Szechuan Sauce has been a fan favorite since its debut in 1998.
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McDonald's Szechuan sauce
Credit: Courtesy of McDonald's

If you're a Rick and Morty fan, a McNuggets aficionado, or just a nostalgia-loving nineties kid, you might want to take a seat before you read the next sentence. On Thursday, March 31, Szechuan Sauce will be briefly returning to McDonald's, but you'll need to move fast if you want to get your hands on a packet of this long-coveted dipping sauce. According to McD's, the sauce will be in restaurants "for just a few days, while supplies last" — and if we learned anything from its previous guest-appearances, supplies may not last long. 

McDonald's announced this big news in stages, starting with a cryptic tweet (and an accompanying Times Square billboard) that appeared last Saturday. "U should text me about the next sauce drop," the fast food giant wrote on Twitter, above the phone number 707-932-4826. That subtle hint — the number spelled out 70S-ZEC-HUAN — was followed by an official announcement that was posted at midnight on Monday. "Hi from Szechuan Sauce, say it back," it tweeted, along with a pic of five gold-foil topped packets of the sauce. 

Szechuan sauce will be available exclusively through the McDonald's app, and it will appear as one of the (free) sauce options that accompany any order of Chicken McNuggets. Customers can also purchase up to five packets of Szechuan sauce on the app. (The regular slate of dipping sauces — Creamy Ranch, Honey, Honey Mustard, Spicy Buffalo, Sweet 'N' Sour, and Tangy BBQ — will still be available.) 

The sauce collectors among us can also try to get the five different foil packets that, when arranged in a line, spell out the word "Szechuan" (and we'll be zero percent surprised if a full set appears on eBay). 

This is only the fourth time that Szechuan sauce has been available at McDonald's since it debuted in 1998 as part of a limited-edition Happy Meal promotion that accompanied the release of Disney's animated film Mulan. The sauce existed mostly in millennials' memory banks until an April 2017 episode of Rick and Morty, when a time-traveling Rick went to McD's in 1998 and ordered Chicken McNuggets and "as much [Szechuan sauce] as you're allowed to give me." 

Rick and Morty fans started petitioning McDonald's to bring the sauce back and they did, for a single day in October 2017. Restaurants were overwhelmed by customers who wanted their sauce (and undoubtedly annoyed by the ones who kept chanting "We want sauce"). After promising that "a lot more" of the sauce would return in the near future, McDonald's sent 20 million packets of Szechuan sauce to its U.S. restaurants, and it was available starting on February 26, 2018. 

We'll find out in a couple of weeks whether "WE WANT SAUCE" levels of Szechuan-mania are still upon us, or whether we've all grown up a little in the past five years. Either way, enjoy your McNuggets.