If you’re going to ride a pop culture trend, you’ve got to ride it full send — and that’s why McDonald’s says it’s bringing back its Szechuan dipping sauce. Again.
McDonald’s originally introduced the limited batch of Szechuan sauce in 1998 to coincide with the release of the Disney film “Mulan.” Last fall, the sauce was referenced by Cartoon Network’s popular Adult Swim show, “Rick and Morty,” leading McDonald’s to briefly rerelease the sauce — and leading to full-on riots when the very limited supply ran out.
The fast food chain apologized after the fiasco, saying it had not expected such high demand.
“We did not anticipate the overnight crowds, the cross-state travel and the amazing curiosity, passion and energy fans showed,” McDonald’s said. “Our super-limited batch, though well-intentioned, clearly wasn’t near enough to meet that demand. We disappointed fans, and we are sorry.”
Now, according to CNBC, McDonald’s is planning to ship 20 million packets of the beloved sauce to stores in its endeavor to “fully make amends.” The sauce will be available starting Feb. 26. It’s not clear just how limited this batch will be or whether any additional packets will be produced and shipped after the 20 million.
It all started with a Season 3 episode of the show in which Rick — a drunken, old, mad scientist — swears to his grandson Morty that he will get his hands on some of the legendary “Mulan Szechuan teriyaki dipping sauce,” no matter what it takes.
“I’m not driven by avenging my dead family, Morty,” Rick rants. “I’m driven by finding that McNugget sauce. That’s my series arc, Morty. If it takes nine seasons, I want my McNugget dipping sauce.”
After the episode aired, the show’s cult following started a petition to bring back the sauce. McDonald’s jumped on the opportunity, releasing a limited batch of the sauce in October 2017.
The show and its creators were not involved in the decision to rerelease the Szechuan sauce and said after the riots they were not pleased with how the situation had been handled. Heading into the re-re-release, fans may want to bear these words in mind: “Please be cool to the employees; it’s not their fault” if the sauce runs out again.