Fan Culture Diaries: The Szechuan Sauce

The hit Adult-Swim series, “Rick and Morty” is a sci-fi adventure about a mad scientist named Rick Sanchez that travels dimensions with his grandson Morty. On the first episode of their third season that premiered on April Fool’s Day, Rick mentions a limited edition McDonald’s sauce called the Szechuan Sauce. Suddenly, the demand for the sauce rose as people were selling them for one thousand dollars on Ebay. This sauce was a promotion for the Disney animated film, “Mulan” that premiered in 1998.

Photo via Eater

On July 2017, McDonald's gave “Rick and Morty” creators, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon the sauce to celebrate the rest of the season’s episode releases.

Photo from twitter

Both creators auctioned and raffled off jars of the sauce, and even the case, to fans to raise money for charities and events such as Hurricane Harvey.

On October 7th, 2017 McDonald’s released the Szechuan sauce in various locations. It was a chaotic day to remember. The company underestimated the “Rick and Morty” fanbase by having a small number of sauces and posters. Thousands of fans lined up as early as 3:30 am. Videos of people rioting over a small packet of sauce were spread over the internet. Such as this one.

I asked a “Rick and Morty” fan group if they had some interesting stories about waiting for the sauce. A couple of McDonald’s locations didn’t even have the sauce but only had posters. Employees of different locations have tried to handle the crowds by handing out numbers to identify the people that were first to line up in order to make it fair.Photo from Sky Klinkradt via Facebook

There were also some heartwarming stories from the chaotic queues such as the man who won a Szechuan sauce raffle shared his sauce to a hundred people in line. A crowd of people applauded a thirteen-year-old boy who was first in line when he redeemed the sauce.

The next day, McDonald’s officially apologized for the limited supply of the sauce. They announced that they will have a bigger supply of the sauce soon.

Photo by McDonald’s via Facebook

So, if you’re attending a fan event such as this one. Be prepared to meet interesting people.

Header from NBC Chicago via McDonald's