Characterized by a superiority complex and abandonment issues, Beth gradually came to struggle with her husband over his contributions to their marriage, due in part to his lower-level position and subsequent employment, further driven by her father influencing her feelings of superiority. Since their divorce, she has focused on raising her two children. However, by the finale she decides to reconnect with Jerry and they are living together with their children and her father.
History and Background
The details of Beth's history are relatively unknown, she was born from Rick Sanchez and Mrs. Sanchez/Diane Sanchez, she has recounted herself as a "bright-eyed" woman from Muskegon, Michigan in Meeseeks and Destroy. At some point during her childhood, her parents' marriage deteriorated amid unknown circumstances and her father left her mother. Beth blamed herself for her parents falling out, and seeing her father as an intelligent scientist compared to her mother, Beth came to idolize her father and blamed her mother for "chasing off the dad with the guts to leave".
It is revealed in The ABC's of Beth, that at some point of her childhood, Beth became an insane and psychotic little girl. She began to ask to her father Rick to create toy-like weapons to harm other children. Being an adult, Beth excused that she asked that to "spend time with her father". Rick, aware that the increasing danger that would represent his daughter, created a dream world for his daughter, Froopyland, in order to keep the other children of the neighborhood safe. Beth managed to take one of her friends, Tommy, to Froopyland, where, according to Tommy, she pushed the child into a honey swamp, in an act of jealously with Tommy and his good relationship with his father. Then she auto-convinced herself that Tommy got lost in Froopyland.
Beth aspired to become a heart surgeon as an adult, but during high school, when she as already 17 years old, she went to prom dance with her classmate, Jerry Smith, possibly out of pity, and they had sex, and she became impregnated with her first and only daughter, Summer. She contemplated aborting the fetus, later justifying that "everybody thinks about it", but managed to get into college and become a veterinary surgeon, specializing in horses, eventually finding work at St. Equis Hospital. She also decided to marry her boyfriend Jerry and a few years later (impregnated at the age of 20 years old), had their second child and only son, Morty.
Beth was somewhat distant towards her children at their childhood, as implied in Raising Gazorpazorp, her job as a veterinary surgeon at St. Equis Hospital causes her to spend less time with her husband and children, feeling that coddling them would make them dependent or end up like her husband.
Beth has shoulder-length blonde hair. She wears a red collar shirt, blue pants and white shoes.
As a little girl, Beth wore overalls with a red shirt, long white socks and black Mary Janes, as well as a green hair-clip and two different colored wristbands.
Beth is an intelligent, ambitious, and independent woman who suffers from a variety of deep-seated insecurities. A dedicated veterinary horse surgeon, she is the family's main breadwinner and often tries to do the best for her family based on this sense of responsibility. She is highly insecure about her profession as a horse surgeon, and is quick to snap at the implication she is not a 'real' surgeon or a 'real' veterinarian. She may share this belief, wishing she had been able to continue her medical education to become a 'real' doctor in Rixty Minutes. Nonetheless, she is very dedicated to her job, even beyond as a source of income, and was willing to give up her own pride to help successfully save a deer's life in A Rickle in Time.
Although Beth can sometimes be derisive of what she sees as weakness, dependence or emotional vulnerability, she can still be compassionate and caring at times, more so than her father. When she and Jerry accidentally hit a deer, her first concerns were to help and assist it and Beth would stop at nothing to bring it back to health. She often expresses grave concern for Morty's education and health, when they are not related to Rick, and is considerate of the consequences on her children of her leaving Jerry. She has generally considered her family her first priority and has "defined her life" around her marriage to Jerry, which has at times driven her marital regrets. Her dedication to her family can fade quickly if she feels patronized, devalued, or that she or another family member, such as Morty or Rick, is threatened.
Beth has a superiority complex, believing herself at times to be above others as a way of hiding her insecurities, and has extended this behavior to those such as her son Morty, particularly when he is shown taking care of his own son, and her husband, who unwittingly feeds her insecurities by implying she was not a 'real' surgeon. Her genius father's preference for her over her 'idiot' husband has in turn fed her feelings of superiority, especially towards Jerry. She also exhibited resentment towards being patronized during her surgical work, such as by her co-worker, Davin when he lets her know they're losing a patient, or when another veterinarian implies she cannot save a deer. These feelings of superiority, however, seem to disappear quickly when Rick is removed from her life or even when she merely feels more confident in herself.
As a result of her father's disappearance, Beth has come to fixate on exceptionalism and intelligence, and has a fear of abandonment, resulting in a deep-seated desire to keep her father in her life. As a result, she is generally willing to put up with Rick and his needs without sarcasm or argument, rationalizing his experiments and behavior, and can become defensive and even insecure about this when challenged. However, she has some limits even for his behavior, and has given him ultimatums in Pilot and Auto Erotic Assimilation, which he has ultimately followed. When meeting Dr. Wong however, she largely bragged about her father as a scientist and resented having to discuss him.
Her relationship with her parents has also affected her marriage. Beth and Jerry remained together partially due to her belief that he is the only man in her life who has not abandoned her, but his vulnerability also undermined this by reminding her more of her 'unremarkable' mother and emphasizing his lack of intelligence or exceptional traits. While both she and Jerry share a number of common goals, generally around doing what is best for their family, these goals are strained by their disagreement on how to achieve these ends. She is often critical of his ideas, and suggests she may feel held back or unappreciated by him. Their disagreement over Rick's living situation with them is an extremely frequent source of tension. While in many cases, including with their son, Jerry is often the more sentimental and nurturing one, when the issue comes to Rick, she is often the one justifying his actions.
Beth has notably inherited her father's tendency to rely on alcohol to control stress, drinking wine briefly in Meeseeks and Destroy and amid more stressful situations, very heavily in both Rixty Minutes, at the end of Total Rickall and in The Rickshank Rickdemption. She also expresses excitement at the offer to go out for a drink with Rick in Pickle Rick, seeming to overlook both of her children. A separate flashback in Total Rickall also shows her suffering from a severe hangover.
In the Season 3 episode, The ABC's of Beth, an even further layer of Beth's personality was revealed. Rick discloses that she had a tumultuous and destructive childhood, only exacerbated by her murderous and sociopath tendencies (which Rick accredits to his own mental state, and whose behavior as a role model and eventual disappearance no doubt contributed to). Despite having acclimated towards a relatively normal life in adulthood, this layer again reveals itself when she goes to confront her childhood friend, Tommy, and end the chaos ruling over her former "imaginary" paradise, Froopyland.
During the chaos, she then realizes that while her childhood self idolized Rick and wanted to be like him, Rick remains a deeply flawed individual and (by some cruel twist of fate), she turned out exactly like him- needlessly destructive. It is implied that the both of them deeply misunderstand the world as it appears to the majority, who can easily adapt to it and live in accordance to a lifestyle set out for them through their own choice- who know what they want and their life direction, even if only for the fact that that they allow themselves to experience satisfaction, happiness and completion, instead of only sort of contempt towards an ordinary life in some misguided attempt to overcome it. Realizing that in divorcing Jerry and coming to terms with the way she is that there is no one and nothing holding her back from a living a life of self-determination in accordance to her true, broken identity, Rick proposes that Beth resolve her identity issues through exploring the multiverse while an identical clone takes her place for however long she is gone (or even a lifetime). It is not disclosed whether or not Beth decides to remain. It is likely that she chose the latter based on the scenes that followed, though The Rickchurian Mortydate puts this into further debate.
The episode also revealed that Beth was very lonely as a little girl, and may very well still be, having asked Rick to make her a whip that would make people like her, and a sentient switchblade. She was also envious of her friend Tommy, and his father who was present in his life, which lead her to abandon him in Froopyland, mirroring her father's image, and roused her to become a better person by her own standards.
Jerry doesn't always seem to respect her occupation as horse surgeon and occasionally has Freudian slips about it, which greatly offends her, and she is often frustrated by Jerry's insecurities and immature actions.
In Rixty Minutes, Jerry and Beth both get to see an alternate version of themselves in a different reality and find themselves unsatisfied with their current lives, leading them to eventually decide that splitting up would be inevitable. However, the alternate Jerry and Beth eventually realize that they are miserable without one another and get together after years apart. Seeing this renewed Jerry and Beth's relationship and they opted not to split up.
In The Rickshank Rickdemption, Jerry took a stand against Rick's behavior towards the family, apparent manipulation of Beth's father issues in order to live rent-free, and his frequently putting their children in danger. He told Beth that it was him or Rick which led to the two deciding to divorce.
In The Rickchurian Mortydate, Beth visits her husband when she suffers from identity crisis and he reflects on a high school date they had and she ends up kissing him as thanks. They decide to get back together and hide from Rick who still tracks them down but begrudgingly accepts their choice. At Ine end, they are living together again with both being happier and Beth defended Jerry from Rick's insults.
Beth is very happy that her father came back into her life sometime prior to Pilot. She is usually defensive of him when Jerry badmouths him, and is largely convinced that Rick is good for the family. When she came to realize that Rick was indeed a bad influence on Morty and agreed with Jerry to send him to a nursing home, Morty seemed to exhibit superhuman intelligence actually the results of dissolving mega-seeds—further convincing her to keep him around.
Beth affectionately celebrates the one-year anniversary of Rick's return in Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind with UFO-shaped pancakes and despite her usual independence, seems to dote on him and his alternate selves in the same episode. However, this Beth is not the same Beth in Rick Potion #9, who comes to the conclusion that her father Rick is a "selfish, irresponsible ass," after he turned everyone on Earth into monsters and abandoned she, Jerry and Summer.
In the Season 2 finale, The Wedding Squanchers, Beth gets a closer look at her father's personal life, and tries her best to keep Jerry from ruining her chances of going on adventures with him more often. Later in the episode, Beth is heartbroken to find that Rick abandoned her a second time (little did she know that this time, he turned himself in to protect her and her family from the Federation). When the family is taken back to earth by the Galactic Federation, she bursts into tears. At the same time in the episode, Rick's self-sacrifice proved that he actually does care about her.
Beth also seems to enjoy Rick's inventions, and appreciates the help he gives her. She allows Rick to stay rent-free in her home due to the fact that she doesn't want him leaving her again. That is the same reason why she disagreed with Jerry so strongly, and wept, when he suggested that the family turn in Rick to the Galactic Federation so that they can go back home to Earth in The Wedding Squanchers.
In the Season 3 premiere, The Rickshank Rickdemption, when Jerry finally gives Beth the ultimatum of choosing him or Rick, Beth chooses Rick, leading to their divorce. Shortly after, Beth insists to Rick that the divorce would be good for Jerry, and the family, after he expresses remorse. Rick later admits to Morty that he had a hand in manipulating this because Jerry went against him.
In The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy, Morty lashes out on Beth for her distance towards him and Summer. He blames this on her relationship with Rick, telling her that she doesn't need to prove herself to be worthy of Rick's love by acting essentially just like him, as it is making her appear just as narcissistic and irresponsible. And that while she's trying to gain Rick's approval, she's hurting him and Summer.
Beth believed she needed to prove herself to Rick because of how rarely he ever tells her he loves her. He admits this to Jaguar in, Pickle Rick. Rick also admitted in the same episode to Jerry that he believes Jerry impregnating Beth ruined her chances of being successful, and detests him for his detachment to his daughter. Beth's awareness of her mistreatment of her children may drive her farther away from Rick, as she will likely stop trying to get him to love her, and instead find solace in her relationship with her children.
In the episode, The ABC's of Beth, after Beth and Rick clone her childhood friend Tommy and save his father from being executed, they share a long-awaited, and progressive moment with each other. Beth discovers that all her life she's been lying to herself that her father is a good man, and tried desperately to be just like him. She realizes that she doesn't want to be like him anymore, and that she wants to be herself. Rick finally tells her that he genuinely loves her, although in his own way. And proves this to her by giving her an ultimatum. He would clone her, and let her leave to do what she wants, or she could stay, and continue to care for the family. It is likely that Beth chose the latter option based on the scenes that followed. Grazing her fingers across the photos attached to the fridge, Beth smiles at each picture: A picture of Mr. Poopybutthole, her and Jerry on their wedding day, Rick, Summer, and lastly Morty, whose picture she rests her finger on the longest.
Due to this suggestion, in The Rickchurian Mortydate Beth began to suffer from identity crisis despite Rick constantly telling her she is real. Her spiral causes her to turn to Jerry and reconcile with and hide from Rick but he still finds them forcing Beth to confront him. Beth tells Rick if she is a clone, he should just kill her and get it over with or go to another dimension and be with another version of her. However, Rick simply informs her she is his daughter and she is relieved though put off when he tells her he was actually planning to kill Jerry but relented. In the end, Jerry moves back in and Rick begrudgingly accepts this while Beth forces him to watch his tone to her husband before she and the family laugh at Rick's expense, showing how much she moved from her father's shadow.
In Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri, after meeting Clone Beth and both of them dealing with Rick's constant lies, she loses a great amount of respect for him.
Beth knows that her son Morty is not very intelligent, and wants him to succeed in school. She has no problems allowing Rick to take Morty on most adventures, believing Rick is not only teaching him valuable life skills and improving his intelligence, but that he is the only friend Morty has. She believes that Morty was filled with Jerry's insecurities as a result of Jerry's overly-nurturing method of raising him, and consequently, she is largely absent from Morty's life.
Despite this, Beth does seem to consistently care about Morty's well-being, as she asks if Morty is getting sick in Pilot, and is deeply concerned about the fact that he does not do well in school or have any friends. She was even willing to sacrifice her relationship with Rick, so that Morty could do better in school, in the same episode.
In Rick Potion #9, Beth (C-137) admits that without her son Morty and her father Rick around, she is much happier, and seems indifferent to her son's fate. It isn't unlikely that in the case that the same events were to occur in the replacement dimension, as they had in dimension C-137, that this Beth would feel the same way. However, in The Rickshank Rickdemption, that same Beth, along with her husband and daughter, were going to kill the Summer of the replacement dimension, and keep Morty, meaning they missed him during their time apart.
In Something Ricked This Way Comes, Beth communicates with Morty through text, reminding him of Jerry's intellectual insecurities, so that he will accept Jerry's offer to help him with his science project. Implying that they have a close relationship, and have a mutual understanding for each other, and Jerry. Apart from this, their relationship has yet to be explored in any other significant detail in the series. That is, until The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy.
In The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy, Morty lashes out on Beth for her distance towards him and Summer. He blames this on her relationship with Rick, telling her that she doesn't need to prove herself to be worthy of Rick's love by acting essentially just like him, as it is making her appear just as narcissistic and irresponsible. And that while she's trying to gain Rick's approval, she's hurting him and Summer. Upon realizing this, Beth institutes change, and later uses the morphizer to make herself giant, puts her skin inside out, and comforts Summer who was crying, and really needed her at the moment. Beth's awareness of her mistreatment of her children has initiated a change in her, making her more motherly and understanding. This change will likely bring her closer to Morty, as well as Summer. But farther from Rick.
In Morty's Mind Blowers, it was revealed that Beth prefers her daughter Summer over her son Morty. Beth was trapped in a situation, where an evil alien from another dimension was planning on killing one of her two children, and graced her with the choice of which one lives. Without any hesitation, Beth immediately demanded that her daughter Summer be the one who survives. Morty was shocked at his mother's choice, as was the alien, but luckily Rick rescued his daughter and grandchildren and erased her son's memories, though he recalled this but forgot again. The reason of Beth's choice is because she is jealous of his closer relationship with Rick.
However, it is apparent Beth still loves her son due to her behavior in The Rickchurian Mortydate, where she was happy to be a family again.
It is also likely that without her father Rick's influence, Morty could be Beth's favorite. In Season 1 of the series, before Rick's impact on the Family cemented, Beth consistently showed concern for her son Morty's health and well-being. And in the episode, The ABC's of Beth, after talking with her father about his offer to create a clone of her, Beth still contemplating, carries her hand carefully over all the individual pictures of the family on the refrigerator. This ended at her son's picture, who she looked at the longest, and smiled at afterwards. This could mean that Beth does indeed love her son Morty.
Beth loves and cares about her daughter Summer, but the two do not seem very close much of the time. Beth had originally planned to get aborted the girl when she was still a fetus, but due to the fact that she and Jerry blew a tire on the way to the abortion clinic, they kept the fetus. In Meeseeks and Destroy, mother and daughter happily go shopping together after their Meeseeks disappear. Urging her father he may lose her, Summer acknowledges that Beth is a "beautiful woman".
In a flashback from the episode, Total Rickall, a drunken Beth accidentally hits her daughter Summer's eye with a bottle on her picture day. She tries to clean up her bruise with make-up. Summer tears up and insists the police take her to school instead of her mother.
In Rick and Morty's Rushed Licensed Adventure, Summer has an over-sized bra in her closet and jealously claims she'll grow into it because "Beth's got big boobs".
She is initially unskilled in dealing with her daughter Summer's teenage emotional issues such as when her daughter becomes very doubtful of her attractiveness after her boyfriend, Ethan, dumps her in The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy for a girl with larger breasts but comes around eventually after Morty tells her how distant she's been towards him, and Summer. Beth later uses the morphizer to enlarge herself, puts her skin inside out, and comforts a crying Summer. Beth's change in parenting in the episode may be permanent, as she hasn't been as motherly or supportive in any other episode, especially not to Summer, who along with Morty needs this the most from her.
In Morty's Mind Blowers, it was revealed that Beth prefer her daughter Summer over her son Morty. Beth was trapped in a situation, where an evil alien from another dimension was planning on killing one of her two children, and graced her with the choice of which one lives. Without any hesitation, Beth immediately demanded that her daughter Summer be the one who survives. Her preference for her only daughter over her only son could be because she is jealous of his close relationship with Rick.
This may also be due to the fact the in Rixty Minutes, Summer learned she was an unplanned pregnancy after finding very few alternate versions of herself, while it has been stated many times that there are multiple Mortys in other timelines, and Beth wanted to spare her only daughter.
Clone Beth is either Beth's clone or the original Beth that this Beth was cloned from. Initially they were antagonistic, with each one resenting the other and not understanding the choices that they made. However, they eventually bond over a mutual resentment of Rick and his lies and even gain a respect for one another.
Throughout the episode, Total Rickall, Beth acts suspiciously towards Mr. Poopybutthole, mistaking him for a parasite. Near the end of the episode, Beth pulls out one of Rick's laser guns and shoots Mr. Poopybutthole in the chest, blasting him across the room onto a wall. The rest of the family panics and Beth retreats into the kitchen and haphazardly pours a glass of wine while her eyes filled with tears as Mr. Poopybutthole bleeds heavily while awaiting an ambulance.
After the end credits sequence, Mr. Poopybutthole is shown slowly recovering inside the hospital. After telling the doctor that he no longer wishes to see the Smiths at this point in time, the doctor tells Beth that's he's sorry that "They never had any bad memories of him."
Davin is Beth's coworker at St. Equis Hospital. Davin is in love with Beth and he constantly hits on her and tries to seduce her and win her over. Beth denies having any feelings for him, which she most likely doesn't, but Jerry does not trust her around him.
Davin tries to romance Beth in Rick Potion #9, but sneezes and is affected by Morty's love potion, asking "how soft are his privates". Davin turns into a "mantis-person" as a result of Rick's cure for it, and attacks Beth. Jerry bursts through the door and beats Davin to death with a crowbar. Since these events occurred before everyone was turned into Cronenbergs, Davin may still be dead in the Replacement dimension.
Note: This is a list of all the appearances of the current Beth Smith from the Replacement dimension. The prominence of the original from Dimension C-137 is included on the page of Beth Smith (C-137).
- Beth's voice actress, Sarah Chalke, has previously starred as Elliot Reid on the comedy-drama series Scrubs, as well as Stella Zinman on How I Met Your Mother. Both of which were also blonde-haired doctors like Beth. She also played Becky on Roseanne, the family's eldest daughter.
- Beth is a questioning atheist, as seen in the episode Get Schwifty. This belief is likely due to the fact that she was brought up by her father, Rick Sanchez, a complete Atheist, who has also given her insight to the vast and limitless possibilities of the universe.
- Similar to her father Rick, Beth appears to be aware that the family is in a TV show, quoting at the end of The Rickchurian Mortydate that they family will be "back to the way it was in season 1" when she and her husband Jerry get back together.
- In The Rickshank Rickdemption, Rick created a false memory of Beth's mother. Her mother was a beautiful woman named Diane Sanchez, with freckles, and shoulder-length blonde hair, that bore a striking resemblance of her. Rick made an experiment that went awry, killing her mother, when Beth was only a little girl, this would've explained the absence of her mother, if it didn't soon turn out to be fabricated. Still, it's unknown if Beth's mother is anything like what she was portrayed to be, in terms of identity and appearance.
- Beth drives a red Honda Civic.
- Beth is Dan Harmon's favorite character.
- Her husband's name "Jerry" is derived from the Hebrew word "Jeroboam", meaning "large wine bottle". Amusingly, this could be a hint that she's "married to the wine bottle" in more than one sense.
- Her full name might be Lizbeth, doing her name as "Lizbeth Sanchez" or "Lizbeth Smith".
- In The Rickshank Rickdemption, it is suggested that this Beth is not Rick's real daughter and it is implied she served as a replacement after his real daughter Beth was killed.
- However, it is stated that Rick made up this event to fool the alien.
- She does question her existence and asks her father in The Rickchurian Mortydate if she is the real Beth or just a clone. Rick assures her she is real- and informs her self-aware clones are to be killed immediately once they learn they are clones, to which Beth freaks out.
Behind the Scenes
Dan Harmon has frequently offered insight into Beth's characterization since early around the release of the first season, observing that it is Beth whose behavior enables Rick to be able to take Morty on their adventures.
- "Oh my God. Beth is so messed up. I guess I [think I] know more about her than what you've learned so far, but you know she got pregnant at seventeen. You know the guy that knocked her up wouldn't have been her first choice. You know her mother's out of the picture but that her Dad, who was out of the picture when she was a child, is now back IN the picture, and that, unlike Jerry, she seems relatively fine with his influence on her learning-disabled son. It seems like she'd rather her son risk his life with her insane father than end up being...like her husband. That's really, really fucked up. ...We know that kids blame themselves for their parents breaking up, that's pretty standard psychology. But from there, we have different mechanisms for coping with the blame. And one of the strategies we see people employ, in the face of an absentee parent, is a deification of the parent that takes LESS responsibility. Beth thinks her dad is better than her mother because her dad had the brain and guts to leave her. That's really, really fucked up. ...Rick's daughter is more fucked up than Rick, and fucked up because of Rick, don't you worry about that."
- "I was like, “Why would that be the case? Why would any parents let this crazy man disappear through clearly dangerous portals with their son?” And after talking about it with Justin for a while, I realized the most important thing about that show for me which is that Rick left at one point in Beth's childhood and Beth blamed her mother for Rick's absence. Kids can sometimes idolize their worst parent and blame their supportive parent for chasing off the dad with the guts to leave. Sometimes they don't even admit it to themselves but they say, “My dad's so fucking cool, he got the fuck out of here. And my mom's such a bitch she's always asking me to clean my room. That's why dad left. She probably asked him to clean his room.” And in Beth's case, she's a horse heart surgeon. She's not a real surgeon. She's a horse heart surgeon because she got pregnant at 17. And she fetishizes exceptionality. She believes that Rick, as crazy as he is, is the better of her two parents even though she was raised by her mother and she blames her mother's unremarkability on her father's departure and will do anything to keep her father back in her life. And if Morty needs to risk his life traipsing across the galaxy with her insane alcoholic father, it's better than Morty growing up in safety and ending up like her mother or her husband Jerry who she considers to be unremarkable and unredemptive and therefore undeserving of her affections. So the center of the show, even though we don't address it at all, is this really fucked up woman who I love more than any character on that show because she would have been a brain surgeon, but she got pregnant at 17, and so she's defensive about how she's a horse heart surgeon because it takes less school to do that. And she's selfish and she's cold but she's smart. She wears the pants in the family and she's witty and she doesn't like herself. She bothers to love her father and that keeps everything feasible because otherwise it would all fall apart. You'd go, “Why wouldn't anyone say, ‘Stop doing that! Stop taking my son on these adventures!”?” The answer is because Jerry is terrified that Beth will leave him and Beth is terrified that Rick will leave her. And round and round we go. And so we have this beautiful suspension that could provide us with hundreds of episodes."
- "[Beth's] separation from Jerry is a blessing and curse for her. She has been defining her life by her marriage straight out of high school to this unremarkable man that she in her mind compares to her mother, while fetishizing exceptionality in the form of her father. That excuse being removed, it just allows us to put the spotlight on Beth a little bit and start asking a few more questions about her, who she is in a vacuum. "