"Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender" is the fourth episode of the third season of Rick and Morty. It is the twenty-fifth episode of the series overall. It premiered on August 13, 2017. It was written by Sarah Carbiener & Erica Rosbe and directed by Bryan Newton. The episode is rated TV-MA LV.


Rick and Morty join the Vindicators on another adventure.


Rick and Morty start off in the garage cleaning up multiple worm-like creatures that Rick states cannot be allowed get into the food chain. A crystal on the shelf starts to glow and Morty points out that it is the Vindicators calling to help save the universe again for what appears to be the second time. Rick outright refuses to answer an actual call to adventure, but ultimately relents because Morty brings up the fact that he gets to pick every tenth adventure.

Rick and Morty are then seen sitting at a conference table getting briefed by Supernova on the threat of Worldender. Rick ends up heckling at first then introduces every member of the Vindicators there except for Vance Maximus Renegade Star Soldier, who then shows up with everyone except for Rick seeming to idolize him. It is then revealed that this is actually the third time the Vindicators had assembled, and that they didn't invite Rick and Morty the second time due to a "personality conflict" with Rick and the rest of the Vindicators, which resulted in the deaths of three members of the Vindicators (Lady Katana, Calypso, and Diablo Verde). Rick then gets blackout drunk and we next see him pantsless and having gotten diarrhea all over the conference table. This mess is left to be cleaned up by Noob Noob instead of him going on the mission with the rest of the Vindicators. Then, Vance gives Morty a Vindicators vest as to symbolize he is a welcomed member of the Vindicators.

Inside Worldender's base, the Vindicators get through the traps left by Worldender, then get into Worldender's main room. It is then revealed that Worldender is already dying/dead and Rick then tries to leave with Morty, but then all of the Vindicators are trapped inside of the room, as set up by Rick when he was blackout drunk. It is revealed that Drunk Rick set up a Saw-like sequence where the Vindicators are forced to play games to survive or they all die. Following a nervous breakdown, Vance then attempts to escape, only to be shot, burned and bisected in the ventilation system to his gruesome death. Morty then solves the puzzle, matching the Vindicators with Rick's opinion of them: Unoriginal. In the next room, Drunk Rick asks the Vindicators to locate a place they would never mention. Crocubot then goes to the hologram map of the universe to point out Dorian 5. However, he is wrong and crushed to death; Dorian 5 is revealed to have been a planet destroyed (along with its populace) by the Vindicators to defeat Doom-nometron, a shape shifter hiding on the planet during the Vindicators 2 mission. Rick stated that if they just brought him along, he could have created a machine to find Doom-nometron in a second. Morty then goes up to the map and locates Israel, the correct answer, as Morty knows that when Rick is blackout drunk, he rants about the United Nations and defense budgets, to which Rick tries to explain he isn't anti-semitic.

In the next room they need to make 5 three pointers in 5 minutes or else a neutrino bomb will blow up the planet. Morty goes to defuse the bomb, which is revealed to happen a lot more than Rick knew about, while the Vindicators work on scoring three pointers. During this, Supernova, Million Ants, and Alan Rails discuss how Supernova and Alan were previously married, and how Supernova cheated on Alan with Million Ants. Alan and Million Ants then begin to fight, Supernova then suspends them in the air and Million Ants kills Alan. In the final room, Drunk Rick asks for something he believes the Vindicators has that he wants. It is assumed Drunk Rick is talking about Morty because the Vindicators are heroes to him and Rick isn't. So Morty steps on the platform and he is taken down into a ride in which it seems Drunk Rick is expressing his love for Morty as his grandson. However, it is revealed the ride was intended for Noob Noob, simply because he laughed at Rick's jokes abut the Vindicators and Morty was caught up in hero worship. Morty then gets back out of the ride (with a look of disgust), and the platform they are on begins to rise. Supernova then goes to kill Rick and Morty for the deaths Drunk Rick caused, to which Million Ants tries to convince Supernova not to do it, only to be killed himself by Supernova. Before Supernova can do the same to Rick and Morty, the platform reaches a party with musical star Logic singing a rap song about the Vindicators. Supernova gets away, with Rick saying that 20 people try to kill him a week, and he ends up getting high with half of them, pointing out that Gearhead is there, who then takes Morty's Vindicators vest when Morty discards it, showing he doesn't like the Vindicators anymore (especially now that all but one of them are dead and the only survivor tried to kill him). Beth and Summer are also at the party along with other previously seen characters; at that point Logic mentions Noob Noob in the rap song, Rick asks "Who is Noob Noob?", causing Morty to show another unpleasant look.

In the post-credits scene, Gearhead is seen with the Vindicators vest on trying to pick up some college girls, but then when an alien terrorist attack strikes, he then goes down an alley way, in which he ditches the vest and runs away, before he trips on a pile of gears and is dismembered.


Major characters

Minor characters


Episode notes


  • This is one of the two episodes of Rick and Morty to be rated TV-MA from the FCC, the other being Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate. This is because the word 'fuck' was often used in the episode.
  • In celebration of season 3, Pocket Mortys' weekly updates will coincide with new episodes, including new avatars for players to collect.[1] With the release of this episode came: Sherlock Rick, Noob-Noob, Hawaiian Summer, and Hawaiian Rick as avatars, and Vindicator Morty, Federation Prisoner Morty, Hawaiian Morty, Sherlock Rick, Prisoner Morty, and Felon Morty to catch.
  • Rick is referred to here as Rick Sanchez: Tinkerer of Terror.
  • At one point in episode production, Million Ants had a sidekick: "Three More Ants"[2]
  • It is implied that all members of The Vindicators have 5 commonalities; they don't play well with others, their individual super power is a burden to themselves, they use their power responsibly (which is shown to not be the case by the end of the episode), they never give up, and they have a tragic origin.
  • Rick's epidermis is laced with a nano-fiber defense mesh, able to repel individuals away from himself.
  • In the scene where the Vindicators discover Worldender and his minions all massacred after Drunk Rick had annihilated them the night before, the minions' bodies can actually be seen arranged in various sex positions, most likely due to the twisted and disturbed nature of Rick in his drunken stupor. Among these positions are the missionary position, the 69, and doggy style.
  • The show guest starred rapper Robert Hall (known by his stage name Logic) who performed a song dedicated to Noob Noob during the final scene and end credits.
  • Vindicators were assembled for the third time this episode. The first time was "some summer" (possibly 2014 or 2015 when Season 1 and Season 2 aired) while the second time was "last summer" which was in 2016 when Rick and Morty didn't air. The fact that Rick and Morty weren't invited to Vindicators 2 might be a nod to it.
  • During the livestream of this episode's premiere, instead of airing the actual episode, they had a few employees do a live reading of the episode while re-enacting the scene. The stream was meant as a jab to people who watched the episodes on stream instead of on TV, going as far as the person acting as Rick to refer to them as 'freeloaders'.
  • In this episode Justin Roiland actually got drunk in the booth to properly portray Drunk Rick. It was stated that it was the most unproductive day they've ever had.

Series continuity

  • Morty chooses his 10th adventure, referencing his freedom of choice gained from winning the bet in Meeseeks and Destroy.
  • Near the end of the episode, Rick references the events of Mortynight Run.
  • Characters from previous episodes appear at the party at the end of the episode. This includes MC Haps (the rapper from Rick Potion #9 ), Slippery Stair (from Meeseeks and Destroy) and a guy with a Bart Simpson shirt that can be seen at the Flu Season Dance in Rick Potion No. 9 and the party in Ricksy Business. Gearhead also makes a cameo at the party and is directly referenced by Rick.
  • Morty mentions that the neutrino bomb has a 40% chance of being a dud due to Rick's drunken improvisation of them. This means the neutrino bomb that was armed in the first episode was possibly a dud and never blew up.

Cultural reference

  • The Vindicators are an obvious homage to superhero teams from both Marvel and DC Comics including The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Justice League.
    • This can be seen when Morty refers to The Vindicators as 'The Guardians of the Unguarded', which is an obvious playoff to the Marvel's superhero team with the similar name.
    • The logo of The Vindicators resembles an upside-down Avengers symbol.
    • Each Vindicator parodies a different type of superhero in the superhero genre.
      • Vance Maximus is the wise-talking technologically-enhanced Vindicator and resembles Iron Man, Star Lord and The Falcon. Additionally, his surname is Star Soldier, which is a reference to how superhero names are often a technological or astronomical word followed by an ordinary human word (like Star Lord or Iron Man).
      • Alan Rails is the grim and depressed character whose tragic origin story makes him constantly struggle with his own internal demons, which closely resembles Batman. Throughout the episode, Alan is portrayed as being gruff and to the point with others and very protective of his loved ones, which is also similar to Batman.
      • Supernova is the cosmic protector that is able to summon cosmic and intergalactic energy and often roams space alone with some form of intergalactic awareness, which closely resembles characters such as Doctor Strange, The Silver Surfer and Green Lantern. She is shown to have allegiance to a cosmic entity known as "Star Mother", which is a reference to the need for superheroes of this type to have a governing body (like Green Lantern's Lantern Corps or The Silver Surfer's Galactus). Her summoning of stars is also very similar to that of Storm in the 1980s X-Men cartoon series.
      • Million Ants is the alien body sent to another planet that appears to perform only heroic actions and usually performs a Christ-like role by dying for others. This is a parody of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, who is also an alien that sacrifices himself to save the lives of his team, as well as Superman, who traveled to Earth from Krypton as a baby and died for the people of Earth in 2004's Doomsday event. He could also be a literal interpretation of Ant-Man.
      • Crocubot is a satire of characters like The Hulk and The Lizard who are infused with some sort of ability of an entity considered awesome such as a reptile or a monster. However, Crocubot shows that when two awesome things (a crocodile and a robot) are combined, they cancel out to be relatively lame.
      • Lady Katana, Calypso, and Diablo Verde are all mentioned as being Vindicators that died during their previous adventure. However, during the roller-coaster designed by Rick, the audience gets a glimpse of three heroes that are believed to be the three deceased Vindicators. Lady Katana satirises mythological warriors like Thor, Hercules and Wonder Woman and Calypso references elementals like Ice Man, Storm and The Human Torch while Diablo Verde parodies bad-ass superheroes like Hellboy and Drax the Destroyer. The trio are also references to characters from Suicide Squad being: Katana, The Enchantress, and Diablo **spoilers** two of which die in the film which is also referenced in Rick and Morty.
      • Worldender was meant to be a parody of apocalyptic villains such as Darkseid and Thanos, until Rick singlehandedly ended his reign of terror with ease.
      • Doomnomitron is a reference to Ultron. Not only do their names sound similar but Doomnomitron is established as the villain of The Vindicators' second adventure while Ultron was the villain of The Avengers' second cinematic teammup. Also, Crocubot states during the episode that The Vindicators destroyed a planet during their fight with Doomnomitron which is a reference to The Avengers destroying the city of Sokovia during their fight with Ultron.
  • Morty compares Rick's drunken antics to the Saw movie series, where individuals are forced to play dangerous, yet therapeutic, games under a strict time limit by someone/people sitting behind a screen.
  • The three-point shot challenge references Escape from L.A., where, in one scene, Snake (the protagonist) is similarly forced into scoring points in basketball within a limited amount of time.
  • Drunk Rick can also be seen wearing a deerstalker hat, an item associated with Sherlock Holmes. This is a reference to the final episode of season 4 of the BBC's Sherlock, in which Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and Mycroft Holmes are put in a series of personal challenges each of which involves the death of either an innocent bystander or one of the trio. The theme of this episode is shown throughout the episode.


View a full transcript of this episode here.


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  1. Rossignol, Derrick (July 5, 2017). POCKET MORTYS Will Get Updates for Every RICK AND MORTY Season 3 Episode. Nerdist.
  2. (((guterman))) (14 August 2017). Tweet Number 897229912666329088. Twitter. Retrieved on August 14, 2017. “TRIVIA: At one point I pitched Million Ants have a sidekick: "Three More Ants". It was in the script for a spell bu…”

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Season 1 PilotLawnmower DogAnatomy ParkM. Night Shaym-Aliens!Meeseeks and DestroyRick Potion #9Raising GazorpazorpRixty MinutesSomething Ricked This Way ComesClose Rick-counters of the Rick KindRicksy Business
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Season 3 The Rickshank RickdemptionRickmancing the StonePickle RickVindicators 3: The Return of WorldenderThe Whirly Dirly ConspiracyRest and RicklaxationTales From the CitadelMorty's Mind BlowersThe ABC's of BethThe Rickchurian Mortydate
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