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The Grinch is the main titular redeemed protagonist of the 2000 live-action film adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

He was portrayed by Jim Carrey as an adult while Josh Ryan Evans (in his final theatrical role) play as an 8-year-old Grinch when he was a child.

In 2018, The Grinch will be appearing in the movie remake (18 years since the Jim Carrey film), however it will be computer animated than live action and he'll voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.


His past

The Grinch arrived in Whoville by mistake when he was a baby and was adopted by two elderly sisters, Clarnella and Rose Who. Although he showed some sadistic tendencies as a child, he was not the cruel, cynical person who he became.

He was an outcast at school and was bullied by classmates (mainly by Augustus May Who) because of his green and hairy appearance. The only classmate to show him any kindness was Martha May Whovier, whom he had a crush on.

One Christmas season when he was eight, the Grinch made a gift for Martha: a makeshift Christmas angel made out of a bicycle horn and silverware, but he attempted to shave his face after remembering what all the kids said, cutting himself in the process. So, he went back to school, wearing a brown paper bag over his head.

When everyone saw The Grinch's face covered with shaving tape the next morning, they laughed at him. He lost his temper, went on a rampage and ran away to live on Mt. Crumpit. Over the years, The Grinch remained in hiding in a huge cave and became an urban legend due to brief sightings.

The Present

Inside the magical snowflake, the people in Whoville enjoy celebrating Christmas with much happiness and joy except the Grinch who hatefully resents Christmas and the Whos. He occasionally pulls dangerous and harmful practical jokes on them with vengeance

As a result, no one likes or cares for him. Meanwhile, a six-year-old girl named Cindy Lou Who believes that everyone is missing the point about Christmas by being more concerned about the gifts and festivities.

After having a face-to-face encounter with the Grinch at the Post office which he saves her life, Cindy Lou becomes interested in his history. The next day, she asks everyone what they know about him and soon discovers that he has a tragic past.

Cindy Lou, touched by this story, decides to make the Grinch the main participant of the Whobilation, to the great displeasure of May Who (who is now the Mayor of Whoville) who reluctantly agrees after pressure from the townspeople who have been warmed by Cindy Lou's generous spirit.

When Cindy Lou goes to Mount Crumpit and offers an invitation to the Grinch, he turns her down. He gradually changes his mind, however, due to the promise of an award, the presence of Martha at the celebration and the chance to upset the Mayor.

Just as the Grinch is enjoying himself and almost won over, The Mayor gives him an electric shaver as a present, reminding him of his awful humiliation at school.

Later, May Who asks Martha to marry him, promising her a new car in return. This causes the Grinch to lose his temper again and berate the Whos for thinking that Christmas is about gifts that they'll just dispose of later in the hopes of making them too ashamed to celebrate the holiday.

He then goes on to ruin the party by shaving May Who's head with the razor and burning the Christmas tree with a makeshift flamethrower (although his actions prove fruitless as the Who's have a spare tree, which the Grinch sees them erect before he leaves).

When he discovers that his attack hasn’t removed the Whos' Christmas spirit, the Grinch instead concocts a plan to steal all of their presents while they‘re sleeping.

Creating a Santa suit and sleigh with his own dog, Max as a "reindeer", the Grinch flies around Whoville, stealing all of the Whos' Christmas gifts. He is almost discovered by Cindy Lou, but lies to her in order to get away. As he's finishing stealing the rest of the gifts and food in the other Who's houses and leaving crumbs much too small for the other Who's mouses, the Grinch steals the wedding ring May Who gave to Martha and finally gets his revenge on the Mayor by stealing the Holiday Cheermeister award and making him kiss Max's butt (much to the dog's humiliation) while he's sleeping.

The next day, the Whos discover the Grinch's scheme and May Who denounces Cindy Lou as the root of this catastrophic disaster.

However, Lou Lou Who (the Whoville postmaster) finally stands up to him and reminds everyone that they still have Christmas spirit and that the true meaning of Christmas is to spend time with your family and friends.

The people accept his speech and begin to sing. Hoping that the change of mood would inspire the Grinch, Cindy Lou goes to Mount Crumpit to find him.

The Grinch reveals that he intends to push the stolen gifts off the top of the mountain after he hears the Whos crying.

However, instead of crying, he hears the joyful singing of the Whos. Infuriated over the failure of his plan, the Grinch has an epiphany about what Christmas is really about: not material gifts, but spending time with your loved ones, an insight that profoundly touches him and causes his heart to grow to three times its original size.

When the sleigh full of stolen gifts begins to go over the edge of the cliff, the Grinch desperately tries to save them to no avail.

However, when he realizes Cindy Lou has come to wish him a merry Christmas and 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 Mount Crumpit, the Grinch returns to Whoville with Cindy and the gifts. He confesses to the burglary and apologizes for his actions towards the Whos.

He owns up his crimes to the police as they arrive, but the Whos reconcile with him, much to May Who's dismay. Then, Martha turns down May Who's proposal and decides that she would rather stay with the Grinch instead which it make the Grinch very happy.

The redeemed Grinch starts a new life with the Whos, commemorating the Christmas feast with them in his cave and becomes Martha’s new boyfriend.


The Grinch is an unpleasant "Who-hating" grouch with a wicked temper, sour attitude, depressed judgment and a heart about two sizes too small (the only exception to this is the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! where he becomes whole-hearted and loving) and is always out to ruin something.

The Grinch's only friend is his pet dog, Max who's loyal to his master despite the Grinch treating Max like a nuisance. Max also is an unwitting accompany in the Grinch's plots.

The Grinch forces him to masquerade as a "reindeer" by attaching a crooked pair of horns on him and making Max pull the sleigh with all the Whos' Christmas trappings inside. In the movie, he was portrayed as having a reputation similar to Bigfoot, although in his case, he's known to exist.

He's also a skilled architect, having built his sleigh and many of the contraptions within his cave himself. The Grinch also bears a grudge against the Mayor of Whoville who had bullied him as a child and is his rival in winning Martha May Who's heart.

On at least 2 occasions, the Grinch has demonstrated above-average (even superhuman) strength. Whether this is a trait commonly found in his species or simply examples of adrenaline rush is never stated outright.

He was seen to give up his evil reputation and actually become important (or more important) to Whoville.


The Grinch has a large bulbous stomach, long fingers and feet, a pear-shaped body (much like the Whos), yellow teeth and is covered in green hair. He has red pupils and yellow eyeballs. He stands 5' 9" to 6' 6" to 7'.

His fingers and feet look longer due to the long portions of hair coming off of them. He has large, sinister black eyebrows, and deep lines on his forehead. His mouth lines are subtle when he is in a neutral mood, yet very stretched when he is happy.

He has a pair of brooding, deep-set, yellow ovoid eyes with red irises - although they are noted to become more round and white and feature blue irises after the Grinch's "conversion".

Another physical characteristic noted to change after the Grinch learns the true meaning of Christmas is his face, which in addition to the line softening mentioned above, becomes somewhat heart-shaped as he smiles broadly.

A long neck is prominent, with layers of green fur coming down it. He seems to have pockets in the fur of his large stomach, as he rests his hands inside this area.

Videogame appearance

The Grinch appears as the playable character in the 2000 video game tie-in of the movie (which is very loosely based off the film as well as the book).

The Grinch decides to destroy the Whos Christmas, however when he loses his blue prints to his gadgets which end up scattering around the place he is forced to go on a journey to collect them.

The player is given tasks to do, such as smashing presents and other mischievous things to torment the Whos. Max the Dog is also a playable character which the Grinch can use to gain access to areas to help him progress further.

Along the way the player collects parts for the Grinch's sleigh, and once completed they are involved in a boss mission which they chase down Santa Claus in his sleigh and shoot him down.

But like the film and book, the Grinch realizes the Whos are still happy. Once his heart grows, he returns to Whoville and apologies for his actions.


Clarnella and Rose Who

These two Who biddies were the ones who adopted the Grinch as a baby. They found him in a tree next to their house one morning after they partied the night before. They knew right away he was special and loved him. They were heartbroken when he ran away after declaring his hate for Christmas. When the Grinch retruned years later to accept the Holiday Cheermeister award, they were so happy to see him and even had him wear a Christmas sweater they made for him. They were heartbroken again when the Grinch, provoked by Mayor May Who's teasing, torched the tree in the town center and stole all the gifts, food and decorations. However, they were happy again after he gave them all back.

Cindy Lou Who

When he first met Cindy at the post office, they didn't get along since The Grinch was bad and think that Cindy is just like the other Whos who only care about presents. Even though he did save her from the stamping machine, he just don't want to admit that he only did that because he care.

Later, he met Cindy again after she found that the only reason he hate Christmas is because he had a tragic past and Cindy think that he's funny and not afraid of him which it upset him, but decide to go to the celebration.

As the movie continue, The Grinch went bad, got revenge, decide to stole Christmas and realize what he have done after realize that Christmas isn't about presents, but spending with your love ones.

At the ending, he return the gifts and got a kiss on the cheek from Cindy who cares about him. Then they becomes best friends as the movie ends.

Martha May Whovier

When he was young, he was in love with Martha when she look at him while licking her lollipop at school.

He always have a crush on Martha ever since childhood and do anything to win her heart until he made a gift for Martha: a makeshift Christmas angel, but attempted to shave his face after being made fun of for having a "beard", cutting himself by accident, forcing him to wear a brown paper bag over his head.

When his classmates and teacher, Miss Rue Who, saw his face covered with shaving tape the next morning, they laughed at him except Martha. He lost his temper, went on a rampage and ran away to live on a mountain to the north of Whoville, Mount Crumpit.

As years passed, he later met her again when they're both adults now and he was flirting with her during the competition until his rival Augustus propose to her by making him jealous and anger too.

At the end, after the Grinch reformed, Martha call off the engagement and decide to be with him since Martha always love The Grinch which that make The Grinch really happy. Later, they started to have a relationship after they sing and celebrate Christmas at the Grinch's home.

Max the Dog

Max is the dog and companion of The Grinch. We don't know how or when The Grinch got him, but we think that The Grinch found him during his childhood.

Max was first seen when he scare the Whos with the huge monster with a growl. His master, The Grinch was proud of him for scaring them, but upset that those Whos won't leave him alone.

So, he got a plan to prank those Whos at Whoville. Their plan works until they met Cindy Lou Who at the post office and when Cindy's in trouble, Max order his master to save her which the Grinch did.

After saving Cindy, they left and made prank calls until they decide to go home where they live at Mt. Crumpit.

He wasn't seen again until Cindy came to Mt. Crumpit to invite his owner to join the party and later on, The Grinch decide to go.

After The Grinch was having a bad time (thanks to the mayor), the Grinch came home and realize that Max was having a party by himself and was having a great time.

Then, his master threw him out and told Max that if he's not gonna help, he'll do something bad to him until somehow Max gives him an idea after he saw his face covered in snow that looked like Santa’s beard and decided to steal Christmas.

Before they head to Whoville, The Grinch realized that he forget the reindeer and notice that if he can't find one, he'll use Max instead.

His master make Max as a reindeer and they heard Whoville to steal presents every single house. After got every single presents, they were heading home until the sled was out of gas.

So, The Grinch make Max to pull the sled all the way home and Max was tired after they both got home.

While his master was about to push the sled, he and Max realize that the Whos are singing without any presents. At first, The Grinch was mad about it, then confuse and suddenly realize that Christmas isn't about presents, it's about spending time with the people you love.

After The Grinch realize what he had done, he told Max that he love him and Max give him a happy lick until his master told him to give him some space. Then, Max realize that the sled is about to fall and warn his master.

After his master saving the sled include Cindy Lou Who, they head back to Whoville to bring the presents back.

At the end, we see Max sitting next to Cindy when she serves him the Roast Beast and petting his back,

Augustus May Who

He and Augustus have known each other since childhood, but he always hated Augustus after he and the classmates laughed at him for his hairy appearance which it upset him and hate Christmas ever since.

As years passed, they both had a crush on Martha and they do anything to win Martha's heart. At the celebration, Augustus decide to make The Grinch remember his past by giving him a elec razor as a present and propose to Martha right in front of him which it makes The Grinch sad, jealous and angry by destroy the celebration.

At the end, Augustus is still upset that The Grinch ruined Christmas and wanted him arrested until The Grinch reformed and return the gifts by saying that he was sorry which it upset him more and Martha call off the engagement by being with The Grinch.

The Whos

Back then, he was being bullied by Augustus and the classmate by calling him a freak. Ever since, he hate the Whos and Christmas. That's all change until he met Cindy Lou and save her from the stamping machine at the post office.

At the celebration, he was enjoying himself and almost won over, Augustus gives him an electric shaver as a present, reminding him of his awful humiliation at school and asks Martha to marry him, promising her a new car in return.

This causes the Grinch to openly berate the Whos for thinking that Christmas is about gifts that they will just dispose of later, in the hopes of making them too ashamed to celebrate the holiday. He then goes on to ruin the party by burning the Christmas tree with a makeshift flamethrower.

At the end, he reformed after realize that he was wrong about Christmas and return the gifts by telling the Whos that he was sorry for being cruel in the past which the Whos forgave him and let him commemorating the Christmas feast with them in his cave.

His Heroic Side

  • He saved Cindy Lou Who from the stamping machine.
  • He was finally accepted and loved by the Whos and was returning to be completely good but when he is bully and humiliated by Augustus, this make him angry and destructive.
  • He stopped the sleigh from falling off the cliff and saved Cindy Lou Who.
  • He gave back the gifts to the people in Whoville.
  • He returns to be completely good and pass the holiday with the Whos and his friends. He also become Martha's boyfriend.


  • Dr. Seuss admitted in interviews that he based the Grinch on himself when he felt ambivalence towards Christmas. As a hint, the Grinch mentions he has put up with Christmas 'for 53 years;' Seuss was 53-years-old when the book was published. However, in the film, it was unspecified how many years the Grinch had put up with it as he mentions 'year after year'.
  • Though he is almost always described as green, it is only in the 1966 cartoon that he became that color, on the suggestion of director Chuck Jones. Dr. Seuss thought he should be grey, as he was drawn in the book.
  • Unlike the book or 1966 cartoon where the Grinch is a smart, scheming individual, the film shows him to be a comical insane person with the scheming qualities.
  • The film shows that the mayor is the real villain and the Grinch is the real good guy. It's because of the Mayor's bullying, that caused the Grinch to become cold, a little scorbutic and anti-social.
  • The Grinch is very similar to Davey Stone from Eight Crazy Night, The Beast from Beauty and the Beast and Ebenezer Scrooge: all hate Christmas at the beginning because of the past, both are in love with their love interest, both are even adult and both redeemed after knowing the true meaning of Christmas.
  • Before Jim Carrey was cast to play the Grinch, Jack Nicholson and Eddie Murphy were briefly considered.
  • Jim Carrey's Grinch suit was covered in yak hair, which was dyed green, and sewed onto a spandex suit.
  • The Grinch is similar to The Grinch (2018), because they both have a tragic past when they were young, both have a dog name Max and both hate Christmas at first until redeemed at the end. The only difference is this grinch is more like real live creature while the other Grinch is animated version.
  • Jim Carrey accepted the role of The Grinch when he heard a tape of a kid's choir singing the song "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch".
  • Jim Carrey's yellow contact lenses were so uncomfortable that he wasn't able to wear them at times during filming. Some shots of his eyes be colored in post-production.
  • The Grinch is the only character who breaks the fourth wall in the film. He actively tries to avoid speaking in rhyme and even interacts with the narrator.
  • After The Grinch leaves Whoville for the second time, the camera pans up and a statue of an Elephant can be seen, in reference to "Horton Hears a Who." Jim Carrey would later go on to voice Horton in the animated film of the same name.
  • When the Grinch drove the little car, when he was destroying Christmas, Jim Carrey said that it was really hard to drive and it took him forever to get the feel of the car.
  • Jim Carrey admitted to feeling ashamed for not trying to prevent some of the adult humor in this film, and has repeatedly stated that all of the jokes he ad-libbed were age appropriate. He then found out that Ron Howard had removed many other jokes that were even raunchier, but had to keep some of it, due to what they both claim as "studio interference".
  • The Grinch's only real victim while he is stealing Christmas, is a fluffy white cat that he accidentally sucked up with a vacuum, while stealing presents from a house.
  • By virtue of a sad backstory, the movie makes the Grinch a more sympathetic character than he was in the book, or the Chuck Jones special.
  • The Grinch has sharp fingernails that can dent cars, and cut through thick glass.
  • When the Grinch pulls the sheet off the table all the silverware was scripted to fall off with the sheet. Jim pulled the sheet off so well that when nothing came off he went back ruined the table himself.
  • The Grinch has two similarities to Jim Carrey's character Stanley Ipkiss (the Mask) in The Mask (1994). The Grinch and the Mask are green in appearance (although the Mask is only green in the face), and the Grinch and Stanley have dogs with names that start with the letter “M” respectively.
  • Jim Carrey and Sir Anthony Hopkins were both involved in comic books. Carrey played the Riddler in Batman Forever (1995) while narrator Anthony Hopkins went on a few years later to play Odin, Thor's father in Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Dr. Edward Bailey in RED 2 (2013).
  • This is the most successful movie of Jim Carrey's career.
  • Jim Carrey (The Grinch) played another Christmas-hating character, Ebenezer Scrooge, in Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009). Happily, both characters become kind and generous at the end of their respective films and become friends with an adorable little kid.
  • When the Grinch's heart begins to grow, it hurts his chest and he falls to the ground and wounds his hand. He turns back and forth between his two injuries, mimicking a similar gag from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) in which Ace takes a spear to each leg.
  • The Grinch doesn't conjure up the idea to steal Christmas until an hour into the film.
  • The scene where The Grinch is directing his dog, Max, before stealing Christmas, is Jim Carrey making fun of Director Ron Howard, imitating his style of directing. Howard found the scene hilarious, and decided to include it in the film.