McDonald’s Cute Purple Blob, Grimace, Is In the Spotlight; Here’s Why
Ever since McDonald's mascot turned 52, the nation seems to have lost it. Grimace has been around for decades—five to be precise and yet he was a nobody for all these years. Many among the younger generations are only getting to know Grimace.
A recent TikTok trend brought the middle-aged blob to the spotlight. These videos usually start with somebody enjoying the shake and wishing Grimace a happy birthday. The spooky latter half of the video shows the terrible effects of the shake—purple goo coming out of someone's mouth or nose, people convulsing or being attacked by Grimace. They are like short horror films with dramatic music and intricate plots. Videos with the hashtags #grimace and #grimaceshake have 745 million and 632 million combined views respectively, per Forbes.
Happy Birthday, Grimace! pic.twitter.com/dnxIEVE2nn— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) June 27, 2023
Who Is Grimace?
Grimace is a fictional character created by McDonald's in 1971 as part of their marketing campaign at the time and he made his debut in a television ad. Initially, he was known as the Evil Grimace who liked to steal milkshakes. However, what is he?
"Our timeless bestie has become a fan-favorite and is known for his signature fuzzy purple look, friendly and playful personality, love for shakes, and of course — ambiguous nature. What exactly is Grimace? Perhaps we’ll never know," the company said in a press release.
Over time, the persona of evil Grimace shifted to a furry cute blob who become a lovable friend of Ronald McDonald. According To McDonald's Fan Lores, he can go long periods without speaking and has to add a "duh" in every sentence. After decades of introspection, Brain Bates the manager of McDonald's in Canada told CBC News that Grimace is a giant taste bud. However, in a tweet back in 2012, McDonald said that it is simply an "embodiment of milkshake."
@janinegutierrez Grimace is the embodiment of a milkshake, though others still insist he's a taste bud. :)— McDonald's Corporation (@McDonaldsCorp) May 7, 2012
Fun Fact: Grimace initially had four arms but that frightened the children so much that he was later recast as a cuter version with only two arms.
Why Is Grimace Suddenly Trending?
Despite appearing on television frequently, Grimace was not in the public eye for many years. Grimace made a comeback on his birthday (June 12, 2023) as McDonald's celebrated his special day with a special purple milkshake. The Grimace meal (which is adding to the TikTok hype) has a Big Mac/Nuggets, fries and a medium Grimace birthday shake. The shake tastes of vanilla with a hint of berry and some Reddit users called it a glass of fruit cereal milk.
McDonald’s made a joke about Grimace going viral by tweeting a picture of Grimace captioned: “meee pretending I don't see the grimace shake trendd.”
meee pretending i don't see the grimace shake trendd pic.twitter.com/ZTcnLTESC8— McDonald's (@McDonalds) June 27, 2023
Grimace Becomes an LGBTQIA+ Icon...
The mascot also became an LGBTQIA+ icon after being brought back for an interesting ad campaign by the burger chain. An McD spokesperson told Insider, "The best part about Grimace is that he means different things to different people. Whatever he is, we’re just proud our bestie makes people happy."
The fact that his birthday falls on Pride month might have to do with people associating him with the LGBTQIA+ clan. "HEY GRIMACE HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND HAPPY PRIDE," a user tweeted.
Response to the Grimace trend
People on the internet have responded to the Grimace trend with astonishment, confusion and puns, per TODAY. “The grime scene,” a TikTok user commented on one video. A second person commented, “I hope they catch the griminal.” Another user admitted that they did not understand the trend but they nevertheless found it "hilarious." For sure, people are deriving a crazy pleasure from how "unhinged" the Grimace trend is allowing everyone to be.
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