Dr. Seuss Wiki

And the Grinch grabbed the tree and he started to shove, when he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove. He turned around fast and he saw a small Who! Little Cindy-Lou Who, who was not more than two. The Grinch had been caught by this tiny Who daughter, who'd got out of bed for a cup of cold water. She stared at the Grinch and said "Santy Claus, why, why are you taking our Christmas tree? WHY?" [shrieks]

Cindy-Lou Who is a sweet little girl from Dr. Seuss' storybook How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. She serves as the tritagonist of the book and its adaptations.

She is a small Who girl who lives in Whoville and plays a prominent role in the storybook.

In the 1966 cartoon adaptation, she was voiced by June Foray.

In the 2000 live-action film, she was portrayed by Taylor Momsen, in which she had a more significant role than the cartoon version.

In 2018, she appeared in the computer-animated remake, voiced by Cameron Seely, who was able to very closely match Foray's original performance.

1956/1957 book[]

The original Cindy-Lou Who had yellow skin (in the Redbook version only; recolored white in the published book). Her hair almost looked as if she was balding, and she did not have her bow and signature hair until the end of the book.

1966 TV Special[]

In the original book and the animated adaptation, Cindy-Lou Who comes out of bed for a drink of water when she finds the Grinch, disguised as Santa Claus, stuffing her family's Christmas tree up the chimney (in the 1966 special, she also wakes up when she noticed a red ornament rolling to her after it fell off the tree).

Mistaking him for Santa, she innocently asks him why he is taking the tree. The Grinch, sensing innocence in the young girl, covers up his theft by lying to her, saying that there is a broken light on the tree and that he was taking it to "his workshop" to fix the problem and then return it on Christmas Day when she wakes up.

Then, the Grinch gets her a cup of water and sends her back to bed, showing the only legitimate kindness in his small heart.

Notably, though this is her only real scene in the original book, Cindy Lou gets a bit more screen time in the animated adaptation.

Live Action (2000 film)[]

In the live-action film, Cindy-Lou is played by Taylor Momsen.

In this version, Cindy-Lou is six years old and knows the Grinch early in the story, unlike her cartoon version. Thanks to her doing some investigative reporting after the Grinch saved her from the posting stamp.

Unlike the rest of the Whos except Martha, Cindy-Lou believes there is some good in the Grinch, who's just a misunderstood creature and not mean.

Later, Augustus May Who, the Mayor of Whoville, grumpily accuses her of robbing everyone when the Whos awake to their homes being ransacked by the Grinch.

However, her name is cleared shortly after her father stands up for her, and she later helps the Grinch return every item to the Whos after sneaking aboard his sleigh by telling him that no one should be alone on Christmas.

In the scene, she gives the Grinch a friendly kiss on the cheek after telling him and wishing him a Merry Christmas. They both sing, and she welcomes the Grinch and Max to her family at the end.

Broadway Musical[]

In the musical, Cindy-Lou can be from six to twelve years old. She has four siblings: Boo Who, Danny Who, Betty-Lou Who and Annie Who. She first appears in It's The Thought, Who Likes Christmas, I Hate Christmas Eve, and Whatchamo.

She is clearly different from the other children dressed in red and white and wears a pink gown instead. On Christmas Eve, she wakes up to meet the Grinch when she sings Santa For A Day with the Grinch.

She is played by two little girls every winter at the Old Globe in San Diego. She was first portrayed by Vanessa Hudgens.

Personality (2018 film)[]

In the 2018 film, Cindy-Lou can easily be personalized as assertive, proactive, brave, headstrong, confident, determined, persistent, cheerful, friendly, cute, childish, kind, honest, creative, open-minded, nice, resourceful, charismatic, feisty, and compassionate.

She appears to be selfless and attentive to detail. Cindy-Lou is unafraid to speak her mind and tell the truth as she sees it. She is a well-behaved girl who lives by the rules and truly gets a kick out of making her world a nice, neat, and orderly place in her own earnest way. She is also easy to get along with and is very mature for her age, which is why she makes friends with people older than herself.

Cindy-Lou is an energetic and hopeful young girl who strongly believes in the spirit of Christmas. She is smart, cunning, and inventive. She constantly devises sophisticated plans for simple tasks and knows the best way to solve problems.

With her relentless persistence and a never-give-up attitude, Cindy-Lou is the first to jump right in! After all, when faced with something new – whether it's a challenge, a problem, or her grand and glorious ideas, she is always ready for her ongoing pursuits to capture Santa Claus on her biggest adventure yet (in order to help her mother), something which will interfere with the Grinch's plans.

Of course, Cindy-Lou loves presents, but she knows that being kind and spending time with those you care about is the best thing of all, a gift that can be given every single day, no matter what time of year it is.


In the 2018 film, Cindy-Lou has fuzzy tan skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair in the form of a bob-cut, which on the top is styled into messy braids adorned with pink glitter bows. She wears a long striped pink scarf around her neck, a hot pink winter coat with a matching frilly dress underneath, and yellow and pink striped pantyhose with pink winter boots. She is six years old.


The Grinch[]

When Cindy-Lou first meets the Grinch at the post office, they do not get along because the Grinch thinks Cindy is just like the other Whos, who only care about presents, which she does not.

Even though he did save her from the stamping machine, he did not want to admit that he only did that because he cared about her safety. Then, Cindy-Lou decides to ask everyone what they know about him and soon discovers that he has a sad past.

Later, Cindy-Lou met the Grinch again after she found that the only reason he hated Christmas was because he had a tragic past. Cindy thought he was funny and was not afraid of him, which upset him, but the Grinch decided to go to the celebration for her sake.

As the movie continued, the Grinch went bad, got revenge, stole Christmas, and realized what he had done after realizing that Christmas is not about presents but spending time with your loved ones.

In the end, he returns the gifts and gets a kiss on the cheek from Cindy, who cares about him. Then, as the movie ends, they become best friends.

Her Family[]

Cindy-Lou loves her parents and brothers, but she believes everyone is missing the point about Christmas by being more concerned about the gifts and festivities.

After meeting the Grinch and learning that he has a dark past, she feels bad for him because he was bullied by the mayor and the other Who kids. So she decides to bring the Grinch back to Whoville and make everybody, including the Grinch, show them what Christmas is really about.

During the celebration, her mother is lost at the light contest (deleted scene), and soon, the Grinch comes late, having fun and almost wooing his childhood crush, Martha May Whovier. The mayor gives him an electric shaver as a present, reminding him of his painful humiliation at school.

May Who then asks Martha to marry him, promising her a new car in return. This causes the Grinch to openly criticize the Whos for thinking that Christmas is about gifts they will just dispose of later, hoping to make them too ashamed to celebrate the holiday.

He then goes on to ruin the celebration by burning the Christmas tree with a makeshift flamethrower (although his actions prove fruitless as the Whos have a spare tree, which the Grinch sees them erect before he leaves).

After the gifts were stolen by the Grinch, the mayor and everybody blame Cindy for ruining Christmas by letting the Grinch come to Whoville, which hurts her feelings until her father stands up for her and finally realizes that Christmas is not about gifts but spending time with your love ones and know that Cindy was right about Christmas and knowing the true nature of the mayor.

While her family is singing, Cindy goes to Mt. Crumpit and wants to tell the Grinch about Christmas.

Then she was looking for him, but decided to go in the sled and saw him by saying hi to the Grinch; to his surprise, the Grinch that she came all the way up Mt. Crumpit to see him and tell him that no one should not be alone on Christmas.

Then she smiles at the Grinch, which makes him very happy that she does care about him until she is in danger of falling off the cliff with the sleigh. The Grinch finds enough strength to lift the sleigh, the gifts, and Cindy-Lou to safety.

After a long descent down Mt. Crumpit, the Grinch returns to Whoville with Cindy and the gifts. He confesses to the burglary, apologizes for his actions towards the Whos, and turns himself into the police as they arrive, but the Whos reconcile with him, much to May Who's dismay.

Martha rejects May Who's proposal and says her heart belongs to the Grinch instead. The redeemed Grinch starts a new life with the Whos, commemorating the Christmas feast with them in his cave.


Groopert and Cindy-Lou share a great friendship and always meet in their treehouse. When they meet at the top of the carousel, he understands her because he is a very good friend.


  • She was the first Who (other than Martha May Whovier) who was not afraid and did not hate the Grinch. She just knows that the Grinch is sweet and has a good side.
  • She was afraid of the Grinch at first until she realized that he had a dark past and tries to help him by becoming his friend.
  • She was the Grinch's first best friend along with his dog, Max, in the live-action movie.
  • On November 17th, 2023, the American singer Sabrina Carpenter released an EP called "Fruitcake," with track 4 called "Cindy-Lou Who." In the song, she uses sweet Cindy-Lou as a metaphor for her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend.


See Also[]