Status: Main Character
First Appearance: “Pilot”
Voice Actor: Justin Roiland
The second-half of the eponymous duo, Morty Smith is an average fourteen-year-old boy. He goes to school, crushes on girls, and plays video games like any other contemporary American teen. If he had the choice, this is all he’d rather put up with, but he has an unfortunate elephant in the room: Rick Sanchez.
Rick constantly drags his grandson through time and space. In a happier universe, Morty might have found skipping school to visit exotic planets and strange creatures preferable. Instead it’s a constant stepping ladder of trauma-inducing nightmares. Bloody wars, murder, vengeance, weird alien logic, and near-death experiences has forced Morty to kill or be killed. Morty is a survivor suffering massive mental issues that is beyond psychological help, causing him to stress out in anger at inopportune times.
In spite of his inexperience, Morty isn’t a cowardly milquetoast. He’s capable of fighting back when necessary. Sometimes that initiative is needed to hone Rick in when the situation gets dicey. While he cannot sway Rick so easily, Morty does serve as his moral center, trying to minimize the damage Rick could or already has caused. Morty tries to do the right thing under dire circumstances. Overtime, he has gotten used to the adventure and perhaps enjoys them to an extent. This has made Morty into a hardened veteran where he’ll make the best of a situation or lessen the damage already caused. At worse, he’ll be apathetic and go with the flow.
Rick and Morty’s relationship is complicated. Rick doesn’t keep Morty around for his intelligence; the boy has special brainwaves that cancel out Rick’s, reducing a trail for the Galactic Federation and the Council of Ricks to find. Being a tool for his grandpa’s shenanigans has left a bitter taste in Morty. He despises the mistreatment and constant threats, yet is equally offended whenever Rick brushes him off for someone else. Could this be Stockholm Syndrome taking over or does Morty see something in Rick that no one else does?
Either way, you can count on Morty to keep a cautious toe and lend a helping hand. Even if he’s slowly developing a cynical output, this does not prevent him from moving forward. He’s going to die anyway, so might as well make the most of it.