Movies and Shows

14 Best Real-World Songs Featured On Rick And Morty


Rick and Morty is known for its original songs, like the fan-favorite “Get Schwifty,” that was written for the America’s Got Talent-style episode, or Logic’s contribution to the series, “Noob Noob.” What fans may not know, is that the show has also featured some fantastic songs from the real world.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

It’s great when Justin Roiland belts it out as Rick or a sentient cloud of gas songs about moonmen, but sometimes it’s even more exciting to see how the writers incorporate a song that already exists into the bizarre world of Rick and Morty.

UPDATE: 2022/09/08 22:00 EST BY GEORGE CHRYSOSTOMOU

Rick and Morty has returned for a brand-new series and there are sure to be plenty of brilliant musical choices in this year’s soundtrack. When looking at the show’s historic past though, the playlist that could be made from the music thus far would be absolutely epic.

“Feels Good” by Tony! Toni! Toné!

Sometimes a song is chosen to clash with the visuals being brought to audiences. That’s the case with “Feels Good” which was featured in the Purge-themed episode of the show titled, “Look Who’s Purging Now.” The song was largely attributed to Arthricia who’s a cat-like magdalian, and Rick.

With the duo getting involved in the violent occurrences of the purge, the upbeat “Feels Good” acts as a real contrast. It’s a dark moment of humor, showcasing the joy that the pair are getting out of their deadly antics, as they dance together in a river of blood.

“Seal My Fate” by Belly

In the episode titled “Rixty Minutes” the Smith family watch alternative realities, to see how they might have ended up in various timelines. The Rick and Morty entry specifically centers in on Jerry and Beth, who are discovering how their relationship could function if they acted slightly differently.

The melancholic “Seal My Fate” plays as the pair discover what their fate could be and are reunited in their love, even for a brief time. It’s an emotional moment that shows why the sitcom has become so successful, and the song was the perfect ballad for the moment.

“Weird Science” by Oingo Boingo

Sometimes the songs that have been associated with Rick and Morty are actually used within the trailer. While fans know that they could always be recycled, with the show even likely to make reference to using it for promotion, right now it has only been used for advertisement purposes.

The trailer for the second season of the series used “Weird Science” as a brilliant way to capture the essence of the series. The kinetic energy of the piece, the odd lyrics and sci-fi theming all contribute to a song that could easily double as the theme tune.

“Between The Bars” by Elliott Smith

The episode “Big Trouble In Little Sanchez” saw Rick transform himself into Lil Rick, so that he could become a student alongside Morty and Summer. It’s a chaotic episode that plays into the kinds of ridiculous escapades that fans have come to expect from the series.

But there’s a much deeper twist towards the end of the Rick and Morty entry, with Rick refusing to turn back into his regular body until he is played “Between The Bars.” It forces Rick to ponder what life is all about, as he testifies to the talent of Elliott Smith. It’s an intriguing use of music within the context of an episode.

“In The City” by Eagles

A jam starts off one of Rick and Morty‘s best episodes: “The Ricklantis Mixup.” Rick and Morty are on their way to Atlantis when a Rick from the Citadel appears with his Morty for a donation for the “Citadel Redevelopment Fund.” Instead of following the show’s Rick and Morty to Atlantis, viewers are taken to the Citadel instead, and the Eagles’ version of “In The City” plays.

This song has a perfect “embarking on a new journey” tone to it, which is perfect because in this episode, Evil Morty reappears as a presidential candidate for the Citadel. The hope and bright future he promises beyond city life and political divide are represented by lyrics like “Out beyond the neon lights, I know there must be somethin’ better.”

“Who Wants To Live Forever” by Queen

In season 5 episode, “Mortiplicity,” there’s an unending parade of decoy Smith families. In the post-credits scene of the episode, viewers find out that the wooden puppet Jerry escaped safely to the woods, only to be attacked by beavers. He awakens repeatedly over several scenes, as time passes exponentially.

As he wakes up further and further through time, even all the way to a second Jesus Christ, a remastered version of Queen’s famous song “Who Wants to Live Forever” plays in the background and it’s hauntingly beautiful. The song is stripped down and synthy, and the lyrics dramatize Jerry’s experience as he truly seems to “live forever.”

“X Gon’ Give It To Ya” by DMX

The quintessential pump-up song to beat up the Devil is a DMX jam, and that’s exactly what Summer and Rick use. In one of the several episodes where Summer is a great partner for Rick, the pair get jacked for revenge.

The two spend a montage lifting weights in the Smiths’ garage and the gym, and even taking steroids (or some sci-fi equivalent) to the tune of “X Gon Give It To Ya” before ambushing the Devil at a Steve Jobs-like talk. The song choice is also a great nod to its use as walkout music for several athletes and MMA fighter Brian Ortega, as well as the opening fight sequence song for Deadpool.

“Do You Feel It?” by Chaos Chaos

Most times, the show is full of fun and wacky adventures, but sometimes Rick and Morty deals with real issues, like depression and even suicide. In “Autoerotic Assimilation,” Rick, in deep depression, tests out a death ray on a small creature before lining it up to his own head — only to collapse onto his workstation in tears before it detonates.

Chaos Chaos’ “Do You Feel It?” plays in the credits. The song is about having a tough outer shell but secretly hurting on the inside, with no way to express it — and this is who Rick is, in a nutshell. The musical group is a repeat contributor to the show, and the support for lesser-known artists is one of the reasons Rick and Morty is so beloved.

“My Sh*t” by A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

Very appropriately named for “The Man and the Seat” episode, “My Sh*t” plays after Rick thinks that he successfully intimidated Tony, the alien who used Rick’s specially-made toilet in space, from ever trying to use his secret pooping place again.

Rick is casually drinking a beer and deleting poop specimen data from his original search for the toilet thief while A Boogie wit da Hoodie’s “My Sh*t” plays softly through the underground sound system. The obvious choice of this song seems to be the hilarious way the title fits to the context, but any time Rick’s given the aux, he plays hip hop and rap music about having a good time and partying, which is very on-brand for him.

“Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails

In the season 2 finale, “The Wedding Squanchers,” everything goes wrong and Rick decides to turn himself in to the Federation to save his family. As the smartest man in the galaxy is handcuffed and taken to intergalactic prison after just having lost his best friend and family, the way he feels is hammered home with this song.

“Hurt,” Nine Inch Nails’ classic industrial rock song, articulates the same feeling that Rick voices in “Rest and Ricklaxation.” Morty asks why Rick keeps putting them in danger. Rick answers, “Maybe I hate myself. Maybe I think I deserve to die.” A lot of Rick’s self-sabotaging and problematic behavior can be explained by his deep self-loathing, and “Hurt” is all about that feeling.

“It’s In The Way That You Use It” by Eric Clapton

“The Vat of Acid Episode” was a rollercoaster. When Morty criticizes Rick’s fake vat of acid escape plan, Rick takes the opportunity to be the worst, and psychologically tortures him. After dying and resetting multiple times with Rick’s “save your place” invention, Morty finds out that it never saved his place at all, but instead mercilessly killed innocent Mortys in other timelines and took their place.

Eric Clapton’s “It’s in the Way That You Use It” is an excellent foreshadowing of the consequences that Morty is about to face. The upbeat melody and seemingly innocuous lyrics take on a whole new meaning when viewers find out that it was all about the way Morty “used” his new invention. It’s really interesting when a show can use a song in a way that’s unexpected and different than its intended message.

“Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty

Fans may be familiar with Rick’s substantially off-key rendition that he sings after he blows up the Zigerian scammers in “M. Night Shaym-Aliens.” It also plays earlier, in a hilarious Jerry B-story, while he walks triumphantly down the street after successfully selling his “Hungry for Apples” pitch to a low-processing speed simulation.

The iconic saxophone solo featured in “Baker Street” is immediately recognizable for hard-core fans of the show. It’s the perfect match to Jerry’s unfounded confidence and dramatic swagger. Jerry is, in a lot of ways, like an old-school sitcom dad, so this 1978 hit from another Gerry is 100% his go-to “cool guy” anthem.

“Look On Down From The Bridge” by Mazzy Star

Rick’s genius is called into question in “Rick Potion #9” when he and Morty have to abandon the Cronenberged Earth C-137 and pick a new reality in which the two of them have just recently passed away and can take their place.

Mazzy Star’s “Look on Down from the Bridge” is another somber ballad used to convey emotional gravitas on the show as Morty looks out hopelessly through the window over the masses of Cronenbergs. The lyrics of the song about leaving home and saying goodbye really hit hard, and the gentle slow melody is a poignant contrast to the chaos happening below Rick and Morty on the ground.

“For The Damaged Coda” by Blonde Redhead

“For the Damaged Coda” has been the musical motif for Evil Morty since his first appearance in “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind.” The song was featured in the final scene of “The Ricklantis Mixup” and then finally during the season 5 finale when he escaped the Central Finite Curve built around all infinite versions of Ricks and Mortys.

The song doesn’t have any lyrics, but it’s used as a literal “coda” for the Blonde Redhead song “For the Damaged,” which gives it a special significance for Evil Morty. A coda is a musical passage that brings a piece to an end, and Evil Morty literally brings about the end of the Central Finite Curve and, in a bigger sense, the world of Rick and Morty as fans know it.

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