Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Parents outraged as McDonald’s Minions toys swear at their kids

Unless you’ve been living on a distant alien planet, you’re probably aware of the existence of Minions, the little yellow dudes from the Despicable Me films that look like anti-depression drugs. Now they’ve got their very own movie, and with such attention comes the requisite marketing strategies, including Happy Meals that come with a Minions toy, a form of corporate synergy as felicitous as McDonald’s and not paying people for their work.

Unfortunately, it seems some parents are less than thrilled with the results of these small yellow trinkets that bring joy for the twenty minutes your kid plays with them before tossing it under the bed to decompose slowly over the next two millennia. Grubstreet reports parents are alleging Minion Caveman—you know he’s a caveman because they tell you, plus a loincloth—is especially cute, because when you hit the button to make them spout gibberish, he demands to know of your child, “What the fuck?” (He also supposedly says, “Well, I’ll be damned,” but that’s what Dad says every night while watching the latest Trump-related news.)

WFTV in Orlando decided to get to the bottom of this situation, and did so in the least effective manner possible: by bleeping the ostensible swear during the news broadcast, thereby making it impossible to even venture a guess for yourself as to whether the toy is saying, “What the fuck?” (This after the reporter admits that two days of discussion still hadn’t resolved the issue among everyone in the newsroom.) Presumably they’re clearing some shelf space on the mantel for that Emmy as we speak.

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Thankfully, the internet still exists, which means a quick Google search turns up a much more effective demonstration of the toy. Here’s a helpful parent hitting the button, and giving us all an oppotunity to hear this little hunk of plastic utter what sounds an awful lot like, “Well, I’ll be damned,” and even better, “What the fuck?”

For its part, McDonald’s is claiming the toy says no such thing. “Minions speak ‘Minionese,’ which is a random combination of languages and nonsense words and sounds,” reads the official corporate response, which probably sounded more compelling before three of those random language combinations all ended up being English, and ordered “what,” “the,” and “fuck.” “Minionese has no translation to, or any meaning in any recognized language,” it continues, seemingly unaware that this somewhat contradicts the previous sentence’s assertion that it combines various existing languages. “Any perceived similarities to words within the English language are purely coincidental,” it concludes, suggesting that, sure, the toy might be saying, “What the fuck?”, but it’s the way that, you know, a Swede would say it in the middle of a string of Swedish words. Completely different.

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Rest assured, McDonald’s is looking into this situation. The next time it releases a toy, it might do a little bit more product testing, just to make absolutely certain the Happy Meal toy isn’t cursing at the children playing with it. The real loser in this situation? Pixar, who we’re going to assume were eagerly planning to release a McDonald’s toy tie-in for their upcoming movie The Good Dinosaur in the form of a small plastic diplodocus who says, “Eat shit, human scum.”

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