Their troubles will now commence!
Oh, I wouldn't stay home on a night like this
For sixty dollars and sixty cents!"
Halloween Is Grinch Night is an animated television Halloween Special and a prequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. (It's not too clear whether it's a prequel or sequel, except that it probably occurs before the Grinch's HeelFace Turn.) A co-production of DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and Dr. Seuss, it first aired on ABC on October 29, 1977 and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program the following year. Hans Conried serves as the story's Narrator and provides the voice of The Grinch, in a manner similar to Boris Karloff in the earlier special.
The story takes place in and around Whoville, a town that the Grinch periodically terrorizes on a night known as "Grinch Night," which commences when a "Sour-Sweet Wind" blows and sets off a variety of animal calls that annoys the Grinch into terrorizing the Whos. As the story opens, the Sour-Sweet Wind is just beginning to blow when Euchariah, a young bespectacled Who (a resident of Whoville) with astigmatism, goes outdoors to use the outhouse (referred to as "the euphemism" in the story), and is swept away by the wind.
On the road he encounters the Grinch, along with the Grinch's dog Max, who is in the process of bringing a large wagon — called the "Paraphernalia Wagon" — down to Whoville. Euchariah decides to keep the Grinch from reaching Whoville by stalling him. On the first two occasions the Grinch contemptuously dismisses him by saying that Euchariah "isn't worth a first-class Grinching," but after Euchariah stalls him a third time, the Grinch decides that he's had enough of the young Who and invites him to take a closer look at the Paraphernalia Wagon. When Euchariah does so, the Grinch opens up the wagon and a cloud of green smoke with Grinch-like eyes emerges and ensnares him.
Inside the wagon Euchariah is confronted by surreal imagery, numerous monsters ("members of the Un-Human Race," according to the background lyrics) and the Grinch's mocking voice. Though he is frightened, Euchariah's courage keeps him on his toes long enough for the Sour-Sweet Wind to die down, thus forcing the Grinch to pack up and retire to his cave; the dog Max, who had been abused and overworked by the Grinch, goes home with Euchariah. Back in Whoville, the residents celebrate Euchariah's courage in preventing the Grinch releasing the Paraphernalia Wagon's full horrors on the town, and up in the mountains the Grinch, who is hauling the wagon home himself, ominously notes that one day soon the Sour-Sweet Wind will blow once more, and it will be Grinch Night all over again.
This show provides examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal:
- Adult Fear: Euchariah getting blown off his feet by the Sour-Sweet Wind. His grandparents call for him when he doesn't return.
- Art Evolution: The Grinch maintains his colour scheme from How The Grinch Stole Christmas, though otherwise his design plays much closer to that of the books.
- Badass Bookworm: Euchariah. He can define the term of an astigmatism, and somehow stand up to the Grinch and survive all of the horrors in the paraphernalia wagon.
- Big Friendly Dog: Max fits this role in the end; on his hind legs he's as tall as Euchariah, and after freeing himself from the Grinch he runs down the hill after Euchariah and the next shot we see is him happily slurping Euchariah's face.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: The Grinch's lift clear off his face and fly around like giant bats. He's rather proud of them.Grinch: It's a wonderful night for eyebrows.
- Bird People: Among the nightmarish creatures in the Grinch's wagon include a group of towering, penguin-like humanoids, which are among the first set of monsters we see in it in fact.
- Chekhov's Gun: That piece of wood that got knocked off the tree stump where the Grinch crashed was used by Euchariah to slide down the mountain ahead of the Grinch.
- Disappeared Dad / Missing Mom: Euchariah lives with his grandparents (and two younger Whos that may or may not be his siblings). His parents are never mentioned and nowhere to be seen.
- Disney Acid Sequence: Everything that happens after the Grinch opens his trap-door... well... to say none of it makes sense is an understatement.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The Grinch is annoyed at the various animal caterwauls — something the Whos have zero control over — so he takes it upon himself to go terrorize them for it. That would be enormously petty... though it's implied it's more of an excuse anyway.
- Dog-Kicking Excuse: Grandpa Josiah says that the noise of the animals disturbed by the Sweet-Sour Wind riles up the Grinch, but given that the Grinch is actually disappointed when the wind dissipates, it seems likelier that terrorizing Whoville is just something he likes to do and (for whatever reason) he uses the noise as an excuse.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Max earning his freedom and going back to Whoville with Euchariah, after the former having been one of the most extreme woobies ever, and the latter having had the euphemism scared out of him.
- Eat the Camera: A pink, spectacle-wearing spook does this during the infamous Mind Screw.
- Enemy to All Living Things: The Grinch abuses his dog Max, rolls over flowers on purpose, and scares the Whos and goes after the Wuzzy Woozoo for fun. Notably, after Euchariah successfully stalls him until the wind blows out, the Woozoo and the ducks seen in the opening sequence are celebrating along with the Whos.
- Evil Is Petty: Among other nasty things, the Grinch runs over flowers.
- Evil Laugh: This is the last thing the Grinch leaves us with.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Parts of the Mind Screw.
- Graceful Loser: Despite his scheme being botched and Max even leaving him to lug his wagon alone, the Grinch defiantly laughs his way back, knowing the Sour-Sweet Wind and Grinch Night will soon be back.
- Gratuitous German: The Grinch shouts out "Achtung!" to Max.
- Grief Song: Max's sorrowful ballad about how he regrets his life with the Grinch and longs to go back to his innocent puppyhood days, when his future was bright.
- Happy Dance: At the end, the town ducks and the Wuzzy Woozoo do a joyful jig to celebrate.
- Here We Go Again!: Despite Euchariah's attempts to stop the Grinch, Grinch Night will happen again when the next Sour-Sweet Wind blows through.
- Holding the Floor: Even though Euchariah hadn't seen what's inside the Paraphernalia Wagon before, he dares the Grinch to unleash the contents on him, relying on Heroic Safe Mode to ensure he occupies the Grinch while the Sour-Sweet Wind dissipates.
- Ironic Echo:
- Euchariah mentions how situations looked much better without his glasses on. The person he's addressing will tell him to put the glasses back on and face the facts. The first time he does it, it's to his grandfather. The second time, Euchariah is speaking this to the Grinch!
- In the first song, Grandpa Josiah keeps listing amounts of dollars and cents that he wouldn't venture out for on Grinch Night. Later on, the Grinch says he wouldn't stay home for an amount of dollars and cents.
- Knight of Cerebus: Despite how Laughably Evil he is, the Grinch completely changes the tone of the cartoon.
- Last of His Kind: The Wuzzy Woozoo the Grinch chases is apparently the only one left in Whoville: "The Woozoo should at least have immunity! He's the only one left in our community!"
- Lucky Charms Title: In place of the "o" in "Halloween" is a jack o' lantern.
- Mind Rape: The Grinch does this to Euchariah using his Paraphernalia wagon during the movie's climax. The Nostalgia Critic even placed this scene on his Top 11 Mind F*** list.
- Master of Illusion: The Grinch's Paraphernalia Wagon seems to be hypnotizing Euchariah and the audience into thinking he's in a surreal hellish landscape. This possibility is supported by the fact that at the very end of the sequence, he's seen standing on top of the wagon again.
- Mind Screw: Again, what the Grinch does to Euchariah (and the viewers). Or tries to do, anyway.
- Minsky Pickup: Prefaces "Grinch Night Ball".
- Mondegreen: "Grinch is gonna get ya, yes indeedy fa la la, ya!" The sing-along version of the special actually transcribes the "yes indeedy" part as the complete gibberish "nitzen diff a la". In the subtitler's defense, these are Dr. Seuss lyrics we're dealing with here. This is noticeably averted in the German dub, which has simply "blitzi blie fa ha la".
- MookFace Turn: Max ends up ditching the Grinch to go off and live with Euchariah.
- Mr. Exposition:
- The Musical: The special has no fewer than seven vocal tunes, some with several measures, and very few instances of repeating. Impressive, given its half-hour running time.
- Negative Continuity: If this is a sequel to the Christmas one, then the Grinch went back to being evil. If it's a prequel, then Max went back to serving the Grinch.
- The special "The Grinch Grinches The Cat In The Hat" seems to suggest that the Grinch goes back to being evil on a regular basis.
- It also shows that that Grinch is a member of an entire species, most of whom are profoundly unpleasant people. So they could be different Grinches, each called "the" Grinch because there are no other Grinches in the area.
- Nephewism: It's implied that Max was raised by his Aunt Woofie, because he and the Grinch mention her and not Max's parents when talking about the time when he was a puppy.
- Never My Fault: The Grinch gets brickles stuck in him and says the Whos "brickle-ized" him. Not only were the Whos not outdoors when he crashed and got thrown into the brickle bush (because he had frightened them indoors), but also he might not have crashed if he hadn't been trying to hunt down the Wuzzy Woozoo.
- Nobody Poops: Downplayed. The outhouse is referred to as "the euphemism" but Euchariah's reason for using it is not explicitly given.
- No One Gets Left Behind: The Whos and animals of Whoville all shack up in safety when the Sour-Sweet Wind starts blowing. A female Who even goes back for her son's doll.
- Non-Indicative Name: Halloween is never even brought up, nor does any character allude to it outside the title, which is why re-releases have sometimes renamed it "[It's] Grinch Night" and the German dub is titled "An Halloween kommt der Grinch" when it was released in West Germany.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: All the spooks in the Grinch's Paraphernalia Wagon come in many different shapes and sizes, each with their own design.
- Pain to the Ass: While chasing the Wuzzy Woozoo, the Grinch ends up crashing into a brickle bush and gets a bunch of brickles in his britches.
- Reality Warper: The Grinch has some magic power as he was able to shrink and enlarge himself in his Villain Song.
- Rhymes on a Dime: It's a Dr. Seuss special, after all.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Wuzzy Woozoo, whom the Grinch torments along the trip down his mountain.
- Rule of Three: It took Euchariah three attempts to stall the Grinch before he's able to go into the Paraphernalia Wagon.
- Same Character, but Different: The Grinch's portrayal has gone from cantankerous and unpleasant, but basically harmless, to outright sadistic.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the end, when Grinch orders Max to carry the Paraphernalia Wagon back up Mount Crumpet, Max takes the harness off of himself and blows a raspberry at the Grinch, before going home with Euchariah.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: All those ghouls and spirits inside the Paraphernalia Wagon that were going to be unleashed in Whoville.
- Shout-Out: At one point in the infamous Mind Rape sequence, Euchariah meets the Jibboo from the Dr. Seuss book "Oh, the Things You Can Think".
- Slasher Smile: The Grinch makes a very creepy grin during the title sequence.
- Spoiler Opening: The opening credits show excerpts from the Paraphernalia Wagon sequence.
- Surreal Horror: The Paraphernalia Wagon scene. If you need elaboration, see Mind Rape above.
- Unusual Euphemism: The outhouse is literally called "the euphemism". Toilets were still too taboo to be seen on TV, and "euphemism" really sounds like a made-up Seuss word if you don't know that it's a real word and what it means. It's extra funny if you do know what it means.
- Villain Song: "Grinch Night Ball".
- We Will Meet Again:The Grinch: That wind will be coming back someday. I'll be coming back someday. [Evil Laugh]
- Would Hurt a Child: Admittedly, all the Grinch does is scare Euchariah, but this does count; he essentially takes a wagon full of pure Mind Rape, meant for the entirety of Whoville, and exposes Euchariah to it in undiluted form.
- You Shall Not Pass!: Euchariah tries to stop the Grinch from tormenting Whoville with his strange device, the Paraphernalia Wagon, by getting in his way before he can get down Mt. Crumpet. Although the Grinch regards him as not a threat, he eventually decides to use the abilities of the Wagon on Euchariah.Euchariah: Do your worst! Bring out your spooks! Shoot the works! I will not flinch!