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Papa Smurf (original French name Grand Schtroumpf) is one of the main characters of the Smurfs comic books, the 1980s Smurfs cartoon show, and the 2021 Smurfs cartoon show.

His first appearance as a character in any visual media is in the original comic book story of "The Smurfs And The Magic Flute".


Papa is the practical village leader and the father figure of 100 or so young Smurfs.

He is easily identified by his red Smurf hat, pants, and a shortly-trimmed white beard and moustache. In the comics, 2021 cartoon series and movies - his eyebrows are white, while in the 1981 cartoon series, his eyebrows are black. His body is blue and most people call him Santa Claus due to vague similarities with the character; for example: Hackus from The Smurfs 2 and Victor Doyle.

Role In The Village

He uses his wisdom and knowledge of magic and science to protect the village he leads from various forms of danger that exist within (or outside) the Smurf Forest.


Papa is gentle, understanding, and fatherly to any good-natured creature he meets. He also understands other people's or Smurf's feelings. He rarely uses intimidation or expresses malice toward any of the Smurfs, but still gives punishments and stern talks when needed.

He always wants everyone to do the right thing, going as far as helping Gargamel and Azrael out of trouble when no one else can (much to the annoyance and confusion of the others).

As the first season of the cartoon is heavily based on the original comics, Papa's personality there differs a lot from the portrayals of him that followed. The most notable difference seems to be his irritability and tendency to blatantly insult or yell at the Smurfs. He also expresses anger in more ways than one, such as standing Lazy up with his foot (making them nose-to-nose) to order him to get water in "Paradise Smurfed".

Papa's voice is also performed much less softly in this season and Season 2, making him resemble more of a stereotypical stern father figure in comparison. Despite the differences, he has many moments of kindness and cares very much about others from the start of the series.

In the 2021 animated Smurfs show, Papa Smurf shows a rather rare mischievous side of himself toward his little Smurfs in "Where's Papa Smurf?" when Papa Smurf was accidentally turned invisible and the Smurfs all thought he was gone and they decided to take a vacation from their work, and when Papa Smurf finds out about this.

Relationships With Others

Papa Smurf generally refers to the Smurfs who are much younger than he is as "my little Smurfs", even though the majority of them are adults. He is generally pleased when he sees them working and interacting with each other peacefully and doing what they are supposed to.

However, he does at times take issue with Lazy's slothfulness, Jokey's mischievous behavior, Brainy's endless talking, and Clumsy's klutziness, among other things his little Smurfs do which try his patience. Despite having to deal with their personalities, Papa Smurf loves the Smurfs to the point where he will do everything in his power to protect them from evil beings that want to do harm unto them, and he will also protect them from themselves whenever disputes and situations arise.

As Papa tries to spare every Smurf's feelings unless it's necessary, he has the tendency to keep something secret if he feels that addressing it would extremely upset or distress any of them. A great example of this is the episode, "Dreamy's Pen Pals", which reveals Papa had been keeping Dreamy's belief in 'Planet Swoof' (the fictional planet Papa "created" to deceive him in "The Astro Smurf") alive through replying to his constant letters as the Swoofs. After this was discovered by Brainy and Clumsy, Papa explains that it was all started after the events of the original adventure in an attempt to avoid hurting Dreamy. That is, until he finally finds out the truth later in the episode.

Another great example of this behavior is "A Gift For Papa's Day", where Papa pretends to love the bizarre new hat the Smurfs made for him. He tries to get rid of the gift with little success and refuses to tell them how he really feels about it in a very passive-aggressive fashion. Both fortunately and unfortunately for Papa, the Smurfs never seem to catch on to his hatred of the hat. By the end, he happily no longer wears it, as it was turned into a trophy in honor of playing the main role in rescuing a group of Smurfs (whom ironically got captured trying to retrieve his "stolen" hat in the forest) from Gargamel.

Papa Smurf also never told the Smurfs about Grandpa Smurf and his departure from the village (despite his limited memory regarding why he left at the time) before the events of "Smurfquest", nor had he told anyone but Grandpa about his sorrows regarding Wild Smurf's disappearance as a baby before the events of "Smurf On The Wild Side". Papa unintentionally sums up this behavior well in "All The News That's Fit To Smurf", where he doesn't want Reporter to hear of (and thus share) what he is about to tell only Grandpa, claiming "There is some news that's not fit to smurf. At least, not now". However, in that instance, his reason for not wanting the Smurfs to learn of something was to prevent them from getting into serious danger.

Interestingly, Grandpa seems to have a similar issue, as he (initially) avoids telling Papa and the other Smurfs that he wasn't able to gather the element samples after he returned, due to the sheer weight of the news and the guilt he felt from his failure. It also seems that Grandpa didn't tell any Smurf about Nanny Smurf's imprisonment in Castle Captor before she was rescued in "Lost Smurf".

Papa Smurf was responsible for transforming Smurfette from a creation of Gargamel into a real Smurf, though the method for doing so varied depending on the media: in the comic books, Papa Smurf used "plastic smurfery", while in the cartoon show, the 2011 Smurfs movie, and Smurfs: The Lost Village, he used magic.

Papa Smurf about to present flowers to Smurfette.

Though, in only one episode from Season 1 of the 1981 show, "Romeo And Smurfette" as well as the comic of the same name, Papa Smurf expressed some amorous interest in Smurfette. This also goes for a scene in the special "Smurfily Ever After", where it's implied Smurfette considers Papa as an option for marriage, before she dismisses the idea with a "nah" and leaves his home. In "The Jewel Smurfer", Papa Smurf still seem to harbor some degree of romantic feelings for Smurfette, as shown in the final panel of the said comic where he was about to present to Smurfette a bouquet of flowers while bearing a nervous look. As nothing develops from either of these moments, nor do they affect the series as a whole, it is safe to assume they have a father/daughter relationship otherwise.

In the cartoon show, Papa Smurf's apprentice (or assistant-- the two terms seem to be used interchangeably in this case) and one of his biggest admirers is Brainy. He is known for parroting quotations of Papa's, eventually branching off into writing his own and using both to pester the Smurfs. Brainy also 'supervises' the others and informs Papa of any disobedience he witnesses on a daily basis, acting as the village tattletale. 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.

Papa tries to support Brainy in most of his endeavors if it will make him happy. However, he is often unsure if that is always the right thing to do, such as allowing his apprentice a three-day test run of a village time schedule in "Tick Tock Smurfs". Brainy's constant struggle with improvement and recklessness also poses a big issue, leading Papa to admit he'd briefly been considering getting a new apprentice in "The Gingerbread Smurfs":

Brainy: Sorry, Papa Smurf.
Papa: [frustrated] "Sorry, sorry, sorry", that's all I ever hear from you.
Brainy: Sorry, Papa Smurf.
Papa: I've had a mind to look for another apprentice.

Their relationship becomes even more strained by the end of the series (most notably the ninth season), with Papa Smurf often openly expressing any frustration he feels toward Brainy instead of trying to approach it with a patient or gentle attitude. That was usually Papa's best attempt to avoid yelling at Brainy, although his apprentice had pushed him to such a boiling point more than once before.

One Smurf that Papa Smurf is especially supportive of is Clumsy. He considers Clumsy's sensitivity and recognizes that his clumsiness is not (naturally) controllable, rarely getting angry at him for such accidents. Papa often defends Clumsy and urges the Smurfs to give him a fair chance in everyday group activities, such as smurfball games. When Papa Smurf was given the news that Clumsy had presumably died in "Clumsy Luck", he sat on a mushroom and sobbed, mourning "[his] poor Clumsy". After it's revealed he is alive and well, Papa cries tears of joy and claims he's "never been so happy to see a Smurf in [his] life".

Papa Smurf and the other adult Smurfs all have a relationship akin to father/son with Baby Smurf, but Papa is his guardian by default. He is often seen carrying Baby around, reading to him, and occasionally acting silly to entertain the infant (usually when Smurfs like Brainy aren't watching). Due to odd events, he appears to be one of the only Smurfs to have somewhat figured out that Baby has magical powers. Overall, he is very set on Baby Smurf being the one to take on his role as Papa Smurf in the future.

Papa Smurf has a father/daughter relationship with Sassette (who calls him "Pappy"), whom he also transformed into a real Smurf through the same method used on Smurfette in the cartoon show. The other Smurflings view him as the other Smurfs do since they are de-aged Smurfs. Much like Papa with Baby, he is sometimes seen playing with the Smurflings or participating in their silliness.

Grandpa Smurf has a father/son relationship with Papa Smurf, the elder having left him behind for 500 years in order to explore the world and search for the purest samples of the four primal elements to restore the Long Life Stone. Apparently, so did Nanny Smurf when she went out into the forest to find more yarn (though, Papa and her acted as if they had never met before in "Lost Smurf"). Grandpa Smurf serves as an adviser to Papa Smurf, having more knowledge of the world and wisdom than even him, while Nanny has a more matronly role towards the village leader.

In "Papa's Wedding Day" he had fallen in love with Flowerbell the woodnymph, whom he thought genuinely loved him and made him feel young again, but his heart became broken when he found out she was just using him so Lord Balthazar could capture him in exchange for her freedom. Nevertheless, he learned a valuable lesson that a person is only as old as they think they are, and the best way to stay young is to appreciate and enjoy what one has in their lives.

Papa Smurf has a few friends among the humans, which include Sir Johan, Peewit, Enchanter Homnibus, King Gerard, and Malchior. In fact, he first met Johan and Peewit in the original comic book story "The Smurfs And The Magic Flute" when they sought the Smurfs' help in retrieving a magic flute that the Smurfs were also looking for that fell into the hands of a thief named Oilycreep, and assisted in his eventual capture, with Papa Smurf serving as a translator to the humans for whatever the Smurfs spoke to him in Smurf.

The human friend Papa is closest to is Homnibus, as he often visits the enchanter's home, usually to play a game of chess or checkers or deliver a magic-related item to him. The two are also occasionally seen stargazing and watching meteor showers in episodes such as "Clumsy Luck" and "Land Of Lost And Found".

However, knowing the evil nature that lies within the hearts of humans, Papa often warns the Smurfs not to act like them and disciplines them when they do, such as in the King Smurf comic and the cartoon episode "Revenge Of The Smurfs". Ironically, the depth of Papa's character and life experiences make him the most human of the Smurfs, next to Grandpa.

Regardless of the evil that Gargamel and others (such as Hogatha, Chlorhydris, and Balthazar) commit against him or the village, Papa Smurf refuses to return evil of any kind unto humans, including his main adversary. This is Papa's way of showing the Smurfs the virtue of kindness even unto those that don't deserve it.

Despite this, Papa does occasionally allow the Smurfs or himself to teach villains a rather mean (or dangerous) lesson after causing trouble. He just has no wish for them to be outright killed or cursed for life, though sometimes the leader is left with no other choice.

Uh oh! Very Smurfy Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Smurfs Franco-Belgian comic book series, the 1980s Smurfs cartoon show series, or the 2021 Smurfs cartoon show series, and should not be considered part of the overall storyline of any of those media universes.

In Other TV Shows

Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue

Papa Smurf appears as a fictional character come to life in the cartoon show crossover "Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue", and he is the first to notice that Corey's piggy bank is missing, so he calls his little Smurfs to assist him.

In The Movies

The Smurfs

In the 2011 Smurfs movie, Papa Smurf is one of the few Smurfs that traveled through time to modern-day New York City. Prior to this, during the Blue Moon Festival, Papa Smurf had seen in a vision Clumsy Smurf seemingly failing to catch a dragon wand and all his little Smurfs captured in cages by Gargamel. As Papa Smurf wanted to prevent Clumsy from fulfilling this vision, he had him stay behind with Grace Winslow in the Winslows' apartment during their stay in New York City while he and the other Smurfs went with Patrick Winslow in search of a "stargazer". While the other Smurfs were mostly annoying and unhelpful with Patrick's line of work, Papa Smurf helps him find confidence in himself as a father and a husband. It was during the Smurfs' search for both a "stargazer" in FAO Schwarz and a blue moon incantation in Mr. Wong's Mystical Emporium that they encountered Gargamel, the second time where Papa Smurf was captured and strapped into a Smurf exfoliator machine that the evil wizard intends to use to extract Smurf essence from all the Smurfs. Smurfette and the other Smurfs rescued Papa Smurf from captivity, and Clumsy Smurf ended up defying what the vision foretold Papa Smurf by catching the dragon wand, blasting Gargamel with it and sending him flying into a pile of garbage bags. Near the end of the movie, Papa Smurf shows Clumsy how proud he is of him.

The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol

Papa Smurf also appears in the animated feature The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol, who notices along with some of his little Smurfs that Grouchy refuses to take part in Christmas. Hoping to remedy the situation, he comes up with a formula that penetrates Grouchy and gets him to see the error of his ways through being visited by the three Smurfs of Christmas. Through the Smurf of Christmas Present, Grouchy sees that Papa Smurf has personally handcrafted every Smurf's new hat as a Christmas present, with his hope that Grouchy would be able to accept the one he has made for him despite his hate for getting the same Christmas present every year instead of a hang glider. As it turns out, Papa Smurf has made Grouchy's hat specifically for gliding.

The Smurfs 2

Papa Smurf appears in The Smurfs 2 as a main character, this time leading a team of Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity on a journey to modern-day Paris to rescue Smurfette from Gargamel, who has kidnapped her for the purpose of revealing the spell to turn his proto-creations like the Naughties into Smurfs. Papa Smurf notably struggles with the issue of fatherhood as Smurfette is torn between Gargamel being her father-creator and himself being her adopted father -- a struggle that Patrick Winslow is dealing with in regards to his stepfather Victor Doyle taking over as the father in Patrick's life. In the end, Smurfette chooses Papa Smurf as being her real father over Gargamel, as do the Naughties when they become Smurfs themselves.

The Smurfs: The Legend Of Smurfy Hollow

In the animated feature, Papa Smurf is the judge of the annual Smurfberry Hunt, who checks to see how many smurfberries his little Smurfs have collected during the harvest festival. At the time of the story, Brainy has won the contest several times, which makes Gutsy jealous as well as curious as to where Brainy is finding all the smurfberries. Upon finding Brainy's secret patch of smurfberries within Smurfy Hollow, Gutsy scares Brainy away with a fake Headless Horseman and proceeds to collect the maximum amount of smurfberries he could carry in a single bucket. Papa Smurf judges Gutsy to be the winner when the contest ends, but with Suspicious Smurf wondering why Brainy didn't show up, Gutsy goes back into Smurfy Hollow to find him, only to be followed by Smurfette who discovers what he did. For the protection of his little Smurfs, Papa Smurf transforms a pet goat into the Headless Horseman to send the Smurfs scurrying home to safety quickly and to keep them from being captured by Gargamel. With that mission accomplished, Papa Smurf turns the Headless Horseman back into a goat.

Smurfs: The Lost Village

In the film Smurfs: The Lost Village, Papa Smurf meets his counterpart Smurfwillow in a village full of Smurfettes that he and his little Smurfs have discovered within the Forbidden Forest. This occurs after "Team Smurf"-Smurfette, Hefty, Brainy, and Clumsy-get into trouble and are grounded by Papa Smurf for leaving the village and getting entangled with Gargamel. He later comes to apologize to Smurfette and reveals that his anger results from his concern for her, only to find that she and her three companions have left. He then follows them to Smurfy Grove and becomes enamored of Smurfwillow after being handily subdued by her, though he doesn't care for her addressing him as "Papa Thing."

They later work together to try and save the Smurfettes from Gargamel, only for Smurfette herself to feign a desire to become evil to Papa Smurf's horror. This proves to be a trick that allows Smurfette to drain the magic Gargamel stole from the Smurfettes, but the process causes her to revert to her original form as a lump of clay. Papa Smurf attempts to find a spell to restore her but is unable, and travels back to Smurf Village where the Smurfs and Smurfettes mourn her together, only for their shared magic to revive her. The two populations of Smurfs then join in a massive celebration, with Papa Smurf later combing his beard as an apparent prelude to an outing with Smurfwillow.

Smurf Videogames

The Smurfs 2: The Video Game (Console)

He is one of the character that the player can control. He has a trick to defeat the enemies by throwing potions towards the enemies.

Smurfs' Village

Papa's house in the Smurfs' Village game

He is one of the most major smurf in the game. He gives out quests for the player to complete. Also, he has a potion making game which players have to complete Papa's potion by shaking or adding other potions into the potion. He appears in both main village and island district and his house appears at the beginning of the game which means that players no need to buy his hut.

Smurf Life

He does not get a major role in the game, but visiting him is the only way to purchase solar amulets.

Uh oh! Very Smurfy Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.


See Papa Smurf/Appearances.


  • He is referred to as "The Great Smurf" in some non-English translations of the Smurf comic books.
  • Papa Smurf's birthday in the comic books is usually indicated by the presence of chanterelles growing in the Smurf Forest.
  • His character was voiced by the late Don Messick in the original series, by Mike Reynolds in the animated version of "The Smurfs And The Magic Flute", by the late Jonathan Winters in The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, and by Jack Angel in two video features, The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol and The Smurfs: The Legend Of Smurfy Hollow. In Smurfs: The Lost Village, he is voiced by Mandy Patinkin (of The Princess Bride fame) and Davis Freeman in the 2021 series, who also voices other characters like Farmer, Harmony and Bigmouth.
  • For as long as he could remember, Papa Smurf has admired the great wizard Merlin, as seen in "The Smurfs Of The Round Table".
  • According to Slouchy's count in "Papa's Puppy Prescription", Papa's beard has over 2,007 strands of hair. Or at least, that's as far as he counted.
  • Papa is able to speak in a few different languages he's learnt over the years, notably Chinese ("The Traveler") and the Language of the Cursed ("Smurf A Mile In My Shoes").
  • In the episode "Born Rotten", Papa mentions, in wonder of a mysterious egg, that he has had "a long experience as an egg-lover and bird-watcher".
  • In "Smurfquest", Grandpa recalls a time where Papa went to Bunion Bay without his permission as a Smurfling.
  • Papa Smurf, along with Brainy Smurf and Hefty Smurf, appeared in the 1990 drug prevention video, Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue.
  • In the 2011 movie, Papa Smurf is admittedly a coffee drinker.
  • Papa Smurf was mentioned in the 2002 live action Scooby-Doo movie by Velma. Coincidentally, Raja Gosnell directed the two Scooby-Doo films and has now directed two Smurfs films.
  • Papa Smurf drinks hot cocoa, as shown in "The Scariest Smurf".
  • In the Duck Dodgers episode "The Green Loontern", Duck sarcastically refers to Ganthet the Green Lantern Corps Guardian as Papa Smurf when he comes to his defense as being a Green Lantern.
  • Papa Smurf's visual similarity to Santa Claus has been referenced a few times: once by a human boy named William in "The Smurfs Christmas Special", once by Sassette (though purely by accident) in the cartoon special "'Tis The Season To Be Smurfy", once by Patrick Winslow in the 2011 Smurfs movie, and once by Hackus in its sequel. In the box cover design for the VHS release of "Baby's First Christmas" and for The Smurfs Holiday Celebration, Papa Smurf purposely dresses like Santa. In the game "Smurfs' Village", Papa Smurf dresses like Santa Claus and walks around the village with a bag of gifts in the winter seasons.
  • In a one-page comic book gag, Papa Smurf had dressed like one of the average Smurfs while the others dressed like Papa Smurf, which seems to suggest that in comic book and cartoon show interpretations of the character, Papa Smurf would be indistinguishable from the other Smurfs without his beard. The live action films and the CGI movie make Papa Smurf more visibly older by adding wrinkles to his face.
  • In "Smurfy Secrets" it is revealed that sarsaparilla makes him fart.
  • Papa Smurf was voiced by Jonathan Winters, the voice of Grandpa Smurf in the 1981 cartoon series, in the live-action movies. The sequel was credited as his last role before his death on April 11th.
  • Papa Smurf provides narration for the beginning and end of The Lost Village, and a deleted scene also depicts him as having invented a Paintball-like game called Smurfberry blast, though he is defeated in the scene by Smurfette.
  • His only appearance in the National Benzole animated commercial series in the UK was at the end of the commmercial where the Smurfs raced against the clock in a marathon while they did their petrol station duties. He is seen at the tri-leveled podium singing the jingle with the other Smurfs. But it was said he did appeared in the BP Australia commercials which were a lot like the NB commercials in the UK (not to mention using the tune for Father Abraham's Smurf song in their jingle just like how NB did) by doing a similar role to National Smurf.
  • Speaking of Father Abraham, in the music video version of the Smurf song sung by Father Abraham featured a puppet version of him, Brainy, and another Smurf. He is somehow refered to as the ''Flute Smurf" when FA told him to begin, hence, he was seen playing a flute two times.
  • His age in human years is between 58-63 years old. As of "Soothsayer Smurfette", Papa Smurf was 542 years old in the Smurfs cartoon.
  • in the episode "For The Love Of Gargamel", nobody but Papa Smurf was in favor of Gargamel returning to his normal state, not even Smurfette, who is a creation of Gargamel, since that the Smurfs are afraid that their worst enemy would adopt a disciple in the near future. After that incident, Gargamel adopts a disciple named Scruple, which makes life of the Smurfs much more difficult for them, especially for the Smurflings, since they would have a rather bitter preadolescence.

See also