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Is The Story Train Website From Rick And Morty Season 4, Episode 6 Real?

Contains spoilers for Rick and Morty season 4, episode 6, "Never Ricking Morty"

Following a four-month hiatus, Rick and Morty returned for the second half of its fourth season with episode 6, "Never Ricking Morty."

In typical fashion of the animated show created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the latest episode is a wild, trope-fueled meta-joke that seemingly points to nothing other than yet another unprompted (albeit funny) commentary on consumerism. As Rick explains it, he and his grandson Morty are trapped not on a real train, but a story device — a Story Train. Desperate to get out, Morty asks Rick how they hijack the simulation. Rick, explaining that it's actually more of an anthology, reveals it's already been hijacked — clearly making fun of the Adult Swim series' own inconsistent release schedule.

As they make their way between story-car after story-car, the two come up against Rick's past flings, increasingly buff antagonists, traumatic experiences, and an all-out smorgasbord of genre references. The episode is a container for a container for a container of the entire series, barreling through the fourth wall on its way to a presumed fifth. But once they make it to the end, Rick and Morty realize that there is no way off — the train engine is simply a sticker on some plastic. The "literal, literary device quite literally metaphorically containing" them is revealed to be an actual powered toy train that Morty got for his grandfather.

When a version of Jesus, "the engineer of the greatest story ever told," that's trapped on the Story Train explodes and knocks the train off the tracks, viewers finally see how deep this Russian-doll-type scenario runs. While the train was never real, an end-credits scene appeared to offer something that was.

A post-credit scene teased a toy website that didn't work... until it did

After Rick delivers a monologue about the power of consumerism — a moment some fans believe was a dig at the fandom's history of theorizing and its passion for real-life Rick and Morty tie-ins — the episode's credits roll. But as soon as those end, Rick and Morty return for a commercial selling the Story Train. The ad promises that "The Citadel of Rick's story train" would come with "car after car of enemies, lovers, and Goomby" that grapple with "the nature of who you really are." In the end, viewers are told to "buy it ironically, buy it sincerely, just buy it" — and that "not buying it is an act of buying it" — before a website presumably for the toy flashes on the screen. 

Fans raced to see if the website (story-train.com) was real, as Rick and Morty has a notable history for turning its inside jokes into consumer goods. But when they attempted to visit the site, they initially found that it didn't exist, and were left only with an error message saying the IP address couldn't be found. As one Reddit fan noted, they had all fallen right into one of Dan Harmon's signature traps: "We bought the lie. We still consumed. Consume. Consume," u/pm-me_10m-fireflies wrote of the unreal website.  

But it seems that maybe Adult Swim wasn't quick enough on the draw. True to form of Rick and Morty fans, several caught that the Story Train website was registered, it just didn't go anywhere — at least then. When you type the URL into your browser's web address bar now, it redirects to the Rick and Morty site, rickandmorty.com. While there are no toy links up currently, who can say if there were and still are plans to make the Story Train a real, purchasable thing? A joke on the animated series did end up bringing back McDonald's Szechuan Sauce, after all.