Occasionally, I like to gather with my family, friends and co-workers and really debate the serious philosophical questions in life. Questions like, what is meaning of life? What is happiness? Is the universe real…or could that Matrix movie really be onto something? In a fight, would Batman or Superman win? If you ate both pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? What do the Kardashians even DO? And is there a Buzzfeed quiz for any of this??
While some questions may never have answers (although I think we can all definitively say that double stuffed Oreos are much better than regularly stuffed ones), other questions spark a good debate. My boss recently asked me, “why do we like minions?” My off the cuff response, “because they do stuff for us?”, was met with a chuckle. After clarifying that the minions my boss was referring to were the lovable, Twinkie shaped, goofballs from the Despicable Me movies, she asked the question again. This time she followed it up with evidence that we should actually find them more annoying than adorable. They are aggressive, they talk gibberish, they are always breaking things and making messes, and they can’t seem to stay out of trouble. So why do we “grown ups” like them as much as our five and six year old counterparts do?
Being the sometimes disillusioned but eternal optimist that I am, I was quick to come to the minions’ defense. They show amazing levels of loyalty, devotion, and affection. The one person they have dedicated their lives to is on a mission to steal the moon. The fact that the minions haven’t dropped him like a Kardashian relationship is a testament to true affection. Although the minions pick on each other like rival siblings, when one of them is in trouble the rest are quick to rally. They are endearing. In the words of my co-worker Chris, “They are like the filthy kid standing in your kitchen with a mud pie that they made ‘just for you!’. You can’t help but smile and love them.”
All other qualities aside, I think my five year old nephew Wyatt summed up the answer to why we like minions best when he said, “they are weird and funny.” In a society where “growing up” means getting serious, we tend to look for a way to add some silly to our lives. We look for a way to [insert serious voice here] connect with our inner child. Minions, through their weird and funny antics, provide a much needed connection to that inner child.
Some of us are lucky enough to have our own group of real life minions. For me, the twenty-six members of my immediately family, along with my extended family and friends, could not be more loyal, devoted, or affectionate…or a bigger source of laughs and smiles. As an added bonus, I’ve also been lucky enough to find a group of co-workers that fit right into the mix, as evidenced in the following video. Even though they can be aggressive, sometimes they talk gibberish and break things, and a lot of them can’t seem to stay out of trouble, I wouldn’t trade a single one of my minions for anything.
So why do we like minions? Because they make us happy. Hey, I think we just answered that what is happiness question too….MINIONS!