In April, the cult animated TV comedy Rick and Morty featured a bit in its surprise season premiere involving, of all things, a McDonald's promotion from 1998. Inside the mind of mad scientist Rick Sanchez, we see a memory of Szechuan dipping sauce, a Chicken McNuggets condiment released in celebration of the Disney film Mulan.
Because people want what they cannot have, the sauce became a viral sensation. Rabid Rick and Morty fans, desperate for any morsel of their favorite show after a long hiatus, seized upon the joke as a new obsession. Vintage TV commercials were discovered on YouTube. Jars of the sauce emerged for sale on eBay, and one drew bids for up to $15,000 before eventually being sold to Deadmau5 — yes, the DJ Deadmau5. McDonald's itself even gave away a limited supply when the show officially premiered over the summer.
It was a legitimate craze, but it's hard not to wonder what that sauce tastes like. Wonder no more: Szechuan sauce is coming back for one day only. According to a news release, the decision was fan-based: "We know there has been a lot of love for the sauce, and we are excited to give customers the opportunity to get their hands on it for the first time since 1998."
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Though the fast-food giant didn't partner with the Rick and Morty team, it acknowledges the part the creators of the show played in the decision to revive the special sauce. "Justin Roiland and the Rick and Morty show have had a lot of enthusiasm for our Szechuan Sauce. In fact, this year it became a pop culture phenomenon. We took inspiration from their passion, and we just couldn’t resist bringing back the sauce in limited quantities for our customers to enjoy for the first time since 1998."
As part of a promotion for its new Buttermilk Chicken Tenders, McDonald's is offering the sauce in select restaurants. The event will begin Saturday, October 7, at 2 p.m., and the sauce will be available only while supplies last. In addition, there are only four Miami-area McDonald's where you can find the special sauce, according to the McDonald's website. The Golden Arches really mean it when they say "really, really limited." Get there early.
- 1148 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables
- 9850 SW Eighth St., Miami
- 345 NE Second Ave., Miami
- 6405 Nova Dr., Davie
Customers who purchase the new Buttermilk Chicken Tenders October 7 can also receive a numbered limited-edition poster or sticker depicting one of ten dipping sauces. The posters were created by Delicious Design League and are available in limited supply at select McDonald's restaurants. For a complete list of locations offering the posters and stickers, visit buttermilkcrispytenders.com.