|First appearance||May 30, 1948 (first mention)|
October 2, 1950 (official debut)
|Created by||Charles M. Schulz|
|Voiced by||Peter Robbins (1963–1969)|
Chris Inglis (1971)
Chad Webber (1972–1973)
Todd Barbee (1973–1974)
Duncan Watson (1975–1976, 1977)
Dylan Beach (1976)
Arrin Skelley (1977–1980)
Liam Martin (1978)
Michael Mandy (1980–1982)
Grant Wehr (1981)
Brad Kesten (1983–1985)
Michael Catalano (1983)
Brett Johnson (1984–1986)
Chad Allen (1986)
Sean Collins (1986–1989)
Erin Chase (1988–1989)
Jason Riffle (1988)
Kaleb Henley (1990)
Phillip Shafran (1991)
Justin Shenkarow (1992)
Jamie E. Smith (1992)
Jimmy Guardino (1993)
Steven Hartman (1995–1997)
Christopher Ryan Johnson (2000)
Quinn Beswick (2000)
Wesley Singerman (2002–2003)
Adam Taylor Gordon (2003)
Samuel Dunford (2006)
Spencer Robert Scott (2006)
Alex Ferris (2008–2010)
Trenton Rogers (2011)
Dylan O'Brien (2011)
Noah Schnapp (2015)
Aiden Lewandowski (2016)
Gaston Scardovi-Mounier (2018)
|Family||Sally Brown (Younger Sister)|
Silas Brown (Grandfather)
Charlie Brown is the protagonist of the comic strip Peanuts, syndicated in daily and Sunday newspapers in numerous countries all over the world. Depicted as a "lovable loser," Charlie Brown is one of the great American archetypes and a popular and widely recognized cartoon character. Charlie Brown is characterized as a person who frequently suffers, and as a result is usually nervous and lacks self-confidence. He shows both pessimistic and optimistic attitudes: on some days, he is reluctant to go out because his day might just be spoiled, but on others, he hopes for the best and tries as much as he can to accomplish things. He is easily recognised by his trademark zigzag patterned shirt. However, there's only one exception, whenever he's a costumed character, he wears a red baseball cap on top of his head most of the time, rather than just wearing a white one during baseball seasons in comic strips and animation.
The character's creator, Charles M. Schulz, has said of the character that "[He] must be the one who suffers because he is a caricature of the average person. Most of us are much more acquainted with losing than winning." Despite this, Charlie Brown does not always suffer, as he has experienced some happy moments and victories through the years, and he has sometimes uncharacteristically shown self-assertiveness despite his frequent nervousness. Schulz has also said: "I like to have Charlie Brown eventually be the focal point of almost every story."
Charlie Brown's birth date is October 30. In the original Peanuts strips (excluding Li'l Folks), his birth year is suggested to be 1946 according to a strip originally published Nov. 3, 1950. However, a strip published on April 3, 1971 suggests he was born in 1963. Initially Charlie Brown suggests he lives in an apartment with his grandmother occupying the one above his; a few years into the strip, he moves to a house with a back yard.
- 1 History
- 2 Inspiration
- 3 Personality
- 4 Relationship with other Peanuts characters
- 4.1 Interactions with Snoopy
- 4.2 Interactions with Lucy van Pelt
- 4.3 Interactions with Linus van Pelt
- 4.4 Interactions with Schroeder
- 4.5 Interactions with Peppermint Patty
- 4.6 Interactions with Marcie
- 4.7 Interactions with Sally Brown
- 4.8 Interactions with Franklin
- 4.9 Interactions with Frieda
- 4.10 Interactions with Pig-Pen
- 4.11 Interactions with Rerun van Pelt
- 4.12 Interactions with Violet Gray
- 4.13 Interactions with Patty
- 4.14 Interactions with Shermy
- 4.15 Interactions with Peggy Jean
- 5 Voiced by
- 6 Reception
- 7 References
- 8 External links
His name was first used on May 30, 1948, in an early Schulz comic strip called Lil’ Folks in which one boy has buried another in a sandbox and then denies that he has seen the other boy ("Charlie Brown") when asked. He made his official debut in the first Peanuts comic strip, on October 2, 1950. The strip features Charlie Brown walking by, as two other children named Shermy and Patty look at him. Shermy refers to him as "Good Ol' Charlie Brown" as he passes by, but then immediately reveals his hatred toward him once he is gone on the last panel. During the strip's early years, Charlie Brown was much more playful than he is known for, as he often played pranks and jokes on the other characters. On December 21 of the same year, his signature zig-zag T-shirt appeared; formerly, he only wore a plain one. On the March 6, 1951, strip, Charlie Brown first appears to play baseball, as he was warming up before telling Shermy that they can start the game; however, he was the catcher, not yet the pitcher.
Charlie Brown's relationships with other Peanuts characters initially differed significantly from their later states, and their concepts were grown up through this decade until they reached their more established forms. An example is his relationship with Violet Gray, to whom he was introduced on the February 7, 1951, strip. The two constantly remained on fairly good terms; a bit different from their now-known relationship. Charlie Brown often fed on Violet's mud pies. On the August 16, 1951, strip, she called Charlie Brown a "blockhead", being the first time Charlie Brown was referred by that insult. November 14 of that year, Charlie Brown is first unable to kick a football, and Violet is responsible because fear of her hand being kicked by Charlie Brown resulted in her letting go of it.
Charlie Brown is introduced to Schroeder on May 30, 1951. As Schroeder is still a baby, Charlie Brown cannot converse with him. On June 1 of the same year, Charlie Brown stated that he felt like a father to Schroeder; in fact, for quite some time, he sometimes acted like a father to him, trying to teach him words and reading stories to him, and on September 24 of that year, he taught Schroeder how to play the piano, thus allowing Schroeder to become the prodigy he is known by Peanuts readers. Then on that year's October 10, he told Schroeder the story of Beethoven and set the piano player's obsession with the composer. Charlie Brown placed the Beethoven bust on Schroeder's piano on November 26, 1951. Schroeder aged rapidly over time, catching up to Charlie Brown in age, and Charlie Brown became less like a father figure and more like a close friend to Schroeder. Charlie Brown had Schroeder become his catcher for the first time on the April 12, 1952, strip. Around this point, their final relationship has pretty much been established.
On the sixth day of January 1952, Charlie Brown made his appearance on the first Sunday Peanuts strip.
Charlie Brown is first seen interacting with the character Lucy van Pelt on March 3, 1952. He was on better terms with her than later in the strip, as they often made fun of each other out of mere playfulness. The November 16, 1952, strip is the first strip in which Charlie Brown was prevented by Lucy from kicking a football; on this strip she pulls it away because she fears that Charlie Brown will get her new football dirty, and then on the same strip, she holds it too tightly, so Charlie Brown is unable to kick it for a second time.
Charlie Brown first began flying a kite on April 25, 1952, strip.
Charlie Brown is first seen with Linus on the September 19, 1952, strip. Charlie Brown was unable to talk to him because he was introduced as an infant. Similar to Schroeder, Linus caught up to Charlie Brown in age and settled as being slightly younger than him., and on January 18, 1956, Linus befriended Charlie Brown, and eventually he would become Charlie Brown's best friend, and their current relationship was established.
On September 1, 1958, Charlie Brown's father was formally revealed to be a barber (after earlier instances in the strip that linked Charlie Brown to barbers by implication.)
In early 1959, Charlie Brown (and other Peanuts characters) made his first animated appearances after they were sponsored by the Ford Motor Company in commercials for its automobiles, as well as for intros to The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show. The ads were animated by Bill Meléndez for Playhouse Pictures, a cartoon studio that had Ford as a client.
In the 1960s, the Peanuts comic strip entered its Golden Age, and Charlie Brown reached heights higher than ever before, becoming known in numerous countries, with the strip reaching a peak of 355 million readers.
In 1960, the now-popular line of Charlie Brown greeting cards was introduced by Hallmark Cards.
While the Tennessee Ernie Ford Show ended in 1961, the deal between Charles Schulz and the Ford Motor Company lasted another three years. Schulz and animator Bill Meléndez became friends, and when producer Lee Mendelson decided to make a two-minute animated sequence for a TV documentary called A Boy Named Charlie Brown in 1963, he brought on Meléndez for the project.
Before the documentary was completed, Coca-Cola asked Mendelson if he had a Christmas television special. He said "yes." The next day he called Schulz and said they were making a Christmas special featuring Charlie Brown and the Peanuts characters, in which he collaborated with both Schulz and Melendez. Titled A Charlie Brown Christmas, it was first aired on the CBS network on December 9, 1965. The special's primary goal is showing "the true meaning of Christmas". Before its broadcast, the people involved in the special's creation were worried that it might be a project blow, with its unorthodox soundtrack and explicit religious message. It was, however, a huge success, with the number of homes watching the special an estimated 15,490,000, placing it at number two in the ratings, behind Bonanza on NBC.; in other words, almost half of the people who were watching television were watching the special. It also received unanimous critical acclaim, and had a large legacy: according to author Charles Solomon, it established the half-hour animated special as a television tradition, inspiring the creation of numerous others, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and Frosty the Snowman, and served as an inspiration for dozens of young aspiring artists and animators, many of whom went on to work within both the comics and animation industries, among them Eric Goldberg (Pocahontas), Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Up), Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E), Jef Mallett (Frazz), and Patrick McDonnell (Mutts). The special's score made an equally pervasive impact on viewers who would later perform jazz, among them David Benoit and George Winston. The special was honored with both an Emmy and Peabody Award.
The success of A Charlie Brown Christmas is followed by the creation of a second television special starring Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown's All-Stars, which was originally aired on June 8, 1966. Later that year, Charlie Brown made his appearance in a third Peanuts special: the Halloween-themed It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. For the rest of the decade, three television specials starring Charlie Brown (You're in Love, Charlie Brown; He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown; It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown) were created.
The stage adaptation of a concept album based on Charlie Brown and the other Peanuts characters, entitled You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, went into rehearsal in New York City on February 10, 1967. Prior to its opening, the musical had no actual libretto; it was several vignettes with a musical number for each one.On March 7, 1967, the musical premiered off-Broadway at Theatre 80 in the East Village, featuring Gary Burghoff as Charlie Brown.
On December 4, 1969, Charlie Brown starred on the first full-length animated feature based on Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown. The film was a box office success, gaining 6 million dollars in the box office out of its 1 million dollar budget, and was well received by critics.
Charlie Brown and his dog Snoopy reached new heights on May 18, 1969, they became the names of the command module and lunar module, respectively, for Apollo 10 While not included in the official mission logo, Charlie Brown and Snoopy became semi-official mascots for the mission. Charles Schulz drew an original picture of Charlie Brown in a spacesuit; this drawing was hidden aboard the craft to be found by the astronauts once they were in orbit (its current location is on a display at the Kennedy Space Center).
For this decade, the character appeared on twelve Peanuts television specials that were produced as a result of the success of the prior ones. Charlie Brown also appeared on two full-length animations (namely Snoopy, Come Home and Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown, and released respectively on August 9, 1972, and August 24, 1977).
A Broadway production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown opened at the John Golden Theatre on June 1, 1971, and closed on June 27, 1971, after 32 performances and 15 previews, featuring Dean Stolber as Charlie Brown.
Charlie Brown went on to feature in fourteen more television specials, two of which are musicals (one of which is the animated version of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown).
Charlie Brown starred once again on a full-length animation, which was titled Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!), and was released on May 30, 1980.
Six television specials featuring Charlie Brown were produced during this decade.
Within the comic strip, a storyline got Charlie Brown the character Peggy Jean as a girlfriend; this relationship lasted for roughly nine years.
Final comic strip appearance
Charlie Brown made his final comic strip appearance on the final original Peanuts strip, which was published on February 13, 2000—the day after Schultz' death.
The strip began with Charlie Brown answering the phone with someone on the end presumably asking for Snoopy. Charlie Brown responded with "No, I think he's writing." The bottom panel consisted of the final daily strip in its entirety, reprinted in color, and included various Peanuts characters surrounding it. The very last panel consisted simply of Snoopy sitting at his typewriter in thought with a note from Schulz that read as follows:
I have been fortunate to draw Charlie Brown and his friends for almost fifty years. It has been the fulfillment of my childhood ambition.
Unfortunately, I am no longer able to maintain the schedule demanded by a daily comic strip. My family does not wish "Peanuts" to be continued by anyone else, therefore, I am announcing my retirement.
I have been grateful over the years for the loyalty of our editors and the wonderful support and love expressed to me by fans of the comic strip.
Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy... how can I ever forget them...— Charles M. Schulz
Fittingly, Charlie Brown was the only character to appear in both the first strip in 1950 and the last in 2000.
Post-comic strip appearances
After the comic strip ended, Charlie Brown continued to appear in more television specials. On November 20, 2006, the special He's a Bully, Charlie Brown beat a Madonna concert special with its 10 million views, although Peanuts was no longer in its heyday. As of 2016, the latest of Charlie Brown's original television appearances is Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown, which came out on October 1, 2011.
The Peanuts Movie
A 3D computer-animated major motion picture starring Charlie Brown was released on November 6, 2015, in order to introduce Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang to a new generation. It was directed by Steve Martino and written by Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz, and Cornelius Uliano. The director said of the character: "We've all been Charlie Brown at one point in our lives"
The role was taken on by Noah Schnapp.
Here’s where I lean thematically. I want to go through this journey. ... Charlie Brown is that guy who, in the face of repeated failure, picks himself back up and tries again. That's no small task. I have kids who aspire to be something big and great. ... a star football player or on Broadway. I think what Charlie Brown portrays — what I hope to show in this film — is the everyday qualities of perseverance...to pick yourself back up with a positive attitude — that's every bit as heroic ... as having a star on the Walk of Fame or being a star on Broadway. That’s the [story's] core. This is a feature film story that has a strong dramatic drive, and takes its core ideas from the strip.
Charlie Brown's traits and the events he underwent are inspired by those of Schulz, who admitted in interviews that he'd often felt shy and withdrawn in his life. In an interview with Charlie Rose in May 1997, Schulz observed: "I suppose there’s a melancholy feeling in a lot of cartoonists, because cartooning, like all other humor, comes from bad things happening." Furthermore, both Charlie Brown's and Schulz's fathers were barbers and their mothers housewives. Charlie Brown's friends, such as Linus and Shermy, were named after good friends of Schulz, and Peppermint Patty was inspired by Patricia Swanson, one of Schulz's cousins on his mother's side. Schulz devised the character's name when he saw peppermint candies in his house. Even Charlie Brown's unrequited love for the Little Red-Haired Girl was inspired by Schulz's own love for Donna Mae Johnson, an Art Instruction Inc. accountant; When Schulz finally proposed to her in June 1950, shortly after he'd made his first contract with his syndicate, she turned him down and married another man.
Charlie Brown is a meek, gentle, innocent, kind-hearted character with many anxieties, and is depicted as being shy. He is a child possessed with significant determination and hope but often fails due to his insecurities. Charlie Brown is always referred to by his full name (with the exception of Peppermint Patty who calls him 'Chuck,' and Marcie and Eudora who call him 'Charles') and his usual catchphrase is "good grief". Like Schulz, Charlie Brown is the son of a barber. The character is an example of "the great American un-success story" in that he fails in almost everything he does with an almost continuous streak of bad luck; but still keeps trying with large efforts and work, resulting either in more losses or great victories. Some of these victories are hitting a game-winning home run off a pitch by a minor character named Royanne on a strip from 1993, and his victory over Joe Agate (another minor character) in a game of marbles on a strip from 1995. Although Charlie Brown is often unlucky within the strip's storylines, in some ways Charles M. Schulz created through the ever-persevering character "the most shining example of the American success story in the comic strip field." 
Charlie Brown is generally generous: for instance, on one strip where Lucy took all of his caramels when he lets her get one, he easily forgives her and offers her the sack he was carrying the caramels in.
Charlie Brown cares very deeply for his family and friends, even if he was maltreated by them. His care for his sister is shown on a strip from May 26, 1959 (the strip in which his little sister Sally was born), when he exclaims: "A BABY SISTER?! I'M A FATHER! I mean my DAD's a father! I'M a brother! I have a baby sister! I'M a brother!" at her birth, and two strips later threw a celebration over it by handing over chocolate cigars to his friends. When Charlie Brown was maltreated by his companions (most often Lucy, Violet and Patty), he does not usually take out his anger on them, but often retaliates and even manages to turn the tables. An example is a strip from 1951, which features Violet and Patty telling Charlie Brown that they are not going to invite him to their party, with Charlie Brown replying that he does not wish to go their "dumb ol' party" anyway, leading the two girls to invite him.
Charlie Brown is also notable for being a budding cartoonist, creating his own comic strips; he would show these strips to the other characters. Being an admirer of comics, he also owns his own comic book collection; he has a taste for comic books like "Revolutionary War Comics", "Civil War Comics", and "World War I Comics".
Christopher Caldwell has stated that "What makes Charlie Brown such a rich character is that he's not purely a loser. The self-loathing that causes him so much anguish is decidedly not self-effacement. Charlie Brown is optimistic enough to think he can earn a sense of self-worth, and his willingness to do so by exposing himself to humiliations is the dramatic engine that drives the strip. The greatest of Charlie Brown's virtues is his resilience, which is to say his courage. Charlie Brown is ambitious. He manages the baseball team. He's the pitcher, not a scrub. He may be a loser, but he's, strangely, a leader at the same time. This makes his mood swings truly bipolar in their magnificence: he vacillates not between kinda happy and kinda unhappy, but between being a "hero" and being a "goat"."
The football-kicking theme
Another characteristic of the character, is his never getting a chance to kick a football, with one of the themes that recurred in the strip involving Charlie Brown attempting to kick a football before the ever-sadistic Lucy pulls it away to make him feel miserable and powerless. The two often talk, as Charlie Brown, being smart and knowing what she will do, often initially rejects the offer, but then appears to ultimately succumb to desperation and tries to kick the football. The humor of the strips with this theme, however, are not primarily slapstick but rely on the circumstances surrounding the event. Furthermore, no two of such strips have the same formula, as Schulz varied them significantly. Since 1952, this theme was featured once every year, usually during the autumn season (the years 1984, 1985 and 1990 did not feature this gag.) The first iteration of this theme appeared on November 14, 1951. In this instance, the ball holder was Violet who didn't pull the ball away but let go out of fear of having her hands kicked with the familiar result of Charlie Brown missing the kick and falling flat on his back. This has sometimes been parodied in pop culture, especially in satires, frequently involving Charlie Brown kicking Lucy instead of the football, or other people hurting Lucy out of pity for Charlie Brown. Only on one occasion, Charlie Brown is able to kick the football during the special, It's Magic, Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown is invisible because of Snoopy (Who is under the name the Great Houndini). Therefore, Lucy was not able to see Charlie Brown and he ends up taunting her in the beginning. In the end, Snoopy figures out a solution and sprays it on Charlie Brown. Lucy is now able to see Charlie Brown and the gag occurs.
Charlie Brown's baseball team
Charlie Brown is the manager and pitcher of a baseball team which frequently loses. His entire team is not skilled, especially his right fielder Lucy van Pelt, who is the worst baseball player in the entire Peanuts universe. Charlie Brown's dog Snoopy, who is his shortstop, is purported to be his best player, his best friend Linus was his second baseman, and his next closest friend Schroeder, his catcher, once commanded the team on Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) when Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Snoopy and Woodstock traveled to France. Charlie Brown is often hit by a line drive back through the box on the same ball he pitched, resulting in him being stripped of all his clothes with the exception of his shorts, a literal example of being "undressed" by a hard hit ball. Despite the fact that his team almost always loses, usually with no runs scored, he remained determined and acted as an ambitious commander of a team of players who often appeared to be uncooperative; aside from this, none of the other players seem to share his determination. His apparent admirable strength as a leader was shown in his scoldings and advice to his players; an example of his strict attitude was shown when he yelled at Lucy "Go back to right field where you belong!" when she continued to annoy him. While the team frequently loses, it has some wins. While terrible misfortune has placed some of Charlie Brown's team's wins when Charlie Brown is not playing, there are times in which Charlie Brown has heroically led his team to a championship although it never wins any of them.
Charlie Brown's involvements with love
Charlie Brown frequently becomes involved in love. His general love interest was dubbed "The Little Red-Haired Girl", as he didn't know her name and had never even talked to her. Charlie Brown liked to watch the little Red-Haired girl but hid from her sight because he is too shy to let her see him. She was usually not shown, being outside the panel, and her only actual appearance was silhouetted. Charlie Brown did fall in love with Peggy Jean, a girl first featured in the July 23, 1990 strip. Most of the other girls call him "wishy-washy"; however, the characters Peppermint Patty and Marcie were both infatuated towards him. Peppermint Patty had delusions that Charlie Brown liked her, though Charlie Brown considered her as only a friend. Her delusions show when she asks Charlie Brown on a Sunday Strip: "You kind of like me, don't you, Chuck?"; her saying on another Sunday strip that Charlie Brown "doesn't even understand who he likes"; her sending a Valentine to Charlie Brown that said: "I know you like me." Marcie, on the other hand, was usually too shy to admit her feelings.
Charlie Brown's kite-flying skills
Another one of Charlie Brown's characteristics is his inability to fly a kite. Almost every attempt to fly a kite resulted in failure, usually due to his nemesis, the Kite-Eating Tree and his lack of skills was often commented on by other characters, most often Lucy. On the March 7–8, 1958 strips, Charlie Brown got his kite to fly into the air, but it spontaneously combusted, making his victory worthless.
Halloween and Valentine's Day
During Halloween, like other kids, Charlie Brown went trick-or-treating along with most of his friends. During this holiday, he always wore a ghost costume by making two oval holes on a white blanket to give the impression of a ghost with two hollow eyes. Sometimes, Charlie Brown wore this costume after Halloween, usually due to a screw-up, like his laundry coming in late. Charlie Brown got rocks whenever he goes trick-or-treating, resulting in depression, but he remained hoping that he will get a chance to receive candy on the next year's Halloween. When the special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was first aired in 1966, the viewers sympathized so much with Charlie Brown that they sent Halloween candy to the studio in order to show their sympathy towards him. Charlie Brown's best friend, Linus frequently got him to wait in a local pumpkin patch in order to see Linus's mythological being, "The Great Pumpkin". Charlie Brown was always shown trying to convince Linus that The Great Pumpkin didn't exist, but Linus was always shown to hope that The Great Pumpkin will arise from a "sincere" pumpkin patch and bless him with toys, making Charlie Brown's efforts in vain.
On Valentine's Day, Charlie Brown was frequently shown waiting at his mail box to get a Valentine from a girl, but, in almost every case, Charlie Brown doesn't receive any, though on the special Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, he received a Valentine from Violet out of pity, and he accepts it, even though Schroeder (Charlie Brown's best friend after Linus) scolded Violet for trying to appease her and her female companions' guilty conscience. The special's viewers, similar to the viewers of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, sent Valentine's Day cards to the studio out of sympathy.
On the first Peanuts television special, Charlie Brown sought to know the true meaning of Christmas, as even though the jolly season was approaching, he was still depressed. It involved him directing a Christmas play with his uncooperative companions, and eventually, Linus told him the meaning that he had always wanted to know. "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.' That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
Birthday and age
Charlie Brown began in an early strip (November 3, 1950) that he was "only four years old", but he aged over the next two decades, being six years old as of November 17, 1957, and "eight-and-a-half years old" by July 11, 1979. Later references continue to peg Charlie Brown as being approximately eight years old. Another early strip, on October 30, 1950, has Patty and Shermy wishing Charlie Brown a happy birthday on that day, although they are not sure they have the date right.
However, Charlie Brown, like the other Peanuts children, was not strictly defined by his literal age, as creator Charles M. Schulz distinguished the Peanuts characters by "fusing adult ideas with a world of small children." "Were they children or adults? Or some kind of hybrid?" wrote David Michaelis of Time magazine. Michaelis continues:
Through his characters, "[Schulz] brought... humor to taboo themes such as faith, intolerance, depression, loneliness, cruelty and despair. His characters were contemplative. They spoke with simplicity and force. They made smart observations about literature, art, classical music, theology, medicine, psychiatry, sports and the law."
In other words, Charlie Brown and the other human Peanuts characters transcended age and were more broadly human.
Relationship with other Peanuts characters
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Interactions with Snoopy
Charlie Brown takes care of Snoopy; while he is puzzled and sometimes frustrated by some of Snoopy's activities (often lamenting, "Why can't I have a normal dog like everybody else?"), Charlie Brown nonetheless does his best to provide his dog with a happy life. Snoopy is always there for him when he gets let down or needs support, even if it's just a drink of water. The two most frequently interact during Snoopy's suppertime, when Charlie Brown comes out of the house and presents his dog with a bowl of food after which, Snoopy often breaks into a dance (once causing Charlie Brown to lament, "Why do I feel like I'm feeding Fred Astaire?"). Snoopy, however, refers to Charlie Brown as "the Round-Headed Kid."
Interactions with Lucy van Pelt
While Charlie Brown and Lucy often do not get along well, they still usually talk to each other. Charlie Brown primarily dislikes Lucy for her abrasive, loud-mouthed personality and her insane ideas, and Lucy calls Charlie Brown names whenever she verbalizes her disdain for him. Lucy constantly bullies him and scolds him about how much he is a failure.
Charlie Brown frequently tries to tell Lucy that her crazy theories are false, and when he finally succeeds, Lucy would make an insensitive remark about the way he looks. Charlie Brown's stomach hurts when Lucy tries to teach her theories to Linus.
Charlie Brown often visits Lucy's psychiatric booth for help, but always gets useless advice (such as "Snap out of it." or "The insecurities people have can lead to colds and other illnesses").
Interactions with Linus van Pelt
Linus is Charlie Brown's best friend. Linus is sympathetic towards Charlie Brown and often gives him advice after listening to Charlie Brown's various insecurities. Similarly, Charlie Brown, who is older and more mature, generally acts as an overseer to Linus's faults, such as his undying faith in the Great Pumpkin, his dependence on his security blanket, or any of his other odd quirks. They are also together in an allegiance over a common enemy: Lucy, who harasses and bullies Charlie Brown as much as she does Linus. Charlie Brown and Linus are often seen having discussions while sitting on a street curb or leaning up against the brick wall. At some point in the strip, Linus begins to appear sitting behind Charlie Brown in school, despite being younger than Charlie Brown. During winter, they often play a game of building snow forts from which they throw snowballs at each other.
Interactions with Schroeder
Charlie Brown's best friend after Linus is Schroeder, and Charlie Brown is also one of the few people Schroeder will allow to lounge on his piano, as he and Charlie Brown are good friends, and knows that Charlie Brown respects his love of Beethoven. In fact, when they were younger, Charlie Brown would read Schroeder the story about Beethoven's life. Charlie Brown was also the one that introduced Schroeder to the piano.
For the most part, Charlie Brown and Schroeder were friends, with the exception of one argument from the mid-1950s (when the two had more of a rivalry going) where Charlie Brown insulted his "yellow hair" and "plink, plink, plink all day long [on his piano]" and Schroeder countered with a barb at Charlie's coonskin cap and "round head." Charlie Brown has Schroeder to serve as his catcher and, during conferences on the pitcher's mound, the two would engage in unusual conversations, mostly about Beethoven and hand signals (one finger means..., two fingers means..., etc.).
Charlie Brown received Schroeder's most significant act of friendship in Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown. When Violet offers Charlie Brown one of her used Valentine cards (since Charlie received no Valentines the prior day at his school's party), Schroeder thoroughly chastises her, Frieda, Lucy and Sally for their disregard for his feelings and their selfish motive of relieving their own personal guilt. Charlie Brown, however, tells the girls not to listen to him and accepts the card, although he expressed appreciation for Schroeder's gesture.
Interactions with Peppermint Patty
Peppermint Patty is perhaps Charlie Brown's closest female friend. Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty lead baseball teams which often play against each other. Peppermint Patty is infatuated with Charlie Brown, who, while being a close friend, probably has no romantic interest in her, even though he doesn't say anything to hurt her feelings.
Charlie Brown is often brought by Peppermint Patty into lover's games, but does not take the bait; he does like Peppermint Patty, but only as a friend (though their friendship is occasionally strained by her strong personality and bossiness toward him). Originally, Peppermint Patty played reverse psychology; she would often say, "You kind of like me, don't you, Chuck?" when it was clear that it was Peppermint Patty who had the crush on Charlie Brown, while he not only did not have a crush on her, he also did not quite know what to make of her.
Charlie Brown is often conversed with by Peppermint Patty about matters of the heart (often depicted with both characters sitting under a tree) and even often receives phone calls from her (with Peppermint Patty usually taking up the majority of the conversation), and Charlie Brown usually evades the issue, often by simply pretending to be dumb.
Interactions with Marcie
Marcie is infatuated with Charlie Brown and they are good friends and while she is usually too shy, she has occasionally managed to confess to him. Marcie often asks Charlie Brown if he likes her. As he does with Peppermint Patty, Charlie Brown often responds to Marcie's inquiries by trying to evade the issue, though it seems as if Charlie has feelings for her, which more than once has made Marcie so angry that she kicked him in the shins out of frustration. Marcie often calls him "Charles".
Interactions with Sally Brown
Charlie Brown is frequently bothered by his younger sister Sally, who often complains about different sorts of things. He is often forced to do her homework, and he either willingly agrees or scolds her for it. They are rather kind to each other, but Charlie Brown is frequently disrespected by Sally. He has also occasionally firmly put his foot down on any of her truly unacceptable behavior, such as lying about taking a crayon from school or reading his letters.
Interactions with Franklin
Charlie Brown is always on good terms with the strip's sole African-American character and a good friend to him. Franklin is arguably the nicest person in the strip to Charlie Brown, and the two occasionally build sand castles, go to Charlie Brown's house, and watch movies together.
Interactions with Frieda
Frieda was usually nicer to Charlie Brown than most of the other girls in the neighborhood, which makes them good friends. Unlike Lucy, Patty, and Violet, she seemed to be mindful of his feelings and never teased him or put him down to his face (except for rare moments in the Peanuts specials), though she did get mad at him a few times. She eventually joined Charlie Brown's baseball team as an outfielder but refused to wear a baseball cap because it would hide her naturally curly hair. She seemed to be one of the few characters that Charlie Brown felt confident enough to stand up to, as he did once when she was badgering Snoopy about chasing rabbits and he told her to mind her own business.
Interactions with Pig-Pen
Don't think of it as dust. Just think of it as the dirt and dust of far-off lands blowing over here and settling on "Pig-Pen!" It staggers the imagination! He may be carrying the soil that was trod upon by Solomon or Nebuchadnezzar or Genghis Khan!
Interactions with Rerun van Pelt
Rerun has come to admire Charlie Brown, often calling him "the master". Rerun looks up to Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown became his mentor and friend.
Interactions with Violet Gray
Charlie Brown is often teased by Violet Gray by bragging about how her dad has more possessions than Charlie Brown's, and he has occasionally been able to deflate her. He often tries to befriend her, only to get turned down.
Interactions with Patty
Patty, having one of the weakest individual personalities of the Peanuts cast, usually takes part in mocking Charlie Brown when her friends Lucy and Violet, or others, do so.
Interactions with Shermy
Charlie Brown and Shermy are generous to each other and were considered to be the best of friends before Linus' maturing in the future years of the strip, although Shermy said he hates Charlie Brown on the very first Peanuts strip.
Interactions with Peggy Jean
Charlie Brown had a notably surprisingly successful romantic relationship with Peggy Jean, although this eventually broke up with him when he realized that she already had a boyfriend.
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