Papa Elf is first seen in the beginning when baby Buddy arrives at the North Pole after crawling into Santa Claus's sack. Since he had never settled down and had children, Papa Elf adopts him. Buddy grows up a elf and he is a adult when Papa Elf finally confesses to him that he is a human. His mother Susan Wells, gave him up for adoption. She died sometime afterwards.
Buddy's father, Walter Hobbs, didn't know that he was born. Papa Elf explains that Walter is on the naughty list. He is seen in the end of the film wanting to hold Buddy's baby daughter, Susie, but Buddy sits on him.
- For reasons unknown, Papa Elf is absent from Elf's 2014 animated adaption Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas, instead Santa acts as narrator and it is said that Buddy was raised by the elves.