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Google's 'Minion' Joke Not So Funny

This Friday, July 10, 2015 photo shows a "Minion" toy in New York, distributed in McDonald's restaurant's Happy Meals. The company says the talking toy is speaking only nonsense words and not something a little more adult. Experts say McDonald's may be right, and the fault may lie in how our brains are primed to find words even when they're not really there. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)
Trending Today Google GIF Minions
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This is What’s Trending Today…

Friday was April Fools’ Day. Google’s search engine has become famous for its April Fools' tricks over the years.

This year, however, one trick Google played did not have many people laughing.

The company added a button to its email service, Gmail. The button enabled users to send out a GIF of a minion. Minions first appeared in the 2010 movie “Despicable Me.”

The small, yellow creatures starred in their own film last year.​

Actor Steve Carell poses with two life-size minion characters.
Actor Steve Carell poses with two life-size minion characters.

In Google’s GIF, a minion dropped a microphone. The GIF was meant to be a humorous, “end of discussion” comeback to long email messages.

Sending the minion GIF would then mute - or silence the alert sound - for future messages. The “send” button for the minion was placed next to Gmail’s normal blue “send” button.

The service soon received messages from angry users. Many had accidentally added the minion GIF to important business messages to their employer and co-workers.

People also commented on social media about the not-so-funny April Fools' trick.

Google Inc. apologized and cancelled the minion feature. The company said that because of a technical problem, the GIF “caused more headaches than laughs.”

But not all of Google’s April Fools' jokes caused anger. Some were more light-hearted.

Google Nederlands, for example, posted a video of the company’s new self-driving bicycles. The video says that people could get work done while riding a bicycle. It adds that young children could go anywhere they want on a self-driving bicycle.

The video was a play on the company’s self-driving cars.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Lucija Millonig.


Words in This Story

GIF - n. short for Graphics Interchange Format

microphone - n. a device into which people speak to record their voices or to make them sound louder

mute - v. to make (something, such as a television) silent