Under certain circumstances abnormal grain growth occurs in Nickel base superalloys during thermomechanical forming. Second phase particles are involved in the phenomenon, since they obviously do not hinder the motion of some boundaries, but the key parameter is here the stored energy difference between adjacent grains. It induces an additional driving force for grain boundary migration that may be large enough to overcome the Zener pinning pressure. In addition, the abnormal grains have a high density of twins, which is likely due to the increased growth rate. © (2013) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.