Although a major character in the year of the strip's debut and for a few years thereafter, Patty's personality was never fully developed and she lacked characteristics which strongly differentiated her from other characters. By the mid 1960s, Patty had been relegated to the background and, although she made occasional appearances throughout most of the remainder of the strip's run, she had virtually disappeared from Peanuts by the 1970s.
In the early days of the Peanuts comic strip, Patty was one of its major characters. Although she was not named until October 26, 1950, Patty appeared in the very first strip on October 2, 1950, along with Charlie Brown and Shermy. However, since she and Shermy lacked the discerning characteristics of such characters as Lucy, Linus, and Schroeder, they became less prominent as years went by.As the only female in the strip's earliest days, Patty was often portrayed as a sort of "mother-hen" character who looks out for the younger characters; however, she would also set the tone for the strong female characters that would later appear in the Peanuts universe. In her second appearance, Patty is seen walking down the sidewalk reciting, "Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice." She then punches Charlie Brown in the face and, without missing a beat, continues, "That's what little girls are made of!" Patty was apparently the oldest child in the early days of Peanuts, as shown by one strip which revealed that she attends school but Charlie Brown does not. Eventually, she, along with Violet, became best known for their social snobbery and combined cruelty to Charlie Brown. Patty is also known for asking "Pig-Pen" why he is constantly so dirty.
Patty's name was first mentioned on October 26, 1950, 24 days after her first appearance.
Patty's birthday is November 4. She plays outfield on Charlie Brown's baseball team; though on an early occasion she was seen as catcher before Schroeder was introduced. Interestingly, it was Patty who first introduced Charlie Brown to Schroeder, claiming he lived next-door to her.
Patty is fair-haired (variously blonde, redheaded, or light brown) and customarily wears a checkered dress with a matching bow in her hair. In the television specials and movies, her dress and bow are colored orange.
In TV specials, movies and musicals
Patty had a major part in the original version of the stage musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. However, in both the 1985 animated television special You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and the 1999 Broadway revival of the play, her part was replaced by Charlie Brown's sister, Sally Brown, since she ceased to appear regularly in the strip decades earlier.
Like most Peanuts characters, Patty has appeared in numerous Peanuts television specials throughout the years, as well as all five movies, although she becomes a minor character after the 1960s.
Patty's TV and film appearances
- A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
- Charlie Brown's All-Stars (1966)
- It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
- He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown (1968) [silent]
- A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)
- Snoopy, Come Home (1972) [silent]
- You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown (1972) [silent]
- Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1975) [silent]
- You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown (1975) [silent]
- Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977) [silent]
- Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!) (1980)
- It's Magic, Charlie Brown (1981) [silent]
- The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show (1983-1986)
- Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown (1985) [silent]
- Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! (1986) [silent]
- Snoopy's Reunion (1991)
- It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown (1992)
- It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown (1997) [silent]
- I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (2003) [silent]
- Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown (2011)
- The Peanuts Movie (2015)
Patty's gradual disappearance
Patty was a prominent character in Peanuts until around 1960, after which she began to appear less and less often. Although Patty (or at least unnamed characters who bear a strong physical resemblance to her) would make cameo appearances throughout the run of Peanuts, she had pretty much disappeared as a featured character by 1976. Schulz claimed he drew Patty in a 1994 strip in which she asks Snoopy to chase rabbits with her, but some fans have stated that the girl in the strip does not resemble Patty. Some have postulated that Patty's doom was sealed by the appearance of the similarly-named Peppermint Patty in 1966, but others say her character was already in decline by then.
Patty's appearances from 1976 until 1999:
- April 11, 1976
- November 17, 1976
- July 24, 1978
- January 23, 1980
- August 21, 1983
- April 15, 1984
- May 27, 1984
- November 20, 1985
- May 3, 1986
- September 3, 1991
- November 25, 1992 (This strip was rerun on November 27, 1997)
- December 12, 1993
- March 2, 1994
- April 17, 1995 (Patty's last appearance in an original strip)
Patty is one of the many Peanut characters to appear in the video game Snoopy's Street Fair, in which she owns a balloon cart.