Rick and Morty Enneagram types
Analyzing the personality types of the Smith and Sanchez family
Rick and Morty is a cartoon that’s solidly for adults, with surprisingly deep portrayals of its main characters as they undergo a mix of sci-fi adventures and mundane life experiences. Its Rotten Tomatoes ratings range from 93% to 96% for its first five seasons. And with 70 more episodes under contract, audiences have a lot more Rick and Morty to look forward to.
Based (very) loosely on Doc Brown and Marty McFly from “Back to the Future,” Rick and Morty follows the exploits of the two central characters, plus the rest of their family. Rick Sanchez is the grandfather, a wacky inventor with an alcohol problem. His daughter, Beth, is a horse surgeon who’s often frustrated that she’s settled for less in her life. Her husband, Jerry Smith, is an anxious but well-meaning deadbeat who struggles to stand up for himself. Their two kids are Morty and Summer: Morty is Rick’s easily distressed sidekick, and Summer is a typical teenager with an independent streak. The characters are a combination of archetypes determined by the writers and producers, and improvisation by the voice actors.
We're examining their personality types using the Enneagram here, highlighting and analyzing the cues we think are most important in identifying their types. The Enneagram types we’ve assigned to Rick, Morty, Beth, Jerry, and Summer are our best guesses, given our observation of their motivations, decisions, behaviors, speech, body language, and more. We’ll explain which type we think they are and why, using examples when relevant.
Spoilers for Rick and Morty ahead. Note that type descriptions below come from Blueprint, our Enneagram app.
What Enneagram type is Rick Sanchez?
Our best guess for Rick Sanchez is a low-health Seven with an Eight wing (the Aficionado): the Aficionado is exuberant, active, versatile, tenacious, thrill-seeking, multitasking, excessive, rude, and reckless. They are Renaissance people who regale others with their knowledge, but can be dissipated and callous.
People who know a little about the Enneagram tend to think that every “smart engineer type” is a Five, but that’s not always true. Sure, Fives are your stereotypical scientists and problem-solvers, but any type can have these skills. What matters more is the character’s energy and approach.
Rick has that “mad scientist” vibe: he’s an innovator and a pioneer who’s always moving a mile a minute. Sevens are known for their visionary ideas and high energy levels. They generate ideas constantly and are often willing to take big risks, a combination that we see in Rick. Whereas most Fives are more concerned with doing things right, conserving resources, and not missing the details, Sevens are excited by the big picture, often moving fast and breaking things in the process. Rick certainly leaves a trail of destruction in the wake of most of his experiments, including multiple murders of his alternate-reality selves.
Rick exhibits the dark side of the low-health Seven: mania, addiction, and emotional coarseness. He often parties until he can’t function, slamming both drugs and alcohol. He goes on benders with both his experiments and substances. He hates to examine his own feelings and goes to great lengths—including turning himself into a pickle—to avoid expressing himself in family therapy. He’s rude and intellectually dominating toward others he thinks are stupid (like Jerry), and won’t hesitate to tell them so. And he needs everyone to know that he’s the smartest person in the room.
Even Rick’s signature phrase (“Wubba lubba dub dub”) suggests that he’s a Seven: it sounds like a fun, light-hearted exclamation, but as his longtime friend Bird Person points out, it means “I am in great pain.” Sounds a lot like a Seven desperately trying to escape drowning in negative emotions.
What Enneagram type is Morty Smith?
Our best guess for Morty Smith is a Two with a One wing (the Altruist): the Altruist is loving, compassionate, encouraging, devoted, well-intentioned, serving, worrying, guilt-ridden, and passive-aggressive. They are warm-hearted and truly charitable, but can be self-critical and victimized.
It’s hard to think of Morty outside his relationship to Rick. While Rick seems fine doing his own thing, Morty struggles with his identity outside of “Rick’s helper.” Of course it compounds matters that he’s a teenage boy trying to figure out who he is, but his primary role as “helper” fits well with the Enneagram Two (literally known as The Helper).
Twos want to be needed and loved, and we see this dynamic between Rick and Morty throughout the show. Sevens, particularly those in lower health, often avoid expressing their emotions; grandpa Rick rarely tells Morty that he loves or needs him, which leads to conflict between the two. For example, the episode “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” sets up a premise where a blacked-out Rick puts together a ride and video expressing his love and appreciation for what appears to be Morty, who swells with joy at the possibility. But nope, turns out drunk Rick made it for Noob Noob, deeply disappointing Morty.
Twos often genuinely want to help, so they may have trouble with their own boundaries. They make themselves available to others even to their own detriment. Given the amount of school that Morty has missed by going on adventures with Rick, it’s amazing that he’s even getting passing grades. And although he expresses annoyance at Rick continually pulling him out of school, he continues to participate and gets jealous whenever Summer steps in as replacement sidekick.
It may seem like Morty is a Six because of his worrying nature (“Aww jeez Rick, I don’t know…”), but Twos can also have notable anxiety that manifests as constant worrying, particularly about their relationships with others. The underlying drive is what’s important: Morty seems more driven to achieve love and inclusion than to achieve security and guidance, like his father Jerry. Many of Morty’s worries stem more from shame than fear: for example, his mortification (Morty pun intended) after becoming…intimate with a horse-breeding machine, fathering a race of killer sperm. Shame is the Two’s predominant negative emotion.
What Enneagram type is Jerry Smith?
Our best guess for Jerry Smith is a low-health Six with a Seven wing (the Buddy): the Buddy is loyal, playful, affable, responsible, monitoring, cautious, ingratiating, suspicious, and defensive. They are lighthearted community-builders who unite others, but can be panicky and complaining.
Sixes’ primary negative emotion is fear, and we really see this playing out with Jerry. His insecurities are written all over him: he fears that he’s not good enough for Beth, that he’s not a great father, that he doesn’t have a job (as he’s unemployed for much of the show), that he isn’t smart or likable...the list goes on. He wants to bond with his kids and assumes a joking, small-talking “I’m your dad, but I’m your friend too” kind of approach with them, which is a common tone for Buddies.
Sixes want reassurance that they’re safe and supported, shifting between trying to appear strong and displaying their inner fears. Jerry puts on an artificial confidence to make himself feel better, but it’s a thinly-veiled search for external validation. You can see the wheels turning in his head as he tries to come up with the “right” things to say. His advice to Doofus Rick fits with the overactive thinking patterns of the Six: "If I've learned one thing, it's that before you get anywhere in life, you gotta stop listening to yourself."
It’s also telling that Jerry’s perfect day in the episode “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” is a simulation in which everyone in his world compliments and values him for his authentic mediocrity. All around him, people keep assuring him that he’s doing awesomely, even when it doesn’t make sense. His “brilliant” marketing campaign (“Hungry for apples?”) wins an award, the mailman’s his biggest fan, and his wife is uncontrollably attracted to him. It’s a utopia for a Six who’s constantly worrying about measuring up.
The physical representation of the way that Beth perceives Jerry in the episode “Big Trouble in Little Sanchez” is a pathetic, cowering worm who runs from anything even mildly threatening. Although this speaks more to Beth (which we’ll get more into below), it also serves as a caricatured exaggeration of Jerry’s most poignant traits: inadequate, insecure, over-eager, and trying too hard.
What Enneagram type is Beth Smith?
Our best guess for Beth Smith (maiden name Sanchez) is an Eight with a Nine wing (the Bear): the Bear is protective, quietly strong, resolute, shrewd, watchful, territorial, objectifying, coarse, and provoking. They are attuned to others and secretly tender-hearted, but can be selfish and menacing.
Beth is definitely Rick’s daughter: she’s independent, doesn’t mince words, sometimes overdoes it on the wine, is a bit sociopathic, and can view people as objects. She’s portrayed as assertive and action-oriented, but with a cold and selfish edge. But whereas Rick has that unhinged Seven energy, Beth’s is more steady and resilient. Her unplanned pregnancy with Jerry set her life on a path of getting married early (and possibly to the wrong person), but she still went on to become the breadwinner with her horse veterinary practice. She’s definitely the alpha in the relationship, as is the case with most Eights.
Eights’ primary negative emotion is anger. The tension between the conflict-avoidant Nine and conflict-embracing Eight is present in Beth, as we see her consciously holding back from skewering Jerry (although she knows how to hit him where it hurts most, and sometimes does). She sometimes turns to wine or inter-dimensional intergalactic sidequests to release steam when she’s feeling trapped by the everyday reality of being a wife and mother.
The way that she perceives Jerry in therapy is also suggestive that she’s an Eight: Eights resist weakness, both in themselves and others. Particularly in lower health, Eights view people who can’t stand up for themselves as pathetic and even disgusting. Her contempt for Jerry’s weakness is made manifest when she sees him as a gutless worm. And Jerry’s perception of her as a raging, super-strong monster fits the caricature of the low-health Eight.
Monster Beth sees herself as “the strongest, smartest being alive,” which sounds a lot like the megalomania of an Eight. We rarely see Beth being vulnerable. She does open up to Mister Meeseeks that she wants to be “a more complete woman,” but that’s after a couple glasses of wine and in confidence to a character whose entire existence is to help her.
What Enneagram type is Summer Smith?
Our best guess for Summer Smith is a Seven with a Six wing (the Entertainer): the Entertainer is gregarious, animated, spontaneous, quick-thinking, uninhibited, restless, distractible, nervous, and manic. They are high-energy and optimistic, but can be highly avoidant and chaotic.
Summer is a tough character to analyze because she changes a great deal from the early seasons of “Rick and Morty” to the most recent. She comes off as a typical teenager in the beginning, overly concerned with her popularity and self-image. Just based on those early episodes, she comes off like a Three with a Two wing (the Charmer). But as things progress and her characterization deepens, she starts to look more like a Seven with a Six wing.
More recent seasons of “Rick and Morty” have drawn parallels between Rick and Summer: they’re both fun-loving, avoid boredom, take risks, and don’t filter what they say. Summer doesn’t hold back much (other than around her fellow high-schoolers), as we see in the scene where she accuses Jerry of holding her “verbally hostage” by asking what she’s doing.
In the episode “A Rickconvenient Mort,” Rick and Summer visit a series of planets that are about to stop existing to party, have one-night stands, and forget about their problems. They essentially act as wingmen for each other, with Summer scolding Rick for falling for one of his conquests. And let’s not forget the iconic scene in “Something Ricked This Way Comes” where Rick and Summer get roided up and hit the weights to beat up the Devil, hanging out like a couple of bros. The mix of their competitiveness and drive to have fun are core Seven attributes.
Whereas Rick’s Eight wing makes him more aggressive, independent, and risk-taking, Summer’s Six wing makes her more concerned about relationships, image, and security. They’re both fun-seekers, but Summer’s a bit more grounded in the community around her, while Rick is often a lone wolf. Rick finds Summer’s desire to be cool and well-liked to be lame.
Summer’s primary drives seem to be having fun, avoiding boredom, and gaining valuable relationships, all of which fit with the Entertainer. In true Entertainer fashion, she even threw a legendary house party (after Rick had the same idea, which fits as a fellow Seven). And she thrived in the post-apocalyptic reality of “Rickmancing the Stone,” which could stem from a Seven’s quick-thinking and willingness to embrace the chaos.