Love The Grinch? Prepare to cry buckets over this dark fan theory

Written by Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

This dark fan theory about The Grinch is going viral on TikTok and, while we hate to admit it, it makes a lot of sense…

The Grinch (or, to use its full title, How the Grinch Stole Christmas) has long been a festive film favourite of ours.

Whether you prefer Jim Carrey or Benedict Cumberbatch in the leading role, both the 2000 and 2018 adaptations of Dr Seuss’ tale see the grumpy green meanie living in solitude on Mount Crumpit, just outside Whoville. He hates the townsfolk below, he revels in living off their trash, and he despises Christmas. Big time.

When the Grinch accidentally rescues the adorable Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen or Cameron Seely, depending on the movie) from a festive mishap, though, the little girl takes it upon herself to teach him the true meaning of the holiday.

Does she do it? You probably know the answer. But we imagine that, much like ourselves, you’ve always had a lot of fun getting to that iconic “maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas means a little bit more” line regardless.

Despite its dark and zany undertones, then, we’ve always had The Grinch pegged as a sweeter-than-candycane film. 

However, a viral fan theory about the origins of the Grinch’s loyal dog, Max, has just changed our perception of the film forever – and, yeah, you better believe it has something to do with the fact his home gets flooded with rubbish from Whoville’s Christmas celebrations every 26 December.

“I wanna talk about Jim Carey’s The Grinch movie for a second,” says @dogmom_af, laying out her thoughts in a TikTok video.

“So if you’ve seen the movie, go ahead and blind react to this.

“In the movie, the Grinch goes up to Mount Crumpit when he’s a kid and he doesn’t return to Whoville until the Cheermeister celebration.

“There’s that scene where he’s going off about Christmas because he gets all of Whoville’s trash.”

Damningly, she adds: “And people get bored of their Christmas gifts after like two weeks so they throw it away in the ‘Dump the Crumpit’ trash chute….

“So, if he hasn’t been down to Whoville in a couple of decades… then where did Max come from?”

While the question is left unanswered, @dogmom_af’s meaning is abundantly clear: Max was just another unwanted Christmas present that someone stuffed in the rubbish chute and sent to Mount Crumpit. Sob.

It’s an all too timely reminder that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas. And, of course, it’s made us want to rewatch the film to check out how the upsetting theory plays out, too.

Thankfully for us, we have options: Carrey’s The Grinch is streaming on Amazon Prime at the moment, and Cumberbatch’s is over on Netflix. 

Whichever you opt for, though, be sure to keep a stack of tissues to hand. Because it seems like we’re going to need them this time around.

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Images: Rex Features

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