McDonalds Characters : Iconic Brands, Beloved Around the World



Since the 1950’s, McDonalds has been a staple in the fast food world. These days, their iconic characters and brands remain just as beloved around the world. From Ronald McDonald to the Hamburglar, the characters that make up McDonald’s have been a part of our lives for generations.

Iconic Characters

Ronald McDonald is the most recognized character in McDonald’s history. He was first introduced in the 1960’s, and remains the face of the company to this day. Other popular characters like the Goose (Grimace) and the Hamburglar soon followed. The Hamburglar first appeared in the 1970’s, and was created to help spread the word about McDonald’s hamburgers.

Happy Meal Mascots

In the 1980’s, McDonalds created a series of new characters for the Happy Meal range. Characters such as Birdie the Early Bird, the Fry Guys, and more, became mascots of the fast food giant.

The Legend of Mayor McCheese

Despite not appearing in advertisements since the 1970’s, Mayor McCheese remains one of the most beloved characters in the McDonalds family. Mayor McCheese was introduced in 1977, and was quickly followed by the police officer, Big Mac, and the rest of the ‘McDonaldland’ gang. This colourful world proved to be popular with the public, and many of the characters remained popular for generations.

Recent Characters

Recently, McDonalds introduced three new characters, as part of their ‘Happy Year’ campaign. The characters – Happy, Joy, and Laughter – were created to spread messages of positivity and happiness.


McDonalds characters have been a staple in popular culture for generations. From Mayor McCheese to the Happy Year trio, these characters bring a little bit of joy to McDonalds customers around the world.


Mcdonalds Characters


For the last several decades, McDonald’s has had a range of characters to promote and advertise its products and services.  Though many of the earliest characters are long gone, McDonald’s still employs several beloved characters to this day. Here we take a look at the history of McDonalds characters and some of the most beloved characters currently in use.

Early Characters

McDonald’s first foray into featuring cartoon characters was in the 1950s and early 1960s when the chain airbrushed drawings of Speedee, a man in a chef’s hat, onto the sides of its early restaurants. In 1967, Ronald McDonald was unleashed on the world. He was created by Willard Scott and was originally named “Donald McDonald,” but was later changed. As McDonald’s expanded, more characters joined the flock, including the Hamburglar, Grimace, and a bird named Birdie.

The 90s Boom

Originally introduced in 1995, the McNugget Buddies were a huge hit with children in the 90s. This group of five characters–cow, sheep, chicken, hog and **dog –introduced McDonalds signature McNuggets to the world and sang the classic “It’s McDonalds Time” song.

More Recent Characters

Over the years, McDonalds has employed a variety of characters, often for limited-time promotions or in specific markets. Some of the newer characters featured in current promotions include the Mac Tonight Moon Man, the Hatchimals, and Halloween’s Scary  Increases. These characters help McDonalds engage with customers and keep the brand relevant.



McDonald’s Characters

An Introduction to the Iconic Mascots of McDonald’s

McDonald’s is one of the most widely recognized brands in the world and is home to some of the most iconic characters in popular culture. From Hamburglar to Grimace, McDonald’s has created a cast of memorable personalities that have come to life in television commercials, toys, and digital media. Let’s take a look at some of the top characters and their story.

Ronald McDonald

No McDonald’s character is more recognizable than Ronald McDonald. He was designed to be the ultimate ambassador for the McDonald’s brand and has been the character face of the company since the 1960s when he first debuted in television commercials. Ronald has a friendly demeanor and wears a red wig, yellow jumpsuit, and red and white striped socks.

The Hamburglar

The Hamburglar is one of the oldest and one of the most beloved McDonald’s characters. He was introduced to audiences in the 1970s as a mischievous burglar with a large appetite for hamburgers. Hamburglar often attempts to steal hamburgers from Ronald McDonald, but in the end, Ronald always prevails.


Grimace is a purple blob-like creature with big eyes and four arms that debuted in McDonald’s commercials alongside Ronald McDonald in 1971. He originally had two sets of arms, but the number decreased to four in the early 2000s. Grimace loves to eat McDonald’s shakes and has a silly and friendly personality.

Mayor McCheese

Mayor McCheese is the mayor of McDonaldland, the magical home of all of the McDonald’s characters. He was introduced in the early 1970s and has the unique distinction of being a walking, talking cheeseburger – with a hamburger for a head! Mayor McCheese is an avid supporter of Ronald McDonald and loves to join in on the fun.

The Fry Kids

The Fry Kids are a trio of brothers who promote McDonalds French fries. They were introduced in the late 1970s and have since become a staple of McDonald’s commercials. The Fry Kids are enthusiastic characters who often reference popular trends and culture in their television spots.

Birdie the Early Bird

Birdie the Early Bird was a popular character in the 1990s who often worked with Ronald McDonald on promotional campaigns. She was a yellow bird with a red beak who loved to sing and dance. Birdie’s catchphrase was, “Wake up with the Early Bird!”


McDonald’s has created some of the most recognizable characters in popular culture. Whether you’re a fan of Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie, or Mayor McCheese, there is something for everyone in the McDonald’s universe.


McDonalds Characters

Ronald McDonald: The Iconic Clown

Ronald McDonald is the face of McDonalds. He was created in 1965 by Willard Scott and quickly became a staple of McDonalds’ advertising campaigns from 1966 to present day. He’s a red-haired clown with a white face, yellow hair, and a funny red jumpsuit with yellow trim. He often appears with other characters like Hamburglar, Grimace, and Birdie the Early Bird. McDonalds often uses Ronald McDonald in their global Children’s Day celebrations. He is the official Clown for Ronald McDonald House Charities, which supports the health and well-being of children around the world.

Hamburglar: The Burger-Stealing Bandit

The Hamburglar was created in 1971, and originally portrayed as a kid, before being redesigned in 2015 as a more adult-looking character. He is McDonalds’ resident baddie, always scheming to steal hamburgers in the middle of the night. He often clashes with Ronald McDonald and other characters during McDonalds’ commercials. He has been featured in several video games, comics, and television series over the years.

Grimace: The Lovable Grouchy Purple Octopus

Grimace was created in 1971 and is an iconic character of the McDonalds franchise. He is a big, purple, friendly octopus-like creature with four arms and an appetite for milkshakes. He is typically portrayed as a kind-hearted and harmless character who loves to make people laugh. He is usually seen spending time with Ronald McDonald and the other characters. Grimace is often featured in McDonalds promotional campaigns, as well as in his own collection of children’s books.

Mayor McCheese: The Cheesy Icon

Mayor McCheese was created in 1971 and is a burger-eating mayor of McDonaldland. He’s a man-sized cheeseburger with a towering top hat, a hamburger bun for a face, and a giant green pickle for a nose. Mayor McCheese is usually seen in the same room as other McDonalds characters, often in conferences or banquets. He is known for his positive attitude and enthusiasm for McDonalds and hamburgers.

Birdie the Early Bird: The Sublime Character With Great Values

Birdie the Early Bird was created in 1986 and is a female character who loves to wake up early and promote healthy habits for children. She is typically seen wearing a yellow dress and a red scarf. She is usually accompanied by her two friends, Beatrice the Hummingbird and Harry the Apple. Birdie can often be found during McDonalds commercials encouraging kids to eat breakfast and practice good hygiene. She often teams up with Ronald McDonald and Grimace for various activities.


  • – Characters
  • Wikipedia – Ronald McDonald
  • The Balance – McDonalds Characters List


McDonald’s Characters


McDonald’s has been an iconic brand for over 70 years. As such, they’ve developed a stable of beloved characters to help promote their image to a variety of audiences. Many of these characters are still around today, while others have gone on to join the ranks of pop culture figures everyone knows and loves.

Ronald McDonald

The first and most recognizable of the McDonald’s characters is Ronald McDonald. Debuting in the 1960s, Ronald McDonald is a clown who has evolved over the years as the brand has. Starting out as an ambassador of fast food to children, today the character has become much more than that. He’s actively involved in the community, working in support of thefight against childhood obesity. Fans can follow Ronald McDonald on social media, watching as he hilariously interacts with other famous characters like the Hamburglar and Grimace.


Grimace debuted in the early 1970s as a character who loves to drink milkshakes. His name comes from the facial expression of disappointment that he usually displays. In his early years, Grimace was known as an antagonist, even going so far as to attempt to steal the McDonaldland’s milkshake machine. He was eventually redeemed and today he’s known as a kind and lovable character who helps Ronald promote the brand in an entertaining way.

Mayor McCheese

Mayor McCheese first appeared in 1971. His large cheesy head made him one of the more recognizable characters in the McDonaldland to kids and adults alike. During his time as the mayor of McDonaldland, he was known for throwing attended parades, having guests on his show, and always managing to put a smile on everyone’s faces.

The Hamburglar

The Hamburglar is one of the longest-standing characters on this list. He has been stealing hamburgers since 1971 when he was first introduced to audiences. Since then, the character has been updated to a more modern look and has become a comedian, getting into hilarious misadventures with other characters.

Birdie the Early Bird

Birdie the Early Bird was the first female character introduced to McDonaldland in 1980. She was brought on board to try to promote the new Menu, Early Bird. Birdie was a happy character who dressed in bright colors and sang to everyone she encountered. She hasn’t been seen since 2003, but she’s still fondly remembered by fans everywhere.

The Fry Kids

The Fry Kids were brought on to help bring hue to McDonald’s fries advertising campaigns throughout the late 1980s. The Kids were popular amongst the fans because of the way they were portrayed, as they always seemed to be having a good time.


McDonald’s characters rate amongst the most recognizable and beloved pop culture figures ever, spanning multiple generations and bringing joy to millions of people. Every character has a unique story and purpose that helps to further the company’s mission, making their presence all the more valuable.



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