Lucy and Linus are characters from the beloved Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. The comic strip first debuted in 1950 and ran for 50 years until 2000. During that time, Lucy and Linus grew up before the eyes of millions of readers. But who is older between the two siblings? Let’s take a look at the evidence.
When Were Lucy and Linus Born?
The Peanuts characters don’t have defined birthdays in the strip, but there are clues about their relative ages. Lucy first appeared as a baby in the strips in 1952. Two years later in 1954, her little brother Linus was born. So we can definitively say that Lucy is two years older than Linus.
How Old Are the Characters Now?
The Peanuts comic strip ran in real-time, meaning the characters aged at the same rate as real life. The strip ended in 2000, so if Lucy first appeared as a baby in 1952, simple math tells us that by the end of the strip Lucy would have been 48 years old and Linus would have been 46.
Evidence of Lucy Being the Older Sibling
Throughout the Peanuts strips, Lucy is portrayed as the bossy and controlling older sister to Linus. She often belittles him and bosses him around, as older siblings sometimes do. Some specific examples include:
- Lucy frequently refers to Linus as her “baby brother.”
- Lucy forces Linus to do things like polish her nails and bring her sandwiches.
- Lucy consistently calls Linus “stupid” and disparages his intelligence.
The sibling dynamic clearly shows that Lucy is the older of the two, treating Linus like her annoying younger brother.
The Ages in Relationships and School
Further evidence that Lucy is older can be seen in the characters’ relationships and schooling:
- In strips showing Lucy and Linus in school, Lucy is almost always shown in a higher grade.
- Both characters show interest in Charlie Brown, but Lucy is shown as being older and more mature in that relationship.
- Schroeder, who is Lucy’s age, pays little attention to her, indicating he views her as immature compared to him.
The characters’ social interactions and school comparisons demonstrate that in the Peanuts world, Lucy is treated as the older sibling.
Physical Differences Between the Characters
Physically, Lucy and Linus have some differences that denote their age gap:
- Lucy is taller than Linus throughout the strip’s run.
- Initially, Linus sucks his thumb and carries a security blanket, behaviors typical of younger children.
- Lucy wears more mature hairstyles and clothing than her brother.
From their looks and habits, readers can discern that Lucy is being portrayed as the older child.
Lucy’s Bossiness and Motherly Behavior
As the older sister, Lucy often takes on a motherly/bossy role with Linus:
- She decides when Linus can have his blanket and often confiscates it as punishment.
- She bosses him into taking “medicine” and vitamins.
- She is very preoccupied with Linus’ eating habits and forces him to eat healthier.
This treatment of her younger brother mirrors how a mother treats a child, rather than a sibling dynamic where ages are closer.
Lucy’s More Extensive Backstory
As the first character introduced, Lucy has a more established backstory initially:
- We see Lucy as a baby but not Linus.
- The early strips show more of Lucy’s toddler years before Linus is born.
- Lucy’s connections to Schroeder and Charlie Brown are established before Linus comes on the scene.
This early focus on Lucy provides more history and development for her as the older sibling.
Lucy Showing Possessiveness of Older Siblings
Older children often show jealousy and possessiveness of parents’ attention when a new baby arrives. With Linus’ birth, Lucy exhibited typical oldest child behavior:
- As a toddler, Lucy resents her mother focusing attention on the new baby.
- She feels jealous of the care Linus requires.
- She makes attempts to send him back to the hospital.
Her initial resentment of her younger brother is characteristic of children who have a new sibling taking some of the focus away from them.
Linus Looking Up to Lucy as a Youngest Sibling Does
Although Lucy can mistreat Linus, he also shows admiration for her in ways younger siblings do:
- Linus will step in to defend Lucy when she’s being teased, despite her own meanness.
- He wants to emulate activities he sees Lucy and her friends doing.
- Despite Lucy taking his blanket, Linus also seeks his older sister for comfort when he’s anxious.
This complicated dynamic rings true for the experience of many youngest siblings.
How Old Are They In Relation to Charlie Brown?
Charlie Brown is another character whose age helps place Lucy and Linus. Initially Charlie Brown was depicted as younger than Lucy and they attended different schools. Linus was also shown to be Charlie Brown’s age, indicating Lucy was older than both boys.
Over time, the characters’ ages sync up so they are shown in the same classroom. But the older sister-younger brother dynamic remains constant between Lucy and Linus throughout.
Lucy and Linus’ Adult Lives Reflect Lucy’s Leadership
In strips set in the characters’ adult years, Lucy seems to take charge and show the maturity expected from an older sibling:
- Adult Lucy appears to live with and care for Linus more than vice versa.
- She decides on housing repairs and oversees Linus’ healthcare.
- Lucy is shown mentoring Linus in becoming a psychologist like her.
Even into adulthood, Lucy seems to lead the way and act as the responsible older sister guiding the younger Linus.
Linus Sometimes Mothering Younger Kids
Though he’s the younger sibling, sometimes Linus can take on a mothering role with even younger Peanuts kids:
- Linus looks after Charlie Brown’s sister Sally like a caregiver.
- He helps Charlie Brown’s sister Sally with homework and life advice.
- Linus acts protectively towards his younger sibling Rerun.
So while Lucy mothers Linus, he often turns around and mothers other younger characters.
Snoopy Treats Them As Older and Younger
Snoopy the dog seems to recognize Lucy and Linus’ sibling dynamic:
- He’ll listen and obey Lucy’s requests more readily than Linus’.
- Snoopy shows more physical affection towards “younger” Linus.
- He may take on a nurturing, protective role with Linus more than the older Lucy.
This behavior suggests Snoopy himself views Lucy as the mature older sibling and Linus as the baby of the family.
In summary, though their exact ages are never defined, there are many clear indicators throughout the 50 year run of Peanuts that Lucy is the older sibling and Linus is the younger. Their interactions, physical differences, backstories, relationships and roles consistently portray a two year gap, with bossy Lucy as the older sister and sweet Linus as the baby brother. When looking at the complete body of work, there is ample evidence to definitively conclude that Lucy is older than Linus in the world of Peanuts.
- Lucy first appeared in 1952, Linus in 1954
- Lucy exhibits typical oldest sibling behavior like bossiness and mothering
- Linus looks up to Lucy and seeks her comfort like a younger sibling
- Lucy is physically taller and more mature in appearance
- Their social relationships and school comparisons portray Lucy as older
The sibling dynamic between Lucy and Linus is one of the enduring relationships that made Peanuts so poignant. After over 50 years of following these kids, we’ve seen them grow and change together. And throughout it all, big sister Lucy has led the way!