Rick and Morty deals with different realities and the multiverse, and here’s a breakdown of the show’s complete timeline of events. Created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, the animated series is best known for its insane sci-fi adventures featuring Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith. Throughout the years, Rick and Morty has sent the duo on dozens of adventures to different planets and universes.
With the endless possibilities of the multiverse and Rick and Morty‘s fearlessness to confuse viewers, the show has established a crazy timeline of adventures. Harmon and Roiland have not been shy about their desire to keep viewers guessing what is and isn’t canon, as Rick and Morty season 4 even had the characters fight the structure of storytelling. This irreverent approach to canon and the timeline is certainly confusing at times since the show regularly refuses to guide viewers through what is real and what is not. That is undoubtedly part of Rick and Morty‘s unique charm, but it is understandable and somewhat natural to want to know what really counts in the long term of this story.
Even though it can be confusing and purposefully vague at times, there is an overall narrative that can be tracked by following the versions of Rick and Morty from dimension C-137. But, Rick and Morty has also established a fascinating mythology across the multiverse that includes many events pre-dating when the show takes place. Here is a breakdown of the complete Rick and Morty timeline.
Everything That Happens Before Rick & Morty
In terms of Rick and Morty‘s multiverse worldbuilding, some of the most important moments come presumably years before the show takes place. The Council of Ricks and Galactic Federation were both founded prior to the series’ events. The show hasn’t detailed exactly when each multiversal organization started, but it is known that a younger version of C-137 Rick turned down the opportunity to be part of the leadership council. Meanwhile, the Galactic Federation presumably was around long before, enabling them to bring more than 6,000 planets within the intergalactic organization. Both of these organizations play parts in Rick’s story prior to Rick and Morty‘s events.
Rick’s backstory has been one element that Rick and Morty refuses to detail in any serious way. The show presented a version of C-137 Rick’s origin, which included another Rick visiting him and the death of his family. This isn’t Rick’s actual origin as he confirms he made the whole thing up, but some version of the truth might lie inside of it. The show has confirmed that he started a family before abandoning them to pursue other adventures. Prior to his marriage with Beth’s unnamed mother falling apart, Rick did attempt to be a somewhat caring father and created Froopyland for Beth to play in. It wasn’t long after this, though, that he began using the Portal Gun to travel the multiverse and space. This is how Rick met Birdperson and Squanchy, became an enemy of the Galactic Federation, and started a relationship with Unity.
In the years after Rick left his family, Beth and Jerry started their family. This started with the birth of Summer, which is estimated to take place in the late 1990s. Beth gave birth to Morty a few years later in the early 2000s. Although Rick spent the majority of this time off Earth, there is evidence to suggest that he would visit the Smith family from time to time since he has a memory of holding Morty when he was a baby. It is shortly before the start of Rick and Morty that Rick first starts taking Morty on adventures, as Morty missed school for almost two months straight spending time with Rick.
Rick & Morty Season 1
When Rick and Morty season 1 begins, the grandfather and grandson duo go on a mission to collect Mega Seeds, which temporarily make Morty incredibly smart. This allows Rick to convince Beth and Jerry that Morty spending so much time with him is actually for his benefit. They then try to invade the mind of one of Morty’s teachers to raise his grade while the family dog Snuffles builds an army of mechanically enhanced dogs to take over the world. Morty later has to enter Anatomy Park, Rick becomes an alien prisoner due to his Concentrated Dark Matter formula, and the two of them are involved in the death of King Jellybean. It is after this that Rick and Morty’s lives change forever.
Rick & Morty Leave Their Original Timeline
In Rick and Morty season 1, episode 6, the duo are forced to leave C-137 behind. Rick creates a love potion for Morty so that his crush will like him, but it goes terribly wrong once it begins to spread. Everyone on Earth falls in love with Morty, except for his family members, and Rick tries to create an antidote to solve the problem. Instead, all humans turn into Cronenberg-like monsters once they are exposed to the antidote. With life on Earth forever changed, Rick and Morty leave C-137 behind to replace another version of Rick and Morty who just died in a similar version of Earth. C-137 Rick and Morty have to bury the bodies of their alternate selves to seamlessly replace them.
From this point on, Rick and Morty continues to follow the C-137 versions of Rick and Morty even though they aren’t in their original dimension anymore. The rest of season 1 continues Rick and Morty’s adventures as they adjust to their new lives. Morty raises a Gazorpazorp and Rick opens an antique shop to compete with the Devil. Later on, Rick is summoned by the Council of Ricks and accused of killing 27 other Ricks and taking their Mortys. Instead, this was the work of Evil Morty. The season ends with a massive party at the Smith house where Rick, Morty, and Summer freeze time so they can clean up the place before Beth and Jerry get back.
Rick & Morty Season 2
Rick and Morty season 2 picks up six months after the end of season 1, with Rick, Morty, and Summer finishing repairing the house and having fun with frozen time. They soon split the timeline into sixty-four different timelines before managing to merge all of them back together. Jerry is then left at a daycare made for Jerrys across the multiverse when he tags along with Rick and Morty unexpectedly. However, this might be where C-137’s Rick and Morty pick up the wrong Jerry according to the “Ticket Theory” and leave their new dimension’s Jerry behind. The adventures that follow include Rick reuniting with Unity, the invasion of memory parasites, and Rick and Morty joining an intergalactic music competition to save Earth. They also travel to a miniature universe, experience a Purge-esque festival on an alien planet, and attend the wedding of Birdperson and Tammy. The latter is where the Galactic Federation officially takes over Earth and Rick turns himself over to his longtime enemies.
Rick & Morty Change Dimensions Again In Season 3
For the majority of Rick and Morty season 3, everything appears to be normal as the titular duo continue going on wild adventures. They include Rick defeating the Galactic Federation, a trip to a post-apocalyptic Earth, Rick becoming a pickle, Morty meeting the Vindicators, and more. However, Rick and Morty season 3, episode 8 reveals that at some point in the past Rick and Morty changed dimensions once again. One of Morty’s erased memories shows Morty once learned that squirrels were controlling the world in secret. This memory then shows Rick and Morty leaving this universe behind to start fresh somewhere else. It is not specified exactly when the switch occurred though. The beginning of season 3 does include Morty digging up the bodies he and Rick buried when they first left C-137. That is a likely sign that Rick and Morty changed universes again between episodes 1 and 8, even though Rick and Morty theoretically have to bury the dead versions of themselves they replace in any new universe.
Rick & Morty Season 4
Rick and Morty season 4 features even more wild adventures for the grandfather and grandson, but this time there are no major changes to the timeline or Earth they inhabit. Morty witnesses several possible future deaths for himself thanks to an alien crystal and refuses to clone Rick after he died. Rick does come back thanks to one of his many contingency plans, which sees him visit multiple other realities and encounter different versions of himself. The rest of the season includes Rick hunting down the person who has used his secret pooping planet, Rick planning an elaborate heist, Morty getting a dragon, and Morty inadvertently creating an army of alien snakes. Rick and Morty season 4 ends with Space Beth returning to Earth and the revelation that Rick doesn’t know which version of Beth is real and which is a clone. Since this storyline was set up at the end of season 3 and after Rick and Morty’s last known universe change, this proves that they did not go to another dimension again at some point in season 4.
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