A new TikTok trend puts the dastardly history of McDonaldland’s most mysterious character on blast.
On June 12, McDonald’s debuted a purple, berry-flavored shake in honor of Grimace’s birthday, inspired by his “iconic color and sweetness,” according to the company.
While some folks have been enjoying the shake, even as they attempt to pinpoint the exact flavor profile of it, others have taken to TikTok to hop on a new trend — one that takes the sugary sip to a not-so-sweet place. After consuming the drink, TikTokers pretend to pass out in a puddle of purple.
It's gotten so dark, Grimace himself finally commented on it on June 27 via the McDonald’s Twitter account.
“meee pretending i don’t see the grimace shake trendd,” he tweeted with a wide-eyed photo of himself as a child.
On June 16, TikToker Austin Frazier (@fraz) posted the video that launched the entire trend. In it, he says he's so excited to try the new drink, wishing Grimace a happy birthday, then takes a sip and instantly appears passed out on the floor in a purple pool of the shake. That video amassed over 3.6 million views.
Later, TikToker @ruiz_alv04 posted a video with the hashtag #grimaceshake, becoming one of hundreds of videos (with over 2.4 billion combined views) to use it. In the video, which has been viewed more than 8.2 million times itself, a kid gets more than he bargained for when he tries a Grimace Shake.
“Damn, my boy got the Grimace Shake,” says the driver of the car and cameraman, watching his teenage passenger take a sip of the shake before, well, the kid goes plum berserk.
The video cuts to a staged crime scene of sorts, with spilled Grimace Shake everywhere and the child splayed on the sidewalk, out cold in broad daylight.
Other Grimace Shake TikToks, like user @wheresxander’s, show the drinker innocently trying the beverage before cutting to them posed with the purple shake spilled around them as they regurgitate it in the style of that scene from “The Exorcist.”
TikToker @_loganross displayed an impressive use of a stone wall to really drive home the terror in their viral take on the trend.
TikTok user @crystaldragons7 also scored millions of views with their video, which is giving fun-friend’s-night-out-turned-found-footage-horror.”
“Hey guys, today I’m going to try the new Grimace Shake from McDonald’s,” says a man in @guaquamolininjabenis’ viral video, as he takes a sip of the Grimace Shake, curiously standing in a car’s headlights in the middle of the night.
It then cuts to a scene straight out of “Insidious” or “The Blair Witch Project.” The filmmaker, breathing heavily, follows a trail of purple shake drops in an abandoned and decaying building until the man is found, shirtless and unconscious, with a purple handprint on his chest.
(It's worth noting that this handprint has five fingers, while Grimace has four. A frame-up? Perhaps.)
“He will be grim-missed,” reads the caption.
Response to the violently violet trend has ranged from amusement to confusion — plus, plenty of puns.
“The grime scene,” a TikTok user commented one video.
“I hope they catch the griminal,” commented another.
“I don’t understand this trend but it’s hilarious,” admitted someone else.
“I love how unhinged this grimace thing is letting everyone be,” wrote another TikTok user.
Grimace, McDonald's now-beloved blob-like bestie, was originally introduced in 1971 as a “scaly, mean-looking” characer with “four arms” and “no charm whatsoever,” according to McDonald’s former vice president of advertising, so in a way, this TikTok trend pays homage to his villainous history.
EDITOR'S NOTE (July 13, 2023 at 9:47 a.m. ET): This post has been updated to include the originator of the trend, Austin Frazier.