Premiered November 20, 1973.
Charlie Brown: We've got ANOTHER holiday to worry about. It seems Thanksgiving Day is upon us.
Sally Brown: I haven't even finished eating all of my Halloween candy!
Marcie: Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too. We should just be thankful for being together. I think that's what they mean by 'Thanksgiving,' Charlie Brown.
Linus van Pelt: This is not unlike another famous Thanksgiving episode. Do you remember the story of John Alden, and Priscilla Mullins, and Captain Miles Standish?
Patricia 'Peppermint Patty' Reichardt: This isn't like that one at all!
It's Thanksgiving, but Charlie Brown (Todd Barbee) and his sister Sally (Hilary Momberger) aren't very happy about it. Holidays always depress Charlie Brown and this one is no exception. Sally frets over her homework assignment,she needs to write an essay about "Stanley Miles" (Chuck rightly guesses she means Miles Standish).
|Sally does not want to write an essay about "Stanley Miles"
They discuss their Thanksgiving plans. Charlie Brown says he, Sally and their parents will be visiting their grandmother for dinner. Sally invites Linus to join them so they can hold hands under the table.
Charlie Brown gets a phone call from his friend Peppermint Patty (Christopher DeFaria). She says her father has been called away, but he told her she could go over to Chuck's house for Thanksgiving.
Peppermint Patty tells him "I don't mind inviting myself over because I know you kind of like me, Chuck"!
Charlie Brown is incapable of getting a word in edgewise, so he doesn't mention to Peppermint Patty that he won't be home for Thanksgiving dinner. She calls back and says their friends Marcie (Jimmy Ahrens) and Franklin (Robin Reed) will be coming along with her.
Charlie Brown doesn't know what to, he can't just call her back and cancel because "you can't explain anything to Peppermint Patty because you never get a chance to say anything! I'm doomed!"
|Linus, Snoopy and Charlie Brown preparing a Thanksgiving feast for their guests
|Snoopy vs. dastardly anthropomorphic lawn chair
Peppermint Patty, Franklin and Marcy arrive and it's time for "dinner". Snoopy serves food to everyone. Linus says a prayer of thanks and tells a story about the first Thanksgiving. But Peppermint Patty isn't happy. She was expecting turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
|"What kind of Thanksgiving dinner is this? Where's the turkey, Chuck? Don't you know anything about Thanksgiving dinners? Where's the mashed potatoes? Where's the cranberry sauce? Where's the pumpkin pie"
|Poor Charlie Brown!
J.A. Morris says:
While it's not quite as good as its Halloween and Christmas counterparts, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is another Peanuts classic. I've always loved Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Linus' version of a "Thanksgiving dinner". It seems like the sort of thing real-life kids would do in that situation.
From what I've been able to determine (and I have a history degree!), the Thanksgiving prayer Linus recites was made up for this special. We don't know what Elder William Brewster said at the first Thanksgiving, but Linus' speech sounds like something one of the Pilgrims could have said. It should also be noted that Brewster was spiritual leader, but not a minister, as Linus described him.
|Linus says "grace".
Vince Guaraldi wrote and sings the song "Little Birdie". The song works as nice background music for the scene where Snoopy and Woodstock set up for the party.
Charlie Brown's nemesis Lucy is noticeably absent from most of this special. But she shows up long enough to pull the football away from Chuck in the cold opening. I appreciate the way Charles Schultz invented new ways for Lucy to trick Charlie Brown attempting to kick the football.
|"One of the greatest traditions we have is the Thanksgiving Day football game. And the biggest most important tradition is the kicking off of the football."
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is something I grew up watching every year around Thanksgiving and I think it's something people all ages will enjoy.
|"Isn't it peculiar Charlie Brown, how some traditions slowly fade away?"
J.A. Morris' rating:
4 Pumpkin Pies!
This is another holiday classic from Charles Schulz, Bill Melendez et al. I remember watching this as a child and feeling a bit outraged on Charlie Brown's behalf when Peppermint Patty invites herself over to his house for Thanksgiving and then gets angry when she doesn't get the meal she expects. (Methinks there is a life/etiquette lesson embedded in there somewhere!) I also think it is amusing that it appears Snoopy was holding out on Charlie Brown since a more traditional Thanksgiving repast emerges from the doghouse late in the episode.
|Does anyone else find it weird that Woodstock would be eating turkey?
I also like really like Snoopy's epic battle with the lawn chair - he even "play bows" to it at one point - showing he can act like a regular dog sometimes.
|A beanbag Woodstock of late 1970s vintage
|Woodstock gets the bigger half of the wishbone!
4 pumpkin pies