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Every who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not. The Grinch hated Christmas, the whole Christmas season! Now please don't ask why, no one quite knows the reason. It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right. It could be perhaps that his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
~ The narrator about the Grinch.
You put your glasses on and face the facts! Am I the Grinch?! Ha! I'll show you! [nonsensical B.S.] Hahaha, am I the Grinch? Out of my way, small Who, I've got better things to do than waste my time with you on Grinch Night!
~ The Grinch on Halloween.
The Grinch is the main protagonist of Dr. Seuss' 1957 book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and its 1966 animated television adaptation of the same name. He later appeared in the 1977 Halloween television special Halloween Is Grinch Night, and the 1982 television special The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, serving as the main antagonist in both short films.
He is a green hermit who originally used to develop a hatred of the Whos and the season of Christmas even more, so he planned to steal Christmas by sneaking out in the disguise of Santa Claus and stealing all of the Whos' presents. However, in the end, after seeing the Whos sing (even without their presents), the Grinch's heart softens and he becomes a much nicer person.
Rare roast beast is a feast I can stand in the least!
~ The Grinch
The Grinch is described as hating any sort of happiness. He is very mean, selfish, sly, cunning and manipulative. Among his long list of things that he hates the most are children, feasts, toys, and all forms of noise. On Halloween, he takes sadistic pleasure in terrorizing Whoville and does everything he can to futilely traumatize Euchariah on purpose; granted, while he almost literally asked for it, he is just a little boy trying to protect his family from the Grinch's malice.
He is also shown to be neglectful and outright abusive to his dog named Max, who he forces to wear a reindeer horn and pull his sled and magical boxcar, even using a whip to drive him on. However, after the Whos start singing even after he steals all of their gifts, he ends up deeply regretting his crimes. He not only returns everything that he stole, but attends the feast; indicating that the reason he is this way is that he is lonely.
In the Christmas special, Dr. Seuss also wrote a song that described how bad the Grinch was.
The way he targets the Wuzzy Woozoo is surprisingly dark for a childrens' show. He tries desperately to murder him just because he is there and just because he is the only Woozoo to not have migrated, not only showing a lack of remorse but smiling with homicidal glee as he pursues intending to rip him apart for the sake of doing so. This utterly twisted act is even worse because he intends to force Max to help carry out this unfeeling slaughter despite that would have doubtlessly traumatized the already lethargic canine.
In the 2018 movie, The Grinch is still a mean one, but significantly less of a mean one than previous versions, as he is portrayed as a grouchy cynic who prefers to mind his own business rather than actively hurt other people, will still be social when he needs to be, treats his dog well, and who decides to steal Christmas to prove a point rather than out of pure hatred for the Whos and the holiday. That said, he is still very sadistic at times as he takes as much delight as ruining Christmas as his other incarnations. In Halloween is Grinch Night, he actually possesses supernatural powers, such as shrinking and growing in size, and owning a paraphernalia wagon which contains an alternative dimension inhabited by the un-human race, a group of aggressive and destructive beings. In The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, he appears as a mad scientist who can build various powerful contraptions such as a machine that mumbles noises and his most complex invention, a dark house which projects a beam of darkness into a desired target. The Grinch also really hates being called "greenface".
The Grinch appears as the main protagonist and playable character in the 2000 video game based on the live-action film. The Grinch decides to destroy the Whos' Christmas. But when he loses his blueprints to his gadgets which end up scattering around the place, he’s 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 in 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 apologizes for his actions.
The live-action version of the Grinch appeared as the main antagonist of the Robot Chicken sketch "How the Nerd Saved Christmas", where he visits the human world and steals all of decorations and gifts from the people. The Nerd goes to get everything back, only to find the Grinch is the live-action version and not the cartoon version. The Nerd is angry because of this, and pushes the Grinch off a cliff just to satisfy his rage, claiming it is because he "took one of the best Christmas specials ever and pissed in its mouth".
The Grinch appeared in several episodes. He first appeared in Joe Swanson's story about how he lost the use of his legs. According to Joe, he had gotten a report that presents were being stollen from an orphanage. He arrived, got a ladder, and climber onto the roof where he noticed someone with a bag. He then confronted the Grinch, and they both participated in a fight scene that ended with Joe's legs being broken. This is later referenced when Joe reveals how he really lost his legs.
In a deleted season 12 episode, during a flashback, Carter Pewterschmidt is seen having an interview with the Grinch. When the Grinch asks how Carter feels about the Who's down in Whoville, Carter replies with "Who cares?" They both laugh and the Grinch welcomes Carter aboard as he smiles the Grinch's iconic smile. Carter asks what they were going to do next, and the Grinch replied that until winter they would be doing jet-ski rentals.
In season 17, when Lois is angry that the family was able to put Christmas together without her, she decides to put on the Grinch's persona and trash the house. During this, she made various Grinch references while the an instrumental of the Grinch's theme played.
Powers and Abilities
Several versions of the Grinch (The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, the live-action film) portray him as an inventor. In the former film, he invents several machines designed to spread evil and misery, including his vacu-sound-sweeper, a machine that sucks out pleasant noises and makes them sound garbled, or projects them out of the wrong mouth, and his dark-house, a tower that sends a beam of darkness anywhere he projects it. He can also change the beams to turn things different colors or patterns, and presumably make objects move on their own.
In Halloween is Grinch Night, the Grinch appears as more of an evil magician. In this film, he drives a paraphernalia wagon, a large cart holding a variety of monstrous creatures he uses to terrify people. In this film, he also has the power to detach his eyebrows, make them grow to an enormous size, and make them fly around on their own.
The Grinch possesses a great level of superhuman strength. All versions of the Grinch are much stronger than what his lanky frame suggests as he was able to lift the stack filled with hundreds of presents with ease. Furthermore, he is also very durable as he survived falling from heights that would have easily killed most humans.
Dr. Seuss admitted in interviews that he based the Grinch on himself when he felt ambivalence towards Christmas. As a hint, the Grinch mentions that he has put up with Christmas "for 53 years"; Seuss was 53 years old when the book was published.
Though he's almost always described as green, it's only in the 1966 cartoon that he became that color, on the suggestion of the late director Chuck Jones. Dr. Seuss thought that he should be gray, as he was drawn in the book.
The 1955 story The Hoobub and the Grinch that is included in Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost Stories implies that there's more than one Grinch suggesting that the Grinch may actually be a species.