Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon treated fans to a nice April Fools when they jokingly announced the premiere of the long awaited Rick and Morty season 3. Only it wasn’t a joke. Adult Swim is live streaming the first episode on a continuous loop until Thursday 4/6/17 as a kind reverse-rick-roll reverse-April Fools joke. So approximately every 24 minutes starting from 5:00 pm yesterday the episode restarts on the Adult Swim website.
Without giving to much away an important gag in the episode involved Szechuan Dipping Sauce; a 1998 promotional Mulan themed McNugget sauce released by the McDonald corporation.
In Figure 1 is a graph of Google search trends for Szechuan Sauce in blue and approximate starting times of the episode in red.
Figure 1: Searches for Szechuan Sauce in the first 15 hours of the Rick and Morty season 3 live stream.
Although there is no strict relationship between search peaks and episode start times, there are still roughly two peaks every hour which corresponds to the two times the episode plays every hour. Peak viewing was around 10 pm (which is when I first viewed) and viewing dips slightly after midnight while people are sleeping only to pick back up the next morning.
It is interesting to see a show have this massive of an impact on culture. An impact that can actually be visualized by Szechuan Sauce.
The full season will premiere this summer.
Rick and Morty Live Stream (there may be issues with the link)
Szechuan Sauce (Excel File of Data)
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