- “Why don't I get Beth and we'll go out for ice cream?”
- —The last great idea that will ever be had in this garage.[src]
Diane's death was the defining moment in Rick's life that made him into who he is. The story of Diane has been the overarching mystery of the series from season one up until season five. She was murdered by another Rick via an explosion from a futuristic bomb. The trauma from her murder caused Rick to spiral into a vengeful rampage, sending him on a journey to avenge his dead wife by finding the Rick that killed her.
Diane Sanchez was a fair-skinned woman in what appeared to be her early-to-mid twenties. She had blonde hair and prominent lips, as well as several freckles on her face. The only outfit she's been shown in so far depicts her as wearing a pale blue blouse with white jeans.
In the pilot episode, Rick compliments his daughter Beth's breakfast and remarks how her mother would've loved them. This comment brings a tear to Beth's eye, which suggests that her mother may be deceased. It has since been revealed that this Beth was not Rick's original daughter, who was killed in an explosion with her mother, and Rick merely inserted himself into a new family in an alternate dimension. It's unknown what happened to Diane Sanchez in this new reality, but from Rick's comment, it's very likely she is deceased.
In "Rick Potion #9", Rick reflects on his marriage indirectly when he describes love as being "just a chemical reaction that compels animals to breed", and tells Morty that he was part of a failing marriage. Beth later mentions that Rick indeed left her mother. From what we learned in later episodes, this clearly wasn't the case; both Rick and Diane seemed very happy together. The failing marriage line is possibly what occurred between the Rick and Diane who inhabited the Cronenberged Dimension before Rick C-137 came to live in it.
In "The Wedding Squanchers" Rick remarks "I couldn't make a marriage work and I can turn a black hole into a sun".
In "The Rickshank Rickdemption", when Rick was being held in a Galactic Federation prison, Cornvelious Daniel went into Rick's memories, via a brain-link, to learn how Rick became a criminal. While Daniel was present in Rick's memories, he witnessed a flashback in which a young woman named Diane Sanchez was the wife of Rick Sanchez and the mother of Beth Sanchez. In that flashback, another Rick from an alternate dimension vaporized Diane and Beth with a bomb to punish Rick. Diane appeared to enjoy her husband Rick's scientific work and seemed very patient and understanding, with no reference to either a failing marriage or an extreme concern about safety. Rick claimed this memory was totally fabricated, yet it was later confirmed to be true in "Rickmurai Jack", meaning it was only "fabricated" in the sense that Rick didn't actually invent the Portal Gun until later.
At the conclusion of "Auto Erotic Assimilation", Beth insists to Rick that she could never sacrifice her family's safety just to keep him in her life. At this point, Beth realizes that she sounds like her mother, suggesting that Mrs. Sanchez valued her family's safety over Rick's scientific experiments.
In "The ABC's of Beth", Beth asks Rick why would he make a clone of her so she can have some time for herself. He replies that it may have had to do with her mother, which indicates that Rick still cares about Mrs. Sanchez. This, of course, would turn out to be true, as Rick is burdened by the loss of his wife even decades later.
In "Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri", Diane was briefly seen from behind in a childhood memory of Beth as Rick was copying it to Beth's clone.
In "Mortyplicity", a decoy Rick starts to explain to decoy Summer "what happened to Beth's mom" before being interrupted, indicating that Summer (and possibly Morty and Beth) wasn't previously told about it. This may be referring to the Dimension C-131 version of Diane.
In "Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort", Rick and Birdperson took place in a crossfire against a group of Ricks. One of the Rick's mentions "killing us won't bring her back". Later in the episode, a memory Rick talking to the real Rick remarks "you're one of those creeps who moves in with adult abandoned Beth's." These quotes more than likely are in reference to Diane's fate.
In "Rickmurai Jack", Morty looks into Rick's past, and it's revealed that the fake memory Rick showed to Cornvelious Daniel was actually true. Both Diane and Beth were killed by a bomb sent by an alternate Rick, and in his grief, Rick went on a quest for vengeance to find the Rick who killed them and avenge their deaths.
- "The Rickshank Rickdemption"(flashback)
- "Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri"(flashback cameo)
- "Mort Dinner Rick Andre" (mentioned)
- "Mortyplicity" (mentioned)
- "Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort" (mentioned)
- "Rickmurai Jack" (flashback cameo)
Behind the Scenes
Until "Mort Dinner Rick Andre", the identity of Rick's wife and Beth's mother was ambiguous due to the nature of the flashback in "The Rickshank Rickdemption." The manner in which Rick denies being driven by a "totally fabricated backstory" led many to conclude the entire flashback was a ruse to fool his interrogator, indicating that the cause of Diane's passing, nay even her name, would remain ambigious. However, in "Mort Dinner Rick Andre", Diane is referenced by Mr. Nimbus, to which Rick angrily shoots it down as him establishing a canonical backstory. "Rickmurai Jack" eventually revealed the entire story was true, and the "fabricated" part was Rick coming up with the portal fluid formula.
Very little has been discussed about Diane Sanchez, even by the series' creators. Dan Harmon has said on multiple occasions that she was "unremarkable", later suggesting she was more comparable to Jerry, and that this was connected to Beth's idolization of Rick.
In "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind", Rick is shown with a memory of having sex with a blonde woman, but she was confirmed to be different from Mrs. Sanchez.
Giahna Pantano, an artist who did the variant covers for Oni Press' Rick and Morty Issue 8 and Issue 9, has created her own character named "Bonnie Sinclair", who some fans believe represents a possible "Mrs. Sanchez". Bonnie has become popular with fans.
- Diane's only presence in the show (thus far) has been through references and flashbacks.
- Diane was voiced by Kari Wahlgren, the same actress who voices Jessica, the Space Cruiser and the Garage AI, among others.
- The fate of Diane in dimensions where Beth survived is unknown, although the way Beth and Rick talk about her in both the Cronenberged Dimension and Replacement Dimension implies she is deceased.