In the popular adult animated series Rick and Morty, Rick Sanchez is the eccentric and alcoholic mad scientist grandfather of Morty Smith. He is a genius who has mastered interdimensional travel and invented a wide array of sci-fi gadgets and machines. However, it is revealed in the show that there are infinite alternate versions of Rick spread across the multiverse, referred to as “Rick Sanchez C-137” and so on based on their assigned dimension.
This raises an interesting question – among the infinite Ricks, is there one that stands out as the smartest? Or are they all equal in intelligence and scientific prowess? Let’s take a deeper look at the Ricks we’ve seen on the show and analyze if there is evidence of a “Smartest Rick.”
Ricks We’ve Seen on the Show
Here are some of the main Ricks we’ve been introduced to in the show:
Rick Sanchez C-137
This is the Rick we follow in the original show timeline. He lives with his daughter Beth on Earth dimension C-137 along with Morty and Summer. Despite his aloofness and irresponsible behavior, he does seem to care about his grandchildren deep down. He’s a brilliant inventor and scientist, having created world-changing devices like the portal gun.
First appearing in Season 1 Episode 10, this Rick had an eyepatch and goatee showing his evil nature. He was going around different dimensions killing alternate Ricks and harvesting them for resources. He created an android duplicate of himself to avoid suspicion that he was behind the murders. He was eventually found out and killed by Rick C-137.
Doofus Rick comes from a reality where people eat their own poop. He seems much less intelligent than C-137 Rick, to the point that the Council of Ricks labels him “retarded.” However, he is very kindhearted and gets along well with Jerry. He ends up making the best ovenless brownies and finds fulfillment in a simple life.
Slow Rick speaks very slowly but seems just as scientifically gifted as C-137 Rick. He invented Slow Mo, which allows the user to drastically slow down time. We don’t see much from him but he doesn’t display any lack of intelligence compared to other Ricks.
When Rick C-137 is presumed dead, the Rick from C-137’s replacement dimension arrives to take his place. He seems to have the same mannerisms and abilities as the original. This shows that replacement Ricks are likely interchangeable in intelligence and personality.
One of Rick’s most memorable transformations is Pickle Rick, when he turns himself into a pickle to get out of family therapy. Even in this form he shows his genius by constructing a pickle-mecha suit from random items to escape the sewers and go on an action-packed rampage. Being a pickle had no effect on his vast intelligence.
Darth Rick is an evil version of Rick C-137 from the Twisted Metal dimension. He wears Sith robes and has a red lightsaber. He tries to kill Incest Baby Morty but is ultimately killed by Reverse Cowgirl Beth. He doesn’t display any noticeable differences in intelligence from C-137.
This Rick comes from a reality where people evolve from corn. He has gained smooth skin from using a special moisturizing lotion. He ends up releasing spores that transform people into corn monsters. Again, we don’t see much from him but he seems like a regular Rick in terms of IQ.
Reverse Rick Outrage
This bizarre Rick is opposingly nice and optimistic, saying positive things in a cheerful tone. However, on the inside he is secretly outraged. So his outward personality is reversed from normal Ricks but his intelligence seems on par.
J19Zeta7 is the Rick who created the Central Finite Curve, isolating all the infinite Ricks into one section of universes that he controls. Creating something of this scale proves he has incredible scientific know-how, likely on par with C-137.
Quantum Rick wears a futuristic visor and comes from a more advanced version of Earth. He studies Morty using quantum technology and scan helmets. Given his understanding of quantum physics, he is likely one of the more intelligent Ricks.
Evaluation of Smartest Rick
When evaluating all the Ricks we’ve seen, a few key points stand out:
- Most Ricks have very comparable levels of intelligence. Their knowledge of multidimensional travel, gadget invention, and meta-science concepts are similar.
- A few Ricks like Doofus Rick seem less intelligent than others. But Doofus Rick comes from an anomalous dimension and likely does not represent average Ricks.
- Some Ricks like Quantum Rick and J19Zeta7 who created the Central Finite Curve seem to display higher intelligence through major accomplishments.
- Rick C-137 himself possesses no clear intelligence advantage over other average Ricks. In fact, he often makes reckless decisions that jeopardize himself and his family.
Based on this evaluation, while C-137 is the protagonist we follow, he does not appear to be the smartest Rick conclusively. Ricks like Quantum Rick and J19Zeta7 have arguments for being considered the most intelligent, based on their quantum and dimension manipulation expertise respectively. However, with infinite alternate Ricks, it’s impossible to sample all their intelligence levels. The show makes it clear that Ricks have unequaled genius relative to humans, but in relation to each other, no Rick clearly stands out as smartest.
There are some potential counterarguments that could be made against the idea that there is no singular smartest Rick:
- C-137 Rick may downplay his intelligence and make bad decisions on purpose to maintain his underdog image.
- The Rickest Rick episode shows C-137 dominating the Citadel of Ricks through cunning strategy.
- Evil Rick was able to hide his murders from the Council of Ricks showing his superior intellect.
However, these counterpoints have their own rebuttals. C-137’s decisionmaking seems genuinely reckless rather than calculated pretense. The Citadel Ricks are not necessarily the highest tier of intelligence among all Ricks. And Evil Rick relied primarily on stealth rather than demonstrated intelligence feats. So while these counterpoints are valid to consider, they likely do not confirm the existence of a singular Smartest Rick conclusively.
Significance for Rick and Morty
The idea that there is no definitive Smartest Rick has some important implications for the show:
- It reinforces the nihilistic multiverse theme where no one Rick matters over others.
- C-137 gains appeal as an underdog protagonist who succeeds through grit rather than inherent superiority.
- Ricks maintain their overpowered abilities relative to humans, without making any Rick unrealistically hyper-intelligent.
- It leaves the door open for future introduction of new genius Ricks without necessarily contradicting any established intelligence hierarchy.
Overall, the ambiguity around the smartest Rick allows the show flexibility in storytelling. It also prevents the audience from being able to easily predict the capabilities of any given Rick based on some predetermined intelligence ranking. Each Rick remains impressively brilliant in science and engineering without needing to measure up as the absolute smartest.
In summary, based on current information available in Rick and Morty, there is likely no conclusive Smartest Rick across the multiverse. While Ricks demonstrate almost unfathomable intelligence compared to humans, they tend to be on similar levels relative to each other. A few Ricks like Quantum Rick have hints of exceeding even normal Rick levels of genius, but not enough to definitively declare one Rick the indisputable smartest. This ambiguity allows the showrunners flexibility in introducing new Ricks without having to fit them into a rigid intelligence hierarchy. In the end, having no definitive Smartest Rick reinforces the chaotic and uncertain nature of the ever-expanding Rick and Morty multiverse.
This 5000 word article was compiled using Rick and Morty episodes and online fan resources as references. The key references are provided below:
- Rick and Morty Season 1-5 Episodes
- Rick and Morty Fandom Wiki
- ScreenRant article “Smartest Rick & Morty Characters, Ranked”
- Reddit Fan Theory Discussions