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The student news site of Freehold Township High School

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The student news site of Freehold Township High School

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Divergent Deep Dives: A Deep Dive Into McDonald’s Lore (Part 1)


Depending on when you grew up, you might remember one of McDonald’s many marketing strategies, known as McDonaldland. This fantasy world was home to a variety of McDonald’s countless mascots, most of which have been unfortunately abandoned and forgotten. Today, I’m going to be performing a deep dive into the lore of McDonaldland and its many many characters.

Ronald McDonald 

Starting with probably the most recognizable of the bunch, Ronald McDonald has been the face of the company for over 50 years, since being introduced in 1963. A magical clown, he dons the famous red and yellow of his company. 

While being the primary mascot of McDonald’s, Ronald doesn’t seem to have many key personality traits. He was known to have many friends in McDonaldland and appeared in several films and TV shows throughout his career, including The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald, Ronald McDonald and the Adventure Machine, The Ronald McDonald Show, McKids Adventures: Get Up and Go With Ronald, etc. His character was finally retired in 2016 after the killer clown epidemic.


Another extremely recognizable character, Grimace, has had a recent spike in popularity because of TikTok’s Grimace Shake trend. He was first introduced in 1972 as “Evil Grimace,” and he would use his four arms to steal all the cups from McDonaldland so no one could enjoy a milkshake or a Coke. His crimes landed him as a wanted man with a bounty of $24,700,000. The original villain Grimace was scaly and mean-looking, but because so many kids were getting scared by him, his character was redesigned into a more wholesome purple blob. Contrary to his previous criminal actions, the new Grimace just wanted to hang out with Ronald and drink milkshakes, a personality and character that was much more appealing to children. 

The only question that remains is: What exactly is he? Ronald McDonald is a magic clown, Mayor McCheese is a cheeseburger, but Grimace doesn’t really look like anything but a purple blob. This was, for the most part, cleared up in 2012 when McDonald Corp tweeted that Grimace was supposed to be the “embodiment of a milkshake,” which didn’t make a lot of sense to most people. Said people eventually came to the conclusion that Grimace was in fact a tastebud, and in 2014, the account tweeted that “Grimace lore says he is the embodiment of a milkshake or a tastebud.” So do with that what you will.

Uncle O’Grimacey

Grimace’s uncle! Uncle O’Grimacey is Grimace’s most well-known family member. He is most popular for bringing the infamous Shamrock Shake to McDonald’s every couple of months each spring. His shake-showcasing duties, however, are where the fame ends.

This did, however, lead me to take an in-depth look at Grimace’s family tree. His entire known family includes: 

  • Grimabeth – Grimace’s mother
  • Louie Grimace – Grimace’s father
  • Winky – Grimace’s grandma 
  • Jenny – Grimace’s great-great-grandma 
  • Millie and Tillie – Grimace’s aunts 
  • King Gonga – Grimace’s brother and the ruler of the Grimaces on Grimace Island
  • Uncle O’Grimacey – Grimace’s uncle 

It’s not confirmed exactly how Grimace and O’Grimacey are related, but it does imply that Grimace is at least half-Irish, assuming that the Grimace family did originate in Ireland. We’re not too sure where the Grimaces come from, but either they all immigrated to the US and left Uncle O’Grimacey behind or Uncle O’Grimacey just decided to make a new life for himself by immigrating to Ireland. Despite this, we can confirm that neither of Grimace’s parents are green like his uncle, so it’s probably safe to assume that Uncle O’Grimacey probably dyes his fur, which is fun to think about.

That concludes part one of my Deep Dive Into McDonald’s Lore series! Considering the attention span of most people my age, I’m only going to dive into around 3 characters today, but keep an eye out for Part 2, where I’m going to explore a couple more lesser-known characters. See you soon!

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