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

The Grandmapocalypse is an in-game event that affects both the 1.0 Update of the game, as well as the pre-update version. It affects the background as well as the appearance of the game window and causes spawning of Wrinklers and Wrath cookies.

Warning message that shows up when you're about to buy the One Mind upgrade.

Starting the Grandmapocalypse

To start the Grandmapocalypse, you must have at least seven Grandma types, and at least six grandmas. You will then have access to the Bingo center/Research facility. This will allow you different research/upgrades and eventually the "One Mind" Upgrade. This will give you a warning message, and if allowed will start the Grandmapocalypse.

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 as well. The Grandmatriarchs will lose their teeth and become more wrinkled.

Stage 2

To get to the next stage, follow the Research Upgrades until you buy the "Communal Brainsweep" Upgrade. 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, you must follow the Research Upgrades up until you buy the "Elder Pact." 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 in the background.

Halting the Grandmapocalypse

Once Elder Pact is purchased, the Elder Pledge switch is unlocked. Elder Pledge puts a temporary hold on the Grandmapocalypse and unlocks the Elder Covenant switch. When the Grandmapocalypse is halted or ended, the Grandmatriarchs' state of mind becomes "appeased". This changes the background into the original blue, makes only Golden Cookies appear, pops all wrinklers, and reverts the news ticker to normal messages.

The Elder Covenant is worth exactly 66.6 trillion cookies. It puts an indefinite hold to the Grandmatriarchs' wrath. This purchase results in a 5% reduction of your CpS, and locks the Elder Pledge switch. In order to return to the chaotic state of the Grandmapocalypse and restore your CpS, the Elder Covenant can be revoked at a cost of 6.66 billion cookies.

The Elder Pledge will put the genocidal grandmas to rest for 30 minutes. Every time an Elder Pledge is bought, the price goes up by a factor of 8, capping at 4.4 trillion. After pledging 10 times, Sacrificial Rolling Pins is able to be researched. It doubles the time of peace, making it an hour long.

The Grandmapocalypse can also be stopped by selling all of your grandmas. Doing this causes the Grandmatriarchs' status to disappear from the Stats page. Buying at least one grandma will restart the Grandmapocalypse at the stage you left off.

Background changes

As the Grandmapocalypse goes on, the Grandmatriarchs grow increasingly angry with each Bingo Center/Research Facility related upgrade. This is reflected in the backgrounds:

Research Upgrades

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

At least 7 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?...
SpecializedChocolateChipsNew.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."
DesignerCocoaBeansNew.png Designer cocoa beans 2nd research project completed Money.png 2 quadrillion Cookie production multiplier +2%.
"Now more aerodynamic than ever!"
ElderRollingPinNew.png Ritual rolling pins 3rd research project completed Money.png 4 quadrillion Grandmas are twice as efficient.
"The result of years of scientific research!"
ElderOvenNew.png Underworld ovens 4th research project completed Money.png 8 quadrillion Cookie production multiplier +3%.
"Powered by science, of course!"
ElderMindNew.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."
ElderNutsNew.png Exotic nuts 6th research project completed Money.png 32 quadrillion Cookie production multiplier +4%.
"You'll go crazy over these!"
ElderCauldronNew.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."
ElderSugarNew.png Arcane sugar 8th research project completed Money.png 128 quadrillion Cookie production multiplier +5%.
"Tastes like insects, ligaments, and molasses."
ElderBrainNew.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"
ElderRollingPinNew.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
ElderPledgeNew.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."
ElderBrainNew.png Elder Covenant "Elder Pledge" purchased at least once Money.png 66.667 trillion 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."
Revoke Elder Covenant Money.png 6.667 billion You will get 5% of your CpS back, but the grandmatriarchs will return.


Icon Name Description ID
ElderBrainNew.png Elder nap Appease the grandmatriarchs at least once.
ElderBrainNew.png Elder slumber Appease the grandmatriarchs at least 5 times.
"our mind
the universe"
ElderBrainNew.png Elder calm Declare a covenant with the grandmatriarchs.
WrinklerLarvaNew.png Itchscratcher Burst 1 wrinkler. 105
WrinklerLarvaNew.png Wrinklesquisher [note 3] Burst 50 wrinklers. 106
WrinklerLarvaNew.png Moistburster [note 3] Burst 200 wrinklers. 107
LastChanceToSeeAchievementIcon2.png Last Chance to See
(shadow achievement)
Burst the near-extinct shiny wrinkler.
"You monster!"

Strategy for the most cookies

To get the most CpS, upgrade through One Mind but do not take Communal Brainsweep. If you idle most or all of the time, or if you leave the golden switch turned on, then buy all of the Bingo upgrades.

Upgrading through One Mind gives you a 6x increase in CpS due to Wrinklers. One Mind will also come with the downside of turning some of your golden cookies into wrath cookies, it's not bad enough to outweigh the benefit of the wrinklers.

The reason wrinklers help so much is that they boost each other. Popping a wrinkler returns 1.1x of all the cookies eaten while that wrinkler was present, not just 1.1x of the cookies eaten by that specific wrinkler. With 10 wrinklers present, 50% of your CpS will go into wrinkler bellies. So 10 wrinklers get 0.5 of your CpS and yield back 1.1 of that, which multiplies out to 5.5 of your base CpS. Along with the 50% of your CpS the wrinklers did not eat, your overall CpS is 6x larger when wrinklers come out. They're really good.

If you play actively enough to click an occasional golden cookie, it's not worth it to go further into the grandmapocalypse except to help with achievements. Later phases have faster spawning wrinklers, but they still max out at 10, so they don't help much more for normal play. Later phases also have the downside of turning golden cookies into wrath cookies.

If you aren't clicking golden cookies, either because you leave the game idle or because you have the golden switch turned on, then there's little harm to going to later phases. You'll get wrinklers faster, which is helpful for hunting collectibles, and you'll also get a 5% passive CpS bonus from Arcane Sugar.

Since the 2.002 update, it has become even more beneficial to remain in Stage 1 Grandmapocalypse (One Mind without Communal Brainsweep) than proceeding to Stage 3. The primary draw of Stage 3 is the higher occurrence of Elder Frenzies. Originally, triggering an Elder Frenzy would cancel and replace any Frenzy or Clot effect already active, meaning that the prevalence of Wrath Cookies alone determined the relative effectiveness of Elder Frenzies. With 100% Wrath Cookies, Stage 3 had 3 times the benefit from Elder Frenzy than Stage 1 did. Since the update, however, Elder Frenzy will now stack with Frenzy and Clot. Assuming that these effects are active about half the time during the Stage they are most common in, we have:

  • In Stage 3, half of all Elder Frenzies will overlap with a Clot and be cut in half, while the other half will go as normal. This leaves, with E being a full Elder Frenzy. This means that Elder Frenzies are now only three quarters as effective in Stage 3 as they were before the update.
  • In Stage 1, Wrath Cookies only appear 1/3 of the time, so start at 0.33E instead of E; after that, half of all Elder Frenzies will overlap with a Frenzy and be multiplied by 7, while the other half will go as normal. This gives, meaning that Elder Frenzies are now 4 times as effective in Stage 1 as they used to be, overall being almost twice as effective as Stage 3 Elder Frenzies in the long run, despite being so much rarer an occurrence.

Subtle variations can be made for Clot occurring occasionally during Stage 1 and the presence of Dragon Harvest with Krumblor's Reaper of Fields aura, but will not alter the proportional effectiveness significantly.

Strategy for achievements

Later phases of the grandmapocalypse are bad for CpS but can help with Achievements.

There are achievements for the grandmapocalypse itself. To get them, you have to go through all phases, pledge 5 times, and issue a covenant.

The later phases are also good for collecting all Halloween cookies and Easter eggs. Since you'll be popping wrinklers instantly when you are looking for these collectibles, you'll benefit from the faster spawn rate. You won't care that golden cookies turn into wrath cookies, because those have Easter eggs, too.

If you've gone to the end of the grandmapocalypse, then you might want to pledge for active play. By pledging, you'll lose the wrinklers, but all cookies will go back to being golden cookies instead of wrath cookies. If you can get more benefit from the golden cookies than from the wrinklers, then this can be worth it. It's not clear which is better, but you can try.

Using covenant is worse than pledging. You don't want to make a covenant and then go idle, because you will be giving up wrinklers to gain golden cookies that you aren't there to click. You also don't want to use a covenant while active, because covenant has a CpS penalty that pledging does not, and while active you can keep refreshing the pledge.

That said, covenant is useful as an indirect way to cancel out of a pledge early. If you are about to go idle and want to cancel a pledge, you can't do it directly. However, you can replace the pledge with a covenant, and covenants can be cancelled.


Cookie Clicker v1.03

The Grandmapocalypse returned alongside various other grandma-related updates in version "1.03", which was then quickly updated once again with only Grandmapocalypse-related updates in version "1.031". It is triggered after buying the "One mind" upgrade from the Research Facility, and is furthered by buying "Communal brainsweep" and finally "Elder Pact".

A typical occurrence of the Grandmapocalypse in version 1.031, during the final stage.

Known effects of this event include the background changing into a painting of grandmothers slowly acquiring a demonic appearance and the Wrath Cookie occasionally (or once angered enough, always) appearing instead of the Golden Cookies. In stats page "Special" section which, among other things such as the research progress from the Bingo center/Research facility, indicates the grandmatriarch's mood, from "Awoken", to "Displeased" and finally "Angered". In the version 1.0393, the Grandmas in the Store section of the game start turning creepy and Wrinklers, leechlike creatures that decrease CpS (cookies per second) until popped, will start to appear.

In Cookie Clicker Classic

An example of the first stage of the Grandmapocalypse

When you hit 1,000,000,000 cookies, the final stage will be activated

The Grandmapocalypse starts once you've accumulated over 1,000,000 cookies. The screen becomes covered in a shaking, flashing, tiled background of grandmas. As you gain more cookies, the Grandmapocalypse becomes more intense, with more images of different grandmas of various sizes and intensity. Sometimes the background can stretch or can shake very hard. The Grandmapocalypse background is made with the grandma image from the shop on the right. If you cheat by adding over 1,000,000,000 cookies, you'll start to enter the 3rd stage of the Grandmapocalypse. Example: Having infinite cookies (1e,+99999) will bring you to the 3rd stage of the Grandmapocalypse.

The Elder Pledge

The Grandmapocalypse can be temporarily halted by purchasing the Elder Pledge, an upgrade which becomes available after accumulating over 2 million cookies. It's like a neat kind of Grandmapocalypse Removal System.  The first iteration of this upgrade costs 666,666 cookies and increases the effectiveness of your clicking, and boosts the CpS of your grandmas based on your number of portals. Tip: Turn flashing off so you can't see the Grandmapocalypse background.

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 the coveted Time Machine.  

Skull Grandmas later in the grandmapocalypse


  • Sometimes, switching windows can cause the grandma background to get 'stuck' in its current state until you buy another upgrade that changes it. (Does not work anymore in version 1.0375)

The Grandmapocalypse! Part 2

  • Elder Covenant used to cost 666 trillion, and trillions back in the day were really hard to obtain and instead of 5% CpS loss it was 20%, so it was a lot harder to get it and get more cookies with it.

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.
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