What Is Grimace, the Giant Purple McDonald's Mascot, Anyway?

A long-time McDonald's restaurant manager may have revealed a top secret.

Published Sep 12, 2021

 (Danielle Scott / Flickr creative commons)
Image Via Danielle Scott / Flickr creative commons

If you've ever been bothered by the nagging question, just what in the world is Grimace, the giant purple McDonald's mascot, you may now have a hint — emphasis being on may have.

During an Aug. 29, 2021, interview with the Canadian news outlet CBC, Brian Bates, a long-time manager at a McDonald's franchise in Windsor, a city in Ontario, dropped what may have been a top secret nugget about the purple, tear-drop-shaped character.

"He is an enormous taste bud, but a taste bud nonetheless," Bates said.

McDonald's obliquely and humorously addressed the matter in a Twitter post, without actually answering the question at hand.

The company also addressed the question in 2014, also on Twitter, but again left it a bit open:

Of course this begs the question, what does a tastebud look like, and does Grimace resemble one? Here's one take, posted on social media:

We reached out to McDonald's to ask if the company could provide some official insight into what Grimace is, and will update this story if we receive a response.


“Award-Winning Manager Opens up about Life at McDonald’s during Pandemic." CBC, 29 August 2021,

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more