Like all good movies marketed to children, the Jim Carrey version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas contains an abundance of jokes more suited for the adults in the audience than the kids. To keep parents happy, these jokes usually come in the form of split-second scenes or quick, seemingly off-the-cuff references. Though they're hard to unsee, most of them are hilarious.
If you're living under a rock in Whoville and unfamiliar with the Grinch, here's a quick recap: he's the Dr. Seuss character who hates Christmas, humanity, and pretty much everything else. "His heart is two sizes too small," Dr. Seuss opined.
Through the Grinch's unexpected friendship with little Cindy Lou Who, the lime-green curmudgeon transforms and rediscovers the meaning of Christmas. In both the book and animated film adaptation, this is about as deep as the plot gets - but in the 2000 film directed by Ron Howard, which stars Carrey alongside Taylor Momsen, dirty Dr. Seuss jokes abound.
When Cindy Lou invites the Grinch to the Whos' Christmas party, the misanthropic furball isn't sure whether or not he should accept. He voices his concerns about going: "All right, I'll go in, allow them to adore me, grab a handful of popcorn shrimp, and I'm out of there. But what if it is all a cruel trick? What if there's a cash bar?"
You likely missed this joke as a kid, but most adults understand how a cash bar can be crushingly disappointing.
Blink and you'll miss this one: in flashback, viewers see a baby Grinch delivered to the door of his adoptive parents. As his basket lands on the doorstep, there's a glimpse of a party going on inside the house - apparently a "key party."
For anyone who wasn't alive in the '70s, the term refers to those parties in which bored, drunken suburbanites throw their car keys into a bowl. Every attendee then randomly pulls a key from the bowl and goes home with the key's owner. There was some swingin' going on in Whoville.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a meta movie. There are several moments when the Grinch talks directly to the audience and gently mocks the movie. For example, take the scene in which the Grinch makes fun of the movie's director, Ron Howard. In character as Howard, the Grinch attempts to get his dog Max to portray Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. When Max slaps away the red nose, the Grinch congratulates the dog, saying the nose "represents the glitter of commercialism."
The Grinch does not like to leave his house. Maybe he simply doesn't like the cold or has deep-seated emotional issues about the idea of leaving. After all, his last venture into Whoville resulted in awful treatment and a haunting memory.
This might be agoraphobia, something the adults in the audience may have noticed. "I don't know why I ever leave this place," the Grinch says, observing his house. "I've got all the company I need right here."