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Referenced By / How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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This page counts for the book, as well as its cartoon and film adaptations. See also How the Character Stole Christmas for Whole Plot References.


  • From 2002 to 2005, Nickelodeon ran a series of shorts parodying the classic 1960s Christmas specials with the Nicktoon characters every December. One segment, titled How the You-Know-Who Stole the You-Know-What!, featured Angelica Pickles from Rugrats, as "Grinchelica", stealing all the chocolate candy from the other Nicktoon characters.

Comic Books

  • In the first Scary Godmother comic, there's a full-page reference, complete with Jimmy smirking similarly to the Grinch:
    Then suddenly, an idea popped into his head.
    A nasty idea.
    A nasty, mean, selfish, and devilish idea.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW): In Issue 65, the special is playing on TV during the Christmas party, showing the part where the Grinch is about to go down a chimney for the first time.

Comic Strips

Films -- Live-Action

  • Home Alone:
    • In the original movie, Kevin falls asleep watching the special just before the Wet Bandits make their first strike.
    • In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Kevin is seen watching the special in a limousine...and Mr. Hector, the hotel concierge, imitates the Grinch's smirk in a Match Cut as he finally gets confirmation that Kevin is staying at the Plaza under false pretenses.
  • It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie has a foot chase with Fozzie Bear struggling to get the revenue from the Muppet Theater's Christmas show to the villain before a deadline that will allow her to claim the theater as hers. At one point, he ends up covered in green paint and resembling the Grinch, whereupon he's called out by a rhyming Cindy Lou Who analogue leading up a crowd of mock-Whos visually duplicating those of the 2000 film. Her dad isn't as good at the rhyming and just encourages the crowd to take him down, and the chase resumes.
  • Jingle All the Way: When the police arrive at the warehouse to arrest the phony Santas, Tony the Elf says, "It's the Grinch! Scatter!"
  • Early on in To Grandmothers House We Go, the girls' mother reads the book to them at bedtime. They end up blurting out the resolution to the plot, having already seen the TV special.


  • In You Have a Match, Abby compares Ellie the barista's topknot to Cindy Lou Who.
  • Deathmoor: Grinches are furry, white, weasel-like creatures living in the moor, who steals items from adventurers but are otherwise harmless.

Live-Action TV

  • George Lopez: In "George's Grand Slam", George mentions the special when Carmen asks him to attend a poetry slam she'll be reading at.
    George: "We watch something about poetry every year. It's called How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
  • Glee: In "A Very Glee Christmas", Sue paints herself green and steals the glee club's holiday decorations, while performing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch". Later, the gang sings "Welcome Christmas".
  • Hawkeye: "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" plays during the ending credits of the episode titled "Ronin".
  • One of "Jesse Jackson"'s Seuss-inspired children's books on In Living Color!, all of which reference the tough lives of poor Black Americans, is How the Grinch Stole My Car Radio.
  • The Late Show with David Letterman occasionally referenced this story in its seasonal Top Ten lists of unpopular Christmas stories/specials:
    • How the Grinch Stole Grandpa's Heart Medication
    • How the Grinch Stole a Guy's Wallet on the D Train
    • How the Grinch Sold Christmas on Ebay
  • MA Dtv cashed in on the 2000 movie with "How the Grinch Stole Christ", in which he makes off with Our Lord and Savior but the Whos turn out to be too materialistic to care that the actual True Meaning of Christmas is imperiled.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • As Ator prepares to ambush the Cave Dwellers, Joel riffs "I've got a wonderful Grinchy idea."
    • An imposing cliff in War of the Colossal Beast inspires the riff "And the Grinch peered down with his little dog Max..."
    • In Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, one sketch has Joel showing the Bots his collection of Christmas movies and specials that they can watch later to get the bad taste of the experiment out of their mouths. When he notes that he has The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Crow notes "Just so long as it's not The Fish Who Saved Pittsburgh" (referencing a 1979 basketball-meets-astrology comedy).

Puppet Shows

  • Bear in the Big Blue House: In "What's the Story?", when Bear asks real children what their favorite story is, one of them says that she likes the story of The Grinch.
  • In the The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss episode "Mrs. Zabarelli's Holiday Baton" during the Jingle Day pageant rehearsal one Seussvillian recites the opening and closing lines of the book. The Grinch is also one of the show's recurring villains.


  • In Seussical, the early number "Here on Who" establishes that the show (the main narrative of which incorporates the plot of Horton Hears a Who!) takes place after the events of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The reformed Grinch participates in Whoville's equivalent of a Christmas pageant that retells his story.

Video Games

  • In Everybody Edits Flash, the Grinch Smiley is available as a Digital Avatar.
  • In the Living Books adaptation of Dr. Seuss' ABC, if you click on the creature wearing googoo goggles on the G page, he will reveal a great gift that he got from Greta, at which point The Grinch will appear and steal it.
    Creature: The Grinch grabbed my gift!
    Greta: Greedy guy!
  • In The Muppets Inside for PC, this is one of the questions in the "Trivial... But True" mini-game:
    Only one kind of animal in the world is colored purple. Is it...
    A. The Pygmy Hamster
    B. The Grinch
    C. The Blesboknote 
  • Thirstiest Time of the Year, the horror game based around the memetic Sprite Cranberry commercial with LeBron James, has clips from the 1966 special showing on the TV in the living room.

Web Original

  • The Angry Video Game Nerd: The 2010 Christmas special, How the Nerd Stole Christmas is a parody of the 1966 special, where The Nerd steals all the good video games gifted to families and replaces them with bad ones.
  • How It Should Have Ended: In "How Sonic the Hedgehog Should Have Ended", one of the Jim Carrey Badniks that Robotnik summons in the final battle is modeled after The Grinch. The Grinch Badnik tells Big the Cat, "I do not like you, strange furry beast, I do not like you, not even the least!" before Big grabs him with his fishing rod and tosses him aside.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • The 1966 special is ranked #4 on his list of "Top 12 Greatest Christmas Specials".
    • In his Nicktoons review, Critic says that the Bigheads are "the Grinch's testicles if they sprouted legs and started complaining about everything".
    • In his review of The Magic Voyage, Critic rants about "all the noise, noise, noise, NOISE!"
    • The Critic has reviewed the 2000 live-action film, with its framing device styled like the original cartoon.
    • A Running Gag in the review of The King and I has the Critic is singing about Kralahome to the tune of "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch".
  • StacheBros: The narration during the ending of "Bowser's Unthankful Thanksgiving" where Donkey Kong carves a cooked Bowser is similar to the ending of The Grinch where the Grinch carves the roast beast for the Whos.

Western Animation

  • Eek! The Cat: In the second Christmas Episode, Eek, Sharky, and Elmo take a detour while trying to save Christmas, only for the sleigh full of presents to drift towards a cliff. When Sharky steps in to help the others, a rhyming narrator begins speaking in Seuss-like terms and observes that Sharky's heart has grown several sizes this day. The character designs also suddenly shift to resemble the Seuss style. When Eek points out they're in the wrong Christmas story, everything suddenly reverts to normal and Sharky is no longer strong enough to hold up the sleigh, causing them all to fall to the ground below.
  • Family Guy:
    • In "A Hero Sits Next Door", a flashback shows that Joe got crippled one Christmas Eve while fighting the Grinch. Ten seasons later in "Joe's Revenge", Joe reveals that the story was a lie.
    • The episode title "How the Griffin Stole Christmas" is taken from the story.
    • In "The First No L", Lois tries to get back at her family for putting up decorations without her by stealing them in a direct parody of The Grinch, complete with Stewie dressed as Cindy Lou Who.
      Stewie: Why are you taking our Christmas tree?
      Lois: Why are you in pigtails and a little girl's nightgown?
      Stewie: Okay, okay. Maybe we both forget what we saw.
  • King of the Hill: In "Hank's Got the Willies", Bill mutters "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch!" when Hank talks negatively about Santa Claus.
  • The Looney Tunes Show: In "Shell Game", Cecil Turtle's evil smirk resembles that of the Grinch.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Tanks for the Memories", Rainbow Dash gets the idea to keep winter from coming and makes a familiar-looking evil grin.
  • In the Christmas Episode of The PJs, "How the Super Stole Christmas", Thurgood tries to earn money so that he can get Muriel a computer for Christmas by making a deal with a pawn shop owner to steal all the things his tenants can't make their payments for — Grinch-style.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • A sketch from the "DP Christmas Special" has the Grinch seeing a doctor about his enlarged heart and is told that he will die.
    • A sketch from the "ATM Christmas Special" features the Nerd meeting the Grinch (specifically, "the stupid-ass Jim Carrey Grinch").
    • A sketch from the "Born Again Virgin Christmas Special" features the Grinch stapling an antler to Max's head, killing him.
  • In Scary Godmother: The Revenge of Jimmy, Jimmy makes a Grinch-like smirk when he gets the idea to try and stop Halloween from coming. Unfortunately, like his mother predicted, his face ends up sticking that way for the rest of the show.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Last Exit to Springfield", Mr. Burns' reaction to his workers continuing to strike after he cuts the town's power is based on the Grinch's reaction to the Whos singing after he steals their stuff.
    • In "The Old Man and the Lisa", it's mentioned that Mr. Burns stole Christmas from 1981 to 1985.
    • In "Skinner's Sense of Snow" Principal Skinner tells his students that he's putting on a movie about "a grinchy character who tries to steal Christmas". It's not this one but rather a loose parody of 1933's Babes in Toyland.
    • In "'Tis the Fifteenth Season", Homer steals the town's Christmas presents in a direct parody of the special, complete with his own rendition of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch".
    • In "Kill Gill, Volumes I & II", Homer tangles with a green monster called the Grumple at a holiday ice show.
  • South Park:
    • In "Chef Aid", Johnnie Cochran's heart grows three sizes and he makes a Heel–Face Turn to use his famous Chewbacca Defense in favor of Chef.
    • The episode "Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson" features the holiday special The Grinchy Poo.
    • In "Cartmanland", Cartman's rant about waiting in line at amusement parks spoofs the Grinch's "Noise!" monologue.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: In "It's A Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special", a blue Grinch can be seen early in the opening sequence about to steal Christmas from Shmagooville.
  • In My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas, the ponies dance around the tree in a circle in a similar manner to the "Welcome Christmas" scene the TV adaptation, as well as both movies, use.