A List of Santa's Reindeer Names and Their Personalities

A List of Santa's Reindeer Names and Their Personalitiestitle

Santa and his reindeer.


There are Santa’s reindeer, and then there are Santa’s reindeer. What are they like?Are they mischievous? Are they funny?

Clement C. Moore used secretive means to reveal the names of eight reindeer in his poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas." But once the world found out, people began to make songs about them, and Santa started using their names every time he took off in the sled.

How Many Reindeer Does Santa Have?

Traditionally, there are eight reindeer (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen). Rudolph is the ninth addition (made famous by the song about his red nose). And then there's Olive, the other reindeer.

What are these reindeer like and what do they do during their time off? Find out more about their histories and personalities below.

Are Santa's Reindeer Female or Male?

Santa's reindeer are typically portrayed as male in pop culture (Rudolph is referred to as a "him" in the song), but according to two professors at the University of Edinburgh, Santa's reindeer are actually all female because male reindeer shed their antlers during the winter, while female reindeer retain their antlers, and Santa's reindeers are always depicted with antlers. Male reindeer also lose nourishment and vitality during the winter months, so only the females are strong and healthy enough to pull a sleigh full of toys and a 260 lb. man.


Quick Look at All the Reindeer

Personality trait
He loves to go fast!
Loves people
All kinds of dance
A bit vain, though affectionate
Slightly tricky
Handsome and easy-going
Good with kids
Bringing people together
Fast as a bolt!
Can electrify others
A little down on himself
Nose glows
Admits when she's wrong
Good at hide-and-go-seek


He's fast!


Dasher: The Speed Demon

Who hasn't heard of Dasher?

He’s one of the fastest reindeer in Santa’s herd. He’s always ready to dash out the door. For that reason, he is amazing at track and field during the off-season.

After his yearly tenure at the North Pole, he might find himself at a high school track and field meet, trying to run the 800-yard dash. You can bet he’s usually the first to finish.

“Dasher” originally came from a German name, Dascher, meaning "purse-maker." Whoa! He can sew! One has to wonder if he is the Father of the Modern Hand Bag.

Are You Like Dasher?

  • loves to be social
  • good at sports; prefers track and field
  • doesn't mind the cold
  • aware of fashion
  • loves to party
  • happy
  • has a big heart


Dance with a reindeer?

Dancer loves all kinds of dancing, from salsa to ballroom!
Dancer loves all kinds of dancing, from salsa to ballroom!

Dancer: The Salsa Phenomenon

Dancer is a reindeer with a unique personality. He’s completely extroverted. When he’s not helping Santa, he’s having dance parties.

His favorite type of music is Latin due to the strong rhythm. He would be happy to dance with Enrique Iglesias.

Since dancing is his passion, he has learned the tango, salsa, meringue, contra-dancing, and square-dancing. 

Are You Like Dancer?

  • has good hand-eye-foot coordination
  • great at dance moves
  • loves wearing colorful clothes
  • popular among the elves
  • loves eating popcorn
  • loves a celebration
  • loves to go to the movies with friends



Prance around and primp!

Prancer's appearance is very important to him.

Prancer: The Fairest of Them All

Prancer loves the other reindeer and would do anything for them.

But he also loves to carry a mirror to gaze at himself on the sleigh every now and then. He has to look his best all the time because he never knows quite who he’s going to meet.

Mrs. Claus made him a special reindeer-harness that is red and green with extra attachments for his mirror, comb, and brush.

He often is found in the elves’ factory prancing around gracefully with all the other reindeer, elves, and helpers cheering him on.

Are You Like Prancer?

  • always is sure to look great
  • loves his accessories
  • great at baking (especially mint-flavored cookies)
  • absolutely loyal
  • has high energy
  • totally thinks out loud
  • enthusiastic
  • favorite song: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town



Magic at work!

Vixen lives for magic tricks, loves being a comedian, and thrives on being entertaining.
Vixen lives for magic tricks, loves being a comedian, and thrives on being entertaining.

Vixen: The Most Enchanting Reindeer

Vixen is the comedic reindeer known for lots of magic tricks. The other reindeer can get slightly annoyed with his ability to make things disappear and reappear.

He’s great at tricking the other reindeer out of their candy canes. He also has a weakness for yummy Santa-shaped chocolates.

Santa isn't bothered by Vixen’s tricks because they really come in handy on Christmas Eve. That bag of toys is quite large, and that chimney is quite small . . .

Are You Like Vixen?

  • very smart
  • loves to be the center of attention
  • cool, calm, and collected
  • everyone likes to confide in him
  • gifted at magic tricks
  • loves to help others, especially Santa
  • often runs late



What's that darting across the sky?

Comet is a great role model: calm, kind, collected, and affectionate.
Comet is a great role model: calm, kind, collected, and affectionate.

Comet: An All-Around Wonderful Reindeer

Comet is out of this world—as his name implies. He’s quite handsome and is always smiling. He’s easy-going and loves to play ball with all the young fawns.

All the children of the world seem to look up to him. Santa, of course, loves this about Comet.

In the days before Christmas, Comet's job is to head out with Santa to check his list and see how children all around the world are doing. When they see Comet, they flock to pet him because he’s quite adorable and so laid-back.

He just loves the attention the children give him. Plus, he inspires little children to be on their best behavior.

Are You Like Comet?

  • loves to make people laugh
  • incredibly smart
  • laid back
  • likes flexibility
  • once he makes up his mind to do something, he'll get it done
  • always willing to lend a helping hand
  • loves honesty and playing fair



Love . . .

Cupid enjoys making sure that everyone feels heard and loved!
Cupid enjoys making sure that everyone feels heard and loved!

Cupid: Loves Sharing Love

Cupid is an affectionate reindeer. She has Christmas reins decorated with red and green little heart-shaped bells. Her motto is “Spread the Love.”

She often carries mistletoe and mysteriously places them all around peoples’ doorways at Christmastime. That way, people don’t forget to hug and kiss during the season.

She’s always singing, too. The other reindeer roll their eyes when she begins singing “Joy to the World” for the thousandth time.

She also makes appearances on Valentine’s Day, showering people with red hearts.

Are You Like Cupid?

  • favorite colors are red and green
  • loves jazzy Christmas music
  • really good at finding mistletoe
  • really good with bows and arrows
  • cannot stand it when a friend is sad and will do anything to help
  • loves helping Santa eat his cookies and milk
  • has a sweet tooth, but also likes a good, crunchy carrot



A thunderous presence

Donner's sure to be the next singing sensation!

Donner: Always a Party

Donner’s name comes from “thunder” in German. This is for good reason. He’s always noticed when entering a room because he’s got a deep booming baritone voice.

He loves to sing those low notes. He has three favorite songs. His joyous renditions of “Santa Baby” makes all the reindeerettes swoon. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” always receive rowdy applause from his fellow reindeer.

He loves hanging out with Blitzen, too. Together, they can really belt out some dynamic duets and would perform great in concert together.

Are You Like Donner?

  • loves to take charge
  • loves to sing and loves jazz music
  • very creative
  • very close to a couple of reindeer friends, like Blitzen
  • loves a good debate
  • hums Christmas songs a lot, even while flying
  • prefers dark chocolate




Blitzen has a truly electrifying presence.
Blitzen has a truly electrifying presence.

Blitzen: Fast as Lightening

Blitzen’s name comes from the German word for “lightning." He’s fast, playful, and like a bolt when it comes to helping Santa deliver his Christmas goodies.

When Santa yells “faster!", Blitzen can give the other reindeer an electric charge to make them zap through the sky, fast as lightning. He’s also best reindeer-buds with Donner, and they often hum duets to themselves while flying high in the skies.

Are You Like Blitzen?

  • gets everything done extremely fast
  • he's zippy everywhere he goes
  • has a tenor voice that complements Donner's baritone
  • when not working, he loves a good Christmas movie
  • always on time
  • almost always finishes projects
  • loves spontaneity



With that nose so bright . . .

Rudolph sure has an advantage during hide-and-seek.
Rudolph sure has an advantage during hide-and-seek.

Rudolph: Santa's Guiding Light

Rudolph is Santa’s famous ninth reindeer. He joined the herd a few years after the original eight. At first, he was terribly self-conscious.

He suffered from low self-esteem because he had an odd red nose. It wasn’t until Santa recognized his rosy bulb as a beacon of light that he was given the role as leader of the herd.

Because his nose glowed, he was able to lead Santa safely around the world, on the snowiest of nights...and other reindeer agreed that Rudolph just had to stay with the herd.

Now, when Rudolph isn’t helping on the sleigh ride, he loves to play hide-and-seek with the other reindeer. He has an advantage, though. He can light up dark places easily and find the other reindeer every time.

Are You Like Rudolph?

  • humble
  • a little shy
  • is a leader when he needs to be
  • loves reindeer games
  • very playful around friends he knows well
  • loves helping others
  • loves seeing new places
  • steady worker, helping the elves to get all their Christmas tasks done



She's sweet!

That's Olive, the other reindeer.

Olive: Not Just Another Reindeer

Olive is the tenth reindeer to join Santa’s herd. You may recall the line from Rudolph’s song, “…all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names…”

Many people heard, “Olive, the other reindeer…” Well, it’s true. Olive is the other reindeer.

She did, in fact, laugh at Rudolph with his big red nose, but it was only because she thought Rudolph was an amazing addition to Santa’s team, and she really wanted to be a part of it.

So, she started out by mocking Rudolph, but then later realized that wasn’t nice. Besides, everyone knows that when you tease your friends, it's because you really like them.

She shyly apologized to Rudolph, and they have been best friends ever since. She loves to play hide-and-seek, too, and is especially good at finding the Abominable Snowman.

Are You Like Olive?

  • insightful and intelligent
  • only a little shy, but very outgoing once she gets to know you
  • also loves reindeer games
  • really good at making good friends
  • great sense of humor
  • prefers to work behind the scenes
  • always has a lot of projects going on
  • lives in a gingerbread house