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Over the weekend, McDonald’s ran a limited promotion bringing back its discontinued Szechuan dipping sauce, a product that returned to the public consciousness after being featured in the popular cartoon Rick and Morty. Some of Rick and Morty’s hardcore fans are probably pretty cool, but as a group they have a reputation for being dickheads and fancying themselves intellectuals. When McDonald’s didn’t release enough sauce to satisfying the slavering horde, the shit predictably hit the fandom. Let’s take a look at the aftermath of Saucegate, or whatever history will end up calling this disaster.
In 2017, it is impossible to just enjoy a funny cartoon show without something like this happening:
Even if this was a joke or a spoof of what this person thinks Rick and Morty fans are like, it inconvenienced the McDonald’s employees and other customers as much as the real thing. And the truth is, there are hundreds of sincerely aggrieved Rick and Morty fans flipping out on Reddit and Twitter because they didn’t get the sauce they wanted.
Cops are at Wellington McDonalds where tons of angry people lined up for hrs for Rick and Morty Szechuan sauce only to learn they had none pic.twitter.com/3T272osid4— Lulu Ramadan (@luluramadan) October 7, 2017
McDonald’s has apologized for the limited quantity, but that wasn’t good enough for the toxic part of the fandom.
And if a fellow fan suggests the sauce-wanters are overreacting, it gets even worse. Check out this Reddit thread, pointed out by the A.V. Club, where a fan received death threats:
Elsewhere, fans are threatening to boycott or even sue McDonald’s, for all the good that will do.
It got so bad that someone changed his Twitter display name to “Rick and Morty creator” and threatened to shut the show down because of its immature fans:
In light of recent events, I’ve made the decision to delete Rick & Morty. Thanks and love to all the fans for three incredible seasons.— autumn feeder (@alexqarbuckle) October 8, 2017
I regret creating Rick and Morty— autumn feeder (@alexqarbuckle) October 8, 2017
I cannot emphasize this enough: I created the show Rick & Morty and tomorrow I am going to destroy it by putting it in a river.— autumn feeder (@alexqarbuckle) October 9, 2017
I brought R&M to the river and a gull took it. It’s the gull’s show now. I’m done. Thanks to everyone, especially exec producer Jeff Dahmer.— autumn feeder (@alexqarbuckle) October 9, 2017
A lot of the responses are in on the joke, but some are genuinely angry Rick and Morty fans who don’t want the show to be drowned in a river. To be completely clear, Twitter user @alexqarbuckle is not the creator of the television program Rick and Morty, which was co-created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon.
Criticism of Rick and Morty fans has become as easy as shooting sentient pickles in a barrel. One of the most popular forms is a joke that suggests “who gets a special sauce for their McNuggets” is pretty low on the list of things worth caring about. Couldn’t Rick’s quest be for something more worthwhile instead?
In the next season can Rick be mad he can't get universal healthcare please— H. Bomberguy (@Hbomberguy) October 8, 2017
Next season Rick should get obsessed with giving blood or organ donation or something— aShadyMidnightTweet (@AsaWearsBarre) October 9, 2017
i hope next season rick talks about how much he wants to bring back unions— Senator Meow⛄ (@SenatorMeow) October 8, 2017
Rick and Morty season dedicated to Rick demanding McDonalds get guns out of America next, please.— Syama Mishra (@SyamaMishra) October 9, 2017
Another popular joke is editing the official McDonald’s statement to scorn the obsessed fans who waited in line for hours to have a chance at the sauce:
The most ironic, saddest part of all of this is that the ‘smart’ fans who identify with the character of Rick, a depressed and dissatisfied genius with a hole inside him that can never be filled, are missing the point. The sauce was just a joke by Justin Roiland about the totally arbitrary nature of Rick’s adventures. McDonald’s was just clever enough to turn it into a promotion.
Sadly, the creators of the show have once again been forced to disavow their fans:
FYI: We had nothing to do with this McDonald's stuff. Not happy w/how this was handled. Please be cool to the employees it's not their fault— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) October 8, 2017
Not cool, Rick! Not cool!
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.