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Typical occurrence of the Grandmapocalypse during the final stage, version 2.0.

The Grandmapocalypse is an event in Cookie Clicker. It affects the background as well as the appearance of the game window and causes spawning of Wrinklers and Wrath Cookies. Its name is a portmanteau of grandma and apocalypse.

Warning message that shows up when attempting to buy the One Mind upgrade (see "Research Upgrades" below).

Effects of the Grandmapocalypse

The Grandmapocalypse has 3 different stages whose effects differ. All stages share a lot in common, but each stage has stronger effects than the last. Visual effects include the grandmas in the shop changing appearance to look angry and the background changing from solid blue to a picture reflecting the grandmatriarchs' current state.

Gameplay is also significantly altered with the introduction of Wrath Cookies. These look similar to golden cookies, except they are red. Unlike Golden Cookies which only give positive effects, wrath cookies are also capable of giving negative effects. Their unique effects include "clot", which reduces cookie production by 50% for 66 seconds, and "elder frenzy", which multiplies cookie production by 666 for 6 seconds.

Red, slug-like creatures called Wrinklers are also introduced. They occasionally spawn to eat the big cookie, each one reducing CpS by 5%. There can be up to 10 wrinklers eating at once, or up to 14 with upgrades. They can be removed, or "popped", by clicking on one 3 times quickly. When popped, they give 1.1 times the amount of cookies which all wrinklers ate while the popped wrinkler was alive.

Stage 1

Once "One Mind" is purchased, the Grandmapocalypse begins. The Grandmas are now considered "Awoken". Wrath cookies will appear 33% of the time, and Wrinklers will appear. The Grandmatriarchs will lose their teeth and become more wrinkled.

Stage 2

To get to the next stage, all Research Upgrades until "Communal Brainsweep" must be owned. The Grandmatriarch Status will change to "Displeased." Wrath cookies will appear 66% of the time, and Wrinklers will appear faster. The Grandmatriarchs are tinted red and have glowing eyes and sharper teeth.

Stage 3

To get to the Final Stage of the Grandmatriarch form, the final research upgrade, "Elder Pact," must be owned. Another warning message will appear. The news broadcasts will turn into reports of the world ending, and the Grandmatriarch Status will change to "Angered." Golden Cookies will be entirely replaced by Wrath cookies at this stage. Wrinklers appear even faster. The Grandmatriarchs show their true form as demonic masses of flesh and organs in the background. The switches Elder Pledge and Elder Covenant are also available for purchase at this point to end the Grandmapocalypse.

The background changes as the Grandmapocalypse progresses. Usually, it is bound to the grandmatriarchs' current state, but can be changed freely by using the background selector unlocked during Ascension. These are what the backgrounds look like in-game:

Starting and Ending the Grandmapocalypse

To start the Grandmapocalypse, seven Grandma types must be purchased, and at least six grandmas must be owned. The Bingo center/Research facility will now be unlocked. This will allow different research/upgrades to be purchased and eventually the "One Mind" Upgrade. This will give a warning message, and if allowed will start the Grandmapocalypse.

To halt the Grandmapocalypse, the research upgrade Elder Pact must be owned. Before this point, the Grandmapocalypse cannot be easily disabled without ascending. It can be halted in multiple ways:

  • Buying Elder Pledge for a base price of 64 cookies. Price increases by a factor of 8 when purchased until it caps out at 4.4 trillion cookies. A single Elder Pledge normally lasts for 30 minutes but can be increased to 60 minutes with the upgrade Sacrifical Rolling Pins.
  • Buying Elder Covenant for 66.6 trillion cookies. This reduces all cookie production by 5%, but disables the Grandmapocalypse indefinitely. It can be revoked at any time for a cost of 6.66 billion cookies, and will not end otherwise.
  • Selling all grandmas. This will cause the grandmatriarch status to be absent from the stats menu. The Grandmapocalypse will resume at its previous state if a grandma is bought.
  • Ascending. This will remove all research upgrades as they cannot be put in a permanent upgrade slot. It can only be resumed from there by purchasing all the research upgrades again.

If the Grandmapocalypse is halted, the following will happen:

  • The grandmatriarch status will revert to "Appeased".
  • Wrath cookies will stop appearing.
  • All wrinklers will be instantly popped.
  • The background will return to its regular blue color if not changed by the Background Selector or Scary Stuff Off in settings.

Research Upgrades

Icon Name Unlock condition Base price Description ID
Bingo Research.png Bingo center/Research facility "Elder" achievement earned

At least 6 grandmas owned

Money.png 1 quadrillion Grandma-operated science lab and leisure club.
Grandmas are 4 times as efficient.
Regularly unlocks new upgrades.
"What could possibly keep those
grandmothers in check?...
Specialized chocolate chips.png Specialized chocolate chips 1st research project completed Money.png 1 quadrillion Cookie production multiplier +1%.
"Computer-designed chocolate chips. Computer chips, if you will."
Designer cocoa beans.png Designer cocoa beans 2nd research project completed Money.png 2 quadrillion Cookie production multiplier +2%.
"Now more aerodynamic than ever!"
Ritual rolling pins.png Ritual rolling pins 3rd research project completed Money.png 4 quadrillion Grandmas are twice as efficient.
"The result of years of scientific research!"
Underworld ovens.png Underworld ovens 4th research project completed Money.png 8 quadrillion Cookie production multiplier +3%.
"Powered by science, of course!"
One mind.png One mind [note 1] 5th research project completed Money.png 16 quadrillion Each grandma gains +0.02 base Cps per grandma.
Note: the grandmothers are growing restless. Do not encourage them.
"We are one. We are many."
Exotic nuts.png Exotic nuts 6th research project completed Money.png 32 quadrillion Cookie production multiplier +4%.
"You'll go crazy over these!"
Communal brainsweep.png Communal brainsweep 7th research project completed Money.png 64 quadrillion Each grandma gains another +0.02 base Cps per grandma.
Note: proceeding any further in scientific research may have unexpected results. You have been warned.
"We fuse. We merge. We grow."
Arcane sugar.png Arcane sugar 8th research project completed Money.png 128 quadrillion Cookie production multiplier +5%.
"Tastes like insects, ligaments, and molasses."
Elder Covenant.png Elder Pact 9th research project completed Money.png 256 quadrillion Each grandma gains +0.05 base CpS per portal.
Note: this is a bad idea.
"squirm crawl slither writhe
today we rise"
Ritual rolling pins.png Sacrificial rolling pins "Elder Pledge" purchased 10 times Money.png 2.889 trillion Elder pledges last twice as long.
"These are mostly just for spreading the anti-aging cream.
(And accessorily, shortening the chicken's suffering.)"


Icon Name Unlock condition Base price Description ID
Elder Pledge.png Elder Pledge [note 2] "Elder Pact" purchased Money.png 64 x 8n
(cap: 64 × 812)
Contains the wrath of the elders, at least for a while.
"This is simple ritual involving anti-aging cream, cookie batter mixed in the moonlight, and a live chicken."
Elder Covenant.png Revoke Elder CovenantElder Covenant
[click to switch]
"Elder Pledge" purchased at least once Money.png 6.667 billionMoney.png 66.667 trillion You will get 5% of your CpS back, but the grandmatriarchs will return.
Puts a permanent end to the elders' wrath, at the price of 5% of your CpS.
"This is a complicated ritual involving silly, inconsequential trivialities such as cursed laxatives, century-old cacao, and an infant.
Don't question it."


Icon Name Description ID
Angered Grandma Background.png Grandmapocalypse Trigger the grandmapocalypse for the first time. 594
Clot.png Wrath cookie Click a wrath cookie. 595
Elder Covenant.png Elder nap Appease the grandmatriarchs at least once.
Elder Covenant.png Elder slumber Appease the grandmatriarchs at least 5 times.
"our mind
the universe"
Elder Covenant.png Elder calm Declare a covenant with the grandmatriarchs.
Wrinkler icon.png Wrinkler poker Poke a wrinkler 50 times without killing it.
"Also the name of a card game popular in retirement homes."
Wrinkler icon.png Itchscratcher Burst 1 wrinkler. 105
Wrinkler icon.png Wrinklesquisher [note 3] Burst 50 wrinklers. 106
Wrinkler icon.png Moistburster [note 3] Burst 200 wrinklers. 107
Last Chance to See.png Last Chance to See
(shadow achievement)
Burst the near-extinct shiny wrinkler.
"You monster!"
Meaty sugar lump.png Sweetmeats Harvest a meaty sugar lump. 272


The Grandmapocalypse can be a net positive for progression, but only if it is used correctly. The research upgrades alone give +15% CpS, make grandmas 8 times as efficient, as well as other small buffs towards grandmas.


Main article: Wrinklers

In addition, idle CpS can be effectively multiplied by 6 with 10 wrinklers. The wrinkler cap may be increased to 12 or 14 with Elder Spice or Dragon Guts. Dragon Guts is not worth it because the cookies when popped multiplier applied when slotted, not when the Wrinklers are eating. The 2 additional slots and additional wither rate only boost CpS by roughly 60%, making Breath of Milk or Elder Battalion better in most cases.

The Skruuia actually makes Wrinklers pop into more cookies instead of eating more, so use a normal idle Pantheon and then switch Skruuia into diamond when popping Wrinklers.

Shiny Wrinklers provide a sizable CpS boost. However, the time needed to get a Shiny Wrinkler could be used on combos to gain at least millions of times of cookies.

Usage in Combos

The Grandmapocalypse turns some or all Golden Cookies into Wrath Cookies. Wrath Cookies have many negative effects, which are absent from Golden Cookies. However, effects like Elder Frenzy, which multiplies CpS by 666 for 6 seconds, is useful for Golden Cookie combos and can even be useful by itself. Especially during the Early Game, a Frenzy can be obtained during an Elder Pledge, then the Pledge can be cancelled by using Elder Covenant and revoking it. Then, if the next Wrath Cookie gives an Elder Frenzy, Force the Hand of Fate from Grimoire could be used to potentially stack a Click Frenzy with this, resulting in Cookies per Click being multiplied by 3,622,374. Keep in mind that the short time for execution may means that other combos are more useful.

Cursed Finger can be somewhat strong on its own. Its other use is making seeds in the Garden or other non raw CpS-based purchases extremely cheap.

Golden Cookies are overall better for combos, so it is recommended to use Elder Pledge if buffs such as Elder Frenzies are not needed. Elder Covenant is usually suboptimal, as it removes 5% of CpS until it is revoked. Elder Covenant can be used to cancel an Elder Pledge, by buying Covenant and then revoking it. It is also recommended to unlock and buy the upgrade Sacrificial Rolling Pins by using Elder Pledge 10 times. This prolongs the length of a pledge from 30 to 60 minutes.

If Pledge has not been unlocked yet, it is possible to sell all Grandmas for Golden Cookies to return, and buy the Grandmas back when needed.

Usage for Sugar Lumps

The Grandmapocalyse's unique type of sugar lump, the meaty sugar lump, is actually a net neutral itself. It has a 20% chance of giving 1 sugar lump, and a 40% chance for both 0 and 2 sugar lumps. These balance each other out, so the average sugar lumps gained per meaty sugar lump is 1, as opposed to the other special sugar lump types. The only use of meaty sugar lumps is for the achievement for harvesting one, as having the meaty sugar lump available in the pool of possible sugar lumps makes more beneficial sugar lump types less likely to occur. If this achievement is already owned, it is recommended to leave the Grandmapocalypse before harvesting a sugar lump, as this is when the next sugar lump type is chosen (although not shown to the player until several hours later). If the lump harvests overnight, it is recommended to use Elder Covenant before going to bed, to avoid getting a meaty lump.

Common misconceptions

Buy research as soon as possible

Even though the Grandmapocalypse may seem like a massive boost to Cookie production, it takes several hours to reach the first stage alone. The upgrades and buildings that could be bought otherwise when paired with combos would easily offset any boost the Grandmapocalypse gives. It is recommended to have a CpS of a few trillion when starting research.

The Grandmapocalypse makes idling viable

Even with sextupled idle CpS, a single Frenzy+Click Frenzy can give days of CpS while taking a few hours at most to set up.

Wrinklers make clicks make less cookies

Wrinklers do not influence clicks in any way.

Stage 1 is optimal to stay in

If you idle, you are missing out on the cps bonuses that the later research upgrades provides. If you are active, then you are just hurting your ability to combo by having less golden cookies, and wrinklers should be negligible if combos are properly utilized. ALWAYS go to STAGE 3.

Cookie Clicker Classic

Main article: Grandma (Cookie Clicker Classic)

The Grandmapocalypse starts once the player accumulates over 1,000,000 cookies. The screen becomes covered in a shaking, flashing, tiled background of grandmas. As more cookies are gained, the Grandmapocalypse becomes more intense, with more images of different grandmas of various sizes and intensity beginning to show up.

Elder Pledge

The Grandmapocalypse can be temporarily halted by purchasing the Elder Pledge, an upgrade which becomes available after accumulating over 2 million cookies. The first iteration of this upgrade costs 666,666 cookies and increases the effectiveness of clicking, and boosts the CpS of grandmas based on the number of portals owned.

The boost in CpS from purchasing the Elder Pledge can be a huge gift in the beginning of the end game of Cookie Clicker. Players can increase their clicking output by over 100x with enough cursors which can give a huge boost to cookie output when saving for additional Portals or Time Machines.


  • In versions before 1.0375, switching windows can sometimes cause the grandma background to get 'stuck' in its current state until another upgrade that changes it is bought.
  • Elder Covenant used to cost 666 trillion cookies, and cut CpS by 20% instead of 5%.
If the bug occurs, this is the result. It's zoomed out for the best effect.


  1. Purchasing the One mind upgrade triggers the beginning of the Grandmapocalypse.
  2. Elder Pledge is unavailable while Elder Covenant is in effect.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Unlike most "number of actions" achievements, the Wrinkler and Reindeer achievements are counted in a single game, not all time: Ascending will reset the counter.