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Western Animation / She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown

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The 19th Peanuts animated special, She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown first aired on CBS in 1980. As with many of the specials, its plot is adapted from a story arc in the newspaper strip. Peppermint Patty is preparing to participate in a skating competition, with Snoopy acting as her coach. She struggles with staying awake in class, getting a suitable figure skating outfit, and having music that breaks easily.

Since 2010, an edited version of this special has aired on ABC to fill out the one-hour timeslot during their annual airing of Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, presumably as both are set in the winter with Peppermint Patty in a key role. However, the two specials made their DVD debuts on two separate releasesnote , which WB eventually bundled together in the Snoopy's Holiday Collection boxset.


Tropes for this special include:

  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: In the comics, Patty found out that despite her hard work, Snoopy had brought her to a rollerskating derby. Thus she was disqualified by default, as well as for damaging the rink with her blades. Here, Snoopy has the presence of mind to take her to an actual ice rink, and Patty wins thanks to her hard work and Woodstock filling in when her cassette tape breaks.
  • Advertised Extra: Charlie Brown only shows up in three scenes, despite his name appearing in the title. He doesn't even speak.
  • Artistic License: If you fall during your skating routine, it doesn't just end. You have to get up and see it through until your music stops. Yet after two girls fall, they immediately finish the routine and get low scores.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Woodstock's ability to whistle. He manages to save Peppermint Patty's performance by whistling her routine song.
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  • A Day in the Limelight: Peppermint Patty, who's usually a supporting character, gets to be the focus of this one.
  • Drama Queen: Peppermint Patty reacts this way when seeing Marcie's attempt to make a dress for her. She goes to Snoopy and complains that she will be a laughingstock.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Snoopy as a coach keeps barking criticisms at Patty as she practices in front of him. When she wins the competition, however, he gives her a Smooch of Victory that pleases her.
  • Failure Montage: The first two girls in the competition fall while doing their routines. They predictably get low scores as a result.
  • Graceful Loser: The other girls in second and third place have big smiles as Peppermint Patty stands with her first place trophy.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Snoopy can make over a dress without needing a pattern. He also needs only a few minutes.
    • Peppermint Patty can figure skate very well, and wins a contest doing it.
    • Woodstock can whistle a beautiful rendition of the soprano aria "O mio babbino caro".
  • Mugging the Monster: A hockey team tries to bully Peppermint Patty and Snoopy off the ice while the two are practicing. A Curb-Stomp Battle ensues when Patty and Snoopy show that they aren't just "beautiful" figure skaters.
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: Peppermint Patty sees a sewing machine in Marcie's house and demands that Marcie make a dress for her. Marcie keeps protesting that she doesn't know how to sew, and that it's her mother's machine, but Patty doesn't listen.
  • Papa Wolf: Snoopy versus hockey players when they try to bully Peppermint Patty off the ice. Guess who wins?
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Patty gets up at 4:30 AM each morning to skate. This means by the time she gets to class she falls asleep easily. (More than usual.)
    • Patty pretty much demands Marcie to make her a skating dress out of denim, with sequins, and ignores Marcie's protests that she doesn't know how to sew. While buying the material, Patty also doesn't get a pattern, which might have helped Marcie with a framework. Predictably, Marcie's result is just a piece of fabric with one hole for Patty's head.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Patty's teacher is annoyed that she's sleeping through class, but is more concerned that "Patricia" can't keep awake.
    • Snoopy as a coach is a Drill Sergeant Nasty, but he helps Patty makes over the dress that she wants to wear for the competition, and rewards her with a kiss when she wins.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Peppermint Patty hopes to invoke this with a beautiful skating dress. While Marcie's attempt predictably goes south, Snoopy makes it over into a beautiful dress appropriate for a preteen skater.
  • She Is All Grown Up: During the end credits, we see the figure of an older ice skater dancing in an animation composed of stopped frames. Although never stated, it's clear from the large nose that she is an older Peppermint Patty, who has grown up to be a beautiful, graceful and elegant figure skater despite her supposed impediment.
  • Suddenly Speaking: The adults have intelligible dialogue, instead of the "wah-wah-wah" trombone. Oddly, the kids still repeat part of what of the adults say as though they still had to do so for the benefit of the audience, like in other specials.
  • Tears of Joy: When Patty's music breaks, Woodstock whistles a beautiful rendition of "O mio babbino caro". Snoopy sheds a tear over it.
  • Terms of Endangerment: The hockey player captain keeps calling Patty "beautiful" while attempting to bully her and Snoopy off the lake.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Due to working hard at something for the first time ever in her life, and due to Woodstock's lovely whistling, Patty is able to do her routine without any stumbles or falls, and wins first place at the competition.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Peppermint Patty, a tomboy, doesn't object at all to wearing a dress and is even delighted to wear one.
  • True Companions: Even though Charlie Brown is befuddled that his dog is giving skating lessons before dawn, he comes to cheer on Patty. So do the rest of his friends, including fussbudget Lucy.


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