The Existentialism of 'Rick and Morty'

Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody is gonna die.

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Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody is gonna die.

That’s a quote from Rick and Morty, the Adult Swim animated series from Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland that became a pop culture staple faster than you can say “meseeks”. The show follows the misadventures of mad (mostly drunk) scientist Rick and his naive grandson Morty as they travel through planets and dimensions on various missions that range from absurdly hilarious to somewhat traumatizing. Over its last two seasons, the series has proved itself to be more than just a funny animated show for adults – indeed, it is one of the most philosophical and moving series of its kind to come along in, well, forever.

The show impresses with its ability to balance visual sci-fi comedy and a genuine commentary on the human condition. It achieves this in part with how it digests and inverts familiar tropes and archetypes. With its status as both a comedy and a work of meta-post-modernism, it is no surprise that someone has already taken to exploring the series’ themes within a video essay. Amp Lab Media has created the following psychological breakdown of Rick and Morty‘s antics, and what they say about the show and its musings on the universe.

 

19. Filmmaker. Writer for Film School Rejects. Featured on MTV, Indiewire & The A.V. Club.