Rick and Morty

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Rick and Morty TV Poster Image
Ribald, drunken animated comedy is too edgy for most teens.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 48 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 160 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show leans on edgy content and at least one morally despicable character to get laughs. It's a successful ploy, but it downplays the realistic repercussions for the characters' behavior. Death, violence, lust, and alcoholism are meant to be comical rather than worrisome, and some racial and gender stereotypes exist as well. Rick's influence over Morty is emotionally scarring, and he bullies him into doing some pretty dangerous things. Little is sacred in the show's content, so expect to hear and see it all.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rick teases and torments Morty into submission, subjecting him to extreme emotional abuse until he complies. He mocks the value of school, encourages his grandson's lustful thoughts about his crush, and is a raging alcoholic. Morty is unable to stand up for himself around his domineering grandfather. Although Morty's dad is aware of Rick's bad influence, Morty's mom encourages the damaging relationship. Of course, this is all meant in fun.

Violence

Many scenes are violent, though the animation style lessens the content's impact. Humans and otherworldly creatures exchange gunfire, and those who are hit (usually the nonhumans) spurt blood, explode, are dismembered, and often die. Broken bones, bloody surgical scenes in a vet's office, and violent bullying are common. When humans die, it's usually in a semicomical way, like being frozen and then shattered.

Sex

Morty's unrequited lust for a classmate is common fodder for sexually driven content. In one scene, he dreams about Jessica showing him her boobs (the top half of which are shown) and asking him to squeeze them and "knock them around." Background visuals such as wall decor show scantily clad women in suggestive positions. A lesser character's name is Principal Vagina.

Language

"Hell" and "damn" are frequent flyers.  

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Rick's alcoholism is central to the plot and drives his erratic and dangerous behavior, all of which is meant to be funny rather than concerning. He's often seen drinking and wears a permanent splotch of booze spittle on his lip.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rick and Morty is intended for mature viewers who can take the copious violence, alcohol consumption, and sexual content in stride. The show centers on a degenerate relationship between an anxious, socially marginal teen and his lunatic lush of a grandfather who drags him into absurd schemes through time and space. In other words, there are no positive role models here; in fact, the show's foundation is the sadistic emotional control Rick wields over Morty. Violence is graphic albeit in a cartoon way, so you'll see body explosions, gushing wounds, weapon use, and some death. Expect some sexually suggestive stuff as well, with hints at nudity (a girl flashes Morty, although only the top part of her breasts is visible) and some bawdy talk about sexuality.

User Reviews

Parent of a 15 year old Written byleafinthewind November 13, 2014
This website is always concerned with sex jokes so let me give you an example of how this show handles the topic. In one episode, Morty's (14) family hears... Continue reading
Parent of a 12 year old Written byedievoronova November 13, 2014

For smart kids only

Yes, there are indeed drinking and references to sex, but mostly there are original storylines, fantastic jokes, plus discussions on morality and family bonding... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDr. Zoigberg 97 December 7, 2013

Hilarious

Do not skip over this because I'm a teenager. Out of the entire adult swim line up nothing beats Rick and morty. This show is clever, creative, original an... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old December 7, 2013

What the

Give it a chance, I know there is some violence but not graphic, you guys gave South Park iffy 13-17, this iffy 14-17, South Park is 10 times worse than this, f... Continue reading

What's the story?

RICK AND MORTY follows the misadventures of a socially awkward teen and his alcoholic grandfather as they travel through various dimensions carrying out bizarre schemes. For Morty (voiced by Justin Roiland), high school is a minefield of social traps, from him hiding his crush on the school hottie to fending off pressure from bullies. Still, when it comes down to it, he'd rather be there than riding shotgun with his grandfather, Rick (Roiland again), a scientific genius who's dangerously off his rocker but determined to have Morty along for ride...and to do the grunt work for him.

Is it any good?

Nurturing, supportive, caring -– these are the markers of grandfathers at their very best, and they're polar opposites to those that describe Rick. He's narcissistic, indulgent, and crass, not to mention a raging alcoholic with no sense of moral judgment. His schemes always spell disaster in some form for his unfortunate grandson, who nevertheless continues to be victimized by Rick's verbal abuse and falls in line time and again.

Rick and Morty does a decent job of putting the fun in a dysfunctional relationship, but it comes at the cost of common decency. It boasts an impressive voice cast, including Sarah Chalke and Chris Parnell as Morty's parents. Still, obviously this isn't one for tweens, and its rampant sexuality and violence make it iffy for most teens. On the other hand, adults could find a guilty pleasure in the characters' bizarre adventures and sci-fi mishaps.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the market for shows such as this one. Is this the kind of entertainment adults want? What is the appeal of animated series for grown-ups?

  • Is this series controversial? Does any of its content cross the line? Do TV ratings do enough to warn viewers about a show's content?

  • How much of what we see in entertainment do we internalize? Is it important that the characters be good role models or not? What shows do you watch that have positive behavior models?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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