Hermey the Misfit Elf

Real Name


First Appearance

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (December 6, 1964)

Original Publisher


Created by

Romeo Muller & Robert L. May


Hermey the Elf preferred studying dentistry to making toys, making him a social outcast among the other elves in Christmastown. Quitting his job as a toymaking elf after being threatened with the loss of his job for poor performance and for not "fitting in," Hermey declared he is running away from Santa's Workshop. He soon met a reindeer who would later become Santa's 9th reindeer(see notes) in a snow drift and the two decided to run away together. They later met Yukon Cornelius, an eccentric arctic prospector who invited the runaways to join him on his search for silver and gold.

The two outcasts and Yukon Cornelius found themselves pursued by the Abominable Snowmonster. An escape from the Snowmonster on an ice floe brought the travellers to the Island of Misfit Toys. The Island was a sanctuary for defective and unwanted toys ruled by King Moonracer, a winged lion.

When the misfits returned home, the other citizens of Christmastown, including Santa Claus himself, realized how harsh they had been to them and welcomed them back to Christmastown with Hermey finally getting permission from his former boss to open a dentist's office at the North Pole the week following Christmas.


  • The character of Rudolph is not in the public domain and, thus, cannot be used without permission. He was created in 1939 by Robert L.May and his first appearance was renewed. However, he has been popularly referred to as "Santa's 9th Reindeer."
  • Like the character, the song, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, is NOT in the public domain so avoid using details which are original to it.
  • The copyright year in Roman numerals for the special was mis-marked as MCLXIV (1164) instead of the correct MCMLXIV (1964). This invalidates the copyright under U.S. law at the time, which required a valid date of copyright be affixed to the production meaning that still images from the special and all of the characters unique to it are, as a result, in the public domain.
  • Although being one of the most famous characters from the special, Hermey never appeared (nor was even mentioned) in any of the Rankin/Bass sequels.
  • Over the years, Hermey the Misfit Elf has often been mistakenly called "Herbie" by fans and sometimes even on merchandise. However, this is a mistake, and Hermey is the elf's official name.
  • Hermey, interestingly enough, doesn't have pointed ears like the other elves. Some fans have suggested he might actually be human, explaining why he doesn't feel comfortable in his elf duties.

See Also

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