While it was speculated that Grimace was made to be a taste bud, McDonald’s implied that the character’s identity is actually fluid. He could embody a blob or even a milkshake. But did you know that the character wasn’t always what we recognized him as today?
Grimace was originally called “Evil Grimace.” He had four arms and scaly skin. While Hamburglar stole burgers, Grimace was meant to steal milkshakes.
What is Grimace?
A McDonald’s manager in Canada probably had no idea his interview with the CBC would be such a huge deal. Sure, Brian Bates had just won Outstanding Manager of the Year. He seemed to imply that Spicy McNuggets and slight price increases would be coming to the fast-food giant shortly, at least in Canada, but they weren’t the takeaways that sparked Twitter’s interest.
Bates was asked by CBC News what Grimace was, and his response surprised everyone. Bates described the purple McDonaldland emblem as a gigantic taste bud.
How is this a taste bud? Really? Although this was a shocking revelation, it has occasionally been McDonald’s story about the amorphous purple blob, but the company has also given an alternate explanation for the character.
The Official McDonalds Corporation account told a Twitter user in 2012 that Grimace was the embodiment of a milkshake, yet others still argue he’s a taste bud. Two years later, the same account said that the Grimace mythology states he is the embodiment of a milkshake or a taste bud. (Source: Food and Wine)
The History Of Evil Grimace
Ronald McDonald visits Evil Grimace, his shapeless four-armed nemesis, in a 1972 McDonald’s advertisement. Evil Grimace lived in a cave and had stolen all of McDonaldland’s cups so that no one could drink milkshakes or Coca-Cola. Ronald duped Evil Grimace into thinking he’d been chosen for a beauty pageant, and Grimace left his cup collection behind for Ronald to gather and fill with sodas and shakes at McDonald’s.
Grimace was finally given a corporate makeover, in which they lopped off two of his four arms and decided he’d be a good man instead. Roy T. Bergold Jr., a former McDonald’s vice president of advertising, stated that the original Grimace had a habit of unwittingly scaring children.
The original Grimace was scaly, mean-looking, had four limbs and had no charm whatsoever. We transformed him into a soft, fluffy, two-armed blob of a love who simply wanted McDonald’s milkshakes and to be around Ronald.Roy T. Bergold, former McDonald’s Vice President of Advertising
However, McDonald’s eventually disclosed an entire Grimaces species. They produced a green version dubbed Uncle O’Grimacey in the late 1970s, who had his obsession with the seasonal Shamrock Shake, and another ad starred his aunts, Millie and Tillie, back in 1999.
Ronald and his onscreen companions visited Grimace Island, where an entire bunch of Grimaces dwelt, in a 1999 episode of the direct-to-video cartoon series The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald.
It’s difficult to say when this Grimace-as-Taste Bud phenomenon started. McDonald’s spokesman Jane Hulbert had a completely different answer in 1994.
Grimace represents the child in everyone. He is Ronald McDonald’s special pal; everyone loves Grimace because of his naïve loving nature; he occasionally causes havoc in McDonaldland due to his clumsiness, but his pals ignore this since he is so joyful.Jane Hulbert, McDonald’s Spokesman
So he was a child in everyone in 1994, and six years later, he was part of a group of creatures that lived on their island, like lumpy purple replicas of what Charles Darwin discovered in the Galapagos. A McDonald’s spokeswoman, however, apparently told the now-defunct Tech Mommy site in 2010 that Grimace was, in reality, a taste bud. (Source: Food and Wine)