10 Important Life Lessons From Rick and Morty Season 5

10 Important Life Lessons From Rick and Morty Season 5

The Adult Swim hit is about to dive into season 6—so we're remembering the big takeaways from last season.

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Morty points a spoon at Rick.
Screenshot: Adult Swim

Rick and Morty season six is nearly here—so now feels like the perfect time to look back on season five and recall the most important life lessons conveyed by the Adult Swim hit’s previous installment, be they raunchy, sly, clever, thoughtful, or plainly obvious... sometimes all at the same time.

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Avoid the Ocean

Avoid the Ocean

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Screenshot: Adult Swim

Stay away from the ocean, especially if your nemesis lives there. “Mort Dinner Rick Andre” introduced us to Mr. Nimbus (voiced by Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon), “king of the ocean and a piece of shit,” according to Rick (Justin Roiland). Even though he rescues Rick when he gets caught up in some cyberpunk-future time-travel shenanigans, he sics his pet policemen on Rick in the end.

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Keep a White Board Handy

Keep a White Board Handy

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Screenshot: Adult Swim

White boards have a variety of uses. But they especially come in handy when you need to explain and diagram to your (understandably confused and freaked-out) family exactly how many decoy families (“Exactly like us, with a few tweaks and a backdoor shutdown”) are scattered across the multiverse—just like Rick does in “Mortyplicity.”

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Don’t Get Attached

Don’t Get Attached

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Screenshot: Adult Swim

The rules Rick lays down on Summer (Spencer Grammar) ahead of their three-planet crawl of orgiastic pre-apocalyptic parties in “A Rickconvenient Mort” are: “No whining, no crying, and absolutely, positively no getting attached.” As episode three, “A Rickconvenient Mort,” demonstrates, Rick can’t be counted on to follow his own rules—so Summer has to pull a Rick move and “avert an apocalypse in a tantrum of cynicism just to destroy one dumb relationship,” something he begrudgingly gives her props for in the end.

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Don’t Mess With the “Breeding Mount”

Don’t Mess With the “Breeding Mount”

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Screenshot: Adult Swim

Of course Morty does just that in “Rickdependance Spray.” It’s a decision the perpetually horny 14-year-old regrets when Rick appropriates a barrel of what he thinks is undiluted horse semen for a weapons experiment... and a planet-wide catastrophe involving giant, aggressive, flying-monster sperm ensues. Naturally, Morty refuses to admit his role in their creation which makes things so, so much worse—especially when the U.S. government enlarges one of Summer’s eggs, and Morty’s sperm rushes to fertilize it. (Because this is Rick and Morty, their “giant incest space baby” has a multi-episode arc.)

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Hell Demons Are Not Your Friends

Hell Demons Are Not Your Friends

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Screenshot: Adult Swim

“We love suffering, therefore we love hanging out with Jerry (Chris Parnell)! His lameness is our candy!” “Amortycan Grickfitti” examines the importance of being selective about the people you hang out with—including a reminder that no matter how nice hell demons appear to be, they’re still hell demons.

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Don’t Turn Yourself Into a Turkey Just to Get a Presidential Pardon

Don’t Turn Yourself Into a Turkey Just to Get a Presidential Pardon

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Screenshot: Adult Swim

As we learn in “Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular”—featuring recurring guest star Keith David as Rick’s frequent foe, the President of the United States—it’s really, really more trouble than it’s worth. (We also learn it’s not the first time Rick has used the turkey trick to get a pardon... just the one with the most, uh, complications.)

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“You Get the Family You Get”

“You Get the Family You Get”

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Screenshot: Adult Swim

As we see in “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion,” pursuing an exhilarating new hobby involving giant robots can become a dangerous obsession, complete with feuds, competing Goodfellas-style voiceovers, and accusations of cultural appropriation. But when the stakes get really high, you can count on the Smith-Sanchez family to put aside their differences and work together, and yes that includes a certain giant incest space baby.

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“We Do Not Get to Choose the Ones We Love”

“We Do Not Get to Choose the Ones We Love”

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Screenshot: Adult Swim

The physical form of Birdperson (Dan Harmon) has been reconstructed, but in order to awaken his comatose mind, Rick must travel inside his consciousness in “Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort.” As they relive the awesome and painful memories they shared, we get an insightful window into their relationship—and also a message about how even best friends need a break from each other from time to time.

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Portal Fluid Isn’t Mountain Dew

Portal Fluid Isn’t Mountain Dew

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Screenshot: Adult Swim

It is the exact same color, though. (For reference, this nugget of wisdom is from “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall,” which begins with Morty using a purloined portal gun for solo adventures—and goes on to see some pretty intense cracks form within Rick and Morty’s central partnership.)

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You Can’t Outrun Your Past

You Can’t Outrun Your Past

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Screenshot: Adult Swim

“Rickmurai Jack” starts off as a tale of a man and two crows and spirals into a melancholy, Citadel-set epic (at least, until the Citadel gets completely destroyed) that delves more deeply into Rick and Morty mythology than any episode ever has before—and sees Evil Morty make a clean escape. What does it all mean, and will it have any effect on season six whatsoever? We’ll start to find out September 4, when Rick and Morty returns to Adult Swim.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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