Minions are the numerous creatures that appear in the Despicable Me franchise, which began with the eponymous 2010 film. They are the official mascots of Illumination Entertainment, a division of Universal Studios, and have been described as being a corporate icon for Illumination's parent company Comcast on par with Disney's Mickey Mouse.
The Minions are small, yellow, melodious henchmen who wear overalls and goggles and have one or two eyes. They mostly speak their own creole-like language called "Minionese", which is partly derived from Bahasa Indonesia, French, English, Italian, Spanish, and Hindi. Although seemingly nonsensical, the English-sounding words are dubbed for every country, in order to make them recognizable. In Minions it is made clear that they have existed since the beginning of life on Earth, and desire above all else to serve the most terrible of villains. In the short film "Banana", the Minions are revealed to have an uncontrollable craving for fruits, especially bananas. Mentioned in the films and other media are Dave, Stuart, Kevin, Jerry, Carl, Phil, Paul, Jorge, Tim, Donny, Mark, Lance, Mike, Ken, Tom, John, Steve, Norbert, Bob, Tony, Chris, Eric and Henry.
In Despicable Me 2, some Minions are kidnapped by El Macho, a supervillain who injects PX-41 serum into them, turning them into monstrous purple beings who resist the atomic bombs that they kept swallowing.
Since the release of the Despicable Me films, their popularity has been rising. The Minions have been regularly featured in cross-promotions for other Comcast / NBCUniversal properties, including Universal theme parks, NBC primetime TV series, and even an Xfinity remote control.
In 2015 the town of Minions, Cornwall built a road sign paid for by Universal Studios featuring Minions. In October they removed it due to safety concerns that resulted from people stopping their cars to take photos although townspeople have campaigned to get the sign put back up in another location.
On April Fool's Day 2016, Google created a button on its Gmail service that sent a "mic drop" along with a GIF of a minion. However, the feature immediately caused backlash. Many people complained about accidentally sending the GIF during job searches, which resulted in some people being dropped from job consideration or even being fired. Google removed the feature not long after, citing those reasons and a bug that caused the GIF to be sent after hitting the regular send button.