Rick and Morty’s McDonald’s Szechuan sauce is returning, but in New Zealand. The famed Adult Swim animated series has been a hit since its debut back in 2015, but some things about it are far more renowned than others.
In this particular case, it’s all about the Szechuan sauce. One of the program’s longest running gags is the apparent addictiveness of the packets of Szechuan sauce once provided by fast food giant, McDonald’s. The sauce made its debut in 1998 during what was then a tie-in with the release of Disney’s animated feature, Mulan. Intended as a dipping sauce for chicken McNuggets, it was only available for a limited time and soon after its release, it was removed from the restaurant’s menus. In the third season of Rick and Morty, Rick reveals that despite all his efforts to escape and destroy the Galactic Federation as well as the Citadel of Ricks and to drive Jerry from the Smith family, all he ever really wanted to do was get his hands on that Szechuan sauce once again. The sauce has held a highly regarded status among Rick and Morty fans every since. When McDonald’s caught on to what was happening, they rereleased the sauce in 2017, but demand outweighed supply. The end results were sheer chaos, with near riots and arrests occurring at several McDonald’s locations.
As bizarre as all this may seem, the sauce even prompted one fan to sell their packet for $24,000, and the demand for more has remained high ever since. Now thanks to The Otago Daily Times, we have learned that McDonald’s is once again bringing back their famed dipping sauce, only this time it will only arrive in New Zealand. Only 200,000 packets of Szechuan sauce will be available upon its arrival (March 4), and according to McDonald’s New Zealand Managing Director, David House:
“We wanted to give Kiwis the chance to try one of the rarest sauces in the world. There are 200,000 units of sauce, so that works out to be approximately 1 sauce for every 25 people.”
The limited time availability of the sauce will likely do nothing at all to quell the seemingly insatiable desire for it. Though New Zealand residents will be getting this highly sought after opportunity, there is no news regarding whether or not Szechuan dipping sauce will be returning to America any time soon. The resulting riots, arrests and genuinely insane behaviour prompted McDonald’s to release more of the sauce throughout its stores, but that too was quickly snapped up. Aside from its Rick and Morty fame, the sauce has become a common internet meme and McDonald’s apparently sent an entire jug of the stuff to Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland. As for New Zealand, the tiny nation is often cited as one of the safest places in the world – though that was before McDonald’s Szechuan dipping sauce arrived.
In all seriousness, it’s unlikely that what happened in America in 2018 will happen in New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean there won’t still be a high demand for the sauce. It also seems slightly provocative and antagonistic on the part of McDonald’s to not simply make the sauce a permanent fixture at its restaurants. That way, people who want to eat it wouldn’t have to clamour over one another, risk personally injury or travel to other dimensions in order to get it.