[[folder: Fridge Brilliance ]]

* Miriam's "Smoothies": Miriam probably came up with "smoothies" as a code word so no one in the family (Helga and Olga namely) would ever know that she's an alcoholic, much like the show writers came up with "smoothies" as a code word so the censors wouldn't notice that they were referencing alcoholism. In fact, Helga could probably casually say her mom sleeps after drinking smoothies... and it doesn't look that bad.
* Lila and Olga sing "Moonlight Bay" in "Big Sis" when they go sailing. Lila learned the song in Mr. Simmon's class a few episodes earlier for the school concert.
* As an adult, you might read a book where someone declares, [[Literature/AtlasShrugged "I'm leaving it as I found it. Take over. It's yours."]] Where did you hear that before? In that episode of ''Hey Arnold!'' where the adults take over the baseball field the kids worked so hard to build and they retaliate ''exactly'' like Ellis Wyatt does!
-->'''Gerald:''' If you want Gerald Field so badly, you can have it just the way we found it -- a '''dump.'''
* Why would Arnold be close to a pet pig? Arnold has a football shaped head, and pigs are made into footballs. It could be a subconscious Freudian reason.
** Plus pigs aren't bad pets at all really.
* Why is Helga so disgusted with Rhonda when she dumps Curly in public? She understands Curly as she feels the same way about Arnold as he did for Rhonda. The break-up probably really hit home for her. Arnold doing that to her would destroy her so she understands how cruel it was of Rhonda.
* Dino Spumoni is a FrankSinatra {{Expy}} who is washed up and a has been. Dino could be a MeaningfulName abbreviation for Dinosaur, meaning he's old.
** Dino Spumoni seems to be a mashup of both Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. The Frank Sinatra elements include his musical style, and (this one is more convoluted) if you remember from the Christmas episode where Helga gets a pair of Nancy Spumoni snow boots. Frank Sinatra had a daughter named Nancy who performed the song "These Boots Are Made For Walking". The Dean Martin elements include that he had a partner (Jerry Lewis) that he was estranged from for many years, but eventually made up with. Also, Dean Martin's fan nickname was "Dino". Both men were members of the Rat Pack and performed together many times.
* It's apparent Oskar Kokoshka and his wife Suzie are only married so he can stay in the United States. In "Gerald Comes Over" when Suzie and Oskar are arguing, she says she should have listened to her mother caused she tried to warn her (probably of Oskar's intentions). Later in the episode when everyone in the boarding house is at the dinner table Oskar says to Suzie "More soup my little green card?"
* In some episodes Harold's family [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar is seen drinking what looks like wine with dinner, and Harold has a glass too.]] It's been established Harold is Jewish and it's common for Jewish families (including the children) to have a glass with a meal.
* In "Oskar Can't Read" during one scene in Oscar's apartment we see their TV in the background and the screen is broken. Oskar and Susie do struggle financially, and this could be due to them fighting and Susie throwing things (like in "Arnold as Cupid" and "Gerald Comes Over")
* In the episodes "Weird Cousin" and "Arnold Visits Arnie" we meet Arnold's strange cousin Arnie who comes from the country. Lila is also a country girl herself, which could be one reason she fell for him.
* In "Helga on the Couch", Mr. Simmons gets nervous when he learns that the school psychologist will be observing is class, and wants to make sure she's observing the students and not him. WordOfGod says Mr. Simmons is gay, and he was afraid she might out him.
* When Phoebe is hall monitor, she begins giving detentions left and right, but apparently Gerald got it worse. She is doing exactly the same as Helga, bullying the boy she likes.
* The series takes on a new life if you look at Helga as the main character and Arnold as the DecoyProtagonist. "HeyArnold" could be her trying to get his attention.
* What's Helga doing in the opening sequence? [[StalkerWithACrush Stalking Arnold]] of course!
* In "Helga On The Couch" Helga's sent to see a counselor after she's caught hitting Brainy. The therapy seems to have worked because other than the movie (which she shuts the sewer lid which he's in on him) she isn't seen hitting him in the face anymore.
* The fifth grader Wolfgang is much bigger than the fourth graders, despite being a year older than them. It's possible he's been held back a couple years, hence why he's bigger.


[[folder: Fridge Horror ]]

* Not outright scary, but the home life of the Pataki family on ''HeyArnold'' gets a lot creepier when you think back to it years later with a better understanding of how much AbusiveParents can screw a person up. Her most {{tear jerk|er}}ing [[ADayInTheLimelight day in the limelight]] was where her heartbreaking FreudianExcuse was shown in full. On her first day of preschool, her parents were so enamored with [[ParentalFavoritism Olga's]] piano playing that they didn't realize they had to take Helga to preschool, so Helga had to walk there herself; on the way, it began to rain and her lunch was stolen by two rottweilers. [[Heartwarming/HeyArnold Then Arnold gave her his umbrella, possibly the first kind action toward her in her life.]] So if that's how neglectful her childhood was, how was [[TheAlcoholic her mom's]] pregnancy and her overall infancy?
** Miriam's pregnancy was probably normal (i.e., she didn't drink while pregnant with Helga), but the infancy probably was a living nightmare, knowing what was already established by "Helga on the Couch."
* In the first episode featuring Olga, Helga changes one of her grades from an A to a [[TheBGrade B+]] out of jealousy. Olga goes into a depression, spending days doing nothing but lay in bed with Lacrymosa playing on repeat, sobbing and verbally abusing herself. Years later, upon rethinking that episode, this troper had a thought: if that's Olga's reaction to a B+, what would she do if she got an F?
** I fear she [[DrivenToSuicide might do the unthinkable.]]
*** The Fridge Horror deepens when you realize that Olga's life pretty much revolves around her grades, for which she receives praise from her parents. On some level, she must realize just how miserable Helga is, and know that if her grades ever slipped, she would suffer the same fate. While that's horrifying enough on its own, one has to wonder: what exactly did her parents do to instill this sort of thinking in her?
*** Correction: What did her ''dad'' do to instill that thinking in her. Mama Pataki doesn't seem the sort that would care if one of her girls got a B+.
**** Oh it gets worse, there's a scene with Bob muttering "B+" under his breath, now it COULD be disbelief, or it could be that he's ''disappointed'' that Olga got a B+.
** More Fridge TearJerker than horror, but the episode where Helga wakes up in a world where she never existed. The entire town is celebrating her disappearance complete with a parade in her 'honor.' Her parents are actually happy and loving to each other. Phoebe has a new, more caring best friend, Gloria. And Arnold is now world famous for 'getting rid of her' (i.e. making her disappear as part of a magic act) and engaged to [[RomanticFalseLead Ruth]] (the SatelliteLoveInterest for Arnold up until the Valentine's Day episode where he finds that Ruth was boring and not very bright). Helga then wakes up and realizes it was all just a dream, then goes to apologize to all the people she's hurt or bullied over the years. Seems simple enough, but think about it. That whole episode was all in Helga's mind, which means that at least on a subconscious level, she truly believes the world and everyone she knows would be better off without her.
* In Olga's Fiance, Olga fell for someone who appears to be a sociopath that would have ruined her life and came way too close to marrying him.
** Hmm...a charming young sociopath who lies to a young woman in an attempt to get her to fall in love with him and marry him, manages to get on everybody else's good side except that of the young woman's sister, who's GenreSavvy enough to know how downhill their marriage would go, and his main goal is to take advantage of her for the rest of their married life? [[Disney/{{Frozen}} Now who does that remind me of...?]]
** Miriam tells Olga flat-out not to make the same mistake she did. Just how bad is her relationship with Bob off-screen?
*** Very, if she went from being a talented, smart woman to a scatter-brained, smoothie-chugging mess who doesn't notice or care about her family's downfall. Sadly, some families are like that (and worse) in RealLife.
* Pookie's {{Flanderization}} over the course of the series from an eccentric but still respectable adult figure in Arnold's life to a crazy old lady is due to senile dementia. It also explains why she's a total nutjob and does they crazy antics she does. It does make them more depressing than funny or cool. And much like Miriam and her alcoholism, the writers of the show probably were told by the Nick censors not to allude to the fact that Pookie had dementia (either a BS&P rule against mentioning mental illness on children's TV shows or they were afraid parents would write in and complain).
** It becomes a sort of "fridge TearJerker" when you consider that many of her antics around the house include acting as though she's on some sort of safari or expedition; it's likely a coping mechanism for having lost her son and daughter-in-law when they never returned from an expedition in South America.
* In the episode Curly's Girl, Rhonda takes her mother's fur coat without permission and gets it dirty, so Curly offers to clean it in secret before she can be found out. The catch, however, is that she must "date" him until Friday. When Friday comes, Rhonda very publicly and harshly "dumps" him and is seen as completely heartless by her peers, leading her to restart the act so people will like her again. While Rhonda was definitely in the wrong for her original deed, the whole situation becomes terrifying when looked at from an adult point of view; a [[StalkerWithACrush clearly disturbed man]] taking advantage of the woman he's obsessed with, then ''her'' being called heartless for telling him off. It's worse considering ''everyone'' in the school knows that Curly is insane, creepily obsessed with Rhonda, and possibly dangerous. The whole thing is ...disturbingly reminiscent of real life stalking and domestic violence.
* The end of "Ghost Bride" heavily implies that [[spoiler:Curly may have been KilledOffForReal by the Ghost Bride herself. Making it worse is that was his final appearance in the series.]] However, given his [[AxCrazy usual behavior]], he may be considered an AssholeVictim.
* Helga was totally willing to chainsaw a parrot. Just...[[MoralEventHorizon that]].
* WordOfGod states that Arnold's teacher Mr. Simmons is gay. In a few episodes like "Aptitude Test" Big Bob Pataki is a jerk to him and refers to him as a throw pillow. Bob's not the nicest guy in the world but here he comes across as homophobic.
** To be fair, Bob may have been targeting him for his "wimpy" personality, rather than his sexual orientation.
* In "Student Teacher" Olga shares a story about how Helga wet the bed until she was seven years old, possibly the result of her abusive and neglectful upbringing.
* In "Helga on the Couch" Dr. Bliss has a dartboard on the door to her office. If someone opened the door when a game of darts was going on, they could lose an eye.
* How much of "Arnold Visits Arnie" was a dream? The episodes ends with Arnold waking up in his room, going to the baseball field where his friends are and Helga says she thought he was visiting his cousin.
** He may have been planning to visit Arnie, and have a dream about doing it.