The Beloved McDonald's McRib Is Briefly Returning For The Last Time Ever, Probably

McDonald's McRib generates considerable fanfare and excitement among its supporters on each occasion it returns for a limited time run. The seasoned boneless pork sandwich that's molded and shaped to resemble a rib comes smothered in a tangy BBQ sauce and topped with dill pickles and onions on a toasted homestyle bun.

If the approach to offering the McRib only during certain times of the year seems like a marketing strategy, it's because it is. The tried and true tactic of a limited seasonal release is employed by a myriad of fast food restaurants and casual chains to stimulate consumer demand. It's why when we think of autumn, we now automatically connect it in our minds with pumpkin spice season at coffee joints such as Starbucks and Dunkin' (per CNN Business).

More importantly to McDonald's bottom line though, despite having some ardent proponents, the McRib just hasn't been popular enough to maintain permanent year-round menu status (via Business Insider). The McRib has briefly returned once again through November 20, yet this time McDonald's has hinted that it could be the beloved item's final appearance (via People).

Is the McRib being McCancelled?

The McRib initially appeared on menus in 1981, but it didn't sell well and ultimately was relegated to a seasonal product. McDonald's found success in the limited time approach, and despite a couple windows of bringing it back full time, has primarily adhered to that strategy over the years (per People).

On its website, McDonald's has referred to this iteration of the McRib's limited release as the McRib Farewell Tour, prompting people to infer that we may now be witnessing the discontinuing of a cult classic. Furthermore, McDonald's urges people to "get one while you can" and to "enjoy our famous pork sandwich as if it's your last."

Of course one can be forgiven for being a bit skeptical of whether this is really the last time you can eat a McRib. In the musical world, rock bands are notorious for holding farewell tours and then reuniting for another "goodbye" once the money runs out. And the Golden Arches previously announced a farewell tour, of sorts, in 2005, perĀ USA Today.

Will McDonald's really cancel the McRib if it's still profitable to bring it back seasonally? If this does ultimately turn out to be the McRib's swan song, aficionados should know you can at least attempt to mimic the original by making our copycat McDonald's McRib recipe.