Rick and Morty, the Adult Swim animated science-fiction sitcom with a cult-like following (which currently feels more like an actual violent cult than a television show’s fan base), is in the news again after a minor scandal involving obnoxious fans, an attempt to capitalize on hype, and an elusive condiment called Szechuan sauce.
A brief synopsis for those of you unaware of why Szechuan sauce is now such a coveted condiment: In the show's third season, there's a throwaway joke about Rick wanting to dip McNuggets into Szechuan sauce, a since-discontinued promotional item McDonald’s timed to the release of the Disney film Mulan in 1998.
Rick and Morty’s obsessive fans demanded McDonald’s bring the sauce back, and McDonald’s obliged. The company initially announced that it’d be made available at secret stores, failing to disclose that only twenty packets of sauce would be given per location. This, paired with fans’ rabid need for the condiment, birthed widespread logistical issues, mayhem, and even police presence in McDonald’s locations around the country, documented on social media.
After McDonald’s became aware of the crisis they created for their underprepared employees, the company followed up with an announcement that there would be more Szechu-an the way (sorry): “You spoke. We’ve listened. Lots more #SzechuanSauce and locations. Details soon. And that’s the wayyy the news goes!”
Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland also tweeted about the upheaval, writing, “FYI: We had nothing to do with this McDonald's stuff. Not happy w/how this was handled. Please be cool to the employees it's not their fault.” Fellow co-creator Dan Harmon previously gave his unenthused impressions of the sauce's flavor, emphasizing that with McNuggets, “you just want something to taste like honey or like a BBQ sauce.”
This isn’t the first time Rick and Morty’s devout following has acted like an immature pack of sixth graders. When the show recently hired female writers for its third season, some of the base went berserk and targeted the women in despicable attacks on Twitter. Some of the women were also doxxed, with their personal information released online as a form of harassment. (A brief message to the insecure, sad excuses for men who did this: Writing a television show is a collaborative effort, and there’s no way for you to know who wrote what. Find a hobby and get over yourselves.)
This is all absolutely insane, and any adult who participated in these antics should be ashamed of themselves.