Miriam's "Smoothies": Miriam probably came up with "smoothies" as a code word so no one in the family (Helga and Olga namely) would ever know that she's an alcoholic, much like the show writers came up with "smoothies" as a code word so the censors wouldn't notice that they were referencing alcoholism. In fact, Helga could probably casually say her mom sleeps after drinking smoothies... and it doesn't look that bad.
Lila and Olga sing "Moonlight Bay" in "Big Sis" when they go sailing. Lila learned the song in Mr. Simmon's class a few episodes earlier for the school concert.
As an adult, you might read a book where someone declares, "I'm leaving it as I found it. Take over. It's yours." Where did you hear that before? In that episode of Hey Arnold! where the adults take over the baseball field the kids worked so hard to build and they retaliate exactly like Ellis Wyatt does!
Gerald: If you want Gerald Field so badly, you can have it just the way we found it — a dump.
Why would Arnold be close to a pet pig? Arnold has a football shaped head, and pigs are made into footballs. It could be a subconscious Freudian reason.
Plus pigs aren't bad pets at all really.
Why is Helga so disgusted with Rhonda when she dumps Curly in public? She understands Curly as she feels the same way about Arnold as he did for Rhonda. The break-up probably really hit home for her. Arnold doing that to her would destroy her so she understands how cruel it was of Rhonda.
It's apparent Oskar Kokoshka and his wife Suzie are only married so he can stay in the United States. In "Gerald Comes Over" when Suzie and Oskar are arguing, she says she should have listened to her mother caused she tried to warn her (probably of Oskar's intentions). Later in the episode when everyone in the boarding house is at the dinner table Oskar says to Suzie "More soup my little green card?"
Miriam's pregnancy was probably normal (i.e., she didn't drink while pregnant with Helga), but the infancy probably was a living nightmare, knowing what was already established by "Helga on the Couch."
In the first episode featuring Olga, Helga changes one of her grades from an A to a B+ out of jealousy. Olga goes into a depression, spending days doing nothing but lay in bed with Lacrymosa playing on repeat, sobbing and verbally abusing herself. Years later, upon rethinking that episode, this troper had a thought: if that's Olga's reaction to a B+, what would she do if she got an F?
The Fridge Horror deepens when you realize that Olga's life pretty much revolves around her grades, for which she receives praise from her parents. On some level, she must realize just how miserable Helga is, and know that if her grades ever slipped, she would suffer the same fate. While that's horrifying enough on its own, one has to wonder: what exactly did her parents do to instill this sort of thinking in her?
Correction: What did her dad do to instill that thinking in her. Mama Pataki doesn't seem the sort that would care if one of her girls got a B+.
Oh it gets worse, there's a scene with Bob muttering "B+" under his breath, now it COULD be disbelief, or it could be that he's disappointed that Olga got a B+.
More Fridge Tear Jerker than horror, but the episode where Helga wakes up in a world where she never existed. The entire town is celebrating her disappearance complete with a parade in her 'honor.' Her parents are actually happy and loving to each other. Phoebe has a new, more caring best friend, Gloria. And Arnold is now world famous for 'getting rid of her' (i.e. making her disappear as part of a magic act) and engaged to Ruth (the Satellite Love Interest for Arnold up until the Valentine's Day episode where he finds that Ruth was boring and not very bright). Helga then wakes up and realizes it was all just a dream, then goes to apologize to all the people she's hurt or bullied over the years. Seems simple enough, but think about it. That whole episode was all in Helga's mind, which means that at least on a subconscious level, she truly believes the world and everyone she knows would be better off without her.
In Olga's Fiance, Olga fell for someone who appears to be a sociopath that would have ruined her life and came way too close to marrying him.
Miriam tells Olga flat-out not to make the same mistake she did. Just how bad is her relationship with Bob off-screen?
Very, if she went from being a talented, smart woman to a scatter-brained, smoothie-chugging mess who doesn't notice or care about her family's downfall. Sadly, some families are like that (and worse) in Real Life.
Pookie's Flanderization over the course of the series from an eccentric but still respectable adult figure in Arnold's life to a crazy old lady is due to senile dementia. It also explains why she's a total nutjob and does they crazy antics she does. It does make them more depressing than funny or cool. And much like Miriam and her alcoholism, the writers of the show probably were told by the Nick censors not to allude to the fact that Pookie had dementia (either a BS&P rule against mentioning mental illness on children's TV shows or they were afraid parents would write in and complain).
It becomes a sort of "fridge Tear Jerker" when you consider that many of her antics around the house include acting as though she's on some sort of safari or expedition; it's likely a coping mechanism for having lost her son and daughter-in-law when they never returned from an expedition in South America.
In the episode Curly's Girl, Rhonda takes her mother's fur coat without permission and gets it dirty, so Curly offers to clean it in secret before she can be found out. The catch, however, is that she must "date" him until Friday. When Friday comes, Rhonda very publicly and harshly "dumps" him and is seen as completely heartless by her peers, leading her to restart the act so people will like her again. While Rhonda was definitely in the wrong for her original deed, the whole situation becomes terrifying when looked at from an adult point of view; a clearly disturbed man taking advantage of the woman he's obsessed with, then her being called heartless for telling him off. It's worse considering everyone in the school knows that Curly is insane, creepily obsessed with Rhonda, and possibly dangerous. The whole thing is ...disturbingly reminiscent of real life stalking and domestic violence.
Maybe not the fact of breakup was the cruelty, but the way she did it. Saying "sorry but it won't work" is one thing, unnecessary cruelty and public humiliation is another.
The end of "Ghost Bride" heavily implies that Curly may have been Killed Off for Real by the Ghost Bride herself. Making it worse is that was his final appearance in the series. However, given his usual behavior, he may be considered an Asshole Victim.