Are the Minion Toys in McDonald's Happy Meals Really Swearing?

Some parents are convinced the Minion toy their kids got in a McDonald's Happy Meal is swearing, saying "What the f&@#" when it's tapped. They've taken to the Internet to complain on social media, posting videos of the toy repeating the supposedly offensive phrase.

McDonald's says, "Minions speak Minionese, which is a random combination of languages and nonsense words and sounds. Minionese has no translation to or any meaning in any recognized language. Any perceived similarities to words within the English language are purely coincidental."

I say: I don't hear it.

Maybe it vaguely sounds like the toy is swearing, but it mainly sounds like a garbled mess, like most cheap talking toys do. I wouldn't be concerned about my child repeating what it says, and if what she did repeat sounded like a swear, I would just correct her and say, "No, I think it's saying 'Brut da buck'" or something. (I honestly can't even identify what consonant and vowel sounds the toy is making.) Kids only know what the f-word is if they've heard it before—probably from their parents!

Parents are overreacting and being ridiculous, but I do question McDonald's and the Despicable Me toy maker here as well. You would think they would have made sure there was no chance the Minionese sounded like something offensive.

In any case, now I kind of want the caveman Minion more than I would have before, which seems to be a prevailing theme on social media as well. So maybe it's an excellent marketing move?

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who wishes Minions were real. Check out Ellen's new Etsy shop and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

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