food

The identity of Grimace, Ronald McDonald’s purple pal, finally revealed

Last Updated: September 6, 2021

Written by Ariel C.

All of us are familiar with the yellow-and-red clad clown that represents our favourite fast food chain. In TV commercials, Ronald McDonald starred alongside his trusty sidekicks, Mayor McCheeseThe Hamburglar, Birdie the Early Bird, The Fry Kids, and Grimace.

It’s safe to say that the identities of these well-loved mascots are relatively easy to deduce based on their appearance, though the identity of Grimace has remained a question mark for the longest time. McDonald’s has also stayed unusually tight-lipped about its identity, leaving fans to wonder what Ronald McDonald’s purple pal truly is. Well, we finally have our answer.

Grimace—furry, purple, Grimace, is a tastebud. Trust me, I pinched myself. Brian Bates, who has worked for the fast food restaurant chain for a decade, confirmed it in an interview with CBC News. He’s apparently supposed to illustrate that McDonald’s meals taste delicious, and thus resembles taste buds and papillae.

This big revelation definitely left a lot of Twitter users shocked, many of whom claimed that they never knew what Grimace really was, but never expected him to be an embodiment of a tastebud. He was a villain in the McDonaldland commercials, and all speculation that he was a milkshake has been debunked officially.

Grimace played a major role in McDonaldland, portrayed as a well-minded simpleton with clumsy antics that provided comic foil to Ronald McDonald himself. He starred alongside popular characters such as the Hamburglar, one of the commercial’s original villains, who spoke in gibberish, Birdie the Early Bird, the first female character that debuted in 1980 to promote McDonald’s breakfast items, and Officer Big Mac, the chief of police who spent most of his time chasing the Hamburglar and Captain Crook, just to name a few.

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely using Grimace’s identity the next time I have to drop a fun fact in conversation.

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