Day 16 of Grimace’s birthday and the grime scenes keep stacking up.
It’s a big day for list enthusiasts, with Colin Powell’s great-nephew’s band Fall Out Boy unexpectedly and unnecessarily releasing a haphazard “We Didn’t Start the Fire” update for 1989-2023. I’d love to say it’s good but first it would have to be good, and one verse goes: “Kim Jong / Un Robert / Downey Junior / Iron Man.” That is not the nuts in my bedpost. In Vulture, Justin Curto brought it full-Tabs-circle by claiming that Senior Correspondent Allegra’s Pablo-matic fave Matty Healy’s The 1975 already recorded the real modern-times WDSTF, which, eh.
Speaking of Pablo-matic faves, Emily Gould interviewed Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak for her New York Magazine newsletter “Making It,” but didn’t quite ask the question that Jason Farago and several other critics raised, which was why did she include “works by women from the Brooklyn Museum collection… [that] seem to have been selected more or less at random…?” Instead it’s got more of a “who are your favorite Saturday Night Live cast members?” vibe.
E.G.: Do you have any sense of how many people have actually seen the exhibit?
A.P.: We’re at capacity all day. I can tell you, the video that we launched with Hannah, when the show opened, had over half a million views in its first 24 hours, I think. That was our second-most-liked social-media post of all time.
Danny Lavery collected Email Updates From the Queer Farm Everyone Else Ran Away To, and it sounds like it’s going well.
You know who else didn't have a lot of formal training before they tried to change the world through food? JOHNNY APPLESEED
Arnold says if you want to win in the Supreme Court, don’t skip leg day. Alex Goldman can now confirm that the first Donald Trump Disney animatronic was indeed the Hillary animatronic with a hasty Trump wig. The Verge picked the top ten nonfiction tech books of all time, and they are correct. Sam Kriss explained Russia. And it’s getting late in the year to declare what kind of summer it is, but Lyz Lenz says it’s the Summer of the Whale.
For her final regular Tabs, Intern Mariam risked it all to get to the bottom of the grimmest new social media trend.
Day 16 of Grimace’s birthday and the grime scenes keep stacking up. The day after McDonald's dropped a bespoke purple milkshake in honor of America's favorite middle-aged blob turning 52, disturbing footage began to appear. The Griminal is on a grampage and no one is grimpervious.
The videos generally start the same: an unsuspecting teen takes a sip of the violently purple shake (which reportedly tastes like “grape flavoring and pepto bismol had a baby”) and cheerfully wishes Grimace a happy birthday. Then, a quick cut to the grawful result; a brutal, gurgling death, purple vomit everywhere. The deaths keep getting more violent, creative, and elaborate. Other renditions play off horror tropes from films like It Follows and queer documentary The Babadook, where drinking the shake serves as a Faustian contract that transforms the imbiber into a stalking victim or Grimace themself. Basically, imagine if McDonald’s hired A24 for a social media advertising campaign, with no oversight.
It’s one of the best TikTok trends I’ve seen in forever, despite being free publicity for the world’s largest fast-food chain. The artful bite-size pastiche of indie horror flicks combined with Gen Z’s impressive commitment to the bit and the pure delight I experience from chanting “smooth griminal” on a loop inside my skull makes for the ideal internet experience: absurd, silly, camp. I love these kooky teens and their chronic tomfoolery!
As for why the shake does what it does, my personal fave theory is that it’s lean (i.e. cough syrup and Sprite). Or it’s Grimace’s blood (which is also lean). Both, unfortunately, are canonically wrong. “Original victim of Grimace” @thefrazmaz explained on Monday the trend is “quite literally just a meme” inspired by the Spiderverse burger.
Oldhead Macca’s marketers rebranded the original Evil Grimace because “in ads you don't necessarily want people to be scared of being killed by a monster when they go to your place.” WRONG! Clearly, we the people grim-miss ordering our burgers with a side of death. 🕊️
—Mariam Sharia is a smooth griminal
It’s a multi-intern crossover event today, as Music Intern Sam discovered the official 64 hour long, 1,115 song Grimace’s Birthday Spotify playlist, which contains tracks like Rob Zombie’s “Dragula” and Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” and thus serves as canonical confirmation that Grimace is in fact a nonbinary icon.
That’s it! It’s time for me to go on July 4th vacay, watch out for Intern Mariam’s Graduation Tabs on Friday, and otherwise stay offline till next Wednesday for your own safety.
Today’s Song: Rae Sremmurd, “Not So Bad (Lean’s Gone Cold)”