If you're a millennial parent, then chances are that A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving literally predates your own existence (it first aired in the 70s), but all these years later, the Peanuts gang still feels just as beloved as ever. And with the turkey-and-stuffing-filled holiday just around the corner, ABC will once again be airing the animated half-hour special in prime time. But when is A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on TV in 2018?
Good news! The family favorite holiday cartoon will air in just a matter of days. According to PopSugar, you'll want to mark your calendars for Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m. ET, because this classic will give parents the opportunity to share some serious childhood nostalgia with their own little ones.
In the Thanksgiving-themed cartoon, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang get up to their usual heartfelt misadventures — this time involving a Thanksgiving feast gone wrong. Charlie Brown — even the well-intentioned friend — opts to arrange a special meal for him and his friends to share, according to ABC, but ends up rather disappointed when Snoopy and Woodstock (the chosen caterers) prepare toast and popcorn instead of the traditional turkey and sides.
While the old-school comic may not be as be as enthralling to young viewers as the latest YouTube Kids toy unboxing video (seriously, how did that even become a thing?), the simple message of friendship and optimism is definitely a touching way to help kick off the holiday season.
Given that there are actually a whopping 45 Charlie Brown holiday specials, according to Vulture, chances are that there is at least one special Peanuts moment that sticks out in your memory. But it also lands smack-dab in a number of Charlie Brown TV specials that grace the airwaves at this time of year.
In October, ABC also aired the 1966 cartoon, It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown in the lead up to Halloween — though with the midterm elections also around the corner, the addition of the political-themed, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, tacked on to the broadcast also felt pretty timely.
In fact, this year's Thanksgiving special will also be a double-feature: according to ABC, a special bonus cartoon entitled This Is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers will air following the special, and will take Charlie Brown and friends on a voyage with the Pilgrims back in 1620 as they arrived in America.
Of course, perhaps the biggest Charlie Brown television moment of the year will come next month, however, when ABC airs the 1965 classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas (appropriately rated number one on Vulture's ranking of Peanuts specials). From Charlie Brown's diminutive Christmas tree, to Linus' sweet speech about the meaning of the holiday, it's no surprise that it still holds its own among viewers of all ages every holiday season.
But if it's been a while since you've last watched a Charlie Brown special and are wondering how the content has aged in terms of being appropriate for children's consumption, then you're in luck — A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving has a five-star rating on Common Sense Media, and a recommended viewing age of 4+. The only pitfall might be the repeated use of words like "stupid" and "blockhead," but hey, for a cartoon that came out more than four decades ago, I guess that isn't all that bad.
While it's true that the annual onslaught of Christmas-theme kids movies might overshadow this Thanksgiving special, there's something particularly lovely about sitting down to watch the nostalgic cartoon before the big meal, and remembering why Charlie Brown and friends still capture our hearts. And, well, let's be honest: what tired parent is ever not down for a quiet movie night with the little ones — especially if you'll soon be getting up early to pop a turkey in the oven.