June is the official birth month of Grimace, the biggest, furriest, and most beloved McDonaldland character that’s ever existed. To celebrate the occasion (or rather, celebrate its own invention of the occasion), McDonald’s is doing something it doesn’t do very often: release an all-new shake flavor.
Since this is an all-things-Grimace celebration, the shake, which will be available June 12 for a limited time, will be purple (duh) and berry-flavored. Considering McDonald’s rarely dabbles outside of Shamrock Shake territory, this is a fun little twist on a classic offering. Who cares if Grimace’s birthday is a flimsy excuse to try one?
You can purchase the Grimace shake on its own, but you can also get it as part of the so-called Grimace Birthday Meal, a standard-issue value combo that comes with the shake, your choice of a Big Mac or 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, and a side of medium fries. There will also be Grimace-themed merch available at GoldenArchesUnlimited.com starting June 12.
This meal is a bit of a departure from the spate of celebrity meals that have made McDonald’s millions in the recent the past, like the Cardi B and Offset Meal, the BTS Meal, and the one that started it all back in 2020, the Travis Scott Meal. Rather than a collaboration with a mainstream artist, this one’s a nostalgic throwback, and the “celebrity” in question is one of McDonald’s own making.
Not only that, but given that the entrée options for the Grimace Birthday Meal include a Big Mac and 10-piece McNugget, it would seem this meal is geared toward adults rather than children. As McDonald’s saw with the release of adult Happy Meals last year, the brand doesn’t even necessarily have to market these promotional characters to a new generation of kids—it just has to stoke the nostalgia of the grown-ups who remember them from childhood.
Out of curiosity, we asked McDonald’s if June 12 was Grimace’s actual birthday, since that’s when the promotion begins.
“It is not,” we were told by a McDonald’s rep via email. They went on to explain that although the exact date of Grimace’s birthday is unknown, Grimace has been celebrating his birthday annually at McDonald’s since his first appearance in 1971. We can’t find any evidence of that, but if Grimace wants to take the entire month of June as an excuse to celebrate his 52nd birthday, that’s fine by us.
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has gotten playful with its shakes—there’s often an Egg Nog Shake available at the holidays—but a representative for McDonald’s confirmed that this is the first time there’s been a purple one, and it might also be the first berry-flavored release.
The last time McDonald’s hyped its former mascots this much was last fall, when Hamburglar, Grimace, and Birdie became the inspiration for the brand-new toys in the Cactus Plant Flea Market Box, aka the adult Happy Meal. The figurines were somewhat terrifying, so I’m kind of relieved McDonald’s is celebrating Grimace with a modest shake and a value meal this year. A new dessert flavor is more exciting than figuring out what to do with one more piece of plastic, anyway.