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Beth Smith (née Sanchez) is the tritagonist of the show Rick and Morty, she is the daughter of Rick Sanchez (replacement dimension) and Mrs. Sancez/Diane Sanchez, the wife of Jerry Smith, and the mother of Summer Smith and Morty Smith (replacement dimension), she is also the daughter-in-law of Leonard Smith and Joyce Smith, and the granddaughter of Rick's Father and a unnamed woman. She currently acts as the mother and the daughter of the Morty Smith and Rick Sanchez from Dimension C-137, respectively. She is currently employed as a veterinary surgeon at St. Equis Hospital.
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.
She is voiced by Sarah Chalke in the English version of the cartoon, and by Antonella Baldini in the Italian version of the cartoon.
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 autoconvinced herself that Tommy got lost in Froopyland.
Beth aspired to become a heart surgeon as an adult, but during the High School, at the age of 17 years old, she went to prom 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 eventually had their second and only son, Morty, at the age of 20 years old.
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.
Though it has been implied by Dan Harmon and the episodes "Rick Potion No. 9" and "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy" that Jerry and Beth's relationship was more stable before Rick came back into her life.
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 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 addition, Beth can be highly sarcastic at times, such as when she predicted Snuffles increased intelligence would backfire in the episode, "Lawnmower Dog".
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 sociopathic 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.