The ninth and final season of The Smurfs saw seventeen smurfs get trapped as Fish out of Temporal Water, desperately trying to make their way back home. But what about the rest of their number...? How did those left behind deal with their sudden absence... particularly that of Papa Smurf, their leader?
ScarlettFox's The Smurfs That Canon Forgot sets out to answer those questions, as well as explore what happens when the displaced smurfs finally return. Home's a welcome sight, to be sure... but things have changed in their absence, and settling back in may prove harder than they realized.
A sequel, Smurf Village Upturned, opens with Gargamel passing away, ushering in a new era for the smurfs... and leading to them making a new friend as well. Odd, though, that Roesia... quite remarkably perceptive, isn't she...?
This fanfic contains examples of:
- An Arm and a Leg: During the intervening years, Gargamel's attempts to exploit Papa's absence led to him losing part of one ear and most of a forearm.
- Armor-Piercing Question:
- When Tailor confronts Scaredy and accuses him of trying to forcibly recruit the smurflings, he responds by asking "Why don't you let them decide? I-instead of deciding for them!"
- Scaredy and Nanny have a mutual exchange of these:Nanny: Are you really going to continue to ignore the way things have been done throughout smurf history?
Scaredy: We smurfs need to be able to make decisions for ourselves, in the here and now, in order to move forward i-into the future. We shouldn't automatically follow the smurfs that came before us - what was best for this is not necessarily best for us and our village in the present.
Nanny: ...And you think you know what's best for the village then, I suppose?
- Both Sides Have a Point: There are no easy answers regarding how those left behind handled the matter of defending themselves. Neither side of the rift handles the conflict with grace; both sides resort to some underhanded tactics in promoting their point of view.
- Deconstruction Fic: Explores the consequences of Smurf Village being so heavily dependent upon Papa Smurf and his magic for protection. His abrupt disappearance along with the other unwitting time travelers leaves the rest struggling to compensate for his absence. While they ultimately manage, it's not without considerable strife, struggle and discord, and has far-reaching effects even after the travelers return.
- Dramatic Irony:
- For all that they claim to be promoting and protecting their usual peaceful, smurfy lifestyle, Farmer, Tailor and Harmony cause no small amount of strife, and also resort to trashing Scaredy's home and terrorizing him to discourage him from 'replacing' Papa.
- When he finally encounters the smurfs in the "present" part of the story, Gargamel is so intent on getting away from them without further incident that he winds up walking off a cliff.
- Have We Met Yet?: Downplayed; Cupid met the displaced smurfs so long ago in the past that he needs to be reminded of their previous encounter.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The incident that cost Gargamel his ear came about due to a machine he'd constructed to help in his usual schemes.
- How We Got Here: After the first few chapters establish the situation in Smurf Village, the story jumps ahead to when the displaced smurfs finally return. From this point on, the story alternates between scenes set in the present and flashing back to reveal in bits and pieces some of what happened in the interim.
- Locked Out of the Loop: A lot of things happened over the intervening years. Things that those left behind aren't too keen to share with their once-absent friends.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: While sharing stories about all of the absent smurfs during their first Christmas without them, Brainy is brought up as a complete afterthought.
- Neutrality Backlash: Flighty finds himself caught between wanting to support Scaredy and those pushing for stronger defenses for the village and disagreeing with some of their methods. His attempts to stay in the middle only lead to him facing increasing pressure to commit one way or another.You can't smurf in the middle, Flighty, that's what we're saying. You either choose to help us protect the village or you don't. And if you're not doing anything to help, you might as well not be supporting us at all.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Scaredy's efforts to protect the village ultimately work, though not without consequences or cost... with part of said cost being that he finds himself being blamed for everything that goes wrong, becoming The Scapegoat for those smurfs who don't much like the thought of breaking with tradition.
- Reality Ensues:
- Since Papa solves the vast majority of the problems facing the village with his knowledge, sorcery and other skills, the smurfs who were left behind struggle to compensate for his absence. Particularly when it comes to the matters of magic — none of them have that level of experience with it, cutting off the ability to solve issues through spellcasting.
- Without the ability to defend themselves non-lethally through clever use of magic, they have to find alternate solutions, such as building mechanical defenses. Not only do these break from tradition, there's the danger of them malfunctioning, misfiring, or otherwise not working as intended - their resident Gadgeteer Genius was among those who disappeared, after all.
- Papa's absence is not the only one that's keenly felt. Several of the other time-traveling smurfs played major roles in the village, such as Handy handling all the repairs and Greedy being the Team Chef. With them gone, the remaining smurfs are forced to tackle those tasks themselves.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Farmer, Tailor and Harmony each confront and call out Scaredy on the measures he takes to protect the village, then team up to break into his home and terrorize him.
- Status Quo Is God:
- Played With: When the displaced smurfs finally return, they are able to slip back into their familiar places... for the most part. But many of the underlying dynamics of the village have changed, and while the bulk of the smurfs just want everything to go completely back to normal, they find that to be much easier said than done.
- Deconstructed with Farmer and his faction, who oppose the idea of changing anything to compensate for Papa's absence... and ironically contribute to the destabilization of the village.
- Think of the Children!: Tailor is furious when he sees Scaredy talking to Nat and Slouchy, angrily berating him for daring to drag the smurflings into his plans.
- Trapped in the Past: How the seventeen displaced smurfs effectively began their journey.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Scaredy's desire to ensure the safety of the village in Papa's absence leads to several measures that break from tradition, forming several rifts in the village.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Several of the smurfs that were left behind angrily blame Father Time, demanding to know why he isn't able to bring their missing members back safely.
- Dabbler is outraged when rising tensions in the village lead to Harmony and Tuffy coming to blows, lecturing both about adding to the pressure already falling upon his shoulders.
- Both Papa and Sassette have this reaction after learning about what happened to Gargamel in their absence. Sassette specifically demands to know whether Nat and Slouchy had anything to do with the incident.
- One Flashback offers a glimpse of Dabbler berating Scaredy after some of his defenses injure Scruple.
- What Year Is This?: When the travelers finally make it back, Papa notices that the season has shifted, and asks how much time has passed. All of them are shocked by the answer.
- A Wizard Did It: Provides a literal example: the displaced smurfs finally succeed in making it back home with the guidance of a wizard they met in the penultimate place they were teleported, who helped them make the necessary adjustments to transport themselves home.
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: When it's all said and done, it takes about seven months for the time-travelers to make their way back home. ...On their end, anyway. For those left behind, six years passed.
Smurf Village Upturned also contains instances of:
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Discussed and Deconstructed. While Baby Smurf is regarded as a potentially natural leader, he's also still far too young to assume the role, on top of hardly understanding the situation in the first place.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: Played With. By the time he passes on, Gargamel hasn't served as an active threat for years, but news of his passing is still met with relief... save for Sassette, who is racked with grief.
- Blessed with Suck: Roesia's gift of Insight turns out to be more of a burden for its bearers instead.
- Chekhov's Gun: Papa's 'counteraction' potions, as he tries to develop potions which can counter part of a spell rather than canceling the whole thing out.
- Disappears into Light: The death of Papa Smurf reveals that this is how smurfs leave the mortal coil.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Baby begins having bad dreams about a high-stakes game of hide-and-seek, filled with images of glasses and mirrors.
- Dramatic Irony:
- Roesia's gift of Insight grants Brainy the ability to see the character and raw potential of all of his fellow smurfs... but not his own. The one thing he wants to see more than anything else. Vanity, meanwhile, is able to see Brainy just fine, along with his own character, but acts far more interested in admiring himself.
- Brainy and Vanity serve as these to each other after Roesia enchants their glasses/mirror with the blessing of Insight. Brainy is able to use his gift on all of the other smurfs but himself, and is driven to distraction by this. Vanity uses his mirror to focus entirely upon himself, but does so in order to avoid prying too deeply into others.
- This contrast continues in Part Two, as they cope with the tragedy and their guilt over what happened very differently. Vanity blames himself while Brainy insists that their actions didn't actually make any difference in the long run.
- Go into the Light: At one point, Brainy believes that he's on the verge of doing so. In reality, the light is actually from Papa dying right in front of him; he just can't see what's happening due to his glasses being smashed.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Roesia's plan is ultimately thwarted by one, as Papa Smurf disrupts the extraction ceremony.
- Hidden Depths: Roesia's blessing of Insight allows Brainy and Vanity to see into the souls of their fellow smurfs, making them privy to these. Vanity also gains insight into his own soul, and seems to become completely absorbed in himself as a result... But this is also spurred by his desire to respect the privacy of others.
- His Story Repeats Itself: Dreamy is decidedly unnerved upon noticing that all of the smurfs that suddenly went missing were among those who were lost in time, leaving him to wonder whether that tragedy — or something like it — is about to play out again.
- I'm Not Doing That Again: Upon realizing that they're once more facing a crisis on par with the displacement, Dreamy immediately announces that he'd sooner leave the village entirely than stick around and face another schism triggered by losing Papa.
- Lonely Funeral: Downplayed; Gargamel's funeral is sparsely attended, but some familiar faces still show up, along with some professional mourners hired to pay their respects.
- Loss of Identity: Brainy muses aloud at one point that Grandpa's memory problems are, in a sense, a form of this, in a low-key Breaking Speech to the old smurf. Both he and Vanity also teeter on the verge of this due to Roelia's 'blessing' of Insight.
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: While Insight grants the ability to see souls rather than read minds, Brainy and Vanity both struggle with the effects in this fashion. Brainy flips between seeing his gift as horribly invasive and wanting to be able to see even more and process the information better, while Vanity gets increasingly absorbed in admiring himself in order to avoid invading the privacy of others.
- More Expendable Than You: In the wake of a Heroic Sacrifice, Grandpa suffers from severe Survivor Guilt, believing that they should have been the one to sacrifice themselves instead.
- My Skull Runneth Over: While Brainy can See into others with Insight, he cannot retain that information for very long, and looking at anyone for an extended period of time proves painful. All the more so when dealing with the older smurfs.
- Rage Against the Reflection: Vanity goes on a mirror-smashing spree out of guilt and grief in the wake of Papa's self-sacrifice, blaming himself for what happened.
- 13 Is Unlucky: On a meta level, Chapter 13 marks the opening of Part Two, 'A Village Overturned', and the moment where the tale takes a tragic turn with the Heroic Sacrifice of Papa.