Some of the greatest interpersonal relationship lessons are learned in childhood, so it’s not surprising that “Peanuts” cartoons have meanings behind them that children can carry with them for the rest of their lives. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is certainly no different, so if you get the opportunity to watch it in between football, fowl, and family, be sure to give thanks for the wisdom of Charles M. Schulz. Here are some lessons that you can take away from the show.
1. A liar will lie to you all year round. When Lucy tries to convince Charlie Brown to kick the football and land flat on his face, she uses Thanksgiving traditions as the reason that she won’t pull the ball away. Of course, she lied. That’s what liars do after all—whether it’s Thanksgiving or not.
2. Some women do go for the smart guys. As Linus explains the meaning of Thanksgiving to Sally, her heart is all a flutter. She gushes to Charlie Brown about how smart her sweet babboo is. Sally is no different from many women, who—despite certain stereotypes—love a smart man.
3. If you invite yourself to someone’s house for dinner, make sure that they can cook. Peppermint Patty invites herself to Charlie Brown’s house for Thanksgiving dinner—assuming that he can cook more than toast. He can’t. Beware of dinner invitations you extend to yourself because you may end up with a plate full of popcorn and toast.
4. Your sibling will tell you the truth. When Charlie Brown wonders how he got into the position of having to cook for three uninvited Thanksgiving dinner guests, his sister lets him know. Sally tells him he brought it on himself because he is too wishy-washy. When other people will skirt around your problems and your faults, your siblings will tell you the truth.
5. Sometimes women really do talk too much. Studies prove that word for word, women do talk more than men. But really, you don’t need to do research to find this out. When Linus asks Charlie Brown why he just doesn’t tell Peppermint Patty that he has other dinner plans, good ole Chuck sums it up this way: “You can’t explain anything to Peppermint Patty because you never get to say anything.”
6. A good friend will always tell you when you’re being a jerk. When Peppermint Patty complains about Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving dinner, Marcie reminds her that it wasn’t his fault. Peppermint Patty did, after all, invite herself to dinner—along with two other people. We all need a friend like Marcie, who will tell us when we’re acting obnoxious.
7. Grandparents always save the day. Charlie Brown calls his grandmother and asks him what to do about his hungry, uninvited Thanksgiving dinner guests. His grandmother, like grandparents often do, saves the day by inviting all of the children to dinner at her house.