One Of The Biggest Mysteries In 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' Has Been Solved

Why was the little "Dolly for Sue" on the Island of Misfit Toys?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” aired last week, raising plenty of questions on Twitter. But one issue came up more than others: Why was the little doll on the Island of Misfit Toys anyway?

Here she is:

Most of the toys explain why they’re there: the airplane can’t fly, the bird swims, the cowboy rides an ostrich, the train has square wheels, and the water gun shoots jelly.

And who can forget Charlie-In-The-Box?

But the “Dolly for Sue” seems like a perfectly normal little doll, and never says why she’s there with the rest of the misfits.

Arthur Rankin Jr., one of the show’s producers, said in a 2005 interview with the Television Academy Foundation that she has psychiatric issues, although he appeared to be joking at the time.

Two years later, he told NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” a similar story, saying the doll’s problems stemmed from being abandoned by her owner.

A 2014 graphic novel expands on this. The Christmas Specials Wiki said the dolly was forgotten when Sue moved.

Here’s the scene from the book:

Square Fish

King Moonracer rescues the doll and takes her to the Island of Misfit Toys, promising “a place where you will be loved.”

But is that revisionist history?

Joe Hummel of Pop Culture World wrote last year that the little doll was a last-minute addition that wasn’t given much of a story as a result, but she does have one... and it’s not a psychiatric problem.

“It’s as plain as the nose on your face,” Hummel wrote. “More precisely, it’s the nose missing from her face.”

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