Minions! Love them, hate them, or have weird mixed feelings about them due to a long-standing inside joke with a close friend, there’s no denying that these little yellow fellows are absolutely everywhere. Originally just a source of random comic relief in 2010’s Despicable Me, the Minions are now franchise-headers of their own. You’ll see them in places from merch to Minecraft to memes. They’ve gone through their own pop cultural life cycle, with those memes becoming recycled and ironic, then deep-fried and cringey. But at this point, the Minions have outlived their naysayers to claim their place in the pop-culture sphere — and at the box office.
With Minions: The Rise of Gru out in theaters, we took a little time to interrogate the most bizarre, bewildering elements of the Minions. What do they taste like? Do people still like Minion memes? What do they say about cinema and the nature of good and evil? And why the hell are there so many unlicensed Minions products on Etsy?
Before we start, a word of wisdom from our little yellow friends: Banana!