Though today we just think of Peppermint Patty as a rough-and-tumble tomboy who loves sports, the character was added in 1966, a time in which girls didn't really play team sports. Creator Charles M. Schulz thought it would be helpful to create a girl character who excelled in sports to serve as an example to children who read his comic strip and show that girls can be just as athletic as boys.
All the female Peanuts characters wear dresses except Peppermint Patty, who seems not to worry about girly things. Her real name is Patricia Reichardt, and she seems to prefer shorts because they allow her more freedom to move around, kick a ball, or run and jump, as she often does.
Peppermint Patty is not only an excellent baseball player but the manager of her team. She's been known to pitch no-hitter games and hit multiple home runs.
In the new Peanuts Movie, Peppermint Patty plays hockey with as much prowess as she does baseball.
To show her toughness, Peppermint Patty has no trouble playing football in her sandals in any weather, including rain, snow or sunshine because she simply loves the sport.
When the school's dress code changes in 1972, requiring Peppermint Patty to wear a dress, she hires Snoopy as her lawyer to help fight for her rights to dress as she pleases.
Of course, Peppermint Patty doesn't have candy cigarettes in the new Peanuts Movie, but for a time in the comic strip, she would roll up her bubblegum smokes in her sleeve, something typically more common for men to do.
In the comic strip, Peppermint Patty lives with her father, who often has to work late. Though it's not explained, it's assumed her mother has died. Afraid to go to sleep while her father's not home, she often waits up for him, causing her to be tired and sometimes fall asleep at school. Once in the comic strip, she even tried to hire Snoopy to be her watchdog, but the effort turned out badly.
Though it's unclear exactly why Marcie calls Peppermint Patty "sir," it may have started as a reaction to Peppermint Patty's strong, sometimes bossy personality or due to Marcie's poor eyesight. Though the nickname did seem to irritate her for a while, Peppermint Patty seems OK with it in the new movie.
The Peanuts Movie opens in theaters on Friday, Nov. 6.
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