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“McNuggies” is a poorly drawn illustration of McDonald’s character Grimace posing in a seductive manner and asking the question “What’s wrong, Ronald-kun? Could it be you’re craving my McNuggies?” presumably in reference to his prominently featured posterior.
The earliest known instance of McNuggies was uploaded onto Tumblr by blogger Matt (a.k.a Wolfgang) on March 16th, 2012 where it accumulated more than 5,000 likes and reblogs in less than two weeks. After Matt’s post, the illustration was picked up a day later by the adult imageboard site Rule34 by a user named Decanter. Before the McNuggies post, Matt already created several other similar images using characters from Tribes and Homestuck, amongst others. Although these all didn’t receive the same amount of notes as the McNuggies image. “Ronald-kun” mentioned in the image refers to the Japanese version of McDonald’s character Donald McDonald.
On March 26th, YouTuber Sypher782 uploaded a video version paired with a dramatic reading of the quote from the original illustration. The video received over 400 likes 100 comments in the span of a few days.
The character illustration of Grimace quickly spread across Tumblr and DeviantART, generating dozens of parodies based on other recognizable characters from video games and cartoons. In the following days, original image was subsequently picked up by internet humor sites like FunnyJunk and I So Bored. The joke was particularly well received among the fans of webcomic series Homestuck, spawning numerous parodies based on the main characters:
On May 27th, YouTuber Gamefan15 uploaded another video featuring the same image set to the main soundtrack from the 2002 British horror film 28 Days Later, which was previously used in a short-lived, dramatic video series known as “What Do You Mean You Forgot the Chicken Nuggets.” On April 1st, Newgrounds user Redrik009 posted a short flash animation featuring various close-up shots of Grimace’s butt, paired with the opening of Huey Lewis & The News’ 1987 single “Doing It All For My Baby.”