Grimace, McDonald's purple fluffy character explained at last

Grimace, McDonald's fan-favorite and pal to Ronald McDonald has long since mystified consumers

Grimace, McDonald's character's identity at last revealed
(Image credit: Eugene Gologursky / Stringer/Getty Images)

Grimace, McDonald's round, fluffy, purple character is just as iconic as Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar. Recently, McDonald's gave out free food to celebrate a very special day. So it's interesting that despite their generosity, they've kept the secret as to what Grimace actually is—until now.

He's cuddly, happy, has his arms stretched open wide, and looks ready for a big old hug whenever you are—okay but what is Grimace? Your days of wondering are over because, at last, it's been revealed.

The bizarre creature's purpose was revealed by the manager of one of the international food chain's restaurants. Brian Bates, who manages a Maccy D's in Canada, explained everything and it actually makes so much sense.


What is Grimace, McDonald's purple character?

Speaking to CBC News, Brian said that Grimace, "is an enormous taste bud, but a taste bud nonetheless."

People reports that, according to the manager, the role of Grimace is to show the food tastes good. Well, who'd have thought that's what delicious looks like? Although the publication reached out to McDonald's HQ, they have yet to respond. 

It seems that they do enjoy the mystery surrounding what exactly the cute character is. However, back in 2012 they inadvertently refuted the Canadian manager's claims when they tweeted, "Grimace is the embodiment of a milkshake, though others still insist he's a taste bud. :)"

A later tweet from the chain in 2014 added," #Grimace lore says he is the embodiment of a milkshake or a taste bud. What do you think?"

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Needless to say, McDonald's lovers are going totally wild for this groundbreaking revelation.

"McDonald’s announced that Grimace is actually a giant taste bud. That’s hilarious! Always thought he was just a stale McNugget," said one Twitter user.

Some are actually a little disturbed by the whole thing. 

"I’m sorry… Grimace, the purple giant from McDonalds, is a TASTE BUD??? He’s a large, purple taste bud designed to show us that McDonalds tastes good? I don’t know how I feel…" commented one confused Twitter user.

One user said, "So, if Grimace bumps into you, he can taste you. This is a horrifying development."

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In terms of nostalgia, nothing screams children's birthday party like a trip to McDonald's and seeing all the friendly-looking characters plastered all over the walls, as well as in statue form in store. 

Fans might be shocked to learn that the cuddly Grimace was initially meant to be frightening. 

Roy T. Bergold Jr., McDonald's previous vice-president of advertising, revealed in a conversation with QSR back in 2012 that, "The original Grimace was scaly, mean-looking, had four arms, and had no charm whatsoever."

After realizing that 'Evil Grimace' was in actual fact terrifying their younger customers, they decided to change him to a "soft, plush, two-armed blob of a sweetheart who only wanted McDonald's milkshakes and to hang out with Ronald." 

Years later, we think they made the right choice!

Aoife Hanna


Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with over 1500 bylines and a background in creative writing, comedy and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the soon-to-be-published Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.