Thursday, September 16, 2010

April 4, 1953: Of interest to trivia quizzers

Q: In the comic strip Peanuts, what is Violet's last name?


[In case the img source for this comic goes dark later: it is Gray.]

Characters with last names that we know:
Charlie (and Sally) Brown (of course)
Linus and Lucy (and Rerun) Van Pelt
and now: Violet Gray

There are a few other characters with known last names. "Peppermint" Patty has one, Reichardt.


  1. I always thought that Schroeder was a last name, and we don't know his first.

  2. It appears that Violet's last name exists solely so Schulz could make a word play on "tattletale gray." This was a phrase that turned up in advertising in the 1930s to indicate something that was dirty, or that had been washed but still had stains. It also referred to gray hairs on the head of someone who used hair dye. Check out this vintage ad for Fels-Naptha soap:

    By the time this strip appeared, the phrase had entered the popular vernacular.

  3. Aaaah, interesting. I didn't get the base joke, but figured it was good to point out the last name. It seems that the phrase is no longer in currency.

  4. I didn't know about Tattletale Gray but I suspected as much. I have some interest in the surnames of the characters, but I do have much interest in PigPen's true name!

  5. We know that 5's full name is 555 95472.

  6. Yeah, 5 falls under the latter category of names we know but haven't come up yet, so we don't "know" it yet. (Neither do we "know," by that same token, of 5, or "Peppermint" Patty.)

  7. Wikipedia gives two possible last names for Marcie (Johnson and Howe) but says neither was explicitly used in the strip. Johnson came from an animated movie (not canonical). It doesn't really say where Howe came from.