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* AcceptableTarget: Arnie. Everyone hates him and makes fun of him, even to his face.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBrf15vZy_w Does Arnold coincidentally run into Helga all the time, or...]]
** Is Olga genuinely trying to be a good sister to Helga, or is she just a passive-aggressive version of Jamie O? It doesn't help that at least one Olga episode ("Student Teacher": when she tells the story of Helga wetting in the bed and gives her detention after she gets angry at other kids teasing her) almost seems to be written with this interpretation in mind.
*** Then there's this comment from the episode "Big Sis"...
---> '''Olga''': I just love having a little sis, Lila. Especially one as perfect as you.
** Arnold's parents could be seen as MightyWhitey. Their friend Eduardo does not specify why they are the only ones who can save the village's children. Double points because they consider their mission a great reason for leaving Arnold with his grandparents.
** Exactly how much of Pookie's behavior is [[ScatterbrainedSenior senior senility]] and how much is ObfuscatingInsanity? And how much of it is influenced by what happened to her son and daughter-in-law?
** Lila creates a lot of different interpretations. WordOfGod is that she has a repressed darker side (which was never shown in the series); however, this just adds fuel to the fire. There are enough elements to support her being either a BitchInSheepsClothing who manipulates everyone by using passive-aggressive sweetness or a StepfordSmiler trying to be as sweet and smart as can be while having a difficult life. Then there's the UnrequitedLoveSwitcheroo between her and Arnold and Lila being the MasterOfTheMixedMessage. Some suggest that she's intentionally leading Arnold on [[WomanScorned as a way to get back at him for breaking her heart in "Arnold Love Lila"]], others suggest that she still ''liked him'' liked him, but decided to stay out of the way for Helga's sake and turned Arnold's advances down despite still caring for him deeply.
** How innocent are Helga's intentions with Arnold? Does she really love him? Or is her "love" really just an unhealthy stalker-like obsession? It doesn't help that both are shown to be true DependingOnTheWriter. WordOfGod has confirmed it to be the former, but some fans have a hard time agreeing with that.
** Big Bob Pataki. Abusive {{jerkass}} or simply an ignorant boor who just doesn't understand how much trouble he's caused for his family? The latter characterization [[CharacterizationMarchesOn became steadily more common from Season 2 and onward]]. In the first season, he was portrayed as pretty much devoid of redeeming qualities, but even in the later seasons he had more than a few KickTheDog moments.
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%% Do not add And The Fandom Rejoiced. It is for in-universe examples only.
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* AnimationAgeGhetto: Very nicely averted, in that it did eventually deal with heavier themes, but ones that young children would still be able to relate to, and in an optimistic (if not sometimes odd) way. Its urban setting is said to be a huge contributing factor.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Pretty much the entire musical soundtrack, courtesy of Jim Lang.
** In particular, the music tracks at the end of "Arnold's Christmas", "Parents Day" and "Pigeon Man" are all ''amazing''.
** The iconic theme song also deserves a mention. Later in the series run, they used a newer rendition of the theme song, which, while different, is just as jamming and classic as the original.
* AuthorsSavingThrow: Anytime Helga complains about someone the other kids always respond with "but they’re so nice" or "they’re an authority figure." Even when it involves her mother forgetting to pack her lunch they call Helga out for not going the extra mile in making her a Mother's Day card. While what she did to Inga was wrong, as stated below in UnintentionallyUnsympathetic, Inga was only hired because Bob forgot Helga’s age and Inga completely took away her independence. TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to Helga was needlessly cruel as it essentially blamed Helga for being the victim of abuse and neglect because she just didn’t smile and take it. Yet at the same time, the few instances that Bob and Miriam do make an attempt to be better parents (such as Bob trying to spend "quantity" time with her) Helga will respond in kind. However "Helga on the Couch" has Dr. Bliss flat out say that given Helga’s lot in life as long as she refrains from violence they way she acts is perfectly justified.
* BaseBreakingCharacter:
** Helga Pataki. The majority of the fans love her backstory and complexity. However, there's a VocalMinority that finds it hard to forgive her cruel actions (particularly in "Girl Trouble", "Love and Cheese", and "Helga and the Nanny") as well as her treatment towards everyone (especially Arnold and Phoebe). There's also some who question the true intent of her "love" for Arnold.
** Harold. You've got one half of the fanbase that will find him annoying and obnoxious. The other half will see him as the hilarious lovable loser.
** Rhonda. Some find her to be an annoying RichBitch while others like her for her PetTheDog moments she gives in "Rhonda's Glasses" and "Polishing Rhonda."
** Stinky is considered entertaining for the same reasons as Harold or is disliked for the same reasons as Sid.
** Mr. Simmons. Most seem to like him for being genuinely interested in the well-being of his students and more interesting than Miss Slovak was. Others criticize him for being the ultimate case of AdultsAreUseless since, despite having the qualities that are desirable in a good teacher, he demonstrates a complete inability to control his students and while he does mean well, his actions and advice often hurt the children more than they help. And there's the fact that [[WordofGay he's gay.]]
** Brainy. Some fans think his interactions with Helga are amusing, while others find him weird and creepy, even for this show.
* BrokenBase:
** The Movie. Many fans genuinely like it and think it's criminally underrated or only considered bad because of ExecutiveMeddling. But many either find it okay, but nothing spectacular or think it sucks/could have been better. Aside from the obvious complaint of being a TV movie put on the big screen, some claim that the more action-oriented nature of the movie clashed with the down-to-earth tone of the show. (The James Bond-like teaser trailer didn't help matters either.) Another common complaint is the lack of focus on secondary characters.
*** Before its release, Nickelodeon {{invoked|Trope}} this trope. The network ran an ad series for the movie that had kids acting out scenes, and then reacting to them. One ad was the "controversial" scene in which Helga confesses her love to Arnold, and all the kids said that she'd never admit it to him.
** Seasons 4 and 5. Either they're well-liked for producing some genuinely mature and heartfelt episodes while giving much needed CharacterDevelopment to the supporting cast, or considered a case of SeasonalRot for turning Arnold into an OutOfFocus FlatCharacter, overexposing Helga and focusing too much on the Arnold/Helga/Lila LoveTriangle.
** For some, Arnold's CharacterDevelopment. Some think it's him showing his maturity and becoming wise beyond his years - while others think he started becoming quite boring since in the later seasons he was ''never'' wrong and essentially became the city's adviser.
* CharacterRerailment: The post-movie episodes are this for Arnold. He is once again the true focus and he's facing issues a real child would face the way a real child would react to them. However, there are only three post-movie episodes and they aired OutOfOrder, so it can be tough to tell at first.
* CrazyAwesome:
** Arnold's Grandma and Grandpa.
** Also Arnold himself at the end of the episode "24 Hours to Live".
** Curly, with the emphasis on ''crazy'' (and not a "cool, kooky" crazy either. More like a "This kid needs serious mental help" crazy). To elaborate, he once broke some animals out of a zoo - ''alone''. Just because he wanted to.
** Chocolate Boy can be this, too. Apparently, he's spent so much time around chocolate that he can be used to literally sniff out Helga and Harold after they get separated following a tour at a chocolate tour (made all the more impressive, because this was several hours after the duo had been lost). Made funnier because he's literally put on a leash.
* CriticalResearchFailure:
** A few on ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' in "School Play":
*** Everyone (including Mr. Simmons) acts as though the LastKiss is the ''only'' part that matters and there's a lot of tension about it. Romeo and Juliet actually kissed ''multiple'' times in the play[[note]]and had sex, but, like most school productions of controversial plays, that was most likely omitted to keep things family-friendly[[/note]]. Additionally, in an attempt to persuade the potential Romeo actors, Simmons claims that said last kiss is "just one small scene". If by "small" he means "pivotal and plot-relevant" then he's right.
*** Most glaringly, Lila claims that the moral of the play is "true love conquers all". If anything, it was ''the opposite''; Shakespeare made a point that Romeo and Juliet were simply two infatuated teenagers whose love affair and suicides ruined both their families.
** In "Ghost Bride", when Gerald begins telling the legend, he says: "It all started 80 years ago, back in the Middle Age". Gerald clearly needs to do some fact-checking, since the Middle Age ''ended almost 500 years ago''. Though this actually makes a bit of sense considering his age, and is intentional.
* DracoInLeatherPants:
** Helga. In the series she is a JerkassWoobie who is horribly neglected by her parents, but who also can be mean, selfish, rude (and even cruel in some instances) does many things moved by jealousy and constantly bullies other kids (not only Arnold). However, despite that, many fanfics (especially romantic fanfics) portray her almost as a saint. This happens mostly because a lot of viewers see themselves in her, a sentiment amplified by her main character status.
** Curly to an extent, is this to fans also.
* DieForOurShip: Lila gets this a lot from Arnold/Helga shippers.
** In a way, Helga herself seems feel like this about her. She's mostly okay with Lila (she finds her ever-so-annoying, not much more) as long as Arnold's not around.
* EarWorm: Several, including the opening theme.
** Some notable examples: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOjaD4v2q7M the credits theme]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeSI4BulNyU Look Up]].
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOlJixJAhPM "I hate the snow, I hate the snow..."]]
** [[https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HTGi1QtkE9s SimpleThings]] from ''Mr. Hyunh Goes Country''.
** [[https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lgxi8bGxYmA When life gives you lemons dance!]]
** [[https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0wrwbPOKK48 Miss Suzie Had a Tugboat]] from ''Fishing Trip'' sung by the late Davy Jones.
** [[https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=__gzs7X3XDg The haunted train song]] from ''Haunted Train''.
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%% Before adding an Ensemble Darkhorse example, please note that the trope is about unimportant characters who are unexpectedly popular. Fan-favorite main characters are not Ensemble Darkhorses.
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* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Arnold's parents, Miles and Stella, are much more popular than you'd think, considering that they only appeared in ''two'' episodes for the longest time.
** {{One Shot Character}}s Stoop Kid and Pigeon Man get mentioned very often, for having only ''one'' episode each.
** Some of the other kids such as Curly, Lorenzo, Nadine, Sheena, and Patty are fairly popular with the fans as well.
* EpilepticTrees: A theory that has been thrown around in recent years is that Lila has been sexually abused in the past due to her speech patterns, way of dressing, and her politeness. It's usually assumed her MissingMom did it. Most fans don't honestly believe it but it's still cited frequently.
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: In the episode "Full Moon", Arnold sees Stinky, Sid, and Harold moon the principal, and ends up getting a month dentention because he doesn't want to be 'a rat' for telling.
---> '''Harold:''' You told him, didn't you?!
---> '''Arnold:''' (deadpan) No.
---> '''Harold:''' (in disbelief) Well, why not?!?!
---> '''Arnold:''' Because it wouldn't be right.
* FandomBerserkButton:
** Don't ship Arnold with anybody other than Helga, especially [[PuritySue Lila]]. He's supposed [[FanPreferredCouple to be]] [[OfficialCouple with]] [[{{Tsundere}} Helga]].
** Bashing Helga or calling her ugly is one of the most excessive ways to rile up the fans.
** Hillwood is ''not'' in NYC. The town has elements of NYC but it's in Washington state.
** Arnold doesn't wear a skirt. It's just a long plaid shirt that's un-tucked and hangs below his sweater. This was mentioned in an official comic and he even takes off his sweater in a few episodes to reveal this, but most people, especially non-fans, still think he wears a skirt. Perhaps in response to this, Arnold's new design for ''The Jungle Movie'' makes it more obvious that it's a shirt.
* FanficFuel: Craig Bartlett revealed enough details about the Jungle Movie and ''The Patakis'', that many fanfic writers have written their own versions. The Jungle Movie itself is finally happening, so it will be interesting to see how much the fanfic authors get right.
* FanonDiscontinuity: The four episodes that most fans can't stand are "Girl Trouble", "Bag of Money", "New Bully on the Block", and "[[HumiliationConga Arnold Betrays Iggy]]", the last of which is almost unanimously considered to be the worst episode of the series, so much so that there was a long-standing rumor that Craig Bartlett hated "Arnold Betrays Iggy" so much that he had it banned from reruns (when really, Bartlett just re-demoted Iggy to extra and never gave him another Day in the Limelight episode again).
* FriendlyFandoms: With fans of other SliceOfLife shows, particularly Nicktoons. The show's wiki has an [[http://heyarnold.wikia.com/wiki/Shows_similar_to_Hey_Arnold! entire article dedicated to shows with a similar premise.]]
* FunnyAneurysmMoment:
** At the end of "The Flood", as floodwaters surround PS 118, Principal Wartz stands on the roof of the school singing, "Way down yonder, in New Orleans..." This became a lot less funny after Hurricane Katrina caused extensive flooding and damage in New Orleans in 2005.
** In "Helga on the Couch", Mr. Simmons gets nervous when he learns that the school psychologist will be observing is class, stuttering and asking for reassurance that she will just be observing the students, and not him, the teacher. While this is a moment played for laughs when the viewer is a child, as an older viewer who knows about the above-mentioned WordOfGay, he was likely still in the closet and worried that the school psychologist would see through him and expose him, which could have disastrous backlash from the parents whose children attends P.S. 118.
** In "Curly Snaps", Curly loses his mind because he feels like he isn't respected by the other students and teachers, locks himself in the principal's office, and assaults people with dodgeballs. The episode aired half a year before the UsefulNotes/{{Columbine}} High School Massacre, when such behavior would be considered way less funny.
* GrowingTheBeard:
** For the first half of season 1, the character designs weren't as detailed or consistent, and many characters such as Phoebe didn't have very defined personalities. By the second half of the season, almost all characters had their "permanent" designs, and the writing got better, with fan-favorite episodes like ''Pigeon Man'' and ''Arnold's Christmas''. By the end of Season 2, the series had decided which characters to focus on, and seemed to have a better idea of what it wanted to do.
** To an extent, the latter half of the series is an improvement over the first half, due to further improvements to the animation, and the production crew getting the green light to delve into some darker and more emotional stories, with episodes like ''Helga on the Couch'', ''Parents Day'', and ''Arnold's Thanksgiving''.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** It was once implied that Helga's dysfunctional home life was the end result of her sister Olga moving out (as her parents favored Olga over Helga), leading her dad to push Helga to be more like her older sister while Miriam became a covert alcoholic (or "smoothie" drinker) just to cope with dealing with a {{Jerkass}} like Bob and a bratty daughter like Helga. The episode "Helga on the Couch" revealed that Helga's been neglected by her parents since she was preschool-aged and that her secret crush on Arnold was the first time anyone has given her any sort of affection in her life.
** The episode "Rich Kid" involves the new kid Lorenzo who has a cell phone, beeper, his own laptop, etc and is basically a mini adult who needs to act like a kid. Many kids in the 2010s have their own cell phones, tablets, computers, etc and one complaint among older people is that kids are growing up too fast more than ever.
** The whole kids growing up too fast thing is also mentioned by Helga in "Helga's Makeover" when all the girls at Rhonda's slumber party are obsessed with wearing makeup and trying to look more adult. She mentions how wearing a face mask to "prevent wrinkles and signs of age" is asinine because they're only nine years old and don't have wrinkles or signs of age. She also questions wearing high-heels since they're already taller than the boys. Sadly this is TruthInTelevision even today with prepubescent girls being obsessed with makeup and acting like adults.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** In "Eating Contest," Grandpa declares "By Odin's beard!" in bewilderment after seeing Seymour aka the Disposal, Arnold's chief competition in the titular contest, in action. Granted, this was a common utterance of ComicBook/TheMightyThor's long before the episode aired, but it didn't experience a memetic resurgence until ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' came along.
** "Olga Gets Engaged" revolves around Olga falling in love with and getting engaged to a guy Helga disapproves of [[spoiler: and who happens to be a {{Jerkass}}]]. ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' would do the exact same thing years later, only with the seniority of the sister reversed.
** "The Old Building" opens with Arnold dreaming about swinging across the city, [[Creator/MileyCyrus coming in on a wrecking ball.]]
** The end of "The List" has Grandma sing a pep-up song to Arnold after he spent the rest of the episode as TheChewToy. Arnold's part has him say "I had a bad day, nothing went right, I hate my dumb life, I'm down," with the same melody as Daniel Powter's ''Bad Day''. The episode came out in 1996, while the song was recorded in 2002. Makes you wonder if the latter got it from the former, or if it's just an amazing coincidence.
* JerkassWoobie:
** Oh, Helga. Where do we start? "Helga on the Couch" shows us that her ill-tempered nature has terribly saddening origins-- her parents neglect her in favor of Olga, and have since she was 5 or 6 years old (possibly longer), the other kids in pre-school were mean to her for no reason, and pretty much no one except Arnold treats her nicely. As a result, she starts bullying the other kids to avoid being bullied herself and falls in love with Arnold, but bullies him also so no one will find out how she feels (this is because A) she doesn't think she's attractive enough for Arnold to return her feelings and B) because prepubescent children are often repulsed by love and mock people for it). Essentially, she treats people badly because that's how people have always treated her.
** Jolly Olly Man, the ice cream vendor though some had a hard time understanding his frustration caused by only a boring job, and his problems keeping it which may have something to do with his jerkassery which delves into NightmareFuel. It's not good for the business if you act like a raging psychopath even with your customers. And he had no idea what's wrong with his behavior. Arnold had to teach him the basics of common courtesy. And there's also the fact he has a horrible father who constantly gives him crap for their business. Even the episode ends with the two not resorting their problems.
** Harold has his moments too in some episodes such as "Weighing Harold", where he's constantly ridiculed by everyone, including his own friends of all people, for being overweight. Not to mention Mr. Green being way too cruel to him in "Harold the Butcher" once he realized that Harold actually liked working in the butcher shop.
** Sometimes, Oskar Kokoshka gets his moments, as he's often implied to be aware of his [[ItsAllAboutMe many]], ''[[LazyBum many]]'' [[TheGamblingAddict flaws]] and the negative impact they have on people he cares about (especially his wife), but just can't seem to improve himself, even when he wants to.
* JustHereForGodzilla: Nick tried to invoke this trope for the release of ''Hey Arnold! The Movie''. Basically, Helga's LoveConfession was supposed to be the big thing that would attract fans to watch the movie. Unfortunately, [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil the trailer revealed a little too much]].
* MemeticMutation:
** "STOOP KID'S AFRAID TO LEAVE HIS STOOP! STOOP KID'S AFRAID TO LEAVE HIS STOOP! STOOP KID'S AFRAID TO LEAVE HIS STOOP!"
** Grandpa Phil's embellished war story of him fighting Hitler and giving him a wedgie.
* MisaimedFandom: Some fans' DieForOurShip sentiments for Lila count as this. Lila tends to get hate for being Arnold's crush throughout the last part of the series and "getting in the way of Arnold/Helga". Which is odd, because Lila did nothing but gently and repeatedly turn Arnold down (and it was ''Arnold'' who kept trying to get close to her, and ended up disappointed as a result. Lila never tried to intentionally hurt his feelings), and is nothing but helpful to Helga, letting her kiss Arnold and keeping her secret safe.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** When Scheck attempts to stop Arnold, Helga, and Gerald's bus in TheMovie by blowing up the overpass. Even Nick Vermicelli is reluctant to do this. Later, Scheck crosses it again tries to run over Arnold and Gerald with his car.
** Iggy crosses the line when he forces Arnold to wear his bunny pajamas in public as a way of forgiveness during the climax of his [[ADayInTheLimelight Day in the Limelight]]. The episode itself ends on the note that Iggy has gone beyond Arnold's forgiveness.
** Helga crosses it in "Helga and the Nanny" when she gets her nanny Inga fired by framing her for theft. Sure, Inga may have been UnintentionallyUnsympathetic as noted below, but Helga's way of responding to it was too far. Even though Inga was innocent, a black mark like that would make it very difficult for Inga to get another job (something that's pointed out in Helga's guilt-ridden dream) and Inga never bothered telling anyone about it. Everyone turned on Helga after they found out about it (even Arnold and Phoebe) and after going to Inga to apologize and ask why she's allowing it to happen, Inga told Helga that because she won't let anyone help her out, she'll have to live with the consequences of her home life forever, both of which helped shift the sympathy back to Helga.
* MyRealDaddy: A voice actor variation. The show's cast was great and extremely memorable, so this was bound to happen. And while some of the boys were voiced by multiple actors, in a few cases, one would last long enough or have a big enough impact in the role that they're remembered as ''the'' actor who voiced him, despite having only been one of several.
** Francesca Smith's voice of Helga is so perfect for the character, that she got the role immediately after Craig Bartlett heard her audition and pretty much no one can imagine Helga with another voice. The same with Jamil Smith, the voice of Gerald. He got the role right away, and when his voiced changed, Craig Bartlett wrote an in-series explanation for the change just to keep him in. (The two of them, along with Justin Shenkarow (Harold), Creator/DanCastellaneta (Grandpa), and Creator/TressMacNeille (Grandma), were in the series from the 1994 pilot until the final episode produced in 2001, and all of them except Jamil will be reprising their roles for ''The Jungle Movie''[[note]]Though he will be playing an unspecified role in the film[[/note]])
** Creator/BenDiskin is usually remembered as ''the'' Eugene, despite having been the third actor to voice him; he lasted three seasons in the part, and was the only one of the four boys who played him to have continued with voice acting after hitting puberty, thus establishing Eugene as one of the "breakthrough" roles of his career.
** Adam Wylie was so memorable as Curly that he was ''brought back'' to the role after having been replaced - ''twice''. In fact, of the four actors to voice Curly, two of the others only lasted for one episode each, and the third (Michael Welch) appeared in only two.
** Arnold himself is more unclear. There have been several Arnolds[[note]]All of which did a good job - none of them sound wrong.[[/note]], but two have a pretty good claim to being the "real" Arnold:
*** Lane Toran (then known and credited as Toran Caudell) was the first Arnold on the show proper[[note]]J.D. Daniels voiced him in the pilot, which was only shown in theaters[[/note]] and only lasted one season in the part (though he subbed in for Philip Van Dyke in the season 2 MusicalEpisode "What's Opera, Arnold?" because Van Dyke wasn't a confident singer). Even after his voice broke, he remained with the show for its entirely as the bully Wolfgang, a role created specifically for him. Due to FirstInstallmentWins, he's often remembered as "the" Arnold by the media - in 2015, a widely-reported story (with pictures!) noted how "the voice of Arnold" was all grown up. Toran is also frequently invited to fan conventions and panels reminiscing about his time on the show, alongside Francesca Marie Smith.
*** Spencer Klein, unlike both Toran and Philip Van Dyke, appeared ''only'' as Arnold (he was replaced very late into the show's run, so Craig Bartlett didn't have time to recast him as somebody else, as he had done for the other two), and made the most appearances as the Football Head[[note]]He's Arnold for 37 of the show's 100 episodes plus TheMovie, as opposed to 34 for Van Dyke, 26 for Toran, and 3 for Alex Linz, the actor who replaced Spencer at the end[[/note]]. Each of the three voice actors portrayed Arnold slightly differently, but Klein's overtly romantic, serious, sensitive, and somewhat exaggerated goody-goody take on the character is how he is usually depicted in {{fanon}}.
* NarmCharm: Helga's dream in "Married", especially the hilariously corny love talk. But it's also rather quite sweet at the same time.
* NeverLiveItDown:
** Iggy. In most episodes, he's simply a background character, with only one or two notable lines at most. "Arnold Betrays Iggy", his [[ADayInTheLimelight Day in the Limelight]], will forever have him be known for all of the (well-deserved) negative tropes on this page.
** Good luck finding anyone who will forgive Harold for wrecking Pigeon Man's home.
** Also, good luck finding someone that will forgive Big Bob for calling Arnold an orphan in "Parents Day".
** Detractors of Helga frequently cite "Girl Trouble", "Love and Cheese" and "Helga and the Nanny" as reasons why they dislike her.
* OlderThanTheyThink: "Helga vs. Big Patty" centers around Patty challenging Helga to a fight and Helga being scared shitless and trying to back out of it. Patty already beat her up ''twice'' in "Ms. Perfect" so while it would still be painful, she should at least know what to expect by now.
* PopularityPolynomial: The show was quite popular among kids when it was airing, but due to a combination of the poor reception of the first Movie, and the cancellation of both ''The Jungle Movie'' (which was meant to serve as a GrandFinale for the series) and ''The Patakis'' spinoff show, the series quietly ended (with several shelved episodes being released sporadically for a few years) and its fanbase went mostly dormant. But in 2009, around the time when the kids who grew up with the show became adults, a fan effort to save the never-produced ''Jungle Movie'' was started. The launch of Series/The90sAreAllThat in 2011 further increased the interest in the series. By 2012, talk on social networks about the series had dramatically increased. Nowadays, the series is fondly remember as one of Nick's top 90s shows. Nickelodeon is very aware of the boost in popularity the series experienced in the early 2010s. This eventually led to them announcing that the long-awaited ''Jungle Movie'' would be finally made, in an attempt to WinBackTheCrowd after some ''rough'' years, while also introducing the show to a new generation of kids.
* RonTheDeathEater:
** While Lila is portrayed in the series as a nice girl, many fanfics tend to demonize her, portraying her as a cruel, {{Manipulative B|astard}}itch (or in T-rated fics, as a slut) who deliberately gets in the way of [[OfficialCouple Arnold and Helga]]. The fact that Craig Bartlett once stated that Lila had a repressed dark side only adds fuel to these types of fanfics.
** While not to the extent of Lila, Rhonda often has her RichBitch qualities cranked UpToEleven.
** Many of the more grimdark fanfictions portray Big Bob as a physically abusive father, despite that in the series, he was horrified that he nearly hurt Helga in "Arnold's Halloween". Most of his redeeming moments, such as in "Arnold's Thanksgiving" and "Quantity Time" are also often ignored.
** Much like how some of her fans portray her as nearly flawless, some of Helga's haters exaggerate her bad qualities and ignore her good ones, turning her into a straight up psychopathic bully-stalker who wants to seriously harm Arnold and his friends.
* TheScrappy:
** Lila toward the end of the series. While she's not universally hated by any means, you'd be hard-pressed to find people that are honestly ''fans'' at this time. Her being an irritating {{parody|Sue}} Purity Sue didn't stop her from having a fanbase in Seasons 2 and 3, (hell, she was actually TheWoobie when she first debuted!) It was mainly due to the RomanticPlotTumor love triangle of Seasons 4 and 5 (and the inevitable DieForOurShip sentiments accompanying it) that pushed her into Scrappydom.
** Similar to Lila is Olga, Helga's older sister. The show established some HiddenDepths with her, however it also made her a hypocrite who goes out of her way to get her parent's attention. Not to mention she doesn't seem to grasp the extent of Helga's ParentalNeglect nor does she seem to follow through with promises she made to Helga. For example, in "Student Teacher", Helga pleaded with her to keep any embarrassing stories out. Olga either forgets, or deliberately tells an embarrassing story to the class after Stinky fails a test. And sends Helga to detention afterwards.
** Iggy from the episode "Arnold Betrays Iggy". It doesn't help that the episode itself ends on the note that Iggy has gone beyond Arnold's forgiveness.
** Gerald's little sister Timberly gets a lot of hate in fandom mainly for being really annoying and whiny and is usually hindering Arnold and Gerald's plans in any episode where she plays a key role. The best example of this is the "Chocolate Turtles" episode.
** Sid. He is a PoisonousFriend who betrays everyone at the drop of a hat, makes fun of Harold and Patty like a {{Jerkass}}, and ''everyone'' forgets he pulls the same crap over, and over, and over again. Whenever Sid gets ADayInTheLimelight, it highlights how weird and off-kilter he is, and not in a likable way either. "Bag of Money" is the most notable example of why Sid is often disliked.
** Big Bob could also count as one. Some people ''really'' don't respond well to his poor parenting and Jerkass demeanor. Plus there's the fact that he is the antagonist to Arnold and company in several episodes, most notably "Parents Day".
** Oskar Kokoshka to some fans for being outright lazy and being overall terrible and sexist towards his wife Suzie. And whenever he has a problem, he uses Arnold to do all the things for him. It went to the point when even Arnold called him a loser. These antics also seem to make him an InUniverse Scrappy also. However, other fans find him pathetic enough to LoveToHate.
** Principal Wartz also has quite a few haters for acting like a tyrannical douchebag and being far too cruel to both the students and the teachers when giving out punishments. (See: "Principal Simmons" and "Suspended")
* SelfFanservice: Very common in fan art, especially Helga (who will usually be older, lacking her monobrow, wearing her hair down and [[ShesAllGrownUp having feminine curves]]) and Arnold (who will also be older, his hair often slicked back and will be wearing more fashionable clothing). [[https://i.ytimg.com/vi/_6xwtVK0aO4/maxresdefault.jpg This is one of the many examples you'll find through a quick Google search]]. (though Arnold has his normal hairstyle in this one).
* ShipToShipCombat:
** Lila/Arnie vs Lila/Stinky vs Lila/Brainy.
** Stinky/Lila vs Stinky/Gloria.
** Rhonda/Curly vs Rhonda/Harold vs Rhonda/Sid.
** Harold/Patty vs Harold/Rhonda.
* SignatureScene:
** Whenever fans think of the episode "Pigeon Man", they think of Vincent's speech and take-off at the end.
** The ending of "Parents Day".
** "Helga on the Couch" is mostly remembered by the preschool flashback.
** For ''Hey Arnold! The Movie'', it's either the LoveConfession or the bus chase.
** The last line of "The Journal" ("Grandma! Grandpa! I found a map!") is remembered for the... wrong reasons.
* {{Squick}}:
** Arnie's snorting is pretty gross.
** Brainy making those wheezing noises isn't too much better.
** It understandably never made it into the show, but an early idea by Craig Bartlett was that there was supposed to be an adult female boarder named Lana (she can be seen in the background of early episodes) who was supposed to be [[{{Shotacon}} constantly trying to seduce Arnold]] while Arnold is [[NoYay understandably uncomfortable with her advances]].
** The monitor lizard eating the parrot at the end of "Helga's Parrot" is incredibly disturbing, especially for younger viewers.
* TakeThatScrappy:
** In "Gerald's Game", Iggy is put in stockades during the big card game, and actually gets a speaking part (same VA as in "Arnold Betrays Iggy", in fact) shouting at Arnold "No, Arnold! Don't do it! You'll become a dungeon pawn!", at which point Big Gino tells him to shut up and throws a cloth over the stocks, completely covering Iggy's face.
** Anytime Big Bob is put through a HumiliationConga: such as in "Roughin' It", "Parent's Day" and "Summer Love."
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter:
** Though many of Arnold's classmates have ADayInTheLimelight, Sheena never received her own episode.
** Nadine was pretty much ignored unless she was around Rhonda despite having an established personality in her few appearances and being featured prominently in the show's opening sequence.
** Poor Brainy never got a chance to really shine either, despite WordOfGod establishing that he and Helga [[HiddenDepths have more in common than we might think]].
** Many of the boarders who appeared only in season 1 such as Lana Vail, Mr. Purdy, and Mr. Smith could've been good characters had they lasted the show's run. Later seasons imply that they all moved out. The former ''was'' supposed to be more fleshed out, but considering what Bartlett had planned for her (an implied pedophile who would frequently flirt with Arnold), it's lucky that it never happened.
** Ruth has this status with some fans, especially those who preferred her over Lila.
** Torvald only made two appearances despite apparently still being in Arnold's class (he isn't usually seen in classroom scenes).
** Suzie never really played much of a role in the series other than as a SatelliteLoveInterest to Oskar.
** We never found out who was Fuzzy Slippers, Gerald's mysterious informant.
** After all the trouble Arnold and Helga went through to find her, Mai Hyuhn never appears after "Arnold's Christmas" and is only mentioned once more in "Family Man", which was in Season 5.
* ToyShip: ''Every shipping in the series.'' The most popular ones are Arnold/Helga and Gerald/Phoebe. Although they're canonically children in the show, fanfiction writers usually crank up their ages to make the story more appropriate.
* UglyCute: Helga to many. In fact, most of the characters could qualify due to the whacky art style.
* UncannyValley:
** Helga's makeover in, well, "Helga's Makeover." Fortunately, she did pull off better looks later on.
** Arnie is practically the embodiment of this. From his paleness, CreepyMonotone voice and odd quirks.
* UnfortunateImplications: At the end of "Helga and the Nanny" Inga tells Helga that the reason why she allowed herself to be fired is because Helga is always pushing everyone away and deserves an unhappy life as long as she continues to treat others badly. While she's correct in the sense that Helga should stop being mean to people who have done nothing to her, Helga cannot control the actions of her greedy {{Jerkass}} father and drunken slob of a mother, who were neglecting her long before she started being a jerk to people. The way this is said sounds like Inga's saying that it's Helga's own fault that she's abused and that she deserves it. What makes it worse is that many abuse victims in RealLife feel like they deserve it, even subconsciously.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic:
** In "Helga and the Nanny", Big Bob hires a new nanny to help around the house. Helga obviously finds this annoying since she's pretty much been taking care of herself since kindergarten, but the nanny goes down a hit with her parents, the kids at school like her and Helga is given the WhatTheHellHero treatment for getting her fired. But the thing is, Inga constantly embarrasses Helga and treats her like a dumb kid, like forcing her into a dress that gets her teased by the other kids, overall trying to control all aspects of her life. Though it was wrong for Helga to go frame her for theft, it's understandable that she would want Inga out of her life.
** Arnold in "Egg Story". He immediately assumes Helga is going to start picking on him and lays down the law and tells her she's the last person he'd like to be paired up with, which makes Helga (understandably) angry. This leads to both of them arguing until the end of the episode, where they admit they were both wrong. However, Arnold had no good reason for being so harsh on her, since Helga did ''nothing'' to him in the beginning of the episode, and at this point in the series, they've gotten along and worked together several times, and he already knows [[JerkassFacade she's not as bad as she acts]]. Not to mention it simply feels OutOfCharacter for Arnold to say those things to ''anyone'' at all. On the other hand, with how many times Helga has been mean to him in the past, it's debatable whether she's totally undeserving.
** Pretty much every kid in "Curly's Girl". Everyone immediately hates Rhonda after she dumps Curly in public (which, admittedly, was cruel on her part, though she had a good reason for wanting to do so -- he forced her into being his girlfriend in the first place) and makes him depressed. However, no one bothers to ask for ''her'' side of the story (not even NiceGuy Arnold or her best friend Nadine) and they take Curly's side instead, despite the fact that Curly is clearly mentally unstable. Not to mention Curly pretty much TV-Y7 ''sexually harasses'' Rhonda by blackmailing her into kissing him, which she is clearly not comfortable with.
* UnpopularPopularCharacter:
** Eugene's peers (bar Arnold) ostracize him for being a jinx and being all around unlucky. However, he has a lot of fans for his charming personality.
** Helga is widely disliked by the same peers for being a bully, but due to her character development she's arguably the most popular character in the show as well as the BreakoutCharacter.
* VanillaProtagonist: Arnold is the OnlySaneMan to contrast his quirky classmates and eccentric non-traditional family.
* VindicatedByHistory: The opinions surrounding ''Hey Arnold! The Movie'' have softened over the years. Though there still is a mixed opinion surrounding it, it's nowhere near as negative as the initial reception.[[note]]Website/RottenTomatoes gave it a 29%.[[/note]] While pretty much everyone agrees that it should've stayed as a TV movie, many fans say the movie is pretty decent on its own right, and is enough to please fans of the show. The fact that the long awaited ''Jungle Movie'' that will tie up this movie's main loose end has been put back into production might also have helped soften the blow.
* {{Wangst}}:
** Olga is a ''master'' of this. In "Olga Comes Home", she spends ''days'' sobbing about it in her room, with dramatic music in the background and a serious case of YourMakeupIsRunning. [[EveryoneHasStandards Even Big Bob]] starts to get tired of her histrionics -- she only snaps out of it when Helga admits she changed her grades out of spite.
** Invoked in "Rhonda Goes Broke" when she spends most of her time crying when she has to live in the boarding house after her family lose all their money. Arnold eventually talks some sense into her and Rhonda gets a [[HesBack She's Back]] moment.
* WhatAnIdiot:
** Arnold's [[ObliviousToLove inability to recognize Helga's feelings for him]], even after A) Phil outright tells him that Helga probably likes him and points out that Pookie did the same thing to him when they were his age[[note]]But he called her by her real name, "Gertie" and Arnold seems to be clueless that it's his grandmother that Phil is talking about[[/note]], B) Helga planted two long mouth kisses on him in both "School Play" and "Summer Love" and C) Helga gets beaned by a golf ball in "Grudge Match" and starts monologuing right in front of him! He may be WiseBeyondHisYears, but he still possesses some naivete.
** Adding to this, he should have known that "Cecile" was really Helga in "Arnold's Valentine". Sure, she might have been all dolled up, but she was still wearing her pink bow, a pink outfit and [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent didn't even bother disguising her voice or accent]].
** Arnold realizing that Iggy won't forgive him and instead of letting go, he suffered through a HumiliationConga.
** Iggy himself not forgiving Arnold.
** Stinky refusing to sign without telling the advertisers that he heard them insulting him behind his back.
** Suzie for [[WhyWouldAnyoneTakeHimBack continuously forgiving and returning to Oskar despite him being a lazy, whiny ManChild who never learns his lesson.]]
** Phil and Oskar turning up the water when Helga broke the faucet in "Biosquare". Drowning to death is totally what they were asking for when banging on the glass with frightened looks on their faces.
** "Bag Of Money" involves Arnold, Sid, and Gerald stumbling upon a sack of several thousand dollars. Arnold goes to take it to the police, only for a bag mix-up to occur when a pink-haired lady with a peg-leg takes the money and Arnold takes one of hers. When Arnold tells Sid and Gerald what happened, Sid not only doesn't believe Arnold, but thinks Arnold went and spent it all on himself in various ways. Sid decides to tell the other kids this.\\
'''You'd expect:''' Given that Sid is a paranoid nutcase that has pulled out wild theories like this before, and Arnold isn't the type of kid who would pull something like this, the kids either wouldn't take Sid seriously or, at the very least, try to get Arnold's side of the story.\\
'''Instead:''' They actually believe Sid's story and begin shaming Arnold; even getting talked by Sid into tying him to a tetherball pole.
** "Dinner for Four": Helga wins a coupon for four people to dine at Chez Pierre, inviting Arnold, Gerald and Phoebe to dinner. When she receives the bill, she realizes they just ate at Chez Paris instead of Chez Pierre.\\
'''You'd Expect''': Helga to, as Phoebe suggests, explain the mistake to the Chez Paris' management. Since the two restaurants' logos and names are similar in appearance, they can have the owner try to clear up the misunderstanding with the other restaurant.\\
'''Instead''': She forces her party to order more food, making the management suspicious. Then, she then lies to the staff, saying she is [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections an heiress to a wealthy ambassador and demands to be treated with respect]]. When the restaurant finds holes in her logic, she calls in Nadine to release cockroaches into the restaurant. The police are called, the restaurant gets shut down and the four kids are forced to [[WorkOffTheDebt wash dishes until they cover their bill]]. [[SarcasmMode Way to go, Helga]].
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: The original claymation shorts.
* TheWoobie:
** Arnold is definitely this in "Parents Day" and "The Journal" when you see how much not having his parents around really bothers him.
** While she's not much better than her husband, it's hard not to feel at least a little bit sorry for Miriam when you find out about her past. She's implied to have been TheAce when she was younger, a world-class swimmer, a mechanical bull-riding champion and knows enough about business that she can run the Beeper Emporium much better than Big Bob. However, somewhere along the line she flushed all her hopes and dreams down the crapper and married Bob for whatever reason. Everyone treats her like dirt and not even her own daughter has any respect for her, so she becomes an alcoholic just to cope. She even tells Olga during her engagement episode not to make the same mistakes she did.
** Chocolate Boy in his [[ADayInTheLimelight self-titled episode]]. The reason why he became addicted to chocolate was because it was his favorite treat given to him by his nanny. After she moved away, he ate more chocolate to cope with losing her. He clearly loved her a lot and breaks down crying about how much he misses her.
** Believe it or not, ''Lila'' of all people was one in her debut episode. She's the new student, having just moved to town from the country. Despite being very polite and sweet, she unintentionally ends up pissing off the other girls because she is getting a lot of attention from the other students and teachers. So they bully her to the point that she runs home in tears. After agreeing to bring over her homework, they see that Lila is not as perfect as they thought. She lives in a run-down apartment with her single, unemployed father who is completely broke and cries about how she just wanted to have friends. The girls all realize the error of their ways and try to fix everything. Lila was completely huggable in that episode. Too bad {{Flanderization}} kicked in and made her ever-so perfect and annoyingly sweet.
** Arnie. Everyone (other than Lila) hates him and openly mocks and ridicules him, even genuinely nice kids like Phoebe, ''to his face'' just because he happens to be a little peculiar. He never does any harm to anyone either. Perhaps Lila liking him isn't such a bad thing after all, since she's about the only one who shows him any affection.
** Phoebe, due to being taken advantage of not only by Helga but by everyone else around her.
** Eugene because he was BornUnlucky, although unlike the other examples he [[ThePollyanna doesn't let it get to him.]]
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