Everything You Missed in The Grinch (2018)

Dr. Seuss created many amazing stories that defined our childhood and will live with us for the rest of our life. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the 2018 Grinch had some of his characters hidden throughout its film. So, without further ado, let’s explore all the movie had in store, and find all the references we didn’t see before.

Doctor Strange References

The actor that voices the Grinch is Benedict Cumberbatch, who also plays the mysterious Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Therefore, there are a couple of nods to his superhero character in the film.

After the Grinch comes up with his master plan to steal the presents from Whoville, he heads to a giant window to bask in his evil glory. This large window is very reminiscent of the Window of the Worlds in Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Santorum.

The scene where the Grinch treks up a mountain to find a “reindeer” is also similar to Doctor Strange’s journey in his solo movie, Doctor Strange. During this film, the Ancient One sends Doctor Strange onto a snowy mountain to force him to learn the mystic arts.

Finally, when the Grinch is in Cindy Lou’s house stealing their Christmas tree, he knocks the tree down and you can catch a glimpse of an ornament that looks like the red and orange physical manifestation of Doctor Strange’s spells.

Tribute to the Man Himself, Dr. Seuss

There are many Easter eggs in the movie that pay tribute to the great writer, Dr. Seuss. When the Grinch is making his Santa suit, the model of the sewing machine is called “Theodor,” which is Dr. Seuss’ real name. The bat that Cindy Lou and Groopert use to ascend into their treehouse also has a label on it that says, “Theodore”.

In the movie, the Grinch also says that he’s been putting up with the Whos and Christmas for 53 years. Dr. Seuss was 53 years old when he wrote the original book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and therefore made the Grinch the same age.

The Movie’s Scarves Reference Dr. Seuss and Illumination Characters

Throughout the movie, the Grinch wears a red and white striped scarf that looks a lot like the Cat in the Hat’s red and white striped hat. At the end of the movie when the Grinch shows up to Cindy Lou’s house for dinner, he’s also sporting a tie with the same red and white design.

However, when the Grinch goes to steal the sleigh from the top of his “best friend’s” house, he’s wearing a dark, black and grey scarf that is very similar to the scarf that Gru wears in the Despicable Me movies. Lastly, the pink striped scarf that Cindy Lou wears throughout the movie is a reference to Edith’s pink striped hat and sweater in the Despicable Me movies.

Agnes’ Unicorn from Despicable Me is Hidden Throughout the Movie

The fluffy unicorn from Despicable Me has been turned into a popular stuffed animal for fans of the movie to enjoy. Apparently, this toy not only made its way to our world, but also to Whoville too. Therefore, you can find the unicorn hidden in various scenes throughout the movie. However, this unicorn has blue hair instead of the pink hair featured in Despicable Me.

When the Whos are getting their Christmas photos taken, Groopert’s family poses for a photo inside a wrapped Christmas present. Hanging off the side of the present is a blue-haired unicorn, much like the one from Despicable Me.

You can also find the unicorn on the nightstand next to Izzy’s bed when the children are planning their “Trap Santa” mission and sticking out of the sleigh when the Grinch takes all the stolen presents back to his mountain home.

Cindy Lou Says Hi to Mr. Cubbins

Cindy Lou leaves her house with a bowling ball and some waffles to meet her friend, Groopert and devise their plan to trap Santa. On her way to the secret treehouse, she comes across a fellow Whoville resident and says, “Oh, hey there, Mr. Cubbins.”

Mr. Cubbins is a reference to Bartholomew Cubbins, from the Dr. Seuss book, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.

A Snowman That Looks like a Minion

When the Grinch is going to buy food in town, he passes a snowman next to a store selling Christmas trees (around timestamp 9:03 in the movie). If you look closely, you’ll notice that this snowman is a reference to Carl the minion from Despicable Me. You can tell because the snowman only has one eye and has crazy “Carl” hair made out of twigs.

Cindy Lou’s Friends Reference Guns N’ Roses and Ozzy Osbourne

Cindy Lou’s friends are a direct reference to some of the members of the band, Guns N’ Roses. Her friend Axl references Axl Rose and her friend Izzy’s name is a nod to Izzy Stradlin. Her last friend, Ozzy is clearly a reference to legendary Ozzy Osbourne.

If you look at the goggles that Ozzy wears throughout the movie, they also might seem familiar to you. They’re very reminiscent of the goggles that the minions wear in Despicable Me.

The Children’s Stuffed Animals Reference Secret Life of Pets, Horton Hears a Who, and Despicable Me

When the kids are going to bed on Christmas Eve, we get a glimpse of each of their rooms. Look closely and you’ll find that their rooms are littered with Easter eggs and references to previous Illumination movies.

In Ozzy’s room, he has a pink stuffed elephant on a shelf above his bed that looks like Horton from Horton Hears a Who. He also has a bear carved into one of his shelves that looks like one of the brown bears from The Lorax.

Ozzy has a unicorn with blue hair on the nightstand next to her bed, which looks like Agnes’ stuffed unicorn in Despicable Me.

In Cindy Lou’s room, we see a stuffed rabbit on her bed that she ultimately snuggles with to go to bed. This bunny looks exactly like Snowball, the rabbit from The Secret Life of Pets. When Cindy runs out of her room Christmas morning, we also see that she has the same pink elephant that Ozzy has – the one that looks like Horton from Horton Hears a Who.

Cindy Lou Mailing her Letter to Santa

There were a lot of changes between this movie and the original live-action film. However, the producers still tried to shout out the original movie through some creative choices.

In the original film, Cindy Lou’s dad works in the post office and Cindy first meets the Grinch while at her dad’s job. In the 2018 film, Cindy Lou doesn’t seem to have a father figure in her life, but the producers still connected the mail scene by having her meet the Grinch on her way to delivering a letter to Santa.

The Blue Birds from The Angry Birds Movie

Throughout The Grinch, you might have noticed that there were blue birds in almost every single scene. They’re there when Cindy Lou is tubing out of her house to deliver her letter to Santa and when the carolers are bombarding the Grinch.

These blue birds are likely a reference to Jay, Jake, and Jim from The Angry Birds Movie. The birds are also featured in their own animation series known as The Angry Bird Blues.

The Film Foreshadows The Grinch’s Heart Growing

We all know that the Grinch’s heart will grow three times bigger when he hears the Who’s singing around the Christmas tree. Well, the movie had some subtle hints to make sure that you knew it was going to happen.

At the beginning of the film, we learn that the Mayor wants Christmas to be at least three times bigger this year, referencing the number of times the Grinch’s heart will grow. Then, when the Grinch torpedoes into the town’s Christmas tree, he falls down and passes a heart ornament with exactly three layers. It looks very much like the animation we see at the end of the film when we see his heart grow.



Did you catch all these Grinch Easter eggs? Did you find more? Let me know what you found in the comments!



  1. When Cindy Lous mom is running after the bus she is yelling SAM! That’s a nod to Speed when Sandra Bullock is running after the bus and the bus drivers name is Sam.

    1. I was looking for Easter eggs for this movie because as soon as this scene played, I said, “hey, that’s a Speed reference”!

  2. Then there was the attacking cat. The one with Jim Carey, he gets attacked by an angry cat twice in the stealing Christmas sequence. They included that in this one, at about the 59 minute mark when the narrator says “He hit a few snags as he made his way through, an angry orange cat and a sleepwalking Who.” Attacks him in pretty much the exact same way, by clamping his claws over his face.

    1. Awesome!! Great find! This movie has soooo many references. Thanks for pointing out what I missed! 🙂

  3. Ohhh, found another one! Apparently there’s a Fallout 4 fan in Illumination!
    In the beginning when the Grinch is having breakfast, he discovers he has no more food and asks how much emotional eating he has been doing. Then it flash backs to him eating spaghetti and meatballs, and another flash back of him gulping down cereal with various boxes on the table. This clip is where the reference is!
    On the table to the far left and far right are two cereal boxes, labeled as Atomic Sugar Bombs. This is a brand of cereal from the Fallout 4 universe and can be obtained as a food item in the game. In fact, there’s one on the table in said game at the beginning right before the war happens, and if you click on it, your character says something along the lines of “100% daily value of… sugar.”
    I imagine there might be more, so I need to keep my eyes peeled! haha

    1. NICE! I absolutely LOVE this Easter egg! I’ll have to rewatch & find it myself too. These are some of my favorite kinds… the ones just sitting there, waiting for us to find. & yeah if there’s one Fallout egg, we’ll probably find some more.. maybe some more gaming references! 🙂

  4. Fun fact: Cindy Lou greets Mr. Cubbins, but technically, this could be a relative of Bartholomew, or a different Cubbins altogether. However, earlier on in the film, Cindy Lou’s mother calls him “Bartholomew,” so we can in fact be sure of his identity. Just a reminder to all of us of how vast the world of this film is <3

  5. Lorax’s old once-ler appears in the middle of the film. It was one of the easter eggs that you forgot to lay.

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