Rick Sanchez is the co-eponymous main character and leading protagonist of the Rick and Morty series.
A cold-hearted yet brilliant elderly scientist and inventor living with his daughter's family, and Summer and Morty's maternal grandfather. Rick constantly drags his grandchildren along on adventures that serve purposes rarely expressed. He has access to all sorts of technology he's supposedly invented all on his own, or acquired from alien species, and he is (in)famous among aliens as one of the most intelligent beings in existence. Despite that, he drinks and behaves like a Jerkass most of the time, and finds that his technology is really cut out for bigger problems than found everyday in the family, though when the two combine the result is never a pretty sight.
Rick is a tall, lanky old man. He has long legs and arms and is very skinny. He has a dimly tanned ashy complexion and grey-blue hair with a bald spot on the back of his head. He has spiky hair on his head and a unibrow. His face is wrinkly as he has bags under his eyelids and a pressure fold above his unibrow that follows its position and laugh lines on both sides of his mouth. He wears a white lab coat with a light blue green shirt underneath. He also wears brown pants, a dark brown belt with a yellow buckle, and black shoes. He is occasionally seen with some green spill on his mouth, Showing up mainly when he is drunk or after he throws up. Rick speaks in a rambling, stammering manner that is often interrupted by belching and gagging, usually from being drunk.
Rick is a genius scientist, capable of creating complex scientific inventions, including brain-enhancing helmets, dream-invading devices, portals to several different dimensions, and the world's first amusement park inside the body of a living human. His brilliance can be muddled by his jaded personal views and his alcoholic tendencies. Rick is easily bored and does not do well with routine. When his curse removing store in the episode Something Ricked This Way Comes started requiring real work, Rick simply lit the whole store on fire and abandoned it. He regularly goes to other dimensions to harvest resources and will often willingly kill aliens to get them. He is willing to be extremely brutal such as when people betray him or his life or those close to him are danger. He is usually portrayed as homicidal and having a large disregard for life, enough that he came close to bombing the world with neutrinos while drunk. He was shown to find killing fun during the Purge and was even willing to kill Morty's half-Gazorpian son due to the child's danger to everyone and unstable nature.
This does not make him completely heartless, however, as he has been shown to be shocked, startled or annoyed by loss of life that he deems unnecessary, foolish or unreasonable. He was annoyed at Morty for letting Fart live, resulting in a chase with local police that cost many bystanders their lives, and he was panicked when Unity destroyed an entire city that Rick thought still had people in it, since he was unsure if Summer and Morty were there or not. He also was shocked and upset by people he was close to dying or nearly dying, such as when Mr. Poopybutthole was shot and he ran to his side in fear for the latter's life. When Bird Person was killed by Tammy, Rick flew into a rage, mowing down multiple Federation troops. Rick gasped when seeing Jerry being shot several times and left mutilated. During the time of the Festival, he only watched the killing for a few short seconds before becoming overwhelmed by the violence and vomiting. Later, when helping Arthricia get revenge against the upper class, he felt he had done enough killing and began to find it gratuitous.
Contrary to popular belief, Rick is not a nihilist. Although his commonly-stated viewpoint on life may be the typical nihilistic idealism that "nothing has meaning", he doesn't always put his money where his mouth is. Rick expresses love and emotion for his family and lovers on an almost episodic basis. Plot relevant instances include "The ABC's of Beth", which proves his fatherly love for Beth and "Auto Erotic Assimilation", where his being dumped by Unity made him depressed enough to cry. Rick frequently reminds people that he's above everything that could hold meaning or value to him and made "I don't give a fuck!" his new catchphrase in "Ricksy Business", but this is all a mask. Rick does care about maintining positive relationships with others and holds sentimental value of his family.
Rick has the tendency to be possessive and dominating of Morty, believing the boy to be his own personal helper. This doesn't prevent Rick from genuinely caring about Morty. He occasionally uses his own inventions to improve his grandson's life, such as invading the dreams of Mr. Goldenfold to help raise the boy's math grades (although raising Morty's grades would have the side benefit of preventing Morty's parents from removing Rick's helper) Rick can also be protective of Morty, as shown in the episode "Meeseeks and Destroy", where he eventually sets aside his cynicism to allow Morty to have a positive adventure, and abruptly kills Mr. Jellybean as the two are leaving the fantasy world because of the previous attempted rape on Morty. He even tried to sacrifice himself for Morty in A Rickle in Time and accepted death, that is until he saw a way out of dying. He cried when seeing pictures of Morty and remembering Morty as a newborn reaching out to him, when he was held captive by Evil Rick, causing Evil Rick to mock him and then for Rick to insult him back.
Rick and Morty have a strong bond, though their relationship is strained due to Rick's cynicism, alcoholism, lack of conventional morality, and his tendency to push aside other members of the Smith family. Rick clearly doesn't respect Jerry in any sense, and his relationship with Beth can be tumultuous at times. In "Raising Gazorpazorp"and "Something Ricked This Way Comes", Summer tags along on some of Rick's adventures. Though Rick initially had very little interest in her, the two have begun to develop a closer bond.
Rick has trouble taking orders from others, is very anti-totalitarian, and seems to dislike people with authority and government officials. He refuses to join the Council of Ricks because he views them as a government. He also calls the guards at Intergalactic Customs "robots" and claims that he doesn't respect them, as he deems them bureaucrats and doesn't like "being told where to go and what to do". Rick also has a great dislike of standardized education, claiming that school "isn't a place for smart people" and a "waste of time", and insists that things such as studying and homework are pointless and stupid.
Rick holds seemingly contradictory beliefs on religion, at one point telling Summer at the breakfast table in the pilot, "There is no God", yet in the "Anatomy Park" episode, he tells the family "Do you realize that Christ was born today? Jesus Christ our savior was born today-are you people even human? What kind of Christmas is this?" (although he was most likely sarcastic), quickly recognizing Mr. Needful as the Devil, and when he thinks he is going to die while one of the other sixty-three Ricks is chasing after Morty's lost collar, actually kneels and prays-"Please God, if there's a Hell, please be merciful to me" (significantly, when no one else can hear him). When the 1/64th Rick succeeds, he yells "Fuck you God, not today, bitch!" When the Ricks recombine in the presence of Summer and Morty, however, he once again says "I did it! There is no God! In your face!" It's possible this is just due to Rick's ego and his complete confidence in his own abilities.
Despite his general disregard for others, he is shown to harbor deep emotional pain and sorrow, especially when it comes to his romantic relationships, such as with his ex-wife and Unity. Not much is known about his marriage, but the absence of his wife is possibly a contributing factor to his current personality. Much more is known about his relationship with Unity. After freshening up during a long party with Unity's hive mind avatars, he returned to find Unity and all the planet's inhabitants gone, leaving behind a farewell note for Rick explaining that while Unity enjoyed its time with him, they could not be together, as they were too alike in the sense that they both turn others into mirror images of themselves, though in Rick's case, he does so through bad influence rather than assimilation.
Dejected, heartbroken, and alone, Rick returned home, where he was confronted by Beth over the basement lair and the escaped alien, and asked to keep no more alien pets. To Beth's (and the whole family's) shock, Rick simply conceded and retreated to the garage, where he clumsily attempted suicide with a makeshift death ray. He first killed a small, baby-like blob creature he kept, hoping to cure the space AIDS which the alien apparently suffered from. After Beth and Jerry let Blim Blam escape, Rick lost his chance to find the cure, hence his decision to euthanize the small alien. He thawed it out with a serum, comfortingly petting it as it cried out and screamed. He turned it to ash with the death ray before he sat down under it as it was about to fire again, only to pass out at the last moment while the death ray overloaded and fried. He remained slumped over his workbench, passed out, for the majority of the day and night. Rick and Morty then visited Beta 7's world, where Unity is staying. Rick demanded to see Unity, but Beta 7 informs Rick he is considered a "hostile entity" and threatened to attack the two unless they left, which Rick reluctantly did at Morty's urging.
Originally, Rick's consumption of alcohol is presented more from a comedic viewpoint throughout the series' run, but in the Season 1 finale "Ricksy Business", Bird Person claims that Rick is in "great pain" (citing his catchphrase "wubba lubba dub dub" as meaning "I am in great pain. Please help me." in Bird Person's language), and that he uses drugs and alcohol to numb himself. This is most likely due to his genius intelligence, and the traumatizing effect that his continuous adventures may have on him, in the past and present (in "Rick Potion No. 9", Rick explains that the best method on how to deal with horrible events and outcomes is to "not think about it").
Throughout his numerous adventures with Morty, Rick has been shown to be ready and willing to disregard rules, laws and social norms if it is necessary to complete a task or escape a dangerous situation. Season one has Rick resorting to assault, battery, vandalism, smuggling, corruption of a minor, home invasion, reckless endangerment, terrorist threats, indecent exposure and even murder and arson in order to get the job done. The most common crimes committed are driving (or flying) under the influence, drug abuse, and public intoxication.
In "The Wedding Squanchers," Rick is arrested by the Galactic Federation. His full criminal record is displayed on a monitor. Although in an alien language and unreadable, it is shown to be quite long. After he is placed under maximum security, another prisoner asks him "What are you in for?", to which Rick responds simply with "Everything"
- Assault: In the episode A Rickle in Time, Rick started beating up a member of the Galactic Federation. Also in the pilot episode, Rick slaps a bystander alien in the face while fleeing from airport security, causing the alien to cry
- Bioterrorism: In the episode Rick Potion #9, Rick made a dysfunctional love potion that spread a flu-like virus to everyone in the world, which caused them to rip apart and mutate into giant praying mantis monsters. He attempted to fix this, by using another potion, but this only made them mutate again, cronenberging the entire world. He couldn't fix the mutations in the end, and just left the dimension with Morty, leaving all of the mutated humans behind.
- Breaking and Entering (Burglary): In the episode Lawnmower Dog, Rick and Morty snuck into Mr. Goldenfold's house while he was sleeping with the intent to brainwash him into giving Morty an A in math by invading Mr. Goldenfold's his dreams and incepting the idea.
- Cable Piracy: In the episodes Rixty Minutes and Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate, Rick used an interdimensional cable box to stream an infinite amount of TV channels to his own television and the intergalactic hospital television.
- Child Abuse: In most episodes of the series, Rick takes Morty along with him on all of his adventures, sometimes against his will. He often endangers his life as well as leaving him traumatized and mentally scarred by exposing him to scary and horrible things, such as watching himself get killed and having to bury his own body or being forced to kill clones of his family. Morty is also the victim of lots of physical damage such as breaking his legs in three places. In the episode Total Rickall, Rick was even seen pushing Morty down a stairwell, simply as a practical joke, in a flashback montage, along with other ways Rick has mistreated him.
- Corpse Mutilation: In "Pickle Rick", he ripped apart the bodies of multiple rats and cockroaches and reassembled them into a suit.
- Driving Under Influence: Rick is drunk throughout the majority of most episodes of Rick and Morty and he's seen driving the space cruiser while he's drunk. Most notably in the Pilot episode, when Rick was visibly intoxicated while he flew the space cruiser with Morty and it almost led to him destroying the world.
- Felony Murder: Through the course of their adventures, many people have died as a direct or indirect result of Rick's actions. These deaths were usually during the commission of various other serious crimes he was committing, including felony evasion, smuggling, fraud, etc. Rick has also induced Morty to kill people for him, such as making him shoot the security guards to aid their escape in the Pilot episode.
- Genocide: In the episode The Ricks Must Be Crazy, in order to keep the inhabitants of the microverse producing power for his spaceship, Rick smashes the container of the Miniverse. This causes the Miniverse, and the Teenyverse (a miniature universe within the Miniverse), and its two races of inhabitants to be wiped from existence.
- Human Cloning: In the episode Big Trouble In Little Sanchez, it was revealed that Rick had been cloning and growing other versions of himself in vats in his bunker under the Smith Family garage. Although it remains unclear where cloning fits into Intergalactic law, it is at least illegal on Earth. In "Rickmancing the Stone", he cloned himself again, along with Summer and Morty.
- Illegal Arms Dealing: In the episode Mortynight Run, it was revealed that Rick has been selling weapons to a hitman for a long time, possibly also hiring him to kill various living beings.
- Impersonation: When Rick's concoctions in the episode Rick Potion #9 mutated everyone on the planet not biologically related to Morty, the two traveled to a new dimension whose versions of them had just died in an explosion seconds before their arrival, and assumed their places as if nothing had happened. The corpses are currently still burried in the Smith's backyard. In "The Rickshank Rickdemption", he took control over the minds many Gromflomites and members of SEAL Team Ricks, and pretended to be them.
- Kidnapping and False Imprisonment: In the episode Auto Erotic Assimilation, it was revealed that Rick had kidnapped an alien and kept it imprisoned in the basement against its own will for an amount of time, so that he could perform multiple tests on him.
- Murder: Outside of all of the hostile aliens he's killed, Rick has killed multiple innocent beings too. In the episode Meeseeks and Destroy, he blasted King Jellybean with a laser gun just as he was leaving the dimension (although it was justified, seeing as how Jellybean attempted to rape Morty and was shown to be a serial rapist pedophile). In the episode Big Trouble In Little Sanchez, he ran around with an axe and killed several living versions of himself at different ages, including a baby, a young child, a young adult, and a full adult (although this could also fall under suicide, since they were his own clones). In the episode The Wedding Squanchers, he killed a few more members of the Galactic Federation. In Look Who's Purging Now, Rick and Morty partake in the Purge, and Rick kills a large number of government officials, although this was in a successful effort to remove the Purge.
- Prison Escape - In "The Rickshank Rickdemption", Rick broke out of the Galactic Federation Prison, killed many of the guards, and finally, blew the entire place up, which in turn, must have freed any other prisoners, assuming any survived the explosion.
- Slavery: In the episode The Ricks Must Be Crazy, it was revealed that Rick's spaceship battery was powered through a microverse, containing a whole planet of people forced to generate his power (originally through deception, later through fear of destruction).
- Smuggling: In the Pilot episode, Rick attempted to smuggle Mega Seeds past Intergalactic Customssecurity, by having Morty shove them up his butt to avoid the scanner detecting them. However, when the security guard told them they have a new machine that would detect things up there, Rick grabbed Morty and took off running from them.
- Terrorism: At the end of the episode The Ricks Must Be Crazy, the inhabitants of the microverse are forced to step on gooble-boxes to power Rick's spaceship for fear of their planet being destroyed (see above: Slavery).
- Time Bending: In the episode A Rickle in Time, Rick froze time for the equivalent of six months which caused time to start splitting and dividing multiple times, to the point where a Fourth Dimensional Beingfrom the Galactic Federation came and tried to arrest him and his grandkids, also revealing that Rick may have done before.
- Torture/Cruelty to Animals: At the end of the episode Auto Erotic Assimilation, Rick revealed to be in possession a living, albeit frozen, being (unclear on the sentience of said being), which was horribly suffering after thawing out , and then he shocked it with a superheated ray, reducing it to ash. This was apparently to test his suicide machine.
- Vandalism/Arson: Rick destroyed multiple things in Intergalactic Customs in the Pilot episode. In the episode Something Ricked This Way Comes, Rick had a store and soon got bored of it, so he doused it with gasoline and lit it on fire while people were still in it.
- Treason/Rebellion: Prior to the start of the series, Rick was part of an organization that attempted to overthrow and destroy the Galactic Federation, along with his old comrades Squanchy and Birdperson.
- Rick's appearance is meant to parody Doc Brown from Back to the Future.
- Rick and Morty were originally from The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti, Justin Roiland's original Back to the Future parody. Also the names of the characters sound similar to the names "Doc and Marty," the main characters of the trilogy.
- His last name, "Sanchez" is Hispanic in origin. In the audio commentary for the episode "Auto Erotic Assimilation", Rick was confirmed to be of Hispanic descent. Exactly where is unknown.
- Justin Roiland claims that he considers Rick's cultural background "irrelevant".
- According to himself, he has the hardest working liver in the galaxy.
- Rick (C-137) is one of the only Ricks in existence shown to care about his Morty, as he starts crying when he is shown various memories of Morty, though he outwardly dismisses it as "being allergic to dipshits.". This is further proven when he was ready to sacrifice himself for his Morty's sake during Season 2 episode 1 when they were in the Schrödingers cat field.
- In "Auto Erotic Assimilation," Rick is revealed to be an open pansexual.
- It's possible that Rick had a complicated relationship with his father because he wanted a stand of men who remotely resembled his father to cheer him on while he had sex with Unity. In "Pocket Mortys" the scientist known as Rick says how he heard that Rick's mother was never satisfied. It's possible they were not very supportive of Rick and weren't satisfied with his achievements.
- It is often mentioned that Rick was absent from the family for a long time, and came back later some time before the Pilot.
- At the start "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind," it was revealed that the date that he came back was Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, January 15.
- Interestingly, it has been shown a few times throughout the series that Rick has seen and held Morty as both a baby and a young toddler despite having been away from the family for some time before that and not officially reappearing until almost year before the show started, causing many fans to theorize "our" Rick is not originally from "our" Morty's dimension or that he had been secretly visiting his grandson.
- It's also possible that he did drop in on the family when Morty was a baby but was never around more than that.
- In "A Rickle in Time," he briefly mentions that if he dies in a cage, he loses a bet. What this bet is wagering or who its with is never stated.
- A flashback gag in "Total Rickall" shows Rick as being interested in getting a special edition Link Between Worlds 3DS XL and asking Nintendo for sponsorship. However, Rick actually owns a black 3DS that he is seen playing in "Look Who's Purging Now".
- Rick's Global Bank Card number is 1234 1234 1234 1234.
- Rick can write with his right hand, shoot with his right hand, and sometimes holds objects with his right, but seems to favor using his left. He is often seen holding drinks with his left, shooting with his left, and even plays guitar left in a framed photo in Bird Person's house, with the exclusion of "Big Trouble in little Sanchez", where he plays guitar right-handed. With this evidence, it seems that Rick may be Ambidextrous.
- Rick breaks the fourth-wall more than any other character in the series. In fact, he seems to be the only character fully aware of the fact that he's in a TV show.
- Politically, Rick's views appear to fall into bottom right quadrant of the the Political Compass (Anti-authoratarian with right wing economics), as he opposes totalitarism (he hates the government telling him what to do), opposes customs and airport regulations (he tries to smuggle megaseeds with him), hates bureaucracy (he calls bureaucrats "robots") and hates standarized education (as he points out in the pilot episode). At the end of Look Who's Purging Now Rick comments, "Well a helpful rule might be if you need something, you get it. Pretty simple right?", when talking to the inhabatits of the purge planet which indicates he may be a anti-authoratarian with a preference for left wing economic policies and a social safety net.
- In the episode Big Trouble In Little Sanchez, Rick appears as a 14 year old clone of himself with the same hair color as his normal age.This would imply that he has either had light blue hair his entire life or something changed in his biology to cause it.
- Rick's prisoner ID code while incarcerated is AE-3852-I.