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Buddy the Elf’s No-Fail Guide to Personal and Professional Success

Buddy the Elf, played by Will Ferrell in the Christmastime favorite Elf, isn’t the kind of character you easily forget. In fact, I dare you to watch the film and NOT smirk at this 6-foot-3 elf’s antics!

Buddy is more than just a character, though — he’s a pop icon that’ll likely appeal to generations to come. Be more like him in your daily life, and you could end up much better off than you already are! You’ll go far if you apply his attitude to your daily routine at work, at home, or when interacting with new friends.

Buddy’s Tip #1: Enthusiasm is invaluable…and contagious.

Gimbel’s Manager: Why are you smiling like that?
Buddy: I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite!

Tip #1

Let’s see that grin!

Whether he’s smiling, singing, or skipping, Buddy isn’t shy about spreading cheer to anyone who will listen. His upbeat attitude is overwhelming to people who aren’t expecting it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Smile when you see a co-worker in the hallway. Don’t be afraid to sing a peppy song if the room could use some mood-lightening. And for goodness sake — be friendly even if you’re having a bad day. People will notice your rays of sunshine and (hopefully) get inspired to shine as well!

Buddy’s Tip #2: Never take no for an answer (in a respectful way).

Buddy: I’m singing/I’m in a store/and I’m siiiiiingiiiiing!/I’m in a store/and I’m siiiiiingiiiiing!
Gimbel’s Manager: HEY! There’s no singin’ in the North Pole!
B: Yes there is!
Gimbel’s Manager: No there’s not!
B: We sing all the time!
Gimbel’s Manager: No you don’t!
B: Especially when we build toys!

Tip #2

No? What does that mean?

Do you think Buddy’s infectious goodwill is swayed by the word “no”? You guessed it. He is so eager to please that he doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Don’t accept the first response that comes your way! You’d be surprised how much moods can change with a bit of cheery persuasion. Refuse to take NO for an answer in business, too. Do you have any idea how many innovators and celebrities failed their first time around? They wouldn’t be around if they’d accepted rejection! Like them, Buddy knows that persistence is a primary ingredient in the recipe for success. There’s a time and a place for everything, however, so always use discretion and be respectful to others if you follow this tip.

Buddy’s Tip #3: Go above and beyond your call of duty.

Gimbel’s Manager: Hey guys, you seen the place? Pretty good, they must have brought in a professional. I dunno why, but someone’s gunning for my job. But look, let’s stick together on this. If you get wind of anything, call me on my radio. Channel three, code word is “Santa’s got a brand new bag”.

Tip #3

Buddy created a winter wonderland overnight. What can YOU do?

During Buddy’s short employment at Gimbel’s, he managed to transform the entire “North Pole” section of the store into a mind-bogglingly gorgeous winter wonderland. He did such an outstanding job that his boss became convinced that corporate brought in a professional decorator! He wasn’t required to decorate the department so thoroughly, but he did it because he wanted to spiff up the place for Santa’s arrival the next day. Go the extra mile for your task at hand and people will notice.

Buddy’s Tip #4: Appreciate the little things.

Buddy: Good news! I saw a dog today!

Tip #4

Scratch that itch for a minute. You deserve it.

This one’s simple because we all lose sight of our goals from time to time. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the daily grind that we forget to relish the tiny bits of happiness that lie directly in front of us. Take a deep breath, look around you, and find those small things that make you smile! If that means taking 5 minutes to play in the snow or to giggle at pictures of cats in sweaters, then so be it. Clear your head periodically and your brain will be able to function better afterwards. What’s the point of life if you never enjoy what you’re doing each day?

Buddy’s Tip #5: CARE.

Buddy: Deb, you have such a pretty face, you should be on a Christmas card!
Deb: Oh, you just made my day!

Tip #5

Care about your loved ones, your job, and your life!

Buddy’s enthusiasm carries over to every new friend he makes and he loves to make them feel good about life. He’s even bold enough to tell people when they’re being a “cotton-headed ninny muggins.” He truly cares about everyone and it shows! Even if you’re not on-par with his always-gleeful outlook on humanity, you can still take a minute to care about the ones you love (or like) every day. Deliver a compliment to your officemate if he deserves it. Look out for your loved ones’ well-being. This applies on a general level as well. For example, don’t forget to care about your work; the moment you stop caring about quality and dedication is the moment you’re destined to fail!

Are you launching your own business? Do you want to break the ice with acquaintances? Need to find a way to get along better with co-workers? No problem. Just remember that Buddy the Elf has your back! If you’ve never seen the film, then you should check it out. I guarantee you’ll get a few smiles out of it.

Buddy gets excited for Santa's arrival.

See how eager Buddy is to help you? Don’t let him down!

How else can Buddy the Elf’s attitude bring you success? What’s your favorite Elf quote?

Image credit to Austin Moody, theleahsaur, and Buddy’s Facebook page. Quotes are from IMDB. Buddy the Elf and Elf are trademarks of New Line Cinema. All rights reserved.


Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. Mike

    I couldn’t agree more, I was the same way with my iPhone. I couldn’t handle AT&T anymore so I switched to Sprint and the Palm Pre and I love it. There are a couple things I miss with the iPhone, and the main one was the abundance of apps. Luckily Palm has been releasing a lot lately though, so that’s very cool.

    • admin

      I’ve heard great things about the Palm Pre, and while I’m not exactly an AT&T fan boy, I’m an even lesser fan of Sprint’s service/network. I’ve been trying to break away from the office to try Motorola’s/Verizon’s new Droid phone, but I haven’t got a chance to yet. Free turn by turn navigation with street view… Kind of hard to beat, but then again, I only live 3 miles away from my office and rarely get out! πŸ™‚

  2. Pearle Dillashaw

    I’m not amazed at all that Steve Jobs and his tyrant of a company have already hit 10 billion applications for the iPhone company and when the new year creeps around the Apple app purchase ratings will likely top the 1 trillion point. Round-about estimates view that stock in AAPL will increase to around $550 a share by then, crazy!

  3. amy

    I love, love, love this movie!!! It’s one that I have to watch at least once every Christmas season πŸ˜€

    You’re right on the money with the need to be positive, even when things around you are crumbling. Buddy has no shortage of happiness, and it makes the people around him happier too. Talk about the ultimate gift πŸ˜‰

    My favorite post to date I think, Jill. Great job!!!!

    • Jill Tooley

      It’s one of my favorites, too! I can’t help but laugh at Will Ferrell as a peppy elf! πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for the comment and feedback — the world needs more people like Buddy the Elf, that’s for sure!

  4. Mandy Kilinskis

    Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color? It’s Santa. I KNOW HIM. [/quotes]

    I love Buddy’s consistent stream of positive energy. It’s rare to find someone like that, but you can’t help but feel better when you run into one of those people. People that can make your day better even while having a lousy one themselves are the ones that will go far in the world.

    I love tip number 4. Taking even just five minutes per day to do something fun can transform an entire day. And who wouldn’t have a better day after looking at 109 cats in sweaters?!

    • Jill Tooley

      “I thought maybe we could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands.”

      “First we’ll make snow angels for a two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookiedough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.”

      Sorry, couldn’t resist adding a couple more of my favorites! πŸ™‚

      I also love Buddy’s stream of energy — it’s funny, because I’ve known a couple real people like him but I never fully appreciated them before. Now I do!

      P.S. Cats in sweaters = SQUEE CENTRAL!

  5. Cybernetic SAM

    This was such a cute post! All very valuable lessons! Also don’t forget to be personable such as “Hi! I’m Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color!?”

    • Jill Tooley

      Thanks a lot! There are so many good things about Buddy and this movie, I don’t even know where to begin. πŸ™‚

  6. Amanda

    Great post Jill! I love this movie–and like to watch it each year around Christmas. =) There are some great lessons to learn from Buddy. A positive attitude can make your life happier, and more enjoyable. And I love that it’s contagious! Spread the smiles people!!!

    • Jill Tooley

      Thanks, Amanda! I could watch “Elf” every single day and not tire of it. Buddy is so funny and his attitude is super contagious. πŸ™‚

  7. Rachel

    Awww, Buddy the Elf! All these tips are great. I think #1 is my favorite, because being friendly to others even when you’re having a bad day can make such a big difference — not only to the people around you, but to yourself as well! A good attitude is always important. πŸ™‚

    Also, I don’t think my life was complete until I saw those 109 cats in sweaters. Thank you for that! πŸ˜€

    • Jill Tooley

      Thank you, Rachel! I agree, being in a good mood has a way of rubbing off on others. It’s a challenge to be upbeat when you feel like you hate everything, but that makes it even more satisfying once you push through it with a smile.

      Hahaha, I’m also thrilled that you enjoyed the cat pictures. Nothing like angry-looking kitties crammed into sweaters to make your day! πŸ˜‰

  8. Alex Brodsky

    Don’t forget, he also teaches us to give credit where credit is due:

    “You did it! World’s Best cup of Coffee! Way to go!”

    • Jill Tooley

      How right you are, Alex! That’s an excellent #6 tip from Buddy the Elf (of course I love the quote, too)! πŸ™‚

  9. Jenna Markowski

    I love this post and this movie! This world would be a much more cheerful place if everyone would take a few lessons from Buddy the Elf!

    Also — “First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookiedough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle. ” — anyone looking to take me on a first-date, take heed. πŸ™‚

    • Amanda

      I’m with ya Jenna–that sounds like an awesome date for wintertime! =)

    • Jill Tooley

      Very true! Thank you! πŸ™‚ And that does sound like a great first date…minus the ice-skating, though. I’d probably break my neck!

  10. Joseph Giorgi

    Haha. That exchange between Buddy and Gimble’s Manager is hilarious! I forgot that there were so many funny moments in that film.

    “Going above and beyond the call of duty” is my favorite piece of advice here. It’s a MUST when it comes to the workplace!

    Awesome post, Jill. πŸ™‚

    • Jill Tooley

      Thanks, Joe! You should re-watch the film this Christmas for sure…I think you’ll be surprised at how many hilarious moments there are! I know I forgot some of them until I recently watched it again.

      It doesn’t surprise me that tip #3 hit close to home with you. You and Buddy are alike in that sense! πŸ™‚

  11. Jen

    “You did it! Congratulations! World’s best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody! It’s great to be here.”


    Great post Jill! If everyone was like Buddy for just a smidgen of the day, the world would be a better place!

    • Jill Tooley

      I agree, Jen! Let’s start being more like him by snarfing down the CANDY!!! πŸ˜€

  12. BBritz

    Great Post Jill, I absolutely ADORE Buddy! And what a coinceidence, I just watched this movie last night.

    My favorite part of the movie even though it grosses me out and gives me a headache is when he tops his spaghetti off with all that Sugar… Talk about a SUGAR HIGH. WOOOO!!

    • Jill Tooley

      Thanks, Ben! I adore him as well (and I just watched the movie again last week). πŸ™‚

      That’s an excellent scene, but it does make my stomach churn a bit. I love it when he makes breakfast for his stepmom — consisting of spaghetti with maple syrup on it — and she has to pretend she likes it. Haha!

  13. Eric

    Well, as a comedian, you usually try to ground yourself in something honest with some simple needs to create the comedy. Buddy the Elf works so well as a character because of his unbridled frentic energy and his youthful, optimistic naivete. He’s too big to physically be an elf, and too old to be a child, but he’s still got the spirit of one. If only folks could remember that Christmas spirit year-round…the world would be a much better place.

    Great post, Jill. Was nice to read through the dialogue from some of those scenes and have a good laugh. Great film!

    • Jill Tooley

      Well said, Eric! Buddy’s completely unique, but yet we can all relate to him somehow. He appeals to that childlike sense in all of us…you know, the one that seems to emerge most around the holidays. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your comment. Glad I could give you a few laughs!

  14. Bret Bonnet

    Sing Buddy… SING!

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