10 Best Running Gags In Peanuts Comic Strips

Split Image Peanuts comic strip and Peanuts around the piano

The Peanuts comic strip has been running for many decades and includes gags that have been running for just as long. While writers have dropped some jokes over the years, others have stood the test of time and are reworked to fit current storylines to make readers comfortable with new tropes. Many of the most beloved Peanuts gags have gone from the comic strip to television specials and movies.

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These gags have become such a big part of the comic strips that readers would notice if writers stopped including them and would be disappointed if they were removed. The longest-running gags are easily recognizable even to those who casually read the Peanuts comic strips.



10 Nicknames No One Likes

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One of the most beloved running gags in The Peanuts is the use of nicknames that no one likes. Peppermint Patty always calls Charlie Brown Chuck even though no one else calls him by that name. Linus protests his nickname the most, as Sally always calls him her Sweet Baboo and refuses to stop.

It is funny to see the characters get so frustrated when their friends mean well and think they are being sweet. In the TV specials and comic strips, these nicknames come up often, with each use of the name producing a bigger and more intense reaction.

9 Snoopy’s Relatives

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Spike walking through the desert and talking to a rock in The Peanuts

Snoopy has a different personality type than other Peanuts characters, and the appearance of Snoopy’s relatives explains it. Snoopy has brothers that visit him occasionally; they all have big imaginations and love going on adventures.

The gag of Snoopy’s brother often shows that Snoopy is the most relaxed of his brothers and isn’t interested in being on the road or leaving Charlie Brown. The joke sheds new light on the bond between Charlie Brown and Snoopy, and Snoopy isn’t as wild as he seems when playing pretend.

8 Sally Taking On A New Motto

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sally taking on the motto of Who Cares in the Peanuts comics

As a kindergarten student, Sally is always worried about the direction of her life and what motto she should take on next. Even though it is a more subtle gag, Sally taking on a new lifestyle or slogan comes up often. Sally’s dramatics is one of her defining characteristics and shows how much like her brother she is.

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The gag always shows how differently the Brown children deal with growing up. Charlie Brown internalizes many of his emotions, whereas Sally expresses everything outwardly and tries to change her life every few strips.

7 Schroeder’s Dedication To The Piano

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Schroeder is playing the piano as Lucy talks to him in the Christmas Special

Schroeder doesn’t always appear in the comic, but when he does, he puts his head down and focuses on his piano skills. With Beethoven as his role model Schroeder dedicates himself to reaching the same level of talent on the piano, which means he has no time for Lucy’s distractions.

Readers who have revisited the comics know that Lucy constantly interrupts Schroeder. What makes this gag so beloved is Schroeder’s reaction to Lucy, like throwing her off the piano or smashing the keys because she doesn’t like his music.

6 Missed Love Connections

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Charlie Brown waiting for the little red haired girl at lunch time

Comics have always included romantic characters. Even though The Peanuts focuses on children, the comic strip has moments of romance. However, this romance is often one-sided, resulting in missed love connections and unrequited love.

Charlie Brown is always mooning after the little red-haired girl and trying to get her to notice him. Sally also has a crush on Linus, but he doesn’t return the love and often shuts her out. Seeing these childhood crushes develop is one of the cutest and funniest running gags, as adults can laugh at childhood love compared to their mature romantic experiences.

5 Sally Misunderstanding Things

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sally working on a Bible book report with Charlie Brown

One of the most hilarious tropes from the Peanuts comic strip is Sally’s misunderstanding of things she has heard from adults in her life or has read. Sally is one of the youngest characters in the comic strip, so her misunderstanding is cute and akin to real-life children.

As Charlie Brown’s little sister, she gets help from her sibling, but he doesn’t know how to tell her she doesn’t understand her assignments. Sally’s naivety is one of the most endearing things about her and makes the perfect comic relief for when her brother is having an intense emotion.

4 Linus And His Blanket

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Linus with his security blanket in Peanuts

Linus has always been seen with his blue blanket, as it provides him comfort. The gag of Linus’s blanket has shown up in TV specials, movies, and comic strips, as most people in his life say he should give up his blanket. After someone says this, Linus uses his blanket to solve a problem.

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Sometimes he uses the blanket to reach something no one can or carry something heavy. One of the best uses of his blanket was in the Christmas comic and TV special when he wrapped it around the base of the sad Christmas tree to keep it upright.

3 Lucy Being Charlie Brown’s Psychiatrist

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Cropped Lucy talking to Charlie Brown in her Psychiatry Booth

Lucy thinks she can help all of her friends with their problems, but she doesn’t always give the best advice. Charlie Brown often goes to Lucy for advice, but it is clear to readers that she is only in it for the money since she isn’t a professional.

Lucy giving generic advice that doesn’t help people continues to run through the comics and TV specials when Charlie Brown tries to understand the meaning of life and why he is so unhappy. By having her booth, Lucy shows that she thinks she has all the answers to life’s biggest questions and that she thinks she knows best.

2 Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Comic Strip of Snoopy Fight and Cursing The Red Baron

Snoopy shines the brightest in funny Peanuts strips, where he fights The Red Baron. Snoopy’s dislike of The Red Baron has been an ongoing joke in many comic strips and has made fans laugh as he always misses his chance to take down his foe.

The gag of Snoopy being a fighter pilot gives Snoopy a chance to take the spotlight and provides a break from the other well-loved characters. Seeing Snoppy use his imagination is funny because it gives insight into how smart Snoopy is and that he has his own life outside his owner.

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Comic strip showing Lucy pulling away the football from Charlie Brown as he falls

One of the most recognizable gags in the Peanuts comic strip is when Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown as he goes to punt it. This gag made its way into the Thanksgiving TV special but has appeared in multiple comic strips.

Lucy uses the football as a metaphor and Charlie Brown falling as a teachable moment. For readers, it is one of the funniest ongoing jokes because they assume Charlie would learn that Lucy will always pull the ball away and learn not to trust his friend all the time.

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