Fri. Nov 26th, 2021

Poor Charlie Brown. For someone as optimistic and persevering as he tries to be, he sure doesn’t get the same kindness shown to him in return. In a way, that’s the whole point of the long-running (and beloved) Peanuts comic strip that was created by Charles M. Schulz and debuted in 1950. No matter how selfish or mean, critical or insulting, his friends are to him, or how he never succeeds in just about anything he does (like picking out the perfect Christmas decorations or untangling his kite from that pesky Kite-Eating Tree), he doesn’t let that stop him from trying to reach his goals and being the best person he can be. But over thousands of comic strips and countless holiday television specials, there have been some moments that rise above the rest in terms of just how awful he is treated by his peers.

The Peanuts television specials (with a new one on the way) have taken on an almost universal status as an iconic piece of Americana — especially at the holidays — so it’s easy to forget just how darn depressing they are. Whether Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, despite Charlie Brown’s optimism surrounding the holidays, he is continually treated poorly by his friends who give him stress, anxiety, and make him feel badly about himself. Charlie was mistreated in the original comic strip, too, but his friends’ nastiness during the holidays takes it to a whole other level. Here are the seven most savage insults, injuries, and humiliations his so-called “friends” have delivered, making us wish we could give ‘ol Chuck a hug to make it all feel better.

Charlie thinks he’s being given a great honor when Lucy wants to use him as a model for her jack o’lantern at Violet’s party. “Me?” he says, clearly shocked. “You want me to model?” It’s only when Violet begins drawing on the back of his bald head with a black marker that Charlie realizes that he has been made the butt of the joke yet again. His mouth scrunches into an angered grimace as his face turns red with cartoon embarrassment. As if being duped by his supposed friends wasn’t enough, Lucy rubs salt into the wound after completing her pumpkin. “Thank you, Charlie Brown. You were a perfect model,” she says, showing that it was her intent to use and embarrass him all along. After this humiliating episode, it’s a small miracle that Charlie Brown doesn’t go full Carrie at the end of Violet’s party.

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