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Theatre / Dog Sees God

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Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenaged Blockhead is a 2004 fanfiction play (or an "unauthorized parody") by Bert V. Royal.

A Darker and Edgier take on the Peanuts universe, the show starts with the death of Snoopy and Woodstock, and somehow only manages to get more depressing from there. Due to copyright and trademark issues, none of the characters go by their official Peanuts-verse names.

There is a sequel in the works called The Gospel According to Matt: Confessions of a Teenage Dirtbag, themed around Matt.

The main characters are:
  • CB: Charlie Brown. Probably the most well-adjusted character (until the plot happens).
  • CB's Sister: Sally
  • Van: Linus gone pothead. When CB and Van's sister burnt his security blanket, his response was to mix it with weed and smoke it.
  • Matt: Pigpen. In the years since Peanuts, he's turned into a germaphobe and a homophobe.
  • Beethoven: Schroeder
  • Marcy: Marcie
  • Tricia: Peppermint Patty
  • Van's Sister: Lucy

This play provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Beethoven's father sexually abused him.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Charlie Brown was straight in the comic, but CB is attracted to other men.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Pigpen, the lovable mess, becomes Matt, the germophobic and homophobic jock.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • It's implied that Tricia's surname is "York". In canon, Peppermint Patty's name is Patricia Reichardt.
    • For copyright reasons, everyone goes by an alias. The exceptions are Frieda (who is only referenced and does not appear in the show) and Marcie (whose name is spelled "Marcy" but pronounced the same way). Most of the aliases are similar in some way to the characters' original names, except for Sally and Lucy (who are never given names of their own, only referred to as "[CB/Van]'s Sister") and Beethoven.
  • Adults Are Useless: Lampshaded, specifically the traditional muffled-trombone Peanuts voices.
  • Affectionate Parody: Every single cliché from various earlier "Darker and Edgier" parodies of the comic show up here in some form, from Snoopy getting rabies to Peppermint Patty and Marcie having a huge lesbian subtext going on (there's also a reference to the famous "Stop calling me 'sir'!"), Linus becoming a pot addict, to Schroeder being a closet gay, and everyone is generally foul-mouthed, drug-abusing and sex-obsessed — but despite all this, the comic's ideals and themes are upheld and honored (if stretched a little), and the final scene, with the letter from C.S. (aka Charles Schulz) is full of heartfelt words of encouragement to CB, telling him that he is a good man when all is said and done... and, depending on your interpetation, that his friend, dog and bird are happy in the afterlife.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: It's never clarified when the story takes place. It could be contemporary or it could be a period piece
  • All Gays Love Theatre:
    Van's Sister: No offence, CB, but I don't think you're cool enough to be gay. Don't get me wrong, I love you to death, but if I had to imagine you giving a shit about home decoration or musical theatre, I just don't see it.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Find an identity."
    • To a lesser extent, "Dog sees God in his master."
  • Armored Closet Gay: While Matt's sexuality is never confirmed, it's clear by the play's end that he has a strong interest in CB.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Beethoven became this after everyone found out his dad went to prison for molesting him, so everyone stopped being his friend, and he replaced CB as the Chew Toy.
  • Amicable Exes: Apparently, CB and Van's sister dated before she was put into the insane asylum.
  • Berserk Button: NEVER call Matt "Pigpen". Beethoven makes this mistake at the end of the play, and it costs him his life.
  • Black Comedy: Considering it's based off of Peanuts, this was a given.
  • Bread Milk Eggs Squick:
    CB: Just because I did something that I wanted to do doesn't make me a homo. I've smoked pot. Doesn't mean I'm a pothead. I've drank plenty of beer. Doesn't make me a drunk. You set that little redheaded girl's hair on fire. Doesn't make you a pyromaniac.
    Van's Sister: Well, actually, technically it does.
    CB: Okay. Bad example.
  • Break the Cutie: The entire play can be seen as this for CB. It starts with him losing his dog and comes full circle with him losing his lover at the end.
  • Butt-Monkey: CB, obviously.
  • Bury Your Gays: Alas, Beethoven! We hardly knew ye! He kills himself after having his hands broken by Matt. It's unclear if this was a Gayngst-Induced Suicide, a suicide over a Career-Ending Injury, or both.
  • Catchphrase: Most of those in Peanuts are lampshaded.
  • Cats Are Superior: Referenced in the quote the title is taken from:
    Beethoven: You know, they say a dog sees God in his master. A cat just looks in the mirror.
  • Childhood Friend Romance:
    • CB and Beethoven, although they had been distant for years before they got together.
    • This also applies to the relationship between CB and Van's sister before she was incarcerated.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Van's Sister is in an insane asylum for setting the Little Red-Headed Girl's hair on fire.
  • Coming-Out Story: For Beethoven and CB.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • CB's sister. Three words: "Cocooning into Platypus."
    • Van also fits the mold pretty well.
  • Darker and Edgier: Oh, yes. The play is an unauthorized parody of Peanuts. It's essentially a Dark Fic, with the story starting with Snoopy having rabies and only getting grimmer from there.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The reasoning behind Van's sister setting the Little Red-Headed Girl's hair on fire. The day before the incident, Van's sister had an abortion, and while in sex ed class, she was reading a note the Little Red-Headed Girl was passing to someone else about "how happy she was that she was a virgin and that she was going to stay that way until she gets married and how repulsed she was by all of the whores at our school".
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": One of the many Shout Outs to the original comic strip references the Running Gag centered around this trope.
  • Downer Beginning: The story begins with CB's dog being put down due to rabies. His dog also killed his bird friend.
  • Driven to Suicide: Beethoven, after Matt breaks his hands.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Ditzy Tricia is the one to point out the fact that Matt has a homoerotic obsession with CB. She even lampshades it: "I'm the dumb one and I figured it out."
  • Erudite Stoner: Van has grown up into this.
  • Fingore: When Matt breaks all of Beethoven's fingers by slamming the piano lid onto them.
  • Flatline: Several unofficial posters for the play use imagery of a black line shaped like a flatlining electrocardiogram against a yellow background, resembling Charlie Brown's iconic yellow shirt with the zig-zag stripe.
  • Forceful Kiss: CB is fond of giving this to Beethoven. Also counts as a "Shut Up" Kiss.
  • Full-Name Basis: Averted; even though CB is Charlie Brown, he is never called by his full name. Though his sister does refer to him as "Charles", and Van calls him "Chuck B.". Only one production used his full name, and they were sued because of it.
  • Fun with Palindromes: The title, minus the subtitle — "Dog Sees God".
  • Gay Aesop: The show is all about the damage homophobic bullying can do, as seen with how the relentless mockery Beethoven receives from Matt leads him to depression and isolation.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Matt's love for CB is ultimately what drives him to threaten and injure Beethoven.
  • Heroic BSoD: Both CB and his sister experience this trope after Beethoven's death.
  • I'll Be Your Best Friend: Van's sister offers to be CB's best friend forever if he sneaks her a book of matches next time he visits. According to him, though, she already is.
  • Incompatible Orientation: CB's sister loves Beethoven, but Beethoven is gay.
  • Interspecies Friendship:
    • CB's dog always played with a yellow bird. CB mentions it was as if they were best friends, though he wonders if that's too anthropomorphic sounding.
    • CB was very close to his dog, but his friends don't understand why he's so obsessed over a dog.
  • Ironic Echo: "I can't keep up with you. Find an identity!" The first time, it's said out of frustration from CB to his sister, who has a new obsession every week. The second time, it's said half-mockingly, half-lovingly from CB's sister to CB, remarking on his sudden coming out.
  • Irony: Van's sister ran a 5-cent psychiatry booth in her younger years. Now, as a teenager, she's stuck in an insane asylum for setting the Little Red-Haired Girl's hair on fire.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: At the end of the original play, Matt gets off with just a one-week suspension for breaking Beethoven's fingers. In the sequel, he is shown to be in the insane asylum as well.
  • Killed Off for Real: Snoopy has to be put down after getting rabies and killing Woodstock, and Beethoven kills himself after Matt breaks his hands by slamming the piano top on them.
  • Large Ham:
    • CB's sister is one in-universe, judging by her original performance of her "Cocooning Into Platypus" play. Although it's later subverted by her final performance after Beethoven's death.
    • Van's sister also qualifies. Partly justified in that she's drugged up on lithium during her only appearance.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "Do you ever feel like you're not a real person? That you're the product of someone's imagination and you can't think for yourself because you're really just like some creation and that somewhere there's people laughing every time you fall?"
  • Love Dodecahedron: As is typical of a Peanuts-inspired story. CB and Beethoven develop an interest in each other, even though CB was dating Van's sister (who herself was briefly in love with Beethoven when they were kids) until she was arrested for arson. Meanwhile, Van likes CB's sister, who likes Beethoven. Tricia and Marcie initially like Matt and CB, respectively, although Marcie grows more attracted to Matt after they sleep together. And finally, as is revealed as the play goes on, Matt is in love with CB, and is intensely jealous of the attention CB is receiving from Beethoven.
  • No Bisexuals: CB once had a relationship with Van's sister, and his love for the Little Red-Headed Girl is also acknowledged. However, after he kisses Beethoven, everyone talks about him as being gay, including CB himself; no one ever raises the possibility that he could be bi.
  • No Name Given: To get around copyrights, Snoopy and Woodstock are referred to by species.
    • For presumably similar reasons, Sally and Lucy are never given actual names. The script calls them "CB's Sister" and "Van's Sister" respectively, and the other characters don't address or refer to them by name.
  • Outgrowing the Childish Name: It doubles as a way to get around copyrights, but several characters have outgrown their child nicknames. For example, Peppermint Patty goes by Tricia (short for "Patricia") and Pigpen goes by "Matt".
  • Ordinary High-School Student: CB. This is even lampshaded by Van's sister.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Beethoven commits suicide after Matt breaks his hands, but CB gets a letter from his pen pal (all but stated to be Charles M. Schulz himself) that encourages him to keep hoping for good things and tells him he's a good person, and implies that Beethoven, CB's dog, and the little yellow bird are happy in the afterlife.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The script is loaded with not-quite-copyright infringement references to the cartoon.
    • The last line of CS's letter to CB is "You're a good man."
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Matt does not take CB and Beethoven's relationship well. So when he accuses Beethoven of "messing" with his friend's feelings and threatens him to stay away from CB, Beethoven's brief replies are nothing short of this.
    Beethoven: No.
    Matt: What? What did you just say?
    Beethoven: I said no. Pigpen.
  • Skewed Priorities: Marcie freaks out when Beethoven shows up, saying her parents will kill her if they find out there was a gay person in the house. While she's throwing a Wild Teen Party while her parents are out of town. CB is quick to point out that that's probably actually pretty far down on the list of reasons they've given her parents to get mad.
    CB: Marcie, there are seven people high on ecstasy f*cking in your parents' bed!
  • Their First Time: CB admits to Van's sister that he and Beethoven had sex after leaving the party. Although it's implied by their dialogue that she and CB have had sex before, while they were dating. It's still his first time with another male, however.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: An implied case with Van's sister. She claims that she's been labeled a psychopath and never been given a chance to prove otherwise, so she has no choice but to believe it herself.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: In the original Peanuts comic, Sally was in love with Linus, which Linus absolutely hated. In the play, Van now has a thing for CB's sister, but she's not interested.
  • Used to Be a Tomboy: Rough and tumble tomboy Peppermint Patty has grown up to be ditzy party girl Tricia.
  • We Used to Be Friends / Et Tu, Brute?: Beethoven feels betrayed that all his friends started to shun him when they found out about his father's sexual abuse. He especially resents CB, who was one of his closest childhood friends and did nothing to stop the bullying.
    "You were one of my best friends. You all were. I just don't get it."
  • Weight Woe: Frieda has an eating disorder.
  • Wild Teen Party: Marcie throws one of these while her parents are away. While sex-crazed teen antics are expected, it's CB's kissing of Beethoven that truly shocks the other partygoers.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Matt's compulsive cleanliness.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: To avoid copyright infringement, none of the characters are referred to by their actual names.
  • Yandere: Matt is implied to be a closet one for CB.
  • You Are What You Hate: Matt is a massive homophobe who's implied to be in love with CB.