It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a critically-acclaimed and very popular animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.
The special depicts one Halloween night in which Linus Van Pelt, Charlie Brown's security blanket-toting best friend, eagerly awaits the arrival of "the Great Pumpkin", who Linus believes to travel around the world each Halloween giving toys to all the good little children (in the manner of Santa Claus each Christmas).
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was the third Peanuts special to be produced and animated by Bill Melendez. Its initial broadcast took place on October 27, 1966, on the CBS network; CBS re-aired the special annually through 2000, with ABC picking up the rights beginning in 2001.
The program was nominated for an Emmy award. It has been issued on home video several times.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, a retrospective book was published in 2006 entitled, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic with the entire script, never-before-seen photographs, storyboard excerpts, and interviews with the original child actors who provided the voices of the Peanuts gang.
As Linus and Charlie Brown's little sister, Sally Brown, sit in the pumpkin patch, the gang of Charlie Brown, Lucy Van Pelt, Schroeder, Pig-Pen, Patty and Violet go trick-or-treating. Everyone gets candy (except for Charlie Brown, who for some reason always gets a rock in his bag). Meanwhile, Charlie Brown's dog Snoopy, dressed up as the famous World War I flying ace, goes on his Sopwith Camel (which is his doghouse) to shoot down the infamous Red Baron. Linus, missing out on trick-or-treating, also misses out on the Halloween party at Violet's house. At the pumpkin patch, Linus thinks he finally sees his mysterious hero, but instead he sees a silhouette of Snoopy in his World War I Flying Ace outfit. Sally is outraged and threatens to "sue" Linus. She leaves him alone in the pumpkin patch, where he stays late into the night. Lucy later finds him shivering on the ground, covered in his blanket and helps him into the house. Linus vows to Charlie Brown at the rock wall that the Great Pumpkin will return next year.
* Linus: "There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."
* (As Lucy cuts a pumpkin open with a knife and begins "gutting" it in order to make it into a jack-o'-lantern, causing Linus to flinch in horror) Linus: "Oh, you didn't tell me you were going to kill it!"
* Charlie Brown goes trick-or-treating in his ghost costume with far too many eye-holes ("I had a little trouble with the scissors"), and after each house when the kids announce what they got, he utters the famous sad line, "I got a rock."
Bill Melendez: Snoopy
Peter Robbins: Charlie Brown
Sally Dryer: Lucy Van Pelt
Kathy Steinberg: Sally Brown
Christopher Shea: Linus Van Pelt
Gail De Faria: Pigpen
Lisa De Faria: Patty
Ann Altieri: Frieda
Glenn Mendelson: Schroeder and Shermy
* In the opening to The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror II", the Peanuts gang, wearing their costumes from the special, runs in front of the Simpsons house.
* At the beginning of A Pinky and the Brain Halloween, three kids are shown comparing what they just got. One kid, wearing Charlie Brown's costume, laments, "I got a bowl of soup."
* At the beginning of the Family Guy episode "E. Peterbus Unum", when Peter's friends brag about what they got with their tax refunds, Charlie Brown appears, in his ghost costume, holding out his bag and saying "I got a rock."
* At the beginning of the 2006 Homestar Runner cartoon "Happy Hallow-Day", Strong Bad attempts to scare Marzipan while wearing a witch mask identical to the one Lucy wears in this special.
* MADtv parodied the special as "Its the Bigass Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", which shows the Peanuts characters as African-Americans in an inner city neighborhood. MAD TV did another parody when KISS guest starred as themselves and had received trinkets, and one of the members exclaims "I got a rock".
* In the Robot Chicken episode "Vegetable Funfest", a short features Linus resorting to a Satanic ritual to summon the Great Pumpkin, only to become the first victim of the demonic Great Pumpkin's rampage through the Peanuts' neighborhood. When Charlie Brown finds that he is the last of the gang still living, the Great Pumpkin chases him to the Kite-Eating Tree, which attacks the demon and consumes its head. Charlie Brown then bids his dead friends to rest in peace, as the scene cuts to the Peanuts gang celebrating in Hell, dancing with a winged demon (presumably Satan) to a "Linus and Lucy"-esque piano piece. The short parodies various conventions of the Peanuts gang, including Sally's romantic feelings for Linus (who throws herself into Linus' grave when she can't bear to be parted from him) and the pop culture perception of Marcie and Peppermint Patty as a lesbian couple (hugging each other in grief and fear then making out, causing Charlie Brown to indignantly insist upon maintaining the supposed "strong Christian overtones" of the Peanuts material), and also Lucy and the football where Charlie Brown decides to kick Lucy instead.
* In the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy episode "Grim or Gregory", Billy says Charlie Brown's line, "I got a rock."
* In the song "Halloween" by German Power metal band Helloween, there is a reference to Charlie Brown's rock scene and Linus' belief about big pumpkin traveling around the world.
"Someone's sitting in a field,
Never giving yield.
Sitting there with gleaming eyes,
Wating for big pumpkin to arise.
Bad luck if you get a stone,
Like the good old Charlie Brown.
You think Linus could be right
The kids will say it's just a stupid lie"
* A small part of the episode "Have Yourself a Joyful Little Animas" in the Cartoon Network series My Gym Partner's a Monkey spoofs the Great Pumpkin in the scene where Horace is in the pumpkin patch with Coach Gills holding a sign that says "Welcome Great Gourd".
* In a World of Warcraft Halloween audio play, one of the characters (a gnome named Wimpy J. McWiddle) receives a rock every time the group receives gifts from the people they encounter, upon which he says dejectedly, "I got a rock..."
If you pause the show near the beginning of the party you can see that one of the characters grows a third hand.