Someone Has Worked Out How Minions Reproduce And It’s Very Weird

And an evolutionary biologist gives us some answers.

by Isabella Bridie DeLeo

Ah, the classic causality question. Which came first, the chicken or the egg, the earth or the Minion? If you’ve ever watched any of the Minions movies and wondered how they developed such a large, thriving population, you wouldn’t be the only one. Brian VanHooker, a writer for MEL, asked the (peculiar! but necessary!) question that we should’ve been wondering all along: how exactly did they reproduce?

He consulted an evolutionary biologist for answers. It gets a bit convoluted as VanHooker really dives deeply into details and playful scientific inquiry, but the gist is this: he suggests, using the introductory scene from the 2015 film Minions which illustrates their evolution, that the Minions most likely originated with three single-celled progenitors that date back to the primordial soup. The question remains, did these progenitors reproduce asexually, or, well, together? According to evolutionary biologist JV Chamary, the Minions probably had to have reproduced sexually. Why? Science says that the Minions’ genetic diversity wouldn’t be possible if they reproduced asexually, so they had to have gotten busy in some way or another.

Chamary said that the clip “reveals that there are three different larval forms of the Minions — they each have different body types, or what biologists call ‘morphs.’ There’s the Kevin-Type, which is the tall, two-eyed one; the Stuart-Type, which is the one-eyed one with medium height; and then there’s the Bob-Type, the short one with two eyes.” (Stuart, Kevin and Bob are, as you can probably tell, different main characters in the series).

Still with me? This bit of information prompts other kinds of questions, the most important one of them being about gender and the three progenitors. As Chamary points out, since there’s no species out there that naturally has three biological parents, which means that at least one of the first Minions had to have been male and another female, and they must have reproduced together. But hey, since Minions do in fact exist in a fictional world and were created by animators over at Illumination Entertainment, maybe the rules of biology don’t really apply? At least it’s kinda fun to escape from worries about the pandemic and speculate about the sex lives of our favorite Minions.