- In many Peanuts strips, Charlie Brown is portrayed as a loser, but some showcase his intelligence and sarcasm.
- Charlie Brown’s moments of crisis can be both dramatic and comically relatable, earning sympathetic laughs.
- Despite being the strip’s punching bag, Charlie Brown occasionally gets rare wins, like kicking a football with Spider-Man’s help.
Aside from his dog Snoopy, Charlie Brown is the most notable character of the classic comic strip Peanuts. Charlie Brown is known for a lot of things: His passion for baseball, his crush on the Little Red-Haired Girl, and his eternal struggle to kick a football held by Lucy van Pelt. Charlie Brown often serves as the strip’s punching bag, with many jokes made at the unfortunate child’s expense.
But not every strip showcases Charlie Brown as a loser. Many Peanuts shorts display the young man’s intelligence and even his sarcastic side. Whether the joke is on him or he manages to eke out a rare win, read on to see 15 of the funniest Peanuts strips featuring Charlie Brown.
Charlie Brown is often derided by his peers for his ignorance. In this strip, Charlie Brown is playing a drum until he’s told how annoying it is. But despite agreeing, his only solution is to put on a pair of earmuffs. If there’s a strip that perfectly encapsulates Charlie Brown’s tendency to be a blockhead, it’s this one.
14 “Rabies Shot”
Snoopy might be his own dog, but Charlie Brown is occasionally forced to deal with the harsh realities of pet ownership. Here, Charlie Brown drags Snoopy to the vet for a rabies shot as Snoopy desperately claws to get away. It’s rare to see the pet/owner dynamic between the two, but it’s a funny sight to see, especially with Linus as a bemused witness to the event.
13 “Leaving the Country”
Letter-writing was a commonly used gag in Peanuts. Here, Charlie Brown has had a worse day than usual, blowing a game and embarrassing himself in front of his crush. For Charlie Brown, life is so bad he asks for directions on how to make it to his pen pal’s country. Charlie Brown’s moments of crisis are pretty dramatic, but they can earn a sympathetic laugh as well.
12 “Faith in Human Nature”
Anyone even slightly familiar with Peanuts knows that Charlie Brown never gets to kick the football. But this Sunday strip sees the character fall for Lucy’s prank yet again as he makes a mad dash only to trip and fall as Lucy taunts him over his unwavering faith in humanity. The football gag is probably Peanuts’ most iconic joke and this strip sums Lucy and Charlie Brown’s routine up perfectly.
11 “You’re a Fanatic!”
Charlie Brown’s friend Linus never passed up an opportunity for a soliloquy. In this Sunday strip, a rainy day has ruined an afternoon’s baseball practice, but Charlie Brown wants to wait it out. Linus launches into an overly dramatic speech about Charlie Brown’s ignorance only for Linus to realize Charlie had left during his speech. It’s one of the few occasions where Charlie Brown isn’t the biggest blockhead in the comic.
10 Unrequited Love
Every Peanuts fan knows that Charlie Brown holds a candle for the Little Red-Haired Girl, and here readers see how lovesick the kid really is. Just watching his crush and contemplating the idea of sitting next to her is enough to spoil his appetite and ruin his peanut butter sandwich. It’s an awfully relatable strip for those who remember their schoolyard crushes.
9 “Feel Like a Fool”
This strip sees Peppermint Patty in a rare sour mood. She wishes to commiserate with someone who knows what it feels like to feel like a failure. Not missing a beat, Charlie Brown motions to himself. Charlie Brown might be the comic strip medium’s biggest sad sack, but the instances where he shows how much he’s aware of his failures is always tragically hilarious.
8 Lucy Cares
Charlie Brown is picked on by many of his friends, but none more than Lucy. In the rare instance where she isn’t giving him bad psychological advice or making him trip himself, Lucy convinces Charlie Brown she cares about him only to insult his large forehead. It’s a brutal, but hilarious subversion that captures the core of Lucy and Charlie Brown’s friendship.
Even when Charlie Brown gets the slightest bit of confidence, it’s not long before he loses it. Here, Charlie Brown embraces the authority that comes with being a safety officer, at least until Lucy shatters his illusion by calling him the ‘fuzz’. While he keeps up his job, Lucy’s statement has ruined it for Charlie Brown. It’s funny, but a real shame the poor kid just can’t have anything nice.
Charlie Brown is generally a pretty friendly and affable kid. But here, he displays a rare contemptuous vibe as Violet explains her dreams to him. One would think Charlie Brown would be happy for the attention, but here, he just can’t the monotony of hearing someone discuss what they saw in their sleep. It’s humorous, relatable, and provides a rarely seen side of the iconic comic strip character.
5 “How’s This?”
Never let it be said that Charlie Brown doesn’t have a sense of humor. Here, the boy is called out over his repeated wearing of his iconic shirt. Charlie Brown changes but picks one that has the exact same design, just with reversed colors. Maybe Charlie Brown is that dense, or maybe he’s intentionally messing with his friend by picking a similar shirt.
4 “Life is Like a Bracelet”
This Sunday strip sees Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty playing outside when the latter makes a romantic simile comparing life to a bracelet. Unfortunately, Charlie Brown is just too thick-headed to pick up what Peppermint Patty is hinting at, earning him a loud scolding. Charlie Brown isn’t an expert when it comes to matters of the heart, and here, he pays for it dearly.
3 “Because He Likes Me!”
Parents don’t often factor into Peanuts. But in this strip, Charlie Brown deals with a braggadocious Violet who talks about how much her father is better than Charlie Brown’s dad. However, Charlie Brown gets a win when he shuts Violet down with four words: “Because he likes me”. It’s not often that Charlie Brown gets a win, but it’s a hilarious victory he achieves here.
2 Spider-Man and Charlie Brown
In one of the most bizarre crossovers of all time, Spider-Man does the impossible and actually manages to help Charlie Brown kick the football. Comic book legend John Romita, Sr. lent his talents to the strip and webbed Lucy up, giving Charlie Brown the biggest win of his life. It’s odd, its canonicity is dubious, but it’s sure as hell funny to see Lucy’s face trapped in Spidey’s webbing.
1 “Good ol’ Charlie Brown”
When it comes to Peanuts strips, nothing captures the ennui of Charlie Brown’s life like the very first strip. Charlie Brown is simply minding his own business as he walks down the street as Shermy mentions how much he hates him. It’s out of left field, but the abject hatred Charlie Brown gets merely for existing is so perplexing one can’t help but laugh.
There are thousands of Peanuts strips that feature its browbeaten character Charlie Brown, but these 15 stand out as some of the best in the comic’s history.