The animated sci-fi adventures of Rick and Morty have introduced viewers to a slew of otherworldly and interdimensional characters. With literally hundreds of characters both major and minor having appeared throughout its seasons, Rick and Morty is dense with strange and hilarious people, aliens, and other strange beings.
In this group, there are dull characters like Gearhead, the pun characters like Abradolph Lincler, and the characters fans know almost nothing about, like Diane Sanchez. But throughout the more than 50 episodes of the show, some characters have proven that they have the nuance, personality and narrative power to be the best of the best.
Fans are hoping for a lot more out of Jessica in the coming seasons of the show. In her own words, Jessica has been “an object in another story” for much of the series. And it’s true. She spent four seasons simply being Morty’s high-school crush but not having much of a story beyond that.
However, season 5 saw Jessica break from the role of “crush” to Morty and experience a lot more while she was frozen in time. Although she didn’t have any further appearances during the rest of season 5, she has a lot of potential as a character now that she is more fleshed out.
9 Beth Smith
Beth has a pretty impressive arc over the course of the show. As far as character growth, Beth has transformed from a cynical and unwilling member of a marriage and family into someone proud and happy to be where she is in life (regardless of the moments that prove she may be the clone Beth).
Beth is incredibly smart like her father, and her bond with Jerry has changed into a more mutually respectful pairing than it was at first, making her much more likable as a person. She is kinder toward him and consciously tries to work on their marriage through therapy and shared activities, not to mention standing up to Rick for Jerry.
8 Summer Smith
Summer’s role on the show has grown a lot in recent episodes. She used to be in many of the best B-stories on Rick and Morty, but she accompanies Rick and Morty on more and more adventures on the show, and the audience has gotten to see a lot more of her strength and hear a lot more of her sarcastic, teenaged one-liners.
Summer was the driving force of the story in “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion,” and even being a key part of figuring out a plan to stop the giant space incest baby from happening (even though it didn’t work). Her dialogue makes for repeated commentary about feminism and the stereotyping that women and the younger generation deal with on a daily basis, which is really forward-thinking of the show.
Unity was featured in only one episode of Rick and Morty, but her presence was impactful, and it won’t be surprising if she made a return visit to interact with Rick again. Unity and Rick’s relationship was very important to Rick, and she was one of the people he seemed to truly care about.
Rick and Morty dealt with the real issues of depression and suicide when Rick contemplated ending his life after their breakup. This proved just how pivotal Unity was and how seriously Rick could be hurt, and it was the first instance when audiences got a glimpse into the inner self-loathing of the usually blasé super genius.
Birdperson is Rick’s best and closest friend. In fact, the two even kiss in one edition of the Rick and Morty comic series. Besides just being a potential romantic match for Rick, Birdperson worked hard to help Rick track down Diane and Beth’s murderer, going anywhere Rick asked him.
The two shared an intense and impressive fight at Blood Ridge to defeat the Federation for BP. Although some things haven’t been perfect, like their awkward parting at Blood Ridge or Rick keeping the information of Birdperson’s child from him, Birdperson is one of the few people who really know Rick and is even the one to reveal what his catchphrase, “Wubba lubba dub dub,” actually means (“I am in great pain. Please help me”).
5 Jerry Smith
Jerry is a character who is unabashedly himself, and there is a lot to admire about that. While he’s done some embarrassing things over the first few seasons of the show, he’s also had moments of real bravery, like when he fought off the Cronenbergs to protect Beth and Summer and helped save Rick’s life in “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy” (even though he put it in danger in the first place).
In the course of season 4 and 5, Jerry has more confidence in his role inside the family and doesn’t let anyone bring him down. When Beth makes fun of his sock puppets, he makes them anyway. He doesn’t let people hurt his feelings, he stands up for himself, and he is even in counseling with Beth.
4 Mr. Poopybutthole
Mr. Poopybutthole is a font of meta-content for the show. Although many Rick and Morty characters acknowledge that they’re on a TV show, he is the only one who watches the show along with the audience. Many fan theories have arisen about who Mr. Poopybutthole is, but his origin is still an unresolved plotline on Rick and Morty.
Mr. Poopybutthole’s complex story on the show makes him one of the best characters as well. He has survived being shot, got over a prescription drug addiction, got married and started a family, taught African-American Women’s Literature at a university, then lost his job when Rick enlisted his students to test his fighting skills for a heist.
3 Morty Smith
Morty has been through a lot on Rick and Morty. At only 14 years old, Morty has had to abandon his family multiple times to change realities, buried his own corpse, and dealt with more near-death situations that most teenagers (or people, in general) have to experience.
Throughout everything, Morty has become a more nuanced and complicated character. His childlike innocence is all but gone, but he still maintains a strong sense of morality and good-heartedness, as shown by his repeated forgiveness of Rick when he is toxic toward him. He is the Mortiest Morty, after all, and it’s what makes him so great.
2 Evil Morty
Evil Morty is a fan-favorite character and the subject of many theories and conspiracies about the show. He is the only person to ever outsmart Rick by hacking his portal gun and completely went against the grain of being a Morty. If anything, his intelligence and cunningness make him much more Rick-like.
His hard work and determination to get himself out of the Central Finite Curve resulted in one of the best episodes of Rick and Morty, “The Ricklantis Mixup,” and his plan finally coming to fruition was one of the reasons the Rick and Morty season 5 finale was the best yet. Evil Morty is a fantastic part of the show, and fans hope they get a peek at what life is like for him outside of the Curve.
1 Rick Sanchez
Rick is the character that makes audiences feel everything: angry with him, disgust by him, heartbroken for him, or simply impressed with his cleverness. He is the most real and human character on the show, and that makes him one the best.
Rick’s tendency to self-sabotage, his deep-seated self-loathing, and his struggles with substance abuse combine with his quick tongue, bravery, and ingenuity to make him truly complicated and relatable. Without Rick, there is no show. His backstory and personality push everything along, and his many adventures create the compelling stories Rick and Morty has to tell.
NEXT: 9 Things In Season 5 Of Rick And Morty That Were Foreshadowed In Previous Seasons