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The Grinch

"Every Who down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot,
But the Grinch,
Who lived just north of Who-ville,
Did NOT!"

There seems to be no shortage of things to like about Christmas: presents, family, at the very least a little time off. Who could possibly hate this most hallowed of holidays?

The Grinch, that's who. He hates Christmas and he'll keep kicking (Christmas themed) dogs until everyone knows it. Usually, when it's revealed exactly why they hate Christmas, it's either something completely petty (like having never gotten the gift they wanted) or something downright tragic (like a lack of parental love).

Though occasionally Truth in Television, Grinches are primarily found in Christmas Specials, especially the innumerable retellings of A Christmas Carol. Regardless of his role as protagonist or antagonist, you can bet the Grinch will change his ways when the The Power of Friendship throws out An Aesop that teaches him 'the true spirit of Christmas'.

In a more general sense, the Grinch is any character who is utterly disgusted with something (or many things) that everyone else likes, and whose alienation drives him to be so completely unhappy that he finally decides to spread the misery around.

Comparable to the Hollywood Atheist, in that the Grinch's hatred of Christmas will usually be due to some Dark and Troubled Past, their feelings about the holiday will make them grumpy and unpleasant, and they will inevitably change their ways by the end.

Real Life versions will often be fond of Anti Christmas Songs. See also Crappy Holidays, for works that actually take the Grinch's viewpoint.

See also The Scrooge, another character who is usually a Christmas hater.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the anime-only Christmas episode of Mamotte Shugogetten, Shao becomes an unintentional Grinch by locking Tasuke in his house and (violently) preventing anyone from coming in. We eventually learn that one of Shao's former masters was killed on Christmas because she left their house and was attacked by hungry wolves, so she's afraid the same thing will happen to Tasuke and is trying to keep him safe.
  • In Pokémon, Jessie has a serious grudge against Santa Claus for a long time, believing he stole something from her when she was a child. (It was a misunderstanding that he is eventually able to explain; unfortunately, this doesn't stop her and James from trying to rob him.)

    Comic Books 
  • The Joker takes on the role of the Grinch in The Long Halloween; complete with his own version of the poem.
  • Larfleeze once went on a rampage against Mall Santas and tried to melt the North Pole after he waited all Christmas Eve. After Hal Jordan convinces him that the spirit of Christmas was about giving, Larfleeze decided that he hated the Christmas spirit. What he really wanted was for Santa to give him his family.
  • There was a Spider-Man villain called the Black Tarantula who got very angry when his henchman put up a Christmas tree and told him to take it down (then knocked it down before he could) saying that he didn't want it because Christmas was a children's holiday and "there are no children here!" (Of course we later learn there was a deeper meaning to this. The title of Black Tarantula was a tradition passed down from father to son over many centuries, and when his wife found out about his criminal activities and that he intended for their son to inherit the title, she ran away, taking their son with him. The loss of his wife and son caused him inner turmoil that made him lash out at anything that reminded him of it.
  • Archie's teacher Miss Grundy did the same thing as Charlie Brown's teacher (see below) in December of 2013, assigning The Brothers Karamazov over Christmas break.

    Film 

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • The first Christmas special made by Jim Henson, The Great Santa Claus Switch, has Cosmo Scam, a sorcerer who kidnaps Santa to take his place and steal from every home around the world.
  • Oscar the Grouch dislikes the holiday so much, he's willing to sing about how he hates it.
  • I don't like bambastoodles, I loathe dinklewallows, I hate snagtomgoppers, I say, do you follow?
  • Kazran Sardick from the Doctor Who 2010 Christmas Episode "A Christmas Carol".
  • Sue Sylvester, in the Glee Christmas episode.
  • The eponymous character of Monk hated the Christmas season, although he had a very sympathetic reason for doing so, as it was around that time of year that Trudy, his wife and the only person who ever had him see the positives of Christmas, was murdered via Car Bomb, and his early experiences with Christmas were admittedly quite horrible (for instance, in 1964, his mother fell ill, his dad was what he usually was, and Ambrose Monk locked himself in the basement for the whole Christmas season [Monk implies by saying "he was no fool" that Ambrose did this deliberately], and he himself received only one walkie talkie out of a set, which his dad explained that he gave the gift to him because he only ever needed one because he didn't really have any friends).
  • Britta on Community makes a series of rather smug and snide dismissals of the trappings of the festive season, such as Christmas songs, see her come off as a bit of a killjoy. Curiously, in the Christmas episode in season 1 ("Comparative Religion") she came off as a lot more easy-going about it.
  • Count Dregon, the Big Bad of Masked Rider. One of his evil plans is an attempt to set an ambush for Santa Claus. He is confirmed as this trope when the plan fails, when he says outright that he "hates Christmas".
  • A Lois and Clark Christmas episode has Lois as one of these.
  • Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory hates Christmas, claiming it's a knockoff of the pagan celebration of Saturnalia, bemoaning being forced to participate by his zealously religious mother as a child, etc., all to the annoyance of his roommate whom just wants some Christmas cheer because he was forced to write papers by his family on Christmas. It all comes to a head during a Christmas themed game of Dungeons & Dragons where Sheldon leaves Santa (whom they were supposed to be saving) to die, ruining the game and Christmas spirit for all involved, and declares that the real reason he hates Christmas is that Santa never granted him his wish of bringing his "Pop-Pop" (the only family member that encouraged his interest in science) back as a kid.

    Other Sites 
  • SCP-1225 ("The Worst Christmas"). SCP-1225 is a spindle shaped glass ornament. When hung on a tree or similar plant, it causes everything that's within 4 meters of it and inside a container to suffer from Rapid Aging. In other words, it's a Christmas ornament specifically designed to spoil people's Christmases by destroying their presents. The Grinch who stole Christmas would be proud of whoever created this.

    Video Games 
  • In Guild Wars Wintersday celebrations, Grenth and his followers work to spoil the holiday for everyone else. There are a pair of Shout Outs to the Trope Namer: Grenth has minions called Grentches, and one Dwayna-supporting quest is called "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grenth."
  • "Operation Claws", a non-canon scenario for StarCraft, is about the evil Zergrinch holding Santa Claws hostage on Planet Christmas because he never brings presents to the zerg.
  • The protagonists and supporting characters of Garden Gnome Carnage and Hyper Princess Pitch hate Christmas. For the latter game it's explained that none of them got any presents as kids/kits, and Pitch herself is heavily implied to have spent all her life on the "naughty" list.
  • In DC Universe Online, Larfleeze stole a bunch of Christmas presents, which Hal Jordan tasks the players with recovering.
  • Many, many Frostval villains in Artix Entertainment games are this.

    Web Animation 
  • In A Wily Show Hokey Christmas Special, Dr. Wily hates Christmas because his mother pranked him with fake gifts during his childhood. Apparently he didn't program his Robot Masters with the same disdain, as several of them decide to create a pleasant holiday experience to make up for those years. The short also references and parodies the Trope Namer's story in a couple scenes.

    Webcomics 
  • In Goblin Hollow, as told by Ben Bruin's buddy Fred, about a Wiccan employee, who even used the Pointy-Haired Boss as leverage, to stop the store and the employees that work there from celebrating Christmas because it offended her.
    Roz Poodle: She wouldn't DARE ban my handcrafted singing Santa cookie jar!
    Ben Bruin: Are you kidding? She'd ban snow if it didn't fall fall out of the sky on a regular basis.
  • Third Character from Jayden and Crusader hates Christmas. He starts off by attacking Christmas carollers and it only gets worse.

    Web Original 
  • Ghost does not like Christmas at all, but in typical Ghost fashion, still rages when people compare him to the actual Grinch.
  • The Nostalgia Chick's already Black Comedy gets pitch-dark over Christmas, and giving a lottery ticket to Todd only makes her realize that the true meaning of the holiday is rampant materialism. Bonus for her also being The Scrooge.
  • Tom. Dear GOD Tom. Him being raised a Jehovah's Witness can make this trope seem justified, but it gets to the point where he actively seeks to destroy a city thanks to his loathing of Christmas. It takes Edd, Matt, Santa and Zanta Claws to stop him to shooting Santa's hijacked sled down with a giant robot.

    Western Animation 
  • Olive the Other Reindeer: The Postman.
  • The Miser Brothers in The Year Without a Santa Claus and the North Wind in The Miser Brothers' Christmas
  • Professor Hinkel, the magician who wants to steal his hat back from Frosty the Snowman.
  • In the animated special Santa Claus is Comin to Town (which features Santa Claus as a young man, then called Kris Kringle) the villain is the grouchy mayor of Sombertown, Burgermeister Meisterburger. He outlaws toys after he breaks his foot by tripping on one, and Kris later becomes an outlaw for trying to give them as gifts. Kris' solution to this is unusual for children's cartoons: nonviolent protest (growing a beard and changing his name to Santa Claus helps too). And it works. It is implied that Meisterburger's family eventually died out, and his silly ideas are rejected, Santa being revered as a hero.
  • The 90's cartoon X-Men had a Christmas Episode where Wolverine took on this role.
  • Bowser Koopa, Mario's nemesis, is this kind of character in the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show Christmas Episode. He doesn't reform at the end, though oddly in the later Super Mario World Christmas episode, he doesn't seem to hate the holiday as much (although he does rip off the Trope Namer).
  • Dr. Doofenshmirtz in Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation is a subversion. He admits (via musical number) that he really doesn't hate Christmas; despite having a Freudian Excuse for practically everything, Doofenshmirtz is at worst, apathetic about Christmas and in fact wishes he did have a good reason to try and ruin Christmas. He only built a device to destroy it because he received the kit for it in the mail. But by the end of the special he does come to hate Christmas, because of carolers pestering him for figgy pudding (which he was surprised to find he actually had) and Perry defeating him again... until he gets a gift from Santa Claus in the end. He's then seen celebrating Christmas again and exchanging gifts with Perry the Platypus.
  • Bushroot in the Darkwing Duck Christmas episode. His motivation for being a Grinch, though, is that he has great difficulty doing his Christmas shopping and swears to make everyone else feel his pain.
  • Herman the Hermit and Snively in Yogi's First Christmas.
  • Charlie Brown's teacher definitely qualifies for making him read War and Peace during Christmas vacation in Happy New Year, Charlie Brown.
    • This was actually an exaggerated version of a storyline that ran in the comic strip, where his teacher assigned Gulliver's Travels during Christmas break (not as long, but still way too advanced for grade school) and Charlie Brown didn't help matters by procrastinating.
  • Homer Simpson stole gifts in "'Tis the Fiftheenth Season" accompanied by a variation of the Grinch song. The twist is that Homer believed he was doing a good thing by getting rid of excess materialism (he Took a Level in Kindness after watching A Christmas Carol all night and Lisa ended up giving him the idea when wondering how else to help people) which would allow people to have a more emotionally meaningful holiday. Not surprisingly, it just pissed people off.
    • The Simpsons family also attempted to steal some Funzos before Christmas Day. Subverted in that they actually had a very good reason for doing so, as apparently the toy company that created Funzo also programmed it to destroy any and all toys that are not part of its own line, meaning allowing them to survive would have made Christmas worse.
    • Mr. Burns in one episode was also stated to have stolen Christmas in 1986.
      • In one future episode, a character again alludes to Mr. Burns having stolen Christmas, this time apparently permanently.
  • Mr. Plotz is like this in an Animaniacs Christmas Episode that's a parody of A Christmas Carol (him taking the role as Scrooge).
  • Prior to the Ghostbusters' accidental Time Travel detour where they meet Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, Peter Venkman was not a fan of Christmas, due to his dad never being around for it when he was a kid.
  • Must be common for ghost hunters — turns out Danny Phantom is also a Grinch. Growing up with two erratic parents who spend their holidays too busy arguing about Santa's existence gave him a deep hatred of Christmas and probably the only child negligence story involving possessed turkey and the one time a dog peed in his face when he was a baby. Unfortunately, he takes his aggression on the wrong guy and is forced to learn the real meaning of the holidays.
  • Shrek starts out as one of these in Shrek the Halls.
  • The Beast in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
  • Eddy from Ed, Edd n Eddy hates Christmas because all he ever gets is clothes.
  • Princess Morbucks in The Powerpuff Girls Christmas episode.
  • Hank may not truly fit this role in King of the Hill, but in one episode he says "Santa Claus is for babies" causing Bill to tell him "Well you're a mean one, Mr. Grinch."
  • Grouchy Smurf in The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol starts off as this because all he wanted was a hang glider for a Christmas present and all he ever got was a Smurf hat. The final straw came when he was fooled into thinking he was finally getting a hang glider when it turned out to be one of Jokey's "surprises".
  • Joe Swanson from Family Guy was a bit of a Grinch since it was during the Christmas season that he was paralyzed. He eventually got over it, mostly. Ironically the one who caused his injury was in fact, The Grinch, who was stealing toys from the orphanage. Though in "Joe's Revenge", he admits the story was a lie.
  • South Park: Sheila Broflovski in "Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo" and Saddam Hussein in "It's Christmas in Canada".
  • Professor Membrane of Invader Zim swore eternal revenge on Santa Claus after once getting socks for Christmas instead of the uranium he asked for. He doesn't seem to have a problem with the holiday in general, but he does keep a fully stocked armoury with Santa's name on it.

    Real Life 
  • Some people, while not actually disliking Christmas itself, get irritated by the constant barrage of Christmas advertising, and businesses shoving Christmas down your throat as early as possible, up to and including stores putting their Christmas decorations on display in the middle of September. Also, trying to run to a store like Best Buy or Walmart just to pick up a small item you need only to find like ten million people there doing their Christmas shopping isn't too fun.
    • Also, some Christmas songs are extremely annoying. Particularly bad offenders are "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," and "12 Days of Christmas."
      • "Christmas Shoes" is one of the worst. Whoever wrote it probably didn't realize that sad and depressing songs don't put people in a festive mood.
      • Even the Christmas songs that aren't on this level of annoyance tend to get old very quickly, as every year there are always about a million different remixes and covers of the same "classic" songs, and they get just as annoying. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is not a bad song, but when you've heard over 100 different versions of it, you quickly reach the conclusion that you never want to hear it again.
      • And related to both of these phenomena, any supermarket, department store, or other retail employee will tell you that being bombarded with a constant loop of Christmas songs every shift from about mid-September onwards is a really good way to develop a passionate loathing of Christmas songs.
    • In a sense, this is caused by the fact that Christmas is a very profitable holiday season for many companies, something they often wish to cash in on even more by trying to get people to buy Christmas presents even before Halloween. It's no surprise why the Christmas season gets so tedious, especially considering that by the time Christmas actually starts, people will have been pestered for months about Christmas and are more relieved to see it end rather than begin.
  • Christopher Hitchens. (Surprise, surprise, right?) See this essay, or this one. He wasn't too wild about Hanukkah, either.
  • Secular progressives are often accused of waging "war on Christmas" or "taking Christ out of Christmas" though their promotion of more culturally-neutral terms like "holidays" or "seasons", or trying to keep Christmas celebrations strictly private (or, at minimum, de-emphasise the holiday's religious aspects in commercial or civic contexts)... all of which tend to be regarded by critics as a seasonal form of Political Correctness Gone Mad.
  • Ironically enough, there are some Christians (mostly Protestants of The Fundamentalist variety) who don't particularly care for Christmas, viewing the holiday — and, in many cases, all holidays — as unbiblical and pagan. Jehovah's Witnesses are another well-known example.
    • Historically this would include the Puritans, in both early America and Cromwellian England, who not only refused to celebrate Christmas but actually made it punishable by law to do so (both for theological reasons and because they disapproved of all the drinking, carousing, feasting, begging, and other riotous behavior then associated with the holiday).
    • Then are are some sects (such as the Seventh-Day Adventists) that won't observe Christmas as a religious holiday, due to these doctrinal objections...but have no problem with the purely secular aspects of the holiday. You do not want to put these people in the same room with the "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" people.
    • Conversely, there are many Christians who celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday but absolutely hate its secular and commercial aspects, feeling that the latter overshadow and undermine the former.
      • All of which leads to the odd situation of anti-theists who oppose Christmas for its religious aspects finding themselves in the same boat as those Christians who condemn the holiday for its pagan connections, its modern-day commercialization, or both.
  • On one occasion, after some MIT students complained about a Christmas display in one of the halls, the resident pranksters (MIT being well known for its pranks) set up a "Don't let the Grinch steal your Christmas" warning.
  • North Korea once claimed that South Korea had broken the ceasefire treaty when soldiers erected a Christmas tree on the southern side of the DMZ.
  • Wisconsin governor Scott Walker was roundly mocked as this when a fundraising letter surfaced urging people to send money to his campaign instead of buying presents. The staffer who wrote the letter was quickly fired (albeit for a different reason).
  • Anytime when the retail/transport-related staff goes on industrial strike for Christmas and disrupt people's holiday plans, it's easy to think of the striking workers as this.


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