- "Peppermint Patty, the tomboy, is forthright, doggedly loyal, with a devastating singleness of purpose, the part of us that goes through life with blinders on."
- Charles M. Schulz on Peppermint Patty
Patricia "Peppermint Patty" Reichardt is a major female character in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. She is not to be confused with Patty, and she is almost always referred to and addressed by her complete nickname.
Peppermint Patty first appeared on August 22, 1966 but her surname was not revealed until January 15, 1972. She is a good friend of Charlie Brown and Marcie. She met "Chuck" in 1966 through a mutual friend, Roy. She met Marcie in 1971 when she was Marcie's counselor at summer camp. This implies that Peppermint Patty is older than Marcie, but later they appear in the same class. Given their respective academic reputations, however, it seems likely that either Marcie skipped a grade, Peppermint Patty was held back, or both.
While academics are Peppermint Patty's weak spot (D minus is her most frequent grade), athletics are her strong suit (despite wearing sandals, which might be expected to hamper her movement). In her first storyline, she helped out Chuck's baseball team, though she later got her own team. She also has appeared playing football, hockey, and figure skating.
In comic strips from January and February 1970 and January 1972, Peppermint Patty is subjected to a new school dress code. In the 1970 strips, the school dress code forbids her from wearing her sandals. Two years later, the school requires her to wear a dress. Peppermint Patty decided to defy the dress code, and takes on Snoopy as her attorney to try and fight the decision.
Peppermint Patty lives with her father; her mother is most likely deceased, in the strip from September 27, 1973 she tells Marcie that she does not have a mother.
Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Franklin, Roy (and ocasionally "5") apparently live in a different section of town from the rest of the cast; they go to a different school, and Charlie Brown mentions that she had to walk across town to help his team.
A few years after being introduced, Peppermint Patty began to develop a crush on Charlie Brown. She often sits under a tree with him discussing matters of the heart as he manages to evade the issue. She also developed a short-lived crush on "Pig-Pen" and fell in love with Pierre in Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!)
Peppermint Patty can often be very lazy, especially when it comes to school. 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 placing her in the "D-Minus Hall of Fame"). In one comic strip, she got a Z-, which she called "sarcasm". In a series of strips from 1984, Peppermint Patty is 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 starts to emit snoring noises, leading children and faculty alike to suspect that the classroom is haunted by a "snoring ghost". Peppermint Patty's bad grades are possibly exacerbated by her tendency to sleep through class. This has been explained by saying that her father works late, and she is too insecure to sleep until he returns home.
Peppermint Patty can be dimwitted; at first she did not realize that Snoopy was a dog. Her realization came during a period when she refused to go to school, and instead attempted to stay with Snoopy. During a scuffle with Marcie, Snoopy's doghouse is destroyed, and Marcie finally convinces her friend that Snoopy is a beagle, not a "funny looking kid with a big nose".
Peppermint Patty is a star athlete, especially in baseball, where her team regularly trounces Charlie Brown's squad. In the first series of strips in which Patty appeared from 1966, she actually joins "Chuck's" team as its new pitcher, relegating Charlie Brown to the outfield. However, she quits in disgust after only one game; despite tossing a no-hitter and slamming five home runs, her new team loses, 37-5, because of their somewhat porous defense. In another strip she let Charlie Brown pitch the last throw of the game (Peppermint Patty pitched a no-hit, no-run game and were leading 49–0 on the 9th inning, 2nd out, 2nd strike), only to see Charlie lose the game.
See main article: Peppermint Patty and Marcie's relationship
Peppmint Patty and Marcie are best friends, who often make fun of each other. When the two friends get angry they are never seen apologizing to each other, they are just friends again the next day.
Peanuts parodies such as those on Family Guy, and Robot Chicken, have depicted Marcie and Peppermint Patty as lesbians. The possibility of Peppermint Patty being a gay hero is referred to in The Simpsons episode "No Loan Again, Naturally".
See main article: Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown's relationship
Not until a few years after she was introduced into the strip did it become apparent that Peppermint Patty had a crush on Charlie Brown. Peppermint Patty frequently plays lovers' games with Charlie Brown, and gets frustrated or even angry when he does not take the bait. He does like Peppermint Patty, but only as a friend (though their friendship is occasionally strained by her strong personality and bossiness toward him).
Peppermint Patty was originally introduced to Charlie Brown by their mutual friend, Roy. However, after the introduction, the two rarely appeared in the strip together. Marcie later replaced Roy as Peppermint Patty's best friend.
When Peppermint Patty thought Snoopy was just "the funny looking kid with the big nose", she definitely liked him. She got excited whenever he kissed her, for instance, in There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown, when Snoopy kisses her, she tells him, "You sure know how to show a girl a good time". When Peppermint Patty finds out Snoopy is not a human, she continues to like him, but not in the way she used to. A storyline in which she uses him as a watch dog when her father is away, was adapted into the special Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown.
Peppermint Patty likes Linus as a friend. She has occasionaly spoken to him about her unrequited love for Charlie Brown. In one storyline, Charlie Brown is sent home early from summer camp, due to the head of camp thinking he is a trouble maker because his name was mentioned at the girl's camp. Peppermint Patty blames herself for Charlie Brown's misfortune. Linus comforts her by giving her his security blanket and kissing her on the cheek.
The Little Red-Haired Girl
Peppermint Patty gets angry when she hears about the Little Red-Haired Girl, because Charlie Brown has a crush on the Little Red-Haired girl, and Peppermint Patty has a crush on him. In a June 1972 storyline, Peppermint Patty meets the Little Red-Haired Girl while they are both attending the same summer camp. The meeting occurs "off stage" because the Little Red-Haired Girl is an unseen character in the comic strip. In the strips from June 21, June 22 and June 23, 1972, Peppermint Patty describes meeting her rival and how upset she became when she saw how pretty the other girl was.
Peppermint Patty is one of the few characters who does not mind "Pig-Pen's" dirtiness. In one strip from 1980, she falls in love with him.