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Title Translation of
The Grouchiest Game In Town
FrenchEchec aux Schtroumpfs
GermanDas muffigste Spiel der Stadt
ItalianUna magica partita a scacchi
DutchMopper de winnaar

"The Grouchiest Game In Town" was an episode that appeared in Season 5 of the Smurfs cartoon show.

Plot Summary

In the Smurf Village, Grouchy is playing checkers with Slouchy when the young Smurfling makes what is called the "hippity-hop move", making a quick succession of moves all in a single turn, saying that it's the move that gets them every time. Grouchy is disgusted with the "hippity-hop move" being used on him and walks away from the game hating it. Smurfette says that Grouchy needs to learn how to lose, but Hefty says Grouchy already knows how to lose, so what he needs to learn is how to win.

Soon Hefty, Smurfette, and Sassette are watching Grouchy and several other Smurfs participating in a race of balancing a smurfberry on their nose. Hefty assures the other two Smurfs that Grouchy can't lose this game because he's been training Grouchy how to balance a smurfberry on his nose all morning and now has perfect balance. In comparison, Clumsy quickly loses the smurfberry and ends up squashing it with his foot before the race even starts. As the race starts, Hefty tricks Brainy into being disqualified from the race by catching him off-guard with a bit of flattery, which Brainy responds to. Greedy disqualifies himself when he gives in to the temptation of eating the smurfberry before reaching the finish line. However, just as Grouchy is about to win, Jokey reaches the finish line close ahead of him, revealing that he had his smurfberry glued to his nose. Grouchy responds by just pulling on the ribbon of Jokey's surprise and causing it to blow up in his fellow Smurf's face as he walks off in anger.

Meanwhile, an imp known as the Game Master is entertaining a wizard with a board game where the pieces being used are trolls, witches, wizards, and the like who were frozen and turned into game pieces in a game where the loser must become another game piece. The wizard tries to make the right move, but the Game Master counters that move with one of his own, and that move the wizard loses and ends up as another game piece. Satisfied with being the winner of that game, the Game Master pulls out his compass to see who his next contestant...and his next victim...will be.

Back in the village, Hefty sets up Grouchy in a game of bowling with Clumsy, saying that this is a game that Grouchy can't lose because he has given Grouchy his special bowling ball and he knows that Clumsy is the lousiest bowler. Unfortunately, as Clumsy attempts to roll his ball down the lane, it bounces around here and there before it knocks down the pins at the end of the lane, making Hefty say that Clumsy is also the luckiest player.

At Gargamel's castle, the evil wizard is trying to get some sleep while his cat Azrael is playing around with a ball and ends up waking his master from his sleep when the ball gets stuck in his mouth. Gargamel spits out the ball and chases Azrael away, saying he has no time for games, but at that same moment, the Game Master appears, saying that he has time for one game. Gargamel shows no interest in entertaining the Game Master with a game, but the imp uses his magic to force the wizard into playing his game, and so outside the castle Gargamel attempts to play the Game Master's board game by following the rules. However, a faulty move made by Gargamel causes him to be a permanent game piece in the imp's game.

After Grouchy loses to Clumsy in a game of bowling, Smurfette talks to Papa Smurf about Grouchy's problem of not winning and asks if there's any formula that could help him win. Papa Smurf says that it takes plenty of practice, patience, and a desire to win. Smurfette asks if there's a magic formula that could help, and Papa Smurf says there isn't because that it would simply take the fun out of winning. He tells Smurfette not to worry because people can't lose all the time just as they can't win all the time.

Hefty starts up another race in the hopes of seeing Grouchy come out as the winner, a three-legged Smurf race, and has himself tethered to Grouchy as his three-legged partner. Brainy is tethered to Clumsy while Harmony is tethered to Lazy. But once the race starts, Hefty finds himself going nowhere with Grouchy as he just stands there at the starting line making no effort to help either Hefty or himself win the race. Hefty finally gives up and lets Grouchy walk off, seeing that he wants Grouchy to win more than Grouchy himself wants it.

But then the Game Master shows up and asks the Smurfs if they want to play a game. The Smurflings are eager to entertain, but Hefty and Smurfette aren't so quick to do so, saying that they shouldn't play games with strangers. The Game Master insists on playing, and to force the Smurfs into doing so he turns Sassette and Slouchy into game pieces for his game. While Papa Smurf has a talk with Grouchy about the importance of enjoying a game and being a good sport, the imp has been capturing Smurfs and gaining new game pieces with each one who was unfortunate to lose to him. Papa Smurf then appears to confront the Game Master and realizes that he has to play to save the lives of his little Smurfs.

With a change of the rules, the Game Master engages Papa Smurf, Brainy, and Grouchy as they play to the best of their ability according to the rules. Unfortunately, Brainy makes a move that causes Papa Smurf to become a new game piece, and Brainy's constant delays in making the next move also causes him to become a game piece. With only Grouchy left to play the game, the Game Master feels certain that he will have victory as he tells Grouchy that "wizard takes all". Grouchy realizes that Papa Smurf is a wizard and so makes a succession of moves that surprises the imp as with Papa Smurf he removes all the Game Master's pieces from the board. This frees all the trolls, witches, wizards, and the like from the imp's control and transports them back to the places they were taken from, while the Game Master himself ends up in his bedroom crying his eyes out and being scolded by his parents, telling him that he can't play magic games for a month.

Back in the village, the Smurfs are cheering as Grouchy is hoisted up on the shoulders of his fellow Smurfs, congratulating him for his first-ever victory. Hefty asks Grouchy how it feels to be a winner, and Grouchy mutters that he hates winning while secretly waving a flag to the viewer and smiling.

Background information

  • In the Smurfery section of the comic book version of "Romeo And Smurfette" (which is now republished in "The Return Of Smurfette"), Brainy and another Smurf are seen playing chess using their fellow Smurfs as the pieces on the board.
  • Many foreign DVD releases carry the syndicated Smurfs Adventures repackaging of this episode, as opposed to the rest of the episodes, which were uncut, although this episode has also use the modified intro and credits for foreign markets.

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