Why does Charlie Brown keep trying to punt the football when Lucy's holding it, if he knows she's going to pull it out of the way? And why DOES everyone in It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown blame Charlie for losing the Homecoming game when it was all Lucy's fault?
Because Charlie Brown is the Butt Monkey. If he didn't get gimped continuously, the universe he inhabits would implode into a black hole.
There are those who posit that that has already happened. Somewhere around the time a white-haired, red-eyed kid in a giant bio-mech bit the dust, another kid on the other side of the world put on an unexpected burst of speed and kicked a ball in what could best be described as a 30-meter punt of Ultimate Doom...
I just got an awesome mental image of Charlie Brown running at Lucy and the football in slow-mo as Ode To Joy plays, with both of them exploding into LCL as CB's foot makes contact.
Shortly after imagining that image, I imagined Lucy piloting Eva-02 in a red plug suit. "Shinji, you blockhead!"
When Linus was a baby, he didn't have a blanket yet and he had a lot more hair
Have an Internet. Hell, have fifteen.
Wasn't Peppermint Patti in charge of that game? Considering she has some respect for ole' Chuck, I'm surprised she didn't tell Lucy to stop it.
To add to the Evangelion crossover, Ode To Joy would, of course, be played by Schroeder on his piano.
Charlie Brown keeps trying because he's gullible. Each time he initially refuses, but Lucy manages to convince him that this time will be different. It's a testament to both Chuck's naivety and optimism. I found the homecoming example a bit strenuous, but I'm guessing nobody noticed that Lucy moved the ball and they all thought Charlie just missed. (I never liked that one, because I think that's going too far even for Lucy. She likes to win too much to sabotage an actual game.)
There is a cartoon that shows Charlie Brown punting the football. It was drawn by a political cartoonist, not Schulz, just after the 2006 elections.
Just to be technical, Charlie Brown is trying to kick the ball, not punt it. Punting in football is when the person doing the kicking takes the snap directly and kicks the ball away. Just sayin'. When you have a person holding (Lucy in this case), it's a place kick.
Because, as proven in what's considered to be the finale to the series, if he manages to walk away, he'll see the rest of the world, waiting, holding a football for him
It just occurred to me, but couldn't a Lucy who was slightly quicker on the uptake have run the ball for at least a first down? I'll betcha the opposing team wouldn't have seen that coming.
I have always liked the tragic poignancy of the theory that, on some level, Lucy actually does believes she will hold the football and allow Charlie Brown to kick it every time.
For the record, Charlie Brown did manage to kick the ball once... Indirectly. Via Lucy's hand. Cue people being mad at him, and her swearing never to be that nice to him again.
I think you're talking about the one where Charlie Brown went to the hospital for an unknown illness (he just felt "sick", and checked himself in), and Lucy swore she'd let him kick the football if he got better. So he gets better, then makes Lucy go through with it. He ends up kicking her * arm* , breaking it, and having her declare "The next time you go to the hospital, stay there!".
Hold on, there was another time Charlie Brown kicked it. It was in the special "It's Magic, Charlie Brown," where Charlie Brown gets turned invisible by Snoopy and he finally manages to take Lucy by surprise. And it feels gooooood.
The catch on this one is that, since he was invisible, there's no way to prove he actually kicked it.
Also, in one of the last comics, Lucy has to go in for lunch and asks her little brother Rerun to do the honors of pulling the ball away from Charlie Brown. When Rerun comes in later, Lucy asks him if he pulled it away. Rerun responds "You'll never know," to Lucy's bewilderment and leaving us with an open and somewhat optimistic ending.
And so many people were angry about that one scene when everybody blames Charlie Brown for Lucy's making them lose the homecoming game that they wrote a number of protest letters, forcing the producers to go back and cut the scene out from subsequent broadcasts. Charlie Brown isn't just the Butt Monkey, he's also The Woobie.
Because Charlie Brown is an absolute optimist. Even though he knows full well Lucy's going to pull the ball away, he just can't help hoping, in his heart of hearts, that maybe this will be the time he'll finally get to kick it. And that dream keeps him going despite the utter futility.
The better question is, "Why doesn't Peppermint Patty ever call for a 2-point conversion?"
Actually, Fridge Logic just reared its head: Charlie Brown DID kick the ball. Two times (a third might be a punt), and all in 'It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown'. How can we tell? His team's score moves from 6 to 13, then 20.
How the hell does the decathlon scoring work in You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown ? If Snoopy wins 2 of the first 5 events, and Charlie Brown none, how is it that the dog's in last place?
'Cause he's a dog?
Hey, Ain't No Rule that say a dog can't participate in the decathlon!... He's clearly an official participant in the event, with a school sponsor (Ace Obedience School) and everything!
You must be too young to remember the "Dan and Dave" fiasco. Each event is scored separately Snoopy had more botched events than Chuck, enough that the firsts didn't make up for it.
The decathlon does use a complicated scoring system in which the competitors "run against a table, not against each other" (to quote an NBC Olympic broadcaster). Peppermint Patty very briefly brings this up in the show, but doesn't explain it in detail.
Linus believes that the Great Pumpkin gives presents to all the children in the world on Halloween night. Why would he believe that if no one ever gets presents on Halloween?!
That's kind of the point. It's a metaphor for having absolute faith, even when everyone else thinks you're crazy. It may also be a not-so-subtle hint that this trait can be taken too far.
Actually, that's just an Urban Legend. According to the Word of God, Linus' belief in the Great Pumpkin was never intended to be a metaphor for faith. Schulz said that the only inspiration for the Great Pumpkin was that he thought it would be funny if a character believed in a Santa Claus-like figure for Halloween.
That's always bugged me in itself. It is about faith. There's no way to say it's not. Linus believes in an unseen quasi-spiritual being who rewards the faithful, while the lack of evidence tests his faith. There's no way for anyone, even Schulz, to say "it's not about faith". It's like saying "water's not wet". Maybe he didn't mean for it to be an extended metaphor for religion, and he probably did not intend it as a Take That at religion... but saying it's not a metaphor at all is just denial. The cartoon, which was written by Charles Schulz, even has Charlie Brown giving the line "we're obviously separated by denominational differences" in reference to whether to believe in the Great Pumpkin or Santa, so he wasn't adverse to using the religious metaphor, at least for Rule of Funny.
It's not about faith. If it was about faith, it failed to deliver that message. The Great Pumpkin never appears. If it had to have a meaning, you could interpret it as being about staying the course even when all evidence points to something else, or just say it's about futility. Even if you can use it as a message to teach or re-enforce faith, that doesn't mean it's about faith.
Faith, Merriam-Webster definitions. "1a : allegiance to duty or a person, loyalty" as in Linus has an allegiance and loyalty to the Great Pumpkin and his duty to remain in the patch. "1b: fidelity to one's promises," as in Linus's promise to wait in the pumpkin patch. "2a: sincerity of intentions," as in the most sincere pumpkin patch, and his own sincerity. "2b: belief and trust in and loyalty to God, 2c: belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion, 2d: firm belief in something for which there is no proof," as in there is no proof of the Great Pumpkin and yet Linus firmly believes based on his own doctrine. "3: complete trust". Linus continues to believe even after being disappointed. "4: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs". It is obviously about faith. Linus's belief in the Great Pumpkin is the literal textbook definition of faith, and the humor's driven by Linus putting his faith in something that seems patently absurd to everyone else. That's the whole point of it. Being "about" something doesn't mean taking a side on the issue and dropping an anvil about it. The story is about faith; specifically, it is about his faith in the Great Pumpkin. On a very basic, linguistic level, it is most definitely about faith.
Heck, your own words, "you could interpret it as being about staying the course even when all evidence points to something else" ...that's what faith means! Faith isn't just a synonym for religion; at least, that's not how I'm using it. I'm using it in the basic "belief in something without evidence, as an effort of will and as its own virtue" sense, and that's the definition of faith that the story is about. The disagreements come in when trying to decide whether and how to extend Linus's faith in the Great Pumpkin into a metaphor for anything else (personally, I think it's just Rule of Funny).
It's about a kid doing something funny. I think that's what Schultz was going for. I don't think he was trying to present a message about faith.
You're right; he probably wasn't, and any message a reader takes from it is most likely their own interpretation than something the author intended. But still, it is about faith. Just like it is about a kid, even if it wasn't intended as a message about kids.
It's also about futility. Linus is the only one who never realizes his own futility - that the Great Pumpkin doesn't exist.
Between Charlie Brown's various exploits (kicking footballs, flying kites, playing baseball—pretty much anything that's not marbles), Linus's never getting a visit from the Great Pumpkin, and the fifteen thousand metric tons of unrequited love in this comic (Charlie Brown/red-haired girl, Linus/Ms. Othmar, Sally/Linus, Pepperment Patty/Charlie Brown, Marcie/Charlie Brown, Lucy/Schroeder), you could say the entire strip is about futility and the art of never giving up.
Sorry, boys. Word of God says it is not about faith and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong and anything else is Misaimed Fandom. I heard Albert Einstein said, "God doesn't play dice", but Richard Dawkins says Albert Einstein didn't believe in a personal god. So why would he say God doesn't play dice? I don't know, that's his error for poor wording.
Albert Einstein was almost certainly a pantheist, who see God as being equivalent to the Universe. As such pantheists may use the term God and yet do not believe in a personal God. The term "God" to them can be replaced with "the universe" or "nature". This is made quite clear in Einstein's writings.
How old is Linus? Seven? I think he can be forgiven having a bit of a blind spot regarding presents on Halloween, the getting thereof.
My question about the Great Pumpkin is: how did Linus come to believe in it anyway? Kids believe in Santa because they have evidence: the word of their parents and other adults (including the media), the presents under the tree, and ubiquitous Santas during the Christmas season. People who believe in God have the support of friends, family, and major world religions. Since we see no evidence of the Great Pumpkin, either real (in-universe) or manufactured (like Santa), Linus' belief is puzzling. The Imaginary Friend theory doesn't work either; how many children actually believe in them, to the extent that they would skip trick-or-treating, or going to a party with their friends?
I think that someone (probably Lucy) made it up and Linus thought it was true. If it was Lucy, she probably just thought of it to mess with him, and eventually got tired of his obsession, finally decided to just tell him the truth, which Linus ignored. (If you watched the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode that parodies the Great Pumpkin, you can probably recognize this theory from it)
It's implied that the Great Pumpkin may exist in-universe. One strip has Charlie Brown running to Linus in the pumpkin patch and telling him about a radio broadcast. The Great Pumpkin was reported to have turned up at the pumpkin patch of someone named Freeman in New Jersey.
I notice some old strips that show the kids going to the theater, apparently on their own. These kids are what, seven or eight? Why are their parents letting them run around alone? And in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (just to name one) wouldn't there at least be some adult supervision in making a play? Man, Adults Are Useless.
They were also paying for admission with, like, a nickel. A more innocent time, perhaps? As for the play thing, it's more a matter of Adults Get in the Way of the Rule of Funny. An adult certainly wouldn't stand for any of Lucy's Christmas Queen back-sass. ...actually, that pretty much applies to the whole comic. Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown with adult supervision? They'd sit around making lanyards the whole time. Bleah.
For the first, I think you're just applying modern paranoid values to older literature. I was running around outside alone from younger than 7, as long as my parents knew where I was and when she I to be back.
Considering that adults are invisible (and mute in the comics) even when they are present, they were probably there all along.
I had a fellow worker who was older; he grew up in the 1950s. He related an incident where he and a friend, both around the age of 9, got on a bus and rode to downtown Miami to watch a movie, without adult supervision.
I grew up in the 70s and there were rare times when my friends and I would walk to the local theater and watch movies without any adult supervision. It was a rare event only because my family was poor. There was no perceived threat of any danger, even though we were out walking the streets at night in a group of three or four eight-year-olds.
The Hays Code required all movies to be family-friendly.
My favorite one's Bon Voyage Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back): the kids travel to France seemingly without adults, and Snoopy is their bus driver! But it's all in the name of Rule of Funny; the series just takes place in its own innocent, kid-centered world. Or alternately, the events as we see them are being filtered through the gang's imaginations, like Calvin and Hobbes.
That's not the only time Snoopy ended up filling in for adults in general. He was the referee for the homecoming game in It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown. More specifically, the adults in this strip aren't exactly the brightest bunch.
There are some later cartoons which do show adults, such as a recent B-side to the Thanksgiving episode that shows the kids on a ship traveling to North America.
Am I the only person to whom this strip came off as unfettered sadism? Granted, it has some cool supporting characters (Snoopy, Linus, et al.). The idea of feeling better about myself because someone else has it worse isn't exactly uplifting, and admiring Charlie because of his eternal resilience doesn't work because he's a total pessimist. Every time he tries, he gets ground down into the dirt, and every time he decides not to try, he gets derided for it.
It's not sadism. It's life. Our world has many nice, happy, friendly Everymen who are going to end up with bad luck and their faces rubbed in the dirt. Charlie Brown is the ultimate personification of that trope, with the entire friggin' universe in a conspiracy to make his life as miserable as possible. Does he give up? No! Sure, he may give a depressed monologue or two, complete with a "I can't stand it!", but in the end he always gets up and tries again. Shultz is making a quiet plea on the benefits of optimism and determination here. Charlie Brown has the worst luck imaginable, but due to his optimism and friendly nature, he's always "Good ol' Charlie Brown" to everybody he knows. No matter what life throws at you, if you keep a positive attitude, you'll get by. That's the lesson of Charlie Brown.
Unfortunately, Charlie's less 'optimistic' and more 'delusional.' And those happy, friendly Everymen you mention don't suffer near as much as Charlie does at any point in his sad, pathetic life. He's basically Frank Grimes without the sweet release of death that Frank received.
You must lead an extremely sheltered life if you think no real-life "happy, friendly Everymen" ever suffer as much as Charlie Brown. I've known guys who LOST THEIR FAMILIES and managed to pick themselves up and go on. Charlie Brown loses ballgames.
Regarding the Halloween special-I know Charlie Brown is supposed to be a Butt Monkey and all, but what kind of bastard gives a little kid a rock on Halloween?
The better question is why doesn't Charlie Brown throw the rock at the window of the house who gave him one? Serves the bastard right!
Ad he didn't just get one rock, he got a whole bunch of rocks. That would all the adults had to have coordinated with each just to make sure Charlie Brown was given a rock. That's the most sadistic neighborhood ever.
Charlie Brown kept getting rocks because he had a poor costume, what with all those holes in his sheet.
That's still no excuse. And for the record, the deal with the rocks are something invented by the special itself. It only crossed over into the comic years later, and it was just ONE rock. As far as this troper knows, nothing in the comics before or even during the special mentions anything about Charlie getting such a sour deal on Halloween. It could go either way: Either his claims about getting a bunch of junk are true, or - given his free-spirited behavior at the time - he was just whining. Did I mention he knew perfectly well how to cut two eyeholes in a sheet to make a ghost costume? The "trouble with the scissors" is something invented by the special as well.
Am I the only one who never questioned until her later years why Woodstock was eating turkey in the Thanksgiving special?
Just because they're both birds doesn't mean they're the same species. They could be just as related as we are to cows!
Not really. It's never clear what species he is, and many birds eat meat.
Indeed, wild sparrows love to peck at boxes of fried chicken people leave behind.
Seagulls are particularly omnivorous.
There was later a comic where Woodstock sees a turkey cooking and asks Snoopy (in bird-speak) what's going on. Snoopy horrifies Woodstock with tales of what humans eat on Thanksgiving and the bird proceeds to kick Linus in the shin who wonders "What was that all about?"
I have a dove who eats poultry if given a chance. I do find this a little disturbing.
I for the life of me can not fathom why no one has brought this up yet, but why the hell does everyone hate Charlie Brown so much? Did he do some kind of horrible thing that tarnished his reputation, or is it just that Kids Are Cruel?
If you look at the first few years of Peanuts, Charlie Brown could be a real Jerk Ass and smart alec sometimes, not to mention causing trouble for other through his obliviousness. Consider this, this, this, this and this and these are not even the worst examples. None of the kids were perfect, and Charlie certainly wasn't an innocent target himself.
Kids? If we take the animated specials as canon, then not only do the kids hate Chuck (including his 'best friend' Linus at times), but the adults do as well. Which means that Schulz is using poor Chuck to prove that Humans Are Bastards.
He's sympathetic, relate able, never gives up (even when he should) and you want him to succeed. But on on the other hand, he's also a navel-gazing chronic depressive who manages to be a wet blanket in social situations. I get the feeling that half of Charlie Brown's failures occur because he expects them to, despite the veneer of optimism he puts on. That doesn't excuse the level of jerkassery he gets from Lucy and the adults in the neighborhood, though. Also, he's the "drama" sort of person that will turn any conversation into one about their problems and how awful their life is while tuning out anything else. The point being, he's a nice guy and he doesn't deserve most of what he gets but you can see how you'd get sick of him sometimes even if he were one of your friends. What's really odd is that the two characters supposed to be closest to him (Linus and Snoopy) tend to treat him either callously (Linus doesn't go out of his way to be mean but also doesn't soften his opinions or the facts no matter how much he knows they'll hurt Charlie Brown) or indifferently (Snoopy doesn't give Charlie Brown much reciprocation for all the kindness Charlie Brown gives him) - and arguably Peppermint Patty and Marcy are the two characters in the cast who treat Charlie Brown with the most genuine affection and closeness (their introduction marked a definite shift in the strip to slightly more positive) but this isn't ever really commented on or acknowledged.
It's widely acknowledged that in the strip's glory years, it was amazingly dark. Someone once said that the fourth panel of almost any 60s-era Charlie Brown strip is a perfect example of nihilism. Everyone hates Charlie Brown because Life hates Charlie Brown. He's the ultimate Butt Monkey.
The end of He's a Bully, Charlie Brown. On one hand, Charlie Brown succeeds at something, but on the other hand, Charlie Brown succeeds at something. If that makes sense.
Well, Charlie Brown wins in a game of marbles and he's never supposed to succeed at anything. It's out of character.
That special was actually based on a week of strips where a kid wins all of Reruns marbles and Charlie Brown goes and wins them all back. The special differs from the strip in that he has to be taught how to play marbles; in the strip he has always been good at the game, and the whole week of strips is really his Crowning Moment Of Awesome. It's my favorite week of Peanuts ever.
Do keep in mind, the bully wasn't very good at marbles. He would challenge little kids who were still learning to a "friendly" game, then take all the marbles and run. Anyone with moderate skill could beat him. Still, the fact that Charlie Brown chooses to be that anyone says something.
Even for Charlie Brown standards, the New Year's special is cruel. Why does Charlie Brown's teacher make him read War and Peace during Christmas vacation and expect him to write a report on it?! Did he put a tack on her chair or something? When I was in school, my teachers never gave us homework during Christmas vacation, especially not impossible ones like that. It's because of Charlie's teacher being such a Grinchette that I can't stand that special.
I think it was based on a storyline in the comic strip in which he was required to read Gullivers Travels, which is still challenging but a probably a more realistic option. Of course, in that strip he decided to put it off until the last day of the holiday ("I can read it tomorrow morning and do the report tomorrow afternoon.") while his classmates did it straight away, so in this case it was really his own fault.
My fifth-grade teacher pulled that kind of shit, though not with anything as long as War and Peace. Every evening, weekend, and school holiday was consumed by reading or writing reports. I strongly suspect that my lasting difficulties with essays are a direct result of this.
Never mind the length: What kind of psycho assigns a novel that features illegitimacy, death in childbirth, mangled battlefield corpses, attempted suicide and (implied) abortion to a grade school kid?
A Sunday School teacher? Most of that kind of thing is in the Bible.
I thought homework during Christmas break was normal. Well, at least where I live. * grumble*
Why the heck does Charlie Brown go by his full name anyway? I was always bugged by that.
This is pure speculation, but maybe there is/was another guy called Charlie in the neighborhood (whom we never see) and the kids just got into the habit of calling Charlie Brown by his full name in order to distinguish him from the other Charlie?
A really odd WMG about this, but perhaps Schroeder is the "other Charlie"? Considering that Schroeder's full name was never revealed, it could be possible that Schroeder is just his last name and that his first name is Charlie. He could have wanted people to call him by last name just because it was cool (and made him seem more like a classical composer).
The strip actually semi-explains this one: There was a girl named "Poochie" who used to live in the neighborhood (she almost adopted Snoopy from the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, but ended up choosing another dog instead... Snoopy still carries a grudge towards her for that), and she was the one who started calling Charlie Brown by his full name. For whatever reason, the other kids picked up on this habit and even after Poochie and her family moved away, just kept at it because at that point he was "Charlie Brown" and not just "Charlie."
Why does everybody think Marcie and Peppermint Patty are gay when they're both very obviously in love with Charlie Brown? Peppermint Patty is good at sports and Marcie calls her "Sir," but those are the flimsiest excuses for "proof of homosexuality" I've ever heard in my life.
Even though this is cliche, I must say it: Marcie and Peppermint Patty could be bisexual.
Eight years old. Seriously, the internet has an annoying habit of associating sexuality with characters that by all regards shouldn't worry about such things.
I get that. I don't even think they're lesbians. I just don't get how Word Of God fits into this.
Well, Schultz himself said that they weren't lesbians. That's Word of God right there.
He never said that they couldn't be bisexual. He only said they couldn't be lesbians, since they both like Charlie Brown. Lesbians are different from bisexuals.
That's always been a bit of a wall banger for me, too. Especially since they each have a crush on Charlie Brown. The only reason that I can imagine that people think this is that 1) Peppermint Patty is a tomboy, and 2) she and Marcie are close friends. Okay, first off, being a tomboy and being a lesbian don't automatically go hand in hand (especially with young kids). Secondly, if having a close female friend makes a girl a lesbian, then most women and girls I know must be lesbians.
I do ship them, for a few reasons. First, the fact that they have a crush on him at this age doesn't necessarily indicate anything about actual sexuality. Second... I tried to articulate it better but I couldn't. It just feels right, somehow, especially because I also ship CB/Lucy.
Because Peppermint Patty is a tomboy and Marcie is her friend. Seriously, that's all there is to it.
I hate whenever someone drags out the lesbian/bi argument for Patty and Marcie. My friends and I both had a crush on the same girl in middle school, and we were still friends despite it. They're eight, people! They can be friends without feeling attracted to each other!
If their crushes on Charlie Brown were real, wouldn't they have some sort of competition for his attention? I don't see that happening, so it's possible that they are lesbians or bisexual and simply don't realize it yet. I like to think of it as Marcie having a one-sided crush on Peppermint Patty, and she's too infatuated with Charlie to notice anything.
To the one who wrote "Wight years Old" etc.: Regarding them as lesbians isn't any more sexual than if they were straight.
Speculating on somebody's sexual preferences is by it's very nature sexual, no matter what conclusion you reach.
It's shipping. Why should one care so much?
Is "Schroeder" Schroeder's last name or first name? He could be trying to act like Beethoven or something and have everyone call him by his last name.
Also Schroeder was introduced when he was a Baby and couldn't speak. so maybe it is just the bell tag that said Schroeder.
Schroeder is a surname. Most Peanuts characters bear a Germanic surname if they have one— we have the van Pelts and Reichardts already, and as Schulz mentioned Charlie Brown was basically based on the time when he was a GI, the Browns can be as well be referred as the Schulz's. One needs to note that due to the large amount of Central European immigration into the Twin Cities area in the 19th century, these surnames are very common when Schulz grew up.
There was one comic strip in which someone on the radio called him "Mr. Schroeder". It could be argued he only gave the radio station his first name, but there is actually a Peanuts FAQ that claims its his last name. BTW, you guys should really check this place out for answers. Great website.
If Lucy annoys him so much, why can't Schroeder just lock the door so that she can't get in?
Maybe, although he doesn't love her and indeed finds her annoying, he nonetheless on some level appreciates the company and the attention. In the early sixties there was a storyline in which Lucy and Linus move away, supposedly for good. Schroeder is shown playing piano alone, when the hovering musical notes fade away and are replaced by an adoring Lucy, leaning on the staff. He stops playing and says, "Don't tell me I've become accustomedtothatface!"
This is the same troper from the above two entries. Anyway, it just bugged me that Shermy got brother chucked and replaced by Franklin, who was virtually the same, except for the fact he was black. The Other Wiki or somewhere else once said that Franklin "proved to be more interesting in the long run". How exactly was he more interesting? Are black people more interesting than white people? Does Franklin have better hair? Why Why Why? (I do not hold anything against Franklin nor am I a Shermy fan or a racist, this is just something that bugged me)
A lot of Schultz's characters tended to fade in and out. Patty, Frieda and Violet kind of disappeared after a while, too (although I think Patty might've been ousted when Peppermint Patty became popular so people wouldn't be confused by two Pattys).
I can understand that, since Peanuts was a long running comic strip, but sometimes it just seems to me that the reason Shermy was replaced with Franklin was because the strip needed a black guy.
Shermy was never "replaced" by Franklin — you might as well say that he was replaced by Linus, or Schroeder, since his role diminished greatly while those two got larger roles (and Linus took over the function as someone for Charlie Brown to talk to on an equal level). By the time Franklin entered to picture (1968), Shermy had exclusively been a background character for several years — and he stayed as a background character for a full year after Franklin's first appearance, vanishing from the strip completely in 1969. So as far as I can see, Franklin's appearance had nothing to do with Shermy's disappearance, despite the two events happening in a fairly close proximity.
Besides, Franklin didn't really appear all that often, either.
As already stated, it's not true that "Franklin replaced Shermy". Furthermore, Shermy's fade into the background actually started about when Lucy was introduced (if you can call it that — she never had a literal "introduction") in 1952. Look at the first SUNDAY strips from that year. Shermy is all over them for about the first three months, and then virtually disappears — just as she makes her first appearance therein.
Shermy's disappearance (as well as other characters) could also be attributed to the changing dynamics of the cast. The strip's dynamics really changed from 1966 to 1971 when Peppermint Patty, Woodstock, Franklin, and Marcie were introduced. It may have been easier to write for these characters than it was for the others.
What is/was the demographic of Peanuts? Was it aimed at "everyone"? Or was it aimed at kids with a Periphery Demographic of adults? Or was it just aimed at adults? Maybe this whole demographic thing just bugs me because I'm more used to reading manga, where demographics are pretty obvious (shojo, shonen etc.), but it's still confused me.
You're right, the demographics tend to be vaguer for newspaper comics, where the strips range from Cathy and Garfield to Doonesbury and The Boondocks. When Peanuts came out, it was definitely aimed at kids (with some Parental Bonus thrown in), but it's smart and imaginative enough to keep its charm for adults, and it's been around long enough that all the people who grew up liking it have changed from a Periphery Demographic into a large portion of the audience.
When is Peanuts currently taken place? A lot of older medias get retconned into being in the present for that time. Peanuts currently gives a 50s - 80s feel so it's hard to tell.
Due to the fact that the characters don't age, Peanuts has a certain timeless feel about it. It doesn't really take place in a certain time period.
A lot of series take place in a void where people don't age yet they bop around time periods all the time.
The strips that are currently being reprinted date back to the early 1960s.
The Harry Potter strip from around the time it ended seems to imply 2000s at best.
If Charlie Brown's clothes fly off when he gets hit with a baseball, what would happen if he got struck while he was already naked?
There's a joke about balls in here somewhere...
The question here is, why in the world would he play baseball naked?!
The strangest thing about Charlie Brown, to me, is the fact that he's a child who is almost completely bald. Was this ever explained? Lampshaded? Is it just a weird stylistic choice?
I think someone mentioned that he just had very, very fine hair. (I prefer the bald theory, myself. And what's wrong with that for a kid?)
Charles Schulz is supposed to have explained at one point that Charlie Brown has very fair hair and his father (who is, as we know a barber) keeps it cut very short.
It figures that blond + buzz cut wouldn't show up very well in newspapers. Think back to the original skinheads, who didn't shave their heads but instead wore a buzz cut with a #2 grade clip guard.
Here's something that I just can't get out of my head ... where do Snoopy and the birds keep buying weapons? And don't tell me they're all fake..there's a mid-80s sequence where Snoopy's playing French Foreign Legion with the birds, and has a cannon. And uses it..
I haven't seen that one, but I'm gonna be guessing that it's his imagination, and in reality nothing was shot out of it. Unless Charlie Brown comes out and complains that his window was broken or something?
He laughed at Snoopy having blown a hole in his doghouse. I think Lucy's psychiatry stand and Schroeder's piano also took some friendly fire. And then there's Snoopy's assault rifle he took with for his dog license renewal..
Snoopy doesn't have traditional cartoon "round circles with pupils" eyes, but if you look closely, they more resemble commas with a semicircle on top, which is really difficult to re-render in 3-D without creating something that could harm little kids' fingers.
As far as I see, Snoopy has Black Bead Eyes, the semicircle is only drawn to show depth when his head is turned or if he's rotating his eyes in some direction.