Another holiday season, another opportunity to scrutinize Peanuts gang cartoons for subtext between good old Marcie and Peppermint Patty.
It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown is 1992’s answer to 1965’s super popular A Charlie Brown Christmas. Peppermint Patty missed out on the adventure the first time around; she wasn’t introduced to Peanuts until the following year. By 1992, though, she was every little lesbian’s favorite character, and in the follow-up Charlie Brown Christmas special, she and Marcie are growing up as gaily as ever.
Here are some of their most lesbian-ish Christmas moments:
1) The Peanuts gang was supposed to read A Tale of Two Cities over Thanksgiving vacation, and shockingly enough, Peppermint Patty didn’t do her homework. First she gripes about it to Chuck. Then she tries to get Marcie to do the work for her. Finally, she just appeals to Marcie’s affection.
Translation: “I’m scared.” “I’ll hold you.”
I think this is what the Indigo Girl call “multiply[ing] life by the power of two.”
Marcie’s learned a thing or two over the years. Back in the ’70s, she would have just given in and done P-Patty’s work for her. Now she’s leveraging her work ethic and intellect for a cuddle.
2) Marcie finds (read: follows) P-Patty to the park where she’s building a snow man instead of doing her homework. When Marcie confronts her, P-Patty offers this explanation:
Never underestimate a lesbian’s power to turn the smallest confrontation into a existential diatribe, thereby avoiding the actual issue.
3) Marcie and Peppermint Patty go on a friendly outing (read: date) to hear Handel’s “Messiah”, and even though P-Patty will later refer to him as “Joe Handel” she is not exactly familiar with his work.
Aw, little butch. She wants to be building a snowman, not listening to an oratorio!
4) At school, Peppermint Patty tells Marcie she is going to ask to play Mary in the Christmas play: “I can probably wear these same sandals!”
5) But the teacher has already asked Marcie to play the roll of Mary. P-Patty will be playing the role of sheep. Again. Has her teacher already decoded her lesbianism? Is she just preparing P-Patty for the black sheep role she’ll be playing in her family when she comes out? I think probably so.
What follows is a kind of treatise on the power dynamic in lesbian relationships.
6) Should [Future Top] P-Patty be happy for Marcie? Should she love and support her as she takes the spotlight for the first time in their relationship? Absolutely! Does she? Absolutely not! Over and over she complains that she doesn’t want to be a sheep, and over and over Marcie comforts her.
7) P-Patty doesn’t take lip from anyone — except Marcie.
8) Unlike the rest of the neurotic Peanuts gang, P-Patty has mastered the illusion of being in control. She never lets it slip — again, unless she’s with Marcie:
9) Peppermint Patty does forget her one line. (Bah! Bah!) She improvises with “Woof, meow, moo, whatever!”
Aw, little gay — already deflecting awkward moments with sarcasm.
10) When the audience cracks up, P-Patty belts an out-of-tune “And a partridge in a pear tree!”
Give a lesbian an audience and she just doesn’t know when to stop. Luckily, she’s got Marcie to club her over the head with a shepherd’s staff and drag her off stage.
And if that’s not enough lesbian-ish love to satiate your heart, I’ve got an 11-second gift for you. Happy Holidays!