McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce Disaster Has ‘Rick and Morty’ Fans Calling for a Boycott

Police controlled crowds at McDonald’s units after thousands of fans were left without sauce

McDonald's "super-limited" Szechuan Sauce promotion made fans furious.

In 1998 McDonald’s released a limited-edition Szechuan Sauce as part of a tie-in promotion with Disney’s Mulan. People enjoyed it, and then most promptly forgot about it. Now, however, fans of Adult Swim’s popular cartoon Rick and Morty have turned it into a must-have cult item. A bottle of the stuff sold on eBay for $15,000 recently after a heated bidding war. In response to all the viral attention, McDonald’s announced that it would bring back the Szechuan Sauce for a one-day only promotion. Unfortunately, that day turned into a total disaster. Police were called to some locations, and fans are calling for a boycott.

Szechuan Sauce was available at a few participating McDonald’s locations at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 7. A single unit of the sauce could be had along with the purchase of a 4-, 6-, or 10-piece serving of McDonald’s new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, and the sauce was limited to one per customer.

McDonald’s was clear the sauce would be available in limited quantities, but fans were stunned by just how limited it was. Some fans waited in line for hours, but the sauce was gone almost instantly. Some stores reportedly received only 10 or 20 packages of sauce, when there were hundreds of people in line. Other stores said they never received the promised sauce at all.

Fans were furious, and the Szechuan Sauce lines at some locations turned into protests, with people waving signs and chanting “We want sauce.” At some locations, police showed up for crowd control.

The Szechuan Sauce craze started on social media, and disappointed fans have been raging on Twitter since the debacle began.


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Some fans are calling for boycotts, and some are calling for lawsuits. Several Tweeted that Wendy’s would never have left so many people hanging like that. Szechuan Sauce may have been a “super-limited” promotion, but it’s likely to go down as one of McDonald’s most spectacular failures.