Status: Main Character
First Appearance: “Pilot”
Voice Actor: Spencer Grammer
Summer Smith’s existence owes itself to two hapless teenagers who decided not to go through with an abortion at the last minute. In spite of her origin and the surrounding family drama, Summer is a reasonably well-adjusted young woman. She’s a typical teenage girl, obsessed with social media, apathetic to the world around her, and in constant pursuit of meaningless high school popularity. At the start of the show, Summer is the least compelling of the Smith family and certainly its most cliché. That changed when she slowly became entangled in Rick and Morty’s world.
Once Summer settled in as an unofficial third member of Rick’s crew, she brought her own cards to the table. With Morty slowly getting used to Rick’s nightmarish dimensional hops, Summer is often portrayed as the fresh-faced newbie. Far from useless though, Summer survives through pragmatism. Morty tends to deal with it because he’s forced to. By contrast, Summer is pro-active and nonchalant. Sure, she, too is horrified by the things she’s seen, but Summer frequently handles them with kid gloves. She’s a go-getter who often delivers or recommends solutions to Rick and Morty’s problems rather than sit back and let something happen till the last minute. It may not always work, but Summer proves she has the chops to survive their world.
Perhaps a great deal of her resilience might have to do with the guilt of being born. When Jerry and Beth accidentally told her she wasn’t planned, she was angry. The one time they blamed her for their marriage woes, she was devastated. After all, no matter how many grotesque aliens and dangerous battles Summer faced, it can’t compare to the anguish she likely felt knowing she was the cause of her parents’ unhappy future.