McDonald's Mulan Szechuan Sauce
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McDonald's Mulan Szechuan Sauce is a dipping sauce temporarily served by the fast food restaurant chain McDonald's in the late 1990s, which became the subject of many online discussions demanding its return following a mention in the Season 3 premiere of Rick and Morty released in early April 2017. Due to demand, the sauce was brought back for a limited promotional run at the end of 2017.
In 1998, McDonald's began serving a special Szechuan dipping sauce as a promotion for the release of Disney's animated film Mulan (shown below).
On April 1st, 2017, Adult Swim launched a stream looping the Season 3 premiere of Rick and Morty. In the episode, Rick Sanchez reveals he is obsessed with finding McDonald's Mulan Szechuan sauce while ranting to his grandson Morty (shown below, left). Additionally, the episode included a scene in which Sanchez goes to a McDonald's drive-through to obtain the sauce while accompanied by an insectoid alien (shown below, right).
On April 2nd, The Amazing Atheist tweeted a message encouraging McDonald's to begin serving the Szechuan sauce (shown below, left). Meanwhile, other Twitter users posted tweets about the McDonald's sauce, many of which demanded its return (shown below, middle, right).
Meanwhile, YouTuber Bob Hernandez uploaded a video of himself asking for the special sauce at a McDonald's drive-through window (shown below).
On Change.org, several petitions demanding the fast food company begin providing customers with the sauce at McDonald's locations (shown below). Over the next 48 hours, the petitions gathered thousands of signatures.
By April 3rd, many news sites had begun reporting on the trend including Time, EW, and The Washington Post. Contributors at Delish.com had also noted that fake eBay auctions for 'McDonald's Szechuan Sauce' had begun popping up, and by April 4th more than 30 fake auctions for the sauce or pictures of the sauce had been listed.
On April 2nd, Redditor Juleszz submitted a screenshot of a McDonald's Facebook page responding with Sanchez' catchphrase "Wubba lubba dub dub" to a post about the sauce (shown below, left). Within 24 hours, the image garnered more than 20,500 points (92% upvoted) and 730 comments on /r/rickandmorty. Meanwhile, the official @McDonald's Twitter feed replied to the @RickandMorty feed with a chicken nugget-themed variation the catchphrase (shown below, right).
On April 3rd, McDonald's Manager of Culinary Innovation, Mike Haracz, responded to Twitter users @McD_Truth and @AshleyLutz stating that he'd "see what he could do" (shown below). The reply was quickly noted by various websites including The Daily Dot and Business Insider.
Several months later, on July 29th, Justin Roiland, the creator of Rick and Morty tweeted that he had received a container of the sauced. Under the caption "Holy shit," he posted a picture of a container of Szechuan sauce. The post (shown below) received more than 140,000 retweets and 340,000 likes in three months.
Limited Release Promotion
On October 2nd, McDonald's announced that they would be bringing the Szechuan sauce back for one day on October 7th, as a promotion for their Buttermilk chicken tenders. The promotion included the distribution of posters with artistic representations of McDonald's dipping sauces, as well distribution of the Szechuan sauce at select locations. On October 7th, several YouTube channels posted reviews of the dipping sauce for those unable to try (seen below left).
Due to the limited distribution of the sauce, as well as the overwhelming turnout in some stores, many customers left empty-handed after showing up to get the sauce and with some locations not even getting the sauce at all (above right). In a response posted to their Facebook, McDonald's issued the following statement (shown below). Additionally, several Twitter users posted tweets about long lines at various McDonald's locations.
Meanwhile, YouTube Not Dan Harmon uploaded a video titled "Rick and Morty Szechuan Sauce 'Riot' in LA," featuring footage of inpatient customers chanting while waiting for sauce (shown below).
That same day, YouTuber Austin Buck uploaded footage of a man stomping a packet of Szechuan sauce on the ground, followed by a man in a suit dipping a nugget into it off the ground (shown below, left). The following day, YouTuber Chairman Mar uploaded footage of a young man jumping on a counter at a McDonald's and demanding Szechuan while yelling "I'm a Pickle Rick", "Reeee" before leaving the restaurant while running like Naruto (shown below, right).
The Sauce Podcast
On February 20th, 2018, McDonald's announced The Sauce, an investigative podcast similar to Serial, about the "P.R. Nightmare" of the szechuan sauce's limited release. The show tells the story of the re-release of the sauce from the perspective of McDonald's. That day, an introduction to the show was uploaded to YouTube. The post (shown below) received more than 14,000 views.
Two days later, on February 22nd, McDonald's released the three-part series of The Sauce and announced that they would be releasing the szechuan sauce at all McDonald's locations on February 26nd, promising 20 million containers of the condiment.
Rick and Morty's Second Favorite Sauce
Rick and Morty's Second Favorite Sauce refers to a series of jokes which suggest that if Rick and Morty did an episode where Rick was obsessed with having something else, it would similarly stir the fanbase of the show to fervently demand that thing. On July 30th, prior to the limited release of the Szechuan Sauce, Twitter user @KenPlume suggested that Rick and Morty do an episode where the characters demand universal health care, gaining 12 retweets (shown below).
The idea of the tweet was repeated with much more popular results on October 9th, 2017 by Dan Sheehan, gaining over 84,000 retweets and 256,000 likes (shown below).
This tweet became a snowclone on Twitter where people imagine various other things Rick and Morty fans would demand after Rick and Morty did an episode on it (examples shown below). Most centered around political goals.
 Change.org – Bring back McDonalds chicken nugget szechuan sauce
 Reddit – McDonalds responds to Szechuan Sauce
 Reddit – rickandmorty
 Twitter – @mcdonalds
 AdAge – McDonalds Mulan promo
 Change.org – Get Mcdonald to bring back the Szechuan Mcnugget dipping sauce
 Twitter – @Mike_Haracz Status
 The Daily Dot – Why McDonald’s should just give ‘Rick and Morty’ fans its Szechuan sauce
 Business Insider – McDonald's chef says he's looking into bringing back Szechuan McNugget sauce after a cartoon called for its return
 Time – Fans of Rick and Morty Want McDonald's to Bring Back Its Szechuan Dipping Sauce
 EW – Rick and Morty premiere ignites McDonald's Szechuan sauce craze
 The Washington Post – Trending: You can order Girl Scout Cookies on Amazon, but maybe you shouldn’t
 Delish.com – A McDonald's Szechuan Dipping Sauce From 1998 Is Now Going For More Than $99k On eBay
 Twitter – @JustinRoiland's Tweet
 McDonald's – Szechuan Sauce statement via Way Back Machine
 New York Times – McDonald’s Sauce Promotion Disappoints Fans of TV Series ‘Rick and Morty’
 BBC.com – McDonald's Rick and Morty Szechuan sauce stunt backfires
 Facebook – McDonald's Post – Oct 8, 2017
 Twitter- @luluramadan
 Twitter – @frenchhornist
 Twitter – @Vic_Alinaa
 We Want the Sauce – Szechuan Sauce is back, and in a big way.
 YouTube – Introducing: The Sauce
pinkiespy - goat spy
Oct 08, 2017 at 09:37PM EDT
Apr 03, 2017 at 04:57PM EDT
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