"Once In A Blue Moon" is a Season 3 episode from the Smurfs cartoon show. It is considered that season's premiere episode.
The episode begins with an ominous shot of a large bird flying in the distance, holding something in its beak. It is raining and lightning strikes. Next, we see the Smurf Village at nightfall. A large moon dominates the skyline. Dreamy calls out, "goodnight Clumsy". Clumsy responds "goodnight Lazy...goodnight Grouchy!" Grouchy replies, in his usual manner, "I hate goodnights! ... goodnight Smurfette" - to which Smurfette giggles and says goodnight. More goodnights ensue, culminating with all the Smurfs saying "good night Papa Smurf".
Dreamy is still awake and peers up into the sky from his window. He says, "there is something about the moon tonight, something special - I can feel it." Next, the bird seen flying earlier perches on top of the Smurf Village water well. A roosted Feathers awakens and notices the commotion. The bird drops off a basket in front of Harmony Smurf's door, which has a trumpet placed outside. The bird then flies off into the air, almost hitting Feathers on the way up.
In the morning, Harmony awakes, walks out his door, and says, "Ah, another smurfy morning. Time for my serenade to the sun!" He begins to play - but stops, astonished. He notices the little bundle beside him. At first he thinks it's one of Jokey's surprises. Other Smurfs arrive and they postulate that the basket may contain a snake. They proceed to toss the basket from one Smurf to the next, in an attempt to distance themselves from the snake. Eventually, the basket ends up with Clumsy, who tosses it to Papa Smurf. Papa Smurf decides to open the basket, and declares, "Great Smurfs Of Fire, it's a baby! A Baby Smurf!", much to Smurfette and Vanity's delight.
Papa Smurf then sets to the task of getting the whole village involved and take care of Baby Smurf. Dreamy and Clumsy are told to fetch some milk. Handy is told to build a crib. Tailor is told to make baby clothes. Papa Smurf makes it clear, though, that "what this baby needs is lots and lots of love". While all the Smurfs in the village appear to enjoy focusing their energies on taking care of Baby, one Smurf does not - Grouchy. Grouchy says, "I hate Baby Smurf!"
The weather begins to change - a storm is approaching. At the same time, the bird that brought Baby Smurf to the village is in the air again, carrying a letter in its beak.
|The blue moon.|
|The stork delivers a baby.|
|Baby Smurf in a basket.|
|Papa Smurf, Smurfette, and Baby.|
Back at Smurf Village, Baby starts crying, and needs a diaper changing. Clumsy asks Brainy where Baby Smurfs come from. Brainy says, "Do be serious Clumsy. Everyone knows where Baby Smurfs come from!" Of course, Brainy doesn't really know himself! He goes to ask Papa Smurf where baby Smurfs come from. Papa Smurf says, "Well Brainy, I knew this question was coming. And all I know is, that once in a blue moon, a baby smurf shows up for all of us to love. It is a great mystery."
Papa leaves Baby with Grouchy while he has work to do. Amazingly, Grouchy says "Oh....all right". Baby destroys Papa Smurf's lab. Brainy asks how long that type of behavior will last. Papa Smurf says that it doesn't last long - only 150 years! Grouchy is happily playing with Baby, although he keeps his amusement hidden from the others.
The bird finally arrives back at the village and delivers a letter to Papa Smurf demanding Baby's return. The letter reads, "We regret to inform you, that due to an error, a baby Smurf was delivered to you - color: blue, weight: two ounces, white diaper, silver pin. Please give it back to our carrier. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you." The Smurfs are appalled and refuse to give Baby back. Papa Smurf explains that there is nothing they can do. They have to do the right thing and return Baby. Grouch laments, "I hate returned."
While Papa Smurf explains to the others why Baby must be returned (despite Hefty's protests), Smurfette comes running in - saying that Baby and Grouchy are missing. Brainy cannot fathom that Grouchy would run away with Baby. Papa Smurf explains that Grouchy loves Baby very much, but he was just afraid to show it!
The Smurfs send out a search party, including Feathers and the carrier bird. But Grouchy and Baby cannot be found. They are well hidden on a small island away from all the others. A terrible storm forces them to return to the village and later on they see that Grouchy's visibly bruised from the violent storm. Grouchy starts crying and says, "I hate giving up" but agrees to return Baby to the carrier bird.
No one is happy with the idea of returning Baby. Vanity even dresses up like Baby in an effort to keep him and Smurfette writes a letter of protest. Eventually, Baby flies off with the bird and the Smurfs are sad that they'll never see him again. Life in the village becomes depressing: Greedy doesn't feel like baking, and even Brainy is too gloomy to lecture him about it. Even Jokey gives his explosive gift to Clumsy, and the two try to laugh but end up crying. That night, though, another blue moon appears - along with the carrier bird and Baby! Baby returns home to the village with a note that reads, "Dear Smurfs, after due consideration, taking into account Smurfette's letter and the sincere devotion demonstrated by Grouchy Smurf, we have the pleasure of sending this Baby Smurf back to you. We are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused." Papa Smurf says, "Baby Smurf is back home to stay!"
The Smurfs break into chants of hip-hip-hooray, and the Smurfs rejoice. No one is happier to have Baby home than Grouchy. The episode ends with a montage, including a song, sung by Papa Smurf and Dreamy.
- When Hefty says "Give away Baby? Never!" before the next scene after Smurfette cries, there are a few errors:
- Vanity's mouth disappears.
- Tailor's mouth is closed (In the next scene, Tailor's mouth is open).
- The ribbon on the side of Jokey's gift is shaped like a plus sign (+) instead of a straight vertical line.
- This would be the first of several episodes designated as "premiere episodes" that would introduce new main characters to the Smurfs cast: Season 5's "The Smurflings", "Sassette", and "Puppy" would introduce a young Nat, Snappy, Slouchy, Sassette, and Puppy; Season 6's "Smurfquest" would introduce Grandpa Smurf; Season 7's "Smurf On The Wild Side" would introduce Wild Smurf; and Season 8's "Lost Smurf" would introduce Nanny Smurf and Smoogle.
- As this episode is the introduction of a real Baby Smurf to the village, it expands on ideas and scenes from Season 1's "The Baby Smurf":
- Grouchy shows his softer side by interacting with Baby. Although, here, he was hesitant to do so at first (even with no one watching).
- Clumsy asks Brainy where baby Smurfs come from, getting a scolding instead of an actual answer.
- Brainy researches books on babies to figure out Baby's origin and has no luck, much like Papa in the former episode.
- Greedy offers a baked goodie to Baby, but Smurfette tells him he's too young for such a treat. In the former, Greedy simply bakes and brings "Baby" a cake with no objections.
- In the scene where Grouchy finds Baby Smurf with the mother wolf and her puppies, it is suggested that she nursed the child along with her puppies since Baby Smurf was crying for milk.
- The iTunes edition of this episode carries the syndicated Smurfs Adventures repackaging of this episode, as opposed to the rest of the episodes, which remain uncut and use the original Season 3 intro sequence and credits.
- In France, this episode was part of a theatrical compilation film about Baby Smurf in 1984. The other episodes included were "Chip Off The Old Smurfs" and "The Smurfic Games".
- When the episode was first broadcast in Belgium in 1984, the episode was given its own theme song called "Berceuse du bébé Schtroumpf" which played briefly in the opening credits. A full version of the song is heard during the closing credits and replaces "Once in a Blue Moon". The song is first sang by the Smurfs and Papa Smurf and later becomes a solo by Grouchy about how much he loves Baby Smurf.