Hermie, The Distracted Elf

Every year my kids and I watch the 1964 Christmas TV special, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. This animated movie is a classic and every time I watch it I tear up when they sing the song about the misfit toys. This year, as I watched, I realized that poor Hermie, the elf that wanted to be a dentist, probably had Primarily Inattentive ADHD.

Remember Hermie standing in the toy assembly line staring out into space as the wooden trucks that he is supposed to be painting start to pile up. The head elf screams at him and asks him why he is not doing his job and Hermie tells him that he does not want to make toys. The head elf is incredulous and Hermie admits that he is dreaming of becoming a dentist.

Hermie is laughed at by all the other elves and decides that he is a misfit and he leaves the workshop. He would rather be a misfit than do what he is not interested in doing. It is hard to shake the dreams out of the heads of those of us with Primarily Inattentive ADHD. It is almost impossible to get us to do things that we are not interesting in doing.

Hermie meets Rudolph, who is also running away and they both end up in a place with the malformed toys that Santa does not want. I find it so sweet that Hermie and Rudolph vow to help the misfits as they realize that the misfit toys are somehow soul mates of theirs.

I think that my Primarily Inattentive ADHD has made me a more tolerant person. I think that because my mind works differently than the minds of most other people, I tend to be more tolerant of other’s differences. I wonder if most adults with ADHD-PI are less judgmental and more tolerant.

Hermie eventually saves the day by curing the abominable snowman or his dental problems. He turns out to be a hero in the story, just like Rudolph. What a wonderful victory for Hermie. I always love it when the distracted, inattentive, spacey souls among us decide to do things in their way and win.


  1. Hi there! I have just started the discovery process about my ADHD-PI and ran across your site. Thanks for all the good info! I have always noticed that I seem to identify with and feel comfortable around the misfits of the world. As I find out more about my "condition", it seems like all of my traits just seem to fit and finally make sense. Thanks for your insights!

  2. I have always related to the story of Hermie and his misfit status. I cry when I hear that song too.

    Nice to know that there are others out there who feel the same.


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