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What does The Grinch have in his smile and why is his diet so disturbing?

Molly Young December 20, 2021
What does The Grinch have in his smile and why is his diet so disturbing?


As Christmas Day gets ever nearer, people are preparing for a relaxing holiday spent gorging on a mountain of family friendly festive films. At the top of almost everyone’s list is The Grinch, a 2000 classic that follows Dr Seuss’ lean mean green grouch as he tries to cope with Christmas.

Each year, however, a common question crops up when people watch the film. What does The Grinch have in his smile? We provide the long-awaited information about Mr Grinch’s rotten teeth by exploring his disturbing diet of glass, raw vegetables and much more.

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Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas | Official Trailer

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What does The Grinch have in his smile?

Jim Carrey portrays The Grinch in the 2000s remake of How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss.

The green monster is shown disguising himself as Santa Claus and burgling every house in Whoville on Christmas Eve as he hopes to ruin everyone’s Christmas spirit.

In the 11th song on the movie’s soundtrack, Jim Carrey performs You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch while preparing to steal Christmas.

A particular clip in this scene zooms in on the green creature’s mouth and shows insects crawling all over his teeth and lips.

Each year, viewers wonder what Mr Grinch really has in his smile. Could it be maggots, ants or perhaps all kinds of bugs?

Throughout the musical number, the descriptions of the miserable Grinch grow more ornate. As The Grinch opens wide in the film and displays his frightening smile, the lyrics read:

“You have termites in your smile, you have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile.”

Yes, The Grinch really does have termites in his smile.

Why is his character’s diet so disturbing?

Aside from destroying Whoville’s Christmas spirit, The Grinch is shown maintaining a pretty disturbing diet.

What could he possibly eat that allows termites to live in his mouth? Well, he consumes a lot of questionable things.

In the song You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch, Carrey’s character is shown chewing on a greasy black banana peel found in the garbage before he swallows a fireball with no difficulty at all.

During other scenes in the 2000 movie you’ll notice The Grinch has no trouble gnawing on substances such as glass bottles and raw vegetables.

Don’t forget the flashback to baby Grinch, where he bites a slice of Santa’s head from a festive plate and proceeds to chew on the ceramic…

When Mr Grinch takes part in the Holiday Cheermeister, he is force-fed numerous substances such as dessert dishes during the Fudge Judge.

Even in the 2018 cartoon adaption of the movie, The Grinch is shown overindulging in tons of festive food.

Why is this? Some may suggest The Grinch’s disturbing diet insinuates his abnormal character and highlights his differences from the people living in Whoville.

From Hunger To Hope describes the creature’s diet as “emotional eating”. Perhaps he eats so many bizarre foods during the film as a form of escapism from his miserable mind that despises Christmas?

How to watch the festive film over Christmas

Eager to bring on a bucket-load of nostalgia and binge-watch The Grinch this year?

You can always switch the TV off and delve into the character of The Grinch in Dr Seuss’ original children’s book, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, written in 1957. 

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Photo by Universal/Getty Images

But if TV is more your thing, the 2000 version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas is available to stream for Sky customers who have access to Sky TV and can watch the movie on-demand at any time of day or night or by using the Sky Go app.

Alternatively, you can catch the festive film on NOW TV.

YouTube is streaming How The Grinch Stole Christmas for a fee of £7.99.

Both versions of the onscreen Grinch movies are available to buy on Amazon Prime. The animated 2018 film will cost £3.49 to rent and £4.99 to buy, while the 2000 version is priced at £4.99 to purchase.

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Molly Young is a Journalism with Public Relations student at Leeds Beckett University. Boasting a creative background through her studies and on her personal social media channels, Molly loves creating content and providing entertainment analysis through her writing.