The Smurfs (French: Les Schtroumpfs) (Dutch: De Smurfen) is a Belgian comic franchise centered on a fictional colony of small blue humanoids who live inmushroom-shaped houses in the forest. The Smurfs was first created and introduced as a series of comic characters by the Belgian comics artist Peyo (pen name of Pierre Culliford) in 1958, where they were known as Les Schtroumpfs. There are more than one hundred Smurf characters, and their names are based on adjectives that emphasize their characteristics, such as "Jokey Smurf", who likes to play practical jokes on his fellow smurfs. "Smurfette" was the first female Smurf to be introduced in the series. The Smurfs wear Phrygian caps, which came to represent freedom during the modern era.
The word “Smurf” is the original Dutch translation of the French "Schtroumpf", which, according to Peyo, is a word invented during a meal with fellow cartoonist André Franquin, when he could not remember the word salt.
The Smurfs franchise began as a comic and expanded into advertising, films, TV series, ice capades, video games, theme parks, and dolls.