TIL: Grimace from McDonald’s is actually… a taste bud?

September 07th, 2021

Have you ever walked into a McDonald’s and seen art of Ronald McDonald and his buddies, including Grimace the milkshake thief? If you’ve been to a friend’s birthday party at a McDonald’s when you were little, chances are you’ve seen the big purple guy. But have you ever wondered — what is Grimace? 

Well, I’ve got some news for you — apparently, Grimace is a taste bud. 

Yup, I know. It doesn’t seem to make a lick of sense (heh, get it?), but Grimace is apparently a giant taste bud, according to Brian Bates, the manager of a McDonald’s franchise in Windsor, Canada. Bates has been dubbed Outstanding Manager of the Year, and during an interview he revealed that Grimace is “an enormous taste bud, but a taste bud nonetheless.” He added that Grimace the mascot is meant to represent that McDonald’s food is delicious, hence his being a taste bud. 

The question of what Grimace is has actually been up for debate for quite some time now. Even Bates stated that McDonald’s had never officially said that Grimace is a taste bud, but it has always been what he’s been told all these years. 

In 2012, McDonald’s tweeted that the giant purple mascot is “the embodiment of a milkshake, though others still insist he’s a taste bud.” 

But in 2014, McDonald’s made yet another tweet, and this time they don’t sound sure about what Grimace is. In this tweet, McDonald’s said that according to Grimace lore, he is the “embodiment of a milkshake” or “a taste bud.” 

So which one is he? 

Grimace is a big purple guy who steals milkshakes and starts his sentences with “duh,” although it was never really clarified what he is and why he’s so determined to steal milkshakes. If the company created him to be the embodiment of a milkshake, then Grimace could be like Hamburglar, but make it milkshakes. Why is he purple, though? He’s not ube, as confirmed by McDonald’s Philippines in a tweet back in 2014, so he can’t be an ube-flavored milkshake. 

If we’re going to consider his being purple, then the “embodiment of a taste bud” idea might make more sense. Why? Here’s a fun fact: if you look at our tongues under a microscope, you’ll see that our taste buds resemble purple blobs — sounds like our purple pal Grimace, right? Besides, Grimace doesn’t even look like a milkshake. 

Even with Bates saying that Grimace is a taste bud, the question remains: what is he? Well, I guess he can be whatever we want him to be, kind of like the McDonald’s version of the pokemon Ditto. 

Wait a minute, isn’t Ditto also a purplish blob? *gasp* Could Grimace be a pokemon?


*POP! is currently reaching out to McDonald’s for more info. This article will be updated as soon as we hear from them.

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