Rerun Van Pelt

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Rerun Van Pelt
Peanuts character
Rerun on the back of his mother's bicycle
First appearanceMay 23, 1972 (born and first mention)
March 26, 1973 (official debut)
Last appearanceJanuary 30, 2000 (comic strip)
Voiced byVinnie Dow (1976)
Jason Mendelson (1983-1986) (credited as Jason Muller)
Tim Deters (2002) (as Timmy Deters)
Jimmy Bennett (2003-2006) (credited as James Bennett)
Finn Carr (2016)
Daniel Thornton (2016, as a baby)
Milo Toriel-McGibbon (2019)
In-universe information
FamilyLinus Van Pelt (older brother)
Lucy Van Pelt (older sister)
Unnamed parents
Unnamed blanket-hating grandmother
Marion (aunt)
Felix Van Pelt (paternal grandfather)

Rerun Van Pelt is Linus and Lucy's youngest brother in Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts. Lucy Van Pelt, his sister, disparagingly calls the situation a "rerun" of the birth of her brother Linus, so Linus nicknames the child "Rerun".[1] Despite Lucy's disappointment, she becomes a warm and protective older sister.[2]

Rerun was a minor character in the strip when he was introduced in 1972, and in the 1980s he mostly appeared in sequences riding on the back of his mother's bicycle. However, in the late 1990s — the final years of the strip — he became a major presence, as Schulz felt that his main cast was "too old" for some of the themes he wanted to explore. In a 1997 interview in Comics Journal, Schulz admitted, "Lately, Rerun has almost taken over the strip."[3]

Rerun made his first appearance in animation in the 1976 special It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown, voiced by Vinnie Dow.[4] He returned in the 1983 special It's an Adventure, Charlie Brown and the 1983–1986 series The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, voiced by Jason Mendelson, the four-year-old son of producer Bill Mendelson.[5] Rerun was the main character in the 2003 special I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown, with a storyline drawn from the strip's Rerun-heavy final years.[5] He also has an important role in the 2006 special He's a Bully, Charlie Brown.[5]


Rerun bears a strong physical resemblance to Linus. In appearances from the 1970s and 1980s, Rerun is virtually identical to Linus, though he is smaller, wore a plain T-shirt (it appears that he got many hand-me-downs from Linus, as he wore a long-sleeved shirt with Linus's shirt design), and his hair sprang up. Rerun's appearance evolved in the 1990s, as he aged beyond infancy. Rerun was mostly shown wearing overalls, and his hair was shown as shorter and flatter. While he continued to share Linus' facial features, Rerun's head also grew rounder and larger in proportion to his body. In his early TV appearances, he wears a green or white shirt with black shorts and saddle shoes. In I Want A Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown, he wears an orange striped shirt under light blue overalls.


Rerun started as a minor character in the Peanuts universe, only becoming a main character in the last decade of the comic strip. Rerun was first mentioned in the strip on May 23, 1972, during a storyline in which Lucy throws her younger brother Linus out of the house, only to relent when she learns that yet another little brother had just been born.[6][7]

Initially, toddler Rerun was shown playing cards with an equally confused Snoopy,[8][9] and learning to tie his shoes from Lucy.[10]

For many years, Rerun was only seen perched in a seat on the back of his mother's bicycle, wryly commenting on his mother's riding skills and habits. Schulz, a careful observer of ordinary life, was inspired by the sight of young children strapped down for transport. "You look at these little kids hanging on to their elders..." he said, "and you wonder what goes through their minds." Rerun was "a kind of interpreter to those silent thoughts and impressions.[4] The absence of parents and adults in the comic strip means that Rerun must face his trials alone. One critic writes, "Mrs. Van Pelt exposes Rerun to the harsher truths of the outside world. He has to find for himself in fighting off dogs, handle burdens like her purchases, and deal with setbacks in life, such as potholes. Perhaps she wants to prepare Rerun for the cruelties and failures that Charlie Brown's gang frequently encounters. After all, his older brother, Linus, basically hides under a blanket."[7]

In 1976, Rerun made his first animated appearance in the special It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown, in a sequence on the back of his mother's bicycle.[4]

He was rarely used in the 1980s; by that time, Schulz had run out of ideas about how to use him. "Rerun is still around," Schulz said in a 1984 interview promoting It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown. "He rides on the back of his mom's bicycle now and then, and we're going to use him on some of the Saturday morning television shows but I just... run out of ideas on certain subjects, and lately I haven't been able to think of anything where he is on the back of his mom's bicycle. But he's still around."[2][11]

In the 1990s, Schulz began using Rerun as an opportunity to explore the grandparent/grandchild relationship.[12] Rerun attends his first day of school on September 11, 1996, having spent the previous week hiding under the bed.[13] Rerun ages to 5 years old (50 in 2022) at this point, still younger than most of the strip's other characters. In a 1997 interview, Schulz said, "We had a few grandchildren who had to start preschool and kindergarten, and I see little kids at the arena, too. I began to get some ideas and so he was the perfect one to have start kindergarten. He's different from Lucy and Linus. He's a little more outspoken. And I think he's going to be a little on the strange side... [laughs] the way he is already. I just had him expelled from school for another day recently, just because he spoke up... He's perfect for that. The other kids are too old for this, really."[3]

One of Rerun's major concerns at this time is his desire for a dog; he sees Snoopy as an ideal companion, but the dog has no particular regard for him.[7]

In the final years of the strip — also the final years of Schulz's life — Schulz used Rerun as a way to express his ambivalence about his own talents and limitations.[14] In a sequence in January 1999, the Peanuts characters visit an art museum. In one single-panel wordless strip, the other children gaze at a large oil painting of a landscape, while Rerun, alone at the far right, looks at a small line drawing of the dog from Patrick McDonnell's comic strip Mutts.[15] Despite this symbolic assertion that comic strips are equivalent to other forms of art, the next day's strip finds Rerun back in school, struggling with his own watercolor. "I think I learned something very important," he tells his classmate. "I'll never be Andrew Wyeth."[16] One critic says that "here, Rerun is parroting Schulz's own self-deprecating attitude toward his own medium, comic art."[17]

Ever the enigma, Rerun draws a curtain over Peanuts' final installment of the annual ritual of Lucy pulling the football away just as Charlie Brown tries to place-kick it. In the 1999 Sunday strip, Rerun tells Lucy that their mother wants her to come home for lunch, and she leaves him to hold the football. Charlie Brown rushes toward the ball — but the audience never sees whether he successfully kicks it or not. Lucy returns and asks Rerun what happened, and he replies, "You'll never know." As one critic remarks, "Rerun's presence disrupts the repetitive force of the gag," replacing certainty in this climactic strip with "inexhaustible possibility."[18] As of 2021, Rerun would be 49 years old.

In adaptations[edit]


Rerun's animated debut is in the animated television special It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown, and his first major appearance in the strip was adapted in the first produced episode of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.[19][unreliable source?] Rerun only made one other appearance in a television special before 2000, Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! from 1986, where his attempts to blow up balloons for the New Year's party ended in failure, as he blew them up as cubes rather than spheres (a scenario adapted from a comic strip story involving Linus from December 1954, when Linus was roughly the same age).[20] Rerun was mentioned, but not seen, in the 1985 special Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown when Charlie Brown informed Snoopy that he could not back out of his wedding, because Rerun had already been chosen as ring-bearer.

Rerun was given a speaking role in the 2002 special Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales. He was the main character in the 2003 special I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown, with a storyline drawn from the strip's Rerun-heavy final years.[5] He also has an important role in the 2006 special He's a Bully, Charlie Brown.[5]

He was not seen or mentioned in the 2015 film The Peanuts Movie.

Various actors have voiced the animated Rerun since 1976, including Vinny Dow, Jason Mendelson, Timmy Deters, and Jimmy Bennett.[19]

Voiced by[edit]

  • Vinnie Dow (1976)
  • Jason Mendelson (1983–1986) (as Jason Muller)
  • Tim Deters (2002) (as Timmy Deters)
  • Jimmy Bennett (2003, 2006) (as James Bennett)
  • Finn Carr (2016)
  • Milo Toriel-McGibbon (2019)


Neither of the Broadway productions of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Snoopy! The Musical (aside from a cameo in the animated adaptation) featured Rerun,[21] but various local and regional productions have included Rerun as a character.[22][23][24][25]


  1. ^ Schulz, Charles (1972-05-31). "May 31, 1972 strip". GoComics. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  2. ^ a b Farago, Andrew (2017). The Complete Peanuts Family Album: The Ultimate Guide to Charles M. Schulz's Classic Characters. Weldon Owen. p. 241. ISBN 978-1681882925.
  3. ^ a b Groth, Gary (2000). "Schulz at 3 O'Clock in the Morning". In Inge, M. Thomas (ed.). Charles M. Schulz: Conversations. University Press of Mississippi. p. 218. ISBN 9781578063055. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Woolery, George W. (1989). Animated TV Specials: The Complete Directory to the First Twenty-Five Years, 1962-1987. Scarecrow Press. pp. 214–215. ISBN 0-8108-2198-2. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e Solomon, Charles (2012). The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation: Celebrating Fifty Years of Television Specials. Chronicle Books. pp. 20, 41, 180. ISBN 978-1452110912.
  6. ^ Schulz, Charles (1972-05-23). "May 23, 1972 strip". GoComics. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  7. ^ a b c Meuther, Olaf (2019). "Two Different Worlds: Adults, Children and Their Relationship". In Lee, Peter W.Y. (ed.). Peanuts and American Culture: Essays on Charles M. Schulz's Iconic Comic Strip. McFarland & Co. pp. 36–37. ISBN 9781476671444. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  8. ^ Schulz, Charles (1998-06-30). "June 30, 1998 strip". GoComics. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  9. ^ Schulz, Charles (1993-05-06). "May 06, 1993 strip". GoComics. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  10. ^ Schulz, Charles (1995-10-26). "October 26, 1995 strip". GoComics. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  11. ^ Charles M. Schulz promoting It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown (1984). People are Talking (SWF) (Television production). San Francisco: YouTube. Event occurs at 3:35. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  12. ^ Braddock, Paige; Fajardo, Alexis E., eds. (2009). Celebrating Peanuts: 60 Years. Lionheart Books Ltd. p. 206. ISBN 9780740785481.
  13. ^ Braddock, Paige; Fajardo, Alexis E., eds. (2009). Celebrating Peanuts: 60 Years. Lionheart Books Ltd. p. 428. ISBN 9780740785481.
  14. ^ Michaelis, David (2007). Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography. Harper. p. 554. ISBN 978-0066213934.
  15. ^ Schulz, Charles (1999-01-28). "January 28, 1999 strip". GoComics. Retrieved 2020-05-25.
  16. ^ Schulz, Charles (1999-01-29). "January 29, 1999 strip". GoComics. Retrieved 2020-05-25.
  17. ^ Clarke, M.J. (2017). "Charles Schulz, Comic Art, and Personal Value". In Gardner, Jared; Gordon, Ian (eds.). The Comics of Charles Schulz: The Good Grief of Modern Life. University Press of Mississippi. p. 165. ISBN 978-1496812896.
  18. ^ McCarthy, Anne C. (2017). ""There Has to be Something Deeply Symbolic in That": Peanuts and the Sublime". In Gardner, Jared; Gordon, Ian (eds.). The Comics of Charles Schulz: The Good Grief of Modern Life. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-1496812896.
  19. ^ a b Rerun Van Pelt (Character) from Internet Movie Database
  20. ^ Schulz, Charles M., The Complete Peanuts 1953 to 1954, Fantagraphics Books
  21. ^ You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown from the Internet Broadway Database
  22. ^ You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, All About Theatre
  23. ^ Charlie Brown Cast
  24. ^ You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown by San Diego Junior Theatre
  25. ^ Community Theater Takes Center Stage, West Chicago Community News

External links[edit]