McDonald’s is bringing back Szechuan Sauce after it was featured on Rick and Morty this season, but only for one day and only at specific locations.
Szechuan Sauce will be made available at select McDonald’s locations only on Saturday, Oct. 7. This is in conjunction with the release of Buttermilk Crispy Tenders and a new signature sauce, so it’s really just a way to get customers in stores to promote those two products. McDonald’s describes this as a one-time only, limited edition run of Szechuan Sauce.
To find the nearest participating location, you can visit this page on the McDonald’s website. Simply select your state, pick your city, and a McDonald’s location will come up. You have to make sure that the location says “Szechuan available” in bold, though. A lot of the stores listed will have the Buttermilk Crispy Tenders and signature sauce but won’t actually have the Szechuan Sauce available.
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) October 1, 2017
As you can see by looking through the location list, the Szechuan Sauce is fairly limited. In New York, for example, 31 locations are participating in the event, but only 12 of them actually have the Szechuan Sauce. It’s even more limited elsewhere, with some states only having a handful of stores that are participating.
The Szechuan Sauce will only be available to those who purchase Buttermilk Crispy Tenders beginning at 2:00 p.m. local time. It also won’t be available to those who use the drive-through. The select locations are giving away limited edition Szechuan Sauce posters as well, which are clearly inspired by Rick and Morty.
In an episode of Rick and Morty that originally aired on April 1, Rick Sanchez goes on an extended rant about the fact that he is obsessed with Szechuan Sauce, a type of sauce that McDonald’s introduced in 1998 to promote Mulan. In the episode, Rick visits a McDonald’s back in 1998 just so that he can get this sauce, and later, another character notes how delicious it is. At the end of the episode, Rick insists that his arc in the series is not learning to become a better man but figuring out a way to get Szechuan Sauce.
Szechuan Sauce became a meme almost immediately after that episode aired, and the show’s official Twitter account begged McDonald’s to bring it back.
Please God, I don't ask for much, please let us gain enough cultural influence to force McDonald's into bringing back that fucking sauce.
— Rick (((and Morty))) (@RickandMorty) April 2, 2017
McDonald’s got in on the fun, responding to the Rick and Morty account on Twitter and then sending a tub of the sauce to the series’ co-creator and voice of Rick, Justin Roiland. It also gave away some jars of Szechuan Sauce to Rick and Morty fans as part of a contest in July.
Holy shit. pic.twitter.com/vNEIfHTmNU
— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) July 30, 2017
Some fans had speculated that McDonald’s might bring back the sauce to promote the live-action remake of Mulan. They might still do that, but that film doesn’t hit theaters for another few years, and so McDonald’s apparently wanted to capitalize on the hype before it was too late.