Here’s Why People Are Wearing Suits and Ties to See the New ‘Minions’ Movie

Here's a complete breakdown on the #GentleMinions TikTok trend, what it is, how it started, and how rapper Yeat got caught in the middle of it.

Minions Viral Challenge Suits
Universal Pictures

Image via Universal Pictures

Minions Viral Challenge Suits

It doesn’t take much to freak out the adults. The latest way teens have been doing so is by wearing suits and ties to movie theaters. The trend began thanks to the new Minions movie, The Rise of Gru, which propelled to the top of the box office during its opening weekend. It has made more than $125 million so far—a new record for the Fourth of July weekend—and it is poised to go head-to-head against Thor: Love and Thunder beginning this Friday (July 8). 

It all started with a meme and it escalated into a viral trend, that even Universal is supporting. But seeing groups of teenagers donning traditional formal wear to see an animated flick is so subversive, that some theaters started denying entry to the well-dressed moviegoers, also because of some of the groups’ behavior. 

Here’s a quick explainer on the #GentleMinions TikTok trend, what it is, how it started, and how Yeat got caught in the middle of it.

When we say the mostly teen boys are wearing “suits,” it’s not the yellow shirt, overalls-and-goggles combo that the Minions characters made famous. We’re talking actual shirts, ties, pants, shoes, formal jackets, and sometimes sunglasses. The cumulative effect is similar to a Reservoir Dogs cosplay; “Little Green Bag” on the soundtrack would make it perfect.

They don’t have anything to do with the actual movie. The suits are trending and gaining popularity for reasons other than the franchise’s plot or overarching storyline. If there is any connection, it’s that The Rise of Gru is a kid’s movie. The suits subvert expectations; there’s a visual dissonance between the way people are dressed—like they’re about to pull a diamond heist—and the movie they’ve bought tickets to see.

Is it a coincidence? Could this have happened with any children’s movie?

Minions Viral Challenge Suits

5 tickets for minions please

— lebbertoxXxd (@InsaneMoviez) July 2, 2022

It probably originated with the “Tickets to X, Please” meme, which originated on 4chan and began cropping up on more mainstream social media in 2019. The entire joke is to pick a movie, find an image containing what you would imagine is the movie’s stereotypical, target audience, and then caption the image with the phrase. So in 2019, lots of people would find photos of fedora-wearing douchebags and caption them with “Tickets to Joker, please.”

So eventually, once this gag got old, people began subverting the original meme to show the opposite audience of the stereotypical one. And that’s where the suits came in. Think of this trend as bringing an internet meme to life. The confusion this causes amongst people who aren’t in on the joke is the entire point of it.

Watch the movie? But aside from that, some of them steeple their fingertips together like Gru. Others eat bananas. The vast majority of teenage fans have been respectful and well-behaved.

But there is a minority of teens who have been more disruptive: cheering, throwing bananas at the projection screens and other people, moshing in the front row, and generally being pains in the ass. 

But again, it’s a minority. The number of reckless teens versus well-behaved movie fans is small—although, of course, everyone is getting lumped together. Then again, movie screens are expensive and cost thousands of dollars to replace. Certainly, an independent theater does not have the means or budget to deal with that. Any viral trend that causes harm has gone too far. 

They haven’t all reacted well; as the saying goes, the nail that sticks out gets the hammer. One specific image that’s gone viral is a statement that’s been posted on the windows of Odeon theaters in the UK: “Due to recent disturbances following the #Gentleminions trend any group of guests in formal attire will be refused entry from showings of Minions: The Rise of Gru.” Theaters, both mainstream and independent, are strictly enforcing this ban.

Another spokesman from Mallard Cinema said: “It’s been absolutely heartbreaking. We’ve had families who won’t even go back into the screen when we’ve tried to sort it out, families leaving before the film has even started, and of course, the children have been in tears.”

Theaters in the United States have dealt with these issues on a more case-by-case basis, kicking teenagers out of the theater for disrespectful behavior, but stopping short of issuing blanket bans or enforcing dress codes for everyone.

to everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you. 🫶

— Universal Pictures (@UniversalPics) July 1, 2022

Universal Pictures is totally on board, tweeting out its support: “To everyone showing up to Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.” The official Minions account has also lent its support, tweeting out the hashtag #Gentleminions in solidarity. It’s been a struggle to get theater attendance back to pre-pandemic levels; obviously, a studio isn’t going to stand in the way of something that could make that possible. Any publicity is good publicity after all. 

How is Yeat involved in all of this?

View this video on YouTube

Lyrical Lemonade founder Cole Bennett directed a trailer for The Rise of Gru, and Yeat recorded a song called “Rich Minion’’ as backing music. The lyrics are very meta, essentially bragging about how much money he got paid to record the very song he’s in the middle of performing:

“Made this song for like two million, you know I always win/Tried to save my Minions, make money, man, that’s all we did/I call my Minions up, they said, “That boy on red”/It’s bananas for the Minions and my pockets bread.”

Most of the viral TikTok videos of #GentleMinions also use “Rich Minion” as the background track. Bennett and Zack Bia spoke to Complex about the story behind the song. You can read that here.

When is this going to end?

Gentle Minions Explainer

Should you see the latest ‘Minions’ movie?

View this video on YouTube

Yes! It has a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, so that’s a pretty good sign that most critics liked it. This is a prequel to the main Despicable Me series, starring Steve Carell as 11-year-old Gru, supervillain-in-training. So narratively, there’s not much to catch up on, since chronologically, most of it hasn’t happened yet. In other words, the entry point to enjoying this movie is low.

Just know that you might see a lot of teens in suits. And now you know why.

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