Minions are small, yellow creatures who have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from single-celled organisms into beings who exist only to serve history’s most despicable masters. After serving a great many masters over the centuries (though they accidentally kill their masters most of the time), and a disastrous end to their service to Napoleon, the Minions are driven into isolation and decide to start a new life in a massive cave in the Arctic. After many years, the Minions become depressed, restless and unmotivated without a master to serve. To regain their dignity and sense of purpose, Kevin, one fearless Minion, decides to set out to find a new master and asks for help. Stuart, a musically inclined Minion and Bob, a young and inexperienced but enthusiastic Minion, are recruited.
The trio journey to New York where the year is 1968. After spending the day attempting to blend in, the Minions end up in a department store for the night, where they discover a hidden commercial broadcast for villains advertising Villain-Con; a convention for villains and supervillains in Orlando. The trio manage to hitchhike a ride with a family of villains called the Nelsons and impress them with their accidental villainy. Once at the convention, they see Scarlet Overkill, the first female supervillain, and they impress her enough for her to hire them. As Scarlet takes the Minions to her home in England, Kevin contacts the other Minions, who later find a yeti and claim him as their new boss, but accidentally kill the leader yeti, when a minion plays the tuba, and are chased out of their cave by the other yeti. They make their way to England to find Kevin, Bob, and Stuart.