The sometimes forgotten brother of Linus and Lucy, Rerun has many hilarious Peanuts comic strips of his own that easily rival those of his siblings.
Born in 1972, Rerun Van Pelt was the newest character to join the Peanuts fold as Lucy and Linus’ baby brother. While his appearances were limited in the earlier periods of his creation, he would go on to become one of the most frequently used characters in the Peanuts strip, rivaling even the main star of the comic, Charlie Brown, for a time.
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Ironically, Rerun was once a character that Charlies Schulz regretted and felt forced to keep in the strip since he was a sibling of two main characters. Yet, the character later grew on Schulz and became a major contributing player, much like his siblings, to Peanuts comics. Like all the other Peanuts characters, Rerun comes with his own hilarious characteristics, mannerisms, and personality, resulting in many classic comic strips that are still enjoyed decades later.
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Revealing the origins of his name, this strip shows how the youngest Peanuts character gained his unique moniker. Lucy is not thrilled to be getting another sibling. If she absolutely has to, then she would prefer a sister. Yet, it’s not in the cards for her, and she is met with the news of another brother, comparing the new addition to a television rerun.
Linus, never one to get a joke, instead takes her seriously and decides that this would be the perfect name for their new family member. Readers never find out if Rerun is the actual name of the character, but here’s hoping that it’s not. Although, the name “Rerun” does seem to fit him quite well.
9 “Mom Is Stressed”
One of Rerun’s trademark characteristics in the strips is his mom carrying him on the back of her bike. Based on this strip, the audience can guess that the stress of having three small children is getting to mom. When those kids are the prone-to-fantasy Linus and the bossy, mischievous Lucy, plus another little one added to the brood, it is only natural that this busy mom has her mind all over the place.
In the early days of Rerun’s presence in the strips, his appearances were not very prolific. His storylines were frequently limited to his interactions with Snoopy and Lucy or riding on the back of his mom’s bike. With a comic strip as heavily reliant on dialogue and ironic humor as Peanuts, it’s fitting that Rerun, a toddler in the beginning of his appearances, didn’t have much going on. This, as fans know, would change in the later years with Rerun getting stories dedicated to him and his own funny traits.
Fans of the Peanuts strips can recognize that Lucy tends to have a soft spot for her little brother Rerun, much more than for her other brother, Linus. She is frequently seen teaching Rerun different things that range from sports to school.
In this slapstick strip, Lucy is trying to teach her brother how to play Jacks but Rerun being Rerun messes it up. Rather than bounce the ball gently to get the jacks, Rerun throws it up in the air and the ball lands on Lucy’s head. This strip is just one of many moments where Lucy tries to be a good sibling only to get mud on her face, much to Rerun’s delight.
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7 “Who Are You Talking To?”
It’s established in Peanuts lore that Rerun is terrified of kindergarten and hides under his bed as his own way of coping. Lucy is well aware of this little idiosyncrasy of her baby brother. She’s maybe a little too aware of Rerun’s penchant for hiding under his bed because she seems to go there and try to talk to him even when he isn’t there!
In this funny strip, Lucy tries to assure Rerun under his bed that he’ll like school, only to find that Rerun hasn’t been there at all. Lucy is not always the nicest, as shown in the many times she has butt heads with various characters or taken away poor Charlie Brown’s football before he can kick it. However, she actually seems to want to make Rerun feel better in this strip. It’s a shame that Rerun basically misses it.
6 “Back Of The Bike Day”
Riding on the back of his mom’s bike was all but synonymous with Rerun. It was his defining characteristic until years later when he gained more substantial strips. That doesn’t make these earlier comics any less humorous.
Based off Rerun’s reactions to Lucy’s declaration that it’s “Back of the Bike Day,” the reader can attest that it isn’t a particularly relaxing bike ride for Rerun and more like a white-knuckle run. Thankfully for Rerun, he eventually aged out of the back seat of the bike. Before that, though, it made for some funny comics.
5 “Snack Time”
Snoopy and Rerun did not make great first impressions on each other. It began when Snoopy licked Rerun’s face and thought he tasted terrible. Despite those less-than-stellar beginnings, Rerun wormed his way into Snoopy’s life, sometimes to Snoopy’s chagrin.
The little tyke thinks of Snoopy as his confidant and friend, often sharing his thoughts and feelings with the canine. As shown in this strip, sometimes Snoopy can relate to those thoughts. When Rerun commiserates with Snoopy about his disappointing snack time, Snoopy knows his pain all too well. While Rerun might not be Snoopy’s first choice for a friend, it cannot be argued that the pair have their fair share in common.
4 “Chase The Stick”
Rerun desperately wants a dog. It’s too bad that his mother refuses to get a pup, much to his disappointment. However, Rerun is one to roll with the punches and comes up with a solution. Well, kind of. He often asks Charlie Brown if he can borrow everyone’s favorite beagle, Snoopy.
However, Snoopy isn’t always available, as seen in this strip. As a result, Rerun has to improvise and decides to play fetch with himself. Only moments later, he discovers playing “Chase the Stick” on one’s own is not much fun and impatiently waits for Snoopy.
3 “I’ll Drink To That”
Lucy may get supremely annoyed with Linus, but with Rerun, she’s an absolute darling. This can be seen when she campaigns for Rerun to join Charlie Brown’s baseball team, which Charlie is less than enthusiastic about (is he ever enthusiastic?).
Similarly, she uses Rerun as her pseudo therapist, talking about whatever is bothering her to her all-ears little brother. Evidently in this strip, Rerun is a supportive shoulder to lean on, rasing his bottle to Lucy’s declaration that everything is not her fault. Everyone could use a supportive bother like Rerun, even a tough cookie like Lucy.
2 “How To Shoot Baskets”
Rerun and basketball are not a combination made in Heaven. In fact, the little guy has had trouble with the sport since day one. In this strip, big brother Linus tries to show Rerun how to shoot baskets. Instead of joining in on the fun, Rerun questions the point of it disinterestedly.
This strip was just the beginning of Rerun and his battle with basketball. From then on, he would be seen in comics struggling with the game until getting so frustrated that he’d kick the ball only for it to bounce back at him. It’s safe to say playing in the NBA was never in the cards for Rerun.
1 “It’s Something Everyone Should Do Once In A While”
Rerun is often seen socializing with established characters and members of the Peanuts gang. However, the Little Pigtailed Girl that Rerun is friends with at school is a character unique to him and present for the sole purpose of adding to Rerun’s stories. This shows just how much of a popular and important character Rerun became in the later years of the comic strip.
It is in this strip that the little girl learns something special about Rerun and his quirky habits. When Rerun says why he wasn’t at school yesterday, he explains that he was under his bed the whole day, something he does to avoid kindergarten. Obviously recharged and relaxed from his experience the day previous, he recommends this makeshift cocooning to everyone. With the sort of widespread stress that everyone seems to encounter these days, maybe Peanuts’ youngest star Rerun has a point.