The absence of Peppermint Patty's mother is one of the great mysteries of the Peanuts comic by Charles M. Schulz. In the comic strip from September 27, 1973, it is revealed that Peppermint Patty has not got a mother. No explanation is given for why this is so. Peppermint Patty lives as an only child with her father, who is always going out of town.
There could be three possible reasons for why Peppermint Patty does not have a mother:
- Her parents could have gotten divorced. This is improbable because, if her parents had divorced, Peppermint Patty's mother would still likely have contact with her from time to time.
- Peppermint Patty could be adopted. That theory can be rejected because, in the strip from December 7, 1984, Marcie says to Peppermint Patty that her father should get married again. This suggests that Peppermint Patty's father was once married to her biological mother
- Peppermint Patty's mother died. This is the most probable theory. It should be remembered that Charles M. Schulz's lost his mother when he was only 19 years-old. She died in February 1943, after the young Schulz had been drafted into the United States Army. Schulz may have been trying to deal with his feelings of loss by putting one of his characters into a similar situation. This could also be the possible explanation for why Peppermint Patty dresses in a somewhat boyish style.
- Even though Peppermint Patty appears to have a mother in the TV special He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown, we should not consider animated specials as canon.