The "Grinch Leak" was the most real leak for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and arguably in all of Smash history.
On October 21, 2018, an image was uploaded to 4chan supposedly leaking that Banjo & Kazooie, Chorus Kids, Geno, Isaac, Ken and Shadow would be playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Users noticed that a render of Dr. Seuss's the Grinch, who was soon to feature in an upcoming movie, appeared on the bottom right hand corner of the image. Due to the fact that the render had never been seen before (thus meaning that if the leak was a fraud, the creator went out of their way to make a fake 3d model of the Grinch which, quite frankly, would be fr*cking stupid) many have argued that it singlehandedly proves the validity of the image, hence the name "The Grinch Leak".
The image is a screenshot of a Snapchat video featuring alleged promotional material for Smash Bros. and The Grinch (2018). After analyzing the image, it was discovered by an anonymous 4chan user that the censored name in the image is "Eric Bricard". Users quickly found his LinkedIn page which indicates that he has worked for a French company named Marina PLV. Nintendo Actu has supposedly called this company and confirmed that Eric Bricard has worked there. Marina PLV's website lists Bandai Namco as one of the companies that they have worked with. This is possibly in reference to their supposed work on Super Smash Bros. material.
The Case For
- A tweet was made by Rare's Twitter account celebrating some of the B&K devs "smashing" 30 years at Rare.
- Shadow hadn't been shown as an assist trophy yet at the time of the leak.
- Rhythm Heaven, Golden Sun, and Banjo and Kazooie all had their trademarks renewed just last month, within 4 days of each other.
- As stated above, the guy who sent the Snapchat does indeed work for the company.
- At the recent Wendy's showcase, a new Golden Sun item was revealed, making it much more likely that a GS rep could be possible.
- Microsoft has stated they are totally open to Banjo and Kazooie being represented in Smash Bros.
- A green pixel was discovered on Little Mac's foot on the edge of one of the panels that make up the full banner, which many believed to be a remnant from the green stuff around Isaac's feet that can be seen in the Grinch Leak.
- A short trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released a few days after the leak blew up, making it look like Nintendo was trying to divert fans' attentions away from the leak.
- PapaGenos' totally legit source said it's real.
The Case Against
- Nintendo Direct 11/01/18
- The banner background shown in the leak was proven to be a recreation, as multiple points did not match up with the real background.
- The notorious leaker Vergeben, the one responsible for leaking Incineroar and Ken, claimed the leak to be fake.
- It didn't happen.
|Series||Dr. Seuss (Formerly)|
|Affiliation||Jigglypuff (Formerly 2019, 2021)|
The Grinch is a green, humanoid member of the Who species created by Dr. Seuss and TRUE leaker of the final Smash Ultimate roster. His exact motivation for wanting to leak the roster is unknown, though when questioned on the r/Smashbros Discord server about how exactly he got ahold of the banner, his response was "I work for Universal", meaning that the leak may have possibly been a deliberate plot by said company to sabotage Sakurai, though again, reasons for doing so are unclear. He has also been backed up on the boards by Jigglypuff, who says his leak is 100% legitimate.
As stated above, many have speculated as to why exactly the Grinch wanted to leak the Smash Bros. roster. It's possible that Universal, in anticipation of their new Grinch movie, wanted to get Smash Bros. out of the picture, seeing them as a possible roadblock that would get in the way of their success. Others have theorized that the Grinch, being, well, the Grinch, would naturally leak the roster, considering it's in his nature to try and ruin things for others. Some add onto this by guessing that he is merely leaking the roster to pass the time until Christmas Season comes, when he can finally toy with the Whos full force. This is all pure speculation, though, and it hasn't been confirmed.
On November 1, 2018, Ken betrayed the Grinch Gang by being in another spot on the roster. Incineroar was confirmed playable, taking Chorus Kids' alleged place. Shadow and Isaac went back to being Assist Trophies. And Piranha Plant was confirmed playable.
On June 11, 2019, Banjo & Kazooie were confirmed to be the fourth DLC character overall, making two out of the seven characters from the Grinch leak in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as confirming that every character shown in the leak appears in the game in one way or another.