Play It Again, Charlie Brown is the seventh prime-time animated TV specials based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was originally aired on the CBS network on March 28, 1971. It was the first Peanuts TV special of the 1970s. Unlike most Peanuts specials, this special focuses mostly on Lucy and Schroeder.
This special begins with Schroeder playing his piano. Then Lucy walks in, leans on Schroeder's piano, and starts trying to get his attention. She tried many ways to get his attention, such as compliment him, showing him that Beethoven now comes in spray cans, trying to convince him she also likes Beethoven, dusting his piano, and even walking up and kissing him. But with everything Lucy tried, Schroeder either, ignored her, threw her off his piano, or just walked away.
Lucy becomes so frustrated that Schroeder wouldn't pay any attention to her. She tells her problem to Sally and Peppermint Patty. Peppermint Patty comes up with an idea to get Schroeder to notice Lucy. There is an upcoming PTA program, and they need entertainment for it. Lucy should invite him to play his piano in concert at the program. Lucy likes that idea and went to tell Schroeder.
Lucy arrives at Schroeder's house and tells him about the PTA program. Schroeder thanks Lucy for the invite, and says he will practice for it right away.
On her way back, Lucy ran into Peppermint Patty, and thanked her for the idea. Patty then mentions that she forgot to say earlier, that the PTA would like a rock concert, so Schroeder cannot play Beethoven for the PTA program. This put Lucy to shock. She said Schroeder would never agree to this, but Patty said they have no choice..
Lucy was upset, and told her problem to Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and "Pig-Pen". Charlie Brown then had an idea. Snoopy brings out a set of drums, a guitar, an upright bass, and the three start playing with Lucy dancing. They said Schroeder might agree to join their combo, and Lucy agreed he might.
Just then, Schroeder walked by, and Lucy, in an attempt to save face, introduces the combo as his backup band for him for the PTA concert. But Schroeder, still thinking he will be playing Beethoven, insists he can handle it alone, but then Lucy tells him that the PTA wants a rock concert instead of a classical recital. Schroeder then says he can't do that, just as expected. But after coercing from Charlie Brown, Schroeder reluctantly changes his mind.
During their initial rehearsal, Schroeder cannot bring himself to stomach the fact that he has sold out his beloved Beethoven. He kept messing up because he can't play rock music. After practicing, he decided there is no way he could bring himself to play rock music. He would never forgive himself.
The night of the PTA meeting comes, and the Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Pig-pen are tuning up their instruments for the concert. Peppermint Patty is wondering where Schroeder is. Schroeder arrives close to show time, and there he announces, that after a lot of thought, he decided he will not play for the concert. This upset everyone, because now there is no act. Then Lucy remembers that PTA entertainments also come in a spray can, and they use that as the entertainment.
In the final scene, Lucy told Schroeder that Beethoven never would have made it into Nashville and that he did not have the Nashville sound. Schroeder leaves feeling insulted by this. Lucy then yells out to him, "He probably would not have made it in New Orleans, either!" Lucy then takes out her radio and happily listens to rock and roll on Schroeder's piano as the credits roll.
- Pamelyn Ferdin – Lucy
- Stephen Shea – Linus
- Lynda Mendelson – Frieda
- Chris Inglis – Charlie Brown/"Pig-Pen"
- Danny Hjeim – Schroeder
- Hilary Momberger – Sally
- Christopher DeFaria – Peppermint Patty
- Bill Melendez – Snoopy
- This is the first special that does not center around Charlie Brown.
- This special is the first one in which Schroeder sees Lucy's face appear in the notes while he plays the piano. The same gag is also seen in Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?
- Schroeder's comment "Don't tell me I've grown accustomed to THAT face..." is a reference to the song "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" from the stage musical and film My Fair Lady.
- The guitar that Charlie Brown plays is a bit of an oddity. It is shaped like an electric guitar, and has control knobs (and sounds like an electric guitar), but it is apparently not connected to an amplifier and it has a hole in the body like an acoustic guitar.
- This is the first special in which the character of Charlie Brown is voiced by someone other than Peter Robbins.
- This is the first special to use the Fender Rhodes Stage-73 to create the music.
- Music conductor John Scott Trotter received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children's Programming for his work on this special, though the special itself did not receive a nomination.
- Whenever Sally leans diagonally on Linus and he runs off, she stays in that pose and does not fall.
- Throughout the special, Schroeder's toy piano changes color numerous times.
- When Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and "Pig-Pen" yell, "Forget it Augggh!," they are accidentally voiced by Pamelyn Ferdin.
- While Charlie Brown, "Pig-Pen", and Snoopy sound perfectly fine without Schroeder when demonstrating their rock band to Lucy, they are not able to go on without him at the PTA meeting.
- Play It Again, Charlie Brown on the Internet Movie Database.
- Play It Again, Charlie Brown on the Big Cartoon Database.
- Play it Again, Charlie Brown on AllMovie.