How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ Most Memorable Quotes
How the Grinch Stole Christmas isn’t grinchy when it comes to its almost-endless supply of memorable quotes.
A giant of the 1960s golden age of animated television holiday specials — an era that produced Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty the Snowman, among others — Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! possessed all of the ingredients upon its 1966 premiere to become an instant classic: the imagination, and words, of author and illustrator Dr. Seuss; the vision of director Chuck Jones; the performance of horror icon Boris Karloff; and a seemingly endless supply of quotable Grinch quotes.
Based on the 1957 children’s book of the same name by Dr. Seuss (also known as Theodor Geisel), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is, like 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, an indictment of the commercialization of the holiday season.
However, it’s not simply the theme that made the TV show, and its source material, so timeless; it’s the title character, the Grinch. You know, that vile monster who despised Christmas, most likely — the prevailing theory goes — because his heart was two sizes too small.
Get Into the Christmas Spirit with These Memorable Grinch Quotes
By now, virtually everyone knows the story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, whether from the children’s book, the 1966 classic or the beloved 2000 live-action adaptation starring Jim Carrey — or the 2018 CG-animated movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch, or two live-action stage productions. (There’s also a 1977 animated prequel, Halloween Is Grinch Night, but no one wants to talk about that.)
After living in seclusion for 53 years above the idyllic town of Whoville, the green, pear-shaped, and ill-tempered Grinch hatches a plot to disguise himself as Santa Claus to, yes, steal Christmas and bring an end to the holiday cheer of the singing, upbeat Whos. His scheme unravels, of course — blame a combination of Whos’ indomitable spirit and his own ineptitude — resulting in the Grinch learning the true meaning of Christmas.
But even those who, somehow, haven’t read the 1957 book or watched the 1966 special can, no doubt, quote How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by heart. And that was before the 2000 live-action film and the 2018 CG animated feature greatly expanded the lexicon, proving the Grinch is anything but grinchy, at least when it comes to quotations.
Memorable Grinch Quotes
“Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot… But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not!” – the Narrator
“The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!” – the Narrator
“Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now! I must stop this Christmas from coming! But how?” – the Grinch
“Then the Whos, young and old, will sit down to a feast. And they’ll feast, and they’ll feast. And they’ll feast, feast, feast, feast! They’ll feast on Who pudding and rare Who roast beast. Aw, roast beast is a feast I can’t stand in the least!” – the Grinch
“And then, they’ll do something I hate most of all. Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, will stand close together… with Christmas bells ringing. They’ll stand hand in hand… and those Whos… will start singing!” – the Grinch
“Then he got an idea. An awful idea. The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!” – the Narrator
“How will I steal Christmas? Well, prepare to have your little doggy mind blown. Poof. Ta-da! That’s right. I become Santa Claus. But instead of giving all the joy and happiness, I’ll take it away. If he can deliver Christmas to the whole world in one night, then I can certainly steal it from little old Whoville. I mean, come on, what’s Santa have that I don’t?” – the Grinch
“Then he slid down the chimney. A rather tight pinch, but if Santa could do it, then so could the Grinch. He got stuck only once for a minute or two, then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue where the little Who stockings were hung all in a row.” – the Narrator
“Look at those greedy little monsters. Loading themselves up with Christmas junk.” – the Grinch
“Then he slunk to the ice box. He took the Whos’ feast, he took the who pudding, he took the roast beast. He cleaned out that ice box as quick as a flash. Why, the Grinch even took their last can of Who hash.” – the Narrator
“Santy Claus, why, why are you taking our Christmas tree? Why?” – Little Cindy Lou Who
“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!” – the Grinch
“And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then, the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!” – the Narrator
“And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast! And he, he himself! The Grinch carved the roast beast!” – the Narrator
“Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.” – the Narrator
Quotes From Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas
If the 1966 animated special enshrined How the Grinch Stole Christmas in popular culture — and it did, introducing “grinch” to the vocabulary the same way A Christmas Carol did with “scrooge” — then the 2000 live-action film starring Jim Carrey redefined the story, and the title character, for new generations.
Directed by Ron Howard, and narrated by Anthony Hopkins, the musical fantasy comedy-drama was a commercial hit that has become a perennial holiday favorite, due, in large part, to Carrey’s fittingly over-the-top performance as the Grinch. That’s despite a mixed reception among critics, many of whom believed the film veered too far from the tone of the source material, and into dark territory.
And with its runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes, this version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas had to expand upon the original story, adding more memorable dialogue, including delightful Jim Carrey Grinch quotes. Here are some of the film’s best lines.