We started out wanting to do nothing more than in-depth taste test of Rick and Morty‘s infamous, discontinued McDonald’s Sezchuan sauce.
And, to paraphrase Pickle Rick’s therapist Dr. Wong, we got the impression that Rick and Morty fans valued science. So we conducted the most scientifically rigorous experiment possible.
Our comparative analysis of all the other McNugget sauces came complete with test subjects — courtesy of McDonald’s — and palette cleansers, ensuring the purity of our findings. We sought to answer the question: is a Teriyaki knockoff really worth the 9-season character arc that Rick ranted about in the show’s Season 3 premiere?
Then, the extremely limited supplies of the sauce offered at select McDonald’s over the weekend caused an uproar of backlash from fans who lined up for hours only to walk away empty handed.
Necessarily, our question evolved with the situation. We pivoted to: Could a promotional 1998 Mulan movie tie-in McNugget sauce really be worth wasting a single hour — let alone an entire Saturday — of your worthless, pathetic lives?
Shortly thereafter, all hell broke loose. And our experiment was irrevocably changed.
The fan outrage escalated into literal, IRL riots at McDonald’s locations across the nation that required police intervention. Scalpers like this industrious young man were found selling McNuggets dipped in the the stuff for $10 a pop to capitalize the rabid desperation of fans. Those same fans turned The 1 oz. packets and promotional posters went for hundreds of dollars, with even framed pictures of it selling within minutes for actual, real-life money.
Stunned — the Sezchuan sauce-dripped McNugget and source of all the chaos frozen in our hands — we were faced with answering a much more solemn question than originally intended.
What the ever living hell have we become, Rick and Morty fans?
The TL:DR answer to all those is: no, no, and cretinous sheep with no ability to think for ourselves. Because we can scientifically prove that this unremarkable McNugget sauce was, indeed, not worth the utter loss of human dignity on display at the Sezchuan Sauce Riots of 2017.
Yet the chaos that ensued over this garbage sauce still revealed a dark possibility: We might actually all be living inside a super meta episode of Rick and Morty.
Because while the creators had nothing to do with the McDonald’s promotional event, Rick and Morty fans basically conclusively proved their animated show’s most depressingly bleak assertions about human nature right.
And wanna know the worst part?
We reiterate: it’s a shitty sauce.
Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon was astute in his assessment that the sauce is “trying too hard.”
As one of our taste-testers said, “I could imagine this on some Lo Mein. But this is a McNugget.” Similarly, I concluded that it tasted like a drunken order of Seamless from the only Chinese restaurant willing to deliver at 4 a.m.
But when Rick and Morty fans lost their goddamn minds over this underwhelming sauce, they essentially became a Rick and Morty version of themselves. Or, at the very least, they turned into proof-of-concepts for each and every one of the show’s most cynical jokes.
For example, the IRL rioting looked eerily similar to another scene from the Season 3 premiere. In it, Rick demonstrates the inherent absurdity of ascribed monetary value by destroying the entire Galactic Federation with a single button press.
“Watch grandpa topple an entire empire by turning a 1 into a 0,” he says.
This minuscule change to the numerical value of the Galactic Federation’s currency causes a blood-soaked collapse of the empire within about 30 seconds. It’s an astute critique on the fragility of a society built on the fabric of this made-up concept, money, that we arbitrarily ascribe value to.
The joke hit much harder after Saturday, though, when a joke that went viral on the internet arbitrarily gave this garbage McNugget sauce insane monetary value — while also leading to the worst, most selfish human behaviors imaginable.
It would seem that, in our fervor to imitate the psychopathically intelligent cartoon character we loved, Rick and Morty fans became the cartoon villain that Rick is. Except we’re not a fun, satirical kind of cartoon villain like him. We’re just twirling our mustaches, wasting our lives in a pointless line, only to show the world that we can’t handle a single funny joke like civilized people.
I guess at the very least the fans who left McDonald’s empty-handed on Oct. 7 can rest assured that they indeed did become part of Rick and Morty history — by becoming living reminders of the show’s most cynical opinions on human beings.
So, despite the end of Season 3, Rick and Morty inadvertently held up the mirror to society one last time. And we saw ourselves, hands covered in metaphorical blood and literal McNugget grease, proving an asshole like Rick Sanchez right.
Existence is pain. Life is meaningless. Society imposes the compliance of livestock onto human beings. And everyone’s an asshole.
But, in the end, it was Dr. Wong who really got the last laugh.
Because, as fans of supposedly one of the most intelligent shows on TV right now, Rick and Morty fans tried to use the veil of intelligence to justify their own sickness. And now we’re all metaphorically covered in rat blood and feces because of the choices we made.