Tear Jerker: Peanuts

  • Charlie Brown's failures at something become expected after a while, but when you keep seeing it for decades, and even up to Schulz's death, you tend to really feel disappointed.
    • One of the most heartrending examples is one of the simplest, when Charlie Brown is at a bench at lunch all alone and sees the Little Red Haired Girl and he can't get the nerve to approach her:
    Charlie Brown: It's stupid to just sit here and admire that little red haired girl from a distance. It's stupid not to get up and go over and talk to her.
    [stands up]
    Charlie Brown: It's really stupid! It's just plain stupid; so why I don't I go over and talk to her?
    [sits down, in utter personal defeat to the point of tears.]
    Charlie Brown: Because I'm stupid.
  • The strip where Peppermint Patty tells Linus how she broke down crying when seeing the Little Red-Haired girl is utterly devastating, especially since that's all that happens in that particular strip; there's no punchline or "smiles-through-the-melancholy" comfort to ease the wretchedness:
    "I stood in front of that little red-haired girl and I saw how pretty she was... Suddenly I realized why Chuck has always loved her, and I realized that no one would ever love me that way... I started to cry, and I couldn't stop. I made a fool out of myself, but I didn't care! I just looked at her and I cried and cried and cried... I have a big nose and my split-ends have split-ends, and I'll always be funny-looking and I think Iím going to cry again..."
  • Schulz's death.
    • He ended the strip in a proper send-off strip to his newspapers and viewers. It was a coincidence that this last strip went out the day before he died, but it's too easy to believe it wasn't. He knew he was failing in health anyway so he probably planned the strip at the right time semi-accurately.
    • Here's the last strip. If you had ever been alive and seen a comics page before the year 2000, it should have been enough to bring a tear to your eye. If you had grown up as a fan of the series... Let's just say that five generations of American comic readers all wept from the sheer emotion of it all the day this was published.
    • One interview late in his life was recorded on video and it was played on news channels the day on his death. When talking about the characters, he said that Charlie Brown never got to kick that football.... and then he repeated it... and then cried. For a minute straight. It shows just how much the characters were really the most important part of the job to him.
    • After his death, more than 50 of the greatest newspaper comics creators at the time got together and agreed to include a Peanuts reference in each of their comics, all timed to appear on the same day. More details can be found here.
  • A Boy Named Charlie Brown can be this, knowing that he came so, so close.
  • The Sunday strip that ran a day before the last daily strip. This is the final appearance of Peppermint Patty and Marcie, and it's impossible to not read meaning into the final exchange between them:
    Marcie: Everyone's gone home, sir. You should go home too, it's getting dark.
    Peppermint Patty: We had fun, didn't we, Marcie?
    Marcie: Yes sir, we had fun.
    Peppermint Patty: Nobody shook hands and said "Good game".
  • Lucy's Heel Realization in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.