The Most Crushing Musical Moments on ‘Rick and Morty’ That Weren’t Scored by Mazzy Star

‘Look on Down From the Bridge’ isn’t the only tear-jerking tune in ‘Rick and Morty’ history
The Most Crushing Musical Moments on ‘Rick and Morty’ That Weren’t Scored by Mazzy Star

At this point, “Look on Down from the Bridge” is the unofficial anthem of every teenage Rick and Morty fan’s existential crisis.

Dan Harmon and his writers understand how choosing the right piece of music for a particularly sad Rick and Morty scene can turn the moment into an absolute gut-punch. In fact, they’re a little too good at scoring a scene with the perfect breathy, melancholy dream-pop song — so good that fans can’t throw on an 1990s alternative/indie playlist on Spotify without risking a surprise thousand-yard stare like they just got back from Vietnam (or Blood Ridge). For providing the soundtrack of, arguably, the two most impactful scenes in Rick and Morty history, Mazzy Star has reached a place of reverence among the Rick and Morty fandom, but they’re not the only band to break our hearts in multiple dimensions.

Between the closing scenes of “Rick Potion #9,” when Morty buries his own corpse for the first time, and the more recent “Unmortricken,” which marked the end of the show’s overarching antagonist, Mazzy Star’s music is inextricably tied to some of the most powerful moments in the show — but not all of them. Here are the other scenes that traumatized us without a single chord from “Look on Down from the Bridge”…

Morty Loses The Love of His Life: “Its in the Way That You Use It” by Eric Clapton

This ones a bit of a curveball. As opposed to the more morose music used to hammer home the dread and depression of other dark moments in the series, in the delightful “The Vat of Acid Episode,” Claptons pop-rock hit is the perfect song for Morty's meet-cute with the unnamed, bespectacled brunette with whom he shares a harrowing ordeal and experiences the devastating beauty of love under life-threatening circumstances. The way the song fades out into an orchestral score for their dramatic journey only to come crashing back with the errant push of a button that erases their love from existence is enough to drive a Morty mad.

Fred’s Full-Life Flashback: “Live Forever” by Kotomi and Ryan Elder

This past season’s “That’s Amorte” closed its pitch-dark satire of capitalism and consumption with a full-life story of the last spaghetti suicide victim featured in the episode, the stubborn, opinionated toymaker Fred, in a montage that’s basically the inverse of the opening sequence of Pixar’s Up. Fred’s lifetime of ups and downs, love and loss was set to a haunting Oasis cover performed by singer/composer Kotomi and Ryan Elder, the main music composer for Rick and Morty who wrote the show’s theme song among many other important tunes. Fred’s spaghetti would be too salty given how many tears it made us shed.

Ricks Near-Suicide: “Do You Feel It?” by Chaos Chaos

The lowest point Rick ever reaches (on screen) comes at the end of the Season Two episode “Auto Erotic Assimilation” as he grapples with his loneliness and the exit of his on-again, off-again hive-mind of a lover Unity. Besides Diane, no other romantic interest in Ricks life ever drives him to a darker place than this, when he finds himself mere milliseconds away from suicide before resigning himself to a continued existence. “Do You Feel It?” is the perfect song for this moment, brought to us by perennial Rick and Morty musical partners Chaos Chaos, who included the tune on their album Committed to the Crime.

Part of the reason this scene is so haunting is because its so bleakly relatable — if any of us fumbled Christina Hendricks, wed be in a bad place, too.


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