If there’s one constant in Rick and Morty, it’s that Rick is a terrible person. Or is he?
Any fan of the show knows that his universe-destroying ways are just a gruff exterior. But did you know how often Rick and Morty shows you just how much of a hero Rick really is?
Except that he kills innocent people on a regular basis. But that doesn’t matter, does it?
8 – Rick Makes a Love Potion
Episode: “Rick Potion #9” (S1E6)
Early in the run of Rick and Morty, the show was still taking shape. We didn’t know the characters well yet, and maybe the characters didn’t know each other that well, either.
Rick had just returned from a galaxy far, far away, and proceeded to take Morty on horrifying superscience adventures day after day. The first thing the show establishes is that Rick is not nice. The series began with Morty talking Rick out of destroying the world with a neutrino bomb. Because he was drunk and angsty that morning.
Several episodes in, all Morty sees is a grandfather who can seemingly do anything with his science. So, he does the natural teenage thing: He asks for a love potion to make his crush Jessica notice him. Rick says no because that’s a terrible idea, and Morty throws a tantrum and makes a stink over helping Rick so much without ever getting anything in return.
Weirdly, Rick agrees. With some annoyance, but he does it. It’s the first indication that Rick isn’t entirely self-centered. He knows how hung up Morty is on Jessica (he was going to save her as well as Rick from that bomb, after all), and he’s willing to do something nice for Morty. Rick gives him a lot of help with Jessica over the course of the show, although this is the only time he intervenes with his “unique skills”.
Of course, the plan turns out completely terrible and ends up destroying all human civilization. The “love potion” is a highly contagious virus that rewrites people’s DNA so they’re attracted to Morty. When Morty finds himself with a horde of people chasing after him, Rick tries several tweaks to the recipe. Each of them just make things worse, until the world is full of soul-scarring Cronenberg monsters.
End result, Rick and Morty flee to an alternate reality where they live for the rest of the series.
That’s not Rick’s fault, though. Like he said, all he wanted was for Morty to hand him a screwdriver.