Hey Arnold!

How do I even explain the greatness that is Hey Arnold!? This show was extremely unique and had a plethora of developed characters. Arnold is just your average fourth grader raised by his grandparents living in a New York City apartment.

I was entertained by this show for hours on end. Granted, this was around the time when I could’ve been considered “too old” to be watching cartoons. I just felt like Hey Arnold! had a lot to offer. There were an immense amount of characters and story lines to follow, but it was still one of those shows that you could just jump into.tumblr_m015kbBOO51qgwqw9o1_500

Arnold and his classmates attended P.S. 118 in NYC. I always thought it was a strange setting for a show about kids. Am I supposed to believe that their parents just let them roam the city streets after school meanwhile I’m not even allowed to stay up past 10pm? Besides that one flaw, the show is pretty solid. Arnold and his best bud Gerald Johanssen have tons of fun hanging out, playing baseball in the street, telling urban legends, going to parties, and avoiding bullies.

One of the best bullies and characters in general that has ever been birthed by Nickelodeon’s brain is Helga Geraldine Pataki. She’s a fascinating character with a back story to boot. Just for the record, I hate myself for saying “to boot”. I wish I could go back in time and write a thesis paper on this gal. On the outside Helga is mean, confrontational, and sloppy. On the inside she is a delicate flower that needs love and attention. Referring to Arnold as “football head”, Helga is somewhat abusive to poor Arnold. Any onlooker would think that Helga is a mean-spirited kid who has targeted Arnold, and they would be right. The reason that she’s targeted him though, is because she’s madly in love with him. And by madly, I mean she’s literally insane because she has a shrine built of him that she talks to in her closet.tumblr_ma5q7teUTI1qzewki

It’s easy to see why Helga is the way she is. Her mother Miriam is lethargic and pays little to no attention to her daughter. Her father is “Big Bob the Beeper King” who is always yelling meaningless words to Helga. She also has to deal with a perfect older sister Olga, who is the light of her parent’s lives. It’s not easy being Helga.

Because Arnold lives in an apartment where his grandparents are the landlords, he gets the sweetest bedroom hookup ever. He has skylights, a huge stereo system, remote control lights, everything a pimped out kid needs. I don’t know who hooked that up for him, but I can guarantee it wasn’t his grandpa or grandma. Those two are ancient. They’re good characters, but I was always waiting for the day when they would die and Arnold would be stuck without any family.

The best part of Hey Arnold! were the special holiday episodes. There was a Valentine’s Day episode where Helga dressed up as Arnold’s penpal from France and went on a romantic date with him. A brilliant piece of work. And don’t even get me started on the Christmas episode where one of the tenants in Arnold’s building, Mr. Huynh finds his daughter who he lost during the Vietnam War. A real tear-jerker.

Clockwise from the left: Rhonda, Arnold, Gerald, Sid, Helga, Harold, Eugene, Stinky, and Phoebe

Clockwise from the left: Rhonda, Arnold, Gerald, Sid, Helga, Harold, Eugene, Stinky, and Phoebe

I always wanted to be a part of P.S. 118. One important thing about the show was that it wasn’t culturally diverse. There was one black kid, Gerald, and one Asian, Phoebe. Of course Gerald was Arnold’s best friend and Phoebe was Helga’s so they both had pretty big parts to play, but at least the show was realistic. Lots of white kids to go around.

10 thoughts on “Hey Arnold!

    • Yeah Hey Arnold was an amazing show. It was actually really deep and the characters were so good. Helga was the best and I might consider naming my first born after her….Hey! It runs in the family!

  1. I was surprised to find out that the guy who plays Gerald went on to star in Stargate Universe! Bit of uninteresting tidbit there for you 😀

    I loved Hey Arnold and his football shaped head, I think just about everyone I know has watched this show. Why was Nickelodeon so brilliant?

    • Hah I didn’t know that! You taught me something there! 😀
      Such a classic show, right? Nickelodeon really gave me the best years of my life. I was totally happy watching and re-watching episodes of any show they had to offer. Hey Arnold was one of the best.

      • I think in England whatever shows they showed in the morning they repeated in the afternoon so I used to watch the same episode twice in a day 😀 I’m going to have to have a classic cartoon weekend.

  2. I know it means I suck but I never liked Hey Arnold. Maybe it was all the old people or Sid’s weird nose. I just could never get too into it. I know, kind of shallow reasons I have here.

    I do remember a Secret Santa episode where I think Arnold had to get something for an old person nobody liked. James Earl Jones may have done the voice. Probably not. I assume he played every elderly black man from 1978-1998. How can someone be old for that long?

    • I do kind of remember that episode. Was it a secret santa for someone in his building or someone in school? I think it was in his building because I know all his classmates by heart.
      Sid’s nose really bothers me too. And his stringy hair. That’s reason enough to deter anyone from watching the show. I’m just a true fan so my love won’t falter.


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