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.
Gargamel is all too happy to call himself "evil," but he's got plenty of reason to be unhappy. First, it is strongly implied that he had a seriously abusive childhood from every time we meet one of his relatives on-screen, said relative is either trying to mooch off Gargamel, browbeat and berate him, or both, even the wealthy ones like Balthazar. Second, to near Cosmic Plaything levels, every time he tries to do anything it cosmically backfires on him due to some bit of information or event he had no way of knowing, even if his labors are good, honest work. In addition to the entry in Hard Work Hardly Works, there's been other episodes where Gargamel did try his hand at honest work only to be thwarted either directly or indirectly by the Smurfs. The most prominent of these is when Gargamel actually won at an audition to become the royal court mage, honestly (his spell ingredients were a bit jumbled by transport to the castle, and his spell malfunctioned, but the fact that he summoned a tornado indoors, rode the tornado without injury, and nobody else in attendance was hurt convinced the judges that his power and control were more than sufficient for the job). Unfortunately, his first task, finding out why the chickens were not laying eggs was solved by Papa Smurf outside his knowledge. Perhaps Gargamel could have kept the job even then, but the Smurfs that were delivering the message to the king just had to stop and intrude on Gargamel's lab, without permission which ANY mage or alchemist would have good reason to be angry about. When Johan caught Gargamel threatening the Smurfs, only then did Gargamel learn that the Smurfs were good friends of the king and was real lucky not to wind up in the dungeon. Makes his obsession with making the Smurfs suffer seem a bit more reasonable, doesn't it? Oh, and Scruple? Gargamel was compelled by force of arms to take him in, as an apprentice, something which everyone can agree he is ill suited to do, and Gargamel doesn't even receive compensation of any kind, not even for the kid's living expenses. Thank evilness, or whatever that The Smurfs is a Sugar Bowl or somebody at Gargamel's castle would be seriously under-nourished if not starving to death.
Azrael gets a bit of this too. Remember, Gargamel's the best owner he's ever had. Azrael has HAD other owners. That hole in his ear? One of his previous owners did that when he was a kitten, deliberately.
Chlorhydris. Enough said.
Memetic Troll: Papa Smurf can be interpreted as one, creating holidays like Unhappiness Day, where every Smurf has to be miserable while he walks around making sure they aren't having fun, and Hug a Smurf Day, which almost just becomes "Torture Grouchy" day because he hates hugs, not that Papa Smurf doesn't find this hilarious.
Moral Event Horizon: King Smurf is thought by the Smurfs to have crossed it when he decided to throw Jokey Smurf into jail after receiving Jokey's explosive present.
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.
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.
Certain real-world societies have also high-jacked the meaning of on paper communism. On paper, the Smurfs would be an ideal socialistic society or the above mentioned patriarchal society. Papa Smurf is essentially the government role that helps inform and "control" what jobs the Smurfs do for the society. In real life such a system would wholly depend on having all the right pieces in all the right places; in reality what most westerners call "communism" is more like socialism with a corrupt Papa Smurf turning it into a flat out dictatorship.
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 the 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.
Seasonal Rot: The final season was a Re Tool of the series that saw the Smurfs lost in time and traveling through different eras trying to get home. The change proved unpopular and led to ratings to plummet, which led to the series' cancellation shortly after.
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.