Return to Recap/The Smurfs
The first episode to introduce Father Time.
In this story, Handy, Brainy, Clumsy, and Smurfette were playing smurfball when their ball ends up bouncing down into a ravine. When they go down into the ravine to find their ball, they also find an abandoned workshop with an hourglass sitting on the table and a warning: Let no one change the Sands of Time. Handy, however, turns the hourglass before finding this out, and as he does, the sands in the glass turn black. The four Smurfs leave the workshop to find that time is running backwards: the fish swim backwards, the deer leap backwards, even the Smurfs are doing their everyday things and speaking backwards. Realizing their error in not heeding the warning about the Sands of Time, they return to the workshop, where Handy turns the hourglass again, causing the sands to return to their normal color and thus restoring time to normal...or is it? As they prepare to leave the workshop, another ball comes rolling into it and they hear voices of others coming in. The four Smurfs head for the entrance, only to find themselves face to face with...themselves. They return inside the workshop and realize that when they caused the Sands of Time to resume its normal course, they accidentally caused events to repeat themselves, and in the process created duplicates of themselves who were at this moment going to Papa Smurf to tell him that they have met duplicates of themselves.
Unsure of how to fix this mess, Handy, Brainy, and Clumsy try shaking the hourglass, but in doing so, they end up breaking the hourglass. To see what effect this has caused, the four Smurfs leave the workshop and now see that all time has stopped: everything in the world is frozen except for them. They realize that they now have to create a new hourglass to put the Sands of Time in, and so after Handy builds the new hourglass, the four Smurfs bring it to the workshop, where Smurfette scoops up all the sands and places them inside the new hourglass. Handy turns the hourglass and sees the sands running normally. Thinking that everything is now restored, they start to leave the workshop, only to find that outside time has gone crazy: the sun keeps going up and down, and the weather patterns are constantly changing. An old man with a robe and a scythe, calling himself Father Time, appears and finds out that the Smurfs have messed up the Sands of Time. Mother Nature also shows up to use her magic and Father Time's to straighten out time, so that the four duplicate Smurfs end up vanishing and are replaced by their originals, who are presented to Papa Smurf as being unharmed.
Tropes associated with this episode include:
- Bookends: Poet shows up at the beginning and end of this episode to recite a poem.
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: Handy's second tampering with the Sands of Time causes the duplicate Smurfs to appear.
- Rewind Gag: How time reversing itself is presented as with Handy's first tampering with the Sands of Time.
- Time Crash: The result of the final tampering with the Sands of Time.
- Time Stands Still: The result of the third tampering with the Sands of Time.