Martha May Whovier is a major character in the live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

She was the love interest of The Grinch and Mayor Augustus Maywho. She was played by Christine Baranski while Landry Allbright played an 8-year-old Martha May.

Her life

During her childhood, Martha was the only one who was ever nice to the Grinch, who was bullied for his appearance (such as having a beard at the age of eight). She flirted with him by saying that she loved the color of red and green, then caressed his face with her hand.

This surprised The Grinch, who decided to make a gift for her in reciprocation of her feelings. He made a homemade Christmas angel made from an old bicycle horn, silverware and crushed gemstones from antique jewelry. Then, remembering how Augustus May Who (who also had feelings for Martha) had teased him about his beard, he shaved himself. However, this resulted in numerous cuts on his face, so he wore a brown paper bag over his head before going to school.

The next day when The Grinch presented his gift to Martha, his teacher asked him to remove the paper bag. After revealing his face, filled with cuts from the shaving attempt, other classmates laughed and bullied him for shaving in an attempt to impress Martha.

Before Martha could defend him from the ridicule, he left in a rage and had lived on a mountain ever since. Martha did not see him again, despite still having feelings for him for many years.

As years passed by, Martha became a beautiful and stylish adult. Martha became a rival of Cindy's mom Betty Lou Who, who both enter the light decorating contest each year, which Martha wins every year (mostly due to Martha's monetary standing). In addition to competing with her, she‘s also The Lou Who’s next-door neighbor.

Later she‘s seen telling Cindy what she knew about The Grinch from their childhood, and also inadvertently confesses to having a crush on him.

At the celebration, Martha is disgusted with The Mayor's behavior. As The Grinch arrives, she’s seen watching him from the distance and cheering him, but hiding her true feelings.

At the moment of the Gift Pass On, Augustus takes the opportunity to propose to Martha. She was speechless and left feeling conflicted, since she's in love with The Grinch. Before she answers the proposal, she‘s interrupted by The Grinch who starts ranting about the commercialist and frivolous side of Christmas.

She decides to think about Augustus's proposal until the next day. That night, while she and all of Whoville slept, The Grinch snuck into her bedroom and stole the engagement ring from May Who. By Christmas morning Martha watches how Augustus publicly blames Cindy Lou for what happened, even if the blame was his fault.

When Lou defends Cindy, she listens to Lou's speech about the true meaning of Christmas and is touched by it and realizes that Christmas is also about spending time with your loved ones.

By the end, the Grinch has reformed and Martha decides to break off the engagement and gives Augustus back his engagement ring, and says that her heart belongs to The Grinch.

She was last seen during the song "Welcome Christmas" and at The Grinch's home where he's cutting the roast beast and they flirt with each other. It‘s shown that they're in a relationship after they smile at each other before the movie was over.


Martha has long brown hair, which was previously straight hair with two pigtails but became curly as an adult, and similar facial features as the other Whos. She is shown to wear a black and white blouse and skirt, with white gloves in her childhood. Later on, she is shown to have matured into an attractive woman with an hourglass figure. She wears a Santa Claus-inspired dress that reveals her cleavage and has a very short skirt line. She is later seen in a tight red dress, exposing her figure, and wears a mistletoe pin in her hair. She is later seen in her nightgown, that is white and light blue, with large sleeves and a robe. At the Christmas feast, she wears a white long sleeved dress with her hair in a huge beehive hairstyle. She is the only adult Who who doesn’t have a snout which is implied she has had plastic surgery or never got it when she went through puberty. Cindy Lou Who and the rest of the children of Whoville don’t have snouts like the adults but will start to get them when they start to grow up.


  • Even though she denies having feelings for The Grinch, she has harbored a secret crush since childhood. Because of her crush, she isn’t afraid of The Grinch, much like Cindy Lou Who.
  • Martha May returns The Grinch's feelings after saying that Red and Green are her favorite colors on Christmas, which surprised The Grinch and resulted in him deciding to give her a gift and trying to impress her by shaving. However, the shaving went awry, and his classmates and teacher made fun of him for the attempt, after which he lost his temper and ran away, which hurt Martha May, who cared for the Grinch.
  • In a deleted scene, Martha May won the light-decorating content because The Mayor has strong feelings for her and doesn't want her to lose. In another deleted scene, the Mayor asks her out on a date, but she politely turns him down.
  • When the Mayor proposed to her, she was stunned because she still loves The Grinch and she knows that The Grinch loves her too. At the end, she calls off the engagement and tells everybody, including The Mayor, that she's in love and the only man that can please her is The Grinch.
  • Martha May is the only Who with two love interests due to her good looks.
  • Martha May is similar to Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Both are beautiful, they both have brown hair, both have two love interests (Belle to The Beast and Gaston, Martha May to The Grinch and Mayor Augustus), both are in love with the main characters (Belle to The Beast, Martha May to The Grinch), both care for the main characters and love them who they are, and both end up with the main characters after they confess their feelings for them.
  • Martha May is similar to Jennifer Friedman from Eight Crazy Nights. Both have brown hair, both are kind, both are the love interest of the main protagonist (Jennifer to Dave, Martha May to The Grinch), both are the main protagonist's childhood friends, both move on as they reach adulthood but end up with the main protagonist after they redeemed themselves.
  • Martha was the first girlfriend of The Grinch, in any published media, and the love interest in this movie.
  • It's unknown why she was in love with The Grinch, but she did give us a hint that she had a secret crush on him and she didn't like The Mayor since he has a bad attitude and was mean to The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who. She falls in love with him, because the Grinch is misunderstood and sweet.
  • She’s the only adult in Whoville that doesn’t have a snout like the rest of the adults which is probably because she either had plastic surgery or never got it when she went through puberty.

See Also

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