We all know that Charlie Brown has the hots for some femme fatale known only as “The Little Red-Haired Girl”.
But in the 90s, his long-standing unrequited love affair with this dragonlady was briefly interrupted by a fling with a gal called Peggy Jean. This Peggy Jean is prominently mentioned in the 1992 special It’s Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown, in which she is depicted with red hair. This has led many casual Peanuts readers to confuse the two. I myself thought they were one and the same, that the name of the Little Red-Haired Girl was finally being released.
However, this is not the case. Charlie Brown’s love for the Little Red-Haired Girl was mostly unrequited, but his love for Peggy Jean was reciprocated. Though she called him Brownie Charles, she did at least know his name. While she had red hair in the TV show, she had brown hair in the comic strip. And she even kissed Charlie Brown on one occasion. To top it all off, the Little Red Haired Girl has been called “Heather” in a couple of the TV specials.
It is obvious, then, that Peggy Jean and the Little Red-Haired Girl are two different people. But the confusion is understandable. I can’t imagine what the animators of the 1992 special were thinking when they colored Peggy Jean’s hair red. But we shouldn’t be too hard on them. We should just be thankful that Frieda never got into the mix.