‘Rick and Morty’ just made a defunct McDonald’s dipping sauce the hottest thing online

They've gotta have their sauce, Morty!

Apr 5, 2017, 6:00 am

Internet Culture

Jay Hathaway 

Jay Hathaway

rick and morty season 3 episode 1 szechuan sauce memes

Adult Swim

Adult Swim’s surprise Saturday debut of a new episode of the beloved weird cartoon Rick and Morty has created a huge wave of online attention for an unlikely product: McDonald’s Szechuan dipping sauce, briefly released in 1998 to celebrate the debut of Disney’s Mulan. Mad scientist Rick’s all-consuming obsession with the sauce was a major plot point in the episode, and now meme dorks online are just as fixated on it as Rick was. Which is … a lot.

“I’m not driven by avenging my dead family,” Rick revealed as the new episode ended. “I’m driven by finding that McNugget sauce. I want that Mulan McNugget Sauce. That’s my series arc, Morty. If it takes nine seasons, I want that McNugget Szechuan sauce.”

Here’s the original McDonald’s commercial for the Szechuan sauce.

The best Rick and Morty Szenchuan sauce memes

Szechuan sauce mania has gripped Reddit’s me_irl, a trendsetting forum in the meme world, and posters there are incorporating the long-lost sauce into many of the year’s most popular memes.

You may recall that there’s already been a huge “sauce” meme this year—Gordon Ramsay’s quest to locate the Lamb Sauce—and it meshes perfectly with this new craze:

rick and morty meme : gordon ramsay tries to locate szechuan sauce physikitty13/Reddit rick and morty meme : young gordon ramsay locates szechuan sauce physikitty13/Reddit

The biggest meme of April, according to a leaked calendar that claimed to predict every big meme of 2017, was supposed to be the Estonian dwarf from The Simpsons. Thanks to Rick and Morty, though, it’s not. It’s Mulan Szechuan Sauce.

rick and morty meme : drake loves szechuan sauce plague_doctor8/Reddit

The Meme from the Future has also been sauce-ified:

rick and morty meme : meme from the future, szechuan sauce edition forbane/Reddit

Even this old meme about what parents name their kids is experiencing a Szechuan Sauce revival:

rick and morty meme : a kid named szechuan sauce mrmotey01/Reddit

Here’s the “man of culture” meme with “I see you’re a man of culture as well” edited to read, “I see a sause”:

rick and morty meme : ah sause man of culture meme rexyuan/Reddit

And here it is as part of the emerging meme “what fasion(sic) companies think men want to wear”:

rick and morty meme : fashion companies think men want to wear szechuan sauce mccleanme/Reddit

The sauce conversation isn’t just limited to mixing it up with existing memes, either. A lot of the jokes on r/me_irl are focused on obtaining the precious commodity or getting McDonald’s to bring it back. There are (contradictory) fake tweets:

rick and morty meme : tweet asking mcdonalds to bring back szechuan sauce dylanobilly/Reddit rick and morty meme : fake mcdonalds tweet saying we aren't bringing back szechuan sauce osrs_zubes/Reddit

There are even eBay listings for the sauce (which must be either fake or utterly inedible now)…. and printed-out photos of those eBay listings:

rick and morty meme : szechuan sauce on ebay hmbrcham/Reddit

There’s a lot of good news out there for the sauce-seekers out there, though. A number of websites have published home recipes that approximate the sauce, and a McDonald’s chef has even said he’s considering bringing it back. We may not even have to wait nine seasons.

The awesome power of ’90s nostalgia, combined with Twitter, Reddit, and Change.org petitions—more than 20,000 people signed one asking for the return of the sauce—can basically convince a company to do anything that looks profitable. If the internet can bring back Surge, the ’90s “extreme sports” answer to Sprite, it can surely bring back a dipping sauce.

And whether it succeeds or fails, the rare sauce looks like it’s going to be the meme of the month. Thanks, Grandpa Rick!

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Last updated Apr 5, 2017, 8:58 am