Peanuts Peppermint Patty
Posted 26 September 2009 - 09:10 AM
Posted 26 September 2009 - 02:12 PM
Notable character traits
Peppermint Patty is noted for her persistent habit of profoundly misunderstanding basic concepts and ideas that most people would consider obvious, leading to embarrassing situations. For a very long time she seemed fooled by Snoopy's human-like behavior and seemed not aware he was a dog, continuously referring to him as "the funny looking kid with the big nose". This was a recurrent gag in the strip until an incident in which Patty declared she was through with school and planned to spend the rest of her days staying in "Chuck's guest cottage" (Snoopy's dog house). By the end of this particular story arc, Marcie, in a fit of exasperation, angrily informed Patty exactly what the "funny looking kid with the big nose" actually was, which left Patty in stunned shock for several strips. In a later phone call to Charlie Brown, Patty finally accepted the truth: "Let's just say my pride had the flu, okay, Chuck?"
Peppermint Patty has brown chin-length hair, and she has freckles on her face. She almost always wears sandals with bare feet. She also rolled her candy cigarettes in her sleeve.
She's also listed on the Myers-Briggs personality test as an ESTP, which is the personality most associated with troublesome kids. ESTP is a stubborn personality with a dare-devil twist.
She also thought a school for gifted children meant that she would get free gifts if she enrolled. Likewise she once confused a dog obedience school with a human private school, going so far as to enroll and graduate with the other dogs. It was only later, when she tried to use that diploma to show that she did not have to go to regular school, that she discovered that she had publicly humiliated herself for a meaningless honor. She is widely known for receiving a D− grade on every test or assignment in school (in 1999, the final full year of "Peanuts", her teacher presented her with a certificate naming her to the "D-Minus Hall of Fame"). In one comic strip, Patty got a Z-, which she called "sarcasm". In a series of strips in 1984, Peppermint Patty was held back a grade for failing all of her classes - only to be allowed to return to her old class when her old desk in front of Marcie started to emit snoring noises, leading kids and faculty alike to suspect that the classroom was haunted by a "snoring ghost".
Peppermint Patty's bad grades are possibly exacerbated by her tendency to sleep through class. This was explained by the fact that her father works late, and Patty is too insecure to sleep until he returns home. In one series of strips, Marcie suggests that it is Patty's unrequited love for Charlie Brown (see below) which causes her to fall asleep. At Marcie's urging, Patty also went to a sleep disorders treatment center to be tested for narcolepsy; once again, though, it was determined that staying up too late at night, and not narcolepsy, was the cause of Patty's falling asleep in class.
Peppermint Patty hired Snoopy twice to serve as her watchdog so she could sleep better at night, but both incidents ended in disaster. The first time, Snoopy was unable to get off Peppermint Patty's waterbed in the guest room to catch the burglars who were robbing the house at that very moment, and the second time, Snoopy was distracted by the girl poodle who became his fiancee (the engagement was called off on the day of the wedding), leading Peppermint Patty to angrily call Charlie Brown in the middle of the night and demand that he come to her house to serve as watchdog in Snoopy's place. Besides guard duties, Peppermint Patty also retains Snoopy's services as an attorney, once even enlisting his help to openly defy the school's dress code. The first strip in which the character's full formal name, Patricia Reichardt, was mentioned, published 15 January 1972; her formal name appeared again at least one more time, in the 5 February 1993 strip, in which she reads to Marcie an ad she has placed in the paper:
- First panel: PP: See Marcie? My ad is in the paper..
- Second panel: PP: "Help wanted.. attractive young lady can't remember history dates."
- Third panel: PP: "Doesn't understand fractions.. Call Patricia Reichardt at number below.."
- Fourth panel: PP: What do you think, Marcie? M: You are extremely weird, sir.
Also, this cracked me up, but there's a book review on Amazon about a book by Schulz called, "Peanuts: A Golden Celebration: The Art and the Story of the World's Best-Loved Comic Strip," and apparently some of the Stanford sleep center doctors wrote to him about Peppermint Patty!:
Schulz comments on the cartoons and his inspirations via notes in the margin, ranging from boyhood stories about his father (a barber, just like Charlie Brown's) to an account of the time the narcolepsy experts at Stanford University expressed concerns over Peppermint Patty's constant sleeping in class.
Oh, and it says that the comics are free here, but I have no idea how to pick out the ones about Peppermint Patty falling asleep. My attempts to search for it with their search engine failed miserably:
And thanks for sharing! Got a kick out of the sleep medicine doctors writing to Mr. Schulz about Peppermint Patty possibly having narcolepsy. Might be worth it to check a copy of that book out of the library to read the story surrounding that.