|“||Don't be scared of Gru. He's just a BIG, BALD teddy bear!||”|
— Agnes Gru
Lucy Wilde (wife)
Formerly the world's greatest villain, Gru has been ousted by Vector, who had stolen the Pyramid of Giza and been bestowed the honor of pulling off the "crime of the century". In response, Gru unveils his plan for an even more impressive crime; the theft of the Moon. When his plans are interrupted by Vector, Gru becomes the adoptive father of three girls: Margo, Edith, and Agnes.
Originally intending to use the trio as pawns for his scheme to steal the moon, Gru ends up warming up to the girls. Even though he is successful in snatching the moon, Gru chooses to give it up when he hears his adopted daughters have been kidnapped and proceeds to rescue the trio from Vector.
In the process the moon is accidentally returned to its orbit, impressing the Anti-Villain League enough that Gru is soon recruited to stop the thief of the PX-41 mutagen. Together with AVL agent Lucy Wilde, he attempts to track down the evasive El Macho. After the events of the mission, he becomes Lucy's husband.
Gru comes from a long lineage of Gru's. Although his hometown is unknown, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres he claimed he was from Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a child he had always dreamed of going to the moon. He made a "prototype" rocket out of macaroni and an actual working prototype rocket. For most of his childhood he was neglected and ignored by his mother, and it is unknown if this is what inspired him to become a supervillain, or if the Gru family is a family of supervillains, although his mother showed no signs of being one. He has worked with Dr. Nefario, who builds gadgets and weapons for Gru, for some time and based on what Dr. Nefario said, they have been planning the moon heist for a long time.
Appearance & Abilities
Gru is a tall, bald man with blue eyes, long nose and broad, powerful physique; and dresses in a light grey sweater underneath a black collared coat along with a striped grey scarf, black trousers, and shoes. He is very strong and athletic, being capable of dodging and leaping off several heat-seeking missiles, backhanding Vector's shark with a single punch (without even looking at it), and smashing his fist into Vector's monitor, easily cracking the screen without doing any damage to his hand.
Apart from his remarkable agility and strength, Gru is also considerably intelligent. For example, as a child he built a real rocket. However since becoming a supervillain he seems to let Dr.Nefario handle most of the mechanical work though he is seen helping Nefario from time to time. Gru is also capable of forming clever plans such as his plan to steal the shrink ray from Vector. He also has demonstrated an amazing ability to adapt and improvise effectively on the fly when the a plan takes some unexpected twists and turns.
During his interview with Miss Hattie when he first adopted the girls, his date of birth is listed as "09.28.1960". Based on the real-world release dates of both movies, this would put his age at the early 50s as of Despicable Me 2. This is supported by the fact that he was a child during the moon landing, which was in 1969, which meant he was nine years old during that event.
Gru is also a good dancer as he always enjoys dances through crowds of Minions or real people.
- Freeze Ray
- Fart Gun
- Lipstick Taser
- Rocket Launcher
- Jelly Gun
- Big Blaster Cannon
PersonalityAt first, Gru was a sneaky and somewhat cold-hearted man, who was determined to become the greatest villain in the world. At first he showed a dislike of children being easily irritated by Agnes, Edith and Margo. He was selfish and in the beginning, he only adopted the girls so that he could get the shrink ray which he intended to use to shrink the moon so that he could steal it. He was also rather indifferent to their needs and welfare; when Edith was trapped inside an iron maiden and briefly presumed dead, he indifferently said that his plan could work with two children. Only that didn't work because Edith opened the door and said "It poked a hole in my juice box."
Gru is also rather cruel and even sadistic at first and enjoyed using his Freeze Ray, which is his signature weapon often freezing people just for the sake of it. Near the beginning of the movie he made a balloon animal for a boy who'd dropped his ice cream and then popped the balloon just for fun. When Vector kidnapped his adopted daughters he furiously told him that he is in for a world of pain. However this is not a sign of his sadism; instead it is a sign of how much he cared for the three girls.
Despite these traits, Gru is shown to be good friends with Dr. Nefario and also treated his Minions quite well interacting with them and calling each one of them by name (he can also understand their language) instead of just treating them like slaves. However he also said that he had no intention of giving his minions a raise. It is implied that Gru's negative personality traits stem primarily from his strained relationship with his mother, who was neglectful and somewhat verbally abusive towards him since his childhood despite his constant efforts to make her proud.
As time went on, Gru started to enjoy spending time with his three adopted daughters and in the end he grew to genuinely love them, putting aside his dream of stealing the moon and risking his life to rescue them from Vector. Dr. Nefario disapproved of the fact that Gru's warmer side is starting to reveal itself and sent the girls back to the orphanage. Though Gru didn't attempt to stop Miss Hattie from taking them he is clearly upset about them leaving and later said that giving them up is the worst mistake he'd ever made. He also did his best to get to their dance performance after stealing the moon and is upset when he discovered he is too late.
Gru also has a tendency to say "lightbulb" whenever he has an idea. He speaks in an unusual accent (probably east European) which was described as 'a mix of Ricardo Montalban and Bela Lugosi'. When asked about his accent by Ellen DeGeneres he said he was from Albuquerque, New Mexico and asked Ellen not to push this topic any further.
Gru returns home from an unknown endeavor only to learn of the theft of the Pyramid of Giza from Dr. Nefario. With his pride badly wounded, Gru assembles his Minions in his underground lair. He recalls the successful thefts of the Times Square jumbo-tron, and the miniature Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower from Las Vegas. He then reveals his long-time planned, most epic heist; the theft of the Moon.
Gru heads to the Bank of Evil to obtain a loan from Mr. Perkins, the bank's owner. While Gru waits for his audience with Mr. Perkins, Vector, another villain, annoys the former by showboating and displaying his piranha gun. When Gru finally gets to face Mr. Perkins, he asks for funding to build the rocket which is necessary for his plan to steal the moon. Mr. Perkins refuses to give him a loan unless Gru presents the SR-6. Additionally, during the meeting, Gru finds out from Mr. Perkins that it was Vector who stole the Pyramid of Giza. As Gru leaves the bank, he freezes Vector's head with his freeze ray.
During a testing of the shrink ray in a facility in East Asia, Gru steals it and flies off on his ship. However Vector steals the shrink ray from Gru mid-flight. Gru tries to shoot Vector down with guns and then with missiles, but fails. Vector then blasts Gru's ship with the shrink ray as payback for the latter freezing his head. This causes the ship to shrink, forcing Gru and the Minions to ride the miniaturized ship home.
Gru attempts to retake the shrink ray from Vector's lair only to be thwarted by its defensive systems, and Vector's pet shark. Gru sees three girls, Margo, Edith, and Agnes, trying to sell Vector cookies, and Vector lets them in. Gru plans on using the girls to reobtain the shrink ray and contacts Dr. Nefario and tells him to build a bunch of Cookie Robots for the theft. Gru goes to Miss Hattie's Home for Girls, the orphanage Margo, Edith and Agnes are from, masquerading as a dentist and adopts them.
The following day, the girls convince Gru to drive them to dance class before going to Vector's lair to deliver the large quantity of cookies that Vector ordered. After the class, the cookie robots are delivered by the girls and activated. The robots break into Vector's vault by hacking open the vault's door, and weld a hole in the wall from the inside. Gru and two Minions enter through the opening and grab the shrink ray, but as they are leaving they are sealed in by the cookie robots. They escape through some air vents and out to the main entrance (without Vector noticing) and return to the car.
On the way home, Gru and the girls stop by an amusement park called Super Silly Fun Land, which Gru sees as a chance to abandon the girls. After being forced to ride the roller coaster with them and helping Agnes win a unicorn stuffed toy, he ends up having fun with Margo, Edith and Agnes.
At his home, he fine-tunes his plan to Mr. Perkins via a teleconference, but he is interrupted by the girls during his presentation. Perkins surprises Gru by again refusing him the loan—claiming that while he doesn't have a problem with the plan, he doesn't want Gru to do it and he still wants a younger villain to do it. Though Gru is ready to abandon his plan due to lack of funds, the girls and the Minions donate money, sell Gru's furniture, and salvage scrap metal from junkyards to keep the plan going.
While the rocket is being built, Gru has fun with the girls, having tea parties with them, allowing them to have a slumber party, telling them bedtime stories and cooking them various shaped pancakes. Dr. Nefario soon begins to see the girls as a distraction to Gru. Since the moon heist and an important ballet recital the girls fall on the same day, Gru wants to move the day of the heist. Dr. Nefario confronts Gru and tells him how he feels the girls are becoming "a major distraction" and tells him "they need to go, if you don't do something about it, then I will." He remains true to his word and contacts Miss Hattie and requests she take the girls back to the orphanage. Both Gru and the girls are heartbroken.
The following day, on May 26, and with a broken heart, Gru boards the rocket and flies off to the moon, but not before one of the minions puts the ticket Agnes gave him into his space suit's pocket, despite Gru giving it back to that minion and telling him he doesn't have time for the girls dance recital. Gru shrinks the moon and pockets it. When he sees the ticket Agnes gave him, he realizes he has time to catch the recital. However, it has ended by the time he arrives. On the seat that the girls reserved for him, Gru finds a note from Vector, who has kidnapped the girls, telling him to bring the moon.
After forcing Gru to hand over the moon, Vector goes back on the deal and keeps the girls as his captives. This enrages Gru, who storms Vector's lair, the latter's defenses proving useless. Vector flees in an escape pod with the girls inside. Gru chases after them, climbing the disguised Pyramid and hanging onto the exterior of the ship. He nearly falls to his death, but is rescued by Dr. Nefario in the ship that Vector shrank previously. Nefario reveals that the effects of the shrink ray are not permanent and the effect wears off at a rate proportional to its original mass (which he calls the "Nefario Principle"), to put it simply, the bigger the object, the faster it returns to normal after being shrunk by the Shrink Ray.
As Gru gives chase to Vector, the effects of the shrink ray on the Moon inside the pod begin to wear off, causing the Moon to grow and smash open the glass bubble holding the girls. Gru rescues them by securing Vector's ship using a rope with a grappling hook and tells them to jump and that he will catch them. Edith and Agnes jump, and while Margo is about to jump, Vector catches her, but the (rapidly-expanding) Moon wrecks Vector's controls, causing his ship to accelerate into space and carry the moon back into orbit. Margo falls off the ship so Gru jumps off to catch her. The Minions join hands to form a lifeline, saving Gru and Margo.
Gru re-adopts the girls and they settle down to live a happy life as a family. He tells them a bedtime story about a unicorn whose life was changed when he met three little kittens (his own life story). The girls give a special recital for the minions, His mother, who after years of neglecting her son, finally tells him she is proud of him. A Minion changes the music from Swan Lake to disco, and everyone present rushes onstage to dance. As everyone else continues to dance, Gru raises himself and the girls up on a platform onto the roof of his house, and they watch the moon fill the sky, now in its rightful place.
One day, Gru left his girls at home to get plutonium for an unknown project. Unfortunately, a social worker had been sent that day to check if his house is suitable for the girls to live in. Margo, Edith, and Agnes redecorated the house, and Margo, along with another Minion, impersonated Gru.
The real Gru returned home only to find his house made "girly" and the social worker fainting into his arms, who had been frightened by the fake Gru. Gru himself promptly fainted when he realized that his girls had redecorated the house, though he is happy knowing that the house is declared suitable for children, meaning he could keep the girls.
Gru ran a Minion training session on the anniversary of the day he met the girls.
Despicable Me 2
Gru has retired from villainy, preferring to concentrate on his new venture of producing bottled jellies and jams and the responsibilities of being a father to his three adopted daughters, Margo, Edith, and Agnes.
During Agnes's birthday party, Gru finds out a fairy princess he hired can not make it to the party, forcing him to quickly dress as one himself (Gruzinkerbell). While his daughter sees right through the ruse, Agnes says that she didn't tell the truth for the sake of the other kids..
After the birthday party, Gru is approached by Lucy Wilde, an Anti-Villain League agent who requests that he come with her. When Gru resists, she stuns him with her lipstick taser and forcibly abducts Gru. Two of the Minions who try to thwart her plans are captured also. They travel to AVL's underwater headquarters where Gru meets the league's director, Silas Ramsbottom. He asks Gru to assist its agents in their efforts to track down the perpetrator who stole a secret laboratory in the Arctic Circle. The lab's scientists are experimenting with the mutagen PX-41, which is capable of transforming living things into indestructible killing machines.
Gru refuses the offer, citing his need to get back to his jelly production and daughters. Before he leaves, Lucy admits she is impressed by his work as a villain and gives her business card to Gru, urging him to contact her if he changes his mind. Upon return to his lab, Gru realises that his Minion-run production line had churned out bottles of awful-tasting jellies. In addition, his research scientist, Dr. Nefario confesses to Gru that he misses being "evil" and has been offered employment elsewhere. After giving Dr. Nefario a 21 fart-gun salute send-off with the minions, Gru contacts Lucy and takes on the task of recovering the stolen mutagen.
Traces of chemical scent given off by the mutagen narrow the search to the confines of the Paradise Mall. Gru works undercover as the owner of a cupcake shop,named 'Bake My Day', with Lucy being assigned as his partner. He suspects Eduardo Perez, the owner of Salsa & Salsa, is an old super-villain called El Macho, who supposedly died after body-strapping TNT and riding a shark into an active volcano that resulted in his fiery demise.
The duo break-in to Salsa & Salsa after closing hours, in an attempt to convict Eduardo. Gru and Lucy, however, have to tangle with Eduardo's pet chicken, Pollito. Pollito ends up pinning down Gru, whom barely gets saved by Lucy firing her epoxy shooter at the unruly chicken. The duo then searches the kitchen vault for the PX-41 serum, only to find Eduardo's special salsa. They are forced to flee when Eduardo arrives and barely escape thanks to Dave and another Minion.
While the team investigates wig merchant Floyd Eaglesan, Margo begins to develop a crush on Eduardo's son, Antonio, much to Gru's frustration. The Gru family is invited to Eduardo's Cinco de Mayo party at his mansion. Following this incident, Gru's over-protectiveness of his daughter leads him to make wild, baseless accusations about Eduardo being El Macho and his son, which are scoffed at by Ramsbottom.
Later that day, a determined matchmaking neighbour, Jillian, sets a reluctant Gru up on a date with her rude and superficial friend Shannon. During the date, Shannon discovers Gru's wig and threatens to humiliate him, but Lucy saves him from embarrassment by shooting her with a mild moose tranquilizer dart. They take Shannon home, and Gru realizes he is in love with Lucy. When he arrives at the mall the next day, the Anti-Villain League arrest Floyd Eagle-san, who protests vehemently that he was framed, after the AVL team uncovers the empty mutagen jar in his shop. Silas tells Gru that the case is now closed and that Lucy will be transferred to AVL's Australian branch.
Gru, heartbroken from the situation, tells Agnes that she was right about him loving Lucy. However, Gru is unable to muster the courage to ask Lucy out before she leaves. The family then goes to Eduardo's party. Gru follows Eduardo and discovers that he was correct about Eduardo being the presumed-dead super-villain El Macho. Gru also discovers that Dr. Nefario has been working for Eduardo and that the duo has been capturing and mutating all of Gru's minions into the purple-furred monsters using the stolen mutagen serum, PX-41 . Eduardo offers Gru a chance to conquer the world, but Gru makes unconvincing excuses and hastily leaves with the girls. Margo has also been heartbroken when Antonio cheated on her for another girl. For breaking her heart, Gru encases Antonio in a block of ice with his freeze-ray.
Dr. Nefario calls Gru to tell him that Lucy had arrived at Eduardo's party to find him, and has been captured by Eduardo. Gru drives back to Eduardo's home with Dave and Stuart on his personal motorcycle. He disguises the two Minions in purple paint to escort his "captured" self into Eduardo's compound in a rescue attempt. Gru manages to restore the minions who are under El Macho's control using the awful-tasting jam infused with the antidote which Dr. Nefario made.
When Gru finds El Macho, the latter threatens to launch Lucy into the volcano where he faked his death. As El Macho lays his finger on the button, a Minion takes it away from him. El Macho bemoans that he wished to work with Gru and drinking a vial of PX-41, moves to kill Gru. Gru manages to electrocute El Macho with Lucy's lipstick taser. After El Macho collapses to the ground, Gru tries to untie Lucy who is strapped onto a TNT-loaded shark rocket. While attempting to do so, Pollito pecks the trigger for the rocket, sending the pair flying towards the active volcano. While on the rocket, Lucy accepts Gru's date invitation before the pair dives into the safety of the ocean, just seconds before the rocket explodes.
One hundred and forty-seven dates later, Gru and Lucy marry.
Gru is walking Kyle when he spotted Dave walking a UFO, much to his disbelief. Later, he is watching a movie about a UFO with his family. Gru kicked out Dave and his pet UFO when the tiny machine got angry at the fact the UFO in the movie is being shot at by tanks and destroyed the TV.
- Drawing a picture of himself landing on the moon.
- Making a macaroni prototype of the rocket.
- Making a full-sized, fully-working rocket, based on the model and macaroni prototype.
- Villain of the Year (seen on a newspaper).
- Stealing the Times Square Jumbotron.
- Stealing the Statue of Liberty (the small one from Las Vegas).
- Stealing the Eiffel Tower (the small one also from Las Vegas).
- Stealing the Shrink Ray from a secret East Asian (appears to be North Korean) Facility.
- Adopting three girls from Ms. Hattie's Home for Girls.
- Stealing the Shrink Ray (back from Vector).
- Making a rocket (with the help of the Minions and Dr. Nefario).
- Stealing the moon (momentarily).
- Saving Margo, Edith, and Agnes from Vector.
- Unintentionally returning the moon.
- Becoming the world's best hero (unintentionally, of course).
- Wanting to harm Vector for kidnapping his adoptive girls.
- Becoming a caring father.
Appearances in Other Media
Gru only has a speaking role when he talks to the Minions in the introduction over the intercom. He tells Dave to quiet down just like in Despicable Me and announces Paul is the winner of Minion of the Year.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Gru may have also used the freeze ray on Ellen DeGeneres in a lineup at Starbucks, as he recalled standing behind her in line and that she ordered a latte. Ellen thought her interview with Gru is the first time they met which suggests she may have been frozen after ordering her latte.
On The Ellen DeGeneres Show he showed he could do many kinds of dances but Ellen is unable to guess the last one before time ran out (Irish Jig).
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- Gru apparently has Dave and Stuart on speed dial, as shown on the telephone he keeps in his office.
- Gru wears smiley face-print underwear, displayed when his pants fall off during his escape from Vector's base.
- Gru and Steve Carell look somewhat alike, as shown when Steve Carell appeared dressed as him on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. In fact, every Character in franchise has some resemblance to their voice actors except El-macho, who resemble Al Pachino, his original voice actor.
- Gru has black eyes in Despicable Me, however, they are blue in Despicable Me 2.
- Gru seems to be very wealthy, as indicated that he pays each of the minions wages, and there are over 10,000 minions. Although, it is also indicated that much of his money comes from the Bank. Although, his source of money in Despicable Me 2 is unknown.
- Gru shares some characteristic features with the current version of Dr. Ivo 'Eggman' Robotnik, of the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
- Gru appears to share some features with the Street Fighter III character Illia "Necro"; both are of Russian origin, bear characteristic feature of long noses, and are at one point in league with their series' antagonists, before turning over a new leaf after being betrayed by them.
- Gru bears some resemblance to an Emperor Penguin, which is known for the father's tendency to protect and nurture its offspring very well, such as the case for his minions and adopted daughters.
- He also bears some resemblance to Batman villain Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin, right down to their vaguely bird-like appearances.
- Gru's name was initially spelled as "Groo" in the developing stages of Despicable Me.
- Some early concept art of "Groo" resembled Jafar, the main antagonist of Disney's Aladdin.
- When getting zap first time by a lipstick tasser, Gru performs a late Michael Jackson dance as part of the late King of Pop's tribute.
- When Gru was attacked by Polito during his and Lucy's sneak in at the Salsa and Salsa restaurant, the whole entire sequence is a nod to the movie Shrek 2 where a similar sequence took place when Puss in Boots first met and then attacked Shrek. In fact, like the Shrek 2 sequence, there is another nod where after Polito wormed his way underneath Gru's shirt and exploded out of his chest. This is a nod to the movie Alien series and its (in)famous "chestburster" scene (In Shrek 2 this was done by Puss).