Who Recalls the Great Pumpkin Appearing? (and other Charlie Brown memories)

Welcome Great Pumpkin, photo.
Photo courtesy J.D. Hancock, Flickr.

Many people recall a very different version of the Charlie Brown Halloween Special.

This topic was raised in July 2015 by David, who said:

My real addition to this is my experience with “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”. I recently got a VHS copy and watched it on Halloween. I remember seeing it as a child, and I remember a final scene where Linus and his sister are in the pumpkin patch. In my memory, Linus falls asleep, and the great pumpkin appears. His sister tries to wake him up, but he sleeps through it. In the ending, she tells him he missed it, and he says something to the extent of trying to see the Great Pumpkin next year. I have clear memories of this scene, and what the great pumpkin looks like. I was very surprised on my.recent viewing to find that this does not happen at all.

I phoned my mother to discuss this, and she remembered the scene clearly as well.

I replied:

Thanks for the comments! I’m 100% certain about the ending of the Charlie Brown Halloween Special. The Great Pumpkin (not just a shadow of Snoopy) definitely made an appearance. There isn’t a glimmer of doubt in my mind.

We’ll need to see if they changed the ending for later releases. (I checked Wikipedia. They list cut and changed scenes, but nothing like what you and I recall. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_the_Great_Pumpkin,_Charlie_Brown. I’ll keep looking because I’m absolutely certain of the ending, and I can’t think of another Charlie Brown special that I might be confusing with it.)

Weird or ME agreed:

The Great Pumpkin appears! even my dad could remember that lol

Lebaneser Scrooge offered this insight:

I never saw the Charlie Brown Halloween special, but the creators of The Simpsons did, and they seem to remember the pumpkin coming alive. See season 20 episode 4, Treehouse of Horrors.

Well, I’ve never seen a full episode of The Simpsons, and not even part of that episode, so that didn’t influence my memories.

Martin Williams said about the Charlie Brown special:

And i am pretty sure we see the great pumpkin on every year.

I think he’s agreeing that he’s seen the Great Pumpkin appear. (If I’m wrong, Martin, let me know.)

In a private comment, someone remembered Charlie Brown’s creator as Charles Schultz — as many people do — but recalled that the Great Pumpkin was actually Snoopy.

That’s what I see in the clip at YouTube (https://youtu.be/EAer30q8FXo ), below (for as long as it’s at YouTube, anyway). I’ve watched that clip a couple of times, and most of it is new to me. The version I recall included a great Great Pumpkin.

And, today, M asked:

Does anyone else remember during “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” that the great pumpkin actually did appear?

Steve M. agreed:

Indeed, I remember it vividly. Linus waited in the pumpkin patch, enduring ridicule from his friends. Later, after his friends abandoned him and he was left alone and shivering in the pumpkin patch, the Great Pumpkin did appear. It rose over the horizon / from the ground and Linus was smiling and content.

Because this is a seasonal interest and many people are watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on TV (in the US, it’s usually on ABC), DVD, or via a streaming service (not free, but Amazon Prime has it), I’m making this a separate topic, and moving some of the comments to this article.

36 thoughts on “Who Recalls the Great Pumpkin Appearing? (and other Charlie Brown memories)”

  1. Does anyone else remember during “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” that the great pumpkin actually did appear?

    1. Indeed, I remember it vividly. Linus waited in the pumpkin patch, enduring ridicule from his friends. Later, after his friends abandoned him and he was left alone and shivering in the pumpkin patch, the Great Pumpkin did appear. It rose over the horizon / from the ground and Linus was smiling and content.

    2. I do remember that! Was a big fan of the Peanuts as a child, and I recall clearly that poor Linus tries his best to stay awake, but the Great Pumpkin appears after he dozes off. I was so disappointed for him! I was a bit confused when I saw the current version in which it’s really just Snoopy. I don’t recall that at all.

      Speaking of the Peanuts, I came across this image of three of the paperback books from the early 1960s through mid-’70s, I’m guessing, don’t know the exact years. Note the spelling of Schultz’s name. This is not the spelling that many of us grew up with! (This is a link to the picture in my Photobucket account.) http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae233/ElveeKaye/Just%20some%20stuff/peanuts%20books_zpstv629kir.jpg

  2. I honestly remember this both ways so I’m not going to trust this memory as strong because it’s trying to be overwritten but when I was a kid (35 years ago) our town did the great pumpkin every Halloween…. it was a big piece of plywood with a huge pumpkin painted on it and you had to go trick or treat the great pumpkin… the fun part was finding it because it would be at a different place every year and you had to find it because you would get a full size candy bar…. now why we a whole town do the if the great pumpkin never appeared?

    1. What a fun custom! I love this idea a lot. It would be worth it to get that full-size candy bar–although in my town, Halloween is a HUGE deal, and some of the families give out full-size bars every year. There’s a couple of neighborhoods they actually block off with police cars and an ambulance (on hand in case of injuries, poisonings, and witches’ spells gone wrong). These are rich families in big, Victorian-style homes, and they go all-out with fog machines, animatronic creatures, graveyards, giant inflatable yard decor, spooky music, etc. It’s amazing! I love Halloween! I hope ME doesn’t make THAT go away. I’d be very disappointed.

  3. I also vividly remember the pumpkin appearing. What’s funny is that yesterday I was on Facebook and saw a status that a friend posted saying she was watching this special on TV with her kids. Someone commented jokingly that they were upset at her for watching without the And she replied that it’s okay because it’s a different one anyway. They asked what she meant by different and she explained that this one didn’t show the big pumpkin at the end. And that’s when about 40 comments flooded in on her status, mine being one of them, that it’s stupid that it would be cut out. Then later on in the night for some other unrelated reason I heard of the ME so I googled it and ended up on this website and have been reading things all night last night and all day today! Crazy.

  4. I remember that as well. And actually I caught it on TV this year and watched it. It was the first time in over a decade that I saw it, and when the end came and went and there was no Great Pumpkin I was surprised. And then I open my email to see this posted and I knew immediately what it was about. Creepy!

  5. Fiona,
    I held off on this one. But I have to admit, the description posted by Steve M. is exactly how I remember it. I have all five Peanuts seasonal specials, but haven’t watched them in several years. I would NOT expect to find anything on them. This is a strange one. I still can’t help but see a pattern in childhood ME’s. Mister Rodgers, Captain Kangaroo, Charles Shultz (Peanuts), the Berenstein Bears ect. There has to be a reason. Mike H.

  6. Ok I remember watching the Great Pumpkin about 3 years ago and being confused when Linus didn’t see the Great Pumpkin because I clearly remembered that the Great Pumpkin did exist in some facet (whether I thought I remembered the version where he falls asleep or the one where he actually sees I do not know–both seem very familiar).

  7. What!? I very vividly remember the scene of the Great Pumpkin riding up from the ground in silhouette with “Whooeeeoooo” music in the background. I remember that Linus is asleep and misses it and I also remember a false alarm and it turns out to be Snoopy instead.

    This is as vivid a memory as the dentist elf pulling one tooth out of the Abomidable Snowman’s mouth in Rudolph, the scene that somehow no longer exists in this reality. Ive watched both shows for decades.

    1. What? The dentist scene is gone? Sure it wasn’t just edited out more recently? That’s how they made the abominable snowman “nice” as I recall.

      1. I have watched Rudolph for years, and I have had the DVD f
        since I was about 3 years old. I am only 15, but somehow reading conspiracy theories brought me here. I have almost a photographic memory, I never have failed a vocabulary test, I act in plays which requires memorization, etc.(That part isn’t really important.) I 100% for sure remember being a dentist scene, no doubt about it. I watched the movie this Christmas, it wasn’t there. I re watched it again. It still wasn’t there, but I promise you, every single time I have watched it before this year, Hermie has checked the abominable snowmans teeth every time. @Fiona, I live in Chicago, I have all of my life, and the dentist scene has been present since 2003-2013,(I am unsure about 2014, since I don’t recall watching it that year.)

  8. Come on now! I remember the Great Pumpkin floating above the ground. I thought he said something wise and the floated off but that part is fuzzy. But I’m NOT fuzzy about great pumpkin showing up finally! Why are all these childhood memories being altered?? Or the items and events surrounding them are altered?! I was infuriated about Berenstein bears and now this hit me as strongly. We are not crazy Fiona.

    1. Belkis, I understand your frustration.

      We’re definitely not crazy. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not among the possibilities when this many people share identical, alternate memories.

      What varies is how we explain those memories.

      My viewpoint is: I don’t think the memories are being altered. I think we’re cruising between two or more realities and don’t always realize it. So, many of us have spent time in a reality where the book series was (and still is) the Berenstein Bears. And, some of us have been in a universe/reality/timestream where the Great Pumpkin was (and still is) seen, near the end of the Charlie Brown Special.

      So, for me, there’s nothing to be angry about. I’d just like to know how and why we’re shuffling between realities, and if there’s a dashboard I can access to control where & when I travel. (Yes, I’m smiling because I’m not sure we’re going to uncover that dashboard any time soon.) (And yes, I chose the word “shuffling” to reference the Party Rock Anthem – https://youtu.be/KQ6zr6kCPj8. It’s an oldie but seems appropriate, with them waking up in a very different reality.)

      However, I understand — and am sympathetic about — the possibility that our reality (or the things we recall) are deliberately being changed. Many people who comment here are sure that’s happening, and they’re not happy about it.

      Our memories — especially childhood memories — are precious to us. When those memories seem “wrong” or tampered with, it’s particularly painful and embittering.

      As I see it, one consolation is that you’re not alone. That’s not much to offer you, but it’s the best I can do, for now.

      1. I believe we are probably shuffling back and forth to Fiona. But when its such a basic childhood memory yet again that is somehow made obsolete, I become frustrated! And then there’s my husband. He’s the one who said maybe it had something to do with leap year why Thanksgiving changed. But when he came home that day he tells me “oh thanksgiving is always last Thursday of the month”, really?! It’s like he adapts instantly to new memories while I struggle stubbornly to make him see something is not right.
        On trivial personal note, the other day I noticed my damn coffee pot felt different. I always remember a smooth handle but when I picked it up last week, it had ridges for your fingers. I stopped dead in my tracks and realized something had changed. I knew it and felt it deeply. Have any others written in about silly mundane things in their everyday lives suddenly feeling or being different?

  9. I watched this last yr with my kids and remember being in disbelief when the Great Pumpkin didn’t show up bc I am certain that he did. At that point, I had no knowledge of this site or ME. This yr, watching it I wondered if he would show up this time but alas, no Great Pumpkin.

    And I agree with Chaoskitty about the dentist pulling out the Abomidable Snowman’s tooth. Why are childhood memories being changed??

  10. Thank you, Fiona, for making this a separate topic. This (potential) ME is as vivid to me as the Berenstein Bears. I downloaded the program from iTunes this weekend and what I saw at the end is nothing I recall ever seeing before. I also want to point out that I have also never watched a full episode of The Simpsons and not any of the Treehouse of Horrors episode that Lebaneser Scrooge mentioned.

    One thing that has been sticking in my mind about these ME events / altered memories is that the new versions of things seem to be either sad (e.g., the Great Pumpkin never appears) or decidedly mundane or muted.

    Steve M.

  11. Havent seen the great pumpkin in years but i do remember him appearing. But also what if the mandella effect is just like a butterfly effect in the way that someone tampered with the past and with whatever they did it lead up to these changes and the reason we remember these memories is not because of shifting realities that we kept a memory about but of us actually remembering how it was before they changed whatever it is they changed?

  12. I know that many people have an alternate memory of the last name of the writer of Peanuts (Schultz or Shulz). However, I have something else related to Peanuts. For me, there is an entirely new character. I have seen every movie and I have NEVER, until a few months ago, known of the character named PigPen. He’s constantly dirty and rolls around a lot, apparently. Does anybody else not remember this character?

  13. Odd. I could have sworn I’d created an article — in addition to this one — related to Peanuts/Charlie Brown (in general) , including the Schultz/Schulz spelling issue. Now, it’s not at this site. So, rather than spend time trying to recreate it, I’ve changed the title of this article to include future discussions about related topics.

  14. Well, I guess I’m in the minority here of not remembering the Great Pumpkin showing up. I only remember Snoopy rising out of the pumpkin patch – in both the special and in the book. Speaking of books, I would get every volume of cartoons that came out as a kid and the last name was definitely spelled with a T. This was quite clear on the cover and in the signature of every cartoon strip in the book. And Pigpen was a common character in the strips. And I love him in the Christmas special!

  15. Perhaps some of you are remembering an episode from “The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show”, which also features Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin on Halloween.

    1. Jace, this is the kind of “just confused” comment I don’t usually approve, and — possibly due to the commercial website link (which I removed) — your comment was flagged as spam by this site’s software.

      However — to conclude this particular issue — here is the link at YouTube: https://youtu.be/FxVMsn0Qogo. The key segment in the video is around 15:39, though people may want to start watching a minute or so earlier, for the moment when Charlie Brown is bowling.

      The Great Pumpkin does not appear in that cartoon, and this doesn’t explain why people recall the Great Pumpkin appearing in the annual Halloween special.

      (Also, this is the last time I’ll approve a comment that includes research most people do before posting an alternate memory here. It’s time to shift this site’s focus to data and possible explanations, and phase out new, vague “does anyone remember…?” questions and general “me, too” comments.)

  16. This is another one that just floored me I have always been a big Peanuts and Charles Shultz fan. Recently I was looking to buy some books to replace ones I had had as a child in some searches I got corrected others didn’t find anything at all and then I saw it. They say I’m adding a T. I actually had to stop and sit for awhile, Iquestioned myself because we may be wrong about things and I’m the first to admit it but some things we KNOW we are right about. But I did it anyway back and forth wracking my memory I knew I was right but i’m sure like most people especially something swwmingly small as this you say well maybe I was wrong there it is ni front of me but I know I’m right. Then I hit this website. I guess I have to thank you because this was one of those you know?

  17. I recall there being different endings different years. I recall both snoopy being the great pumpkin, and also Linus falling asleep and missing it.

  18. What makes the Abomidable Snowman nice if Hermy doesn’t pull his tooth? He’s the savior of the show because he wanted to be a dentist from the beginning! It really doesn’t happen this way any more? And I remember the great pumpkin appearing. It’s upsetting that it’s just Snoopy. Also, I read all the hardback books of Peanuts when I was little and my older brother correcting me that it was Shultz and pointing to the T in the name. He’s 8 years older than I and wanted me to pronounce it correctly. There really isn’t a T anymore? This all is freaking me out…..my mom pointed me to the website yesterday and I’ve been yelling, “No way!” over and over again!

    1. Wait….What? Hermie doesn’t want to be a dentist from the beginning anymore. That was what made him an outcast in the first place.

  19. Halloween was on October 26th every year until 2 years ago (when I was 37). There’s no doubt in my mind of this; when someone first told me in 2013 that it was on October 31st I spent days looking for some kind of explanation….why had it changed? Apparently it didn’t….

    I’ve not met a single other person that remembers it this way other than my daughter, and interestingly a few days before we discovered this bizarre change to the date, we had been walking through a court we walked every single day when she stopped cold and said “Mum, didn’t the ground used to be paved on this court?”. yep. It did and suddenly it was old stained cracked concrete. We couldn’t believe our eyes and talked about it for days when suddenly the halloween thing came up (she was planning her halloween party….for October 26th…)

  20. I do not remember seeing the Great Pumpkin in the special. For me, its always been Snoopy. HOWEVER:

    I 100% remember the creator of Peanuts being Charles Shultz with a “t”.

    I also remember Hermie being the hero of the Rudolph special by pulling the Abominable’s tooth. Particular something along the lines of a female elf and Rudoph’s girlfriend are both in danger in the Abominable’s cave, and Hermie (After Rudolph is knocked to the ground.) is “eaten”. Everyone is horrified, but then you see Hermie inside his mouth looking around at his teeth and says something like “A hah!” and it ends up being a cavity that mad the snowman so mean and Hermie pulls it and he becomes everyone’s friend.

    I also remember a version of this where Hermie pulls all of the abominable teeth like machine gun-style and renders him harmless.

    Imagine my surprise when i watched it this year and saw neither of these were the correct ending at all.

    1. Vivienne, that’s really interesting. The comic strip illustration clearly shows “Schulz” as the signature. Yet, as a long-time comics authority, the author still spelled it “Schultz.” Repeatedly.

      I have no idea what that means to the Mandela Effect, but it’s intriguing and — for me, anyway — downright fascinating.

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