Is Rick and Morty Existentialist? - Philosophy Tube | Summary and Q&A

July 24, 2015
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Is Rick and Morty Existentialist? - Philosophy Tube


"The show Rick and Morty explores existentialist and absurdist themes, challenging the meaning of life and embracing the absurdity of existence."

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Key Insights

  • 🙈 "Rick and Morty" can be seen as a critique of Western attitudes towards science and a portrayal of a specific variety of existentialism.
  • 👨‍🔬 Albert Camus' concept of the Absurd, which embraces the contradiction between humans' search for meaning and the universe's inherent meaninglessness, is reflected in the show.
  • 🛟 The show's protagonist, Rick, embodies absurdist ideals through his acceptance of the meaninglessness of life and his rebellious nature.
  • 🤕 "Rick and Morty" confronts the Absurd head on and explores the possibility of fighting it while still leaving space for compassion and personal growth.
  • 💭 The show's exploration of existential and absurdist themes makes it a thought-provoking and engaging watch.
  • 💡 The influence of Camus' ideas on the show highlights the relevance of philosophical concepts in popular culture.
  • ❓ The show's humor, complexity, and addictive qualities contribute to its cult following and popularity.


Way back in the mists of time, I did an episode on a show called "Rick and Morty," a very popular cartoon series with a cult following that will soon be returning for a second season. For the uninitiated, "Rick and Morty" follows the adventures of Morty, a 14-year-old nervous wreck, and his grandfather Rick, who is a mega-scientist and interdimensi... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does "Rick and Morty" explore existentialism and absurdism?

The show reflects existentialist ideas by highlighting the meaninglessness of life and the universe, as well as the characters' struggle to find meaning. It also embraces the absurdity of existence, showcasing the humor and rebellious nature often associated with absurdist philosophy.

Q: What are the three possible responses to the Absurd according to Camus?

Camus suggests that the three responses to the Absurd are suicide, denial, or acceptance. He advises accepting the Absurd, understanding that life is meaningless but finding a revolutionary spirit in continuing to live and enjoy life despite this understanding.

Q: How does Rick exemplify an absurdist hero?

Rick openly acknowledges the meaninglessness of life and the absence of a higher power. He challenges traditional systems and fights against his own inclination to deny the Absurd. Through his rebellious and unpredictable nature, he embodies the absurdist philosophy.

Q: Does "Rick and Morty" explore the possibility of compassion within the Absurd?

The show hints that Rick might be softening and developing a deeper connection with his grandkids. This suggests that fighting the Absurd may still leave room for compassion and emotional growth. It leaves viewers with the question of whether compassion can coexist with existentialist or absurdist beliefs.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • "Rick and Morty" is a popular animated show that follows the adventures of Morty and his scientist grandfather Rick.

  • The show can be seen as a critique of Western attitudes towards science and an exploration of existentialist ideas, specifically the ideas of Albert Camus.

  • Camus believed in the contradiction between people's search for meaning in a meaningless universe, and the show confronts this contradiction head-on.

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