Currently, rescue in vitro maturation (IVM) is not a routine method in assisted reproductive treatment (ART) programmes but is a promising procedure for ART to improve IVM. The aim of this study was to compare embryo morphokinetics of germinal vesicles (GV) with metaphase II (MII) oocytes from controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) cycles by time-lapse photography monitoring (TLM). Morphokinetics of the same number of embryos derived from the in vivo (group I) and rescue of in vitro matured oocytes (group II) from 310 patients were analyzed and compared retrospectively. The time to form second PB extrusion (tPB2), time of pronuclei appearance (tPNa), time of pronuclei fading (tPNf) and time of two to eight discrete cells (t2–t8) were assessed. Abnormal cleavage patterns such as uneven blastomeres at the two-cell stage, cell fusion (Fu), trichotomous mitoses (TM), and the rates of embryo arrest were assessed. These data showed that tPB2, tPNa, tPNf, t2, t3 and t4 stages took place later in group II compared with group I (P<0.001, P=0.017, P<0.001, P<0.001, P<0.001, P<0.001, respectively). The rates of uneven blastomeres, Fu, TM, and embryo arrest were increased significantly in group II compared with group I (P=0.001, P<0.001, P=0.003, P<0.001, respectively). Based on the exact annotation of timing parameters and cleavage patterns, the present data agreed with the concept that rescue IVM of oocytes negatively influences embryo morphokinetics. Therefore, cautious use of embryos derived from rescue IVM of GV oocytes should be made.