It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a critically-acclaimed animated television special, based on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.

It was the third Peanuts special (and first Halloween special) to be produced and animated by Bill Melendez. Its initial broadcast was on October 27, 1966 on the CBS network, before the popular sitcom My Three Sons. CBS re-aired the special annually through 2000, with ABC picking up the rights beginning in 2001.

The program was nominated for two Emmy Awards- Outstanding Children's Program (as was Charlie Brown's All-Stars) and Special Classification of Individual Achievement.

It has been issued on home video several times, including a Remastered Deluxe Edition of the special released by Paramount on October 23, 2003 and on September 2, 2008 by Warner Home Video with the 1981 special It's Magic, Charlie Brown as a bonus feature.

To celebrate its 40th Anniversary, a retrospective book was published in 2006 entitled It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; The Making of a Television Classic, with the entire script, never-before-seen photographs, storyboard excerpts, and interviews with the original child actors who provided the voices of the Peanuts gang.


The story opens with Linus and Lucy going out to a nearby pumpkin patch to find a pumpkin to use as a jack-o-lantern. After rejecting a couple of smaller choices by Linus, Lucy points to the biggest pumpkin in the patch, which Linus clumsily rolls back home. When they get home, Lucy takes a big knife and slices into the pumpkin to gut it, at which point a horrified Linus says, "Ohhhh, you didn't tell me you were going to kill it!", and starts crying.

Snoopy Helps Charlie Brown the Pile of Leaves

Snoopy helps Charlie Brown pile the leaves.

Next is a preview sequence in which trick-or-treaters dressed as Mr. Hyde, a witch, and three ghosts get pursued by sinister-looking phantoms representing Halloween. The trick-or-treaters are forced to hide in a nearby pumpkin patch until the coast is clear, followed by an owl hooting as it flies off a tree branch.

With autumn already in full swing, Charlie Brown is busy raking leaves with Snoopy's help. Linus sees the pile and jumps right in the middle of it, forgetting that he is holding a wet lollipop he was licking. Moments later Lucy comes with a football for Charlie Brown to kick. He initially refuses, but Lucy shows him a contract which promises that she will not pull the ball away. Charlie Brown relents, but when he is about to kick the ball, she does pull it away, which sends him landing flat on his back, like always. Lucy then points out that the contract had not been notarized.


Linus writes a letter to the Great Pumpkin.

Later, Linus writes a letter to the Great Pumpkin, to Charlie Brown's disbelief, Snoopy's laughter, Patty's assertion that the Great Pumpkin is a fake, and even to Lucy's violent threat to make Linus stop: "You better cut it out right now or I'll pound you!" Linus laments in the letter that "more people believe in Santa Claus than in you, but let's face it, Santa Claus has had more publicity. But being number two, perhaps you try harder", a tongue-in-cheek reference to Avis Rent-A-Car's popular slogan of the time. Only Sally, Charlie Brown's younger sister, who is in love with Linus, supports him before Charlie Brown takes her away.

After Linus mails his letter to the Great Pumpkin, using his blanket to open the mailbox after Lucy refuses to help, Charlie Brown dances gleefully when he receives an invitation to go to Violet's Halloween party. His bubble is quickly burst by Lucy, who explains that there were two lists: people to invite and people not to invite. Lucy is certain Charlie Brown's name got on the wrong list.

On Halloween night, the gang gets their costumes ready. Lucy, touting that a costume should reflect the exact opposite of one's own personality, dresses as a witch, while the other kids dress up as ghosts. "Pig-Pen" is easily recognized by his trademark cloud of dust, while Charlie Brown has eyeholes cut out all over his sheet, matter-of-factly stating he had a little trouble with the scissors. Sally asks if she can join the gang trick-or-treating. Lucy explains how to trick-or-treat and Sally asks if it is legal.


The World War I Flying Ace engages in a fierce dogfight.

Before going trick-or-treating, the gang stops off at the pumpkin patch to make fun of Linus's missing out on all the fun, just as he did the year before. Linus asks if they came to sing "pumpkin carols". Linus remains convinced that the Great Pumpkin will indeed come because he thinks the patch he is in is the paragon of sincerity, and he even persuades Sally to stick around and wait with him. The rest of the gang go off, leaving Sally and Linus behind.

During trick-or-treating, everyone else gets assorted candy, gum, apples, cookies, popcorn balls, and even money; however, at every house, Charlie Brown gets the same thing — a rock. After tricks-or-treats, and another quick stop at the pumpkin patch to rib Linus and Sally again, the gang all go off to Violet's Halloween party.

Meanwhile, Snoopy, wearing his World War I Flying Ace gear, climbs aboard his Sopwith Camel (in reality, his doghouse) to do battle with the Red Baron. After being shot down, Snoopy makes his way across the countryside, before

Linus mistakes Snoopy for the Great Pumpkin.

briefly crashing the Halloween party. He then makes his way to the pumpkin patch where Linus and Sally are still waiting for the Great Pumpkin to show up. Linus hears Snoopy's rustling, and believes it is the Great Pumpkin. When Snoopy, still hidden in the shadows, rises above the pumpkins, Linus promptly faints. When Sally sees it is only Snoopy, she becomes outraged over missing tricks-or-treats and the Halloween party, and threatens to sue Linus. She storms out of the pumpkin patch as the other children arrive in time to witness her tirade, leaving Linus by himself, still convinced the Great Pumpkin will come. When promising to put in a good word for the others as they abandon him, he accidentally says "If the Great Pumpkin comes", instead of "when". After he realizes his mistake, he declares that he is doomed and that "one little slip like that can cause the Great Pumpkin to pass you by." Now all alone in the pumpkin patch, he calls out, "Oh, Great Pumpkin, where are you?"

Lucy takes off Linus' shoes before he passes out.

When 4:00 a.m. rolls around the next morning, Lucy gets up to check on Linus. Seeing his bed empty, she goes out to the pumpkin patch to find him lying on the ground shivering, covered in his security blanket. She grudgingly walks him home and to his room, taking off his shoes and socks. He passes out in his own bed as she puts the covers on him before grumpily walking out of his room.

Later that day, Linus and Charlie Brown are at the wall commiserating over the previous night's events. When Charlie Brown tries to console Linus by saying "I've done a lot of stupid things in my life, too", Linus blows a fuse and angrily vows to Charlie Brown that the Great Pumpkin will come next year, his ranting continuing as the end credits roll.

Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown DVD

50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition DVD.

Voice cast

5 appears but has no lines.


  1. "Linus and Lucy" (flute-led alternate arrangement)
  2. "Graveyard Theme"
  3. "Snoopy and the Leaf" (composed by John Scott Trotter)
  4. "Linus and Sucker" (opens with 6 seconds from "Frieda," then continues with original music)
  5. "Great Pumpkin Waltz" E
  6. "Linus and Lucy" (flute-led alternate arrangement)
  7. "Charlie Brown Theme"
  8. "Graveyard Theme"
  9. "Great Pumpkin Waltz"
  10. "Red Baron"
  11. "Military Drum March"
  12. "Great Pumpkin Waltz"
  13. "Great Pumpkin Waltz"
  14. "Trick or Treat" (composed by John Scott Trotter; a variation of "Graveyard Theme")
  15. "Fanfare"
  16. "Breathless" (composed by John Scott Trotter)
  17. "Trick or Treat" (composed by John Scott Trotter; a variation of "Graveyard Theme")
  18. "Charlie Brown Theme"
  19. "Breathless" (composed by John Scott Trotter)
  20. "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" (traditional, arranged by Guaraldi)
  21. "There's a Long, Long Trail A'Winding" (traditional, arranged by Guaraldi)
  22. "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag" (traditional, arranged by Guaraldi)
  23. "Roses of Picardy" (traditional, arranged by Guaraldi)
  24. "Trick or Treat" (composed by John Scott Trotter; a variation of "Graveyard Theme")
  25. "Linus and Lucy" (minor key alarm clock variation)
  26. "Linus and Lucy"
  27. "Charlie Brown Theme" (trio and flute version)

References in other media

  • In the Penguins of Madagascar episode "Friend-in-a-box", Skipper and Private look through a View-Master as binoculars and Skipper says, "I see a bald kid and his dog sitting in a pumpkin patch; what a blockhead!" This is most likely Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
  • There is an island on Poptropica[1] called "Great Pumpkin Island", that is based on this TV special. Players have to help Linus wait for the Great Pumpkin, help Charlie Brown play party games, and help Snoopy fight the Red Baron.
  • In the South Park episode "Jewpacabra," Cartman is tied to a chain while dressed as a bunny. Kyle wakes up and the following scene is a parody of when Lucy wakes up and drags Linus out of the pumpkin patch.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror XIX", the third segment, "It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse", is a parody of this special.


  • For some unknown reason, many people believe that the first time this special aired on TV, and only the first time, there was an added scene included, in which the Great Pumpkin was actually revealed. However, as the rumor goes, the scene was deleted. There is no truth in the rumor.[2]
  • When Linus walks into the living room after writing a letter to the Great Pumpkin, Lucy is sitting in front of the TV reading a TV Guide. The picture on the cover of the magazine is a picture of Lucy.
  • In the book adaptation, Lucy asks for an extra apple for Linus, but in the special itself, she asks for an extra piece of candy. Either way, she gets the extra treat.
  • When Snoopy pretends to cross wartime France as a downed pilot, he passes signs pointing to two real places in the Champagne country northeast of Paris: Châlons-sur-Marne and Pont-à-Mousson.
  • The songs that Schroeder plays on his piano with Snoopy dancing and weeping to the tunes are:
    1. "It's a Long Way to Tipperary"
    2. "There's a Long, Long Trail A-winding"
    3. "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag"
    4. "Roses of Picardy"
  • After this special originally aired, children all over the United States sent candy to Charlie Brown out of sympathy.
  • The special was first released on DVD together with You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, the election-themed special from October 1972. It was later re-released with the 1981 special It's Magic, Charlie Brown.  
  • Kathy Steinberg had almost finished recording all her lines of dialogue as Sally when the producers received a phone call from her mother informing them that one of Kathy's teeth was loose. Fearing that a sudden lisp would ruin the continuity of her dialogue, the producers rushed the young actress into the studio to finish recording her lines. Just as Kathy was speaking her last line, the tooth came flying out of her mouth.
  • The special was originally jointly sponsored by Coca-Cola and Dolly Madison cakes.
  • Charlie Brown's costume has too many holes because he had trouble with the scissors. This is inspired by a 1956 Halloween strip where Linus is the one who cut too many holes in his sheet.
  • Fourth Wall Break: After Linus tells the story of the Great Pumpkin, Sally says, "Welcome to the 20th Century".


  • When the trick-or-treaters are laughing at Linus before they leave for Violet's Halloween party, Lucy's witch mask itself shows a laughing expression.



  1. Poptropica
  2. "Rumors" on

External links

Peanuts Animated Features
TV Specials A Charlie Brown ChristmasCharlie Brown's All-StarsIt's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownYou're in Love, Charlie BrownHe's Your Dog, Charlie BrownIt Was a Short Summer, Charlie BrownPlay It Again, Charlie BrownYou're Not Elected, Charlie BrownThere's No Time for Love, Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown ThanksgivingIt's a Mystery, Charlie BrownIt's the Easter Beagle, Charlie BrownBe My Valentine, Charlie BrownYou're a Good Sport, Charlie BrownIt's Arbor Day, Charlie BrownIt's Your First Kiss, Charlie BrownWhat a Nightmare, Charlie BrownYou're the Greatest, Charlie BrownShe's a Good Skate, Charlie BrownLife Is a Circus, Charlie BrownIt's Magic, Charlie BrownSomeday You'll Find Her, Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown CelebrationIs This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?It's an Adventure, Charlie BrownWhat Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?It's Flashbeagle, Charlie BrownSnoopy's Getting Married, Charlie BrownYou're a Good Man, Charlie BrownHappy New Year, Charlie Brown!Snoopy!!! The MusicalIt's the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie BrownWhy, Charlie Brown, Why?Snoopy's ReunionIt's Spring Training, Charlie BrownIt's Christmastime Again, Charlie BrownYou're in the Super Bowl, Charlie BrownIt Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie BrownIt's the Pied Piper, Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown ValentineCharlie Brown's Christmas TalesLucy Must Be Traded, Charlie BrownI Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie BrownHe's a Bully, Charlie BrownHappiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown
Movies A Boy Named Charlie BrownSnoopy, Come HomeRace for Your Life, Charlie BrownBon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!)The Peanuts Movie
The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show "Snoopy's Cat Fight" • "Snoopy: Team Manager" • "Linus and Lucy" • "Lucy vs. the World" • "Linus' Security Blanket" • "Snoopy: Man's Best Friend" • "Snoopy the Psychiatrist" • "You Can't Win, Charlie Brown" • "The Lost Ballpark" • "Snoopy's Football Career" • "Chaos in the Classroom" • "It's That Team Spirit, Charlie Brown" • "Lucy Loves Schroeder" • "Snoopy and the Giant" • "Snoopy's Brother Spike" • "Snoopy's Robot" • "Peppermint Patty's School Days" • "Sally's Sweet Babboo"
This Is America, Charlie Brown "The Mayflower Voyagers" • "The Birth of the Constitution" • "The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk" • "The NASA Space Station" • "The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad" • "The Great Inventors" • "The Smithsonian and the Presidency" • "The Music and Heroes of America"
Snoopy in Space "The Application" • "Training" • "The Graduation" • "Welcome to the ISS" • "I Never Promised You a Space Garden" • "Space Sleepwalking" • "The Journey on Orion" • "Crater Crash" • "Searching for Moon Rocks" • "You're a Good Moon, Charlie Brown" • "The Next Mission" • "Mars or Bust"
Others Peanuts (2014 TV series) • Peanuts Motion Comics
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