On April Fools' Day, Adult Swim messed with Ricky and Morty fans. The channel screened the first episode of Season 3, slated to start airing this summer. It was a move right out of Grandpa Rick's playbook. Many thought it was an April Fools' Day joke and didn't tune in. It wasn't a joke. The world got its first Rick and Morty episode since 2015.
The lasting effect, beyond excitement for the new season, was that (SPOILERS COMING for Episode 1, Season 3) fans of the show are jonesing for McDonald's Szechuan sauce. As Rick explains while taking an intergalactic agent through a McDonald's drive-thru in a memory, in 1998 McDonald's offered Szechuan sauce in a promotion tied to the Disney film Mulan.
By the end of the episode, the sauce has managed to play a weirdly central role as Rick swears that his "series arc" is now about Szechuan sauce. "Welcome to the darkest year of our adventures," he tells Morty. "I'm not driven by avenging my dead family, Morty. That was fake. I'm driven by finding that McNugget sauce. I want that Mulan McNugget sauce, Morty. That's my series arc, Morty. If it takes nine seasons, I want my McNugget dipping sauce Szechuan sauce."