The Smurfs came to be on television when then-NBC president Fred Silverman saw how much his daughter liked a Smurf doll she had been given.
The Smurfs made their debut in 1958 in a comic strip drawn by Pierre "Peyo" Culliford in the Belgian magazine Spirou.
In France the episodes with Johan and Peewit are considered as different TV series and therefore distributed with a different title: "Johan et Pirlouit" (1985).
Features incidental music from the "Gnomus" movement of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition".
SPOILER: This episode originally ended when Weakling rescued Hefty Smurf from the water after he fell off of the collapsing dam. The new ending shows Weakling being honored for his heroism, at which point Papa Smurf reveals that his "Can Do Potion" is actually smurf-berry jam!
Contrary to popular belief, the phrase that is often described the height of most Smurfs ("three apples high," the direct translation of the French idiom "haut comme trois pommes") was never a precise scientific measurement. It means that something is really small, and an English equivalent would be "knee-high to a grasshopper."
When choked a Smurf turns yellow.
Unlike the cartoon series where Smurfette is a regular character, in the original comics, she appears infrequently from her debut in "The Smurfette" in 1966 until the 1980s.
Out of all the Smurfs in the cartoon and comic book series, Smurfette is the only one with a generic name. "Smurfette" as term refers to any female Smurf, not just Gargamel's creation. For example, in one episode ("Sassette"), Gargamel refers to Sassette several times as a "Smurfette."
Greedy in the cartoon series combines the personalities of two Smurfs found in the original comics: Chef (also called "Cook" in official sources), the village cook; and Greedy, the village glutton and food thief.
Many of the Smurfs made their debuts in the cartoon series, but the following originated in the pre-1981 comics (not in any order): Papa, Brainy, Greedy (combined in the cartoon series with Chef, Baker, and Pastry Chef), Jokey, Hefty, Harmony, Poet, Painter, Lazy, Grouchy, Vanity, Handy, Farmer, Sickly, Weakling, and Smurfette. Out of all the listed Smurfs, only Weakling appeared in one episode ("A Little Smurf Confidence" from Season 3).
Only in the cartoon series does Baby possess magical powers. In the original comics, he does not and lives as a normal Smurfling.
In the "Johan and Peewit" stories, Peewit is an adult dwarf, not a child as depicted in the cartoon series.
The name of Peewit's goat Biquette is French for "nanny goat." Her name is from the childhood pet of Peyo's widow Nine Culliford.
Dame Barbara is called "Lady Barbara" in the "Johan and Peewit" comic stories. Unlike in the cartoon series, she is not Princess Savina's governess as the latter was created by Studio Peyo exclusively for the cartoon series.
Early episodes of Season 1 make reference of Smurfette as "The Smurfette," which is the literal translation of the French "La Schtroumpfette." This how she is always referred to in the French comics, never simply "Schtroumpfette."
Peyo made the decision for the Smurfs to speak their own language (which commonly uses "smurf") so as to differentiate them from his human characters.
Unlike the cartoon series, where the main staple of the Smurfs' diet is Smurfberries, in the comics it is sarsaparilla (smilax regelii), a plant native to the Americas used as an ingredient for soft drinks like root beer. Peyo's partner Yvan Delporte introduced it to the comics because he found the name magical ("salsepareille" in French), and the word seemed so foreign to Peyo he originally believed Delporte made it up.
It was Peyo's widow and personal colorist Janine "Nine" Culliford that suggested that the Smurfs be colored blue.
The origin of the Smurfs came from an animated cartoon that Peyo was working on at a studio he formerly employed in the last 1940s before its closing stopped production.
The blonde version of Smurfette is based on Peyo's daughter Véronique Culliford when she was five-years-old. She heads I.M.P.S., a company formed by her to license Smurf properties.
The French "Schtroumpf" is actually gibberish and has no meaning. Also, the English name "Smurf" originates not from the French "Schtroumpf," but from the Dutch localization "Smurf."
In the original comics, the use of "smurf" was so frequent that in most cases it is found in each sentence a Smurf speaks. However, so as to prevent the dialogue from being nearly unintelligible to a mostly young television audience, the use of "smurf" was used less frequently in the cartoon series.
Smurfs are naturally all males and do not reproduce (which explains why they come to the world by a stork).
All naturally-born Smurfs are bald. Only Smurfette and Sassette, who were created by magic and are female, have hair.
The cartoon series introduces elements that will eventually appear in the comics and the live-action/CGI film "The Smurfs" (2011), such as a heart-shaped tattoo on Hefty, overalls for Handy, and a red jacket with a black tie for Painter. Previously before the debut of the cartoon series, these Smurfs could not be recognized from each other unless addressed by name (with the exception of Painter who was un-named in the comics prior to 1981) or carrying something commonly associated with them (e.g. lifting dumbells for Hefty).
Gargamel's cat Azrael is named after the angel of death in Hebrew and Islamic traditions.
Most of the named Smurfs who debuted in the pre-1981 comics appeared in the cartoon series with the exception of four Smurfs -- Le Schtroumpf bêta (lit. "The Stupid Smurf"; called "Dopey Smurf" in the Papercutz translation of the comics), Le Schtroumpf sculpteur ("The Sculptor Smurf"), Le Schtroumpf amoureux ("The Amorous Smurf"), and Le Schtroumpf prétentieux ("The Pretentious Smurf"). - Dopey is a very dim-witted Smurf known to be told to get something, but instead get something else to the ire of the Smurf who asked him. He is probably the source of Clumsy, while dim-witted in the most part, is also clumsy. - Sculptor needs no explanation, but appears in a few comic gags. In the cartoon series, Painter sometimes acts in the role of Sculptor. - Amorous is a minor Smurf who appears in the 1980 comic story "Les Schtroumpfs Olympiques" ("The Olympic Smurfs") who dreamed of getting a kiss from the Smurfette. - Pretentious, also a minor Smurf from "Les Schtroumpfs Olympiques" dreamed of finishing first place in the games.
Of the episodes featuring Yohan and Peewit, three of them, including "The Magic Fountain" and "The Haunted Castle," were based on Peyo's albums. The others were specifically written for the series, probably because many of the Johan and Peewit adventures don't feature the Smurfs at all as they were written before they were invented.
In the original comic book version ("Le Cosmoschtroumpf") the Sclips (original French name of the Swoofs) had red skin, not green skin as depicted in the cartoon version. The change of skin color in the cartoon color was to eliminate any racist connotation. Also, Gargamel, Azrael, and Smurfette are absent in the comic book version.