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Police Called in to Control Rick and Morty Szechuan Sauce Fiasco at La Brea McDonald’s

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300 fans waited for 20 packets of sauce

Szechwan sauce line at McDonald’s
Mona Holmes Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater LA and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. In 2022, she was nominated for a 2022 James Beard Award.

Police intervened on Saturday after 300 people became rowdy at the La Brea and San Vicente McDonald’s when a promotional event went awry. Last week, McDonald’s announced limited availability of the discontinued Mulan’s Szechwan dipping sauce recently referenced in season three of the animated series, Rick and Morty. The PR blunder happened after the fans became angry at the limited supply.

McDonald’s created the chicken nugget dipping sauce to promote the 1998 film Mulan. The current internet hysteria started in season three in the animated comedic show that airs on Adult Swim. During “The Rickshank Rickdemption,” a character became obsessed with finding the discontinued sauce. Rumors and campaigns began on the internet, along with discussions and petitions. When McDonald’s announced the return of the beloved sauce, lines formed quickly down La Brea and San Vicente.

Rick and Morty fans took this seriously, lining up in costumes and walking memes. But the organizers only had twenty sauce packets, ten posters, and a raffle system. Some forcefully made their way in the restaurant chanting, “Szechwan sauce!” And, “When I say Szechwan, you say sauce!” As some became physical, the police were called.

Earlier this year, a single packet of the original sauce (found in someone’s “old car”) sold for more than $14,000 on eBay.

The promotional company issued an apology and an announcement for the return of Mulan’s Szechwan to limited locations this winter:

On Saturday, October 7, 2017, we were truly humbled by the amazing curiosity, passion and energy this community showed to welcome back Szechuan Sauce–even if just for one day. Thank you, a million times over.

Between the costumes, the memes and the cross-state travel, you, the fans, showed us what you got. And our super-limited batch, though well-intentioned, clearly wasn’t near enough to meet that demand.

“Not cool.”

We agree. So, we’re gonna make this right. In the last 24 hours, we’ve worked to open any portal necessary. And it worked.

Szechuan Sauce is coming back once again this winter. And instead of being a one-day-only and limited to select restaurants, we’re bringing more–a lot more–so that any fan who’s willing to do whatever it takes for Szechuan Sauce will only have to ask for it at a nearby McDonald’s.

We want to make this right. You’re some of the best fans in this, or any, dimension…and we plan to deliver on that promise as soon as possible. Stay tuned.

-Your friends at McDonald’s