Rick And Morty boasts some of the weirdest music on telly. Whether it’s a David Bowie tribute sung by a gaseous being called Fart or a seriously heartfelt ballad about love and loss, the musical geniuses behind the cult sci-fi cartoon’s tunes never fail to come up with something wacky and wonderful. Here are our 10 fave originals so far…
‘Help Me I’m Gonna Die’
Episode: ‘Big Trouble In Little Sanchez’
Best lyric: “My real body’s slowly dying in a vat”
There’s always that one annoying guy who brings an acoustic guitar to the party… After Rick Sanchez puts his mind into a teenaged clone of himself, the newly minted Tiny Rick becomes that guy – and his granddaughter Summer totally hates him for it. The improvised song he sings as a literal cry for help is made so much funnier because nobody catches on but her.
Episode: ‘Mortynight Run’
Best lyric: “Cosmos without hatred / Stars like diamonds in your eyes”
Jemaine Clement, one half of New Zealand’s delightful comedy music duo Flight Of The Conchords, delivered one of Rick And Morty’s all-time best guest star performances back in season two as a being made of sentient gas. He assumes the name Fart after Rick insults him and then generates a psychedelic trip for Morty. The result is a mesmerizing David Bowie-esque tune about “moonmen”.
Episode: ‘Rattlestar Ricklactica’
Best lyric: “Hissssssssss!”
In an excellent episode chock-full of laughs, one of the very best comes during a slumber party that Summer has with her friends. After Morty is bitten by a space snake, Rick scans the entire planet for the right antivenom. One of the things he finds is ‘Snake Jazz’ and Summer immediately puts the hot track on her phone. It’s basically just a super-simple jazz cymbal beat, but the cymbals are now snake hisses. As it turns out, teenage Earth girls frickin’ love it.
‘Glory To Glorzo’
Best lyric: “We got too many eggs, and not enough society”
Who knew a toothpick could save you from certain death? Summer’s new “thing” is keeping a toothpick in her mouth, so when it prevents her from being taken over by a parasitic facehugger alien, the entire species worships her as a god and stops the cycle of killing their hosts every 30 minutes. ‘Glory To Glorzo’ is a patriotic anthem that plays over a montage celebrating the Glorzos’ new society – and it never fails to elicit a chuckle.
Episode: ‘JuRicksic Mort’
Best lyric: “Deepwater deeply blew it”
Dinosaurs return to Earth and transform it into a totally boring but thriving utopia, but a screaming meteor follows them across the cosmos. ‘Dinosaurs Song’ plays over a series of newspaper clippings and scenes chronicling the rise and decline of humanity as the dinos come and go – and it evokes brilliant music comedies like Bo Burnham’s ‘That Funny Feeling’.
The first half is just various dinosaur names, including the naughty-sounding Erectopus (which somehow was a real dinosaur). Then vocalist Kotomi rattles off everything wrong with the world: “Exxon spilling the oil / Chernobyl blowing up / Asbestos in Montana / Atlantic City / Type 2 diabetes.” Sad! But true, even in this universe.
‘Let Me Out’
Episode: ‘Big Trouble In Little Sanchez’
Best lyric: “I’m begging for help / I’m screaming for help”
Arguably Rick And Morty’s most potent earworm, ‘Let Me Out’ is another Tiny Rick classic. The teenage clone can’t express to these stupid kids that he needs to return to his real body. Instead, Morty spends most of the episode capitalising on Tiny Rick’s popularity in order to woo longtime crush Jessica.
‘Fathers And Daughters’
Episode: ‘The ABC’s Of Beth’
Best lyric: “Every daughter is a doodoo from a father’s butt”
Rick And Morty rarely spotlights Beth, but the penultimate episode of season three does so with one of the show’s most important stories ever. A chaotic attempt to rescue Beth’s childhood friend Tommy (lost decades ago in an artificial world Rick created to sequester his daughter) leads to a horrible disaster. In a rare moment of father-daughter bonding, Rick and Beth work together to create and deliver a clone of Tommy to his parents. ‘Fathers And Daughters’ is an obvious parody of Paul Simon’s ‘Father And Daughter’ 2002 track from The Wild Thornberrys Movie that pokes fun at its wholesome sense of love.
Episode: ‘Forgetting Sarick Mortshall’
Best lyric: “I thought that the sun burned brighter with you by my side”
In the wake of the worst fight that Morty and his grandpa Rick ever have during ‘Forgetting Sarick Mortshall’, Rick teams up with a pair of crows and leaves the Smith family. This silly development is quickly undone in the following episode, but Rick And Morty takes it super-seriously as it happens. ‘Borrowed Time’, as performed by indie pop duo Tennis, plays over their breakup – and the lyrics sound like they’re from the perspective of a depressed and abandoned lover “waking from the dream” that they thought would “go on forever”.
‘Don’t Look Back’
Episode: ‘Star Mort Rickturn Of The Jerri’
Best lyric: “Tomorrow’s one day that I’m never getting back”
At the very end of a dramatic and explosive season finale where Rick nearly dies fighting the evil cyborg version of former BFF Birdperson, he reflects on the poor choices he’s made as a father, grandpa and friend. Alienated from everyone he loves, Rick views a previously deleted memory confirming that he cloned his daughter Beth and shuffled them so he’d never know which is which. The mournful ‘Don’t Look Back’ plays over the whole scene. It remains the best collaboration between Rick And Morty series composer Ryan Elder and LA-based artist Kotomi. There are no laughs here. Just heartbreak.
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