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McDonald's Viral Grimace Shake is Coming Back—But There's a Catch

The purple item is about to take another country by storm.

Grimace Shake fans, rejoice! The popular lavender-colored item is returning to McDonald's restaurants. Unfortunately for Americans, the sweet treat will be sold only at select McDonald's locations in Canada, according to Canadify.

Now on the menu at restaurants across the Great White North, the Grimace Shake is a reprise of the special milkshake flavor that made waves across America when it originally debuted in June 2023.

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The now-iconic purple drink was the first of its color at McDonald's and part of an initiative to celebrate the fictional purplish character Grimace's birthday as part of a limited-edition Grimace Birthday Meal. The combo included the new berry-flavored purple shake in a festive cup and your choice of a Big Mac or a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, plus fries. It was a bit more expensive than the beloved (and currently on hiatus) $5 meal deal, but its exclusivity and social media friendliness made the special meal a hit.

Courtesy of McDonald's

The shake itself  became a viral sensation online, with fans widely speculating about its unspecified flavor, which some likened to breakfast cereals like Froot Loops and Fruity Pebbles, while others picked up on a more classic berries-and-cream flavor. Plenty of copycat recipes also appeared online, using blueberries, blackberries, and blue spirulina to replicate the shake's purple hue.

Most memorably, the summertime treat sparked a viral trend, in which TikTokers pretended to die after sipping the mysterious and seemingly unnaturally flavored shake. The horror movie-style videos proliferated on the app, with celebrities including the actress Courtney Cox playing around with the format.

McDonald's acknowledged the trend with a playful post on Twitter, depicting Grimace himself pretending not to see the trend that made his namesake shake a summertime must-have.

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The chain ultimately stopped serving the shakes and the corresponding celebratory meal on July 9, 2023. But, now that they're back on the menu in Canada, it's certainly possible that they'll resurface in the U.S., too. (Anything can happen to celebrate McDonald's favorite Gemini.)

The biggest question, however, may be whether Canadians (and those willing to travel to Canada for another sweet sip of Grimace shake) dare to replicate to the viral Grimace videos.

McDonald's customers in Canada are also lucky enough to be treated to the chain's exclusive Remix Menu, offering fun twists and hybrids of classic menu items. The creative cuisine includes a chicken cheeseburger, a surf and turf burger that adds a Filet 'O Fish to a McDouble, and an apple pie McFlurry—all items that would pair very nicely with a Grimace Shake.

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Melissa is a writer and recipe developer based in Brooklyn, where she lives with her wife and rescue dog. Read more about Melissa