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Characters / How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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The characters found in How the Grinch Stole Christmas and its 1966s (and its continuations), 2000s and 2018s adaptations.

     Characters from the original story 

The Grinch

Voiced by: Boris Karloff (1966), Benedict Cumberbatch (2018)
Played by: Jim Carrey (2000)
The titular character. A green, goblin-esque creature who hates everything related to Christmas, to the point he tries to steal it.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Maybe not "attractiveness", but he is noticably cuter, younger-looking and more humanoid in the 2018s movie.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Both theatrical movies give him this, by giving him a Freudian Excuse for his actions. Especially in the 2018s movie, where he is really nice to Max and Fred, at the very least.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: In the book, he just looks like a more mischievious-looking Who. In the 1966s special, he looks like a creepy goblin.
  • Badass Bookworm: Admit it, someone who can steal everything from everyone in town over the course of one night just by using his wits is pretty badass.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: He treats Max very badly in the 1966s special and the 2000s film. Averted in 2018s film, where Max and Fred are the only creatures that he doesn't act like a Jerkass towards.
  • The Cynic: He thinks that Christmas is nothing but a noisy, greed-based holiday. Discovering that this isn't true is what causes his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: As revealed in "The Grinch Grinches The Cat In A Hat".
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Played straight in the 1966s special, where he is voiced by Boris Karloff.
  • Freudian Excuse: Defied in the original story and 1966s special, where the narrator tells the audience that they shouldn't ask why the Grinch hates Christmas in the first place and the only explanation given is that his heart is two sizes too small. Played straight in both theatrical movies.
    • The 2000s one was bullied by his classmates at school, especially when he tried to confess about his crush on Martha.
    • The 2018s one grew up as a lonely, neglected orphan who never got to celebrate Christmas and, as a result, Christmas isn't just a nuisance for him - it's a straight up Trauma Button.
  • Gonk: Between his goblin-esque appearance, crooked teeth and smile and creepy expressions, the Grinch is... not exactly what you would call "attractive".
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: In the 1966s special, he has yellow and red eyes for most of it, but after his Heel–Face Turn, they just become blue.
  • Green and Mean: Probably the most iconic example of this trope.
  • The Grinch: An obvious Trope Namer.
  • Grumpy Old Man: He is 53 at the youngest.
  • Heel–Face Turn: As most people know, his heart grows three sizes after he discovers the meaning of Christmas.
  • Jerkass: The Grinch is a cynical, grumpy man who abuses his dog, is completely okay with taking away the Christmas joy from everyone in Whoville and lies right into the face of a little girl.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: ...however, the fact that his heart glows three sizes after he sees the Whos celebrating even without presents and decorations shows that there is goodness in him.
    • In the 2000s film, he becomes this after his Heel–Face Turn. At the end, he decides that he wants to solve world hunger... but doesn't tell anyone.
    • In the 2018s, film he is this from the very beginning. Sure, he acts like a jerk to all the Whos, but he genuinely loves and cares for Max and when Fred wants to return to his mate and child, he lets him go without much complaining.
  • Redemption Promotion: He was hardly weak or incompetent before, but after his Heel–Face Turn, he becomes twelve times as strong as he was before.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the book and in the 1966s special.
  • Super Strength: Thanks to the power of Christmas, he lifts an enormous sleigh full of gifts over his head with ease, or as the narrator puts it "the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!"
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: In the 1966s special and 2000s movie.


The Grinch's loyal dog.

  • Butt-Monkey: The poor dog goes through a lot of abuse thanks to his owner.
  • Canine Companion: To the Grinch.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Max is a good dog who just goes along with the Grinch's plans because the Grinch is his owner.
  • Morality Pet: In the theatrical movies, at least.
    • In the 2000s version, he convinces the Grinch to save Cindy Lou.
    • In the 2018s version, the Grinch is actually very nice to Max and just treats him like a beloved pet, maybe butler at worst.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Especially compared to his owner.

Cindy Lou Who

Voiced by: June Foray (1966), Cameron Seely (2018)
Played by: Taylor Momsen (2000)
A naive little girl that the Grinch meets during his Christmas heist.

  • Age Lift: Cindy Lou is "no more than two" in the original story, but both theatrical movies lift her age to about 6.
  • All-Loving Heroine: She is really accepting of Grinch after his Heel–Face Turn, despite the fact that he stole Whoville's Christmas.
    • In the 1966s special, she sits right next to him with a smile on her face during the final Christmas feast.
    • In the 2000s movie, she asks Santa Claus (really the Grinch in disguise) to not forget about him (the Grinch).
    • In the 2018s movie, she is the one who invites him to the Christmas dinner..
  • Children Are Innocent: Innocent and naive enough to believe that the green monster who doesn't even have a beard and is simply wearing a red jacket and hat is really the St. Nick himself and that the reason why he is taking her tree away is that so he can fix a broken Christmas light.
  • The Cutie: The cutest, sweetest and the most innocent character in the story.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Cindy Lou has blonde hair and is quite kind-hearted.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: She has blue eyes and is incredibly innocent.
  • Nice Girl: A normal, sweet girl who welcomes the Grinch with open arms.

     Characters from the 2000 live action film 

Betty and Lou Who

Cindy Lou's parents.
  • Courier: Lou is the town's mailman.
  • Mama Bear/Papa Wolf: Lou tells off Augustus when the mayor tried to blame Cindy Lou for ruining Christmas. Betty teams up with Martha to help stop the runaway sleigh carrying her daughter on board.
  • Parents as People: While they both love Cindy Lou, the both of them were too preoccupied with the Christmas season to pay attention to her.

Martha May Whovier

Mayor Augustus May-Who

  • Humiliation Conga: Near the end of the film. He had his haircut ruined, unknowingly kissed Max's butt in his sleep (something the poor dog wanted no part of), gets told off by Lou, and Martha rejects his proposal in favor of his rival.
  • Mayor Pain: He runs the town, and freely admits to using taxpayer's money to purchase a spiffy car for Martha.
  • Noodle Incident: The story on how he had his tonsils taken out twice.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: He bullied the Grinch in their youth. And grew up to run Who-ville.

     Characters from the 2018 animated film 


A reindeer that the Grinch uses to carry his sleigh.
  • Fat Comic Relief: Fred is a very overweight deer that provides a lot of comedy for the movie.
    The Grinch: Well... Santa had eight... this one looks like he ate the other seven.
  • Morality Pet: Just like Max, Fred is one of the few creatures that the Grinch treats with respect. He even lets him go after realizing that he has a mate and a child.

Donna Lou Who

Voiced by: Rashida Jones
Cindy Lou's overworked but caring mother.
  • Good Parents: Donna is overworked, but that's only because she wants only the best for her kids. And as shown in her interactions with her, she loves them to no end.
  • Nice Girl: It's easy to see where Cindy Lou gets it from.
  • Ship Tease: Surprisingly enough, at the end of the movie, she kind of has this with the Grinch himself. The Grinch is fairly shy around her (though to be fair, he is generally kind of shy and awkward during that scene), he helps her carry some Christmas food and as the credits show, he continues to help her even after that. Meanwhile, she compliments his tie and comments on how "thoughtful" he is when he helps her with the food.


Voiced by: Kenan Thompson
The Grinch's jolly neighbour.
  • Adorkable: A jolly, enthusiastic Nice Guy who sees the Grinch as a friend, absolutely loves Christmas, scolds his Christmas decorations when they hurt the Grinch and makes a "Christmas dragon" because it "came to him in a dream".
  • Affectionate Nickname: He calls the Grinch "Grinchy".
  • Badass Beard: Not exactly "badass", but he does have a really impressive Santa Claus-like beard. He even mentions that he dyes it.
  • Manchild: Downplayed, but his enthusiasm for Christmas can be compared to that of a little boy.
  • Nice Guy: Incredibly so. He genuinely sees the Grinch as a friend despite how rude the Grinch is to him and he seems to get along with other citizens of Whoville as well.

Alternative Title(s): The Grinch 2018


Example of: