Introducing the Australian high school students who started the viral ‘gentleminions’ trend
Hoards of teenagers around the world are dressing in suits and going to screenings of Minions: Rise of Gru
The “gentleminions” trend is all over TikTok right now, with hoards of teenagers dressing up in suits to go and watch Minions: Rise of Gru. Sometimes they mosh as the credits roll. Sometimes they sit with their finger tips pressed together in a triangular shape. They even occasionally throw bananas at the screen. I honestly don’t understand what’s going on but I’m obsessed, regardless.
While the Minions franchise has endorsed the trend, several cinemas in the UK have now banned unaccompanied under-18s from turning up to screenings of the film formal attire. And they’ve got a group of lads from Australia to thank for the viral trend that’s now spread worldwide.
It all started with a bunch of high school students in Australia
Australian high school student Bill Hirst and his mates had been following the chat online in advance of the new Minions film. The so-called Minion Cult was already on the ascendancy, with people on TikTok showing an ironic appreciation of the yellow creatures and anything related to Despicable Me.
According to Bill, plans had been drawn up in as early as May for people to attend the new film in suits. “Once the film came out in Australia, we thought it would be a blast to rock up in suits and actually make it happen,” Bill told The Tab.
But why suits? Bill shed some light on this, saying it’s about “making an ironic, humorous display of gentlemen or adults going to a movie” that’s usually only watched by kids”.
Part of it, he says, is also about gaining a “nostalgic experience of all the previous Minion or Despicable Me films that we watched in our childhoods.”
So Bill and his mates went along to the film and made a TikTok, cataloguing their experiences. The video has now been viewed 35.6m times, initiating a trend that would transcend borders and be recreated around the world.
“It’s been absolute unreal,” Bill said. “The fact that it has also became a global, viral trend is awesome. We’ve had a few friends overseas contact me and say it was everywhere in their country’s media as well.”
Then the *actual* Minions endorsed the trend
A couple of people reposted Bill’s video and then on July 2nd, the official Minions TikTok account uploaded their own reply. The video was captioned: “Bobspeed you gentleminions.”
@minions Bobspeed you gentleminions. 🤵 #Minions #TheRiseOfGru only in theaters now. #gentleminions #gentlemen #riseofgru #mintok ♬ Powerful songs like action movie music – Tansa
And it’s basically spiralled from there with loads of people on TikTok making their own versions of the video.
One of those to get involved was 21-year-old Leeds student Phoebe Rochford. She saw the original video circulating online and was determined to do it herself. Her version of the trend came with a fun twist.
A Leeds student tricked her family into participating in the trend
“I sent my brother a message telling him to put on a suit and make himself available for a few hours the following day, but he immediately clocked on to my plan and told me that he’d only go if there was more than two of us,” Phoebe said. “This is where I came up with the idea to trick my parents, as I knew I’d be able to convince them to come on a family outing for food but not to see a children’s film in a suit.”
This TikTok, now viewed over six million times, shows Phoebe’s cinema trip and also comes with a comment from the official Minion account: “An unbreakable family bond.”
@phoeberochford_ £46 well spent if you ask me !!! #minions #riseofgru #fyp #parents ♬ original sound – House of Highlights
Some cinemas are banning guests in ‘formal attire’ from seeing Minions: Rise of Gru
Some cinemas have started banning those participating in the “gentleminions” trend from coming to screenings of Rise of Gru.
One poster outside an Odeon in the UK reads: “Due to recent disturbances following the #Gentleminions trend, any group of guests in formal attire will be refused entry for showings of Minions: The Rise of Gru.”
A spokesperson for Odeon told Indy100: “Due to a small number of incidents in our cinemas over the weekend we have had to restrict access in some circumstances.”
Commenting on the recent cinema antics, Phoebe said: “I think it’s a shame that some people starting mosh pits at the front of the cinema and talking over the entire film have definitely ruined the experience for the other people who just want to take part in the trend.
“I must admit that I think banning people from coming in suits sounds a bit extreme in my opinion, but I can understand the need to have the audience under control during a children’s film.”
In spite of this, the producers of the film, Universal Pictures, tweeted: “To everyone showing up to Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.”