These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Smurfs, with how their society works, their lookalike costumes, and leader with a red hat could be seen as a symbol of Communism. In turn Gargamel could be seen as a symbol of Capitalism (especially considering initially he wanted to capture a Smurf for a potion to make some gold). See also Wild Mass Guessing.
The first ever Smurf story was "The Black Smurfs,” and the idea of evil black-skinned Smurfs has become quite... politically incorrect. The animated adaptation and the English translation of the original comic book story has made them purple.
A lesser example of this is changing the orange-skinned Swoofs in the original comic book story "The Astro Smurf" to green in the Animated Adaptation to avoid offending Native Americans.
When Smurfette was evil, she had black hair and a big nose just like the other Smurfs have. When she was turned good, she became a blonde, her nose got smaller.
She was never evil to begin with in the original comic, but she was much more of a ditz when black-haired.
Then in the sequel, when Smurfette turns into a "Naughty" in a dream, her hair turns black.
Some nerd annoys you with his talk? Why, extreme violence to shut him up is apparently completely okay!
Of course sometimes it was the only way to shut him up.
In the movie, Odile and her mother are both Latina. Odile is the president of a cosmetics company. Both Odile and her mother are obsessed with beauty, fashion, and youth. Vain Latina stereotype, anyone?
"A Hug For Grouchy" basically sanctions a day where Smurfs are allowed to disrespect the feelings of other Smurfs who don't like to be touched!
What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The Smurfs (whose society can somehow be described as an "utopia") have been mistaken (to Peyo's great amusement when he was alive) for a metaphor:
Of a Communist society. Think about it. Never do you see one "Consumer Smurf" buying from a "Shopkeeper Smurf," the fruits of the community's labor is divided evenly amongst the community. Each Smurf has their own job, and any attempt at trying a different job typically ends in disaster. Gargamel comes off as a metaphor for capitalism, wanting to make money no matter the cost or what he destroys in the process. And topping it off, their leader wears red.
Also noting that the leader looks like Karl Marx.
Of the KKK. A hundred critters in pointy white hats living in what amounts to a secluded commune led by a wizard with a pointy red hat. Hmm. It should of course be noted that it was made by a Belgian, and the KKK esoteric imagery is mostly unknown in Europe.
The Smurfs are actually a patriarchal conservative utopia. They live in a static and autarchic rural agrarian system, away from evil technological and social progress. They are ruled by a wise, benevolent, kind but stern patriarch who lays down the law and without whom anarchy and chaos engulf the village.
There have been two explicitly political issues. One is "King Smurf" (The Dutch translation even called him the Smurführer). The other one, "Smurf versus Smurf," is a satire of Belgium's linguistic division.
Some can see Gargamel as the stereotypical image of Jews in Middle ages (despite having a normal nose, no beard, and no accent) and later on: short (Gargamel actually isn't short, he seems to be because he's slouchy) with back-hair and big curved nose. He is chasing after the innocent Smurfs and he wants to either make gold out of them, or eat them (cartoon only for this one). In addition, the story of Smurfette: She was initially an evil creation of Gargamel and was black-haired with a big nose. After her transformation into Smurfette, she has blond hair and blue eyes, and she is a kind and good-hearted woman. In one episode Gargamel kidnapped her and put a spell on her so she turned evil again, and she resumed her black-haired appearance. When she turned good again, she also resumed her blond hair again. All of of this can be explained by very very older literary tropes like Uglyness Equals Villainy and Dark Is Evil, among others. Gargamel is just your usual sorcerer and it requires much effort to see him as a Jew.
Maybe not "much" effort to see him that way, but a little. After all, not only does he have the stereotypical hooked nose and an obsession with gold but his cat has a Hebrew name. However, any anti-Semitic tropes in the Smurfs can be seen as less inspired by National Socialism and more inspired by the fact that Jews have been scapegoats & strawmen throughout much of their history.
In the movie he does not even have a hook nose. Plus he has straight hair rather than the stereotypical Jewish curly hair. So maybe they were either being very sensitive and tried very hard to not show the possible stereotypes, or they truly are not seeing this possible unfortunate implication at all.
Fundies put the "fun" in fundies by claiming that the principal Smurfs represent the seven cardinal sins while Papa Smurf represents the devil and that Gargamel is a Catholic priest; thing is, his clothes do look like those of a priest...
There is much more than that. His "castle" looks like a church. His cat's name is Azrael, which is by itself the name of the angel of death, and that also sounds like Israel, the chosen people. The smurfs may represent different sins, and the only one who wants to analyze other's behaviors and talk about morals, Brainy Smurf, is always kicked around, fooled and tossed out of the village.
Then again, the clothing color scheme of the Smurfs does seem to suggest Papa Smurf being the high priest/kinsman redeemer (red) who keeps his little Smurfs free and pure from sin (white).
Dork Age: from "The Baby Smurf" to "The Strange Awakening of Lazy Smurf," the slapstick and social parody were toned down (in fact, it begins earlier, with the secondary stories of the album "The Smurfic Games"). "The Finance Smurf," the last album made before Peyo's death, and those that follow it, recover these parts that made the book successful.
Recycled Script: “The Smurf Menace” (comic book) begins with the Smurfs being in conflict and fighting each other, so Papa Smurf decides to use his magic to bring an enemy towards them, so that they unite each other and become peaceful again. Just like in “Smurf VS. Smurf.”
If you count stories between the comic book continuity and the cartoon show continuity, "The Finance Smurf" recycles the plot of "The Smurfs And The Money Tree", even to how it ends (Greedy and Finance both suffer a case of Pyrrhic Victory or Pyrrhic Villainy in that they gain possessions at the cost of losing friends).
The Scrappy: The Smurflings are considered this, which is why they are hardly ever shown in the comic book stories, along with the Canon Foreigner characters like Grandpa Smurf and Nanny.
Hilarious in Hindsight: In the episode "Clumsy Luck," a second glasses-wearing Smurf appears in one scene. While at the time, it was just an animation error (a duplicate of Brainy, to be exact), come the 2011 movie, a second glasses-wearing Smurf, in the form of Narrator Smurf, now exists.
Recycled Script: The villain-disguised-as-a-Smurf ploy was used a few times in the cartoon show, both by Hogatha and Gargamel.
The Scrappy: A lot of people had nicer things to say about Smoogle compared to Nanny Smurf when they both were introduced in season eight.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: In-universe example: Gargamel starts one of these in the Season 1 episode "Romeo and Smurfette" when he has a mind controlled Smurfette say that she's decided to marry either Hefty or Handy. All the other smurfs take sides, and things get so violent that Papa Smurf has to divide the village with a this is my side line to keep Team Hefty and Team Handy from killing each other. We couldn't make this stuff up.
Suspiciously Similar Song: Some folks on YouTube noticed the similarity between The Smurfs theme song and the scatting melody of the J. Geils Band's "Centerfold", both of which came out in 1981.
The episode "Smurfing For Ghosts" uses a tune that sounds very similar to Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters", while the cartoon special "The Smurfic Games" uses one that's similar to Vangelis' Chariots of Fire theme tune.
Toy Ship: Sassette and the male Smurflings, mainly Nat and Snappy.