Advertisement

There's not much you can say about Charlie Brown's quest to kick a football that Peanuts creator Charles Schulz doesn't have Chuck himself proclaim over the course of nearly 50 football gag strips in nearly as many years. 

As he tries and fails repeatedly to kick a football at the mercy of Lucy (and others!), Charlie B. cycles through every single stage of grief. He projects the grandest of metaphors onto his plight, he cries out to a higher power for answers in vain -- the agony even manifests as a kind of PTSD that leaves him unable to trust, nearly destroying one of the greatest romance of his life. It's simultaneously harrowing and hilarious. Shakespeare's ghost surely spent half a century taking notes.

To her credit, Lucy does follow through holding a football once on August 2, 1979. Really! She finally rejects her instinct to pull the football away before Charlie can kick it. Tragically, he misses and winds up kicking her instead. Even though statistically she had it coming, it was no kind of justice for the pure hearted Charlie Brown. Two decades would pass before a final ambiguous story would mete out a kind of punishment for Lucy's habitual torment.

It's worth noting that Violet -- who acted as a kind of proto Lucy before becoming more of a background character -- was the first Peanuts cast member to betray ol' Charlie B's kick. He's never seen playing football with her again. Maybe he learned his lesson with her but just can't resist Lucy? Can anyone?

We invite you to experience Charlie Brown's football gag saga in full, below, and to carry your own torch of resilience in the face of adversity where you may. At least until you get sick of it. We won't judge.

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Nov 14, 1951

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Nov 16, 1952

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Dec 16, 1956

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 22, 1957

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 21, 1958

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 4, 1959

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 16, 1960

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 10, 1961

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 30, 1962

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 1, 1963

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 4, 1964

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 17, 1965

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 25, 1966

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 1, 1967

 undefined

 

 Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 29, 1968

 undefined

 

 Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 28, 1969

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 11, 1970

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 26, 1971

 undefined

 

 Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 8, 1972

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Nov 11, 1973

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 13, 1974

 undefined

 

 Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 19, 1975

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 12, 1976

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 9, 1977

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 1, 1978

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Aug 2, 1979

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Nov 29, 1981

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 10, 1982

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 16, 1983

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 13, 1984

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 19, 1986

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 4, 1987

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 23, 1988

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 1, 1989

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Jul 31, 1990

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Aug 1, 1990

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Aug 2, 1990

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Aug 3, 1990

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Aug 4, 1990

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Aug 6, 1990

 undefined

 

 Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 29, 1991

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 11, 1992

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 3, 1993

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 16, 1994

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 29, 1995

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 20, 1996

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Sep 21, 1997

undefined 

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Nov 15, 1998

 undefined

 

Peanuts by Charles Schulz Oct 24, 1999

undefined