The marketing folks for fast food companies pretty much live for the chance to attach their products to hot pop culture brands, so when a hit show—like, say, Adult Swim’s Rick And Morty—lobs a slow, easy pitch at them—by declaring that one of their discontinued products is its “series arc,” for instance—it’s not super surprising that they’d take the swing. So while we’re happy to report that McDonald’s gifted the show’s creator, Justin Roiland, with a jug of its now memetically fabled Szechuan dipping sauce last night, just before the series’ third-season premiere, it doesn’t come entirely from out of left field. (Especially since Roiland—talking at Comic-Con last week—had said the company had told him it was going to be sending him some of his teriyaki holy grail.)
Still, we have to give kudos to McDonald’s for going all-in with the premise of this weird, cult-TV/archaic-condiment promotion. As shown in pictures Roiland posted on Twitter, the company sent him the sauce in a mocked-up futuristic suitcase, complete with claims that it comes from “Dimension C-1998M,” “a dimension where it’s always 1998.” (That’s clever enough that we can almost forgive the absolutely blatant plug for All-Day Breakfast that the company also inserted into its letter.) Plus, it sounds like dimension-hopping mad scientists aren’t the only ones who’ll get to sample the sauce; the letter notes that “a few lucky fans will also get to experience the glory.”
Back in April—shortly after the surprise premiere of “The Rickshank Rickdemption” forcibly injected the sauce into the minds of the Rick And Morty fandom—someone reportedly paid nearly $15,000 for a packet of the original stuff. (Hopefully that decision hasn’t suddenly spoiled as badly as a decades-expired sauce tub someone found in their old, dirty car.) Roiland—whose own obsession with the dipping sauce, originally intended to promote Mulan, ultimately dripped its way into the show—has said he intends to do a taste-test with co-creator Dan Harmon, the better to catalog any “disappointing reactions” from his (and Rick’s) life-long quest.