Any absurdity loving Rick and Morty fan has a catchphrase or five they repeat endlessly. The ever-popular ‘wubba lubba dub-dub’ is truly the golden nonsense catchphrase, repeated infinitely throughout the series by Rick Sanchez and excited fans alike – the translation in Birdperson’s language, “I am in great pain, please help me” brings even more meaning to otherwise innocuous-seeming expression.
Between the two titular characters, there is a never-ending stock of quotable moments with Rick providing the rich comedy and Morty as the unwitting voice of reason. Season 1 and 2 provided fans with plenty of action rich episodes to fuel their love for the series. With an increasingly chaotic plot and intense character development, season 3 is brimming with golden moments for fans to relish in.
10 “I Want The Mulan McNugget Sauce, Morty! That’s My Series Arc, Morty!”
The first episode of the season saw Rick imprisoned in a memory simulation run by the Galatic Federation. The combination of Rick’s superior intellect and knack for self-entertaining brings him to a McDonald’s drive-through in an attempt to order the limited release 1998 Szechuan sauce.
By the end of the episode, Rick is free from prison, and drunk as usual, raving to Morty about his love for the sauce. He completely breaks the fourth wall saying “nine more seasons until I get that McNugget sauce,” in the greatest ever product placement that really isn’t even a product placement because the product no longer exists.
9 “Save It For The Semantics Dome EB White”
This statement reigns holy as a hidden gem for writers and fans who are also writers. It plays on the history of White having written the rule book Elements of Style and effectively outlining the rules of grammar as we know them.
In this statement, Rick gets sassy with a Mad Max-style geek correcting his term used to describe the blood dome aka The Thunderdome. The intertextuality of both Mad Max and a mostly obscure rule book of grammar makes for a moment with a lot going on – and a takeaway line to use against the next annoying person who wants to argue semantics for no good reason.
8 “Aw Jeez, My Sister Died In The Spaghetti”
Compliments of Robot Morty, who is modeled after Morty but hardly possesses any of his personality. He is over-exuberant and overly-complimentary of his mother whom his only aim is to please.
Robot Morty starts by using saying ‘quote mode’ and ‘end quote mode’ which are honestly brilliant in themselves. The real treat of Robot Morty’s brief but wonderful existence is watching his robot sister power down and proclaim ‘Aw jeez, my sister died in the spaghetti’. Also not to be forgotten is his rant at the end when he proclaims ‘I’m aliiiiive!’ before hilariously powering down midstatement.
7 “Rick – Is This A Saw-Thing? Are You Really Saw-ing The Vindicators?”
Episode 4 sees Rick and Morty do their second Vindicator’s adventure, something that Morty wants but Rick, and seemingly the writers, don’t. It features a ragtag crew of completely random (and useless) heroes and sabotages on behalf of drunk Rick.
The entire episode features Morty as the voice of reason, including calling out the Vindicators for not being inclusive, shaming his grandpa for being an asshole, disarming a neutrino bomb, and eventually proclaiming to his mom that ‘everyone in the universe is a hero’. The great part about Morty’s 4th wall-breaking statement is that he is not only calling out overused plot ideas, but he is also calling out lazy writing but by doing so makes it more ironic and entertaining in true Rick and Morty style.
6 “Here’s Something That’s Never Happened Before: I’m A Pickle. I’m Pickle Rick!”
This episode goes down as one of the most memorable in the Rick and Morty fandom. It features Rick both turning himself into a pickle and proclaiming such as if it were not the most absurd concept imaginable.
The peculiar statement arises when Rick attempts to avoid family therapy by, of course, turning himself into a pickle. The adventure that ensues for Rick is endlessly entertaining, explains why cats don’t like elongated green produce, and even educates us about the hazards of eating poop. But really, the statement ‘I’m Pickle Rick!” will forever be proclaimed with enthusiasm.
5 “You Miss The Old Me. You Miss Someone That Loved You So Much You Never Had To Love Them Back”
In one of the greatest episode openings, in Rest and Ricklaxtion, Rick and Morty finally submit to the pressure of their adventures and head to the spa. In true fashion, they find themselves in a sticky situation when a toxicity machine sucks out their toxins, and ultimately the worst parts of them.
Morty becomes dangerously carefree, gains popularity at school, progresses into a lady killer, and eventually becomes a Wall Street stockbroker. After several months he is found living with a beautiful older woman, who is completely enthralled with him and his newfound confidence. Sadly, once Rick reconnects him with his toxic self, Morty is no longer a confident stockbroker but instead a 14-year-old boy who delivers this insightful wisdom we could all use.
4 “Same Old Story, Ricks Killing Mortys”
In the film noir episode, The Ricklantis Mixup delivers a fraught spectacle of society played out entirely by Ricks and Mortys. The episode deep dives into themes of populism, classism, commercialism, and racism. It is provocative in its narrative and is riddled with cultural references including the 2016 US election and the Thailand red shirt, yellow shirt protests.
One highlight of the episode is Campaign Manager Morty who kills Candidate Morty on behalf of the Citadel, comprised entirely of Ricks. It’s reminiscent of most contemporary political commentary and the line in question hits hard on the theme of racial violence. Notably, the line is uttered twice, first as ‘Ricks killing Mortys’ and later as ‘Mortys killing Mortys’.
3 “Lambs To The Cosmic Slaughter”
Season 3’s version of Interdimensional Cable: Morty’s Mind Blowers, presented fans with plenty of juicy tidbits featuring the titular character’s wiped memories.
One of Rick’s garage experiments features a laser square box on the floor that simulates a perfectly level universe. Rick has Morty test his experiment out by standing in it, to Morty’s delight in ‘true level’. Of course, when Summer pulls Morty out of the box to head to school, he loses his marbles trying to get back saying ‘everything is crooked, reality is poison, I want to go back, I hate this’ and of course this absolute golden line.
2 “Don’t Jump A Gift Shark In The Mouth”
This richly textured line comes from episode 9 when Rick and Beth explore Beth’s past, including the reasons why Rick cares for Beth.
This quote is a blend of two famous idioms: ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’ and ‘Jumping the shark’. The former is cautionary advice to not look for faults with something given as a gift, namely Rick’s love for Beth. The latter is a general pop-culture term referring to when something (typically a show) begins to lose popularity and attempts a publicity gimmick that has the unintended effect of highlighting irrelevance. Ironically, the show has reached a point in its career where it is so popular that fans have begun to wonder when it will jump the shark itself.
1 “Don’t Do It Guys! The Casualties Would Be In The Brazillions. Cause You’re Brazillian? It’s A Threat And A Pun. Nobody Gets Me”
The final episode of season 3 sees Rick and Morty fighting a battle closer to home, irradicating a monster in the white house basement. In the process, Morty is denied a selfie with the President, so the duo returns home to play Minecraft.
When the President calls them out on their insolence, they take the opportunity to be the first to intercept a newfound race in Brazil. Upon landing, soldiers already occupy the land and so Rick drops this beauty line only to be ignored and underappreciated, until now of course.
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