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What People Don't Understand About GruTok

Authors Note:

This article was originally written in July 2022 during the height of the GruTok movement. The publishing of this article not only commemorates over a year or GruTok, but celebrates the government-sanctioned showing of Minions: The Rise of Gru on Friday August 18th, 2023 at the South Boston/Seaport Movie Night. Happy watching!


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July 1st, 2022 was a momentous day in American history. Not only did it bring an end to the 7th annual Pride Month (gay people did not exist before 2015), but it marked the release of Minions: The Rise of Gru. This comedy/adventure/romance/slice of life thriller was the most anticipated summer flick according to local “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” enthusiast and podcast artist Katy Doherty. When asked if she could comment on the movie, she had this to say:


“of course, but also, i haven’t seen it yet.”


While the 90-minute masterpiece didn’t gain the critical praise it so clearly deserved, getting only a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes (which is technically still a passing grade), 94% of Google users liked the film according to google.com/minion-is-love-minion-is-life. In fact, this movie was so popular among viewers that an entirely new side of TikTok has emerged, endearingly labeled by its users “GruTok”.


Now, as an avid user of the app TikTok myself, I infiltrated GruTok to see for myself what all the hype was about. I was immediately confronted with a video of somebody baking a Gru cake, except Gru had a six pack, cheekbones, and an adams apple that would worry a pediatrician any day of the week. In my subsequent scrolling, I also saw “Smash or Pass: Minion Me Harder,” a recipe for a Minion-themed Banana Bread Nut, and Gru x Minion No. 2 fan-film. Despite liking for a part two on that last one, it appears it was taken down for violating community guidelines.


For the average person, this may seem a little much, to which I say: fuck off. Gru isn’t just a fictional film hottie, he is a way of life — the whole Despicable Me Cinematic Universe is. GruTok represents the whims and shifts in our collective societal consciousness, and I think it is invaluable we get as many people in the fandom as possible. I hope I’m not going too far with this, but indeed, I do declare that this side of TikTok should be saved in a time capsule for future generations to look back on for a glimpse of our culture and what it feels like to be living in a post-Roe world.


Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.


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