troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Characters: Hey Arnold!
This is a list for the large and varied cast of Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold!.

    open/close all folders 

    Students of P.S. 118 

Arnold Shortman

Voiced by: J.D. Daniels (original pilot); Toran Caudell (season 1 and "What's Opera, Arnold?"); Phillip Van Dyke (seasons 2 and 3); Spencer Klein (seasons 4, 5, and The Movie); Rusty Flood ("Helga on the Couch" and "Parents Day"); Alex D. Linz ("The Journal" and "April Fool's Day")

  • The Ace: He can do anything. By the time of the movie, most of the neighbourhood believes he can save them from having to sell up and move. And he does.
  • Adorably Precocious Child
  • All-Loving Hero
  • Anime Hair: It's spiky, and lampshaded a lot throughout the series. In fact, it's so iconic, that's it's weird to see him have it combed or hidden beneath a hat ("Helga Masquerade", "Married").
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Helga.
  • Blithe Spirit: Most of the time he does some miracle with someone's life.
  • Characterization Marches On: He was more eccentric and naive early on. Midway in Season 3, this began to change (although he's still a bit dense).
  • Chick Magnet
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: In the early seasons, anyway.
  • The Conscience: To everyone, especially in later seasons.
  • Dead Guy Junior: He was named after his mother Stella's late father.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: When he realizes that he likes Lila.
  • Et Tu, Iggy?: Happens to him in the episode, "Arnold Betrays Iggy", when he was forced by him to wear his bunny pajamas. This is the reason why many fans hate that episode. Even Craig Bartlett and the producers hate it. So they made it a "lost episode".
  • The Everyman: Eventually in the later seasons.
  • Flanderization: His natural desire to help people and incorruptible personality really took over.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Phlegmatic.
  • Generation Xerox: In "Girl Trouble," it's revealed his grandparents had a relationship very similar to the one he has with Helga when they were younger.
  • Girl of the Week: Although some crushes have lasted through at least a season (Ruth Mc Dougal and Lila Sawyer), he's had minor crushes not far in-between, like Maria, a sixth grader and Miss Filter, a substitute teacher.
  • Green Eyes: According to a poem by Helga.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
  • The Heart: His kindness and determination are what's keeping the town together.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: He has a crush on the auburn-haired Ruth and later on the bright redhead Lila.
    • But according to Phoebe in "Ruthless," Ruth's hair is chestnut.
  • Heroic BSOD: In the episode, Parents Day when Big Bob makes fun of Arnold's missing parents by calling him "Orphan Boy". Arnold then gets depressed for the rest of the day until he goes to sleep and realizes how much his grandparents have filled the gap his real parents have.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Gerald.
  • Humiliation Conga: In "Arnold Betrays Iggy", and it's displayed in an outright cruel manner. There's a reason why this is one of the most despised episodes of the show.
  • Ideal Hero
  • Likes Older Women/Precocious Crush: In season 1, he had a crush on Ruth P. Mc Dougal, a sixth grader. In "Crush On Teacher", a season 2 episode, he develops a crush on his substitute teacher.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Helga says she would probably go crazy if it weren't for Arnold.
  • Loving a Shadow: with Ruth, but also in general, he easily falls in love without knowing his beloved.
  • Luminescent Blush: Get's this a lot in "Timberly Loves Arnold", where Gerald's little sister has a crush on him.
    • Gets this a bit too in "Arnold Betrays Iggy", when he thinks back to Iggy wearing a bunny pajamas.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Helga's Masculine Girl.
  • Morality Chain: To any character who's on the edge of making an immoral decision.
  • Nice Guy: His defining character trait. Even when he's not the focus of an episode, he'll usually be the only one who won't make fun of the episode's protagonist.
  • Nice Hat: He's almost never seen without his little blue hat.
  • No Respect Guy: As shown in "Deconstructing Arnold", his classmates, until the end, don't realize how much wise impact he has on their decisions until after they told him to buzz off with his goody goody righteous personality.
  • Oblivious to Love: And when Helga confesses his love for him in the movie, he has a hard time believing it.
  • Only One Name: The creator almost confirmed that his last name is Shortman, and it's Played for Laughs.
    Announcer: And the winner is...Arnold...hm. The last name appears to be smudged.
    Stinky: That must be you, Arnold, on account of you're the only Arnold in the entire school.
  • Only Sane Man: Amongst his class mates, though Gerald isn't that far behind.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: He can shrug off most insults, but calling him an orphan will cut him deep. Real deep. Heck, even Helga objects against the idea. And whenever the anniversary for his parents' abandonment approaches, he goes dim and it's the only time of the year he wants to be left alone.
  • Parental Abandonment: Living with his grandparents, Arnold's Disappeared Dad and Missing Mom are not even alluded to for a good portion of the series. We eventually learn they disappeared during a jungle expedition while Arnold was a baby.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Blue Boy to Helga's Pink Girl.
  • Raised by Grandparents
  • Spoiled Sweet: To a much lesser extent than Rhonda and Lorenzo, since he's not actually rich, but he has the coolest room only a kid his age could dream about. And he's the absolute nicest and compassionate guy on the show.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He gets his facial looks and oblong shaped head from his mother, albeit he gets his blondness from his father.
  • Tragic Keepsake: His hat, which was given to him by his parents. When he loses it in one episode, he's determined to get it back.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist
  • Wise Beyond His Years: To the point that just about everyone on the show, including adults and even authority figures, have come to him for advice.

Helga G. Pataki

Voiced by: Francesca Marie Smith; Katie Bartlett ("Helga on the Couch")

Gerald Johanssen

Voiced by: Jamil W. Smith

Best friend to Arnold.

Phoebe Heyerdahl

Voiced by: Anndi McAfee

Best friend of Helga. Half Japanese girl who was born in Kentucky but moved to the city at a very young age.

Rhonda Wellington Lloyd

Voiced by: Olivia Hack

One of the most popular kids in school and self-proclaimed "fashion queen", Rhonda is spoiled, rich, obsessed with fashion, and is a bit of a snob, but she does have a friendly side that comes out quite often. Her best friend is Nadine, but she's often seen hanging out with Arnold and the gang. It's implied that she and Harold like each other, and Curly likes her too... much to her chagrin. She's also a surprisingly good football player.

  • Alpha Bitch: Very often.
  • Break the Haughty: All the freaking time, but most notably Rhonda's Glasses and Rhonda Goes Broke.
  • Fallen Princess: This is the subject of a couple episodes (most notably "Rhonda's Glasses" and "Rhonda Goes Broke"), but she's always back on top by the end.
  • The Fashionista
  • Heroic BSOD: When her family goes poor in "Rhonda Goes Broke" - specifically, when everybody finds out that she's poor - Rhonda has a major one, spending all her time in her room miserably crying. Luckily, Arnold reboots her when he talks some sense into her and asks if being rich is all she's about.
  • Hypocritical Humour: In one episode, she tells Nadine she has to have a "three shoe rotation" in order to continue hanging out with her, even though all the characters in the show, including Rhonda, have a Limited Wardrobe.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She does have a good heart under her vain, self-centered exterior.
  • Large Ham: She's pretty prone to this when she breaks into histrionics, especially in the episode "Rhonda Goes Broke".
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Despite often being a typical spoiled rich girl, she does have a kind side. Not only does she always do the right thing in the end, but her best friend - Nadine - is middle-class.
  • Meganekko: In "Rhonda's Glasses".
  • Noodle Incident: According to "Egg Story", something happened between her and Harold at the Cheese Festival, but we never find out what.
  • Odd Friendship: With Nadine, but they've been friends since they were little.
  • Rich Bitch: On her worst days.
  • Spoiled Sweet: On her best days.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Nadine's Tomboy.
  • Tsundere: For Harold.
  • The Unreveal: So...what happened between Rhonda and Harold at the Cheese Festival?
  • Unwanted Glasses Plot: Gets them in Rhonda's Glasses, but later replaces them with cooler glasses, and eventually contacts.

Nadine

Voiced by: Lauren Robinson

Nadine is Rhonda's best friend, even though they couldn't be more different. She is fascinated by bugs and arachnids.

Harold Chaim Berman

Voiced by: Justin Shenkarow

A fat kid who's been held back a few grades. Occasionally, a bully.

  • Bare Your Midriff: Because he's so fat his shirt doesn't fit him properly.
  • Berserk Button: Yeah, keep calling Patty "Fatty Patty." That's a good way to induce Harold's biggest screaming meltdown of the series.
  • Big Eater: One of his main traits, as Helga once claimed he ate half his weight in chocolate.
  • The Big Guy: He even gets into trouble in one episode because he steals a ham from Mr. Green. When confronted by his parents, he replies, "I was hungry!"
  • Big Ol' Unibrow
  • The Bully: In the first season, he was this to Arnold. Though he still has shades of it later on.
  • Catch Phrase: "Madame Fortress Mommy!" Adlibbed by Justin Shenkarow once to Craig and everyone's amusement. They kept writing it in after.
  • Dumb Muscle
  • Held Back In School: Is about 13 years old (old enough to have a bar mitzvah) but still in 4th grade.
  • Hidden Depths: Usually with Harold what you see is what you get. But after a mix up in "The Aptitude Test" results in him believing he's a genius, he starts listening to classical music, correctly solves a math problem in his head, and designs a gazebo/bonsai garden for his family's rooftop.
  • Informed Judaism: His Jewish background wasn't mentioned until the episode in which he tries to run away from his own bar mitzvah, though prior to that, it was established he had a mom who acted like a Jewish Mother.
    • In fact, in one of the old claymation shorts, he attends church with Arnold.
  • Jerkass: In the first season.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Surprisingly, but "Harold's Kitty" has him adopting a seemingly stray cat and fawning over it.
  • Large Ham
  • Likes Older Women: It depends if Patty was held back like Harold or if she's the same age as him.
  • My Beloved Smother: His mom is this. Goes hand in hand with her status as a stereotypical Jewish Mother. She even smothers Harold's father a bit; in "On the Lam," she hugs him during a hysterical moment. He turns red from lack of circulation.
  • Nice Hat
  • No Indoor Voice
    • Less so whenever he's bummed about something.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His given Hebrew name is Chaim, but he prefers to be called Harold.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: With Patty.
  • Ship Tease: With Patty, and Rhonda in some episode.
  • Vague Age: The writers seem to flip-flop between having Harold a few years older, or the same age as Arnold and his friends. In one episode he is shown to have gone to preschool with them yet in another he turns 13.
    • He could have failed preschool though.
  • Vocal Evolution: The pitch of his voice remained consistent, but developed a raspier sound post season 1.

Sid

Voiced by: Sam Gifaldi; Taylor Gifaldi ("April Fool's Day")

A paranoid boy in a hat.

  • Catch Phrase: "Boy howdy"
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
  • The Dandy
  • Gag Nose
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Thought he once killed Principal Wartz with a voodoo doll made of soap.
  • Iconic Item: His white Beatle boots.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His spotlight episodes tend to display him as a paranoid Large Ham who frequently lets his imagination get the best of him or digs himself in too deep and needs Arnold to save him. That said, he does try to make amends for the things he does when he realizes he's gone too far.
  • Karma Houdini: He and Stinky receive absolutely no comeuppance after learning Iggy's secret, spreading it throughout the show, and then bragging about taking pictures at Arnold's final ordeal to get Iggy's forgiveness.
  • Large Ham: Episodes centering around him bring this out, especially "Sid the Vampire Slayer" and "Sid's Revenge."
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he thinks he's killed Principale Wartz with a voodoo doll carved from soap.
  • Nice Hat
  • Only One Name: The second most prominent example on the show, behind only Arnold himself.
  • Pet the Dog: He's not all bad, however. In one episode, he gets into trouble with Big Gino. When Arnold tells Sid he doesn't have to do what Big Gino says, Gino orders him to give Arnold a swirlie. Sid stands up to Gino to take Arnold's place.
  • Properly Paranoid
  • With Friends Like These...: Shares this status with Stinky as two of the worst of the kids besides Helga and Harold. Whereas Helga and Harold both have considerable amounts of depth, Sid and Stinky frequently display Lack of Empathy and turn on their so-called friends. Notably whenever an episode focuses on Harold, Sid and Stinky while be there to mock him until he finally gives a Big "Shut Up!" and threatens to beat the snot out of them.

Stinky Peterson

Voiced by: Christopher P. Walberg

A kid from Arkansas with a thick Southern accent.

Eugene Horowitz

Voiced by: Christopher J. Castile (early season 1); Jarrett Lennon (later season 1); Ben Diskin (seasons 2, 3, and 4); Blake McIver Ewing (season 5 and The Movie)

An extremely unlucky kid.

Lila Sawyer

Voiced by: Ashley Buccille

A poor country girl who transfers to the school.

  • The Ace: Averted in "Ms Perfect"- the others girls think she's this, causing them to bully her, but then they find out Lila is very poor and no longer has a mother, making them have a collective My God, What Have I Done?.
  • All Loving Heroine: Although she came off as an intentional parody.
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: The Beauty to Phoebe's Brains and Helga's Brawn.
  • Beneath the Mask: Not shown too much in the series, but in an interview Craig Bartlett said she had a hidden dark side. However, this calls for a reevaluation of pretty much all her scenes involving Arnold and his unreciprocated crush on her. Her dark side may have very well been there, just hidden under a veil of passive-aggressive sweetness.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Helga's Veronica for Arnold's Archie.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Redhead to Helga's Blonde and Phoebe's Brunette.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: It's made pretty clear by Word of God that she does have a dark side, though it's been hidden during the show's run.
  • The Chick
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Green to Helga's Pink and Phoebe's Blue.
  • Country Mouse
  • Dude Magnet: She's popular with the boys.
  • Foil: To Helga, big time. A great deal of Lila's appearances, and the nature of Arnold's relationship with both, play up how Lila is everything Helga isn't.
    • According to Craig Lila had a repressed dark side. So in addition, while Lila was sweet and innocent on the outside, but emotionally disturbed on the inside, Helga was mean and crazy on the outside, but kind and sophisticated on the inside.
  • Girlish Pigtails
  • Heroes Want Redheads
  • Love Revelation Epiphany: In "Arnold Loves Lila", Lila starts to like Arnold only because Helga wrote "Arnold Loves Lila" on the wall and Lila assumed it had to be true. Arnold tells her he doesn't "LIKE-like her" and Lila becomes very disappointed, but realizes she only came to "LIKE-like" Arnold because she thought he felt that way about her. So when Arnold realizes he does "LIKE-like her", Lila isn't interested in him anymore.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Not to an extreme, but there are times when, looking closely, you see Lila's rather sly. In a subtle way by expressions and choice of words. There's the question of her and Arnold's interactions, plus the fact that she reeled Helga in with no choice but to confess her secret rather impressively in "School Play". With Craig's claims of her having a locked dark side, it makes one wonder.
    • When asked about Helga and Lila becoming friends in the future (and if that meant that Helga accepts Olga as well) in The Arun Mehta Show Special With Craig Bartlett, which confirmed the idea was more of fan canon rather than actual canon that he's thought of, he had this to say -
    Craig: Helga and Lila have a really complex relationship because Lila has helped her keep her secret and helpe—and Lila's a bit of a player, you know, she kind of manipulates people in her—in her sort of innocent way.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Offers a sort of unintentional hope spot for Arnold sometimes, but ends up emphasizing at the end that she does not "like him like him"
  • Missing Mom: She's only raised and supported by her father.
  • Nice Girl
  • Parody Sue
  • Perpetual Smiler
  • The Pollyanna
  • Proper Lady: Her politeness is pretty much what makes her character going.
  • Redhead In Green
  • Secret Keeper: Due to events in "School Play," Helga is forced to confide in her that she loves Arnold. (Naturally, before telling Lila, Helga threatened to strangle her if she ever told anyone.)
  • Shipper on Deck: Ironically, if mildly. She thinks Helga's crush on Arnold is "ever so sweet" and is more than willing to bow out of the way so Helga can orchestrate a kiss with him.
  • Stepford Smiler: Implied, according to Word of God.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Helga's Tomboy.
  • Town Girls: The Femme to Helga's Butch and Phoebe's Neither.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: In "Arnold Loves Lila", when Lila believes Arnold has a crush on her, she starts to like him too, but he "likes her, but doesn't LIKE-like her". Once she gets the message, he really does start to "LIKE-like her". Unfortunately, Lila decides that she now just likes him and insists in being Just Friends for the rest of the series.
  • Verbal Tic: "Ever so", "oh so", and "I'm certain that..."
  • What Does She See in Him?: For some reason, she goes completely head over heels for Arnold's cousin Arnie.
  • Yandere: Helga's dream in "Married" suggests Lila would be this.
  • Youthful Freckles

Thaddeus "Curly" Gammelthorpe

Voiced by: Adam Wylie; Steven Hartman ("Downtown as Fruits"); Haley Joel Osment ("Deconstructing Arnold"); Michael Welch ("Curly's Girl" and "Ghost Bride")

Psychotic kid with black hair and glasses

Brainy

Voiced by: Craig Bartlett

An otherwise taciturn mouth-breathing nerd who seems to have a thing for Helga.

Sheena

Voiced by: Francesca Marie Smith

Ruth P. McDougal

Voiced by: Lacey Chabert; Anndi L. McAfee

  • The Ditz: She thinks Arnold's secret note to her is from a famous poet, Anonymous.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Her auburn hair is explicitly mentioned in "What's Opera, Arnold."
  • Satellite Love Interest: Her only role in the show is to be Arnold's crush early on. Effectively disappears after Arnold finds out that they have nothing in common.

Patricia "Patty"/"Big Patty" Smith

Voiced by: Danielle Judovits

Lorenzo

Voice by Victor Cohn-Lopez

  • Early-Bird Cameo: His debut episode was supposed to show him as a new character, but he already shows up in Arnold's Room and Gerald's Tonsils.
  • My Beloved Smother: His mother is very overprotective of him.
  • Nice Guy: Like Arnold, Lorenzo is polite to his friends.
  • No Social Skills: In Rich Kid, it's shown that he has no idea how to goof off and be a kid.
  • Spoiled Sweet: He's as rich as Rhonda, and a friendly guy to boot.
  • Super OCD: Arnold even points out how he's always looking at his watch every five seconds. He does get over it.
  • Wise Beyond His Years: He's nine years old, but has the personality of a 30-year old businessman.

Iggy

Voiced by Joseph Ashton

  • Cool Shades: Wears teal shades.
  • Demoted to Extra: He was already pretty much an extra at the beginning of the show but he had his own episode with Arnold Betrays Iggy. After that episode's terrible reputation, though, he never had a major role again and only appeared in the background in a few episodes and only had a speaking part again 4 years later in an episode called Gerald's Games.
  • Flat Character: Iggy's main reputation during the time he was on the show was that he was considered the cool kid, though they never explain why.
  • It's All About Me: He doesn't care the depths Arnold is going through to earn his forgiveness, and he doesn't even care that he got the wrong guy in the end. In the end, Arnold Betrays Iggy was all about his pain and humiliation.
  • Jerk Ass: Shown to be one through what he puts Arnold through.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: What he realizes at the end of "Arnold Betrays Iggy".
  • The Scapegoat: Is blamed for the events of Arnold Betrays Iggy when Sid and Stinky are mainly the ones at fault.

Peapod Kid

Voiced by Jamil W. Smith

  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "Oh, my, that is terribly, terribly X."
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He's called Peapod Kid because he has no real name given and he dresses as a peapod in the school play.
  • Ship Tease: In Married, Rhonda predicts that he'll be married to Nadine someday suggesting he has a crush on her.
  • Spoiled Sweet: He's as rich as Rhonda and a pretty nice guy as well.

    The Adults 

Grandpa "Steely" Phil Shortman

Voiced by: Dan Castellaneta

Arnold's grandfather.

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: He acts like this to his older twin sister when she comes over to visit. This lowers after Arnold helps him and Mitzi make peace.
  • Badass Grandpa
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Gertie when they were younger.
  • Cassandra Truth: In "Girl Trouble," he flat-out tells Arnold that Helga constantly teases him because she likes him. Arnold naturally doesn't believe him.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Not to the extent of his wife, but some episodes play this up to the hilt, such as the one where he believed himself stranded on a deserted island and confused a flock of ducks for his ancestors.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Generation Xerox: "Girl Trouble" reveals Phil was teased by Gertie the same way that Arnold is teased by Helga.
    • "Snow" also seems to imply that he had a similar relationship with his grandfather that Arnold has with him.
  • Genre Savvy/Meta Guy: He often describes the plot templates in play.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: At least half the instances of it in this show come from him. Chief among them being that he's named after a type of dildo.
  • Noodle Incident: Phil was apparently an acrobat in a Russian circus.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Uses this on occasion, most notably in a flashback to his days in World War II where he tricks group of Germans who had captured him into eating spoiled meat.
    "It was then I realized that if I let the Major think he was smarter than me I could make him do anything I wanted..."
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Woman: The Savvy Guy to Pookie's Energetic Woman. While he can be a little ditzy as well sometimes, she's this ten times as much than him.

Grandma Gertie (aka Pookie) Shortman

Voiced by: Tress MacNeille

Arnold's grandmother.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Pookie
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Phil in her youth.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander
  • Cool Old Lady
  • Generation Xerox: In "Girl Trouble," she and Phil had a relationship very similar to Helga and Arnold when they were younger. As part of the gag, Gertie in the flashback is voiced by Helga's voice actor.
  • Girlish Pigtails: In her youth.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: She saves the day when even Arnold fails. For example repairing the underground or stopping Bob's bulldozer.
  • Loving Bully: In her youth.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She's a black belt in karate.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: There are rare times where she behaves in an odd fashion - only to then imply it was just an act.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Usually referred to as "Grandma," "Pookie" or other nicknames. Her first name is mentioned as part of the Generation Xerox twist in "Girl Trouble."
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In "Parents Day," she acts like her usual fun-loving, crazy self. After seeing Arnold so depressed over his Parental Abandonment, however, she snaps out of the role she was playing and acts far more subdued.
    • Played for laughs during a heat wave; Arnold notes that the heat's so bad that even his grandmother is acting normal. Her wearing scuba gear and walking around like she does it every day when it starts raining is a sign that everything is going to be fine.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Woman: The Energetic Woman to Phil's Savvy Guy. While he can be a little ditzy as well sometimes, she's this ten times as much than him.
  • Tsundere: In her youth.

Olga Pataki

Voiced by: Nika Futterman

Helga's older sister and the parental favorite, much to Helga's dismay (and Olga's too, as revealed in "Olga Comes Home"). At first glance, Olga appears perhaps too perfect: Successful, pretty, smart, and sweet and kind to everyone. But she's actually dangerously neurotic, melodramatic and out of reality, due to having to constantly live up to her parents' (well, her father's, anyway) constant attention and ridiculously high standards.

Robert "Big Bob" Pataki

Voiced by: Maurice LaMarche

Father of Helga and Olga. Runs a local business aptly named "Big Bob's Beepers".

  • Abusive Dad: Emotionally to both daughters, but in completely different ways.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Consistently calls Helga by her sister's name, and almost always gets Arnold's name wrong.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow
  • Depending on the Writer: Abusive jerkass or simply an ignorant boor who just doesn't understand how much trouble he's caused for his family?
    • Characterization Marches On: The latter characterization became steadily more common from Season 2 and onward. In the first season, he was portrayed as pretty much devoid of redeeming qualities.
  • The Dragon: To Scheck in the movie, in order to build a bigger Big Bob's Beepers. Though he defects from Scheck once he finds out that he's getting only 49% of the income.
  • Education Papa: Most of the pushing towards excellence that Olga received came from Bob's end, as he was the one who made it a big deal that she win so many awards and trophies, while Miriam just provided commentary. In the early seasons he even tried to shape Helga into following Olga's path.
  • Fat Bastard: Most of the time.
  • Gasshole: He belches and breaks wind on occasion.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Tends to say "Mother Hubbard" and "Heck".
  • Humiliation Conga: Helga was so disturbed by the "Orphan boy" line (see below) that during a gladiator-style event, she told Phil what Big Bob's weakspot was. Basically, she told him to go for the ankles, which sent Big Bob into a tub of gelatin - costing him the event and the overall win.
    • Basically any episode that accentuates his Jerk Ass qualities ends with him getting a solid block of hilarious karma dropped on his head. "Roughin' It" is another good example, where he ends up alone in his RV stuck with sunburn, swamped with bugs, and itching from poison ivy (not to mention having been electrocuted by his own faulty products earlier) while everyone else enjoys camping the old fashioned way.
    • He goes through another in "Summer Love". He sits in a lounge chair, gets sunburned, and has no one to take care of him, not even his wife whom he neglects. When he tries getting out of the house, he irritates his sunburn and gets a defeating blow from Miriam.
  • Jerkass: Most of the time, he's this.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he rarely shows it, he does love and care about Helga, and in some instances can help out other characters when needed. They even hint that he does care about his wife as well, especially in "Summer Love" when she told him about another man teaching her "the Watoosty".
  • Kick the Dog: His "orphan boy" line (referring to Arnold) in "Parent's Day". It's so mean it would be a Moral Event Horizon if he'd said it directly to Arnold (as it stands, he was talking to Helga and was just characteristically loud and uncaring about anyone else overhearing).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the Halloween Episode he was legitimately horrified when he realized he just attempted to murder Helga thinking she was an alien, calling himself a monster.
    • More so in Big Bob's Crisis after getting a heart attack.
  • Parental Favoritism: To Olga.
  • Parental Neglect: To Helga.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: "Big Bob's Crisis" was all about Bob realizing his high-stress life made him obnoxious, cruel and abusive to those around him - though he initially overcompensates by uprooting the entire family and becoming an Extreme Doormat, it ends with him deciding that he can be his old self while still being a little kinder and a little less stressed. Since this was his last appearance in the show, it's unknown whether or not he would've kept at it.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He may be a Jerkass like his daughter and use verbal abuse, but Bob draws the line when it comes to physically harming a child. In the Halloween episode he almost had Helga killed when he thought she was an alien, until he learns that "alien invasion" was just her in costume for a theme - at which point he was very distraught.
    • Also happens in "Save the Tree" when he refuses to bulldoze the kids' favorite tree because his own kid is up there.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: To Helga.

Miriam Pataki

Voiced by: Kath Soucie

Mother of Helga and Olga, Miriam is a depressed, constantly sleepy, seemingly ditzy housewife with an addiction to "smoothies" (Word of God confirms that all of these are signs that Miriam is an alcoholic, with "smoothies" as a cover-up for booze). It's not uncommon to find her sleeping in strange places. However, she can be very competent and intelligent, but unfortunately it seems that being married to Big Bob has really brought her down.

  • Alcoholic Parent: While they couldn't state it outright (since Hey Arnold is still a kids' show, despite the myriad of "adult jokes"), Miriam is obviously a heavy drinker, with the show using smoothies as a metaphor for booze. If you look closely when she grabs some ingredients for her "smoothies", she grabs a bottle of Tabasco sauce and if "The Pataki's" was made, it is informed she would be attending AA.
  • The Ditz
    • The Alcoholic: The show indicates she drinks a lot of "smoothies", but her slurred speech and forgetfulness imply "smoothie" is just a term for alcohol to get past the radar.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: In "Road Trip," she reveals to Helga that when she was a kid, she wanted to learn to ride horses, but her dad refused to let her, fearing she'd get hurt. Her response to this, surprisingly enough, was to become a champion mechanical bull-rider.
  • Blind Without Them
  • Drives Like Crazy: Due to her drinking, Miriam has had her license revoked. When she took over for Bob's beeper store and drove Helga to school, all the kids were worried that Miriam was driving again (meaning that the kids know that Helga's mom is either a Drunk Driver or just a very, very bad driver).
  • Hidden Depths: She was once a world-class swimmer, won a bull-riding competition as a girl, and can run the family business better than Bob can if she wanted to.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Calls Helga 'weird' in one episode when she hears Helga manically laughing in her Stalker Shrine.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: She'll occasionally say that she needs a "smoothie".
  • Meganekko
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In 'The Beeper Queen', when she realises she's been neglecting Helga for her new job.
  • Odd Friendship: Develops one with Suzie in "The Summer House".
  • Verbal Tic: Often speaks in a slow, drawling voice. Justified as Craig Bartlett has revealed that Miriam is an alcoholic.

Robert Simmons

Voiced by: Dan Butler

Fourth grade teacher at P.S. 118 starting in the second season, replacing the original Living Prop, Miss Slovak. Thinks of everyone and everything as "special".

  • Adults Are Useless: Specifically in the episode "Girl Trouble" when he doesn't punish Helga for bullying Arnold, yet he punishes Arnold for fighting back. Other examples include:
    • "Buses, Bikes, and Subways"—doesn't double-check his head count and is totally oblivious to the fact that two of his students are missing until the bus is back home.
    • "The Flood"—allows students to run riot for 3/4 of the episode and then tries to climb up a ladder during the storm for help, and ends up falling into several feet of water, meaning the kids have to save his butt.
    • "Aptitude Test"—mixes up two of the eponymous tests; doesn't bother to recheck the folders.
    • "On the Lam"—doesn't know his science closet was raided until informed on evening news.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Played by an openly gay actor, loves the theater, and has a very delicate, effete personality. In fact, a character who may or may not be his partner even appears in the Thanksgiving episode.
  • Cool Teacher: He can be this when he's not being useless. In fact, his premiere episode, "New Teacher," was all about the kids realizing this after they gave him a hard time.
  • Imagine Spot: In "Principal Simmons", Mr. Simmons imagines what the school would be like if he was the principal, which features the kids all beings friends with each other, Helga and Brainy walking together with their arms around each other, Wolfgang giving Eugene a piggyback ride, Harold becoming smart, the kids eating healthy food and happy to be the principal's helper.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: A very glaring example on a show with otherwise very outlandish character designs; Simmons strongly resembles his voice actor, Dan Butler.
  • Nice Guy: One of the nicest adults in the series.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Considerably less cartoony-looking than the other characters due to being based on a real person.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: He is the only one who doesn't recognize his own Catch Phrase in Helga's parody.
  • Only One Name: It is strongly implied, but never explicitly stated, that his first name is Robert (in the Thanksgiving episode, he wrote a play that was based on his own life; we meet every character from the play in person later on except for him).
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist

Alphonse Perrier du von Scheck

Voiced by: Paul Sorvino

The CEO of Future Tech Industries, Scheck is a greedy and heartless businessman who wants to tear down Arnold's neighborhood to build a gigantic, immaculate shopping mall. Only appears in The Movie, where he is the Big Bad.

  • Affably Evil: Appears to be this at first, but it fades over the course of the movie.
  • Big "NO!": After he sees that Arnold, Helga and Gerald have escaped - with the videotape that exposes him burning the document.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Not only is he not above burning a document declaring the neighborhood a national landmark, the whole reason he wants to build the mall in the first place is to get revenge after his family name was sullied over the "Tomato Incident" that happened in front of Sunset Arms.
  • Evil Overlooker: On the poster and DVD cover of The Movie.
  • Green Eyes
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: A small running gag has Gerald voice admiration for Scheck's suit.
  • Slasher Smile: Most notably when he's burning the document declaring the neighborhood a national landmark.
  • Smug Snake
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: His voice is pretty unassuming and even somewhat soothing for a villain, but he tends to lose this when he gets mad.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He starts out appearing as an affable but very weaselly businessman, but ends up as a raving madman who is perfectly willing to run over several people, including children, with his car.
  • The Von Trope Family

Bridget

Voiced by: Jennifer Jason Leigh

Only appearing in The Movie, Bridget is a sort of spy girl/superheroine who helps Arnold and Gerald save the neighborhood by supplying them with equipment and providing them a VCR to play the security tape exposing Scheck.

  • Ms. Fanservice: Both Arnold and Gerald immediately fall for her as soon as they meet her, and Gerald even faints when she gives him a good luck kiss.
  • Spy Catsuit

Oskar Kokoshka

Voiced By: Steve Viksten

  • Annoying Laugh: Eh heh heh heh!
  • Butt Monkey: He largely deserves it, too.
  • Funny Foreigner: Mentioned in one episode as hailing from the former Czechoslovakia.
  • Jerkass: He's selfish, lazy, and leeches off his wife.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most notably the episode where he's forced to look after Baby Oscar, whom he initially resents but grows protective over, and when he feels guilty about leeching off Suzie.
  • Lazy Bum and Lazy Husband: Lives off his wife and still expects her to do all the housework.
    • When he finally does get a job delivering papers with Arnold's help, he's too lazy to even do that, making up excuses so that Arnold does it instead of him. It gets to the point that even Arnold calls him a "huge loser".
  • Man Child: Lazy and childish, Oskar often neglects responsibility.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife

Suzie Kokoshka

Voiced By: Mary Scheer

Ernie Potts

Voiced By: Dom Irrera

  • Big Ol' Unibrow
  • Fiery Redhead: Male example, although he is mostly bald.
  • First Name Basis: Unlike most of the other boarders, Arnold calls him Ernie in later seasons, although he does call him Mr. Potts early on.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • The Napoleon: Shorter than Arnold, but very passionate about the demolition business.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: He develops a crush on a very tall model named Lola, and the two even date until they had a falling out due to Lola being uncomfortable with their difference in height, though she apologizes, and they remain friends at the end of the episode.

Mr. Hyunh

Voiced By: Baoan Coleman, Randy Travis (singing)

  • Characterization Marches On: Mr. Hyunh is initially a stereotypical, high-tense Asian man who mostly panic and tends to yell the same thing over and over whenever there's trouble. Early into the show, this aspect of his character is lessened as they make him into more of a character and less of a stereotype.
  • Funny Foreigner: In earlier episodes where he would shout the same word over and over.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Though he comes off as a somewhat overdramatic Funny Foreigner in most episodes, some (in particular the Christmas Episode) where he has A Day in the Limelight, show him to be more insecure and worried about his situation.
    • There's also the episode where it's revealed he sings amazingly as a country artist. So much that Gerald was able to profit out of him for the episode before Hyunh chose "The Simple Things" of his life instead of the limelight.
  • Large Ham: How he responds to frustrating situations.
    Mr. Hyunh: This lint. Your lint! I cannot keep cleaning up after you! I am not your mother! (beat) I'm not his mother!
    • In "The Vacant Lot", he was this at the end, shouting "Play ball!" 10 times in a row.
    Mr. Hyunh: Play ba-all! Play ball! Play ba-all! Play ball! Play ba-all! Play ball! Play ba-all! Play ba-all! Play ball! Play ba-all!
    Grandpa Phil: WILL YOU BE QUIET?!
    • And the time he dressed up as Juliet in order to help Romeo Arnold learn his lines in "School Play".
  • Last Name Basis: Even the adults at the Sunset Arms call him Mr. Hyunh.
  • Only One Name: See Last Name Basis above.

Miles and Stella Shortman

Voiced by: Craig Bartlett (show creator) and Antoinette Stella (an episode writer)

Arnold's long missing parents.

  • Adventurer Anthropologist and Botanist Doctor: Perhaps to make them not be exactly like Indiana Jones they aren't Archaeologists, but have other jobs that would mean they might spend most of their time in a South American rainforest. But they still manage to rescue an artifact from a Jungle Pirate anyway.
  • Battle Couple: If Phil's stories and Miles' journal is to believed.
  • Birds of a Feather
  • Happily Married
  • Mommy & Daddy Had A Good Reason for Abandoning You: They both left to help cure a deadly illness sweeping throughout the population of the South American country, particularly that of a secretive tribespeople who have helped them throughout the years who they owe their lives to. As Miles had written in his journal he expected the trip to be a short one... it is possible they too died of the illness in the end, though there is a Hope Spot when Arnold finds a map of their trail.
  • Parental Abandonment: Both left Arnold to be looked after by his Grandparents to depart on an important mission.
  • Screaming Birth: To give Stella her dues she may be angry at the time, but she manages to keep it together rather well for a woman giving birth in remote Jungle Temple whilst a volcano is erupting all around her!
  • Whip It Good: Miles is extremely proficient with a whip, using it to tether two cable-cars together at one point to stop one from falling.

Principal Wartz

Voiced by: David Wohl

As you guess, he's the principal of P.S. 118 and he's known to be harsh but has reasons to be one. Throughout the show, Wartz often is seen taken punishments too far, even by following teachers but he has toned this down after realizing when he sees how the others handle order.

  • Dean Bitterman: One episode has Mr. Simmons call him out for being too strict of a principal. And another has him suspend Arnold for two days because he told him he was being too unfair to Harold.
  • Jerk Ass: Pretty much defines this.
  • Last Name Basis: His first name is never revealed.
  • Man Child: Shown to be this as he is seen playing with toys at his work desk and sending fan mail to teen singing sensation, Ronnie Matthews.
  • Pet the Dog: He can be reasoned with, even letting a kid off the hook depending on the situation.
    • He also has a set of toy animals on his desk in order to calm down and/or reduce the stress on any meeting he may have.
  • Properly Paranoid: Even if the kids have no interest in misbehaving, Wartz is often like this.
  • Stern Teacher: As a Dean Bitterman like principal.

Willie the Jolly Olly Man

Voiced by: Dan Castellaneta

A mean, sadistic, downright crazy guy who works as an ice cream man.

  • Aesop Amnesia: Subverted. In Career Day, Arnold teaches him how to properly do his job and avoid getting fired. In subsequent appearances he flip-flops from being the same jerkass he always was, and actually doing his job well.
    • When Grandpa Phil accidentally runs him off the road in Grandpa's Packard, he goes as far as to dress up in drag, and trick Phil into giving his address, so he can steal the Packard from him. He apologizes after he gets arrested, though.
    • He makes a small appearance in the movie, though, where he seems to be good at his job again.
  • CloudCuckooLander: He's apparently convinced in Grandpa's Packard that the start of his bad day was his dog laughing at him.
  • Evil Laugh
  • Freudian Excuse: In 'Career Day', Arnold finds out he's been fired from every single job he's had, and his Bad Boss is none other than his own Dad, who treats him with utter contempt.
  • Ironic Nickname: The Jolly Olly Man.
  • Jerk Ass: He'll drive off without giving kids their ice cream, not give them the right flavors, yell at them and treat them with no respect, or just outright ignore them.
  • No Social Skills: He was not aware there was anything wrong with his attitude, and views the children he serves as frightening. When his boss/father shows up saying that his numbers are down, he says it's not his fault that kids these days don't want ice cream.
    • There was also a moment in Grandpa's Packard where he says that he was having a terrible day, one of the reasons being that the expiration date on his milk was wrong. He's not wrong, the milk was wrong. It'd be somewhat believable if it wasn't preceded by his dog laughing at him, and followed by a maniacal Grandpa Phil running him off the road on purpose.
  • Pet the Dog: He gives Arnold an 'A' at the end of 'Career Day' and a free ice-cream, as thanks.
  • Slasher Smile: Accidentally scares kids off with his smile when Arnold is trying to improve him.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: We occasionally see how he views the world. In Career Day, he sees the city in black and white and nothing but slums, the kids as hyperactive creepy children, and his ice cream truck as a cage.
    • Grandpa's Packard shows that he views Grandpa's running him off the road as a malicious act against him, and not a mistake, complete with an evil looking Packard spewing flames and Grandpa Phil laughing maniacally.

Vincent the Pigeon Man

Voiced by: Vincent Schiavelli

An outcast who lives atop an abandoned apartment block who prefers to be around pigeons more than humans.

Mr. Marty Green

Voiced by: James Keane

A local butcher that runs for councilman in Mr. Green Runs.

  • Berserk Button: NEVER throw a board over a pothole and say it's fixed, especially after he's called you countless times requesting to get it fixed.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Councilman Gladhand should have bothered to actually fix the pot hole; he'd probably still have a job.
  • Defrosting Ice King: When Harold steals a ham from his shop, Mr. Green punishes him by forcing him to work for free for a week. Harold grows to like the job, though Mr. Green sees him as trouble. Then at the end, Mr. Green warms up to him when he offers to help out during a busy hour.
  • Expy: Of the title character from the movie, Marty.
  • Large Ham: When Arnold is looking for a musical act for a dance, Mr. Green offers his singing voice which really stands out to say the least.

Coach Jack Wittenburg

Voiced by: James Belushi

A local coach who's forgetful in names and only has limited experience, often needing Arnold to help him out.

  • Disproportionate Retribution: During a basketball game, he tells the kids that they have to pass the ball to his son Tucker so he can score. When Arnold ignores his advice, explaining that he wasn't open and had to make the shot himself, Coach Wittenburg benches him for the rest of the season.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: His method of coaching involves screaming at the players, until Arnold comes in.
  • A Father to His Men: He does care about the kids he's coaching as he really wants them to succeed. And when he tries to organize a Synchronized Swimming Team, he goes to Arnold and friends, knowing they've been there for him in the past.
  • Hot-Blooded: His competitiveness with his wife, Tish can get pretty out of control sometimes.
  • Large Ham: Much like your typical super-competitive coach.
  • Malaproper: Constantly speaks in this manner as he often has no idea what the stuff he talks about means.
  • The Nicknamer: To the kids, he constantly calls Arnold, Arnie.

    Other Kids 

Arnie

Voiced by: Grant Hoover

A cousin of Arnold's who is disconcertingly similar, but much stranger and less attractive. Naturally, Lila falls head over heels for him.

  • Ambiguous Disorder: Arnie displays several signs of ASD, particularly Asperger's Syndrome, such as odd hobbies (counting things, reading ingredient labels [along with seemingly knowing what they are and how to pronounce them]) and collections (specifically balls of lint and "plain flavored" gum), displays muted outward signs of emotion, and seems to have difficulty in social interaction. These traits lead some of the other characters to think he is "dull" and "slow."
  • Bizarro Universe: The episode "Arnold Visits Arnie", in which just about all of the side character kids and main cast members get an eerily similar doppelganger with a completely opposite personality.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: His hobbies include collecting lint and reading the ingredients off of packaged products.
  • Country Cousin
  • Creepy Monotone: Though the "creepy" is entirely up to the viewer's discretion.
  • Joke Character: Reportedly a character created as an in-joke response to Off Model animation.
  • Kavorka Kid: Big time.
  • Mirror Universe: In "Arnold Visits Arnie", to some degree. That is, of course, if you believe that it isn't normal for Arnie to go Axe Crazy on his cousin and/or want to include the character alignments of the citizens of Arnie's hometown.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: In "Arnold Visits Arnie" towards the end of the episode. It turns out it was just a dream, though.
  • Nightmare Face: Arnie gets one, also a result of the fiendish dream. Almost makes you wonder about Arnold a little...
  • Oddball Doppelganger: To Arnold.
  • Replacement Love Interest: This may be the reason why Lila was attracted to Arnie. Since Helga told her that she likes Arnold, she has agreed to let Helga have a chance with Arnold. When she saw Arnie, though, she saw the resemblance in their faces and pursued him in place of his cousin.
    • To be fair; Lila established that she doesn't like like Arnold before she even knew of Helga's crush on him.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Girlfriend: Arnie's less-than-attractive guy to Lila's, and later Lulu's (though this turned out to be All Just a Dream) rather pretty girl.

Rex Smythe-Higgins III

Voiced by: Joey Stinson

Rex Smythe-Higgins III is the grandson of Grandpa Phil’s rival Rex Smythe-Higgins I and is the same age as Arnold. He’s often had to complete against Arnold and is a Polishing school alumni.

  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be arrogant at times, but he doesn’t like cheaters and rather play fair in completion, "Tour de Pond". In "The Pig War", he draws the line when eating pets.
  • The Rival: To Arnold in a few episodes.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: He’s actually much more mature than his grandpa considering he’s still a kid.

Wolfgang:

Voiced by: Toran Caudell

The leader of the fifth graders and bullies the fourth graders around.

  • The Bully: Even worse than Harold and Helga.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's surprisingly crafty, from devising plans for Trash Can Day to making sure Chocolate Boy doesn't eat chocolate for a month.
  • Hidden Depths: He mentions that he needs to take oboe lessons until four.
  • Jerk Ass
  • Jerk Jock: Shows shades of this, especially "Longest Monday".
  • Karma Houdini: Most of the time, he and his fifth graders succeed without punishment.
  • Not so Above It All: He's very superstitious.
  • The Rival: Acts this way towards Arnold and the other fourth graders.
  • Younger than They Look: It's hard to imagine that he's only fifth grade considering he has an appearance and a voice of a high school student.

Ludwig

Voiced by: Phillip Van Dyke

Another bully introduced in 'New Bully On The Block', explaining he was at Juvenile prison and only recently got out.

Chocolate Boy

Voiced by: Jordan Warkol

  • Big Eater: Of anything chocolate. But now he's obsessed with radishes.
  • G-Rated Drug: He's obsessed with chocolate like a crack addict. Until the end where he gets addicted to radishes.
  • Hidden Depths: In his spotlight episode, he reveals the reason he's so addicted to chocolate is because he misses his nanny. His parents told him chocolate was bad for him, but his nanny secretly gave him some until she had to leave.
    • Plus in Oskar Can't Read he's shown to be able to read through an excerpt of A Tale of Two Cities with no trouble, even for someone seemingly in kindergarten.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Everyone calls him Chocolate Boy, and his real name is never revealed.
  • Serious Business: His obsession with chocolate is so bad that it makes him do stupid things just to get some. He once went two weeks without eating any chocolate so he could win a ten-pound bag of the stuff. And he eats it all in one sitting. And in Buses, Bikes, and Subways he sneaks onto a field trip to the chocolate factory.
  • The Pig Pen: Has chocolate stains all over him.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate. Now it's radishes.

Hero 108Characters/Western AnimationHi Hi Puffy AmiYumi

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
215349
26