Peppermint Patty’s personal pilgrimage

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Here’s a list you thought you’d never see: 17 Memorable Thanksgiving Television Moments. I mean, who can think of 3, let alone 17?

At least they started with the best: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. In case you missed it Monday night (or, gasp, have never seen it), let me hit some of the highlights for you.

Peppermint PattySo the basic plot is that Peppermint Patty calls Charlie Brown and pretty much invites herself over for Thanksgiving. She also seems to flirt with him, calling him “Chuck” and talking about “dates.”

But even in a two-dimensional story like this one, there can be a poignant layer of subtext. Consider these, the 7.5 Memorable Lesbian-ish Moments of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving:

1. Having muscled her way into an invitation, Peppermint Patty quickly calls back and tells Charlie Brown that “that great kid Marcie” is also free for dinner. Not such a cozy date now, is it, Chuck?

2. P-Patty refers to herself as “brusque and rough” and claims she doesn’t know “how to behave outside of a baseball game.” Consequently, she makes Marcie apologize to Charlie Brown for the whole crashing-the-party thing. Ah, the civilizing force of the love of a good woman.

Peppermint Patty the Pitcher

3. Marcie looks meaningfully at the camera (think Jim in The Office) when Peppermint Patty says all that stuff about being brusque and rough. She is Marcie B. Toklas to Peppermint Patty Stein.

Peppermint Patty scowls4. P-Patty’s wardrobe and hair. Come ON.

5. When P-Patty scowls about the substandard fare, she even intimidates Snoopy. And that’s no small feat: I mean, that beagle can win a fistfight with a folding chair and play ping-pong by himself!

6. When the bookish Marcie’s intellect fails her, P-Patty quickly steps in and leads the group in a rousing rendition of “Over the River and Through the Woods.” And I think you know where she’s going with that.

Peppermint PattyMarcie

7. Only Marcie is allowed to call P-Patty “Priscilla” (which harks back to Linus’s reference to Priscilla Mullins and John Alden, two love-struck pilgrims). Marcie even throws in an actual “nudge, nudge” with her elbow as she does so.

7.5 Woodstock puts Snoopy’s ear in the toaster. No, that’s not lesbian-ish: It’s just comedy gold.

Really, with all of this hinting, we ought to be annoyed that Patty and Marcie were so closeted. But it was a cartoon in 1973, so everything I’ve just said makes about as much sense as Chuck’s grandma does when she talks on the phone: “Wuaah wuaah wuooah, wuh wuoaah wuahh.”

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