"The Simpsons did it" is a phrase often associated with the long-running animated comedy, now in its 29th season, that often tackles everything from pop culture phenomena to real life situations — often before those events actually occur in reality. It shouldn't come as a surprise that even The Simpsons wouldn't be able to avoid Szechaun Sauce, the McDonald's dipping sauce that has become a highly coveted item thanks to its mention in a season 3 episode of another adult-oriented animated comedy, Adult Swim's Rick and Morty.
showrunner Al Jean teased the sauce's appearance on this Sunday's new episode, "Grampy Can Ya Hear Me," confirming in another tweet the bottle Maggie is seen holding is, indeed, meant as "a little shout out to [Rick and Morty]."
yes a little shout out to R&M— Al Jean (@AlJean) November 2, 2017
The sauce has caused quite the stir on and off the internet since its mention in the irreverent Rick and Morty: the chicken nugget sauce had a limited run at McDonald's restaurants in promotion of the 1998 Disney animated film Mulan. In April's season 3 Rick and Morty premiere, "The Rickshank Rickdemption," Rick is held prisoner by the alien Cornvelious Daniel, and shares with him his passion for the limited edition sauce.
"I want that Mulan McNugget sauce, Morty," Rick says at the end of the episode. "That's my series arc, Morty! If it takes nine seasons!" Fans of the animated comedy even petitioned McDonald's to bring back the sweet nectar of the gods, deeming it "the best sauce known to man," adding that it would be a "tragedy" for Szechaun Sauce to never make what would surely be a celebrated return in light of Rick and Morty's popularity.
The sauce has been highly coveted by fans of the animated comedy ever since it was name-dropped in the popular Adult Swim 'toon, leading McDonald's to resurrect the limited edition sauce for a brief period.
October 7 saw McDonald's releasing giving away "collectible sauce-themed posters" and "a one-time only, limited-edition run of Szechaun Sauce" in select restaurants. The extremely limited quantities went fast, inspiring outrage and even police response. After underestimating the demand for the edible accessory, McDonald's announced the returnof Szechaun Sauce:
"Szechuan Sauce is coming back once again this winter," McDonald's said in an October 8 statement. "And instead of being 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."
The Simpsons and Rick and Morty previously ran into each other in a "couch gag" inspired by America's favorite animated family, which you can watch above.
The Simpsons airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on FOX.