in article about the gentleminions trend, a screenshot from Minions: Rise of Gru
Minions: The Rise of Gru | Official Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DxjJzmYsXo CR: Illumination

The #GentleMinions Trend Has Mixed Reviews

Gen Z is showing up to 'Minions: The Rise of Gru,' in full suits and formal attire. How do the many different affected groups feel?
July 20, 2022
8 mins read

Ever since the new Minions movie, “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” came out, Generation Z has been strolling into theaters wearing nothing but their best black-tie attire to see their favorite yellow creatures in their newest cinematic masterpiece.

Because of TikTok and fan-made videos featuring these well-dressed gentlemen making a big fuss out of the new Minions movie, the black-tie attire has given rise to the hashtag #GentleMinions.

The popularity of the trend has taken TikTok and theaters by surprise. And although it has both boosted sales and boosted people’s likes on TikTok, it has still caused several disturbances for theaters and family viewers who have to deal with the bad behavior of the “gentleminions” who want to get their three minutes of TikTok fame.

So, What Exactly Is the #GentleMinions Trend and How Did It Become so Popular?

The #GentleMinions trend is another meme that got swept up by social media, making it both very popular and a very appealing way to increase followers and like counts on TikTok. And the trend is simple.

It began with groups of teenage boys showing up at a movie theater decked out in full suits ready to watch “Minions: The Rise of Gru.” These boys would take videos of themselves entering the theater, buying popcorn, riding up the escalator, getting their ticket stubs ripped, sitting down to enjoy the movie and standing and cheering throughout the film as it played, all while confusing onlookers.

Some of these “gentleminions” even took it as far as bringing bananas to the theater and throwing them during the film — since everyone knows that the Minions love their bananas.

Once the teenagers in suits finished the movie and headed home, they would stitch the videos together and create a TikTok out of the content, and just like that, the trend grew, getting more views and engagement with others who wanted to join in.

Some people even put a spin on the trend and would invite their significant other out for an “extravagant” date and get them all dressed up, only to arrive at a movie theater and watch the Minions create havoc on the screen … not too many of those dates ended well.

Why Generation Z?

Social media made the videos go viral, but why did Gen Z in particular take the reins on this mischievous trend?

Maybe it is because Gen Z was excited to see a movie with characters from their childhood; the Minions first appeared in “Despicable Me,” which came out in 2010, as well as “Despicable Me 2” in 2013, “Minions” in 2015 and the latest before the new trending film, “Despicable Me 3,” which was released in 2017.

All within the prime childhoods of these Gen Z fans.

Or maybe since Generation Z is all about social media and going viral through the unique trends that they create, this was all just a way to gain likes and followers.

Although the real reason why this started may never be answered, this trend has caused a lot of mixed emotions for everyone that is somehow involved with the film, whether it be the movie theaters, the other moviegoers, or Universal Pictures.

Opinions on the #GentleMinions trend vary drastically between the three groups because of how they were individually affected as the trend swept its way through like a tornado.

Movie Theaters

For many movie theaters, the tornado ripped through their property, creating havoc and destruction for them to clean up.

There were many ways in which this trend has negatively affected movie theaters.

Some of these “gentleminions” have been acting despicably by creating havoc during the movie by yelling, cheering, swearing and throwing produce at the screen.

Other reports have stated that these “gentleminions” have vandalized theaters or created overly large messes from throwing around popcorn throughout the film.

Some theaters have also had to give out refunds because of the obnoxiously loud behavior that bothered many other moviegoers that were just there to enjoy the movie.

In the end, the #GentleMinions trend has been driving the movie theaters so bananas that some have canceled screenings and banned people in suits from seeing the film to deflate the popularity of the trend and save them some money along the way.

Other Moviegoers

The tornado of a trend continued its destruction by creating problems for other moviegoers going to see the new Minions installment. 

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” is not a movie that was targeted at the Generation Z crowd; in fact, its target audience was younger children and families.

Even though these Gen Z fans are appearing in the theaters like worms on a rainy day, the target audience is also showing up to these screenings.

And the two groups are not mixing well.

Many families have left theaters before the movie has even begun or just during the middle of the showing because of the rowdy “gentleminions” ruining the experience for them.

Imagine those younger kids leaving the movie theaters crying because a bunch of men in suits creating disturbances throughout the film caused their parents to make them leave.

These “gentleminions” disturbances have clearly affected other moviegoers negatively because of their chaos and despicable behavior.

Universal Pictures

The tornado of a trend, however, created a positive turnout for Universal Pictures as it spared and even benefited the studio.

Universal Pictures overall seems to have a very different and very positive response to the #GentleMinions trend — probably because of the unexpected profits that it has racked up for the film.

In a tweet, Universal Pictures said, “To everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.

Thanks to the #GentleMinions trend, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” has even broken the box office record for the highest-grossing film opening during the Fourth of July weekend.

So, Universal Pictures should have a lot of gratitude to the children in business suits for creating such a popular trend, because without the suited-up Gen Z fans going absolutely crazy and flocking to theaters, Universal Pictures may not have received the same amount of love or money for this Minions film.

Overall, there are two sides to the #GentleMinions trend, but not all of these “gentleminions” have caused chaos in the theaters — this really goes to show that only a few rotten bananas can ruin the bunch.

Emily Sweeney, Quinnipiac University

Writer Profile

Emily Sweeney

Quinnipiac University

Emily is a 3+1 Journalism Student at Quinnipiac University with minors in sports studies, theater studies, and media studies. She is chairwoman of the Quinnipiac Bobcat Sports Network and president of the Quinnipiac Association for Women in Sports Media.

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