Time Travel is the act of moving forwards or backwards against the natural flow of time. Rick had made some breakthroughs in this science, as he had a box labeled "Time travel stuff" on the shelf in his makeshift laboratory/garage.
In the episode Something Ricked This Way Comes, Needful Things sold a pair of boxing gloves that would make the wearer into a heavyweight champion. They were cursed so that the wearer would be transported to a championship fight in the year 1936, and forced to relive it for eternity. Rick offered to uncurse them into a pair of time-traveling mittens at Curse Purge Plus! but he closed down the store before they could be uncursed.
In the episode A Rickle in Time, time was still frozen from the previous episode and had been for the equivalent of six months. When time was unfrozen, Rick, Morty, and Summer were unable to touch anyone or anything for a while, or else a paradox would ensue. This rule was quickly broken and time started to split in two and eventually multiply throughout the episode. Each version of time was slightly different, with differences such as Morty and Summer switching places, and they had to control the places they went in order to fuse time back together again.
A Fourth Dimensional Being who has the ability to time travel appeared in this episode and threatened to put Rick in Time Prison for abusing time but Rick beat him up and sent him back into time travel mode, sending him back into a different time period. In the post-ending credits of the scene, he and another Fourth Dimensional Being were seen inside of a giant bubble which would teleport to a bunch of different time eras as fast as a click. They went looking for Rick and attempted to beat him up, but came across Albert Einstein, thinking it was him by mistake, and beat him up instead, telling him not to mess with time, which caused him to write his famed equation, vowing that he will mess with time.
Time travel was featured again in Rattlestar Ricklactica, where it has a major role. When Morty brought Slippy to the Snake Planet, it caused a chain of events that lead to the Space Snakes inventing time travel, with mechanical snakes going back in time in an attempt to kill Morty. A robot sent by the snake resistance was also sent back to aid the Smiths in defending Morty. Morty thought he was doing the right thing, but Rick said that Morty had showed them that there was something bigger and scarier to unite against, which caused them to invent time travel while attempting to kill someone who can't let a dead snake be dead even after it bit his ankle.
This commotion forced Rick and Morty to go to the Snake Planet and invent time travel for them. After going through hordes of snakes, they soon find out that they had not invented the time machine yet. Just as Rick was trying to think it out, the future selves of both him and Morty, the latter having a black eye, give their past selves the equipment needed to do so, all while insulting them. Now with the equipment, combined with snake disguises, Rick and Morty travel back to 1985 in snake time, walk into the Snake MIT, and lay out a book containing the instructions for time travel, before removing themselves from the story.
After they left, a snake scientist and his colleagues find the book, and build a time machine. They send a student back to 1865 to prevent the assassination of Snake Abraham Lincoln, giving him a letter that told him to duck, just as Snake John Wilkes Booth attempted to shoot him. The student was successful, but it was revealed that the consequences of Snake Lincoln's survival on the timeline somehow led to a Snake Nazi victory, which caused the student to grab a chainsaw and go back in time one more, this time to Snake Berlin, where Snake Adolf Hitler was giving off a speech. Snake Hitler leaves to take a shower, when a bunch of snakes traveled to that time period to either kill or protect him, fighting amongst themselves as Snake Hitler stares out in confusion.
Back on Earth, time travel was growing more erratic, as a snake-human hybrid came back in time in an attempt to save Jerry. Jerry, thinking that it was a robot from Rick, kicks it into a plane, causing the plane to crash and him to safely grab a tree. Meanwhile, Beth and Summer were still fighting a nigh-endless army of time traveling snakes. Morty was, at first, horrified at this, but Rick knew what would happen.
In the Fourth Dimensional Time Cop Headquarters, Shlemmypants receives a phone call talking about the catastrophe going on. So, he and another time cop go back into the Snake Planet's prehistory, where a caveman snake weilding a club was dragging another snake, when the two time cops came and proceeded to beat it up and kill it, hindering their advancements. Back on Earth, the snakes began to disappear as a result of killing the first tool-using snake, the snakes that were still alive writhed in pain before eating their own tails against their will.
Rick and Morty go inside the house, only to once again be interrupted by their future selves, who were once again rude to them, putting their Santa hats on them and giving them the needed equipment before taking their place. After working on the needed objects, Rick and Morty go back in time to give their past selves the needed equipment, but not before Rick punches Morty, therefore giving him the black eye and closing the time loop.
In The Vat of Acid Episode, Morty assumes that the time-saving device Rick built for him used time travel only for Rick to reveal that the device actually shunted him across various realities. According to Rick, he doesn't respect time travel because he's not interested in anything that Ant-Man and the Wasp did.
- Both Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon have stated in interviews that they will not be using time travel in the series because they believe that every possible story they could make out of it has been done already.
- Despite saying this, time travel was included in the pilot episode as Rick both "went to a future dimension" to retrieve medicine to heal Morty's broken leg, and "spent so much time there that his portal gun ran out of charge", but returned in a matter of seconds.
- They did, however say that although they wouldn't time travel, they will be time bending in season 2 of Rick and Morty.
- Although not directly used by Rick and Morty, time travel was used in the episode A Rickle in Time, when the Fourth Dimensional Being used it to find Rick.
- This does make it curious, however, that the asteroid location of Jerryboree in Mortynight Run is described as cross-temporal.
- In Season 3 episode The ABC's of Beth Rick states he did not use time travel to get pizzas from Arnaldo's.
- The creator's statement was ultimately broken in Rattlestar Ricklactica since time travel was a major storyline in this episode.