The Viral McDonald's Grimace Shake Trend Is Feral

The release of Grimace's Birthday Shake has left a sticky, lavender-colored mark on the internet — possibly the earth's surface, too. The centerpiece of the vintage mascot's birthday meal has captivated us with its freakishly purple hue, creamy texture, and confusing flavor. The price of the shake varies state by state, though a viral TikTok trend jokes that those who try the beverage pay in other ways.

The franchise's milkshake was a surprising homage to the beloved but oft-neglected purple blob from Ronald McDonald's original set of characters. Formerly a ginormous, malevolent taste bud who stole milkshakes, this month Grimace finally got a shake of his own to celebrate his birthday. However, the festivities soon veered into dark absurdism.

It only took a couple of days after the menu item's June 12 release for the trend to really take off. It all started with a TikTok from user @thefrazmaz that featured them trying the shake for the first time and proclaiming "Happy Birthday Grimace!" Soon after, they were lying on the ground in a purple puddle. The trend escalated quickly, taking on a horror movie twist. Some pretended to be comatose after trying the shake while others became feral monsters. One shakily-filmed TikTok featured a person creeping through an abandoned building to find his ill-fated friend who'd just tried the beverage, finding him with lilac foam coming from his mouth and an ominous purple handprint on his chest. "He will be grim-missed," the caption read.

The trend summarizes the genuine absurdity of the Grimace shake

While the marketing and the appearance of the beverage had many McDonald's fans in a frenzy, the taste of the shake actually made us grimace. It's extremely sweet, and then there's the flavor that seems to elude human taste buds. Officially, McDonald's said the milkshake has two flavors (vanilla and berry), though it falls more into the ambiguous valley between vanilla, berry, and pure chemicals. The mysterious taste seemed to fuel the trend further, making the Grimace shake seem all the more dangerous.


R.I.P Grimace (and me) #mcdonalds #grimace #milkshake #grimaceshake #birthday #fakedeath #yummy

♬ Daylight – David Kushner

"Grimace's 1467th kill," one commenter wrote on a creepy TikTok from user @minionlover123456 that ended with them spewing out dark purple liquid on the ground after they tried the shake. "Grim-massacre of 2023," another person declared. In a TikTok explaining why they had started the trend in the first place, the self-proclaimed "original victim" of the Grimace shake @thefrazmaz said that the joke was mostly about the unnatural color of the drink, and that they had based it on a similar meme about Burger King's red Whopper in honor of Spider-Man

The franchise seems to be taking the trend in stride for the most part. McDonald's cheekily responded to the fad on Twitter and Instagram with a meme of a sheepish-looking vintage Grimace. "Mee pretending I don't see the Grimace shake trendd," the caption read. Whether it's a good or bad assessment of the beverage's quality, the trend has probably helped publicize the purple shake, which is a time-limited offering.