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Peanuts Wiki

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. It continued to air annually on American network television until October 2019. It did not air in 2020 after the rights to the Peanuts TV specials were acquired by Apple TV+. In 2021, the special began airing on PBS.

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 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 awakens to see the time then gets up to check on Linus. Seeing his bed empty, she puts her coat, scarf, and winter hat on then goes out to the pumpkin patch to find him sleeping 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 falls on his back in his own bed then 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.

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.
    • In the read-along book adaptation, she wakes up at 2:00 AM instead of 4:00 AM to go get Linus and bring him home from the pumpkin patch.[3][4]
  • 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.
  • Three music cues from this special would be reused in the educational short Clean the Air.
  • The flying doghouse sequence seen during the opening credits of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show is taken from this special.
  • This is the first special to feature the Football gag.
  • Snoopy gives three toothy grins while Schroeder is playing "Pack Up Your Troubles" and sings the lyrics "smile, smile, smile."
  • Pig Pen is wearing glasses in this special, and is the only one showing him wearing them. They are seen when he is bobbing for apples.
  • The scene of Snoopy and Schroeder was cut when this special aired on NBC.
  • In the special, Sally says, "Welcome to the 20th century", but in the strip, she says, "Welcome to 1962."
  • The only child actor who did not return for this special was the actress who voiced Lucy, and her voice is not noticeably different in this special.
  • Charlie Brown is still treated generally well by the others in this special despite his trick-or-treating problems, was asked to "model" for a jack-o-lantern design, and the football gag. The "blockhead" was saved for Linus.
  • Linus ended up with more candy in this special than Charlie Brown due to the fact that Lucy saved a piece of candy for him, even though he did not go trick-or-treating.
  • After this special stopped airing on PBS in 2020, people sent complaints over the removal of the special, and it was re-aired on PBS in 2021.
  • Writer Ray Bradbury and his daughters tuned into the special in 1966, but they were so disappointed with the special in which there was no Great Pumpkin, his girls got up and kicked their TV set. This inspired him to write "The Halloween Tree", a novel about eight children who travel back in time to discover the origins of their Halloween costumes. To his surprise, the book became a children's book, even though it is for everyone.
  • Charles Schulz wanted Peppermint Patty, not Sally, with Linus in the pumpkin patch before the special aired in 1966.
  • Even though Patty was seen at the beginning of the special, she is not at the Halloween party. Also, a male character who resembles a later cast member is seen next to Pig Pen when they are bobbing for apples.


  • The version of the show broadcast on CBS from the late 1970s to 2000 (before it went to ABC in 2001) shortens most of the trick-or-treat scene. It cuts from the children yelling "Trick or treat, money or eats!" to Lucy saying "Trick or treat" right before the third round of "I got a rock". Some broadcasts of this version (the 1986 broadcast, for example) were also time-compressed.
  • When ABC assumed the rights of It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown an edited version was made to fit in a 21-22 minute time show. Two scenes were cut: the football gag between Charlie Brown and Lucy, and the scene with Snoopy dancing to Schroeder's World War I-era piano music.
  • From at least 2007 onwards, ABC also aired the unedited version along with an edited version of You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, only slightly cutting the transition music after Linus sets up shop in the pumpkin patch.


  • 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.
  • When he and Lucy get past the fence during the intro with the giant pumpkin the latter picked, Linus turns invisible until he manages to get around the fence.
  • This special has numerous quantity problems:
    • When Linus and Lucy first left the house, there were lots of leaves on the ground, but when they returned, a majority of the leaves have disappeared. Unless they were coming in from a different end of the house at the time, this is an error.
    • When Linus is seen on the one side of the gate, the gates have nine planks on the right side on the gap. However, when we see the other side, those same planks are only in a number of seven.
    • Charlie Brown has too many holes in his sheet because he "was having a little trouble with the scissors". However when he holds open the door for Snoopy (or the World War I Flying Ace if you prefer), he only has two eye holes. Luckily, we do not have this problem for any other scenes.
    • Sometimes, the trick-or-treaters say they have less candy than we really see them get.
    • When Lucy decides to bob for apples, there are five of them, but in the close-up, there were only four.
  • When Lucy asks for an extra piece of candy for Linus while she is trick-or-treating, her right hand is a normal human hand with five fingers, but her left hand has four fingers instead.
  • When Linus and Lucy go out into the pumpkin patch at the beginning of the special, they pass by the sun as it is setting. In real life, the sun would move along with you if you are walking or running, or driving a car. Also, another setting sun appears at the end of the same shot, while the siblings turn a corner and walk in a different direction.
  • The moon is behind Linus and Sally while they are in the pumpkin patch, as well as Snoopy. This makes it look like there are two moons when they are facing each other.
  • The table that Linus and Lucy are talking at bounces and rattles several times.
  • Just before Snoopy's shadow rises in the pumpkin patch, Sally is standing there with her arms crossed. You can see that her left hand is painted in the same color as her dress.
  • When Sally decides to join Linus in the pumpkin patch, her ghost costume disappears.
  • When Linus takes his letter to the Great Pumpkin to the mailbox, it disappears from his hand in one frame.
  • During the Halloween party, a girl wearing a green dress says "Charlie Brown, you'll have to model for us", and a third hand appears when she says it, but then she has two hands shortly after.
  • When Charlie Brown salutes Snoopy, the extra eyeholes in his ghost costume disappear.



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 BrownSnoopy Presents: For Auld Lang SyneSnoopy Presents: It's the Small Things, Charlie BrownSnoopy Presents: To Mom (and Dad), With LoveSnoopy Presents: Lucy's School
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 ComicsThe Snoopy Show