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6 Times ‘Rick and Morty’ Taught Valuable Family Lessons

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If you watch Rick and Morty, you know it’s super funny in a high-concept, rewind a few seconds because you missed a witty beat kind of way. If you’re a true fan, you probably have closed captioning on so you catch all the yummy pop-culture references. But “funny” isn’t the only thing this show has going for it. It has heart. It’s cheesy, but it’s true. The family dynamic is authentic, relatable, and hilariously raw. Perhaps the show’s creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland are actually trying to teach us important lessons about being a family and this whole haha, Rick’s an abrasive alcoholic mad scientist bit is just a cover. Here are the precious moments where Rick and Morty intentionally or otherwise taught valuable family lessons.

1. “Parents are just kids having kids.”

Morty sees himself become his parents in “Raising Gazorpazorp” and realizes the challenges of raising a child. Beth tells Morty that parenting is a thankless job and that all you can do is your best. The lesson could also be: don’t do it without protection… even if she says she’s just a sex robot.

2. “Will you fix your marriage or get a divorce already?”

Failed by “Earth therapy”, Beth and Jerry go to an off-planet therapy retreat. We see how Beth and Jerry actually perceive each other, with Jerry as a weak, wormy version of himself and Beth as a full-on monster. In “Big Trouble in Little Sanchez” we see what it means to be in a marriage on the rocks and the lengths people will go to try to save it.

3. “I turned myself into a pickle, Morty!”

In the Pickle Rick episode of Season Three, we see the family in an intense family therapy session where the members’ varied dysfunctional behaviors come to light. Pottery enamel huffing, anyone? Rick, however, is in pickle form to avoid the session. Ultimately, though, Rick lets his guard down and confesses that a life without his family is worse than the guilt he feels of breaking Beth and Jerry apart. See y’all, you can’t run away from family.

4. “Oh my god! Dad’s in Cloud Atlas!”

All bad things start with cable. I say that from experience because now my boyfriend obsessively watches Impractical Jokers and it drives me crazy. In “Rixty Minutes”, Jerry sees himself on TV and, with the help of Interdimensional Goggles, both Jerry and Beth see their lives if they hadn’t stayed together. At first it’s all human-surgeon fun, but eventually the two’s alternate lives take a sad, lonely turn. The lesson? Money and fame can’t replace love, family, and dare we say it… kids.

5. *The quote in the giphy below*

In “Something Ricked This Way Comes”, Jerry’s insecurity over his intellectual capacity is revealed. Morty reluctantly agrees to let his dad help him with his science project. Antics involving a trip to Pluto, the “planet”, ensue. We learn, however, that motivation is not all one-sided. Kids play a role in motivating their parents and making them feel good about themselves too. D’aw.

6. “I just wanted to say goodbye to the kids” *the sound of me crying*

Some real heartfelt shtuff goes down in “Rickmancing the Stone” (it’s also a cool Mad Max parody). Anyway, we see the ramifications of Jerry and Beth deciding on divorce. No uplifting lesson here. Just the sad reality of real life relationships. This isn’t a fairytale Disney princess story, everyone.

Did you realize I mostly talked about the relationship between Jerry and Beth and the moments that led up to their divorce? Did you know that I’m a child of divorce and I’m totally cool with it? Did you know that I’m so over it and everything’s okay and I don’t have a pessimistic, skewed view of “love”? Did you know I actually said “love” sarcastically because I don’t know if I believe in it? Answer ALL my questions on Twitter @AndiHester!