Lucy van Pelt
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|Lucy van Pelt|
|First appearance||March 3, 1952|
|Created by||Charles Schulz|
|Voiced by||Various voice actresses|
|Family||Linus van Pelt and Rerun van Pelt (Younger Brothers)|
Felix van Pelt (Grandfather)
Lucille "Lucy" van Pelt is a character in the syndicated comic strip Peanuts, written and drawn by Charles Schulz. She is the older sister of Linus and Rerun. Lucy is characterized as a "fussbudget", crabby, bossy and opinionated girl who bullies most other characters in the strip, particularly Linus and Charlie Brown.
Lucy often mocks and intimidates others, especially Charlie Brown and her own younger brother, Linus. She also has a strong unrequited crush on Schroeder. She can be quite antagonistic, playing the villain role in a number of stories.
Christopher Caldwell has said about the character: "Lucy is no 'fussbudget.' She's an American nightmare, a combination of zero brains, infinite appetites and infinite self-esteem, who is (for that reason) able to run roughshod over all her playmates. At her best, she is the most terrifying character in the history of comics."
While she often bullies and makes fun of characters like Charlie Brown, he still thinks of Lucy as a good friend and deep down, Lucy does have a fondness of him, with a couple of times that she said that "he's full of surprises."
Lucy also operates a psychiatric booth, parodying the lemonade stand operated by many young children in the United States. Here, she offers advice and psychoanalysis for a nickel (five cents), usually to an anxious Charlie Brown. The "advice" is almost always worthless. However, on a few instances, Lucy’s advice may range from street-smart popular psychology, hilarious obvious truths, to somehow insightful investigation. One example is when, while treating Snoopy, Lucy asks him how he related, during his childhood, to the other (if you allow the expression) "dogs" in his family. Needless to say, Snoopy was quick to disallow the expression.
A sign on the front of the booth declares that "The Doctor is" in or out, depending on which side of the "In/Out" placard is displayed. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Lucy reverses the placard from displaying its "Out" side to reveal the words "Real In".
On Charlie Brown's baseball team Lucy plays right field (or occasionally center field), and is characterized as a bad player, who, when temporarily kicked off the team, turns to heckling the games. Lucy has a knack for coming up with a nonsensical excuse for every fly ball she misses, such as "The moons of Saturn got in my eyes" or "I think there were toxic substances coming from my glove, and they made me dizzy." Other times, she finds an excuse to have one-sided conversations with Charlie Brown at the pitcher's mound, often over some trivial thing she noticed, which usually result in Charlie Brown blowing his top and yelling at her to "Get back in rightfield where you belong!"
Once, Charlie Brown berated her for letting fly balls drop, telling her he would not brook any more excuses; Lucy caught the ball cleanly, and tossed it back to him on the mound silently, after which he admitted he was actually looking forward to her next excuse. In a series of strips that later became part of the 2003 TV special Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown traded Lucy to Peppermint Patty's baseball team for Marcie (and a pizza), but once Patty discovered what a terrible player Lucy really was, she traded her back. Lucy flirts with Schroeder, who plays catcher on Charlie Brown's team.[undue weight? ]
The third new character in Peanuts after Violet and Schroeder, Lucy made her debut on March 3, 1952. She was originally a goggle-eyed toddler who continually annoys her parents and the older kids, but aged up over the next two years so that by 1954, she appeared to be about the same age as Charlie Brown (the early strips with toddler-age Lucy were not reprinted until after Charles Schulz’s death). Within a few months of her introduction, Schulz altered Lucy's eyes to have the same appearance as that of the other characters, except for small extra lines around them which were also later sported by her two siblings.
Lucy has short, black hair and wears a blue dress with blue socks and saddle shoes until the 1970s when Schulz began showing the strip's female characters in pants and shirts in order to keep their outfits more contemporary. By the late 1980s, she had switched to this look permanently.
The first occasion on which she did this was November 16, 1952 (Violet unintentionally did the same thing a year before because she was afraid Charlie Brown would accidentally kick her), but unlike subsequent stunts, Lucy first pulled the ball away because she did not want Charlie Brown to get it dirty (he took a second try in the same strip, only to trip over it at the end).
The football strips became an annual tradition, and Schulz did one nearly every year for the rest of the strip's run, becoming a core part of Peanuts lore. One infamous example of this is the animated special It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, where her actions (she pulled the ball away four times) cost the school football team a win in the Homecoming game, yet Charlie Brown is blamed even though he is clearly not at fault. Charlie Brown did in fact kick the football in the September 12, 1956 strip, but only because Schroeder was holding the ball.
Lucy was named after Louanne van Pelt, a former neighbor of Charles Schulz in Colorado Springs and, according to David Michaelis of Time Magazine, was modeled after Schulz's first wife, Joyce.
- Lucy, along with other Peanuts characters made appearances on Family Guy. Her most recent appearance is in "Brian's Got a Brand New Bag". Peter Griffin appeared in front of Lucy and fed up with her moving the football tricks on Charlie Brown, and roundhouse kicked her repeatedly. Lucy finally complied to his demands and let Charlie kick the football.
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