In all the Despicable Me movies, I never found a single instance of a Minion without a goggle.

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  • Why do they always wear goggles?
  • Are the goggles merged into their skin?
  • 1
    I don't know, but I'd like to mention that we see a minion wearing a google whose glass is fractured in the second movie.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 12:33
  • 17
    Union regulations, indubitably. Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 14:19
  • 2
    @JohnS.:They also attend weddings and take care of the house. Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 2:54
  • 2
    @Madeyedexter weddings are especially hazardous, what with the flying champagne corks. I expect a government safety regulation anytime now that will require safety goggles to be worn at wedding receptions.
    – John S.
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 23:47
  • 4
    The googles? They do nothing. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 16:15

4 Answers 4


The minions' character design was influenced by two sources: Oompa-Loompas and Jawas.

From With 'Despicable Me 2,' fans again go bananas over Gru's minions (LA Times July 02, 2013):

When they were creating the characters, Coffin and Renaud thought of other memorable sycophants of cinema — the orange-skinned Oompa-Loompas from "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," the brown-robed Jawas from "Star Wars" — and realized that short stature was a major part of their appeal.

The filmmakers ended up designing Gru's minions as subterranean, goggle-wearing mole people in coveralls who like to eat bananas and punch one another in the face. "The minions are like children," said Renaud. "They lose their focus, they're not very smart."

If Gru is "despicable", then the minions are undoubtedly "mischievous". They also engage in a lot of slapstick comedy, which means they get hurt a lot. When they do, you're meant to laugh at them, instead of sympathising and cringing. This is done by dehumanising them:

  • They have little arms and legs
  • They're shaped like tic-tacs (which are diminutive and can withstand punishment)
  • They speak gibberish (compare this to the Sims)
  • They have yellow skin (which makes them closer to cartoon characters than humans)
  • They wear uniforms

Goggles dehumanise

Along the same vein, goggles dehumanise the minions by partially obscuring their eyes. Eyes are very important for human empathy; studies show that children prefer peers without glasses over those with them; we also find it intimidating when people wear items such as shades, visors or eye-obscuring helmets.

On the other hand, we derive a lot of information from observing eyes by the way they are expressed. Therefore goggles serve as a compromise between dehumanising but still showing the eyes underneath, so a big range of emotions are available.

Goggles protect

Still, just in case you were concerned about the welfare of the minions, it's comforting to know they have goggles to protect them.

radioactive man the goggles

  • 2
    Nicely put together, but I don't think partially obscuring their eyes stands true for the minion's goggles. They are purely transparent and their eyes do reflect various expressions. :) Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 6:15
  • @bugbuster true, which is why I cited the study about children's attitudes to people who wear glasses. Still, it may make a good question for CogSci.SE! Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 6:17
  • 5
    Aaaghh! The goggles! They do nothing!
    – Ernie
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 21:19
  • Just so you are aware this answer was cited on another website. Congratulations!!
    – Skooba
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 13:43

In Despicable Me 2,

It is shown that minions have bad eye-sight. Without glasses, minion's vision is blurry. When because of, a purple minion, one of the minions lost his goggles, he was not able to see properly. So that appear to be reason behind wearing goggle.

  • But then this raises the question of why the minions are low-<spoilered>... Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 6:07
  • @congusbongus their is no in-universe explanation given. We can only wait for next film to clear this topics. Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 6:10
  • 2
    Seems like a better explanation and makes sense. Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 6:16
  • 4
    Oh, that must be because of vitamin deficiency. They eat bananas rather than carrots. :-)
    – b_jonas
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 20:03

They are not melted into their skin. In this trailer video for Despicable Me, a minion pulls the goggles of another one away from his head.

screencap with the goggle pulled

  • What is the source of this image?
    – b_jonas
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 13:35
  • 1
    It's from this Teaser Trailer for the first film.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 15:34

I always thought it was because they were low-level workers for Gru's science experiments. So they're working with caustic chemicals, manufacturing with lathes and welders, and generally going about doing a lot of work that can seriously damage your eyes if unprotected. You see this sort of thing a lot on factory production floors around the world, regardless of what's being manufactured.

Also, they look even goofier when they only need one lens to protect a single eye.

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