Beth Smith (née Sanchez) is the daughter of Rick, the wife of Jerry, and the mother of Morty and Summer. Sanctimonious and above others, she struggles with her husband over his contributions, due in part to his lower-level position, further driven by her father influencing her feelings of superiority.
The details of Beth's history are relatively unknown. She has recounted herself as a "bright-eyed" young girl from Muskegon, Michigan (Meeseeks and Destroy) raised primarily by her "unremarkable" mother after her father left them at an unknown time for unknown reasons. She aspired to be a heart surgeon but in High School, at age seventeen, she went to prom with classmate Jerry Smith, who impregnated her with Summer. Despite this, Beth was able to go on to college and become a veterinary surgeon. Beth has admitted that she contemplated aborting Summer, because "everybody thinks about it".
Beth was cold towards her children at their infancy, evident inRaising Gazorpazorp. Her job as a veterinary surgeon at St. Equis Hospital has her in and out as a result, as a result Beth is suggested to rarely be with her family. It has been implied by Dan Harmon and Rick Potion No. 9that Jerry and Beth's relationship was more stable before Rick came back into her life.
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 insecure about her profession, however, and is quick to snap at the implication she is not a 'real' surgeon or a 'real' veterinarian, since she generally is a horse surgeon. It was strongly suggested in Rixty Minutes that even she shares this belief and wishes she had been able to continue her medical education to become a 'real' doctor. 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 save a deer's life successfully in A Rickle in Time.
She can be very compassionate and caring to those around her, more openly so than her father or husband. When she and Jerry accidentally hit a deer, her first concerns are to help and assist it and Beth will stop at nothing to bring it back to health. She expresses grave concern multiple times for Morty's education and health, and despite her marital regrets, she often considers the consequences of leaving Jerry. She generally has considered her family to be her first priority However, this quality can fade out quickly if she feels patronized, devalued, or that she or another family member, such as Morty or Rick, is threatened.
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. Beth is quite critical of Jerry's ideas and often displays sarcasm, such as when she predicted Snuffles increased intelligence would backfire. She also feels under-appreciated by Jerry at times, or that their relationship is tying her down. 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. A recurring theme in their relationship is Beth desiring to 'take a break' or even 'a trip' from Jerry, including Meeseeks and Destroy and Rixty Minutes.
Beth seems to have a superiority complex, believing herself at times to be above others, including her son Morty, such as when he is shown taking care of his own son and her husband, who unwittingly feeds her insecurities by implying she is not a 'real' surgeon, while her father seems to value her highly over her 'idiot' husband, in turn feeding her feelings of superiority. She also highly resents being patronized by her co-worker, Devin, 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 when Rick is removed from her life or even when she merely feels more confident in herself.
Beth has a deep-seated desire to keep her father in her life, stemming from the fact that he was absent from her life for twenty years after he left her and her mother for unknown reasons. As a result, she has abandonment issues, and one of the reasons her relationship with Jerry has survived is her belief he is the only man in her life who's never abandoned her. She is generally willing to put up with Rick and his needs without sarcasm or argument, though she has her limits even for his behavior, and has given him ultimatums in Pilotand Auto Erotic Assimilation, which he has followed. She seems to have also inherited her father's alcoholism, and is seen drinking wine briefly in Meeseeks and Destroy and more prominently in Rixty Minutes and Total Rickall.
However, she does overcome this (in one universe) in Rick Potion No. 9 where she comes to realize that Jerry truly does love her and will never leave her as Rick did and so her view of Rick drops to how Jerry views him.
- Beth's voice actress, Sarah Chalke, has previously starred as a blonde-haired doctor before in the comedy-drama series Scrubs, and also on How I Met Your Mother.
- Beth is a questioning atheist.