McDonald’s has apologized for leaving thousands of fans of the animated sci-fi show Rick and Morty high and dry after its restaurants ran out of special-edition Szechuan sauce.
One Twitter user in California posted a video showing a large crowd of people chanting “We want sauce!” outside a McDonald’s location. He said police were called to the scene after several people jumped the counter and stole packets of the coveted condiment.
Rick and Morty fans had thronged to McDonald’s locations around the U.S. after the chain hyped up the return of the “super-limited” Szechuan teriyaki sauce to menus, after a 19-year hiatus.
The sauce was last sold in 1998 to promote the Disney film Mulan, but made a comeback into the public consciousness after it was featured in a Rick and Morty episode in which the titular characters went on a mission to obtain the sauce.
This prompted McDonald’s to revive the sauce as part of a promotion to sell its Buttermilk Crispy Tenders. The fast-food giant had warned in its pre-sauce release promo that sauce supplies would be “really, really limited,” and challenged “Obsauced” customers to be one of the lucky few to get their hands on it.
Turns out thousands of people mistakenly thought they stood a chance.
In Florida, a reporter for the Palm Beach Post tweeted that police were summoned to deal with angry McDonald’s customers who lined up for hours only to be left sauce-less.
Meanwhile, several jilted sauce-lovers in Newark, N.J. brandished placards with the hashtag #Giveusthesauce.
One Newark resident made a video documenting the sauce rush at the same McDonald’s location; the first person in line reportedly showed up six hours before the sauce was to be sold.
While many were left empty-handed, dozens of enterprising sauce-scalpers put their condiment packets up for sale for eBay for hundreds of dollars.
The frenzy prompted McDonald’s to apologize on Twitter, although it didn’t say if it plans to bring back the Szechuan sauce again.