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 round
That's why everytime Charlie Brown DOES succeed, it feels so good.
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.
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.
Charlie Brown's reaction to getting a fourth ball in the ninth inning, walking someone home and winning his first game. "I think I'm going to cry..."
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."
One sequence of strips was about Woodstock billing Snoopy six dollars for breaking something. It transpired that Snoopy had monopolized Woodstock's crush for an 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.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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 eyes
Just try me, cry me all your tears
Why 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.
When Jim Henson died, Robin, Kermit's nephew, uses this SAME SONG for "The Muppets Tribute to Jim Henson" (Robin's version starts at 3:04).
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."