The legend of Evil Grimace


Recently, I went with some friends to Rock Mill, a local rock climbing gym which showcases a wall covered with holds that mimic actual rocks. The idea is to develop the proper technique and strength so climbers can tackle a real crag (cliff face).


While we were there, one of my skilled friends attempted to climb a purple route, one of the more difficult paths. The holds were large and a rich violet. They reminded me of the lesser known McDonald’s mascot: Grimace.


So I said to one of my friends, “They look like little Grimaces sprinkled on the wall.”d


“What?” he said.


“They look like little Grimaces. Do you not know what Grimace is?” I said.


“H-huh? That’s a dumb name,” he said.


“Nevermind,” I said.


Affected by disappointment, I thought it my duty to inform the public about the purple mascot of McDonald’s: Evil Grimace, a large, scaly violet blob who steals milkshakes from young children with his four arms. His name struck fear into all.


Understandably, kids were actually afraid of this menace. The intention of creating a “lovable” mascot failed miserably, and it ended up driving away business. So, the marketing crew at Mickey-D’s quickly fixed their mistake.


They turned him into a “lovable” plump plush instead. Now, he sports two normal arms and is covered in dark orchid hair. They also dropped the title of “evil.” However, the position of his eyebrows and awkward structure of his mouth remain nothing short of unsettling.


Still, thanks to these minor changes, Grimace did survive the great mascot purge of the 1980s, in which McDonald’s reduced the excessive amount of their mascots and only six remained.


They created a fantasy world to debut these mascots and introduce several more characters to draw children’s attention and admiration. This “genius” marketing strategy was dubbed “McDonaldland.”


McDonaldland commercials aired from 1971 until 2003. While they were showcased, children developed positive feelings toward all the characters—except for Grimace.


In 2002, McDonald’s popularity began to nosedive due to a lawsuit, resulting in many changes, including the removal of all mascots except Ronald McDonald.


Though 2002 marked his demise, I hope the public now recognizes the terrifying mascot known as Grimace which haunted many childhoods. Happy nightmares to those minds which were flooded with repressed memories of the purple blob.