Charles M. Schulz said that this was why Charlie Brown had to lose all the time

Nobody wants to watch a winner.

As much as we all love watching Peanuts specials, how often have you stared at the television screen, half exasperated, half furious, nearly driven to madness because Charlie Brown can not catch a break? How many times have you hoped that this kid might finally get a victory, only to have it blow up in both of your faces? Rest assured, you're not alone. However, it may provide some odd comfort to you to know that there's a reason why Charlie Brown has to lose, according to the Peanuts father himself, Charles M. Schulz. 

According to Schulz's book, Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art with Charlie Brown and Others, his main character needed to be a loser because it provided reliability to the audience. He said, "Charlie Brown has to be the one who suffers because he is a caricature of the average person. Most of us are acquainted with losing more than we are with winning."

He continued, "Winning is great, but it isn't funny. While one person is a happy winner, there may be a hundred losers using funny stories to console themselves."

As an almost stand-in for the audience, Schulz was sure to keep Charlie Brown as the heart and center of the story. He stated, "In the case of Peanuts, I like to have Charlie Brown eventually be the focal point of almost every story. No matter what happens to any of the other characters, somehow Charlie Brown is involved at the end and usually is the one who brings disaster upon one of his friends or receives the brunt of the blow.

Schulz also added some insight into Charlie Brown's character, and why so many viewers gravitate toward him, and root for him despite his inevitable journey to failure. "Readers are generally sympathetic toward a lead character who is rather gentle, sometimes put upon, and not always the brightest person. Perhaps this is the kind of person who is easiest to love."

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18 Comments

Mikeecole18 6 months ago
I see people who need to find reality. Kids don't always do things to "bully" others, they are kids. Because everyone laughs, they aren't necessarily "bullying." The reality of life is: Nobody can "make" you feel bad. You make a choice to feel bad because of something someone else says. Actually, what someone else says MEANS NOTHING. You are responsible for you. What happens to Charlie brown happens to all of us, we chose what we do with it. Charlie Brown goes on with his life and I commend him for that. But, that's just the perspective of 3/4 of a century of living and not concerning myself with what others think.
Coldnorth Mikeecole18 6 months ago
I agree with some of what you say, but, there are kids who are more sensitive A twelve year old in my neck of the woods committed suicide and the bully around the same age was in court facing charges. Charlie Brown isn’t the only character that gets bullied. I know bulling can make you miserable and not fit in and it really bothers me. Just remember, your child, grandchild or anyone close to you can be affected hard by what people say. Why cant we all get along. I am far from a child but sometimes I can and did feel bullied at a job I had. Even at my age, words hurt
4thtroika 6 months ago
I've gotten increasingly frustrated over Charlie's losing over the years. I still love him and the specials and movies, but it's gotten old. The scene in the Christmas special where everyone laughs at him (including his dog!) for getting that tree actually angers me now. An effect of getting old? I don't know, you tell me.
bdettlingmetv 6 months ago
My younger brother spent a lot of his earlier years going from disaster to disaster, much like Charlie Brown.

My dad liked to say that he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

However, he eventually found his niche and today is a renowned artist. Even the "Charlies" CAN win sometimes.
THOMASTERRYJR 6 months ago
I guess that is the reason why Charlie Brown and Archie Bunker are such lovable television characters. Both characters do not know how to win. They figure out a way to have victory blow up in their face with great regularity.
Rick 6 months ago
Peanuts Jubilee is an excellent book. And Schulz' understanding of human nature is the reason people will still remember Peanuts even hundreds of years from now.
LalaLucy 6 months ago
Yes, it makes sense. One reason I love Charlie. Makes me sad and yet I relate...
Coldnorth LalaLucy 6 months ago
I was bullied in every way possible as a kid. Sticks with you sometimes as an adult.
LalaLucy Coldnorth 6 months ago
I know how you feel. But, at least there is the knowledge of survival. And Charlie. ❤️
Coldnorth LalaLucy 6 months ago
I was working at a job with 2 classmates who made my life miserable as a teenager. They Actually walked up to me and apologized for the way they treated me. It took a lot to tell me that and I was touched. Some grow up like these 2 did and some never change
LalaLucy Coldnorth 6 months ago
Glad they did that for you. And how true!
Irish 6 months ago
Poor Charlie Brown! I still watch the Charlie Brown specials. I agree....he is easy to love ❤️
Runeshaper 6 months ago
Who doesn't love someone who is easy to love? (-:
LoveMETV22 6 months ago
Yes.... I think I have rooted for Charlie Brown more than once, but have also wished the Castaways would be rescued on Gilligan's Island, Barney would get more bullets on TAGS, But certain things are just not meant to be.
I guess if there's a scapegoat then:
MrsPhilHarris LoveMETV22 6 months ago
Who are these people?
LoveMETV22 MrsPhilHarris 6 months ago
The cast from " A Very Brady Sequel. " A parody movie of The Brady Bunch."
MrsPhilHarris LoveMETV22 6 months ago
Oh lol. I had no idea,
SexyMate LoveMETV22 6 months ago
Yes This Cast Too Are "Very Brady" As Well , And I Love The Original Cast Of "The Brady Bunch "And The "Brady Sequel" Is Just As Talented And Also Has A Lot Going For , In Terms Of The Outstanding Character's That Are Portraited In The Original "Brady Bunch" Love The Theme Too.!!!
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