Although Dr. Seuss’ target audience was mostly children, it’s no secret that the man left memorable characters for fans of all ages. In fact, some of those characters seem to continually pop back up in other fiction—or in real life.
In celebration of The Lorax’s release this week, we’ve compiled a list of figures in pop culture that remind us of some of our favorite Seuss characters.
8. Seuss Characters: Thing 1, Thing 2
Pop-Culture Analogues: The Black Keys
If the high-profile feature in Rolling Stone that followed 2010’s breakthrough Brothers was any indication, the hard-partying, and often hilarious duo of Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney get into their fair share of mischief. The two are hardly related, but through extensive touring, writing, recording, partying and performing, they’re as close as that 2010 album title implies. And much like the wild-haired, inseparable assistants of Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, at the end of the day, we imagine the duo is wrangled by some “cat” wearing a manager hat and packed on a tour bus.
7. Max (The Grinch’s Dog)
Pop-Culture Analogue: Andrea Sachs (The Devil Wears Prada)
Life is not easy when your boss is a greedy, self-involved, moody, mean-spirited monster, and Max of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Andrea Sachs —the ever-patient, nerve-strained assistant in The Devil Wears Prada—should know. Although some people complain about their nightmare boss, we’d bet even Max and Andrea’s milder stories would put them to shame, but their cool, collected loyalty to their superior ultimately supports big-picture epiphanies at the end of each story.
6. Seuss Character: Horton
Pop-Culture Analogue: Hagrid (Harry Potter)
As a seemingly threatening and certainly massive entity, Horton the elephant isn’t one to stand down from his views. The kind, lovable creature gets criticism from his peers and is even imprisoned for believing in the Whos and Whoville, the tiny community that they reside in. Fast forward decades later to the introduction of Hagrid, one of Harry Potter’s many protectors and by far the largest in stature. Although the two are wildly different in appearance, their core beliefs of staying true to their own faith and standing up for the little guy are directly in sync.
5. Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Pop-Culture Analogue: George Bluth (Arrested Development)
In Seuss’ story “The Sneeches,” Sylvester McMonkey McBean is an aptly named, sly businessman that sells a product that he knows will ultimately hurt a community. His “Star-On” and “Star-Off” machines, which he sells to The Sneeches, don’t necessarily have any value, but he uses the creation to make himself rich and ultimately flees after cashing out. The same goes for Arrested Development’s George Bluth. The not-yet-imprisoned founder of the Bluth company made thousands of pesos in Mexico with the invention of the Cornballer, which was banned in the U.S. after its infamous tendency to burn the person using it.
4. Sam I Am
Pop-Culture Analogue: Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods America)
Remember that one food that you just wouldn’t try but turned out, maybe even years later, to be actually really good? For me, it was guacamole, for the lead character in Green Eggs and Ham it was, obviously, green eggs and ham, and for fans that tune into Andrew Zimmern’s show on a weekly basis, it might be whole roasted alligator or lamb’s tongue. You might be a little more skeptical to try Zimmern’s selections than green eggs and ham, but you have to give the guy some credit for trying over and over again to coax audiences into snacking on weird eats.
3. The Lorax
Pop-Culture Analogue: Al Gore
With mounting criticism directed toward the way we treat our environment, there might be no better time to release a film like The Lorax, which is based off of the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. The tale follows the lead character, The Lorax, who is fighting against the Once-ler —the greedy, tree-hogging inventor that uses his creations against the planet. And, whether you love him or hate him, it’s hard to think of a figure as much in the public eye associated with the cause as Al Gore. Gore also gets bonus association points with the Lorax for that unfortunate bearded phase.
2. The Cat in the Hat
Pop-Culture Analogue: Andrew W.K.
For the duration of The Cat in the Hat, the fun-spirited feline’s sole purpose is to try to get a party started, regardless of the consequences. The same goes for New York party initiator and occasional musician Andrew W.K. The guy is oozing with enthusiasm, and while his tricks maybe aren’t as impressive as the Cat’s, he still has plenty of helpful party advice. And if you give the hard rocker a brick (as pictured on his debut album, I Get Wet) the two also have a matching red/white/black color scheme.
1. The Grinch
Pop-Culture Analogue: Carles at Hipster Runoff
If there’s one lovable personality in indie culture that has a Grinch-approved level of disapproval for everyone, look no further than Carles at Hipster Runoff. Much like the Grinch, trash-talking blogger Carles keeps far away from the public eye and looks down on the likes of townspeople —well, more like Brooklynites and Bethany Cosentino. And although he’s never plotted anything as huge as stealing Christmas, we’re holding our breath until Record Store Day is over on April 21. We’re also hoping his heart grows a few sizes before the next Lana Del Rey album hits the shelves.