In one of the weirder food-nostalgia trends of recent years, McDonald’s brought back a dipping sauce it served 20 years ago, thanks to “Rick and Morty” fans.
“Rick and Morty” fans looking forward to Monday as their day for another chance to score McDonald’s once-discontinued Szechuan dipping sauce found themselves fried yet again over problems getting the condiment.
On social media, some fans reported their McD’s locations didn’t have the promised sauce, had never heard of it or wouldn’t provide it to them unless they ordered chicken tenders, not chicken McNuggets.
McDonald’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Not all restaurants faced issues. I went to a Seattle McDonald’s Monday afternoon and had no problem ordering the sauce with both chicken tenders and chicken McNuggets. The counter staffer knew about it and said it could be ordered with “anything that could be dipped.” (Taste-test review: It tastes a lot like a simple teriyaki sauce to me — fine, but I’d rather have sweet and sour.)
The sauce comes with a complicated backstory. Fans of Adult Swim’s cult favorite animated show have been clamoring for McDonald’s to bring back Szechuan dipping sauce since the discontinued dip got mentioned on the show in 2017.
The chain tried to make diners happy back in October, but only offered a limited amount of sauce, and only at certain locations. The sauce vanished quickly, leaving fans frustrated (well, some losing their minds actually) as they were turned away empty-handed, only to see the sauce turn up for sale online for big bucks. To cite a McD’s slogan, fans were not lovin’ it.
McDonald’s apologized, and last week announced 20 million packets of much-longed-for dipping sauce would be available at all US restaurants as of Feb. 26. The restaurant also produced a three-episode podcast about the bizarre events surrounding the sauce’s sudden fame.
It might be time to crank out another podcast episode, because once again, not everything went smoothly for everyone.
Lies!!!!! I am presently at a McDonalds, specifically for the Szechuan sauce and they don’t know what I’m talking about!!!
— Mac_Attack (@Kemical703) February 26, 2018
Hey @McDonalds somebody get with GrayCo in Nashville and get their heads unstuck. First they discontinue Coke Zero, then they change “large” cups to about 28 oz, now they’re refusing to sell #SzechuanSauce with Chicken McNuggets, said they’re only for sale with tenders! #WTAH
— Russ Johnson (L) (@AJBlue98) February 26, 2018
Location in Watertown NY told me that it wasn’t available until March 26.. when I told them they were incorrect they told me I was still wrong. Oh and also they were out of buttermilk crispers.. can I just get his damn sauce already gah
— KmackTime (@KmackTime) February 26, 2018
I went to my local McDonald’s today and they said they did not have any 🙁 they didn’t even know what it was. sadness
— Cdiaz9258 (@DiazCarlos2) February 26, 2018
So again, 10 packs per some stores. Are your sales so poor that you can’t permanently add one extra sauce flavor to the menu?
— Bi Disaster Budgie 💛💙🎁⛈️🌪️ (@budgiebums) February 25, 2018
After driving out for the sauce – Wormans Mill McDonalds in Frederick, MD says they did not receive the Szechuan sauce. #NotAgainMcDs
— caleb (@aphire) February 26, 2018
What the hell I went to my McDonald’s and almost missed school for this sauce and they said they didn’t even have it! 😢
— Vincent Lama (@vincentlamaaa) February 26, 2018
So I just found out the Stillwater @McDonalds does not have the Szechuan sauce today🙃 I may have cried a little bit in the drive through 🤧
— Carmen Coleman (@carmabeans) February 26, 2018
Just went to both of the @McDonalds near me and neither got the Szechuan sauce in of course… what the hell?
— Lee A (@leedfrazer) February 26, 2018
But some diners were able to get the sauce and shared photos and reactions.
Also served up? Plenty of jokes, of course.
McDonald’s employees tomorrow: The Szechuan Sauce machine is broken
— Max’s Coffee House☕️ (@Maxxers9119) February 26, 2018
I called my girlfriend at work to tell her there’s an emergency and that McDonald’s has #SzechuanSauce
She hung up on me
— Freya is Baeya (@LORDxMEATHOOK) February 26, 2018
If you absolutely had to try the sauce, might as well use a decent nugget.
— Wendy’s (@Wendys) February 26, 2018
Once McDonald’s gets the Szechuan sauce tangle straightened out, there’s no time for Ronald to rest. Calls have already begun urging the chain to remake another discontinued dipping sauce — hot mustard.
Szechuan sauce is whatever. What you neet to get back is the hot mustard. Hey @danharmon any chance you can turn hot mustard into another meme and bend pop culture to your will?
— Ry🍙n H🍙rtm🍙n (@RyanHartmanWins) February 24, 2018
Bring back the hot mustard and maybe I will eat at your restaurant again
— SMASH FOLEY TV (@SMASHFOLEY) February 26, 2018
We love your enthusiasm for the Hot Mustard sauce! We’re focused on other things right now, but we’re always evolving our menu to suit our customers’ diverse tastes, and you never know what the future might hold! Stay tuned!
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) February 23, 2018
What if Rick asks for Hot Mustard sauce in season 4. will you make it then?
— Mike (@StreakerMike) February 23, 2018
Imagine being a multibillion dollar company taking orders from a cartoon
— Tom McCarthy (@TMcCarthy34) February 22, 2018
First published on Feb. 26 at 1:49 p.m. PT.
Update, 3:01 p.m .PT: Adds personal experience ordering and tasting Szechuan sauce.
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