YMMV / Peanuts

YMMV tropes for The Peanuts Movie go here.
  • Adaptation Displacement: While the TV specials are generally better known than the comic strips, there are a rather vocal section of fans who take their cues from Schulz as far as treating only the strips as canon and ignoring anything from cartoons, even if it's minor stuff like the Super Bowl special giving Marcie a last name (which was never stated in the strips).
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • There are some who consider Lucy's cruelty toward Charlie Brown as a mask for her own romantic feelings for him. Since Lucy's kindness towards Charlie Brown (or in general) is a strong case of Depending on the Writer some specials/strips give this theory a lot more credibility than others.
    • There are those who think that Schroeder is gay.
      • Gay for Beethoven, maybe.
      • Or maybe for Charlie Brown.
      • There are also those who think Schroeder is simply Asexual and aromantic.
      • It has been occasionally implied that he might have some repressed feelings for her but the real reason why he is never open about them is because he is normally annoyed by Lucy's rude and bossy nature.
      • Or conversely Schroder has nothing against girls in general he is just simply annoyed by Lucy. Also the Running Gag of Schroeder constantly rejecting Lucy's advances can be seen as Lucy getting her comeuppence due to her often rude behavior towards Linus and Charlie Brown.
    • For a certain group, Marcie and Peppermint Patty are seen as School Girl Lesbians, despite the fact that both girls are canonically crushing on Charlie Brown.
    • In the foreword to the 1975-76 Complete Peanuts collection, Robert Smigel (a Saturday Night Live writer and the guy behind Triumph The Insult Comic Dog) argues against the popular view of Charlie Brown as a Determinator - see that entry below.
      "Charlie Brown didn't keep trying to kick Lucy's football out of some inner strength and Horatio Alger resolve we were supposed to admire. He did it because he was weak. He was flawed, and he couldn't help himself. But that's exactly why we love him."
    • The reason Violet constantly says My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad is that she doesn't want anyone to know that she wishes he'd spend more time with her.
    • Some even argue that Charlie Brown's life is not quite as horrible as we think it is as he is not quite the loser is often made out to be. Charlie Brown normally gets along with the boys in his class (particularly Linus and Schroeder) and he has a surprisingly good love life as the Launcher of a Thousand Ships entry below has pointed out well enough.
  • Awesome Music: Now has its own page.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Lucy. People either love her for her personality and her Running Gag of swiping the football away from Charlie at the last millisecond, or hate her for the very same reasons.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The Alfred E. Neuman cameo at the end of this strip. It (sort of) makes sense in context, as the previous strips had Charlie Brown seeing everything as a baseball.
  • Cargo Ship: If taken to the extreme, Schroeder/Toy Piano and Linus/Security Blanket. Unfortunately, those two pairings might be the only two requited relationships.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Rerun, who usurped control over the strip in the last five or six years at the expense of every character not named Lucy, Charlie Brown, or Snoopy.
    • Spike, Snoopy's older brother, also fits the bill, particularly during his heyday in the 80's.
  • Dork Age: There are lots of opinions on when the strip's Golden Age was, how far it fell from that over the years, and exactly when the Seasonal Rot first set in, but everyone agrees that the 1980s were the weakest period, with frequent rehashing of old ideas, misguided attempts at relevance, and the inexplicable rise of Snoopy's brother Spike. Some of this was due to circumstances beyond Schulz's control, namely a heart attack that forced him to slow down his working pace.
    • Others believe that the strip never recovered from its 80's doldrums, often citing the increasingly scratchy art. This too was a side-effect of Schulz's heart attack; though he recovered, his motor skills started to deteriorate.
  • Ear Worm: "Linus and Lucy". How much so? One poll reported that the theme was the most recognizable piece of music in the world.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Schulz himself noted the discrepancy between Pig-Pen's popularity and his rare appearances in the strip.
    • Peggy Jean is surprisingly popular in fanfiction - maybe because she's the only girl that treats Charlie Brown with nothing but kindness.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Some fans proffer the idea that Linus's belief in the Great Pumpkin is supposedly a metaphor for religious faith. As noted below, Schulz emphatically rejected this.
  • Fanon: Several elements of the strip, including the Little Red-Haired Girl's actual name and Marcie's last name. You're in the Super Bowl called her Marcie Johnson, but Schulz has said that he never considered the animated specials canon. Another special gave the Little Red-Haired Girl's name as "Heather". Again, not canon, but fanfiction uses it anyway, usually on the grounds that they have to call her something.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: Those Darker and Edgier fics about the grown-up gang. From Peppermint Patty and Marcie being Schoolgirl Lesbians, Linus being a pot addict, to Schroeder being a closet gay.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Fans of the newspaper strip versus fans of the animated cartoons, as far as whether or not character details that are expanded upon in the latter (such as Marcie's last name, the number and names of Snoopy's siblings, and what the Little Red-Headed Girl looks like) should count as canon.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The major part of the strip's humor is Charlie Brown being a woobie Failure Hero. However, while such jokes of Charlie Brown misfortunes are funny when kept to the concise storytelling form of the comic strip, his original plots for the animated specials eventually lost all proportion for the stories' tone. This lead to specials with excruciating levels of sustained and illogical cruelty against our hero that tended to anger viewers, sometimes to the point of writing letters of protest. Of the specials, It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, Someday You'll Find Her, Charlie Brown and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown are particularly grievous offenders.
  • Fridge Brilliance: One story arc has Charlie Brown's baseball team making it into the championship game… and the team loses because of Charlie Brown. However, the fact that Charlie Brown's team even made it to the championship game implies that they won at least a few games.
    • In the Thanksgiving special, one of the things Snoopy serves Peppermint Patty and others is popcorn, which was probably actually served at the first Thanksgiving. Also (as lampshaded by Linus), the situation Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Charlie Brown are in is similar to the one in the poem "The Courtship of Miles Standish".
    • Doubles with Genius Bonus and Just for Pun: Why is Snoopy a World War I flying ace? Because he's a BEAGLE!
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The very last strip, like all newspaper comic strips, was written many weeks in advance… and was printed mere hours after Schulz's death.
    • In a 1954 strip, Charlie Brown invites Shermy over to read comic books. The titles include Revolutionary War Comics, War of 1812 Comics, Civil War Comics, World War I Comics, World War II Comics, and Korean War Comics, with Charlie Brown saying the next issue has him worried. He and all of America had reason to worry, considering what actually happened next...
    • The Running Gag of Peppermint Patty falling asleep in class is funny until it's eventually revealed that she's a latchkey kid who constantly stays up late waiting for her single dad to come home. She's not lazy: she's genuinely sleep-deprived.
    • The name of Snoopy's birthplace, the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, doesn't sound quite so charming now that the disgraceful conditions of many "puppy mill" dog-breeding facilities are better known.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: At least two translations of the strip (the French one and the Swedish one) were renamed after Snoopy. He's also very popular in Japan.
    • It would be interesting to note that, if you look at Yoshi from the Super Mario series' look and personality, it's very similar to Snoopy. Even similar enough to think Yoshi might be an Affectionate Parody in tribute to Snoopy.
    • A peculiar example (almost a form of Covered Up) is that in the USA the animated specials are better known than the original strips, whereas in other countries it's usually the other way around.
  • Growing the Beard: The late 1950s, when the characterizations of Charlie Brown (Butt Monkey Determinator) and Snoopy (Anthropomorphic Shift to an Intellectual Animal) finally crystallized. Or it can also be argued as when Lucy (and many more famous supporting characters than Violet like Linus, Sally and Peppermint Patty) is introduced in 1952.
    • It arguably grew an even bigger beard in the early 70's after Franklin, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty, and Marcie were introduced.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Listen to current news stories of bullying, then go read a Peanuts strip, or watch any of the specials (such as the auditorium scenes in A Charlie Brown Christmas). Not as funny as it used to be, is it?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the November 16, 1952 strip, Lucy yanks the football away from Charlie Brown for the first time... after which he tells her, "Don't ever do that again!"
  • I Am Not Shazam: When the strip first came out, people naturally assumed that Charlie Brown's name was "Peanuts". This frustrated Charles Schulz, who had predicted that this would happen. For many years the Sunday strips carried the subtitle "Featuring Good Ol' Charlie Brown" to help avert this.
  • Iconic Character, Forgotten Title: Ironically enough, once the strip became popular many people wound up forgetting the actual title and thinking it was called "Charlie Brown" or "Snoopy".
    • Snoopy was so iconic that that, in some countries (like Sweden), the comic strip is named after him. The official name of the strip's website was "snoopy.com" for much of the internet era.
    • Most of the animated specials and book collections include "Charlie Brown" in the title, but the title panels on the Sunday strips for many years said Peanuts featuring GOOD OL' CHARLIE BROWN.
    • In Italy it was known as "Linus" back in the day by most readers, mostly because the comic strip was published in a magazine named after him.
    • In Brazil there is an attempt to equal character and title by making Charlie Brown nicknamed "Minduim" (from amendoim, "Peanut").
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Believe or not, Charlie Brown. In Peanuts fanfiction (yes, there is Peanuts fanfiction), he's been paired up with Peppermint Patty, The Little Red-Haired Girl, Lucy and Frieda. In the strip, there's also Marcie, who has a huge crush on Charlie Brown, and he also had a short-lived romance with a girl named Peggy Jean. And in the early days, Patty and Violet sometimes showed romantic interest in him.
  • Les Yay: Because of the close friendship between Marcie and Peppermint Patty, some fans have inferred a romantic relationship between them. However, the comic strip's content does not lend support to this conclusion. This usually is only referred to in pop-culture satirists like Family Guy, comedian Stephen Lynch, and Robot Chicken.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Charlie Brown both in and out of universe. As Chris Rock once said, "He didn't even star in his own Halloween special."
    • Linus, to a lesser extent, also is this, namely in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the first Valentine's Day special and especially in Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown. Plus having Lucy as a sister doesn't do his reputation/well-being/self-confidence any favors.
  • Memetic Mutation: Snoopy's Happy Dance.
    • Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown has become a popular analogy. Political pundits especially seem to love it.
    • "I got a rock" is so memorable that it still gets referenced/parodied even today.
    • There's 3eanuts, a Garfield Minus Garfield-style attempt to recontextualize Peanuts by leaving off the final panel, which often ends up making the strip seem cruel and depressing. That said, it doesn't work nearly as well as Garfield Minus Garfield because Peanuts isn't as formulaic as Garfield, and really most humorous works would come off as bleak if you trimmed out the jokes.
  • Narm Charm: The animated specials, particularly the very early ones, have a great deal of this.
  • Nausea Fuel: An early 1970s Sunday strip has this, when Lucy drinks some soda with a straw that Snoopy used without her knowledge. The disgusted expressions that Charlie Brown makes because of this distract Lucy from their conversation.
  • The Scrappy: Rerun.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The strip sometimes suffers from this, due both to its own cultural ubiquity and to the influence it's had on countless other comics over the last half-century.
    • Consider this: Schulz's characters were considered dysfunctional in the 1950s and '60s. After comics like Calvin and Hobbes or Zits, it can be hard to believe this.
    • As Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson once put it in an interview:
      "Every now and then I hear that Peanuts isn't as funny as it was or it's gotten old or something like that. I think what's really happened is that Schulz, in Peanuts, changed the entire face of comic strips, and everybody has now caught up to him. I don't think he's five years ahead of everybody else like he used to be, so that's taken some of the edge off it. I think it's still a wonderful strip in terms of solid construction, character development, the fantasy element...Things that we now take for granted—reading the thoughts of an animal for example—there's not a cartoonist who's done anything since 1960 who doesn't owe Schulz a tremendous debt."
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: "Happiness Is a Warm Puppy", a strip quote that was famously turned into a gift book, leading to an entire "Peanuts Treasury of Happiness" series.
  • Tear Jerker: Snoopy, Come Home is the most depressing and gut-wrenching thing the franchise has ever produced.
    • This strip from 1972 is the most heartbreaking thing ever.
      • The two strips after it though, are downright adorable, unless you are a Linus/Sally shipper.
      • The final strip, which doubles as a heartwarming moment.
    • Why, Charlie Brown, Why?
    • While not as soul-crushing as Snoopy Come Home, A Boy Named Charlie Brown has a pretty melancholic feel to the whole thing. The basic plot is Charlie Brown dealing with the unrelenting misery and failure that is his life, getting a Hope Spot when he gets a chance at a regional spelling bee, and returning in disgrace after he loses.
  • Toy Ship: Many of the strip's male/female relationships would qualify as this.
  • Uncanny Valley: Lucy's early appearances had her depicted with pupils and irises rather than the simple dots that were shown in the time. This made her look like a total Creepy Child, especially when she smiled.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Charlie Brown
  • Values Dissonance: One strip from the mid-1950s Played for Laughs the fact that Linus had mistaken his first snowfall for the fallout from a nuclear war.
  • Values Resonance: A Charlie Brown Christmas' denouncement of commercialism (which carries over into A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown as well) and presentation of the True Meaning of Christmas.
    • Which makes later handling of the show even more ironic; due to the fact that networks generally push in more and more commercials into episodes, for several years the special aired heavily truncated. Fan backlash ultimately made them back away from it, giving the special a full hour and tossing in a short from a Christmas anthology special to pad things out so they can air it uncut. For course, that does mean that ABC gets to have a reliably high rated special they can rerun in an hour timeslot
    • There's also a bunch of still-relevant political humor in You're (Not) Elected, Charlie Brown and the strips on which it was based. The fact that they haven't dated is probably due to Schulz lampooning the overall election process rather than a current election or event of his day.
    • The bullying can fall into this and Dissonance as well - the characters do bully each other, and it's Played for Laughs, but many of the actual bullying rarely veers into Troubling Unchildlike Behavior, and when it does, (Such as Lucy throwing Shroeder's piano to the kite-eating tree) it's not shrugged off.
    • Save for a few controversial instances, Franklin's skin tone is barely commented on.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Some people believed early on that Peppermint Patty was not a tomboy, but an actual boy. It doesn't help that in some of the animated adaptations, she is voiced by a boy, and that in the 1980s and '90s, it became a little more acceptable for young males to have longer hair than it would be in the 1950s-1970s. (Where it was older men who had longer hair primarily!)
    • Plus, she's drawn with shorts - Schulz typically drew the other girls with skirts.
    • This was just made worse in the strips constituting She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown, where Peppermint Patty goes to get her hair cut by CB's father, a barber, then comes running out, her hair all but scalped, screaming at him, "You didn't tell him I'm a GIRL!"
  • We're Still Relevant, Dangit: Flashbeagle.
    • In one of the last daily strips, Sally is writing a letter to Harry Potter. Not as obvious as the previous trope, but this was written around the time the books were becoming popular.
  • What an Idiot: Poor Peppermint Patty…
    • An entire arc was dedicated to Peppermint Patty attending a "cheap private school" Snoopy recommended and not realizing it was an obedience school until after she graduated and the principal told her when she showed him her diploma as proof that she doesn't need to go back to school.
    • She then blamed Snoopy, and looked for him in order to beat him up, but forgave him when he saved her from the cat who lived next door to Charlie Brown (which she had mistaken for Snoopy in a cat suit).
    • The unseen adult in charge of the obedience school apparently is a idiot for thinking there's nothing wrong with training a human and graduating her as if she's a dog.
    • Let's not forget that Patty for the longest time thought Snoopy was a "funny-looking kid with a big nose." It was not until a series of strips in 1974, when Patty announced she was quitting school and moving into "Chuck's guest cottage", that an irate Marcie finally pointed out the truth to her.
    • And a series of strips from 1982 or so when Patty decided to transfer to a school for gifted children because she thought it meant they would give her presents.
  • The Woobie:
    • Charlie Brown, whenever his optimism is crushed for the umpteenth time.
    • Linus, whenever the Great Pumpkin fails to appear.
    • Peppermint Patty gets her moment when she sees the Little Red Haired Girl and how pretty she is, and realizes why Charlie Brown always loved her. It's enough to drive her to tears, and anyone who's ever had an unrequited crush probably knew exactly how she felt. Thank God Linus was there to listen and cheer her up.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Peanuts