It’s the 50th Anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!”
Charles M. Schulz’s animated special first aired on Nov. 20, 1973 and combines all the things we love about the holiday, including time spent with family and friends and a big dinner (even if it is just popcorn and jelly beans).
If you’re hoping to catch the animated short as part of your annual Thanksgiving tradition, you’re in luck, because we’ve collected everything you need to know right here to make it easy.
First things first: If you’ve never seen “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” the story follows Charlie Brown’s last-minute preparations after Peppermint Patty invites herself and others over to Charlie’s for dinner, overriding his objections that he’s already made plans.
Like most family holidays, things go a little wrong...but, fortunately, turn out alright in the end. Now that you know the tale, here’s how to tune in this year.
How to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ in 2023
“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” first debuted on CBS in 1973. After nabbing an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Special the next year, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” appeared annually on the network (and a handful of other places) before eventually moving to ABC in 2001.
In 2018, Apple acquired the rights to the “Peanuts” catalog, along with access to classics like “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and, of course, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”
So, if you’re hoping to find Charlie and friends on other streaming services like Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix or Disney+, then, unfortunately, you’re out of luck. The only place to watch the animated TV special is on Apple+ TV.
In order to watch "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," you'll need a subscription, which starts at $9.99 a month. You can also give the streaming service a test drive with the platform’s 7-day free trial.
The history of ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1922, “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz (nicknamed “Sparky”) always knew he wanted to be a cartoonist. He realized his dream after his first comic strip, “Li’l Folks,” was picked up by a local newspaper when the artist was in his 20s.
The comic featured a group of big-headed kids who acted more like adults than children, eventually evolving into “Peanuts” and becoming nationally syndicated.
In 1965, the newspaper comic strip came to the small screen with the airing of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The special became an instant hit with more than 15 million households tuning in for the premiere, according to The New York Times.
Since then, there have been nearly four dozen “Peanuts” shows, including “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and, of course, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”
‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ trivia
Before watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” this year, you might want to know a few facts about the TV classic and can use this bit of Thanksgiving trivia to impress friends and family at the dinner table.
Here are a few things you might not already know.
- In “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” the voices of Peppermint Patty and her pal Marcie are both played by men: Christopher DeFaria voiced Patty and Jimmy Ahrens is Marcie.
- The full meal that Charlie, Snoopy and Woodstock throw together at the last minute includes buttered toast, pretzels, popcorn, jelly beans and ice cream.
- At the end of the TV special, Snoopy and Woodstock (a bird) share a turkey Thanksgiving dinner.
- Charlie Brown and friends gather around a ping-pong table for Thanksgiving dinner.