From there, things only get worse. Plenty of rats end up on the wrong side of Rick, and we have to watch as they’re brutally torn apart by this walking pickle. It might be an animation, but that doesn’t mean it’s not uncomfortable to watch all this gore while you’re trying to eat your dinner.
The toll of life
The series doesn’t always do the things you’d expect. When a potion concocted by Rick in the episode “Rick Potion #9” goes awry, the people of the world turn into Cronenberg-esque monsters. Rather than finding a way to cure everyone, Rick takes Morty to an alternate universe. Here, a version of them already exists, so the two have to bump their other selves off. The episode ends with them burying their bodies in the backyard, something that continues to haunt Morty throughout the show. The trauma that it inflicts on the child makes you wonder if the episode went too far.
In the episode “Meeseeks and Destroy,” all Morty wanted to do was have an adventure his way. However, in typical Rick and Morty fashion, things did not go to plan. During a scene in the bathroom, the child almost becomes the victim of an assault when an otherworldly creature comes onto him. Things escalate very quickly, and it forces Morty to terminate the assailant lest something incredibly traumatic happen. Even the series creator knew it could cause controversy, though he kept the scene in anyway. No 14 year old should have to go through something like that.
After reminiscing about all those moments, we feel a little unsettled. Despite being put off by the show sometimes, though, it’s never going to stop us from watching it. Rick and Morty is just too good to give up.