Monday, April 3, 2017

Rick and Morty by the numbers

Rick and Morty is quickly becoming a cult classic. With the last episode coming out on October 4, 2015, fans have been starving for new episodes. On April fools, the creators of the show surprised fans with a new episode from the long awaited third season.

After seeing the new episode, I decided to do an analysis of Rick and Morty. This analysis is heavily influenced by Todd Schneider's blog post analyzing The Simpsons (I highly recommend you check it out).

Rick and Morty Ratings

First, I wrote code to gather data from IMDb. The average rating of each episode is above 8; except season 2 episode 8: "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate". In this episode, Jerry is faced with keeping his penis or have it surgically removed to save the life of an alien leader. The other main characters sit in the lobby of the hospital and watch interdimensional cable. The shows on cable are short clips and are extremely random. Fans accustomed to the great banter between Rick and Morty get almost none this episode.

The family dynamic

Then I gathered and parsed scripts from Unfortunately, only about half the scripts are online. I took the average number of words each member of the family spoke per episode. I left out Mr. Poopybutthole and Sleepy Gary because they are more "like family" than family. 

Rick is the center of the show and has by far the most lines. Next is Jerry, this is because in the episode "The Wedding Squanchers", Morty has almost no lines. Since I only have a portion of the scripts, this lowers Morty's average number of lines to below Jerry. When more transcripts are uploaded to the Wikia, I will rerun my analysis and update the post. 

Recurring Characters:

Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon have a special ability to write unique characters that audiences love. Below is a chart of recurring characters from the show. This data is from the credits. Sometimes characters are not in the episode, but are still in the credits. When this happens, the character is represented with a gray box.

After waiting 2 years, I can't wait to watch more of season 3 and I hope Justin and Dan choose to include more of Snuffles. I think it could be developed into a very satisfying plot for people of all ages.


  • The graphs were made using ggplot2 and the data was gathered using rvest. (God bless Hadley Wickham)
Hallway Mathlete Data Scientist

I am a PhD student in Industrial Engineering at Penn State University. I did my undergrad at Iowa State in Industrial Engineering and Economics. My academic website can be found here.