Disconnected groups of people across the US and UK have gathered together this past weekend, donned suits, tuxedos and other formal clothing, and headed to showings of Minions: The Rise Of Gru. It’s a trend that can now be seen across social media. While I can’t make this make perfect sense, I can offer a little bit of backstory.
This hasn’t sprung forth from entirely nowhere. “Tickets to X” is a meme format that has been used for a while now, juxtaposing popular characters with their intent to see a movie which doesn’t necessarily reflect the tone of their own world. Imagining the cast of AMC’s Breaking Bad rolling up collectively to see the upcoming Barbie filmfor instance, is clearly inherently funny.
— Mr. Worldwide (@FairiesUnite) July 2, 2022
This latest iteration on the same trend sees people further blur the ever-shrinking distinction between the meme world and the real world. Simply imagining your favorite characters doing something is old news. After waiting two years for Minions: The Rise Of Gru to appear in theaters, it’s now much funnier to go and become the meme yourself.
Why wear suits, though? Well, you tell me, what clothing would be more appropriate to wear when finally getting to pay your respects to a PG-rated film that IGN has rated 5/10? Whatever their reasoning, those doing so have now been dubbed Gentleminions.
Streets turned us despicable but our money still gru pic.twitter.com/YekGa9PV7x
— BL⭐️CK (@rageriders) July 2, 2022
The thing that really ties this whole performance together is having a relevant soundtrack. The song Rich Minion by Yeat has been the anthem of the trend, used as an attached sound for most of the TikToks. The song itself juxtaposes a lavish wealthy lifestyle with, you know, the little yellow lads in overalls.
The song was recently featured in a trailer produced by the popular channel Lyrical Lemonade, sponsored by the Minions: The Rise of Gru team. Not the only time the trend has been recognised by the production company, with the official Minions TikTok account posting this video dedicated to the meme, tagged “Your day has come.”
— leviticus (@dramatdc) July 3, 2022
This hasn’t all been a harmless trend. As reported in this video, some have taken to the aisles to cause a scene, distracting anyone who bought a ticket with their hard earned cash and just wanted to see Gru’s rise. Some theaters have even begun denying entry to teens in suits, seemingly due to disturbances.
Gentleminions aren’t necessarily this year’s biggest ironic recontextualization of a film experience – that honor still belongs to the Morbius Fandom. That said, where Morbius memes didn’t result in much extra money for the Jared Leto movie, Gentleminions might actually be having a meaningful effect. Minions: The Rise Of Gru is preojected to hit $128 million over the July 4 weekend – a new record for the US box office.
As I’ve documented before, the success of a trend like this is in having an activity where the performance is instantly recognisable. Ironically enjoying Morbius didn’t have a call to action where people spent money (except perhaps taking a visit to the Binley Mega Chippy for the Morbius Meal).
The internet’s been great this year.
Mat Jones is IGN’s UK Social Coordinator, and will turn back into a pumpkin at midnight.