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|First appearance||February 7, 1951
A Charlie Brown Christmas (television special)
A Boy Named Charlie Brown (film)
|Voiced by||Sally Dryer (1963, 1965)
Karen Mendelson (1966)
Ann Altieri (1966-1969)
Linda Ercoli (1972-1975, 1976)
Lynn Mortensen (1974)
Linda Jenner (1974)
Roseline Rubens (1980)
Stacy Ferguson (1985)
Deanna Tello (1992)
Ashley Edner (2000)
Kaitlyn Maggio (2003)
Jolean Wejbe (2006)
Taya Calicetto (2008-2009)
Blesst Bowden (2011)
Madisyn Shipman (2015)
Violet Gray is a fictional character featured in the long-running syndicated daily and Sunday comic strip Peanuts, created by Charles M. Schulz. She was initially a major character, until she began to fade into the background.
In addition to the comic strip, Violet has appeared alongside other Peanuts characters in numerous Peanuts television specials, cinematic movies, theatrical plays, and video games.
Violet was first featured in the February 7, 1951 Peanuts strip. From there on, Violet's character changed and developed until she began to become less prominent than the other major characters, with her forthcoming appearances reduced to mere cameos. Her last comic strip appearance, discounting the reruns of the strip, was on the November 27, 1997 Peanuts strip.
As Violet's character developed over the years, her appearance changed as well. On the early strips, Violet has her shoulder-length dark hair kept in either pigtails, a bun, or, sometimes, a ponytail. Later on, Schulz dropped the braids and kept Violet's hair only in ponytails. Violet also wears front bangs and often wears dresses which are originally depicted as purple; later they were depicted as green, as well as black Mary Janes shoes. During the winter (and during other seasons on the strip's later years), Violet switches to pants. Violet wears a purple dress in The Peanuts Movie.
Violet is supposedly of upper-class upbringing, and she likes to brag about how her father possessing something her friends' fathers don't; it is also implied, however, that Violet's father is largely absent from her life, which her peers use against her when she gets too obnoxious. For example, in a Father's Day strip, her boasts are quelled by Charlie Brown when he takes her to his dad's barber shop. After telling her about how his dad would always smile at him no matter how bad a workday he was having, a humbled Violet walked away, but not before quietly wishing Charlie Brown a Happy Father's Day. In another example, a character named "5" fired back at her with "My dad goes to PTA meetings!" Charlie Brown once deflated her with the comeback: "My dad has a son."
In the early strips, Violet often acted like a preschool-age Suzy Homemaker: making mud pies, playing "house," and being linked to romantic scenarios involving Charlie Brown. She also collects stamps as a hobby. On some occasions, Violet was shown walking and keeping company with Shermy.
Her surname (Gray) was mentioned only once, on April 4, 1953.
Violet's personality was much more forceful and recognizable compared to the more generic early Peanuts characters like Patty and Shermy, which allowed her to survive slightly longer than those founding characters when a new wave of characters; Linus, Lucy and Schroeder; were introduced (Violet has a key role in the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas, for example). By the 1960s, however, Violet, too, was largely phased out with the introduction of the next wave of characters (Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Franklin and such). Schulz admitted in a 1988 interview that Violet's pure vindictiveness had made it difficult to give her punch lines. Speaking of her, Patty and Shermy: "Some characters just don't seem to have enough personality to carry out ideas. They're just almost born straight men." Violet's appearances were eventually reduced to mere cameos in the background.
Relationship with other Peanuts characters
Interactions with Charlie Brown
Violet often teased Charlie Brown (often adding a series of Nyah's), who often makes comebacks. In an example of such, Violet once said to him, "It simply goes without saying that you are an inferior human being." His adroit reply to this was, "If it goes without saying, why did you have to say it?" She, along with Patty, do not invite him to their parties. Charlie Brown is usually depressed by this, but sometimes he decides to turn the tables on the two girls. For example:
- November 23, 1951: When they mentioned excluding Charlie Brown from their party, he let it roll off his back saying he did not want to go to their "dumb ol' party" anyway. After he left, they pondered whether he meant it. Violet was convinced he did, so Patty suggested "In that case, maybe we'd better invite him."
- January 29, 1954: Charlie Brown replied to them saying if they did not like him they were better off not inviting him. Stunned to silence, the girls just walked away, with Charlie Brown smiling after them.
- September 1, 1954: Charlie Brown uncharacteristically threatened to strafe, then bomb their house if he was not invited, to which both girls replied, "Okay, you're invited."
In early strips, she was linked to romantic scenarios involving Charlie Brown. She also feels bad for him when he doesn't get a Valentine's Day card in Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, which hints that she cares about him deep down (this caring is inconsistent; when he doesn't receive a Christmas card in A Charlie Brown Christmas, Violet responds in her usual mocking tone).
Although Charlie Brown was the usual recipient of Violet's cruelty, he was not the only one. One memorable Sunday strip featured her hurling a series of volatile insults at Lucy (so volatile that Charlie Brown remarked that he was glad she wasn't yelling at him, because he wouldn't have been able to take it), although ultimately Lucy won this battle by unleashing her own string of rapid-fire insults at Violet, causing Violet to walk away in tears. Even Linus wasn't immune - one 1961 strip involved her and Patty mocking Linus for carrying a blanket (to which Linus responded by wrapping himself in his blanket and doing an impression of Count Dracula, leading both girls to flee in terror).
- Sally Dryer (1963, 1965)
- Karen Mendelson (1966)
- Ann Altieri (1966-1969)
- Linda Ercoli (1972-1975, 1976)
- Lynn Mortensen (1974)
- Linda Jenner (1974)
- Roseline Rubens (1980)
- Stacy Ferguson (1985)
- Deanna Tello (1992)
- Ashley Edner (2000)
- Kaitlyn Maggio (2003)
- Jolean Wejbe (2006)
- Taya Calicetto (2008-2009)
- Blesst Bowden (2011)
- Madisyn Shipman (2015)
- "Violet Gray | The Peanuts Movie | NOW PLAYING". Peanuts Movie | Official Site | NOW PLAYING!. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
- "Against Snoopy | Manhattan, New York, NY | News". www.nypress.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- Schulz, Charles M. Peanuts, 30 April 1958
- "Meet the Gang". www.fivecentsplease.org. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
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