Rick and Morty’s disturbing Season 7 episode inspired by sinister sci-fi tale

Daisy Phillipson
Still from Rick and Morty Season 7 Episode 4Adult Swim

Rick and Morty Season 7 Episode 4, ‘That’s Amorte’, has been hailed as the show’s most disturbing ever – and it turns out it wasn’t completely created from thin air, as it was inspired by a similarly sinister sci-fi tale.

Spaghetti, salisbury steak, and suicide are the themes you can expect to see in the latest episode of Rick and Morty – if you know, you (tragically) know. 

The fourth episode of Season 7 changed gears to tell a notably stomach-churning tale, one that left fans divided. While some found it thought-provoking, others were left questioning their entire existence. But one thing everyone can agree on: it’s one of the darkest Rick and Morty episodes to date. 

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It also references a famous sci-fi book and movie, one that influenced at least part of the story. Warning: spoilers ahead and some may find this content distressing.

Rick and Morty Season 7’s disturbing episode references sinister sci-fi tale

In Season 7 Episode 4, Rick has to come up with a solution for Morty and an entire planet involving clones. Following a failed test, he describes it as a “speed run of Never Let Me Go.” Morty reminds him, “Spoilers, Rick,” to which he says, “I guess all clone stories turn out the same way.”

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For the uninitiated, Never Let Me Go is a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, which was made into a 2010 movie starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield as Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy. The trio grow up together at an English boarding school called Hailsham, and while it seems idyllic at first, there’s an undercurrent of mystery regarding the true purpose of the students’ existence.

Hailsham students are, in fact, clones created to donate their organs to “normal” humans, and their artwork is a way to assess their souls. The dystopian story explores themes of humanity and identity, as the characters deal with complex emotions and relationships, despite being considered less than by society.

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Ishiguro also examines the theme of destiny versus free will, as the students passively accept their predetermined paths. The narrative prompts readers to consider the value of life and whether society can be complicit in dehumanizing individuals for the greater good.

How is Rick and Morty Season 7 episode tied to Never Let Me Go?

So, how does all of this tie into Rick and Morty? Well, the episode opens with Rick treating the Smith family to his “famous spaghetti,” but the fun times are ruined when Morty discovers that the dish is actually the entrails of a man who’s died by suicide. 

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Rick takes Morty across the galaxy, explaining that there’s a planet where people who kill themselves release a high level of cortisol that turns their insides into delicious spaghetti. 

When the president of the economically-challenged planet realizes what they’ve been doing, she turns it into a suicide farm, urging residents to end their own lives so they can export their tins of suicide spaghetti. 

A guilt-ridden Morty urges Rick to come up with a solution – and this is where Never Let Me Go comes in. “What if we make something like a person? Rick, you’re always doing clones, right?” asks Morty, to which Rick says, “What are you suggesting here? A sped-up lifespan and indoctrination program, limiting their exposure to the world and convincing them that becoming spaghetti is their destiny?”

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The scene then cuts to two clones running through the forest as they’re chased down by authorities. They stop and embrace as the female clone says, “I won’t be delicious for them.” The male replies, “I love you Clone 5617B.” 

They then shoot each other before a helicopter lands and Rick and Morty step out, at which point Rick describes the situation as a “speed run of Never Let Me Go.”

That’s not the end of the clone plot, either, as Rick eventually comes up with a series of headless duplicates, giving them one arm and a screwdriver each so they can automatically kill themselves. 

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But this system – set up like a factory farm – doesn’t end too well. Eventually, the mad scientist resorts to showing the universe exactly what it is they’re consuming when they eat suicide spaghetti by playing out a dying man’s life on the big screen. 

This is also comparable to the final scene in Never Let Me Go, as Kathy looks back at her childhood with Tommy, and considers whether the clones’ lives have been all that different from the lives of those they donate their organs to. “We all complete,” she says. 

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But while this question is posed to the readers and viewers of Never Let Me Go, Rick doesn’t learn his lesson from the whole saga. Right at the end of ‘That’s Amorte’, he serves the Smith family his new famous dish: salisbury steak. 

While it’s the best they’ve ever tasted, they joke about not wanting to know where the steaks came from. “I won’t tell you, but I need you to know the truth is horrible. So if you ever find out on accident, you can’t blame me… honestly, if you knew, you might kill yourselves,” Rick tells them. 

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You never know – one day we might have to find out where Rick really got those steaks. 

Rick and Morty Season 7 Episodes 1-4 are available on-demand on Adult Swim now. You can read more about the series below:

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on daisy.phillipson@dexerto.com