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Fanfic / Oh Rhonda!

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Oh Rhonda! is a Hey Arnold! fanfiction written by Orange Ratchet, and is an adaptation Alternate Universe of the show, Hey Arnold!.

This story takes a new approach in which there is one simple question to ask... What if Helga did not exist in this universe? Who would have the crush on Arnold? Why, none other than Rhonda Wellington Lloyd, of course! With the help of her friends, Nadine and Phoebe, along with some advice from Curly, and the continuing misadventures of solving the mysteries of Hilliwood City, her life can be a big mess. She has to juggle her friends, her family life, her secret obsession for James Bond books and her crush on Arnold throughout all of her life. Will it ever be normal, and will she ever decide to confess to her crush?

This story is now been completed, with seven arcs in total. It currently has two sequels,Oh Rhonda!: Planning For the Future (complete) and Oh Rhonda!: The New Adventures (still in-progress). OR's world is one of the ones included in the crossover The Orange Parable, which happens to include notably important OR characters besides Rhonda herself.


This story provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Basically an adaptation of the series of Hey Arnold!, but told in a different point of view, and diverging from the original plot a few times.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Rhonda often calls Arnold 'Buddy'.
  • Agent Scully: Phoebe plays this role in pretty much any episode involving an urban legend, looking for a logical, scientific explanation for everything even if she happens to see something extremely unusual herself, like Pigeon Man being carried away by his birds, or being insistent that Big Caesar, the giant fish living in the city's lake, was a shark that somehow ended there.. despite seeing the fish herself along with all her friends, each of them perfectly realizing it's no shark at all; it takes a while for her to begrudgingly admit she was wrong.
    • She still admits that Eugene's a jinx, as she can't find any scientific reason for the amount of unlucky events he seems to attract.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: This fanfic has Rhonda essentially filling in for the role of Helga, who doesn't exist in this universe.
  • All Myths Are True: Played with; Hillwood's many urban legends are constantly analyzed by Phoebe, with lots of Lampshade Hanging and pointing out the impossibility of those events. Later on, she and the other kids often find out that the legend is, at least, based on real events and people, and, as if happens in Real Life, got some fantastic elements added on for Artistic License.
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  • Ascended Extra: Tucker Wittenberg in canon appeared in one episode of the series. He becomes a central plot point in this fic, and even starts making appearances in later episodes. Similarly, Nadine, who's a very minor character in the series, is among the story's main ones.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't try to say Phoebe is cute one too many times. She will prove her own worth as shown in Chapter 24, where she gets roped into being a hall monitor.
    • Lila REALLY can't stand 90s rap music.
  • Big Bad: Sharlene/Solara
  • Big Good: Marcie
  • Bilingual Bonus: Lorenzo and his mother speak Spanish on occasion; among the main crew, so far, only Phoebe and Arnold understand it.
  • Blank White Eyes: In chapter 41, Rhonda went into a state of shock after getting a gutterball on the final turn... TWICE.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Invoked by Rhonda, who wants Lila to become One Extra Member of the Power Trio because, among other things, she's a redhead, and, aesthetically speaking, she'd complement the hair coloring of Nadine (blonde), and Phoebe and Rhonda herself (brunettes).
  • Boring, but Practical: Some of Rhonda and friends' solutions to a few situations tend to be less impressive than the canon ones, yet work effectively at solving those problems both quickly and with less risk. Sometimes averted.
  • Butt-Monkey: Rhonda sometimes falls in this role, mostly in episodes with strong references to other cartoons.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Tucker does this with his father, over the man's over competitive nature and how it already ruined his marriage once. It works.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Lampshaded in Chapter 35, where Nadine tells Rhonda that they sure were talking calmly while she and Phoebe were stuck with the other kids in a runaway parade float.
  • Character Development / Took a Level in Kindness: Rhonda's considerably more mature and friendlier than in canon, a result of her being in love with an overall Nice Guy and her very close friendship with both Nadine and Phoebe, basically giving her an incentive to be a better person herself and keeping her canon flaws on check or even eliminating them almost completely.
    • In light of the reveal that "Rhonda" is really split off elements of Helga's overall being that seized control of the real Rhonda's body, one could chalk up much of the differences between "main" Rhonda and OR's Rhonda ultimately to how the latter is showing what Helga could've been if she was born into a different environment.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Usually averted, as Rhonda's much more mature than in canon and usually plays the Patient Childhood Love Interest, but there are instances where she can feel quite jealous of potential love rivals. A key example of this is the Chapters covering what was Nadine's and Rhonda falling out over a school project in the Helgaverse that instead roots in Rhonda having a dream of her best friend stealing her beloved Arnold from her.
  • Closet Geek: Hinted to be Olga. Between her choices in Halloween costumes (ranging from Sonic the Hedgehog to a Klingon) and accidentally showing her recording of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Curly thinks that Rhonda calling him 'Sociopath' is an Affectionate Nickname.
  • Crossover: Pinky and the Brain, in the Halloween episode. Also Bucky Katt, from Get Fuzzy, gets a special role on a later episode; see Shout-Out below.
  • Death by Adaptation: The reason Helga doesn't exist in this universe is because of Miriam's second pregnancy ending tragically with an accidental miscarriage. Much later, at the start of Arc 4, it's revealed that Doctor Bliss, Helga's psychologist from "Helga on the Couch' is dead as well.
  • Deal with the Devil: One that created the alternate timeline Oh Rhonda! happens in. What leads up to it is a series of misfortune dropping on Helga (Helga unintentionally making Arnold fall into a coma, Phoebe lashing out at Helga once told about the incident, Helga in a fit of anger telling harsh words to Olga, much of which had Solara working behind the scenes) making her give up on her life. Along comes ...
  • Decomposite Character: In a way; without Helga around, Rhonda and her friends fulfill various parts of Helga's role in the canon series, like Rhonda being the one in love with Arnold and going to extreme measures to keep it a secret, or Nadine being the one who tries stand-up comedy.
    • Composite Character: Arguably this is an in-universe case for "Rhonda" herself. It's revealed that the girl called Rhonda is really what happened when Helga's being attached itself to the real Rhonda's body and forced the latter's being into storage. This addresses not just Helga!Rhonda's romance with Arnold but the overall differences between OR's Rhonda and the "main" Rhonda.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Rhonda's 'Cool Party' preparations are limited to making a Geeks List that excludes a lot of people from attending, including Phoebe, one of her best friends (who gets understandably upset); and planning some conversation topics that even she admits will get boring very soon. Arnold calls her out of this and helps Rhonda fix everything.
    • Later, at the party, Rhonda plans to dance with Arnold, and even gets Lila to distract Ruth, his current crush, so they don't get to spend time together; unfortunately, Rhonda forgot that, as the party's host, she'd need to attend the guests, so she can't have enough time with Arnold to get her own dance.
    • At her most Genre Blind moments, Rhonda often makes mistakes that worsens a situation, or ignores a simpler, more effective solution.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Sharlene, due to her own bullying issues, thinks that Nadine really deserves to be badly pummeled by Big Patty over a little, entirely non-malicious, joking.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Seymour, aka The Disposal, a Big Eater, is a famous Extreme Omnivore and almost invincible in an eating contest... unless he has to eat healthy food, in which case he'll drop the whole thing and walk out.
  • Driven to Suicide: Olga's fate in the original timeline thanks to Helga lashing out at her.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: In the 'Cosplay Story' chapter, the kids play a role game that combines characters from several franchises, including Disney's Movies and Zorro.
  • First-Person Perspective: This is told in Rhonda's view.
  • Foreshadowing: "Rhonda" is really the soul of Helga that placed herself within Rhonda's body, forcing the real Rhonda into a sort of storage. This has hints since rather early on, such as Rhonda showing an interest in poetry and getting headaches when interacting with Olga or Lila.
  • Formerly Fat: Sharlene. Disrespecting a girl for her body is her own Berserk Button, to the point of telling Nadine (who in this world was the one who became a stand-up comic) she's getting what she deserves for her joke on Big Patty's size.
  • For Want of a Nail: Many of the series' events, specially Rhonda being the one falling in love with Arnold, are the result of Helga not existing in this universe. A conversation between Rhonda and Olga strongly implies that Miriam had a miscarriage, losing the baby that would have been Helga; the accident that caused the miscarriage also left Miriam sterile, so she couldn't get pregnant again. That said, the miscarriage was no accident. Solara/Sharlene (the Anti-Christ) manipulated Helga into preventing her own birth as part of a scheme to claim her soul.
    • Other examples of changes traceable to Helga never being born:
      • Olga is less oblivious to her parents' flaws since not having Helga around meant that she never left Hillwood for college (wanting to stay close with her parents) and experienced things like Big Bob threatening boys showing interest in her.
      • Doug Le Sham never meets Olga and has apparently been already been arrested for his cons.
  • From Bad to Worse: At her worst Genre Blind moments, Rhonda can come with solutions that create bigger problems than in canon. Lampshaded in chapter 130, which is the fic's version of when Arnold, Harold, and Eugene were stuck in a tree that thanks to Rhonda's actions goes even worse than in the original.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Rhonda, Olga and their friends protest the eating contest by creating the National Organization for People's Earnesty Over People's Love for Engorgement... or N.O.P.E.O.P.L.E.
  • The Ghost / The Voice: In her dreams, Rhonda is often visited by Deep Voice.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    Rhonda: I know I'm right. (cut) ... I was so horribly wrong.
  • Greed: Unsurprisingly Rhonda.
  • Hero of Another Story: Rhonda and her friends, sometimes, only catch glimpses of events related to adventures/situations Arnold and/or Gerald solve without their help. In some chapters, Arnold and/or Gerald narrate these same adventures to the girls.
  • Idiot Ball: Arnold and Gerald had these moments as they dragged Rhonda, Nadine and Phoebe along on the subway. Rhonda and her friends sometimes grab the ball when having a Genre Blind moment.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Rhonda, Nadine and Phoebe are very close to Olga, partially because Olga wishes she had a baby sibling; the girls also make good friends with older students from 5th Grade eventually 6th Grade.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love / Moment Killer: Every time Rhonda seriously considers confessing her feelings for Arnold, someone will ruin the moment, usually Gerald, almost at Running Gag's levels.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Olga's pretty much the only reason Bob and Miriam can still function as a semi-decent marriage; she even attends community college, instead of continuing her studies out of town as in canon, to be with her parents and make sure Bob's temper and Miriam's alcoholism don't get any worse.
    • Tragically, it's shown that Helga was this to Olga in the original timeline.
  • Musical Episode: In chapter 27, a musical episode retold the important plot points of the story thus far.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Due to Rhonda and her friends' many Boring, but Practical solutions, while they tend to solve the problems much more easily, they also negate some cool/important canon events, like the gang getting included on a world's records book, besting the fifth graders in a football game, or allowing the whole city to see a comet.
  • Noodle Incident: Non-comedic version: in the world Deep Voice AKA Helga comes from, she manages to at minimum send Arnold into a coma and then when she goes to Phoebe for help, is violently rejected and accused of being All Take and No Give...which isn't that far off the mark.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Rhonda is visited by Deep Voice AKA Helga in her dreams, and, in later chapters, occasionally when she's awake; she somehow knows the canon events of the universe where she (Helga) exists, and often gives Rhonda some useful pointers.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: This is apparently the case for Curly, who knows much more about what's going on than any of his classmates. To the point that he knows ahead of the big reveal that Rhonda is carrying Helga's soul.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Deep Voice responds this way to Olga showing up to student teach.
  • Papa Wolf: Big Bob is extremely protective of Olga, to the point of threatening and even physically attacking potential boyfriends; because of this, Olga has few male friends and only the female ones visit her at home.
  • Patient Childhood Love Interest: Rhonda doesn't try to pressure any relationship with Arnold; so far she's happy with them being just friends, and supporting each other whenever's necessary, hoping that, eventually, he'll realize her feelings for him, or fall in love with her by his own, only giving the occasional hint of her feelings, and never being hostile towards any possible love rival, knowing there's always a backfiring risk. Averted in a few instances when her jealousy gets the best of her.
  • Plot Hole: This story fixed up a few plot holes or points out a few that were present in a couple episodes IE, the fact that Arnold's grandmother would have easily kicked the boarders' butts, AND the fact that Arnold could have just asked his grandmother or grandfather on the phone to come pick them up. Rhonda isn't pleased that Arnold did not do the latter.
    Rhonda: (provides an example with marbles) You see these two marbles? Those are you guys (indicates to Arnold and Gerald). You see these three marbles next to us (indicates her, Nadine and Phoebe)? That's us. These three marbles represent sense and good ideas. These two marbles represent idiotic ideas and tempters of fate.
  • Point of View: This entire story is told in Rhonda's Point of View.
  • Power Trio: Referenced by Rhonda and how she, Phoebe and Nadine are a team of Beauty, Brains, and Brawn, respectively. They're also a Town Girls team, with Nadine as the tomboy, Rhonda as the femme and Phoebe as neither.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Rhonda and her friends sometimes feel this about some improbable events they witness first hand, like how 'The Disposal', a Big Eater, keeps himself a lean boy despite regularly eating large amounts of junk food.

  • Religion of Evil: Curly is often hinted to have followed this trope.
  • Secret Admirer / Stalker with a Crush: Rhonda has been secretly in love with Arnold for years. Downplayed as Rhonda isn't as obsessive as Helga is in canon, plus, while she admires and loves Arnold, she's also aware of his flaws and mistakes, and isn't afraid of pointing them out to him.
  • Secret-Keeper / Shipper on Deck: Both Phoebe and Nadine know Rhonda's secret, thus, they try to help Rhonda and Arnold get together. Likewise, Rhonda and Nadine know about Phoebe's crush on Gerald.
  • Secret Test of Character: In Chapter 15, Mr. Smith did this to the boarding house residents to see if they could get along. In the original episode this was inspired from, this never actually happened.
  • Shout-Out: As expected in an Orange Ratchet fanfiction, references to shows and other sources of media can be found in this story, mostly when adding elements that fit into a particular canon episode's events.
  • Sixth Ranger: While Rhonda, Phoebe and Nadine form a Power Trio, they often have one or two extra members in their group, both to deal with specific problems or just to hang around. They range from Lila Sawyer, Olga Pataki, even Curly.
  • Song Parody: The seventh chapter had a song parody from Charlotte's Web, and in the Musical Episode, there were song parodies from different movies and theme songs from television shows.
  • Status Quo Is God: Rhonda, when finding out she'll need to wear glasses, fears this will affect the dynamics of her Power Trio (see above) as she'll look like another nerd/geek, Phoebe's position in their group.
  • Story Arc: Though following the first five episodes of 'Hey Arnold', the rest of the story follows a different order in terms of the episodes they are based on.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome / Deconstruction: Some characters end facing real legal consequences that they avoided in canon, like Wolfgang, who gets arrested for destroying a mailbox.
    • A notable amount of the situations/conflicts are settled (namely by Rhonda and Co.) through more safe, more "mundane" (and perhaps more rooted in common sense) ways than in the "main" universe:
      • The fic's version of Arnold Betrays Iggy prevents Arnold just going along with Iggy's demands until he humiliates himself by wearing bunny pajamas since Rhonda and Co. learn soon enough that Sid and Stinky spread word on Iggy's pajamas, leading right into them hunting down the two and dragging them before Arnold and Iggy where they confess that they kept prodding Arnold with questions until they got lucky on Iggy's pajamas.
      • Curly doesn't impersonate the Ghost Bride since the kids held a vote over who got to tell the story (with Rhonda knowing about Curly's actions in the other original timeline hence her voting for him) with Thaddeus winning against Gerald.
      • Dino Spumoni decides to reveal himself alive after faking his death sooner than in the show proper since he's reminded that with his "passing" others can step-in to steal his life (especially stealing his ex-wife).
      • The girls just tell Principal Wartz who mooned him (and Wartz not just looking through the school's cameras to know who did it is addressed by them being damaged by the flood), both preventing Arnold from getting in trouble and ensuring that Harold, Stinky, and Sid don't lose the trust they would've lost if he snitched on them.
      • Rhonda took a picture of the old pink-haired peg-legged woman who accidentally took the money bag and quickly enough showed it to Sid and Gerald, saving Arnold from getting accused of just stealing the money.
      • Nadine points how dangerous it is for a group of pre-teen girls to just meet with an adult male singer (Ronnie Matthews) who's a total stranger to them, even suggesting that he might be a pedophile.
  • Take a Third Option: Rhonda's intervention in many of Arnold and Gerald's adventures, along with Phoebe and Nadine, offers alternative options and points of view on how to solve the problem at hand. While usually solving these problems in sensitive, safe ways, they also result in more than one Negated Moment of Awesome.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: OR's Rhonda is really Helga's essence (or really just parts of it) that went into the body of the real Rhonda, forcing her being into storage as "Rhonda" lives her life.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Rhonda and her friends are much more involved in the series' problems and adventures, making them much more resourceful and adventurous.
  • Trickster Mentor: Deep Voice's role on Rhonda's dreams.
  • Unwanted Glasses Plot: Like in the canon episode of the series, Rhonda does get glasses. However, this plot then turns into a "special" episode where Arnold, Nadine and Phoebe compliment Rhonda's new glasses, Arnold noting that she looks "cute" in glasses. She decides to keep wearing them for the duration of the series.
  • Unwitting Pawn: It turns out Helga was this for a demonic force (Solara/Sharlene), who used her sorrow and bitterness at her life to manipulate the pawn into ensuring she was never born. Telling Helga she can live a "better" life through aiding her and so tricking her into accidentally tripping Miriam down some stairs (leading right into a miscarriage).
  • Wham Line: While fans already have already deduced Deep Voice's identity, this line from Episode 100 fits in-universe...
    "Hello, Rhonda. My name is... Helga."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: This is discussed in terms of Tucker Wittenberg, from the episode "Benchwarmer". Rhonda, Nadine and Phoebe, along with the help of Curly, decide to investigate the matter... learning along the way that this is not a normal world they are living in.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Most of chapter 122 is composed of flashbacks.