Minions TikTok trend explained: Behind the cult Gentleminions sensation that’s causing cinema bans

·2 min read

A bizarre internet trend has sprung up surrounding the release of the children’s animated sequel Minions: The Rise of Gru.

The film, a sequel to 2015’s Despicable Me spin-off Minions, was released in cinemas last week.

As part of a trend that sees teenage fans refer to themselves as “Gentleminions”, there have been spates of unexpectedly old children arriving at screenings in groups, dressed in formal suits.

The raucus crowds have resulted in instances of cinemas banning groups of suited teenagers from screenings of the film.

Confused? That’s probably fair enough – here’s a bit of background about the strange Minions trend.

You can read The Independent’s three-star review of Minions: The Rise of Gru here.

How did it start?

The trend began on the social media site TikTok, with the hashtag #gentleminion becoming popularised by teenagers.

Participants of the trend come together in ironic celebration of the film, which is targeted primarily at young children.

Many of the behaviours adapted by participants – including the wearing of a formal suit, and clasping one’s hands together – are taken directly from Gru, the supervillain at the centre of the film.

They then share videos of themselves attending The Rise of Gru en masse.

Why is it controversial?

Some cinema-goers have criticised the “Gentleminions” for disruptive behaviour during screenings, with many noting that those with young children wishing to enjoy the film unironically have been disurbed by the loud cheering of the TikTok crowds.

Other reports of vandalism and poor cinema ettiquette have resulted in blanket bans in some cinemas.

However, not everyone has rushed to condemn the Gentleminions.

Universal, who distributed the film, wrote in a tweet: “To everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.”