Gnap! Gnap! The Zombie Episode Where the Entire Smurf Village is Infected/Destroyed (Briefly)
While hanging out with Mike and Michelle the other day, we were talking about old shows… and I was reminded of the really bizarre and disturbing episode of The Smurfs where they basically turn into zombies.
No one else remembered this episode but me, and I have to tell you… it made a lasting impression. Even now, thinking back on it after all this time, it was truly a disturbing episode.
And it turns out, it was part of the first season! Season 1, Episode 27: The Purple Smurfs.
There’s a lot of other stuff going on in the episode, but let me just run you through the zombie parts:
Lazy Smurf encounters a purple fly, and tries to chase it away.
The fly gets the drop on Lazy and…
… decides that a Smurf’s tail looks like something it wants to bite.
Lazy is transformed into a purple color, and begins shouting “Gnap! Gnap!” He kind of turns angry and billigerent, uttering only those words over and over again.
Like the fly, Lazy is compelled to bite other Smurf’s on the tail. Each bite results in that smurf turing purple, and uttering the same “Gnap! Gnap!” phrase. Oh, and each infected smurf is also overcome with the same compulsion to bite other Smurfs on their tails.
Things start to get real.
Papa Smurf develops an antidote based on pollen, and is able to fight back the infected horde of Smurfs with it.
But as soon as one Smurf is cured, another infected Smurf comes by and bites that Smurf on the tail… re-infecting it. The tide turns against Papa Smurf and the remaining uninfected villagers.
Until finally, everyone (even Smurfette) is infected. And it’s Papa Smurf against literally everyone else.
Papa Smurf runs back to his house, where the last bits of the antidote are located.
But right when he gets inside, he’s bitten on the tail.
And this part is what still haunts me to this day. As Papa Smurf realizes what’s happened, and that the whole of the Smurf Village has been infected utterly and completely… he utters these words:
There’s a genuine sound of struggle in his voice, as he changes from normal Smurf to infected Zombie Smurf. That’s some seriously disturbing stuff for a young kid to process. As I’m typing this all out, it’s kind of freaking me out all over again.
Ultimately what happens is that a fire starts in Papa Smurf’s house, and causes the remaining antidoe to explode… and showers the whole village, turning everyone back to normal.
Something I didn’t realize until now: for about 20 seconds there, the whole of the Smurf species is infected. They are entirely overrun, and Smurfs basically ceased to exist!
Normally, cartoon storylines take things to the brink of destruction. But for this particular episode, they totally infected everyone 100%. The entire village was turned into tail-biting zombies, before being magically cured in one fell swoop.
Some moments worth watching:
First infection (3:16)
Fighting the horde (9:50)
Papa Smurf, last smurf standing (11:00)
Still disturbing, after all these years.