- The reason Charlie Brown is so beloved amongst comic strip characters is that the poor kid is just so darned optimistic. Charlie Brown literally exists to suffer, and yet, he doesn't let it stop him. He's painfully aware of his Butt-Monkey status, yet he keeps trying anyways. It's just so enouraging to see a guy get knocked down so many times and yet still get up and believe that maybe, just maybe, things will be better the next time around.
- That's why, on the rare occasions when Charlie Brown does succeed, it feels so damn good.
- Charles Schulz himself recalled feeling greatly surprised when a commentator referred to him as a "loser." He responded that, while he does lose a lot, that doesn't make him one, because "a loser would give up".
- The genius of Charles Schulz is encapsulated in one brilliant daily strip where Lucy asks Linus why people teach children to wave "Goodbye", while she is teaching their brother, Rerun, just that. Linus answers, "Because for the rest of his life, people will be leaving him." At this dispiriting observation, Rerun looks to the reader and says with defiant hopefulness, "Hello there!"
- There's a cute little strip where Linus and Snoopy are sleeping together with Linus's Security Blanket. Say it with me. D'awwwww.
Linus: I don't remember inviting you to share this blanket with me... But I do admit, you are kinda warm and fuzzy...Snoopy: Everyone brings something to the party...
- A similar one had Woodstock thrown into the mix, making Linus's hair into a nest to sleep in. If that doesn't make you smile, we don't know what will.
- The almost brotherly relationship between Linus and Charlie Brown.
- Solidified in January 1961 when, with Lucy at her least sympathetic, Charlie Brown helped Linus deal with a severe bout of security blanket withdrawal by coming to his house and sitting up by his bedside all night, cumulating in this screamingly adorable little moment.
- Also, Charlie Brown introducing baby Schroeder to Beethoven and the piano.
- Not to mention the few times when Schroeder stands up for him, claiming that those people don't know anything about Charlie Brown. Justified, since Schroeder used to be his closest friend before the appearance of Linus.
- Also, the early strip where Sally - then still a toddler - falls happily asleep on Snoopy's back, effectively immobilising him, as Charlie Brown repeatedly calls him for dinner. Snoopy's longing for grub is clear in his expression, as is his concern in not rudely awakening the peacefully-slumbering Sally. Charlie Brown eventually irritably gives up. Snoopy remains in place. Sally remains gently dozing, with a big smile on her face. Gradually, with a small sigh, a rueful-yet-pleased smile spreads across Snoopy's...
- In a series of strips in May 1966, Linus and Lucy's father was transferred, and they moved away. Thinking that she'll never see Charlie Brown again, Lucy shook his hand and said: "So long, you ol' blockhead... It's been nice knowing you." letting down her constant crabbiness and showing that deep down, she truly likes Charlie Brown.
- And Linus gave his blanket to Charlie Brown.
- Also from that series, after Charlie Brown told him that Lucy and Linus really did move and told him off for not caring about Lucy or her feelings, Schroeder is shown sitting in front of his piano not playing it, a memory of Lucy talking about if they got married over his head. He remarks "I never even said goodbye", showing that he really does like Lucy.
- There was another strip where Lucy was complaining how "horrible" her life is. Linus tells her that she should think about the things she's thankful for. Lucy asks "What do I have to be thankful for?" and he responds: "Well, for one, you have a little brother who loves you..." Lucy then bursts into tears and hugs him. The strip is heartwarming in two ways, one is that Linus finally "triumphed" over Lucy, and the other is that well, she hugged him and all.
- This one doubles as a Moment of Awesome. In a Father's Day Sunday strip, Violet is telling Charlie Brown about how her Dad is richer, smarter, and just plain better than his Dad. Curiously, Charlie agrees with everything she says. However, before Violet can go on about how much more awesome her Dad is than Charlie's, he interrupts her, and tells her to follow him. Cut to the front of Charlie's Dad's barber shop. Charlie proceeds to tell Violet about how his Dad spends most of his day on his feet, and has to deal with surly people. However, Charlie knows that he can go into his Dad's barber shop at any time, and his Dad will stop whatever he is doing, and give him a big smile. "And do you know why? Because he likes me, that's why!" Becomes a Moment of Awesome in the last panel, when a defeated Violet turns and walks away, saying "Happy Father's Day, Charlie Brown." To which he replies "Thank you. Please greet your dad for me."
- This post-Halloween strip, after the Great Pumpkin has once again failed to appear.
- The opening sequence of strips for 1973 was about Woodstock billing Snoopy six dollars for breaking something at the bird's New Year's party. It transpired that Snoopy had monopolized Woodstock's crush for the entire party, and the item in question was Woodstock's heart. Snoopy's reaction is to hug his friend and say/think:
Oh, Woodstock, my little friend of friends...don't you realize your heart is worth much much more than six dollars?
- The strip where Peppermint Patty's father gives her a dozen red roses for her birthday. Why? Because someday Patty will be a beautiful young lady and all the boys will be calling her up and taking her on dates and giving her things, so Patty's dad wanted to be the first one to give her roses. For added sweetness, she mentions that he calls her a "rare gem". It's even sweeter when you realize that Charles Schultz gave his oldest daughter roses for her birthday, for the same reason.
- This early strip will tug your heartstrings.
- This one is also extremely sweet.
- Charlie Brown is in the hospital and Peppermint Patty and Marcie aren't allowed to see him, so they sit on a bench outside shouting up toward his window:
Peppermint Patty: We miss you, Chuck!Marcie: We love you, Chuck!Peppermint Patty: (turning towards Marcie) We do?Marcie: (hands around mouth for better volume) We do, Chuck!
- The next strip is on Sunday, where Marcie confesses that she'd marry Charlie Brown if he asked.
- Even Lucy worries and cries over Charlie Brown being in the hospital. This culminates in her standing outside at night, saying, "Charlie Brown, I know you can't hear me, but I want to make you a promise. Charlie Brown, if you get well, I promise to never pull the football away again!" She didn't keep that promise, but it's the thought that counts.
- The BOOM! Comics version adds in a scene where Charlie Brown is upset over being left alone, feeling friendless. Snoopy, lonely without Charlie Brown, goes above and beyond everything, sneaks into the hospital, gets to Charlie Brown's room, kisses his nose and snuggles up with him.
- When Charlie Brown (and the world) first hears about the birth of his new baby sister. Just the overjoyed look on his face makes this one of the strip's most beautiful moments, ever. He's so excited, he even runs out into the street yelling.
Charlie Brown: I'M A FATHER! (beat) I MEAN MY DAD'S A FATHER! I'M A BROTHER! I'VE GOT A NEW BABY SISTER! I'M A BROTHER!Linus: (to Lucy) You didn't act like that when I was born.
- There is one strip from the nineties where Snoopy, who has been lying awake at night worrying, goes to Charlie Brown for comfort.
Charlie Brown: Are you upset, little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don't worry... I'm here. I'm here to give you reassurance. Everything is all right. The flood waters will recede... the famine will end... the sun will shine tomorrow... and I will always be here to take care of you. (Sends Snoopy back off to bed) Be reassured! (Next, in his own bed) Who reassures the reassurer?
- One late '80s strip has Snoopy remarking on the absurdity of the sizes of different dogs he's seen, then remarking that he thinks he's just the right size. Woodstock then pipes up. Snoopy reassures him that he, too, is just the right size.
- Woodstock just wants to give his mother a flower for Mother's Day many times, and Snoopy's there to help.
- Snoopy tracks down his dad's location (somewhere in Florida), also in the late '80s, and organizes his litter to send him a letter.
- This strip, not least because it comes right on the heels of a seriously Tear Jerker storyline.
- The follow-up.
Peppermint Patty: You kissed me, Linus!Linus: 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' Patty...Someday, someone is going to look at you and say, "Behold! A great beauty!"
- The follow-up.
- The Beethoven's birthday Sunday strip from 1984. Schroeder kisses Lucy for real this time.
- A 1965 story arc has Charlie Brown going to summer camp, where he meets—and befriends—a similarly lonely kid named Roy. After they say their goodbyes and Roy goes home, Charlie Brown reflects on the experience.
- And even better, in the big picture reaching out and befriending Roy is a rare positive thing that returned to Charlie Brown with interest: while Roy had very little role in the series from then on, it is through him that Charlie Brown meets Peppermint Patty - who would of course go on to become one of his closest friends. In retrospect, Charlie Brown meeting Roy is a small show of how extending goodwill to someone else can go on to bring good back to you.
- In one story arc, Snoopy and Woodstock are in an argument. Then, towards the end, Snoopy sees that the cat next door has a yellow mitten — but from a distance, Snoopy thinks it's Woodstock. So what does he do? Leap over the fence and physically attack the cat, getting mauled in the process, to save his little friend!
- A short series at the end of August 1996: Peppermint Patty feels sort of lonely, and so tries to find someone to sit with on a porch swing for awhile. Charlie Brown and Linus are unable to help (both don't have porches, much less porch swings), so she and Snoopy go over to a garden supply store that's still open and, with the owner's permission, fall asleep together on one of their porch swings.
- In general, Sally and Charlie Brown's whole relationship. Sally often seems to look up to her "loser" big brother as an example, and while he's often exasperated with her, it's clear Sally means the world to Charlie Brown. In the strips where she was still a baby, he was often shown trying to teach her how to read and count, and fusses over her when she cries. Later strips show him helping her with her homework and giving her advice (not that she listens). Annoying Younger Sibling? Absolutely. Completely beloved by her big brother in spite of that? Absolutely.
- While Sally shouting, "KISS HER, YOU BLOCKHEAD!" at Charlie Brown when he's struggling to talk to Marcie for some reason was mainly just hilarious, her being a Shipper on Deck for the two is actually pretty cute.
- The relationship between Sally and her school. No, not the school as a whole — the literal school building. At first, Sally hates school, and by extension, the building, berating it and kicking it. Eventually, though, they seem to reach an understanding, and Sally begins to confide in the building, talking to it like Charlie Brown would talk to Lucy at her psychiatrist booth. Soon, there's genuine affection between the two, coming off almost in a romantic way (weird as it is, even in context, it's still sweet), with the building dropping a brick on a kid that makes fun of Sally and getting jealous of Linus when she claims he's her boyfriend. At one point when Sally gets sick and can't go to school, she makes Charlie Brown tell the school why she's absent. (He does, despite being embarrassed.) When the school finally collapses, Sally's genuinely heartbroken, but talks to her new school as well, saying the original school spoke fondly of it. There's one strip in particular where Sally admits she used to dislike school, but now thanks it for changing her life, and hugs it. After she leaves...
School, thinking: (with a Luminescent Blush) I can't believe it... somebody loves me!
- In an early strip, Linus, still a baby, is playing with some blocks and falls asleep right there where he's sitting. Lucy, seeing this, goes over and stacks the blocks so they spell out:
- In one Thanksgiving strip, Snoopy is explaining Thanksgiving preparations to Woodstock. When he mentions roasting the turkey, Woodstock faints in fear that HE will be roasted. Snoopy quickly reassures him that that isn't going to happen, and that he'd punch anyone who tried (which leads to a Crowning Moment of Funny when he accidentally punches Charlie Brown on the nose, and Charlie Brown wonders what brought it on).
- A Charlie Brown Christmas has one of the great TV moments in history when Charlie Brown is convinced that he killed that forlorn Christmas tree. He returns to see the whole gang singing, after saving the little tree and making it beautiful and strong. Then the whole gang wishes him Merry Christmas and we have the pleasure of seeing Charlie Brown happy at his quest for a deeper meaning of the holiday being fulfilled.
- It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: Lucy, who has mocked Linus' belief in the Great Pumpkin for the entire show, wakes up in the middle of the night to find her brother is not in his bed. She goes out, finds him freezing in the pumpkin patch, still waiting. Without saying a singly mocking word, she brings him inside, take off his shoes, and kindly tucks him into bed, showing that for all her fuss-budget ways, she does care deeply about her brother.
- It gets better. Her alarm clock woke her up. She knew he'd probably be out in the pumpkin patch at that hour and made sure she'd be awake so she could put him to bed.
- "There's No Time For Love, Charlie Brown" contains what may be the sweetest example of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy in the history of media. Charlie Brown walks Marcie home after working on their science reports at Peppermint Patty's house, where Patty invited him in the first place after accidentally hurting his feelings when Marcie called her on being in love with him. When they reach her door, Marcie thanks Charlie Brown for walking her home and gives him a kiss on the cheek. As he stands there smiling and blushing like crazy, Marcie happily tells him, "If you don't want that to be from me, Chuck, think of it as being a good-night kiss from Peppermint Patty because I think she likes you."
- The ending of "You're In Love, Charlie Brown": Charlie Brown tries to catch the Little Red Haired Girl on her way to the bus on the last day of school, but the crowd gets in his way, and he misses what he thinks is his last chance to tell her he likes her. Then he notices that someone in the crowd slipped a note into his hand. What does it say?
I like you, Charlie Brown. Signed, Little Red Haired Girl
- The Climax of "She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown." One of the most beautiful moments in the history of animation.
- "Why, Charlie Brown, Why?": Linus's friend gets leukemia and is in the hospital. Linus is saddened, but has two very distinct Moments of Awesome. He stands up to Lucy, and tells her that leukemia isn't contagious. He also stands up to a schoolyard bully who laughs at the girl for not having any hair.
- Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown: Sally receives a candy heart with How Do I Love Thee? written on it. She proceeds to read the poem aloud, along with Snoopy acting it out beside her. This scene feels touching in spite of the fact they never explain how the candy company fit that whole poem on one little heart.
- Even better, after It's the Great Pumpkin... and ''Be My Valentine..." when Charlie Brown was left out of Halloween candy and Valentines respectively, young viewer mailed candy and valentines to Charlie Brown in care of CBS to show how much they cared about him.
- In the "Camp" short Peppermint Patty laments to Linus how pretty the Little Red-Haired Girl is compared to her and wishes that Snoopy could be there to comfort her. Linus' response is to kiss her on the cheek and assure her that one day someone will think she's the most beautiful person in the world.
- In "I Want A Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown", Rerun asks if he could buy Snoopy. Charlie Brown tells him that he can... for a hundred billion dollars.
- Linus's talk with Charlie Brown at the end of A Boy Named Charlie Brown to get his best friend back on his feet after humiliating himself on national TV.
Linus: Well, I can understand how you feel. You worked hard, studying for the spelling bee, and I suppose you feel you let everyone down, and you made a fool of yourself and everything. But did you notice something, Charlie Brown?Charlie Brown: What's that?Linus: The world didn't come to an end.
- "Welcome home, Charlie Brown." Leave it to Peanuts to make its biggest and cruelest Running Gag seem sweet.
- Snoopy's relationship with Charlie Brown throughout A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Although there's the usual strife between them at the outset ("Why can't I have a normal dog like everybody else?"), Snoopy helps Charlie Brown succeed in the second round of the spelling bee (happening by the school building, he stands at the window and plays a jew's harp to remind Charlie Brown of the song he and Linus sung the night before to remember the spelling rules) and ends up cheering him on in the final round. Plus, there's the moment when, reuniting in New York City, they rush delightedly into each other's arms and proceed to dance happily together.
- Especially when Charlie Brown says "Hey!", and Snoopy responds with "Hey!" in that cute voice of his.
- The song "Happiness" from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. All of it, really, but especially
Happiness is singing together when day is through,And happiness is those who sing with you.
- "Poor Sweet Baby", in which Peppermint Patty sings to the Oblivious to Love Charlie Brown:
If you need a shoulder, come and try mine on for size,I'm real good at holding hands and really great at drying eyesJust try me, cry me all your tearsWhy deny me the pleasure of drying 'em, stopping you crying 'em...?
- "Just One Person" from "Snoopy The Musical." This song, about believing in yourself, is the closing number of the animated special, and the animation that goes with it makes it both Crowning Musical Moment of BOTH Awesome and Heartwarming. It starts with Snoopy singing with Woodstock, then Lucy joins in for a verse, and Sally for part of a line. "And if three whole people, why not four?" has Linus join, and "And if four whole people, why not more...and more...and more?" has Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, and Schroder help anchor what is a human chain. By the end, the entire cast has joined the song.
- The last line of You're a Good Man Charlie Brown is a Title Drop by Lucy—in Sincerity Mode for once—after all but her and Charlie Brown have left the stage.
- The "Well, for one thing, you have a little brother who loves you" strip mentioned above retains its original heartwarming character while becoming a Tear Jerker into the bargain in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown—it comes after Lucy, conducting a series of "crabbiness surveys" to find out what everyone thinks of her behavior, has a massive Heel Realization.
Lucy: Don't talk to me, Linus. I don't deserve to be spoken to. I don't deserve to breathe the air I breathe. I'm no good, Linus. I'm no good.Linus: That's not true.Lucy: Yes it is. I'm no good, and there's no reason at all why I should go on living on the face of this earth.Linus: Yes there is.Lucy: Name one. Just tell me one single reason why I should still deserve to go on living on this planet.Linus: Well, for one thing, you have a little brother who loves you.(Lucy is silent for a minute and then bursts into tears)Linus: Every now and then I say the right thing.
- When Charles Schulz died, another comic showed how he fared in the afterlife. Snoopy is pawing at the gates of Heaven, which has a "No Dogs Allowed" sign on it. St. Peter looks down at the man standing before him and says, "I think we can make an exception in your case, Mr. Schulz."
- Close to Home's tribute strip after Charles Schulz died.◊
- Mutts did a reprise of the famous first strip, but with Earl and Mooch watching Charlie go by instead of Shermy and Patty. After he's gone, they exclaim, "How we love him!"
- Pearls Before Swine has done a number of tributes to Peanuts. In one, Pig complains that the Christmas storyline they're doing is too dark, so Stephen Pastis writes Linus in to explain what Christmas is all about.
- The tribute in This Modern World following Schulz's death, especially as it was so unexpected to read that acerbic, low-distribution left-wing satirist Tom Tomorrow had written a fan-letter to Charles Schulz in 1992. And that Schulz had then invited him for lunch.
- On May 27, 2000, a large consortium of comic strip creators agreed that they would all publish a tribute strip to Schulz. Opening the paper to the funnies and seeing nothing but loving tributes to Schulz was a sight to behold.
- Examples from The Peanuts Movie go here.
- Once, when Charles Schulz was in a hospital, he left a cartoon showing Snoopy doing one of the exercises prescribed for patients with lung ailments.
- Even after he got rich off of the strip and could've very easily hired someone else to do it, Schulz drew every strip by himself, until the very end. Every. Single. One. Doing It for the Art is a massive understatement.
- Several examples from the fans. Sure, the Peanuts gang may not be real, but they sure did leave a real impact on many readers' childhoods. It's just so heartwarming to think about how many people loved these kids so much.
- When Charlie Brown spent an arc in the hospital, implied to be several weeks, countless fans sent "get well" cards to Charlie Brown, via Charles Schulz.
- After the famous "I Got a Rock" ordeal at Halloween, many children sent most, or all, of their Halloween candy to Charles Schulz, asking him to please give it to Charlie Brown.
- The entirety of the book Happiness is a Warm Puppy.