In a segment in the special, all of the children go trick-or-treating (except for Linus van Pelt and Sally Brown who sit in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin). At each house they call at, most of the children receive large amounts of candy or other treats and excitedly tell their friends about it afterwards. However, every time Charlie Brown says "I got a rock", with increasing disappointment.
Charlie Brown's bad luck trick-or-treating earned him a lot of sympathy amongst young viewers, to the extent that some mailed candy for Charlie Brown to the TV channels that aired the special.
"I got a rock" also featured in the Peanuts comic strip from November 1, 1975, following a Halloween storyline in which Peppermint Patty was convinced by Linus to wait for the Great Pumpkin. The Great Pumpkin, of course, did not show up. Peppermint Patty was very upset that she missed trick-or-treating. Charlie Brown said he was mad because all he ended up with in his candy bag was a rock. Peppermint Patty said "I sat in a pumpkin patch for a week, and I didn't get ANYTHING!" to which Charlie Brown replied "Do you want my rock?"