On June 6, McDonald’s announced that it would be releasing a new, limited-time shake in honor of the fictional character Grimace’s 52nd birthday starting on June 12.
The “Grimace Birthday Meal,” as the brand calls it, “comes with the choice of a Big Mac® or 10-piece Chicken McNuggets®, and World Famous Fries®”—and, of course, a purple shake.
Immediately after the announcement, there was confusion about the flavor of the shake. While some media outlets reported that the shake would be berry flavored (the exact type or types of berry was not specified), McDonald’s itself gave no indication of the flavor at all, saying in the press release that the shake was simply “inspired by Grimace’s iconic color and sweetness.”
The nutritional information for the shake isn’t any more helpful. McDonald’s simply says that the shake features “Natural Flavor” and “Vegetable Juice,” though the latter is specified as an additive for color.
Later reviews noted that the drink did, in fact, have a strong berry flavor, with a Delish employee describing the drink as “the sweetest berry smoothie of your life.”
Regardless of the flavor, news of the shake has hit TikTok—and users are similarly confused.
In a clip with over 2.7 million views, TikTok user and McDonald’s employee Jason Garcia (@jasongarcii) shows the shake being poured, then topped off with whipped cream.
Quickly, users made jokes about the flavor.
“what does a grimace taste like,” wrote one user.
“what does that even taste like tell [me] rn,” echoed another.
Others noted that the drink had a berry flavor, while further users drew comparisons to the purple goo from the Kupcake-inator scene from the 2003 film The Cat in the Hat. Additional commenters compared the drink to lean, a concoction made of prescription-strength cough syrup and a soft drink that is occasionally called “purple drank.”
“So we’re just gonna sit here and drink the purple goo from cat in the hat?” asked a user.
“McLean,” joked a second.
While some commenters were excited by the new drink, others were put off by its violet hue.
As one user said, “I don’t want Grimace Goo.”
The Daily Dot reached out to McDonald’s via email and Garcia via TikTok comment.
Update 1:37pm CT June 12: In an email to the Daily Dot, McDonald’s USA confirmed that the Grimace Birthday Shake is intended to be berry-flavored and is inspired by the purple character’s color and sweetness.