Think of it as a form of the old expression, "no good deed goes unpunished" — or maybe more like, "no good pop culture reference goes untouched if a company can make a dime off of it." Maybe that's a little too wordy, but you get the point — especially if you're a fan of Adult Swim's Rick and Morty and you were tempted for a taste of that precious Szechuan sauce. To that end, series co-creator and voice actor Justin Roiland feels your pain and apologizes for how it all went down.
TMZ caught up with Roiland at LAX to get his thoughts on the McDonald's Szechuan sauce debacle, and he had a lot to say.
As intensely devoted as the Rick and Morty fan base can be, even Roiland was surprised by reports of long lines outside of McDonalds and employees being harassed:
"It's absurd. It became a collector thing, and it's just a f*cking dipping sauce, guys. I was bummed out, really, for the workers. The whole thing was bad on every side. I could see every side of it."
The Szechuan sauce's "15 minutes of fame" started with Rick and Morty's Season 3 premiere ("The Rickshank Rickdemption"), where Rick reveals to Morty that the Mulan-promoting sauce is going to be their "muse" for their upcoming adventures. McDonald's chose to capitalize on the interest, but limited supplies and confusing messaging resulted in a less-than-stellar experience for fans and restaurant employees alike:
"It was a bummer because the fans assumed there was more, and there wasn't. The poor workers who were getting harassed by the fans, which I get, they were upset, they waited all night or however long in line. The whole thing was a sh*t show. All that stuff was a joke in the show and then McDonald's said, 'Let's use this, let's go with this.' Good on them, that's good marketing."
Though for Roiland, if there's one silver lining to be taken from all of this, then it's word that some fans are auctioning samples of the sauce online for serious money:
"Listen, if you can get a thousand dollars, pay your bills, feed your kids, whatever, do it."
Roiland doesn't believe this is the last we've seen of the Szechuan sauce, but he does think McDonald's will be better prepared next time:
"I think what they'll probably do, hopefully, is that they'll release enough for everybody to try it, which would be nice."
We know Roiland enjoys the sauce, but the other writers? Umm…
"Well, listen: I think it's good. Some of the other writers thought it was disgusting."