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The highly anticipated and long-awaited fourth season of Rick and Morty is here. It’s been two years since we last saw everyone’s favorite sociopathic alcoholic genius grandfather and his moody teenager, but we finally have new sci-fi adventures — the second episode of the show's fourth season aired on Sunday night.
The animated sci-fi series from Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland is utterly baffling in how funny and bleak it is, which almost overshadows the sheer amount of gore strewn throughout. Though not a horror or action show, Rick and Morty is filled with gross, extreme, and very bloody death scenes that make it the deadliest show available for streaming. Indeed, there’s an average of 26.1 deaths per episode; despite only having 31 episodes, we have seen 808 beings die on screen — some of them hilariously accidental, some of them very much intentional.
With plenty of bloody murder awaiting us in Season 4, it is time to revisit the 10 best and most disturbing deaths in Rick and Morty.
10. Guy is coughed to death
The most accidental and relatable thing happens in the episode “Anatomy Park.” A homeless guy named Ruben lies half-dead on top of a ping pong table in a garage and he suddenly starts coughing. The problem is that there is a group of microscopic-sized people inside the homeless man, working on a Jurassic Park-themed park.
This being Rick and Morty, things go sideways and there are some mercenaries trying to steal bacteria from the park. A shootout in Ruben’s lungs causes him to start coughing. A man is trapped by a sudden burst of air coming from Ruben’s lungs and is sucked out of the body at violent speed, quickly disintegrating him.
It’s a quick death, but it is the grossest and most disturbing thing since the mirror scene in Poltergeist.
09. Armothy wins the BloodDome
Most of Rick and Morty’s dynamic revolves around Rick putting his grandson in dangerous situations, forcing him to kill a bunch of people, and then having Morty be mortified before he gives in to the violence. In the Season 3 episode “Rickmancing the Stone,” Rick and Morty find themselves in a post-apocalyptic dimension that’s heavily inspired by the Mad Max franchise.
Of course, there is a Thunderdome-style battle arena for fights to the death, and that leads Rick to have Morty do all the fighting with the help of a genetically enhanced super arm. That arm, which Morty names Armothy, is insanely good at fighting, easily breaking bones and bloodily ripping bodies apart, all while mortifying Morty. What makes the scene so good is watching Morty slowly give in to Armothy’s thirst for blood, going along in a bloody killing spree.
08. Children’s party turns bloody
Have you ever been to a very lame kids' birthday party? I’m sure you have. But have you ever seen the kids turn on the party entertainer (in a rat costume for some reason) and just go to town stabbing him after he tells the kids that Santa isn’t real? Rick and Morty is certainly not against child violence, as long as the children are the violent ones.
Sure, it wasn’t technically their fault. During Season 3 episode “Rest and Ricklaxation,” a toxic version of Rick turns the entire world into their most toxic selves, which makes the kids at the party turn into violent and bloodthirsty savages. The kids are having the time of their lives, chopping the guy in the rat suit’s head off and partying in his blood. That is, until the world goes back to normal and the kids realize what they have done. Have fun in therapy, kids!
07. Man vs Car goes exactly as you’d expect
SYFY WIRE's own Brian Silliman nailed it on the head when he said that Rick and Morty is a series entirely made up of nothing but WTF moments. Quite a few of those are a result of Rick messing up with the TV and getting access to every channel in every reality.
One of the weirdest segments in both “Interdimensional Cable” episodes is a show called Man Vs Car, which is exactly what you'd imagine: a show where a regular man fights an actual car. We only see one fight, in which a guy named Michael Jenkins tries to wrestle a regular old car, but of course, he doesn’t last a minute. The car simply runs over him, with the back wheels quickly chewing up and dismembering poor Michael, in a Man vs Car equivalent of an episode of Will It Blend?
06. Rick pulls a Jigsaw and tortures superheroes
Rick doesn’t care about anyone, that much is clear. So, when he and Morty get a chance to have an adventure with the superhero group known as the “Vindicators,” Rick can’t stop making fun of them. This leads to Rick getting blackout drunk and planning a series of perverted and bloody death traps for the heroes, like in Saw.
Each puzzle is designed to both make fun of the Vindicators, and maybe kill one of them in the process. The deaths are brutal, especially the first one, where a Star-Lord type hero called Vance Maximus gets sawed and seemingly blended to death before getting chopped in half. What makes this a gross, yet hilarious death is how little regard Rick has for the heroes, killing them just to make a point.
05. Tophat Jones loses his breakfast (and his entrails)
What if the rabbit from the Trix cereal commercial actually got to eat the cereal, but then the kids wanted revenge? That’s the sad tale of Tophat Jones, an amalgamation of Lucky the Leprechaun from Lucky Charms and the Trix Rabbit.
In a commercial for Strawberry Smiggles, Jones is seen gleefully eating a bowl of cereal while selfishly talking about how no one else can eat the cereal. Then a couple of creepy evil kids tie him up and cut open his stomach in order to eat every single bite of cereal that Tophat Jones had already taken. It is outright gross, disturbing, and it kind of makes you hungry for some cereal.
04. It feels good (to Purge)
After being stranded on a planet with an annual Purge tradition, Morty is reluctant to kill. Of course, a little help from Rick gets Morty really invested in the episode’s Purge-style festival. After accidentally killing an old man, he starts killing everyone in sight and mutilating their corpses.
Perhaps even more so than the actual The Purge movies, “Look Who’s Purging Now” has a poignant commentary of class, while somehow turning a murderous rampage into a satisfying and gross experience once Rick starts killing a bunch of rich aliens. It’s over the top, goes for just a bit too long, and it is absolutely brilliant.
03. Pickle Rick kills more people than John Wick
We shouldn’t be surprised by Rick’s insatiable liking for violence — after all the guy killed an entire citadel of other versions of himself and laughed through it. But nothing could prepare us for the absolute carnage that is “Pickle Rick.”
After Rick turns himself into a pickle to avoid therapy, he falls into a sewer where he fights his way through an army of cockroaches and rats in order to build an exoskeleton. Then he gets himself involved with a John Wick-style series of gruesome Russian mafia murders, which includes disintegrating bodies, opening holes in people’s faces with lasers, and using office supplies and very, very sharp pencils to obliterate an army of armed men in ways that could easily make you sick.
02. Rick’s car keeps Summer safe
There’s no way one can list the best and most disturbing deaths in Rick and Morty without mentioning Rick’s ship trying to keep Summer safe by savagely murdering a bunch of people and nearly causing a planet-wide war.
While Rick and Morty are off on a miniature adventure inside the battery of Rick’s spaceship in “The Ricks Must Be Crazy,” Summer is waiting inside the ship, which is told to keep her safe. When a man approaches the ship trying to ask her a question, the ship literally cuts the guy into a million little cubes. Even when Summer instructs the ship not to kill anyone, it paralyzes the next man that approaches. The ship proceeds to psychologically torture those who even come close to the ship, leaving Summer unable to do anything but watch in absolute horror.
01. Rick and Morty explode
One of the most darkly comedic episodes of Rick and Morty, “Cronenbergs,” not only has Rick essentially destroying Earth, but turning every human into a body horror monstrosity straight out of a David Cronenberg movie.
But the real knife to the heart comes in the last few minutes of the episode. Instead of fixing what he broke, Rick brings Morty to an alternate dimension where Rick actually saved the world — just before he and Morty horribly died in an explosion. Though the episode is still funny, the sight of a dead Rick and Morty is played completely straight, making it one of the most horrific things ever done in the show.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.