Happy New Year, Charlie Brown

As Chuck and Co. gather to get their "Auld Lang Syne" on in Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, tonight's adorable end-of-the-year special from 1986, we'd like to take a cup of kindness and count down the reasons these old acquaintances will never be forgotten.

1. They rock the holidays. The Emmy-winning It's a Charlie Brown Christmas has taught generations the true meaning of the season, and if you've never joked about "getting a rock" while trick-or-treating, it's possible you grew up living under one.

2. Snoopy! Since his debut on October 4, 1950, Daisy Hill Puppy Farm's top graduate has stolen our hearts as a World War I flying ace, an author and, of course, Charlie Brown's four-legged best friend. No wonder the boy and his dog took the No. 8 spot on TV Guide Magazine's list of the 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time.

3. From Scrubs to Robot Chicken to Saturday Night Live to Jimmy Kimmel Live, they have inspired some of TV's sharpest spoofs. Our fave? The Simpsons' spot-on parody of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

4. They're total fashion icons. Chuck's zigzag. Lucy's little blue dress. Peppermint Patty's sandals. Project Runway would be lucky to score looks that timeless. And don't even get us started on their dancing skills!

5. They've stayed gold. Debuting in 1947 as Li'l Folks in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the kids have remained a delightful reflection of the innocence, optimism and at times melancholy charm of creator Charles Schulz. Guess you could say happiness is having friends like these.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown airs tonight at 8/7c on ABC.

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