In the first season of Rick and Morty, Season 1 Episode 06: Rick potion#9, when everyone except the Smiths are cronenberged, Beth and Jerry stop on their way home to kill some monsters. Here's the clip:

Beth: [loads her shotgun after killing the last of the cronenbergs]

Jerry: I wish that shotgun was my penis.

Beth: If it were, you could call me Ernest Hemingway.

Jerry: I don't get it, and I don't need to.

Just like Jerry, I didn't get that reference to Hemingway either. What was that reference about?

  • 1
    I believe it's a reference to the manner in which Hemmingway committed suicide...
    – delinear
    Apr 6, 2018 at 15:40
  • 1
    I'm actually more concerned about the monsters being called "cronenbergs", but that could be just me. (I don't watch Rick and Morty.)
    – Mr Lister
    Apr 6, 2018 at 18:54
  • 1
    @MrLister It comes from David Cronenberg, due to his work in the body horror genre.
    – JAB
    Apr 7, 2018 at 16:04
  • @JAB I know who David Cronenberg is. I used to have some of his films on video. But like I said, maybe I just don't get the joke because I don't watch this here cartoon.
    – Mr Lister
    Apr 7, 2018 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


It's a reference to how Hemingway committed suicide by shooting himself with a shotgun. As wikipedia says on the subject:

Two days later, in the early morning hours of July 2, 1961, Hemingway "quite deliberately" shot himself with his favorite shotgun. He had unlocked the basement storeroom where his guns were kept, gone upstairs to the front entrance foyer of their Ketchum home, and according to Mellow, shot himself with the "double-barreled shotgun that he had used so often it might have been a friend".

The actual joke is more of an adult theme so I will leave an explanation out of the answer though. To be a bit more explicit though (in spoilers because once it's a bit more spelled out it's more of a NSFW area)

it's important to note that it is Beth who wants to be Hemingway and Jerry's penis is the shotgun. Hemingway shot himself in the head to commit suicide and Beth has just shot some cronenbergs in the head. If you still can't work the joke out from that you're too young and it's not exactly appropriate for this site to spell it out.

  • 8
    Pulls up a chalkboard Ok kids, here are some more things two adults who love each other very much can do.
    – Misha R
    Apr 6, 2018 at 17:02
  • The excerpt cited by OP is fairly NSFW, so you might be forgiven for spelling it out. Apr 6, 2018 at 18:14
  • 1
    It may be relevant that Hemingway specifically shot himself in the head (through the forehead to be exact, although the metaphor admittedly breaks down at this point). Apr 6, 2018 at 20:27
  • 1
    @ApproachingDarknessFish I'd say that's the whole point of the metaphor given the context of the joke.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Apr 7, 2018 at 9:57
  • 4
    @MrLister Oof... Ok, forget the death part for a sec. Picture the scene with Hemingway about to shoot himself in the head. Press pause. Replace him with Beth. She can keep holding the shotgun if you like. Now put Jerry in the scene, and attach him to the shotgun. Still with me? Ok, now redesign the shotgun in accordance with Jerry's wishes. Press play. There we go.
    – Misha R
    Apr 7, 2018 at 15:44

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