TikTok’s Gentleminions Trend, Explained

Marni


They’re well-dressed, ironically obsessed with the Minions, and wrecking havoc at your local movie theater. Meet: Gentleminions, a cohort of young adults dressing up in suits to see Minions: The Rise of Gru and documenting the experience for TikTok.

The trend started as a way for Gen Z’ers to express their appreciation for the Minions franchise, which many of them grew up with (Gen Z is young, but not too young to understand nostalgia). Inspired by the series’ antagonist Gru, participants are donning formalwear, mimicking the villain’s hand motions, and cheering during showings of the movie.

The trend is all in good fun, but some theaters are banning Gentleminions for their allegedly disruptive behavior, a turn of events communicated via signs affixed to the entrances of fed-up cinemas.

A piece of paper won’t stop viral-hungry teens from creating content, though. In a recent TikTok, a group of Gentleminions wore suits under their hoodies and jeans, a disguise that allowed them to enter the theater undetected. (Don’t miss the bananas — Minions’ favorite food — that they smuggled in under their waistbands.)

Minions have long served as fodder for memes, both earnest and ironic, so it’s not entirely surprising that the Gentleminions gag has taken off. And, despite frustration among some movie theater employees, the trend is likely driving ticket sales — in fact, Universal Pictures gave the fad its official stamp of approval.

For Gentleminions past and present, this is a call to action: do the Barbie movie next.

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