- "And like Papa Smurf always says..."
Brainy is the village intellectual who's not afraid to share his "wisdom" with his fellow Smurfs, even though it usually results in him being physically assaulted in more ways than one - such as being whacked with a blunt object (usually with a mallet) or being booted from the village. He is also a very prolific author of many books, usually with his name in the title, and he is Papa Smurf's apprentice and assistant in his laboratory. He is easily identifiable by his glasses and his books.
Between the release of "Little Comics Collection" version of "The Hundredth Smurf" and before the album release of "The Black Smurfs", the only thing that visually separates Brainy from the other Smurfs is his tendency to use his declarative finger when he makes speeches.
Brainy is the most self-centered of the Smurfs, even more so than Vanity Smurf; he annoys almost everyone, up to and including Papa Smurf. Brainy has a penchant for showing off, claiming that he knows everything about everything, although the only things he knows well are things about himself... and even that is debatable. Brainy even claims to be his own favorite subject. Despite this, he is well-liked whenever he's not being a bossy know-it-all, which is all-too-frequently the case.
His house is filled with of stacks of books all written by himself. The books are either manuals, encyclopedias, or -- his personal favorites -- Quotations Of Brainy Smurf Volumes 1 through 32 (and still counting). Brainy always wants someone to read them, but even the nicest people turn them down... or merely pretend to like them for Brainy's benefit. He enjoys being a leader, always eager to be one in almost any activity. He's dramatic in nature, often inflating problems or freaking out far more than other Smurfs, which can lead to them yelling at him. In general, he's not very patient.
It's possible Brainy is quite smart. It's noticed that he was born to be a bookworm when he first got his glasses. Even before he started writing his books of 'wisdom,' he was an avid reader of books, which may explain his mentality of doing thing 'by the book.' Besides Papa Smurf, must have had a good reason to choose him to be his assistant. However, Brainy constantly fails to use his intelligence constructively and for the benefits of other Smurfs, including himself. He almost always believes his book-smarts are better than the hand-on smarts of the other Smurfs, which leads him to be either whacked in the head (often with a mallet), booted out of the village, or in a rivalry with another Smurf, where Brainy eventually humiliates himself. Basically, Brainy is a bruised ego who consistently bruises it himself.
Role in the Village
Apart from being Papa Smurf's apprentice, Brainy can (more often than not) be the primary or supporting source of discourse within the village. While he is knowledgeable when it comes to magic and potion making, Brainy often over-estimates himself, or doesn’t clearly follow directions, thinking that his way is best, which can cause many problems for both himself and everyone else. He will often nosily police Smurfs doing their jobs or chores as if he was an expert, even though it's incredibly rare it actually helps.
Brainy causes a lot of problems for the Smurfs sometimes. This is mostly because all he does is make things worse.
An example is when he forced everyone to be so quiet, that not even a needle can drop, only because Papa Smurf wanted some peace and quiet to get some sleep. He went so far to make everything quiet, he cast a sound-proof barrier around the village that made no sound get in or out, but this also prevented anyone else from entering.
He also believes that he is smarter than everyone else and that he should be in charge. Sadly, most of his ideas go wrong, and he usually finds a scapegoat for the mishaps he causes.
His heart, however, is always in the right spot; in the "The Smurfs And The Book That Tells Everything" adventure he uses The Book That Tells Everything to benefit the others and when - thanks to a dam break - he and Baby Smurf were stranded on a little sliver of land in the torrent. Brainy asked the book for help and it responded by telling him that it was too important and that he should give up Baby. Enraged by that prospect, Brainy tossed the book into the river before grabbing Baby and swimming to the shore.
- "It was awful Papa Smurf, that miserable book actually told me to sacrifice Baby Smurf." - Brainy, after reaching the shore saving his own life and that of Baby, thus showing that whatever his flaws, when push comes to shove, he actually knows the right thing to do.
In the comic book version of "King Smurf", Brainy was also the first to protest against the jailing of Jokey Smurf, saying to the others that good old-fashioned reasoning would show King Smurf the error in jailing Jokey. He went into the castle and started a lecture about how humor shouldn't be considered a crime and that there really was no reason for Jokey to be jailed and that he and the other Smurfs with him didn't agree with the jailing... which led to Brainy being thrown out of the castle and the other Smurfs deciding that a good old-fashioned riot would work far better than reasoning.
Relationship with Others
- "We have this annoying Smurf who lives in our village who wears spectacles and is always going that we 'Should beware' and that we're 'Not supposed to be like that" and 'I'll tell Papa Smurf about that if you don't.' We all dislike him because of his constant meddling."
- "What?! But I..." (He's forcibly silenced)
- Astro Smurf to Papa Smurf (as Grandpa Swoof) talking about how life is in the Smurf village.
Brainy is the least liked out of all the Smurfs. This is proven in the episode "The Masked Pie Smurfer". A masked Smurf has given every Smurf a chance to get back at someone they dislike by just giving him some Smurfberries. In exchange for the berries, the Masked Pie Smurfer will throw Pie at the designated Smurf's face. Unfortunately for Brainy, he was a main target.
Being Papa Smurf's assistant and apprentice, Brainy seems to always pester him and if the leader thinks of a plan, he will always say "That's exactly what I was thinking!". It isn't a secret that Brainy is such an admirer of Papa Smurf, always wanting to be like him in some way, and always defending Papa Smurf's wisdom even if it's only to gain some advantage over his fellow Smurfs. If Brainy Smurf is threatened or mistreated by a fellow Smurf, or if things don't go the way he wants them to, he'll usually spout, "I'm going to tell this to Papa Smurf". Even though Brainy is constantly hit in the head with a mallet or thrown out of the Village, Papa Smurf appears to be the Smurf that best knows how to put Brainy in his place. In the "The Smurf's Apprentice" episode, Papa declines Clumsy's offer to be his assistant, as Brainy is "more than enough". Brainy once referred to his own assistant role as "self-appointed" in "Born Rotten", implying Papa Smurf himself didn't assign him the job.
Due to being a major nuisance towards the other Smurfs, Brainy doesn't seem to have an actual "Best Smurf Friend" in the original comics and 2021 television series. Though exclusively in the 1981 television series, his best friend, and the only Smurf who enjoyed Brainy's company, is Clumsy Smurf. At first glance, it would seem that their friendship is only one sided, as Brainy sees Clumsy as an annoyance, but this is proven untrue in "The Dark-Ness Monster", where Brainy and Clumsy’s friendship is developed the most when Brainy can finally relate to Clumsy’s own experience in being, well, clumsy. Once he loses his glasses, Clumsy agrees to help him around the village and he tells Clumsy that he ‘actually trusts him with his life’ and that ‘being clumsy isn’t so bad, when he’s with him’, as well as writing him a very heartfelt quotation: 'It is easy to pretend we are strong. It is much harder to admit we are weak. A true friend, by loving every part of us, teaches us to love our weaknesses.' After reading, he allows Clumsy to keep the scroll, even offering him all of his quotations if he wanted them. They're often seen (or are appointed to) watch(ing) Baby Smurf together and are together around the village more often than not. Overall, while Brainy does get frustrated with him, there are episodes where they get along perfectly fine, such as in "Dreamy's Pen Pals" and "The Gingerbread Smurfs". He even expresses great concern about Clumsy being missing in "The Pussywillow Pixies" and being hurt in "The Chief Record Smurf" (where he also says, "Your best friend would never let you down!").
Another Smurf seen often in Brainy's company is Hefty Smurf, most of the time to clobber him, but during the "The Smurfs Of Order" comic adventure Hefty became Brainy's deputy and the two shared a mutual understanding in upholding the law. Also, in another comic story "A Smurfy Party" when Gargamel was lured into the village and then doused with glue so he couldn't move, Hefty and Brainy did their normal roles, but with a difference.
- Brainy: (As Hefty is clobbering Gargamel's foot) No, no Hefty, you shouldn't do that. Remember what Papa Smurf always says: "You shouldn't smurf an enemy when he's down!"
- Hefty: (Slamming away) You're right (Boom) I will (Boom) never (boom) do it (Boom) again!
In the 1980s cartoon show, Brainy often shows disdain for Wild Smurf and his animalistic habits, such as licking others. Despite Brainy's opinions, he proudly takes opportunities to 'educate' Wild, such as reading his own books to him after his back injury in "Grandpa's Walking Stick" or teaching him how to dance in the episode "Dancing Bear", albeit with little success.
In the comic adaption of "Smurf On The Wild Side", Brainy is very close with Wild for whom he has put himself forwards as a mentor figure, trying to teach him how to behave like a proper Smurf. To his credit, Brainy succeeds in teaching Wild Smurf to talk (somewhat) normally and when it becomes clear that Wild Smurf doesn't want to wear normal Smurf clothing, he doesn't press the issue. As a result, Brainy and Wild Smurf have a mutual understanding and respect for each other.
Often in the comics, Brainy could be heard off-panel typically yammering didactically, and one Smurf would get visibly annoyed at him and walk to him off-panel. Then a loud *PAF!* could be heard.
Brainy has a habit of saying somebody's name three times. In "Cave Smurfs", when Brainy tried to help Papa Smurf reassemble the time crystals by dropping one on top of the structure being assembled, causing it to collapse, Papa Smurf became so mad that he booted Brainy outside the cave, with him being inside his own book!
In the movie "The Smurfs And The Magic Flute", following more closely to the comic book portrayals of Brainy, he usually gets clobbered in the head by a hammer when he gets too annoying to bear. This is funny because in the original comic book story that the movie is based on, he doesn't even appear at all.
Also, in the comics during the Annual Imitate festival, Brainy for once gets to be the one who does the clobbering, when he takes the role of Hefty Smurf and Poet Smurf takes the role as Brainy, the scene shows Brainy trying to lift Hefty's halter and Poet lecturing Brainy and ends with Brainy chasing Poet with a Hammer trying to clobber him.
But deep down, some of the other Smurfs love him and would be horrified if something bad happened to him.
He Saved Them Once
Apparently, Brainy was practically blind until Papa Smurf gave him glasses. It was when he got his glasses that he started being the Brainy Smurf we all know and (sort of) love. Once Brainy lost his glasses and Clumsy had to help him until he could get some new ones.
The Smurfs have a lot to thank Brainy for, actually, as it was him who saved their lives. One time, gargoyles under the command of the evil wizard Hotap came and snatched all the Smurflings and separated them from Papa Smurf. Brainy was able to escape before he was put into a machine with the others. The machine was supposed to turn them into gold.
Brainy was able to buy Papa Smurf some time by stuffing a book into the gears, jamming the machine and preventing the Smurflings from dying.
In Other TV Shows
Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue
2021 TV Series
In “Mind The Cat”, he and Smurfette use Papa Smurf's hypno glasses on Scaredy, and then on Gargamel so he could stop catching Smurfs. When it backfires and he falls under the mind control of Azrael, Gargamel and Brainy team up to stop him.
In “Where's Papa Smurf?”, he causes Papa Smurf to drop his latest experiment and as a result, he becomes invisible. In order to make him visible again, he, Papa Smurf, and Smurfette have to get a whisker from Azrael.
In "Who's Heftier?", he interrupts The Great Cassandra (Smurfette) by saying that Papa Smurf says that fortune tellers do not exist. He is subsequently kicked into another location.
In "Smurfs In Disguise", he and Papa Smurf were looking around the village for Hefty and Scaredy, who broke Papa's telescope. They then meet "Hefina" and "Scarlett" (who are Hefty and Scaredy in disguise) and Hefina accidentally squeezed his hand while shaking him.
In “The Scariest Smurf”, he dresses up as a Pumpkin for Halloween and is one of four Smurfs running away from Scaredy in his monster form.
In “My Smurf The Hero”, Scaredy blasts into his house in accident and ends up crashing his book collection.
In the Movies
In the 2011 Smurfs movie, Brainy is one of the few Smurfs who travel through time to modern-day New York City. Although he still remains somewhat annoying (though not to the extent that he does in both the comic books and the cartoon show), he does become helpful near the end of the movie when he works on the spell to cause the full moon to appear blue so that the time portal can be reopened. After reopening the portal, Brainy got the rest of the Smurfs to join him in New York to defeat Gargamel. He along with Gutsy, Grouchy, and Clumsy play along with Patrick Winslow on Guitar Hero and raps with Gutsy and Grouchy on the song "Walk This Way". After their return to the village, Brainy forms his own band called the Brainiacs, which ironically is one of the few times that he has ever been really popular with his fellow Smurfs.
The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol
In the animated feature "The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol", Brainy plays the role as the Smurf of Christmas Present, showing Grouchy what current effects his refusal to participate in the celebration of Christmas would have on his fellow Smurfs. Brainy noticeably displays a rather analytical approach to describing a problem not normally found with his character in any other interpretation.
The Smurfs 2
Brainy Smurf has a brief appearance in the early and late parts of The Smurfs 2 and was one of the three originally chosen by Papa Smurf to journey to modern-day Paris in order to rescue Smurfette from Gargamel (the other two were Hefty and Gutsy) but was accidentally left out as the smurfportation crystals used for traveling through time were instead ingested by Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity. Brainy disliked hearing Passive Aggressive Smurf's comment to Papa Smurf about him being chosen as one of the three travelers, saying that it wasn't a compliment.
The Smurfs: The Legend Of Smurfy Hollow
In the animated feature The Smurfs: The Legend Of Smurfy Hollow, Brainy is the many-times winner of the Smurfberry Hunt, which makes Gutsy jealous and desiring to figure out how he manages to win every year. By following Brainy across the wooden bridge to Smurfy Hollow, Gutsy discovers that Brainy has found a secret patch of smurfberries that he gets his smurfberries from. By making a Headless Horseman figure to cast a shadow with and by using his empty bucket to amplify his voice, Gutsy scared Brainy out of the smurfberry patch so he could collect enough to win that year's Smurfberry Hunt. However, Brainy in his flight ends up captured in one of Gargamel's traps, and with the other Smurfs now wondering why Brainy hasn't shown up at the conclusion of the contest, Gutsy and Smurfette set off into Smurfy Hollow to find Brainy, only to also be captured in traps set up by Gargamel. By working together, Brainy has Gutsy swing his cage into his own until they both broke apart, causing them to fall to the ground. When Gargamel came to see that Smurfette was captured in one of his traps, Brainy and Gutsy also worked together to get her safely out and away from the evil wizard. But just as Gargamel has the three of them cornered, the Headless Horseman shows up and chases after them, sending them toward the covered bridge which Brainy says the horseman cannot cross through. After safely escaping both the horseman and Gargamel, Brainy apologized to Gutsy for keeping the smurfberries all to himself and offered to give up the Smurfberry Hunt award to Gutsy, who in turn insisted that Brainy should have it, and they ended up fighting over who should get the award when it slipped out of their hands and landed around Lazy's neck, therefore declaring him to be the winner.
Smurfs: The Lost Village
Brainy has a main character appearance in Smurfs: The Lost Village, going with Smurfette, Hefty, and Clumsy to find a lost village of Smurfs in the Forbidden Forest. It's also revealed he used to be a "Smurf Scout" and has a ladybug assistant named Snappy who makes audio and visual recordings to assist Brainy. After being jokingly addressed as "Nerdy Smurf" during Papa Smurf's opening narration, he appears having Hefty serve as a test subject for his Smurfy Thing Finder. After the device is burned out by Smurfette, which Brainy attributes to her unnatural origins-a comment that he only realizes could be offensive as he's saying it-he goes with her, Hefty, and Clumsy on a Smurfboarding excursion. Brainy's engine on his board fails catastrophically, while Smurfette's parachute carries her far from Smurf Village where she encounters a mysterious new Smurf before being captured by Gargamel's vulture Monty.
After rescuing Smurfette and learning of the existence of another Smurf village, Brainy and his friends approach Papa Smurf but are rebuked for leaving the village and grounded. To her friends' surprise, Smurfette accepts the punishment without argument, but Brainy and the others quickly deduce that she intends to head out regardless of Papa's disapproval and follow her. Making their way into the Forbidden Forest, the group encounter a number of strange plants and creatures, including a species that Brainy dubs "Dragonflies" at Snappy's suggestion. The group are then attacked by Gargamel and his pets and driven into a tunnel network, which Brainy attempts to help his friends escape through calm rationale only to be all but ignored. After befriending a rabbit named Bucky the group arrives at a magical river, and thanks to Brainy's experience they are able to build a raft.
The group then encounters Gargamel on the river, and after his craft sinks Hefty and Smurfette startle Brainy by insisting on going back to help him; they do so only for the group to be knocked from their raft and sent over a waterfall. This and the disintegration of his Smurf Scout manual-which Hefty had thrown on their campfire the night before-prompts Brainy to angrily accost Hefty, and he soon includes Smurfette in his wrath as well. However, the trio and Clumsy are then captured by a group of masked Smurfs who are revealed to in fact be natural Smurfettes, a fact that astonishes Brainy almost as much as the female Smurfs are intrigued by their male counterparts. The four are then taken to Smurfy Grove and introduced to Smurfwillow, the community's leader, who informs them that Gargamel is one the wrong track to finding their village. She clarifies that a landmark revealed by his magic was misinterpreted as a group of three trees rather than the trio of waterfalls that mark the actual location of the village.
While Clumsy is taken off by the suspicious Smurfstorm to check on Gargamel, Brainy and the others are welcomed to Smurfy Grove; not forgetting their heated words, he and Hefty proceed to sabotage each other on multiple occasions in front of the Smurfettes. However, after sampling the many activities in the village, culminating in a visit to the spa, the pair apologize to each other and make up, but are then stunned when Smurfette shows little interest in returning to Smurf Village with them. Stormy and Clumsy then return, with Stormy confronting Smurfette over her origins; the Smurfettes then ambush Papa Smurf when he arrives in search of his four missing Smurfs. Unfortunately, Gargamel finds the village and uses his recently invented Freeze Balls to capture all of the natural Smurfs, leaving Smurfette behind as he takes them prisoner to his castle.
An escape attempt by the Smurfs is thwarted, though Brainy and Hefty manage to remain free and escape his notice, and later assist Smurfette in defeating Gargamel using the magic she displayed during the Smurfy Thing Finder test. Smurfette is reverted to clay form as a result, and Brainy is forced to halt a frantic Papa Smurf as he searches desperately through Gargamel's spell book for a means of restoring her. All the Smurfs and Smurfettes then gather in Smurf Village to mourn their lost friend, and initially fail to notice magic unleashed by their grief reviving her. Upon hearing both Clumsy and Hefty realizing that Smurfette has been restored, Brainy is convinced that they've been overcome with their sorrow but opens his own eyes to see the truth. All the Smurfs then join in a grand celebration of Smurfette's return, their victory over Gargamel, and their newfound unity.
The Smurfs (1994 video game)
Brainy appears in one of the levels in the 16-bit versions of the 1994 Smurfs video game as a playable character.
The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf
Brainy appears in one of the levels of The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf as a playable character.
- His character was voiced by the late Danny Goldman in the cartoon show, Fred Armisen in the 2011 movie, Danny Pudi in the 2017 movie and Youssef El Kaouakibi in the 2021 series.
- Before Grandpa Smurf, Nanny Smurf, Therapist Smurf, and the "non-canonical" Narrator Smurf appeared, Brainy was the only Smurf who needed glasses.
- Despite Brainy being a very common character in the show, he is one of the least liked Smurfs, basically the Butt Monkey of the village.
- Brainy, along with Papa Smurf and Hefty Smurf, appeared in the 1990 drug prevention TV video, Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue.
- Danny Goldman reprised the role of Brainy Smurf for some adult-level "non-canonical" Smurf segments on Robot Chicken.
- Though the other Smurfs dislike him, he is best friends with Clumsy Smurf in the 1981 series.
- Brainy's hair color is red, as indicated by the incredibly long beard he had grown from using a magical hair tonic in "Symbols Of Wisdom".
- The times when Brainy isn't an annoying pest and when the other Smurfs actually enjoy his company are mostly during smurfball games or when they're swimming.
- Despite being so arrogant and self-centered, Brainy always wants and seek to be respected by the other Smurfs. He would go so far as to use magic to make himself strong to take back their food from Bigmouth, and also risking his life to save a wildcat to prove that he lives up to his word, only to lose consciousness after that.
- In the 2011 movie, Brainy Smurf is depicted with freckles.
- Brainy was voiced by Fred Armesin, known for being on Saturday Night Live, in the live-action film and was voiced by Danny Pudi, known for being on Community, in The Lost Village.
- The only thing Smurfette hates about Brainy more than his endless speaking and egoism is when all the other Smurfs are mean to him. This goes to show Smurfette is one of the few Smurfs who likes him more no matter how much talking he does.
- The glass on Brainy's glasses is made from the magic sand of the Sandman.
- Brainy Smurfs gets sea sick easily.
- Brainy plays detective four times: "The Masked Pie Smurfer", "They're Smurfing Our Song", "The Village Vandal", and "Gargamel's Quest". In the last two episodes mentioned, he refers to himself as Sherlock Smurf.
- In the 1980s cartoon, at least, although the Smurfs get really annoyed by Brainy and always booting him out of the village, they still seem to care about him. Examples such as in "Smurfette's Sweet Tooth" when Brainy was turned into a candy statue, the Smurfs seemed concerned. Also, in "Essence of Brainy", they ended up not liking the 'nicer, less annoying' Brainy, and they worked to get the old Brainy back. They love him, though that doesn't mean they have to like him.
- In the original French version of the comics, Brainy's name translates into "Smurf with Glasses". At the time, this name was more appropriate than his English name, as his "intelligence" was mostly in his mind and he was not really smart.
- In Smurfs: The Lost Village, Brainy and Hefty Smurf get along better than in most source material.
- Brainy was Gargamel's first victim as seen in "Gargamel's Time Trip".
- In the 1981 series, Brainy started off as a bookworm. It wasn't until Season 3 that Brainy started publishing his ego-tripping books.
- He is one of the Smurfs who were featured in the National Benzole animated commercial series, where he is often seen with a book that is titled "Rhymes". It also seems as if he was treated just like how he was treated by the other Smurfs in the entire franchise, which is in the first and second commercial, when he inflated a tire, he was blown away and laughed at by the other Smurfs, and in the third commercial, when he sang his part of the song "...or elves!", he is immediately pulled away, and his head is covered by his hat when a Smurf who was standing on him slipped accidentally. His glasses are also red instead of dark colored.
- Brainy is the only Smurf to be crowned King more than once during the original cartoon series: he was King Smurf in the Season 1 episode by the same name, and he was later made King of the Trokels during "Long Live Brainy" under false pretenses (unbeknownst to him). In both instances, he demonstrated a decent understanding of human-based culture and applied this knowledge during both reigns. Unfortunately, his hubris led him to be more tyrannical than beloved as a ruler, so he was denounced of his kingship by the end of both episodes.