“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” character ranking

Thanksgiving came and went, which means it’s time to blow the dust off your old DVD collection and rewatch the family classic, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, if you haven’t already. Nostalgia may have blinded you from noticing how annoying some of the characters are, and if you haven’t watched this since last Thanksgiving, you may not remember every funny or sweet moment. To save you the trouble, I’ve ranked all your favorite (and least favorite) Peanuts characters appearing in this film based on personality. If you don’t agree with my rankings, feel free to rant about it as you pass the potatoes and ignore your great-aunt Mildred as she tells the same stories as last year.

 

10. Peppermint Patty

If Peppermint Patty was a telemarketer, I would never pick up the phone again. She’d sign you up for whatever she’s selling and hang up before you can refuse. Her first appearance in the movie was over the phone, when she calls Charlie Brown, known as “Chuck,” to invite herself over to his house for Thanksgiving dinner. She doesn’t bother to ask if he had plans with, oh, I don’t know, his family. After hanging up without so much as a goodbye, she calls Charlie Brown again, adding friends Marcy and Franklin to the guest list. She puts Charlie Brown under immense stress to cook a meal for his friends within just a few hours, expecting a full-blown traditional Thanksgiving dinner out of someone who can only make toast. On top of that, Peppermint Petty– excuse me, Patty––demonstrates how grateful she truly is by asking what “blockhead” cooked the meal and demanding to know, “Where’s the mashed potatoes? Where’s the cranberry sauce? Where’s the pumpkin pie?” in a rude tone. This––shocker––hurts Charlie Brown’s feelings. Instead of following her dear “Chuck” inside and apologizing herself, she asks Marcie to do her dirty work and talk to him on her behalf. There is no question in my mind that Peppermint Patty deserves the last spot on this list.

 

9. Lucy Van Pelt

Though she doesn’t have as large of a role in this movie, Lucy is still able to put her rude nature on full display. She continues the tradition of convincing Charlie Brown to kick a football, and then lifting it at the last minute so he falls on his back. This trickster does not join the Thanksgiving festivities and eat dinner with the rest of the Peanuts characters, so thankfully I didn’t have to deal with her sass for the remainder of the film. The only downside to this is that Lucy didn’t have much of a chance to redeem herself, but if I’m being honest here, she probably wouldn’t have anyway.

 

8. Sally Brown

Watching Sally wonder, “What have I got to be thankful for? All it does is make more work for us at school!” makes me grateful for my own sister. Sally has zero respect for her older brother and doesn’t help out when he has to prepare the Thanksgiving meal for his friends, despite the event being held in her backyard. To her credit, though, she isn’t afraid to openly flirt with Linus, inviting him to her grandmother’s for dinner. Although she comes on a bit too strong and doesn’t notice that he clearly doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, she’s way smoother than I’ll ever be, so she ranks above Lucy. However, her questioning of why she should give thanks on Thanksgiving in the first place and overall selfishness doesn’t make me feel guilty for putting her in the number eight spot.

 

7. Franklin

Along with Marcie, Franklin is one of the friends who Peppermint Patty invited to Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving dinner. His only line in the entire movie was him asking if he should wear a tie to dinner, which illustrates his stylishness and how he didn’t want to be over- or underdressed. If I knew more about Franklin, he would most likely be ranked higher on this list because, unlike Sally, Lucy and Peppermint Patty, he didn’t display any negative personality traits. 

 

6. Marcie

Marcie is the other friend Peppermint Patty invites to Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving dinner. She’s a kind person, but a bit of a pushover as she follows Peppermint Patty everywhere and does her bidding. I respect her, though, for calling out Peppermint Patty on inviting the friends over without asking Charlie Brown if it was okay. She was also kind enough to agree to talk to Charlie Brown after Peppermint Patty insulted the meal, and was able to get the two to forgive each other. However, she isn’t higher on the list for her strange habit of calling Peppermint Patty “sir.”

 

5. Charlie Brown

Some of you may be surprised the title character isn’t at the top of this list, but Charlie Brown is just a mediocre guy. Yes, he means well by wanting to set up a Thanksgiving dinner for his friends, but he is more of a pushover than Marcie. He takes on the responsibility of hosting dinner because he doesn’t want to let his friends down, but he wouldn’t have to worry if he had only called Peppermint Patty back and explained that he already had plans. He shouldn’t have blamed himself, and later put his grandmother in a difficult position by telling her all his friends (who haven’t eaten yet) were still at his house when the Brown family should have been on their way to her condo. I fully agree with Sally when she told him that, “It’s your own fault because you’re so wishy washy.” On the plus side, he is able to whip up a quick dinner with the help of Snoopy and Linus by serving toast, popcorn, pretzel sticks, jelly beans and chips. Not the healthiest of options, but it got the job done.

 

4. Linus Van Pelt

While Charlie Brown stressed about the dinners, Linus actually thought of a solution. He suggested Charlie Brown have two meals: one with his friends and one at his grandmother’s. Linus was the only friend (not including Snoopy and Woodstock) who helped Charlie Brown prepare food for the meal. Who wouldn’t be thankful for a friend like Linus? He also tells Sally (who, may I remind you, was busy complaining) about the importance of this holiday and how the U.S. “was the first country in the world to make a national day to give thanks.” At dinner, he also told the story of the first Thanksgiving, which bumps him up on this list for educating younger viewers. Unfortunately, given another minute, Linus would have started sounding like every adult in the Peanuts world, droning on with “wah wah wah” noises that give me AMSCO flashbacks. “In 1621, the Pilgrims held…” Total snooze. 

 

3. CB’s Grandma

We know less about Charlie Brown’s grandmother than any other character, given that she doesn’t have a single line or show her face throughout the entire film. But I thought she deserved to be on this list because of her pure generosity, allowing Charlie Brown to bring his friends over to her condo for Thanksgiving. Few people would be so kind and hospitable. 

 

 

2. Woodstock

Woodstock is personally my favorite character, and that *may* have been part of why he’s so high on this list. Yes, he accidentally put Snoopy’s ear in the toaster. Yes, he accidentally shot a musket into the ceiling. Yes, he enjoyed eating a slice of turkey at the end of the film, which may or may not make him a cannibal*. But––yes, there is a but after all this––he is absolutely adorable. Woodstock provides the perfect amount of comic relief, and his only flaw is that he didn’t want to dress up in a stuffy pilgrim costume with Snoopy (he ended up wearing it anyway against his will). And for such a tiny bird, he scarfed down a relatively large slice of pumpkin pie, which makes him a winner in my book. 

 

* Okay, fine, it technically isn’t cannibalism since Woodstock is a canary and he ate turkey, and it isn’t a repeated practice. 

 

1. Snoopy

Snoopy by far deserves the number one spot on this list. He not only took initiative in setting the table for Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving get-together, but has top-notch cooking skills. He may have served Charlie and friends toast, but he kept a perfectly cooked turkey and pumpkin pie hidden away in his doghouse, and frankly, I don’t blame him for keeping it a secret (especially from Peppermint Patty). His Frisbee-throwing skills are enviable as he tosses each food-filled plate to people around the table like a pro, and with minimal spillage no less. Sometimes he bosses Woodstock around, forcing him to wear a pilgrim costume and to help with food preparation, but leaders gotta lead. He also valientely battled a lawn chair in a short wrestling sequence, and although he lost, Snoopy didn’t lose the number one spot on this list or in my heart.