2017 was a year of many memorable headlines, but the stories surrounding Rick and Morty's Szechuan Sauce have to be some of the most memorable. After creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland released an episode of Season 3 in which Rick obsessed over the discontinued dipping sauce, fans of the show pestered McDonald's to bring it back. The fast-food chain obliged, but the supply was far too small and resulted in an epic PR nightmare. Now, the company is going to bring the sauce back again, and this time, they're trying their best not to enrage Rick and Morty fans.
McDonald's is releasing 20 million packets of the sauce nationwide for Rick and Morty fans to enjoy at all US stores beginning at lunchtime Monday, February 26. The number essentially equates to hundreds of packets at each store that will be available for fans to devour, provided they make a qualifying purchase. USA Today reported McDonald's did not lay out any specifics of what fans will need to purchase to get their Szechuan Sauce, and instead stated the decision will be left up to the individual stores to make.
McDonald's could've stopped there and (assuming everything goes on as advertised come Monday) Rick and Morty fans would be satisfied. Of course, the fast-food giant can't miss a chance at good PR, so it commissioned a podcast called The Sauce to break down the whole debacle that was McDonald's original Szechuan Sauce re-release in 2017. The company dropped a promo for the podcast in a tweet promoting the Szechuan Sauce and made all three episodes available at a website titled WeWantTheSauce:
The podcast is meant to address the nightmare that was McDonald's first failed Rick and Morty-inspired re-release of Szechuan Sauce, which caused crowds to form at McDonald's locations that only had a handful of packets to give. Disgruntled patrons jumped on counters, cops were called, and McDonald's was left with its hat in hand after it completely bungled what was essentially free promotion by Rick and Morty. While it appears McDonald's has learned from its mistake this time around, no one will know for sure until the sauces roll in Monday afternoon.
Rick and Morty fans might be skeptical about giving McDonald's another shot considering just how poorly the company handled the release last time, but McDonald's Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations Jano Cabrera said the company has learned from its mistake. For those who may have thought McDonald's initial Szechuan Sauce release was just a tease leading up to an actual 2018 release, Cabrera laughed while telling The Sauce podcast that was never the case:
We're not that smart, and if the question is 'are you that dumb,' it's closer to the truth, but the reality is we're restrained by supply. And so, we did not try to create a limited supply, we tried to create the most that we could in the limited time that we had.
McDonald's will get its shot at redemption on Monday, February 26 at U.S. locations around lunchtime. Rick and Morty airs most weeknights on Adult Swim at 12:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. For some information regarding new and returning shows in 2018, head on over to our midseason premiere guide.