Rick and Morty’s Cannabis Subculture Warps Into Downtown Los Angeles
A dult Swim’s Emmy-winning hit show Rick and Morty has a tens-of-millions-strong fanbase, including a huge segment of cannabis enthusiasts.
The most-watched show among 18-24 year olds, guest stars have included Stephen Colbert, Werner Herzog, and Susan Sarandon. The cable network aims to channel fans’ love for the animated sci-fi comedy—and the wacky sensibilities of the rest of its programming—into a three-day festival taking place in downtown Los Angeles October 5-7.
Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s gonna die.
Morty, Rick and Morty
The Adult Swim Festival is a destination event featuring over 40 hot acts, including heavy-metal headliners Mastodon, rap stars Run the Jewels, blazing stand-up comedians like Hannibal Buress, and the exceedingly brilliant (and difficult to categorize) Open Mike Eagle. Is it happenstance that all of these artists have also openly professed their love for weed? Perhaps not. Interestingly, El-P and Killer Mike (Run the Jewels) were introduced by an Adult Swim exec, who thought their musical styles and agendas would mesh. The duo has since released three critically acclaimed albums, and it sure seems like Adult Swim knows what’s good.
Ride ‘Em, Smack ‘Em, Get A Hole In One
The fest will also feature offstage attractions: you can ride a hot dog that bucks like a mechanical bull, or climb a rope ladder to play Smack Up My Uvula. Trip out and chill in the Meatwad 4D Dome (shout out Aqua Teen Hunger Force, you are missed), or dive into a virtual-reality experience inspired by Dream Corp LLC, the Adult Swim show set in a sketchy dream-therapy facility. You can even play Rick and Morty-themed mini golf. Adventures for weed lovers abound!
And at 9 p.m. on Sunday, October 7th, Rick and Morty get a live showcase as composer Ryan Elder leads a 37-piece orchestra through musical highlights from the show in a Musical Ricksperience. Get ready for an aural adventure through some of the finest musical moments in animated TV comedy. You can buy tickets for the weekend-long festival here.
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Why Do Weed & Rick and Morty Go So Well Together?
As we prepare to run around (or stroll, let’s be honest) at the Adult Swim Festival, we asked ourselves: why is there such a solid Rick and Morty fanbase in the cannabis community? How does a love of cannabis pair so perfectly with the mismatched grandfather and grandson’s antics through the multiverse?
To better understand Rick and Morty ’s weird humor (and pathos), and how it connects to a greater understanding of the meaning of life, check out video essayist Will Schoder’s analysis of the philosophy of Rick and Morty:
“Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s gonna die.” As OpenCulture points out , Rick and Morty fans understand that, underneath all of the show’s memorable gags and quotable lines, there lies an unusual philosophical depth.
“The human desire to fulfill some special existential purpose has existed throughout history,” declares Schoder in his video essay. That same desire is expressed in the quest to connect to something larger through cannabis. Getting high and wondering about what it all means dovetails perfectly with Rick and Morty’s adventures, and their ultimate discovery that “the only option is to find importance in the stuff right in front of you.”
Just as cannabis helps connect us to the present moment, and enjoy things as they unfold, Rick and Morty deems friends, family, and doing what we love much more important than unanswerable questions about why we’re here in the first place.
Most importantly, Rick and Morty is hella funny. Anyone who’s gotten high and laughed until they cried at Season 3, Episode 3’s “Pickle Rick” knows that. PICKLE RICK ! “Stop digging for hidden layers, and just be impressed.”
“Pickle Rick” was written by Jessica Gao , who won the “Best Animated Program” Emmy for writing the murderously incisive episode about family therapy and the burden of intelligence.
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Szechuan Sauce Must Be Had
The off-kilter brilliance of Rick and Morty has seeped into every corner of pop (and pot) culture. Take the McDonald’s Szechuan sauce debacle, for instance.
During the Season 3 premiere of the show in April 2017, in the final scenes of “The Rickshank Rickdemption,” Rick goes on a characteristic rant, telling Morty that nothing in the universe has meaning, and that the only reason he gets up every day is with the hope of finding a discontinued dipping sauce from McDonald’s. (The fast-food giant launched Szechuan sauce as a promotional tie-in for the Disney film Mulan in 1998, and retired the dip soon thereafter.)
“I’ll go out, and I’ll find more of that Szechuan Mulan teriyaki dipping sauce, Morty!” Rick babbles. “Because that’s what this is all about, Morty. That’s my one-armed man.”
Fast forward to October 2017: McDonald’s announced that it would re-release the sauce for a one-day promotion in limited quantities. Demand quickly overwhelmed supply, folks freaked out , Twitter had a meltdown, and everyone had a good time making fun of Rick and Morty fans for caring about a condiment.
Bowing to pressure from dip-crazed zealots, McDonald’s announced in February 2018 that the sauce would be available for everyone in locations across the U.S.
Fans Turn Rick and Morty Into High Art
Fan art is one of the most wonderful interpretative things in the world, and the weed-loving creatives who watch Rick and Morty have left no artistic pickle unjarred.
Creative roller Tony Greenhand elevated Rick and Morty to the fan art pot-culture pantheon with his collection of joints in the shape of Rick, Morty, and iconic characters Mr. Meeseeks and Mr. Poopybutthole. Greenhand rolled the series in a three-hour livestream on the NowThis Facebook page on 4/20.
The Adult Film Festival is coming to LA, where you can enjoy a Musical Ricksperience and ask yourself, why do cannabis & 'Rick and Morty' go so well together?
Watch with Weed: A Rick and Morty Episode Guide
Adult Swim show Rick and Morty is one of the most highly rated shows on IMDB. It has a passionate base of followers that would make Game of Thrones fans feel average. McDonald’s even brought back their Szechuan sauce—at select locations for one day only—as a nod to the show.
And while marijuana isn’t a central part of any character’s arc (Rick can access every drug in every conceivable universe if sufficiently motivated), it is a known part of at least some of the dimensions Rick and Morty live in and visit. In the end-credit scene of Lawnmower Dog (S1, Ep2), Rick is seen smoking pot with Scary Terry.
Of course, many fans of the show claim it’s so funny and smart that you don’t get anything more out of it when stoned. It’s already good enough.
Well, if the Meeseeks won’t accept “good enough,” I don’t see why we should. So in the interest of living up to Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s high standards, here’s a complete episode guide to watching Rick and Morty with weed.
A Cannabis Strain for Every Rick & Morty Adventure
(S1, Ep1) Pilot
Grand Daddy Purple. This indica-dominant strain has been credited with starting the purple pot craze, much like the pilot episode marked the beginning of the Ricky and Morty craze—one that has only gained steam after three seasons.
“Holy cow, Rick! I didn’t know hanging out with you was making me smarter!”
(S1, Ep2) Lawnmower Dog
Super Dawg. Rick makes Snuffles the dog super intelligent and the duo start entering dreams inception style. So sit back and enter a calm, happy dreamlike state.
“Inception made sense!”
“You don’t have to try and impress me, Morty.”
(S1, Ep3) Anatomy Park
Speed Queen. Fantastic Voyage meets Jurassic Park. This body-shot of an episode pairs well with a body buzzing strain like Speed Queen. The indica hybrid offers a lazy, relaxing, but social high. Perfect for a day at Anatomy Park.
“Anatomy Park’s greatest attraction, young man, isn’t the music or the food or the… Pirates of the Pancreas.”
(S1, Ep4) M. Night Shaym-Aliens!
Sour Diesel. Aliens use virtual reality to try and get Rick’s recipe for concentrated dark matter. This one has layers, and Sour Diesel’s energizing, dreamy head high make it ideal for a story with more than a few twists.
“I mean, why would a Pop-Tart want to live inside a toaster, Rick? I mean, th-that would be like the scariest place for them to live.”
(S1, Ep5) Meeseeks and Destroy
Lemon Ice. Meeseeks only exist to help, but Jerry can’t be helped. Lemon Ice is a sativa-dominant hybrid with a strong head high that, like Mr. Meeseeks, can be a little hard to handle if you’re prone to anxiety.
“Grandpa Rick! Can you help me with my science homework?”
“Yeah, d— Just don’t do it.”
(S1, Ep6) Rick Potion #9
Sour Dream. Morty asks Rick for a love potion. Sour Dream is known for its euphoric, giggle-inducing, and social high. Perfect for cuddling up with someone special for a Rick and Morty marathon.
“I hate to break it to you, but what people call “love” is just a chemical reaction that compels animals to breed. It hits hard, Morty, then it slowly fades, leaving you stranded in a failing marriage. I did it. Your parents are gonna do it. Break the cycle, Morty. Rise above. Focus on science.”
(S1, Ep7) Raising Gazorpazorp
Mama San. Morty raises an alien child and learns a lesson about fatherhood. Mama San is a popular strain in Colorado that offers a relaxing, happy high and a small burst of pain relief perfect for parents trying to unwind with a bit of Rick and Morty while the kids are away at camp.
“Love… that’s all you care about! What about weapons?! What about domination of the enemy?!”
“Alright, that’s it! No more History Channel! This TV is for cartoons and video games only!”
(S1, Ep8) Rixty Minutes
Banana Stand Kush. Rick tunes the TV to receive every channel from every conceivable universe. What better way to watch than with a big yellow joint of Banana Stand Kush, a strain inspired by Netflix show Arrested Development.
“When two people create a life together, they set aside their previous lives as individuals.”
“Gimme a break! We’re not heroes for having unprotected sex on prom night.”
(S1, Ep9) Something Ricked This Way Comes
Hell Raiser OG. Summer works for the devil at a pawn shop. If Rick and Morty are raising Hell, it’s only right that you join them with Hell Raiser OG, an indica-dominant cross. It even has a lemon-pine aroma you might expect at a pawn shop.
“Don’t pay for cool stuff with your soul. Pay for it with money. You know, like how every store in the world works?”
(S1, Ep10) Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind
Houdini. Evil Rick and Evil Morty make an appearance in this Rick-laden and sometimes disturbing entry in the series. The sedative body high in Houdini (indica) will keep you glued to the couch for every twist and reveal this episode has to offer.
“Turn your boring, old Morty into a… hot fashion statement… with some Morty dazzlers!”
(S1, Ep11) Ricksy Business
Northern Lights. Jerry and Beth attend a Titanic reenactment that goes horribly wrong. What better way to enjoy this episode than with Northern Lights, one of the most famous indicas ever to cross the Atlantic.
“Morty, do you know what “wubba lubba dub dub” means?”
(S2, Ep1) A Rickle in Time
Girl Scout Cookies. Time can only stand still for so long in this Rick and Morty season premier. Winner of multiple Cannabis Cup awards and lauded for its high THC levels, hybrid Girl Scout Cookies will let you slow time just like your favorite characters.
“This is why you don’t freeze time, you guys. It’s incredibly irresponsible.”
“And you did it so we could clean the house after a party?!”
(S2, Ep2) Mortynight Run
Amber Waves. Rick leaves Jerry in a daycare designed for Jerries. Find your own pain relief with high-CBD, sativa-dominant Amber Waves so you can enjoy this fun, Jerry-heavy episode.
“What kind of business do you do in a garage? Y’know, this seems a little shady.”
“Right, yeah, like nothing shady ever happened in a fully furnished office? You ever hear about Wall Street, Morty?”
(S2, Ep3) Auto Erotic Assimilation
Power Kush. Rick meets an ex-lover planning to assimilate the universe. Join Unity and become one with the universe with Power Kush, a sweet and skunky indica with a high that’s both physical and cerebral.
“’World peace achieved.’ Nice. Little weird to publish a paper about it for yourself, but hey. So, what’s next?”
(S2, Ep4) Total Rickall
Jack Herer. Alien parasites plant fake memories and Mr. Poopybutthole spends some time with the family. Keep your head clear with Jack Herer, the blissful, creative sativa known for its consistently high quality and potency.
“Get off the high road, Summer! We all got pinkeye because you won’t stop texting on the toilet.”
(S2, Ep5) Get Schwifty
Durban Poison. A massive head appears, holding the world hostage and demanding an original song. Durban Poison is a sweet-smelling, energetic sativa great for staying productive. You know, in case you need to write and perform a song to save the world from a Cromulon.
“Mr. President, if I’ve learned one thing today, it’s that sometimes you have to not give a f***!”
(S2, Ep6) The Ricks Must Be Crazy
Chem Dawg. Rick uses a tiny universe to power his car. Chem Dawg is a relaxing, euphoric hybrid credited with being the original source for powerhouses like Sour Diesel and OG Kush.
“Oh, man! Where are we, Rick?”
“Morty, remember eight seconds ago when—when you said “Go inside what?” and I said “The battery”? And then we showed up here and I wasn’t like, “Whoa, this is unexpected. This is not what I was expecting, Morty. What a perplexing mystery this is.”
(S2, Ep7) Big Trouble in Little Sanchez
Critical Mass. Rick puts his consciousness in the body of a teenage clone to hunt a vampire. Too much Rick in one body can be problematic, and Critical Mass got its name for having bud so dense it can reach ‘critical mass’ and snap the branch.
“I got bored and then I remembered this morning how I blew Summer off and I thought, ‘Hey, why’re you such a grumpy douche, Rick? Go to the garage, transfer your mind into a younger clone of yourself, and get embroiled on in some youthful hijinks. What’s the BFD?’ So here I am. I’m Tiny Rick!!”
(S2, Ep8) Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate
Prickly Muffin. Rick and the family watch interdimensional cable at the hospital after Jerry ingests bacteria Rick was storing. Another episode about interdimensional cable calls for another strain inspired by popular TV series (this time Bojack Horseman).
“All right! That’s enough! You guys are talking about my species! We understand genocide! We do it sometimes!”
(S2, Ep9) Look Who’s Purging Now
Death Star. Rick and Morty visit a planet with their own, real version of “The Purge”. Watch the destruction with a relaxed sense of euphoria by pairing the episode with a bowl of Death Star.
“’Purge! Don’t purge?!’ You’re sending me mixed messages, Rick!”
(S2, Ep10) The Wedding Squanchers
Royal Queen. The family attends a wedding with some of the Federation’s most wanted. Honor the bride-to-be and wrap up season 2 with Royal Queen, a sleepy, deeply relaxing hybrid.
“Geez, Rick! You can’t say f— ‘f you’ to your granddaughter!”
“I just did, Morty. Here’s dessert. F*** you.”
(S3, Ep1) The Rickshank Redemption
Blueberry. Rick’s in prison in this highly anticipated season premier. It only seems right to honor the return of Adult Swim’s perennial hit with one of your own. Many smokers wait all year to get their hands on a bit of Blueberry bud.
“I want that Mulan McNugget sauce, Morty! That’s my series arc, Morty! If it takes nine seasons, I want my McNugget… dipping sauce Szechuan sauce, Morty!”
(S3, Ep2) Rickmancing the Stone
Atomic. Mad Max meets mad Morty, and the only way to celebrate such an explosive pairing is with a powerful head rush and body high like you get with the super potent hybrid Atomic.
“Summer, next time we’re hiding in a chlorkian echo nest, can you do me a favour and turn your ringer off?!”
“It’s called carpe diem Morty. Look it up.”
“You look it up, you don’t- you don’t even know what it means.”
“That’s because losers look stuff up while the rest of us are carp’en all them diems.”
(S3, Ep3) Pickle Rick
Edibles. Rick turns himself into a pickle in this odd and endearing episode. So in honor of characters becoming food, we’re recommending edibles for this episode.
“I turned myself into a pickle, Morty.”
“’And?’ What more do you want tacked on to this? I turned myself into a pickle and 9/11 was an inside job?”
(S3, Ep4) Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender
Blue Sky. Rick agrees to help the Vindicators fight Worldender, but blackout Rick just wants to relax with some party games… Join in on the fun with Blue Sky Kush, an indica-leaning hybrid perfect for unwinding with friends.
“Well let me check my list of powers and weaknesses: ability to do anything, but only whenever I want. Yeah, that sounds like a job for me.”
(S3, Ep5) The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy
Golden Goat. Rick takes Jerry on an adventure, and Golden Goat offers just the right balance of happy, uplifting, and super potent for such a silly (but surprisingly heavy) episode.
“I survive cause I know everything, that snake survives because children wander off, and you survive cause people think ‘Ooh! This poor piece of s*** he never gets a break! I can’t stand the deafening silent wails of his wilting soul. I guess I’ll hire him or marry him.’”
(S3, Ep6) Rest and Ricklaxation
Bruce Banner. Rick and Morty go to the spa to get some toxins removed. As the namesake for the Hulk and one of the most potent strains ever tested at the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, this powerful sativa hybrid is just right for a bit of Rest and Ricklaxation.
“Now who can tell me the common denominator of these two fractions? You don’t know or you’re just bored?”
“Hey listen, you know, if we’re all bored over here, wouldn’t the common denominator be you?”
(S3, Ep7) The Ricklantis Mixup
Skywalker OG. Ricks and Mortys are living in the Citadel, and you can join them in a galaxy far far away with Skywalker OG, a potent indica-dominant strain with a strong body high.
“Seems like a good time for a drink and a cold calculated speech with sinister overtones.”
(S3, Ep8) Morty’s Mind Blowers
Memory Loss. A sativa known for a strong mind high that leaves some smokers disoriented and forgetful, Memory Loss is the perfect companion for this episode about revisiting lost memories. I think. I don’t remember.
“Don’t break your back creating a lesson, Morty. It’s a free-form anthology. I’m getting annoyed you’re not hearing that.”
(S3, Ep9) The ABCs of Beth
OG Kush. Rick and Beth travel to Froopyland, a world Rick made for young Beth. As the strain that birthed some of the most popular cannabis varieties on the West Coast, the stress-squashing OG Kush is a natural pairing with this story about the birth of a world.
“I’m a f***ing nutcase, and the acorn drops straight down.”
(S3, Ep10) The Rickchurian Mortydate
Slazerbeam. The president needs Rick and Morty’s help. A product of Colorado Seed, Inc., Slazerbeam is a powerful sativa that packs a heavy but functional body high to go with its uplifting, invigorating effects. Perfect for saving the president or just watching Rick do it.
“Don’t do it guys! The casualties would be in the brazillions. Cause you’re Brazilian? It’s a threat and a pun! Nobody gets me.”
(S4, Ep1) Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat
Blue Healer. Morty uses death crystals to try and end up with Jessica while Rick keeps dying on his way back to his reality. Welcome back your favorite animated sci-fi comedy and join our titular characters in their quest for healing with Blue Healer, a relaxing CBD/THC strain.
“Oh boy, so you actually learned something today? What is this, Full House? I was living in the moment all day, and it kept getting me killed by Nazis. I think you have to think ahead and live in the moment.”
(S4, Ep2) The Old Man and the Seat
Space Ghost OG. An alien uses Rick’s secret toilet and Jerry develops an app. Space Ghost OG is a pungent indica with a potent high that loosens the body and mind without stifling motivation or creativity, making it the ideal pairing for this episode, whether you identify with Rick’s plight or Jerry’s creative goals.
“Honey, our daughter ran off with a frisbee golfer because of some app with a really dumb, really forgettable name… like a really dumb, uncreative, super sweaty name. Anyway, I’ll be late, I love you.”
(S4, Ep3) One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty
Green Crack. Someone stole the thing Rick and Morty were trying to steal. You may not be cracking safes, but a little Green Crack goes a long way with this episode: an uplifting sativa that won’t leave you jittery, and a sweet citrus profile worth hunting for.
“It’s showtime Morty and I don’t mean a bad impression of HBO, I mean it’s time for a show.”
(S4, Ep4) Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim’s Morty
Axilla. Jerry meets a talking cat and Rick promises Morty a dragon. Axilla’s inspirational, imaginative high and hypnotic purple make it the ideal pairing for this fantastical Rick and Morty adventure.
“Are you gonna slay it?”
“First off, I always slay it, queen. Secondly, yes.”
(S4, Ep5) Rattlestar Ricklactica
Tiger’s Milk. The spaceship gets a flat tire and a snakebite leads to a bit of time travel. Smoke a bowl of Tiger’s Milk for a cerebral, borderline psychedelic high perfect for meeting intelligent space snakes with Rick and Morty.
“That’s a sample by the way, it wears off after 10 hours and after that it’ll cost you 30 bucks.”
“I probably won’t even use it for 10 hours! … Siri, set an alert for 9 hours and 50 minutes.”
(S4, Ep6) Never Ricking Morty
Tropicalia OG. Rick and Morty ride a space train full of chatty people who don’t like Rick. Tropicalia OG delivers an uplifting, social high that will keep you energized and engaged for this anthology episode.
“Merchandise Morty, your only purpose in life is to buy & consume merchandise and you did it, you went into a store an actual honest to god store and you bought something, you didn’t ask questions or raise ethical complaints you just looked into the bleeding jaws of capitalism and said ‘yes daddy please’ and I’m so proud of you, I only wish you could have bought more, I love buying things so much Morty.”
(S4, Ep7) Promortyus
Purple Sherbert. This one has face-hugging aliens and M&Ms. So relax your body, add a little color to your day, and embrace the carefree high of Purple Sherbert, a potent indica strain with notes of skunky citrus, sweet berry, and candy.
“I told you not to look at that egg! I-it was too wet.”
“You don’t get to tell me what to look at. I’ve seen your Pornhub account. Also, who makes a Pornhub account?”
(S4, Ep8) The Vat of Acid Episode
Cheese Quake. Rick tells Morty to jump into a vat of acid if things go wrong in this episode. Let the day’s stress melt away faster than Morty with Cheese Quake, an uplifting and supremely relaxing hybrid.
“I don’t deserve this, I was just having fun.”
“So was Jeffrey Dahmer.”
(S4, Ep9) Childrick of Mort
Preroll Joints. A galactic adventure that includes the whole family! So bring your friends and family together for the penultimate season 4 episode and a sativa, indica, hybrid, or kief-infused prerolled joint.
“Camping is just being homeless… without the change.”
(S4, Ep10) Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerry
Creamsicle. An invisibility belt and a pregnant planet bring season 4 to a close May 31, 2020. It’s bittersweet knowing we may have a long wait for season 5, but you can enjoy this final adventure and make the end a little less troubling when you’re enjoying the smooth, uplifting, and long-lasting effects of Creamsicle.
“Why are the athletes going through the introvert sector?”
“Obviously so they can bully the mathematicians and give us astronomers.”
What do you think of our Rick and Morty pairings? Let us know in the comments, and share this post with your friends to help plan your next Rick and Morty marathon.
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With a passionate fan base that makes Game of Thrones look average, here’s a complete guide to pairing Rick and Morty episodes with weed.