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"Symbols Of Wisdom" is a Season 4 episode from the Smurfs cartoon show.

Plot Summary

As Papa Smurf is busy in Tailor's shop getting measured for a new suit, Brainy is busy talking to Clumsy wondering why everyone listens to Papa Smurf while nobody listens to him. Far away in Gargamel's castle, Gargamel is wondering why, among all the great wizards he has come to admire (all evil ones, by the way), he never gets the respect he feels that he deserves. Then soon inspiration hits both of them: Brainy realizes that it must be the glasses that he wears, while Gargamel realizes that it must be the beards that the great evil wizards wear. As Gargamel imagines what he would look like in a beard, Papa Smurf is busy in Barber's house getting his trimmed.

"Just give me a face of hair...long, beautiful hair..."

All the while, though, Brainy attempts to go about the village without his glasses, despite his friend Clumsy saying that he should wear them, when he accidentally runs into Painter trying to do a portrait of Smurfette by her window. Enraged at Brainy, Painter says, "Every time I look at you, I see red," before Brainy gets his well-deserved kick to the village limits. Then inspiration hits Brainy again: it must be the red suit. He goes back to get his glasses, then has Tailor design for him a red suit just like Papa Smurf, despite Tailor's objections. But as Brainy tries to share his wisdom with his fellow Smurfs wearing the new red suit, all he gets is another kick to the village limits.

Then Brainy wonders that it must be the beard, so he goes to ask Papa Smurf about his beard and whether he himself would be able to grow one. Papa Smurf answers that it will take him 300 years before he grows one. Brainy is disappointed, but Papa Smurf tells him that he must be patient, because it is the cornerstone of wisdom. Back at Gargamel's castle, the evil wizard looks at his face and realizes to his discontent that it will also take him 300 years to grow a beard.

After yet another failed attempt to gain respect, though with a fake beard that gets easily blown away by the wind, Brainy asks Papa Smurf about hair tonic, and Papa Smurf answers that there is no known tonic for growing hair. But Gargamel, in the meantime, does find a magical hair tonic in his books that he makes up and splashes on his face. At first nothing happens, but then a single hair sprouts, and then another, and then one more, and soon he finds facial hair that grows too fast and much too long. In fact, it grows so long it even reaches to the Smurf Village.

Detecting the pattern of the hair growth, Papa Smurf leads some of his Smurfs to Gargamel's castle, where the wizard desperately cries for help. As Nat uses a mouse to distract Azrael to allow the other Smurfs entry, Gargamel pleads for Papa Smurf to get him the scissors so he could cut his beard. Papa Smurf tells him that it is a magical beard, and that it would just regrow as fast as it is cut, which means Gargamel could die from being stuck like this. Papa Smurf does offer a solution to this problem: a chili bean.

Brainy's got more beard than brains!

With the bean in Gargamel's mouth, Papa Smurf directs him by saying: "Chili bean, chili bean, listen to my plea; chili bean, chili bean, set me free." An explosion takes place, and soon Gargamel is free, and the Smurfs are fleeing from him before he could capture them. Using the beard hair, the Smurfs safely cross over the chasm while Gargamel, because of his weight, ends up plummeting into it with his beard hair.

But the day is not over yet for beard-growing: Papa Smurf and the Smurfs that were with him come home to find another beard has grown, this time from Brainy's face. He also used the same tonic which produced the same results, and is now pleading for Papa Smurf's help, confessing how wise he is. Papa Smurf calls for a chili bean, and another explosion takes place. As a result, Grouchy grumbles "I hate chili beans!"

Background Information

  • This episode contains the uncredited voice talent of Patty Maloney, who previously provided the voice of Darla Hood in the animated version of The Little Rascals from 1982 to 1984.
  • This episode seems to establish the fact of when male Smurfs start to grow facial hair, at least in the cartoon series. In Sony Pictures' The Smurfs live-action movie series, Gutsy Smurf is the only Smurf around the same age as his fellow Smurfs that wears sideburns.
  • One of two appearances of Barber Smurf, the other being the episode "Smurfette's Golden Tresses".
  • In the syndicated version of the episode, Papa Smurf's scene with Barber was edited out.
  • The entire soundtrack was in 2x higher than usual in pitch octave in the syndicated version.