"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is a song composed by Albert Hague and written by Dr. Seuss for the 1966 animated adaptation of Seuss' storybook How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, sung as a way of describing the story's titular villain. Made popular by the late Thurl Ravenscroft (best known for his vocal talents as Frosted Flakes mascot Tony the Tiger), it made its mark with children and the young at heart who still remember the classic Dr. Seuss character. The song was originally going to be sung by Boris Karloff, but instead sung by Thurl Ravenscroft.

On Radio Disney, a rock version of the song (performed by Korn) used to be played during the Christmas holidays.

Parody versions of the song appeared in Freakazoid! (in the episode "The Freakazoid", during a crime spree by the Lobe), The Simpsons (in "'Tis the Fifteenth Season") and ER (in "How the Finch Stole Christmas").

Lyrics

Original version

You're_a_Mean_One,_Mr_Grinch_-_How_the_Grinch_Stole_Christmas_1966

You're a Mean One, Mr Grinch - How the Grinch Stole Christmas 1966

Original song, performed by Thurl Ravenscroft

You're_A_Mean_One,_Mr._Grinch

You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Original Album Song, performed by Thurl Ravenscroft

Dr. Seuss wanted to make certain that the Grinch was not to be liked, even though he was the main character in the story, so he thought up the most disgusting descriptions about him. The song plays in three parts in the animated cartoon.

The first two verses are played when the Grinch is creating his Santa suit:

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You really are a heel
You're as cuddly as a cactus
And as charming as an eel, Mr. Gri-inch…
You're a bad banana with a… greasy black peel!
You're a monster, Mr. Grinch
Your heart's an empty hole
Your brain is full of spiders
You've got garlic in your soul, Mr. Gri-inch…
I wouldn't touch you with a… 39½-foot pole!

The second two verses are played when he is in the first of the Whos' houses.

You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch
You have termites in your smile
You have all the tender sweetness
Of a seasick crocodile, Mr. Gri-inch…
Given the choice between the two of you,
I'd take the, uh… seasick crocodile!
You're a rotter, Mr. Grinch
You're the King of Sinful Sots
Your heart's a dead tomato splotch
With moldy purple spots, Mr. Gri-inch…
You're a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich… with arsenic sauce!

The last two verses play later, as the Grinch continues his theft spree through the other Whos' houses.

You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch
With a nauseous super "Naus"
You're a crooked, jerky jockey
And you drive a crooked "Hoss", Mr. Gri-inch…
Your soul is an appalling dung heap,
Overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled-up knots!
You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch
You're a nasty-wasty skunk
Your heart is full of unwashed socks
Your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Gri-inch...
The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote:
"Stink… stank… stunk!"

The version of the song featured on the adjacent album release rearranges the order of the lyrics in the later three verses. Verses four and five have their last lines switched around, and also, the fourth verse switches places entirely with the sixth verse. Also, the "most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable" line is modified to say "assortment of deplorable rubbish".

2000 version

You're_A_Mean_One_Mr._Grinch_(From_"Dr._Seuss'_How_The_Grinch_Stole_Christmas"_Soundtrack)

You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch (From "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas" Soundtrack)

2000 version of the song, performed by Jim Carrey

[Speech]
With this coat and this hat, I'll look just like St. Nick! Ho-ho-ho!

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch, [snarls]
You really are a heel,
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
And as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch.
You're a bad banana with a greasy black peel!

[Ooo! Whee!]

Just face the music,
You're a monster, Mr. Grinch,
(Yes you are)
Your heart's an empty hole,
Your brain is full of spiders,
You've got garlic in your soul, Mr. Grinch.
[Mmm]
I wouldn't touch you with a 39½-foot pole!

[I asked for three quarters, Not five eighths. Stay focused!]

You know, if you ask the Whos who in Whoville,
No one would deny it!

[Ow... Air bag's a little slow. But that's what these tests are for!]
[Max barks]

You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch,
You have termites in your smile.
You have all the tender sweetness
Of a seasick crocodile, Mr. Grinch.
Given the choice between you
I'd take the seasick crocodile!

2018 version

This is performed at the beginning of the movie in the protagonist's (and his dog Max's) introduction scene. The song is present in full on the soundtrack album, but the film has it abridged when the Grinch calls his dog to "fetch" his cup of hot coffee, leading into a morning routine up until his breakfast. The lyric video interprets it with scenes from the movie, promotional animations, and the characteristics about the protagonist himself.

Dr._Seuss'_The_Grinch_-_("You’re_a_Mean_One,_Mr._Grinch"_Lyric_Video)_HD

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch - ("You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" Lyric Video) HD

Lyric Video for the 2018 version, performed by Tyler, the Creator

You're a mean one
You really are a heel
(You're as charming as an eel)
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel
Mr. Grinch

You're a bad banana
(Mr. Grinch)
With a greasy black peel

You're a vile one
You've got termites in your smile
You have all the tender sweetness
Of a seasick crocodile
Mr. Grinch

You're a foul one
Friends, you don't have none
I wouldn't touch you with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole

You're a monster
You're heart's an empty hole
(You've got garlic in your soul)
You've got garlic, you've got garlic in your soul
Mr. Grinch

All those smiles, homie, I turn 'em frowns
All them decorations, I tear 'em down
You can ask Max, I don't play around
Ayo

(Eww)

Who is this mean fellow
With his skin all green
And his teeth all yellow?

(Eww)

What you so mad for?
Halloween comin' round
And we ain't knockin' at your door

(Mr. Grinch,
You're a bad banana
Here to spoil everything with your bad attitude,
Mr. Grinch)

Who is this mean fellow
With his skin all green
And his teeth all yellow?

(Eww)

What you so mad for?
Halloween comin' round
And we ain't knockin' at your door

Ahh

(Bad banana!)

Album releases

Appearances in other Christmas specials

  • Home Alone (1990) - As Kevin watches the special on CBS, the second half of the second part of the song is shown. The closing credits listed it under the title of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".
  • Glee: "A Very Glee Christmas" - Performed by k.d. Lang alongside the series' cast.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.