The McRib Has Dropped Early For Some People This Year [Updated]

That classic weird boneless patty with a cult following celebrates a milestone birthday this year.

Updated post, October 29, 2021: There have been individual reports that the McRib has, in fact, dropped early in some locations. Its official debut is supposed to be on November 1 this year. But some customers have managed to witness the annual resurrection of their favorite rib-shaped ground pork patty baptized in sweet barbecue sauce a touch early. USA Today reports that customers have spotted it on the McDonald's app in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City.

I can confirm that at least one location is already selling the McRib in the Chicago area; a friend of mine who's a McRib superfan posted his win on social media. This year also features a new addition to the McRib drop: McDonald's first NFT. (I see some of you rolling your eyes right now.)

If you're seeking the digital collector's item, you've got to follow McDonald's on Twitter and retweet its Sweepstakes Invitation tweet sometime between November 1 and November 7 (your account must be public). On November 12, 10 people will be selected to get a hold of what'll probably be a piece of digital art that's bound to be worth a lot of weird cyber currency in the future.

Original post, September 30, 2021: Forget pumpkin spice lattes, everyone. The real spiritual transition into cool weather is the moment the return of the McDonald's McRib is announced. This year, the McRib makes its triumphant return on November 1, and it's celebrating its 40th birthday. Who knew that the McRib and I are the same age?

Now that I think about it, maybe we're long-lost twins. I mean, I'm always covered in barbecue sauce stains and smell vaguely like pork.

I'll always order that weird boneless pork patty dunked in barbecue sauce, topped with pickles and onions, on that oval bun, at least a few times a year while it's in season. The sandwich is fun, but it's made all the more exciting by its limited-time-only presence—a reminder that we all have seasons of our lives that are only fleeting, and that they should each be celebrated to their fullest. Please meditate on this for a moment.

"In the 80s, the masterminds behind McDonald's food innovation had a truly unique idea: an undeniably delicious sandwich that could be enjoyed during the colder seasons," said Senior Archives Manager at McDonald's, Mike Bullington, in a press release sent to The Takeout. "Whether you're a McRib loyalist or first timer, there is no denying that the McRib is one of the most iconic sandwiches of the last four decades and we have thousands of emails and tweets from fans to prove it."

First of all, there are archive managers at McDonald's? Second of all, there are archive managers at McDonald's?

The McRib was born in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1981, and has since made international appearances in France, New Zealand, and Germany. I wonder if it's as beloved overseas as it is here. My guess is probably not, but who knows? If David Hasselhoff has somehow become a cultural icon in Germany, surely the McRib has cultivated similar fandom abroad.

Cool story: One time I got a McRib, except it came on a hamburger bun instead of its typical oblong bread. While I don't talk about this often, I consider it a formative moment in my life. I just thought you should all know. In any case, mark your calendars: November 1 is the McRib return date, so get your bibs ready by then.