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Animated sci-fi series Ricky and Morty has become a huge hit on Adult Swim, and the internet fandom only grew during the recent third season. Many mega fans of Rick and Morty are quite passionate about the series, and they recently had the opportunity to live a little Rick and Morty in real life thanks to a McDonald's promotion that brought back the Szechaun sauce from the late 1990s that Rick mentioned in Season 3 footage and became a focal point for fans. It was a great idea, but it went very wrong when McDonald's didn't have enough sauce in enough locations to satisfy the hordes of fans. Here's what happened.
It all started back in April when a clip hit the web that featured a frenzied Rick yelling at Morty about his passion for the "Mulan Szechaun teriyaki dipping sauce," which was released as a promotion at McDonald's when Mulan hit theaters in 1998. The clip was hilarious due to how random it was that Rick's driving passion was Szechuan dipping sauce from the late 1990s. The situation escalated shortly after the clip debuted when McDonald's acknowledged the Rick and Morty reference on Twitter. Then, only a day later, the Manager of Culinary Innovation for McDonald's weighed in on Twitter, saying he'd "see what [he] can do" about bringing the Szechaun dipping sauce back.
Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland later revealed that the story of the Mulan dipping sauce as Rick's primary motivator came from his own love of the dipping sauce. Then, earlier this month, McDonald's announced that the Szenchuan dipping sauce would finally be available again to customers at select locations for one day: October 7. The release of the sauce would coincide with the release of 1,000 limited edition posters. Unfortunately, the October 7 release did not go as well as we can be sure everybody hoped.
Apparently, McDonald's wasn't kidding around about "select locations" and "limited edition," and fans discovered on October 7 that the Szechuan dipping sauce was not easy to find. Rick and Morty fans anxious for a taste of the sauce that drove Rick crazy lined up outside of McDonald's locations in numbers that McDonald's was not prepared for, as many restaurants ran out of the sauce or did not carry the sauce as stated. Fans... were not happy.
Some locations that were announced as participating received a disappointing number of the sauce packs, some with as few as 20. Fans who lined up for hours waited in vain as restaurants ran out of the sauce, some even protesting the shortage with signs while still standing in line. The hashtag #Givesusthesauce could be found on Twitter. Some Rick and Morty fans drove across state and even country lines in search of sauce, only to be disappointed on both the sauce and poster front.
While many fans kept their protests to social media, others were more hands-on to the extent that authorities had to be called in to control situations. At one location, an angry crowd of approximately more than 1000 people chanted "We want sauce" outside of one McDonald's that ultimately only had 70 packets on hand. At a San Jose McDonald's, a number of fans caused a scene inside of the restaurant, and footage has hit the web. Take a look!
Wendy's didn't necessarily help, as it (amusingly) fanned the flames with some tweets mocking McDonald's for running out of sauce, directing somebody to "follow the line of disappointed fans that didn't get the sauce" in order to find the nearest McDonald's. The criticism of McDonald's got so bad that Justin Roiland had to ask fans to "be cool to the employees" even though he wasn't happy with how the sauce situation was handled.
The good news is that the protests did not go unheard by the folks at McDonald's, as they released a statement acknowledging the shortcomings of the event and promising to bring a lot more sauce this winter. Take a look at the statement for yourself:
What do you think? Will the winter re-release of the Szechuan sauce be enough to make up for the October 7 shortages? Let us know in the comments! If you're looking for some non-Rick and Morty TV to watch now and in the coming weeks, swing by our fall TV premiere guide. If streaming is more your style, take a look at our 2017 Netflix schedule.