The Peanuts comic strip began in 1950 and ran until 2000. In the almost 50 years it was in papers, it saw many characters come and go.
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Charles "Charlie" Brown
Charlie Brown: "I'd like to be President or a five-star general or a big-time operator..."
Patty and Violet: (simultaneously) "Hello, there, Charlie Brown!"
Patty: "That Charlie Brown's a good guy, isn't he?"
Violet: "He sure is! Good Ol' Charlie Brown."
Charlie Brown: "But that's all I'll ever be... Just Good Ol' Charlie Brown..."
Perhaps one of the most famous comic strip characters in history. "Good Ol'" Charlie Brown is the star of the strip. He's the kind who never has things go his way. Running Gags with him include trying to kick the football but having it pulled away, failing miserably on the baseball team he manages, and otherwise just being the outright Butt Monkey of the strip.
Chick Magnet / Hollywood Dateless: Is the object of affection for most of the strip's female characters, and a few in the TV specials too. Despite the girls swooning over him, he laments his inability to understand them.
Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: More like Cloudcuckoolander's owner. When Snoopy's bizarreness causes problems in the neighborhood, there's a tendency for everyone to blame him ("He's your dog, Charlie Brown!"), and he'll end up having to deliver a lecture, explain Snoopy's actions, or otherwise interfere.
He once won a bowling trophy, but true to form it gave him no joy as his name was misspelled on it ("Braun").
In a series of strips in April 1973, Charlie Brown's team won the first game of the season but they had to forfeit because of a gambling scandal (Rerun bet a nickel that the team would win).
Charlie Brown's younger sister, born in 1959. She's not that bright, and sometimes prone to firing off sarcasm when Charlie helps her with her homework. She has an unrequited crush on Linus, whom she calls "sweet babboo".
Charlie Brown's pet beagle. Introduced two days into the strip, he initially acted much like a normal dog but came to be known as a playful, varied character. Running Gags include him pretending to be a "world-famous" something or other, fighting the Red Baron, teasing the cat next door or stealing Linus' blanket.
Anthropomorphic Shift: To the point that Peppermint Patty thought him to be "that funny-looking kid with the big nose". Oddly, he seemed to slide back to acting more like a normal dog in the strip's later years.
Archenemy: Famously, the Red Baron. His real-life opponent, the "Stupid Cat", routinely decimates his doghouse with a single swipe.
Funny Animal: A non-talking variant, though he "thinks" dialogue.
Heli Critter: He sometimes used his ears as a propeller. In fact, he even provides the page image.
I Am Not Weasel: For a long time, Peppermint Patty thought that Snoopy was a human, and called him the "funny-looking kid with the big nose."
Insistent Terminology: Any time he pretends to be someone important, he'll call himself the "world-famous x", even if that profession is something you would never describe as "world-famous" (e.g. golf caddy).
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's especially clear in the animated version, but shows up in the comic as well; Snoopy is extremely selfish, self-centered and callous, and he'll often be unsympathetic, haughty or occasionally even directly mean towards the kids in the neighborhood. When it comes down to it though, he's really quite soft-hearted and has on numerous occasions gone out of his way to help people or animals in need.
Mr. Imagination: Quite often, he'll imagine himself to be just about anyone.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Sometimes his getups and antics are noted and commented on. And sometimes it seems like they're missing the point, such as Charlie Brown grumbling about having to untangle Snoopy's ears. After Snoopy had been flying around. Under his own power.
A yellow "hippie" bird that Snoopy met in the late 1960s. Unnamed at first, the bird became known as Woodstock after the music festival of the same name. Later on, other birds would appear; named ones would include Bill, Conrad, Olivier, Harriet, and Raymond.
Acrophobic Bird: A literal example. Going too high causes him a lot of trouble.
Art Evolution: Schulz started out drawing more realistic-looking birds and ended up drawing ones that look like Woodstock. This may be because Woodstock was originally supposed to be a chick that hadn't fully matured (see below).
The Klutz: Woodstock is not the best flier in the world, when under his own power.
It's never outright stated, but Woodstock is implied to be one of two birds that hatched in a nest their parents made on Snoopy's stomach, and which Snoopy tipped out before they were ready to fly—they were later shown to be flying upside down, and one of them became a recurring character that was eventually named as Woodstock. This puts a rather darker turn on their friendship, perhaps even that Snoopy felt guilty over the incident.
Only Six Faces: All the birds looked alike, even unnamed generic ones (except Raymond, who got halftone dots).
A shy, smart young boy. Born in 1952, he developed into a hyper-intelligent toddler who could do almost anything (including build a huge paper boat and dribble a basketball like a pro) but evolved into… well, an Innocent Prodigy. He's not beyond childhood naïveté, such as his established belief in The Great Pumpkin every Halloween. There's also his trademark blue Security Blanket, which he's rarely seen without.
Linus's older sibling. She started off in 1952 as a wide-eyed, childish little girl but gradually evolved into the bossy "fussbudget" we all know to this day. She antagonizes not only Linus, but Charlie Brown as well.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her bossiness and crabbiness, she actually has shown to have a nicer, caring side on some occasions. For example, when Charlie Brown has to go to the hospital, Lucy is distressed, and eventually promises that if he gets better, she won't pull the football away. She keeps her promise but Charlie Brown accidentally kicks her hand.
Never My Fault: Her constantly pulling the football away when Charlie Brown's supposed to kick it, causing them to lose the game, and then blaming Charlie Brown for it in It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown are one of the reasons people hate that special. It even used to be the Trope Namer for that page.
Outdated Outfit: She continued to wear those frilly little puff-sleeved sash dresses and saddle shoes decades after they'd ceased being standard everyday girlswear, though starting in The Eighties she often wore a shirt and pants.
Missing Mom: She lives with her father; it's hinted that her mother may have died, which at least partly accounts for her tomboy nature. In the series of strips where she commissions Marcie to make her a new skating dress, Marcie's mother does it, and Marcie notes that her mother feels sorry for Patty because she doesn't have a mother of her own.
Never My Fault: She tends to blame others when things don't go her way. In one strip she even tells Charlie Brown that her problems are his fault because she needs someone else to blame.
The Nicknamer: She insists on calling some of the other character by nicknames, most famously "Chuck" for Charlie Brown.
Sleepyhead: She falls asleep in class so often that she once got tested for narcolepsy. One strip explains that her father works nights, and Patty stays up late waiting for him to come home because she's afraid to sleep in the empty house.
One series of strips had her held back a year in school - and the sound of snoring still came from her empty seat!
Too Dumb to Live: It never put her in physical jeopardy, but her stupidity is breathtaking at times. How else do you describe someone who confuses a dog obedience school with a human one so completely that she doesn't understand why she is the only human doing the obedience training with dogs, "graduates," and seriously thinks she doesn't have to go to regular school until the principal specifically spells it out to her.
Beware the Nice Ones: When set off, Marcie can prove to be tougher than Peppermint Patty, going so far as to demolish Snoopy's dog house with one punch. Furthermore, when she is being insulted, Marcie once furiously growled "Let's go shorten a few lifespans!" and Patty had to rein her back.
Senpai Kohai: Only in the Japanese-dubbed version. She address Patty as such as part of the adaptation in that language, seeing as calling a classmate "-san" (equivalent to sir or ma'am) is considered normal in Japan.
Introduced as a baby in 1951. Soon showed himself to be a musical prodigy whose main focus is playing Beethoven on his toy piano. Lucy often tries to hit on him, to little success. He is also set as the catcher on the gang's baseball team.
Manly Tears: Shed some in a strip where Charlie Brown was reading him a Beethoven biography, and it explained how the deaf composer had his back to the thunderously applauding audience and had no idea how much they loved his music.
Nice Guy: One of the few characters who never insults or tries to take advantage of Charlie Brown, and on a couple of occasions even got angry with other kids for treating Charlie Brown badly.
An early female character whose main concern was her "naturally curly hair." Early on, she was a schoolmate of Linus'. She also carried a cat called Faron, whom Schulz eliminated out of fear of making it a cat-and-dog strip. Only in the strip from 1961 to 1975.
"How do you do, Charlie Brown? I have naturally curly hair! Do you feel that spring will be here soon? I belong to twelve record clubs! Now that we're getting a good picture on our TV, the programs are lousy!"
An early character in the strip (from the very first day), she and Shermy were both portrayed as older than Charlie Brown. Patty existed mainly to antagonize Charlie Brown before even Lucy did so. She got Demoted to Extra early on but disappeared entirely as Lucy upstaged her and Violet.
Beta Bitch: More of a follower to Violet than a full-fledged Alpha Bitch. When she was alone, she was usually quite friendly; whenever with Violet she was all too happy to join in on all the meanness.
She was one of the characters in the original 1967 production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. By the time of the 1985 Animated Adaptation of the musical, she had been gone from the strip for so long that nobody remembered who she was, and she was replaced with Sally — an exchange that was followed through by the 1999 revival of the stage production.
Hair Decorations: She always sports a bow in her hair, but only on one side of her head.
Those Two Guys: Started out as a solo character, but as the years went by she was rarely seen without Violet.
In the strip from 1951 to 1984. She never developed all that much in her run, and existed mainly as a young Suzy Homemaker-type and tormentor of Charlie Brown (moreso than Lucy). She also held her dad in high esteem.
Alpha Bitch: She once got inexplicably angry at Charlie Brown, threw his coat and hat at him, and shoved him out of the house. They were in his house at the time.
Informed Attractiveness: According to Word of God, she was introduced to be "the pretty girl" of the gang, which explains the reactions she got from every single one of the male characters in early '50s strips.
Jerk Ass: Developed into one of the strip's most clear-cut examples of this over time, being less violent but more catty and malicious than Lucy.
She could get violent enough at times. In one Sunday strip, she angrily chases after Charlie Brown and eventually punches him, with no explanation ever given.
My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad: A running theme in the strips was Violet telling Charlie Brown how and why her dad was superior to his in every way.
Rich Bitch: Implied rather than outright stated, but her family seems to be considerably well-off — certainly more so than the Brown family — and she seldom passes up a chance to lord her social superiority over the other kids.
Took a Level in Jerkass: She was very nice and sweet in the early days of the strip (especially to Charlie Brown, surprisingly enough). But a few years down the line...
A male character featured in the strip's early years, Shermy was the first Peanuts kid to speak, having all the dialogue (and delivering the punchline) in the very first strip on October 2, 1950◊. His original purpose was to serve as a Straight Man to Charlie Brown, but he gradually got fewer and fewer roles as Schulz said that he saved him for instances when he "needed a character with very little personality".
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Shermy's last appearance in the strip was in 1969. The last time his name got mentioned was during a strip in 1977 when Charlie Brown mentioned Shermy was the baseball team's Designated Hitter.
Generic Guy: The reason for his reduced role and eventual vanishing; he just didn't have many interesting qualities about him.
Sally's classmate and summer campmate, who makes even her look smart by comparison.
Cloudcuckoolander: Without question the most eccentric cast member; she writes her book reports on the TV guide, eats chocolate-and-gravy sandwiches, tries to attack the water with loud battle cries when going swimming, and goes on field trips to a car wash.
No Name Given, in the comic strip, although in the 1977 TV special It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, she was dubbed "Heather" (as well as being seen for the first time), a name that Schulz had revealed for her nine years earlier in an article in Woman's Day magazine.
One of Snoopy's five brothers, and the first of his siblings to be introduced, in 1975. Spike lives in the desert outside Needles, California, and hangs out with his only friend, an inanimate saguaro cactus. He works as a den-cleaner for coyotes. Snoopy often sends him mail to keep in touch.
A Day in the Limelight: Surprisingly for such a minor character, Spike got his own Spinoff live-action movie, It's the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown.
Dark and Troubled Past: Surprisingly, one Sunday strip revealed this as the reason why he lives alone in the desert:
Spike: Why do I live all alone out here in the desert? I'm going to tell you something I've never told anyone. Years ago when I was young, I was out walking with some people. Suddenly, a rabbit ran across in front of us. "Get him!" shouted the people. Even though I didn't want to, I darted after the rabbit. I wouldn't have known what to do even if I had caught him. Then it happened! the rabbit ran into to the road, and was hit by a car! I was stunned! Why did I do it? Oh, how I hated myself! And how I hated those people who shouted, "Get him!". So I came out here to the desert where I couldn't hurt anything again. I've never told this to anyone before. *Spike looks at the cactus he's been telling the story to* Spike: I guess I still haven't.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: At one point he had a real estate office. His clients? A pack of coyotes. One of his most visible deals? Selling them the ballpark. The ramifications? Celebration that some strict league rules would not be as heavily enforced.
Snoopy's other siblings
Apart from Spike, Snoopy has six other siblings. Four of them, Andy, Olaf, Marbles and Belle, have appeared in the comic strip. The final two, Molly and Rover, only appeared in the animated TV special Snoopy's Reunion.
Advertised Extra: Belle, kind of. She never became more than an extremely minor character in either comic or cartoon, but she's had a lot of merchandise dedicated to her and even appeared in the intro for The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, as one of the characters mentioned by the theme song — despite never actually appearing in the show itself.
Canon Foreigner: Molly and Rover. While the strip made it quite clear that Snoopy had seven siblings, only five of them were named in the strip itself, and the names and appearances of Molly and Rover are not considered canon to the strip.
Canon Immigrant: Andy. He's the only Peanuts character to have debuted in animation before appearing in the comic.
The Smart Guy: Marbles is considered the brains of the family, and has spent some time researching why some dogs walk at an angle. He's also the only one of them who doesn't buy into Snoopy's fantasies and finds it ludicrous when his brother refers to his doghouse as a Sopwith Camel.
Spoiled Sweet: Molly seems to be this; she has a luxurious doghouse and her own makeup, but is a loving dog all the same.
Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Belle and Molly have prominent eyelashes. In addition, Molly wears makeup and Belle wears a lace collar, sometimes a pearl necklace, and a dress in her animated appearances.
Those Two Guys: Andy and Olaf eventually took on this role in the strip.
Walking the Earth: Andy and Olaf took to doing this, but as they're not very good at finding their way they never seem to end up where they want to be. Somehow they always do manage to find their way back to Snoopy's doghouse, though.