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This weekend saw one of the most horrifying mass fandom meltdowns in recent memory - the 2017 McDonald's Szechuan Sauce Riots, fueled by pissed off Rick & Morty fans who were denied an apparently tasty condiment from local participating McDonald's restaurants. Apparently missing the joke that a nihilistic genius superscientist was obsessed with an arbitrary promotional sauce, they proceeded to flip out in cringey and legitimately horrifying ways, to the degree that police had to be called in on several occasions. In short, it was a dark, dark day for the Rick & Morty fandom (which has already been heading down a dark path). I mean, just watch this:

Yes, that really is some desperate fans (the ones who weren't rioting) scooping some crummy promotional sauce off of CONCRETE because a cartoon jerk grandpa said it was good. And thanks to this AskReddit thread, we got to hear of other tales of fandoms gone awry and the resulting freakouts:



1. From SW1TCH_D1G1TS, who remembers when McDonald's ran a Beanie Babies Happy Meal promotion in the late 90s and the unqualified nightmare that led to (and, speaking from personal experience, I begged my mom to get up at the crack of dawn to take me to the local McDonald's, where we waited in the drive-thru lane for approximately an hour and a half and still only got one Beanie Baby)

The Beanie Baby craze. 1998-2000 I worked my first job at McDonald's and people were fist fighting each other for them. Crowded as all hell on a Saturday afternoon, crying kids, and the police had to be called. Nowadays most beanie babies are worth diddly squat.



2. From CommentumNonSequiter, who remembers a kid who was obsessed with Hermione Granger to a degree that would even be upsetting to notable obsessive Hermione Granger.

In the fifth grade there was this kid in my class who was obsessed with Hermione Granger. Not Emma Watson, but her character from Harry Potter. I'm talking 15-20 different pictures in his locker and like plastered on his folders, binders, etc. In short: it was too much. One day a kid in our class called him gay and said he only like Hermione because she looked like a boy. Wrong move. He lost it. Instantly started crying. Bawling is a better description. Then after about 30 seconds of utter emotional meltdown he attacked the kid, clawing at his eyes, pulling hair, all the while screaming at the top of his lungs "Hermione Granger is beautiful! Hermione Granger is beautiful!". One of the strangest experiences of my life.



3. From tehweave, who knows that "nerds bumrushing a fast food restaurant over some pointless merchandise stuff" isn't just limited to McDonald's.

Saw a kid get tackled by BK employees over the gold pokemon cards.

Remember those Pokemon gold cards that came in the giant pokeballs that Burger King used to sell? I had friends OBSESSED with those damn things. Trying to get all 6... Or 10... I forget how many. They believed they'd be worth MILLIONS in the future. Our local BKs sold out of them very quickly, and I saw a kid jump the register and run to the back trying to find one. He thought "they had more in the back" and... I'm not sure what he was planning to do beyond that, but he definitely tried before being tackled and held back by several employees.

The 90s were a weird time. I feel like most fast food places wouldn't care that much nowadays to TACKLE AND PIN DOWN A CUSTOMER. But... Well, there ya go.



4. From Th3K00n, who saw a group of unruly teens REALLY MISS THE POINT of American Sniper.

Worked at a movie theater in high school. Our boss (obviously because it's his job) was very strict on Rated-R movies, and checking ID's. One of my co-workers was working box office on the night "American Sniper" came out. A group of obviously younger than 17-year-olds came up to buy tickets from him. He asked for their ID's, none of them even had permits yet. They asked him to just let it go, he said no. Then, the "alpha" of the group gets up against the class and starts threatening my co-worker's life, saying that he will go home, get his dad's gun, and shoot him, unless he lets the group buy tickets.

It's funny, because even if he sold them tickets, they would've gone inside to the usher, and the manager with the usher would've asked for their ID's and they would've been sent back outside for refunds.

Such is life in a crumbling suburb.



5. From aj_ramone, who recalls a glorious day in gaming history - the launch of Skyrim (back when midnight launches were still kinda a thing) - that turned sour.

Skyrim midnight launch. The only store in town that had one. Preorders only.

Now they did have copies they sold that weren't preordered but it was first come first serve. So it's not like the employees were being dicks about it.

I grab my preordered copy, my mate grabs his. Our other friend showed up about 10 minutes after we did so we waited for him. While we're waiting some dude walked to the counter and asked for a copy, but had no preorder. "Sorry mate, none left. We had very limited copies that weren't preorders".

Dude just fucking lost it. Started rambling about how fucked up his life his and his one piece of hope was Elder Scrolls. He literally starts the waterworks as he starts knocking shit around the store as he's leaving. Yelling at people for takinghisgame from him. We could hear himscreamingand I mean gut wrenching screaming, all the way down the road.

Guy was mentally unhinged.



6. From bcarton, who wants you to know fan meltdowns aren't limited to traditional cartoon/games nerds, but also Dolly Parton superfans.

Went to a Dolly Parton concert with my brother, and we had really good seats 10 or 12 rows back. It wasn't long before we realized the front rows was populated by a really high percentage of gay men. I had no idea that she was at least as popular as Bette Midler or Cher in the gay community.

Well, one poor guy just got emotionally overwhelmed, seriously. He was standing up a lot (everyone else sat), waving and yelling occasionally, and at one point started crying. Despite that, no one I could see really seemed to care, but maybe someone did complain.

Unfortunately, between songs security came over and told him he had to leave. They might have warned him beforehand, I don't remember. But they did make a big damn production out of it which wasn't at all necessary.

But Dolly was great - she stood there and thanked him, told him she was sad he had to leave, and told him to wait outside because she would send one of her outfits out to him to take home. I think she really meant it, and I hope that really happened.



7. From droscolla12, who remembers an otaku who assumed all "Japanese culture" referred to anime (when us normal folks know all Japanese culture refers to hentai).

Someone dressed as an anime character at a Japanese culture and history festival flipped his shit because there was nothing anime related and started shouting complaints at vendors and exhibit owners- he thought it was an anime convention.



8. From stabbypants, who now knows to NEVER mess with someone's waifu (regardless of whether she is aware she is his waifu).

guy was at an anime convention in tokyo and chats up one of the voice actresses that was there as a guest. later, on a train, one of the more awkward attendees confronts him and spazzes at him for daring to talk to whomever (because he was in love with her or something) - guy knocks him over and he runs off into the night.



9. From zerbey, who knows the last thing teenage girls want is for their dream boy to be an Irish-American lady.

Wife and I took our nieces to the Naruto movie premiere. Movie was good, lots of mainly teenage girls screaming and cheering every time Naruto had a scene.

Because it was the premiere, they had a documentary afterwards about the cast. Turns out Naruto is played by a middle aged Irish-American lady named Maile Flanagan (her parents must have looked up "Most Irish sounding name ever" in the baby book). Ever heard a several hundred young teenage girls fantasies just evaporate all at the same time? It was epic. There were tears, there were shouts of anger. I suspect poor Maile got some nasty fan mail.



10. From Jsm1370, who remembers the one entertaining part of The Phantom Menace: all the stuff that happened outside of the movie itself.

So, when the Phantom Menace came out there were lots of "Jedis" "dueling" with florescent colored pvc tubes in front of the theater.

I am not sure what saber fighting style a few of them were using, but in the ongoing sloppiness someone got hit with a pvc tube pretty hard.

What shortly ensued was a few real fights with pvc tubes and a multitude of red faced jedis reee reeing at each other swinging at each other like they were pinatas.

It was more entertaining than the movie.



11. From SGT_Chowdown, who wants you to never forget the infinite shame we as a culture must continue to endure for producing 'bronies'.

McDonald's had My Little Pony toys a few years back. The cops got called to the McDo down the block from my house because some fucking Brony went in for a Rarity or a Pinkie Pie (I can't remember which one it was), they were all out, and he straight had the most maximum fedora fit on the face of the planet. He tried to knock down the toy display to get the toy he wanted out of it, except it's bolted to the wall.

Found out later from one of the workers that it was the same guy I got banned from the nearby mall for literally following me everywhere I went. I was highly unsurprised.



12. From ronindavid, who knows that anime/JRPG fans are the last people you want to cross, even if it means drawing hundreds of them personalized pictures.

Yoshitaka Amano, the artist that created the art of the Final Fantasy franchise, attended an anime convention way back and severelyunderestimated his popularity in the U.S.

After his panel was over, he agreed to sign merchandise. But instead of just signing stuff, he DREW PICTURES, and even looked at other people's art work. The line for this weaved seeminly forever at the hotel, but he had a plane to catch and had to leave. A few fans went so nuts in line that he stayed until the entire line was done.

As much as I regret he had to deal with that situation, I was at the back of the line and still got a Final Fantasy book signed (with a VERY quickly drawn image of a girl) from the best gaming/fantasy illustrator in existence.



13. From detroitdiesel, from a time when Nintendo failed to produce enough of a certain product to fulfill demands, which led to some frustration (luckily, this never happened again, as far as I can recall).

When the wii came out I met a friend just to chill with him in line at 4am. The store had a limited number so they handed out tickets to the people already in line to make sure we got one. No long after a young kid (12-14) asked the clerk if there were any tickets left, but the clerk told him they were already out and he instantly looked heartbroken. Like, might begin to tear up shattered. Standing there I knew my friend was also going to buy one and I could play his so without a thought I just gave him my ticket. You'd think he just won the fricken lottery on Christmas morning. As soon as he ran to the back of the line the guy directly behind me is besides himself; "OH MY GOD. YOU COULD HAVE SOLD THAT TICKET FOR 100$. 50$ AT LEAST. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THESE ARE TO GET? YOU'RE SO STUPID. GOOD LUCK ON EBAY."

Tldr: Gave a forelorn tween my purchase ticket for Wii launch and guy in line couldn't believe it. Fuck flipping shit cash vultures. You're as bad as event ticket bots.