Rick and Morty Szechuan Sauce Controversy Explained

The szechuan sauce cometh and with it, end times. Rick and Morty has a long history with a certain McDonald's food item.

It all started with a simple joke.

In Rick and Morty season 3 premiere, “The Rickshank Redemption,” Rick Sanchez used his time traveling privileges to travel back to an era that was very important to him and to Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland. That, of course, was the time that McDonalds had a special Szechuan sauce as a promotion for the Disney movie Mulan.

Rick…really loved this sauce.

And soon so did everyone else as McDonald’s, ecstatic at its sudden new meme fame, began the process of bringing it back. First they sent a jug of the good stuff to Justin Roiland and the Rick and Morty writer’s room.

They enjoyed it.

Then McDonald’s decided to make the sauce available to the unwashed masses. This proved to be a disaster, tearing apart the fabric of reality into atoms. McDonald’s invited Rick and Morty fans to stop by on October 7, 2017 to get a taste of what set Roiland’s taste buds ablaze in 1998. Rick and Morty fans accepted this invitation but a significant portion of those fans neglected to heed the unspoken part of McDonald’s offer, which was “oh by the way, try not to act like raving lunatics and abuse our employees on the off chance your franchise doesn’t have the sauce in house.”

Police were called to at least one McDonald’s to calm the fervor of nerds chanting “We want sauce!” At another location, fans managed to slap together some makeshift protest signs, demanding more small plastic cartons of sauce that probably costs McDonald’s like 5 cents a pop to produce. Some fan(s) may have jumped over the counter and pilfered some sauce packets. (It is worth noting that a rumor has been going around that a person got stabbed, but in actuality that was just a good, old-fashioned McDonald’s stabbing and was not sauce-related.)

Fans also tweeted lots of pictures and video of huge lines at different McDonald’s locations, featuring a great deal of Rick and Morty cosplay. One couple from Canada crossed country lines only to fail to get the stupid sauce (what embarrassing conversations they must’ve had with border cops). One angry young, un-sauced man suggested bringing a class-action lawsuit against McDonald’s for false advertising and received a multitude of supportive likes and retweets.

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After the dust had settled and a bunch of McDonald’s employees who definitely do not get paid enough for this shit had probably one of the worst working days in recent memory, the Golden Arches put out this Twitter message:

Thankfully McDonald’s learned its lesson and left the Szechuan sauce in the annals of history where it belonged…for like all of five months. In early 2018, McDonald’s launched the curiously named website We Want the Sauce. The site announced that starting on February 26, the sauce would be more widely available throughout all of McDonald’s restaurants for an extended period of time. They also launched a podcast to apologize for the October 7 disaster and futher explain the origin of the sauce. Though the podcast has since been taken down for reasons unknown.

McDonald’s second attempt at rolling out the sauce seemed to go much smoother. There were no reports of chaos at various McDonald’s other than the usual chaos that occurs at various McDonald’s. The Szechuan sauce story pretty much ends there. McDonald’s reserves the right to pull the Szechuan rip cord whenever it wants to be a meme again. Some sauce packets occassionally pop up on eBay for $3,000 because this is a very normal time to be alive. 

Alec Bojalad is TV Editor at Den of Geek and TCA member. Read more of his stuff here. Follow him at his creatively-named Twitter handle @alecbojalad