Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

No, I just can't. It's like he said; I'll never fit in. I guess I'm on my own now.

— Hermey

Hermey the Misfit Elf (now named Hermey the Elf, D.D.S) is one of Santa Claus' elves, and the deuteragonist in the 1964 television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and its 2001 sequel Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. Unlike the other elves, he does not enjoy making toys, instead pursuing a career in dentistry; he is teased by them because of this, much like how Rudolph is teased for having a glowing red nose. Further highlighting how different he is from the other elves, he is the only one with a smaller nose, blonde hair and round ears.

Role in the specials[]

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer[]


Hermey's revelation that he would rather be a dentist instead of a toymaker makes him a social outcast among the other elves in Christmas Town and puts him at odds with the Boss Elf. After being threatened with the loss of his job for poor performance and not "fitting in", Hermey quits his job as a toymaker and decides to run away from Santa's workshop. He soon meets the titular reindeer, Rudolph, in a snow drift and they decide to run away together, barely escaping a run-in with the Abominable Snowmonster of the North, whom he believes is attracted to Rudolph's nose.

They soon meet Yukon Cornelius, an eccentric arctic prospector who invites them to join him on his search for silver and gold. They quickly find themselves pursued by the Abominable Snowmonster. An escape from him on an ice floe brings the travelers to the Island of Misfit Toys, a sanctuary for defective and unwanted toys ruled by King Moonracer, a winged lion. After making a deal with him with telling Santa about the misfit toys and finding homes for them when they are able to return to Christmas Town, he grants them quarters for the night.

Hermey holding a teeth puller

That night, as Hermey and Yukon fall fast asleep, Rudolph leaves them behind, fearing that as long as the Abominable Snowmonster sees his nose, no one is safe. After he leaves, though, Hermey and Yukon go on a search to find him. Upon arriving in Christmas Town, Sam the Snowman informs them about his plight against the Abominable Snowmonster and they rush to his cave to save him and his family. Hermey lures the Abominable Snowmonster out of his cave, where Yukon then knocks him unconscious with a large rock, allowing Hermey time to extract all of his teeth. With him now toothless, Yukon forces him backwards toward a gorge, before tackling him with his sleigh dogs, causing all of them to tumble in the gorge, to Hermey and Rudolph's horror. When there is no sign of them, Hermey and Rudolph return to Christmas Town with heavy hearts at losing Yukon.

When the misfits return home, the other citizens of Christmas Town, including Santa Claus himself, realize how harsh they had been to them. Rudolph and Hermey are welcomed back to Christmas Town, and Hermey finally gets permission from the Boss Elf to open a dentist's office at the North Pole the week following Christmas, with having him scheduled for an immediate appointment after noticing something bad with his teeth.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys[]


Hermey in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys

Hermey oddly did not reappear nor was ever mentioned in the official Rankin/Bass sequels Rudolph's Shiny New Year or Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, but he did return for the 2001 computer-animated feature Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. In that, which seems to take place the year after the events of the first special, he has already set up shop in what he calls "the Toothmobile". Apparently, he has also attended a dental school owned by the Tooth Fairy, whom he is revealed to have a crush on.

Hermey remains a close friend and confidant to Rudolph, whom he invites to travel with him in the Toothmobile (which is capable of turning into a boat) to the Island of Misfit Toys, where he is scheduled to give King Moonracer a root canal. On their way home, Rudolph and Hermey are caught in a terrible snowstorm, and the Toothmobile is destroyed. They seek shelter at the nearby palace of Queen Camilla, a flamboyant and stylish hippo. Rudolph is offered a nose job, but Hermey advises him not to go through with it. Also, Hermey tells Queen Camilla that he would like a date with the Tooth Fairy.

When Rudolph and Hermey return to Christmas Town, they learn that someone has stolen all the toys from Santa's warehouse. Hermey helps everyone search it for clues. There, he runs into the Boss Elf, who is angry at Hermey after being left "one elf short" at Santa's workshop (apparently forgetting that he allowed Hermey to open up a dentist's office at the end of the first special). Hermey smartly retorts that the Foreman had better be nice to him, since he is the only dentist in Christmas Town and the Foreman may need his help one day.

Later, Hermey helps Rudolph, Clarice, and Yukon try to capture the Toy Taker, who has been stealing toys not only from Santa, but from places all over the world, in a blimp. Rudolph and friends disguise themselves as toys and wait at the Island of Misfit Toys with hopes of being "stolen", so they can confront the Toy Taker in the blimp, however, Hermey arrives dressed up as a tooth instead of a toy (a "misfit molar", as he suggests). It is Hermey that steers (and nearly crashes) the blimp while Rudolph, Clarice, and Yukon chase the Toy Taker. Hermey proceeds to accompany his friends to the peppermint mine, where they finally succeed in capturing the Toy Taker. At the end of the movie, the Tooth Fairy arrives to take Hermey on a date.

Appearances and mentions in other Christmas specials[]

Hermey made a cameo appearance in the newspaper comic strip FoxTrot, during a 1996 storyline where Paige dreams of visiting the Land of Animated TV Christmas Specials. He appeared again in a later FoxTrot strip where Peter is watching a TV special based on a concept suggested by Jason, titled Rudolph's Lord of the Rings Christmas.

In Billy & Mandy Save Christmas, a flashback shows the vampiric Santa feasting on an unnamed "elf that wanted to be a dentist".

Hermey appeared in the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Christmas episode "A Very Sunny Christmas". He appears in a stop-motion dream sequence where he attempts to get Frank Reynolds in the holiday spirit.

In Disney's Prep & Landing, Magee has a mug from Hermey's dental practice, being labeled "Dr. H Elf Dentistry".

In The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, during his song "I Don't Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here)", Bzermikitokolok mentions that "one [of Santa's elves] sought to be a dentist, now he's sleeping with the fish."


  • Over the years, Hermey's name has often been mistakenly called "Herbie" by fans and sometimes even on merchandise.
  • Hermey's lack of pointed ears has led some fans to have suggested he might actually be human, explaining why he doesn't feel comfortable in his elf duties.
  • In Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, one of Rankin/Bass's official Rudolph sequels of which Hermey is not a part, Rudolph sings their duet "We're a Couple of Misfits", but with Frosty in place of Hermey.
  • Larry the Cable Guy released a short parody sequel called “Rudolph Revisited”; in it, Hermey is shown to have abandoned dentistry for cosmetic surgery, and is now dating a female elf with comically huge breast implants, who was his first patient.


External links[]