For three seasons and counting on the Adult Swim animated series Rick and Morty, viewers have been treated to a seemingly endless parade of the most bizarre settings imaginable. Sure, alcoholic mad scientist Rick Sanchez has seen it all, and his beleaguered grandson Morty is certainly getting used to the madness at this point — but as Rick’s famous portal gun is capable of traversing not only the universe but the multiverse, things have occasion to get egregiously weird in virtually every episode.
Two of the series’ more celebrated episodes, in which Rick modifies everyday cable boxes to tune in programming from different dimensions, treated viewers to concentrated blasts of just how insane Rick and Morty’s multiverse can get. Thanks to interdimensional cable, we’ve seen a world in which every proper noun begins with “shml-“; one in which the most highly-anticipated film of the summer is titled Alien Invasion Tomato Monster Mexican Armada Brothers Who Are Just Regular Brothers Running In A Van From An Asteroid And All Sorts Of Things The Movie; one in which fake doors are a hot consumer item, and they’re advertised by way of ridiculously long and surreal commercials; and another in which childrens’ cereal ads are jaw-droppingly violent, just to name a few.
But Rick and Morty is often at its most hilariously messed-up when Rick and Morty have occasion to actually visit these other dimensions, which can be incredibly disgusting, hostile and unforgiving, skewed and trippy versions of our own reality, or all of the above. We decided to take a deep dive to answer the burning question: what’s the single most disturbing dimension we’ve ever seen on Rick and Morty?
Rick and Morty’s most unpleasant dimension: Buttworld
It’s a difficult question to answer, but right off the bat, we can think of one dimension that would just be a heinous assault on the senses (especially the sense of smell), one that would find us screaming to the cruel heavens if we ever found ourselves marooned there. We’ve seen it three separate times during Rick and Morty’s run, which suggests disturbingly close proximity to Rick and Morty’s native dimension: it appeared while the pair was skipping across dimensions while on the run from the Council of Ricks in season one’s “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind,” again while Morty was having a bit of trouble with the portal gun in season two’s “Get Schwifty,” and yet again in the season three opener “The Rickshank Redemption.” It’s a dimension which the show hasn’t given a canonical alphanumeric designation — but it’s known colloquially as “Buttworld.”
Yes, it’s a realm where enormous, disembodied, endlessly farting butts stretch for as far as the eye can see, rising majestically from what appear to be plains of poo. In Buttworld, the trees sprout rolls of toilet paper instead of foliage, and some of them aren’t trees at all; they’re giant, crap-encrusted plungers. We can only speculate as to how this world evolved; or rather, we could speculate, if we wanted to, which we don’t. Buttworld sure looks like the most unpleasant dimension in which to spend any amount of time whatsoever, but it does have one thing going for it: you could survive there for more than a split second, which is more than we can say for our next candidate.
Rick and Morty’s most dangerous dimension: Blender Dimension
In the season three Rick and Morty episode “The Ricklantis Mix-Up,” Rick and Morty are visited by alternate versions of themselves, who are requesting donations to help redevelop the Citadel — an interdimensional realm ruled over by the Council of Ricks, and consisting entirely of alternate Ricks and Mortys. Our Rick and Morty angrily rebuff this request (as Rick was the one who nearly destroyed the Citadel in the first place) before heading off to a killer adventure in the mythical realm of Atlantis. We don’t see that, though; instead, we’re treated to an episode set entirely in the Citadel, exploring the bizarre politics and often dramatic goings-on within that realm.
Much of the episode centers on Rick J-22, a disgruntled worker at a factory which produces Simple Rick’s Wafers (essentially a calming, relaxing drug produced by milking the brainwaves of a captive Simple Rick, who is… well, simple, and therefore happy). Rick J-22 snaps, killing a bunch of higher-ups and locking himself in a secure area with Simple Rick; he demands an untraceable portal gun, which he is given. Unfortunately, he forgets to check its default setting — and when he attempts to shepherd Simple Rick through a portal, the poor guy is ever-so-briefly transported to the Blender Dimension.
Now, we don’t actually see this dimension, but we really don’t need to. It apparently consists of nothing but giant blenders in full operation, and immediately upon setting foot in this world, Simple Rick is reduced to a bloody spray. Perhaps somewhere down the line in a later Rick and Morty episode, we’ll see that the Blender Dimension has evolved sentient margaritas.
Rick and Morty’s dimension where planets go to die: Cromulon Dimension
At first glance, the Cromulon Dimension wouldn’t appear to be so bad. It’s a dimension much like Rick and Morty’s own, teeming with intelligent life which thrives on a variety of planets. The dimension, however, is ruled over by the Cromulons — giant, floating, multicolored heads which are single-minded of purpose. That purpose: to find the best damn pop tune the multiverse has to offer, as seen in the classic season two Rick and Morty episode “Get Schwifty.”
In service of this mission, the Cromulons have created interdimensional reality show Planet Music, in which planets from across all dimensions are transported to the Cromulons’ dimension, and their inhabitants challenged to come up with an exciting performance of an original song. Entry into this competition is quite involuntary, and failure to impress the Cromulons results in disqualification, and by that, we mean that the offending artist’s entire planet is destroyed by a plasma ray. In the episode, Rick and Morty’s Earth is recruited into the contest, which it’s revealed is taking place during Planet Music’s 988th season — meaning that the Cromulon Dimension has probably seen more planets just straight-up destroyed than any other in existence.
It sounds like one heck of a terrifying place to visit, especially if your musical chops are even the slightest bit subpar in the collective opinion of those titanic floating heads. But hey, at least one has a shot, however remote, of surviving a visit to Cromulon Dimension; this would not be so much the case if you were to find yourself stranded in the most disturbing Rick and Morty dimension ever.
Rick and Morty’s most disturbing dimension: C-137
Okay, sure, maybe you could last more than a few minutes in Dimension C-137; the real question is whether you would even want to, as you would almost immediately be driven insane by the sheer existential horror of it all. If it looks superficially similar to a recognizable Earth, well, there’s a reason for that: it’s actually Rick and Morty’s home dimension, rendered virtually uninhabitable by the fateful events of the season one episode “Rick Potion #9.”
In the episode, Rick whips up a love potion for Morty, basically just to get the kid to quit pestering him. Morty intends to use it on his longtime crush Jessica, but there’s a problem; the potion is capable of piggybacking on the flu virus, and it happens to be flu season. Morty, in fact, puts his plan into action at the annual Flu Season Dance — and before long, it’s not just Jessica who is in love with Morty, but everyone at the dance. Then, everyone in town. Then…
Yes, virulent Morty-love begins to spread like a brush fire across the entire world (although, thankfully, Morty’s family members are immune). Rick, having whipped up his potion using DNA from an animal that mates for life, decides that the most sensible course of action is to create an antidote using the DNA of the praying mantis, which… kills its mate. Predictably, the antidote only mutates the entire populace into terrifying mantis-creatures (which are still in love with Morty), prompting Rick to take a slightly different tack.
He mixes up an anti-antidote consisting of a ridiculous hodgepodge of DNA which he believes will return everything to normal — but in a rare instance of Rick being completely, horrifyingly wrong, it instead turns everyone on Earth into hideous, disgusting, mutated blobs which the pair aptly dub “Cronenbergs.” With the situation screwed up beyond all repair, Rick engages his failsafe: he and Morty depart to another dimension just like their own, one in which Rick managed to find a solution to the problem… and in which the pair die in a lab explosion immediately thereafter. The two bury their doubles in the backyard, then take their places — leaving their native dimension to be overrun with slouching, pulsating, monstrous Cronenbergs.
Even more messed up: this dimension is revisited in “The Rickshank Redemption,” in which it’s revealed that its native versions of Jerry, Beth, and Summer (who, remember, were not affected by the potion or its antidotes) still live there, subsisting on meals of broasted Cronenberg. Yep, for our money, there is no more disturbing dimension that we’ve seen on Rick and Morty than their native one — and it’s all because Morty wanted a shortcut to Jessica’s heart, and Rick finds it easier to toss off world-destroying viruses than to say no to his grandson.