Image: Cartoon Network
Over the weekend, McDonald's made an offer to Rick and Morty fans: come to our restaurants, and claim the Szechuan Sauce your favourite amoral cartoon scientist adores. It didn't go as planned.
The Rick and Morty fans (what's their fandom name? If they don't have one, I have a proposal: Morticians.) came out in droves. And while some got their sauce — our very own Charles Pulliam-Moore called it "ok" — plus a cute poster to commemorate the occasion, reports are that many McDonald's locations did not have the sauce packets in quantities anywhere near sufficient to meet demand.
Many took to Twitter to document the pandemonium that their local burgery had become, descended upon by a mob of condiment-lacking customers from the saddest of timelines: ours.
— Brandon Kronz (@BrandonKronz) October 7, 2017
Cops are at Wellington McDonalds where tons of angry people lined up for hrs for Rick and Morty Szechuan sauce only to learn they had none pic.twitter.com/3T272osid4
— Lulu Ramadan (@luluramadan) October 7, 2017
Common theme, I tried two in Delaware that @McDonalds website said had it, and they say they never got it. Seems like a bait and switch.
— Kyle Grantham (@kylegrantham) October 7, 2017
While I have to imagine most people were chagrined but largely genial, some fans did not take this well. At all.
— Ian ??? Sikes (@ianjsikes) October 7, 2017
I've had some difficult experiences at McDonald's, but I don't think my fast food order has ever required a police intervention. McDonald's also took to Twitter to confirm the very limited quantities of the sauce and apologise for what seemed to be, for a lot of McDonald's locations across the country, an absolute ordeal.
The best fans in the multiverse showed us what they got today. We hear you & we're sorry not everyone could get some super-limited Szechuan.
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) October 7, 2017
The replies to this are something else. I really identify with this guy, who just wished Wendy's had stepped in to provide relief during this crisis:
It's sauce. Why is it super limited? You're a global chain & making enough sauce for 1 day is too hard? @Wendys would have crushed this
— Deric Ortiz (@helloiamderic) October 7, 2017
Even Kurt Eichenwald, Newsweek senior writer and noted hentai viewer, weighed in.
Wow...who's getting fired for this bonehead move? Jerry? I didn't care either way, but I knew R&M fans are hard core & thousands would show.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) October 7, 2017
We've reached out to McDonald's for more information on what exactly went wrong, but as of press time they haven't responded.
So, listen, it's clearly ridiculous that in this year of our eldritch lord 2017 anyone would start shouting or protesting or whatever about a limited-time condiment run. But I'm inclined to lay a lot of blame for this on McDonald's corporate. This company practically invented limited-run fast food fanaticism with the McRib, and one would hope they could manage demand a bit more effectively than this.
I don't really get the excitement over the Szechuan sauce, but it was clearly important to some people, and I try not to judge people for liking things I don't understand (wild overreactions excluded). And when McDonald's incites demand for something like this and then fails to meet that demand, the people who ultimately end up suffering are the fast food employees who have to deal with this mess.