Having run for eight months short of 50 years, made numerous forays in the field of animation, and generally won the hearts of millions (continuing to do so to this day), it is no wonder that Peanuts has many a Moment of Awesome under its belt.
- A decade before Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, when the strip featuring Schroeder's The Reason You Suck Speech to the girls in defense of Charlie Brown appeared in papers, it was just as awesome.
- Marcie gets one in a story arc where she's Drafted into Peppermint Patty's Baseball team. An extremely sexist boy is giving her trouble:Marcie: If you say one more word, I'll belt you right across the chops!
Her response? (Hint: It's the comic published on August 3, 1973.)
- When Linus and Snoopy are putting a dinosaur skeleton together, they begin dancing and raucously singing "Dem Bones", deliberately mixing the lyrics up ("the knee bone's connected to the wrist bone," etc.) until Lucy bodily throws them out the front door.
- Charlie Brown pulls one off in one strip where he talks up to the Kite-Eating Tree and points out that since he's the only one around who flies kites, without him the Tree would starve to death. As he says to Lucy at the end of the strip, "For the first time in my life, I feel needed!" And since this is Charlie Brown getting a Moment of Awesome, it's practically a Crowning Moment for Charles Schulz.
- Charlie Brown's other greatest reaction to the kite-eating tree... getting so mad at it, that he goes right ahead and BITES ITS TRUNK HALFWAY THROUGH! "Didn't think I'd do it, did you?"
- (This being Charlie Brown, the EPA then goes after him...)
- Charlie Brown realizes that Snoopy, who takes his food provided for him arrogantly for granted, missed his supper and does his Anti-Suppertime song and dance gloating while Snoopy watches stunned at this.
- In this strip, where Violet and Patty taunt Charlie Brown with their usual "we're having a party and you're not invited" jeer, Good Ol' Chuck finally snaps at them and threatens to get in a jet fighter and air strike their party if they don't invite him.
- One of Lucy's greatest "Moment of Awesome" bits comes when Charlie Brown says to Linus, "Well, another Halloween has come and gone and the Great Pumpkin didn't show up, did he?" Lucy counters: "No, she didn't, did she?", making Linus' hair stand on end. As Linus buries his head in despair, a triumphant Lucy says, "Never even occurred to you, did it?"
- Rerun gets his when Lucy has to go inside as she's about to engage in the classic scenario of pulling the football away, and leaves Rerun in her place. She desperately asks whether Rerun pulled the ball away, and Rerun's response ("You'll never know.") is enough to drive her to the Big "AAUUGH!"
- Many of the cast get theirs when Charlie gets one of his. Lucy is holding out the football again, and he decides to walk away. He calls over his shoulder that he's just glad nobody else thinks he's dumb enough to fall for that one again. The last panel shows several girls, as well as Snoopy and Woodstock, holding footballs for him.
- 1965: Linus's security blanket gets its revenge on Lucy for all the times she's tried to destroy it by physically attacking her - grabbing her around the ankles and trying to throw her, and leaping on her regularly. It gets to the point where Lucy is afraid to go home for fear of being attacked by the blanket. Eventually she and the blanket sign a "peace treaty" and cease hostilities, but it's fun to see Lucy on the defensive for a change.
- There was a week of strips where Charlie Brown taught Rerun to play marbles; Rerun then went on to play against an older kid who pretended that they were playing for fun but, when he won, said "Keeps" and took all of Rerun's marbles. When he tells Charlie Brown what happened, Charlie goes with him to talk to the older kid, named Joe Agate, to try and reason with him into returning Rerun's marbles. On the way, a little girl runs past, another victim of Joe's scam. Charlie Brown decides enough is enough and challenges Joe to a game of marbles "for keeps".Charlie Brown: Knuckle down, Joe. This is for keeps.
- This story line is an awesome moment for two reasons:
- 1) It's one of the few times Charlie Brown gets a clear and decisive victory, with no loss or injury to himself.
- 2) Said victory is earned on Charlie Brown's own terms. He doesn't come out on top because of luck or outside interference, but because marbles is one of the few things Charlie Brown, a lovable loser, is shown to unquestionably and prodigiously skilled at, to the point he's apparently earned the nickname "Cool Thumb" Brown. He doesn't just win against Joe, he completely cleans his clock. He even gets his own Let's Get Dangerous! moment at the start of the match.
- This story line is an awesome moment for two reasons:
- In one 1974 arc, Peppermint Patty refuses to go to school and sits on top of Snoopy's doghouse all day, much to the annoyance of Marcie. At the end, Marcie single-handedly smashes Snoopy's doghouse and screams to Peppermint Patty that Snoopy is a dog (and not a "funny-looking kid with a big nose"). Ol' Ms. Reichardt's quite a doofus, wouldn't you say?
- The week when Charlie Brown actually hit a home run - against the girl who claimed to be Roy Hobbs' (as in The Natural) great-granddaughter. Not just a Moment of Awesome for the Peanuts universe, but also a MOA for Schulz pulling a sort of "Tommy Westphal" move on American literature.
- Hell, any time Charlie Brown actually succeeds in baseball is a Moment of Awesome. In 1993, he went up to bat so nervous he left the bat on the bench and the next day showed him bounding home with a big grin on his face yelling about how he hit a homer at the bottom of the ninth, winning the game.
- Beware the Nice Ones indeed. Charlie Brown is slow to anger, but when he gets pissed.... Lucy has been spending the whole week trying to get the kids in the neighborhood to call her "Cutie." Ol' Chuck finally loses his temper and lays down a brutal The Reason You Suck Speech on Lucy: "You want someone to call you 'cutie?' Ha! That's a laugh! You've never acted cute in your whole life. You're crabby, you're bossy and you're inconsiderate! You're just about as 'uncute' as a person can get!" He storms off, and Lucy stands there in shock, saying to herself, "I'm an uncutie!"
- Charlie Brown kicks the football, with a little help from your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man!
- One classic strip featured Lucy spouting off about the world's population and how there are "too many babies being born" and "the Earth can't feed this many people". Linus says, in a completely serious deadpan tone in the final panel, "why don't you leave?"
- In one early Sunday strip, Lucy was watching TV and Linus complained about how he was tired of always having to watch what Lucy wanted watch. Lucy then turned to Linus threatening to slug him. After her threat, Linus merely walked over to the TV set and changed the channel. He then looked Lucy directly in the eye and said, "You don't frighten me one bit."
- In a 1967 story arc, Linus foolishly makes a deal with his "blanket-hating Grandma" that he'll give up his blanket if she'll give up smoking, never thinking that Grandma would actually do it. Lucy is only too happy to hide the blanket from Linus, unmoved by his suffering and pleading. She finally brings the blanket out to burn it in the trash burner, but as soon as she tosses the blanket in, Linus snatches the blanket back and delivers Lucy an epic tell-off. Charlie Brown even applauds.Linus: GIVE ME BACK THAT BLANKET! No one is going to "cure me" of ANYTHING! Who are YOU to tell me what to do? Who is GRANDMA to tell me what to do? When MOM tells me it's time to stop dragging this blanket around, then I'll do it, but it's no one else's business, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!!
- Snoopy gets a big one in a classic strip. Linus runs over to him screaming that he saw Woodstock get caught by the cat next door, (a Lightning Bruiser cat who can cut down trees with alarming, often artistic precision). Snoopy's immediate reaction is to fling himself off his doghouse, over the fence and become the losing end of a Curb Stomp Cushion to rescue his friend. He succeeds. As it turns out, "Woodstock" was an "old yellow glove" that the cat was playing with (that from a distance, resembled the bird). But as Linus states; Woodstock would have been honored to know what Snoopy went through for him.
- In a strip Charlie Brown sees the Little Red-Haired Girl being bullied and shoved to the ground. He does his usual spell of Wangsting about how he's a coward who can't even talk to her let alone try to save her. Linus who is also watching gets fed up and lets out a loud snapping sound with his blanket, mimicking a whip, and deals with the Bully himself offpanel as a loud cracking sound is heard. Linus calmly walks back and says she won't be getting bullied anymore.
- In one strip, Snoopy steals Linus' Security Blanket again. Fed up with him doing it, Linus holds Snoopy's dinner dish hostage. Realizing that Linus is serious, Snoopy exchanges the blanket for the dish.
- Snoopy can be the most awesome guard dog ever◊ when he pulls out all stops.
- Also one for Schulz for the Genius Bonusnote .
- In a strip from 1959, Lucy puts on one of Charlie Brown's t-shirts and proceeds to mock him, saying, "Nobody likes me! Everybody hates me! poor, poor me!", while Patty and Violet shriek with laughter. Eventually Charlie Brown shows up, looks Lucy dead in the eye, and says, "Well hello there, Charlie Brown, you blockhead!" Cue a second round of hysterics from Patty and Violet and a defeated sigh from Lucy.
- During the climax of the obedience school arc, Peppermint Patty learns that she graduated from a dog school, and is so angry that she intends to beat up Snoopy (who had recommended the school to her). While looking for him, she sees the cat who lives next door to Charlie Brown and, mistaking it for Snoopy in a cat suit, starts fighting it. Snoopy comes up and, seeing that Patty is losing, immediately dives in to help her even though she was going to clobber him.
- In one short arc, Lucy asks her teacher why they can't learn more about women in their history class. While it starts off as a joke, with Lucy saying, "Well, my grandmother was pretty cute...", it ends on a surprisingly strong, feminist note.Lucy: (concluding her presentation) We need to study the lives of great women like my grandmother. Talk to your own grandmother today. Ask her questions. You'll find she knows more than peanut butter cookies! Thank you!
- Any time Charlie Brown takes Lucy down a peg. One Sunday baseball strip has Lucy suggest to Charlie Brown that they sell their baseball team to the big city and move. Charlie Brown tells her they should only sell her.
- The arc where Linus and Lucy move away has Charlie Brown laying it on Schroeder for the way he treated her.Charlie Brown: Well, what do you care? You never liked Lucy anyway! You were always insulting her!
Schroeder: But, I didn't understand... I mean, I...
Charlie Brown: Oh, stop making excuses! Go home and play your ol' Beethoven!
Animated Specials and Films
- Linus explaining the True Meaning of Christmas by reciting a passage from the Gospel of Luke in A Charlie Brown Christmas may be one of the best Moments of Awesome ever.
- It was a crowning moment for Schulz, as well, who had to fight with the network to get that scene. (And, for that matter, to get a lot of the special made the way he wanted it).
- The special itself was a moment of awesome—not only was it the first Peanuts special, but it was supposed to fail spectacularly...and, well, look what happened. For that matter, years later the animators were embarrassed about the cheap and rather shoddy animation and wanted to redraw the whole thing, but Schulz was firm—he liked it just the way it was.
- In It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Lucy getting up in the middle of the night, walking out to the pumpkin patch, ushering a sleeping, shivering Linus into the house, and tucking him into bed.
- In A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, when Marcie chastises Peppermint Patty for chewing out Charlie Brown for his hastily prepared Thanksgiving dinner.
- In It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown, Snoopy gets dressed up and heads out for a fun night on the town while the kids are playing. He meets up with Franklin, the pair of them decide to go clubbing with teenagers, and Snoopy owns the dance floor, impressing everyone, as his alter-ego, 'Flashbeagle'. Snoopy may be a dog but he proves once again that he is a very talented one. What adds to the awesomeness is that Joey Scarbury and Desiree Goyette sell the hell out of the Flashbeagle song.
- Schroeder's The Reason You Suck Speech to Violet in Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown for giving Charlie Brown a Valentine's card out of pity. Which is later broken by Charlie Brown, who accepts the card nevertheless.
- In the infamous cancer special Why, Charlie Brown, Why?, Linus throwing a fit at some random jerk for making fun of his friend Janice, who had leukemia. Had Peanuts not been a kids' show, there would have been a lot of cussing.
- Earlier in the special Lucy insisted Linus would get cancer for being in contact with Janice. Linus storms off saying, "I wouldn't want to catch your crabbiness."
- In A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Rod McKuen singing the title tune after Lucy says, "Welcome home, Charlie Brown!", followed by the images of everyone who worked on the film was a Moment of Awesome and Awesome Music at the same time, as well as Linus' speech that gets Charlie out of bed after an Epic Fail to end all Epic Fails: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.
- Charlie Brown kicking the football and taunting Lucy at the same time in the special It's Magic, Charlie Brown. Now that was a long time in coming.Charlie Brown: (turned invisible, parading the ball around Lucy) What's the matter? Did you lose something? Is this yours?
(Charlie Brown shoves the ball into Lucy's hands, then forces her arm out to hold the football, then kicks it again)
Charlie Brown: (Evil Laugh)
- And let's not forget the ending, where Snoopy uses his magic to have Lucy suspended in the air after telling Charlie Brown he has no proof of him kicking the ball. The music sells it, not to mentioned them both happily skipping away. Hey, she deserves it.
- The kicker; Lucy stays up there through the entire credits sequence... until Linus walks by at the very end and without batting an eye lassos her leg with his blanket to pull her down.
- In It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown, the arm wrestling match between Lucy and the Masked Marvel (another one of Snoopy's alter egos). In various interviews, this was Schulz's all-time favorite pieces of animation.
- In She's a Good Skate Charlie Brown, Patty's music is broken, which would normally disqualify her, but Woodstock comes in and pulls a Moment of Awesome and Awesome Music by whistling "O Mia Babbino Caro". Bonus points for them getting the world's best whistler.
- Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown was arguably rather dull, and longer than the average Peanuts special to boot, but Linus pulls out a MOA at the at the last second with a typically Linus-like speech in which he defends his Security Blanket and calls the others out on their insecurities. From the top of Snoopy's doghouse, no less. This scene ends with Linus asking if anyone is without insecurity. Cue a dialogue-less scene that ends with a silent, simple, yet utterly victorious moment for possibly the only Peanuts character who is truly secure. It's Pig-Pen!
- It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown has one, though we don't see it. After Charlie Brown is able to finally kiss the Little Red-Haired Girl, Linus tells him that he danced all the time and was the life of the party. Charlie Brown was the life of a party.
- He's a Bully, Charlie Brown. Upon Rerun losing his marbles to a bully named Joe Agate, Charlie Brown goes into a Training from Hell montage by Snoopy in his 'Joe Cool' persona. The end result? He beats Joe in his own game, using his own shiner to win back every marble he [Joe] stole from Rerun.
- Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown has Snoopy, who had spent the whole movie being intimidated by the bully team's cat, Brutus, finally snap and punch out the cat when he tried to sink Woodstock's raft. Snoopy would do it again, this time throttling the cat as well, when he tried to ruin Woodstock's celebration.
- "You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown" has Charlie Brown in a motocross event. When "The Masked Marvel" (a.k.a. Snoopy) stops for lunch, Charlie Brown valiantly trudges onward through the obstacles. Snoopy gets stuck in a mudtrap, while Chuck goes on to actually win the race. Couple that up with some awesome Vince Guaraldi music, and you have one of the most awesome moments in Peanuts history.
- The song "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron: ends with one: when Snoopy gets a new plane from the Great Pumpkin and challenges him again, the Red Baron starts laughing... Then he notices that Snoopy got him in his sight while he was laughing, after which "Snoopy fired once, and he fired twice/And that Bloody Red Baron went spinning out of sight".
- Being a Minnesota native, Schulz loved hockey, ice-skating, and other ice sports. After moving to California, though, he could not find a proper ice arena. His solution? Build an ice arena near your home with your own money, and invite the public to use it, as well! Classy.