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Fridge Brilliance

  • The episode "Arnold Visits Arnie" sees Arnold go to his cousin Arnie's house, where everything is the inverse of Arnold's neighborhood, including backwards caricatures of his friends. Lulu (Lila) is seductive and shrewd, Stumpy (Stinky) is short, well-spoken, and articulate, Fifi (Phoebe) is unintelligent, etc... until you get to Hilda (Helga). Hilda is poetic, creative, and romantic. All of these qualities, however, also apply to Helga, because the kids in Arnie's neighborhood aren't necessarily the opposite of the kids in Arnold's neighborhood, but actually the opposite of how Arnold perceives them. This also gives precedence to the fact that Arnold and Helga would get along extremely well if Helga acted more like she's perhaps naturally inclined to, instead of hiding behind her bully facade to avoid being outed as having feelings for Arnold.
    • Lulu might be a way for Arnold's subconscious to tell him that having Lila like-like him might not be a good idea after all.
  • 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 around school her mom sleeps after drinking smoothies... and it doesn't sound that bad. This also mirrors how some adults (at the time) would have referred to alcoholic drinks as something else so their kids don't say their parents drink.
    • As a double (or perhaps triple) whammy, some drinks like Pina Coladas, Mudslides, or Daiquiris can easily be considered "Smoothies".
  • Lila and Olga sing "Moonlight Bay" in "Big Sis" when they go sailing. Lila learned the song in Mr. Simmons's class a few episodes earlier for the school concert.
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  • 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.
    • Actually he was given to Arnold's parents by the Green-Eyed People as a wedding present.
  • Once one recognizes that Helga has an intelligent aspect to her personality (aside from being bully-some in public and poetic in private), it becomes fitting that Ruth turns out to a Brainless Beauty. She's meant to be a foil for Helga. Ruth seemed to be everything Arnold wanted, but lacked the brains to back up her appearance. In contrast, Helga may act like a jerk to Arnold, but her intelligence practically matches his.

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  • Why is Helga so disgusted with Rhonda when she dumps Curly in public? She understands Curly as she feels the same way about Arnold as he did for Rhonda. The break-up probably really hit home for her. Arnold doing that to her would destroy her so she understands how cruel it was of Rhonda.
  • Dino Spumoni is a Frank Sinatra Expy who is an old, washed-up has been. Dino could be a Meaningful Name abbreviation for Dinosaur, meaning he's old.
    • Dino Spumoni seems to be a mashup of both Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. The Frank Sinatra elements include his musical style, and (this one is more convoluted) if you remember from the Christmas episode where Helga gets a pair of Nancy Spumoni snow boots. Frank Sinatra had a daughter named Nancy who performed the song "These Boots Are Made For Walking". The Dean Martin elements include that he had a partner (Jerry Lewis) that he was estranged from for many years, but eventually made up with. Also, Dean Martin's fan nickname was "Dino". Both men were members of the Rat Pack and performed together many times.
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  • It's apparent Oskar Kokoshka and his wife Suzie are only married so he can stay in the United States. In "Gerald Comes Over" when Suzie and Oskar are arguing, she says she should have listened to her mother caused she tried to warn her (probably of Oskar's intentions). Later in the episode when everyone in the boarding house is at the dinner table Oskar says to Suzie "More soup my little green card?"
  • In some episodes Harold's family is seen drinking what looks like wine with dinner, and Harold has a glass too. It's been established Harold is Jewish and it's common for Jewish families (including the children) to have a glass with a meal.
  • In "Oskar Can't Read?" during one scene in Oscar's apartment we see their TV in the background and the screen is broken. Oskar and Susie do struggle financially, and this could be due to them fighting and Susie throwing things (like in "Arnold as Cupid" and "Gerald Comes Over")
  • In the episodes "Weird Cousin" and "Arnold Visits Arnie" we meet Arnold's strange cousin Arnie who comes from the country. Lila is also a country girl herself, which could be one reason she fell for him.
  • In "Helga on the Couch", Mr. Simmons gets nervous when he learns that the school psychologist will be observing his class, and wants to make sure she's observing the students and not him. Word of God says Mr. Simmons is gay, and he was afraid she might out him.
  • When Phoebe is hall monitor, she begins giving detentions left and right, but apparently Gerald got it worse. She is doing exactly the same as Helga, bullying the boy she likes.
  • The series takes on a new life if you look at Helga as the main character and Arnold as the Decoy Protagonist. Hey Arnold! could be her trying to get his attention.
    • If this is indeed a possibility, it's also possible that it (out-of-universe) inspired Arnold's alarm clock, which repeats "Hey Arnold!" until turned off. This would mean he has a heartfelt reminder of Helga in his room at all times. It could also be used by the writers as a representation of Helga calling out to him to give her a chance in a relationship, most likely in the dreams/imagination(s) of Arnold, Helga, or both. Just like a lover wakes up and says "Good morning, darling," Arnold's alarm clock (which is a metaphor for Helga in this wild guess) wakes him by calling his name, since she's a distant lover.
  • What's Helga doing in the opening sequence? Stalking Arnold of course!
  • The fifth grader Wolfgang is much bigger than the fourth graders, despite being a year older than them. It's possible he's been held back a couple years, like Torvald, hence why he's bigger.
  • The shed with the pigeons Helga crashes through in "Arnold's Hat" is might've belonged to Pigeon Man.
    • Another one for that particular episode: Arnold sinks into a deep depression and feels incomplete without his hat. A flashback shows his parents giving him the hat when he was a baby, and later, we learn that Arnold's parents have been missing in action since he was a baby, and just how much he misses them. He probably didn't realize at the time that's the main reason he felt all wrong without the hat!.
  • Helga's complete infatuation with Arnold. What are his qualities? He's thoughtful, diplomatic, selfless, altruistic, compassionate and can admit when he's made a mistake. BASICALLY, HE'S EVERYTHING BIG BOB ISN'T (and everything Helga goes out of her way not to be in public.)
  • Arnold's old teacher Miss Slovak's hair changes colors in between episodes. Sometimes it's brown, sometimes it's gray. This could be due to her dyeing it as opposed to an animation error.
  • Why is Arnold's Grandma playing "Yankee Doodle Dandy" on the piano in the Christmas Episode? "Arnold's Thanksgiving" shows that she mixes holidays up (She celebrates The Fourth of July on Thanksgiving) and this scene could've taken place around Thanksgiving.
  • A couple episodes "Helga and the Nanny" and "The Beeper Queen" shed light on the problems Miriam's alcoholism have caused. In the former Bob mentions she'll be late for her community service job, and he hires a nanny to take care of things while she's away. In the latter Arnold asks if she's gotten her license back. It's implied here she has a DUI, and she got it prior to "Helga and the Nanny." She still hadn't gotten her license back by the time "The Beeper Queen" aired, hence Arnold's comment.
  • Why does Grandpa Phil badmouth Arnie in "Weird Cousin"? Arnie's not his grandson. Arnie has the same football shaped head Arnold has, and anytime we've seen Arnold's mom she has the same shaped head Arnold has. He's a cousin on his mother's side, and Phil is Arnold's paternal grandfather (i.e. from his father's side).
    • Which also explains why the two have almost the same name - we know that Arnold was named after his mother's father, and if they are cousins on that side it would make sense for them both to have been named for the same grandfather.
  • So we have the episode "Hookey", wherein Arnold and Gerald play hookey from school, have a miserable day, and return to school to find that there was a "surprise carnival day" at school. Early on in the episode, Arnold and Gerald were discussing hookey and Principal Wartz accuses them of planning to play hookey. The boys insist they were talking about hockey. Perhaps Wartz knew Arnold and Gerald were lying and pretended to believe that they were indeed talking about hockey, later planning the surprise carnival day to teach them a lesson.
  • In one episode, Helga tells Olga that the bow that Olga thought was "new" was the same bow Helga's been wearing since she was three years old. Helga's bow is the first thing that Arnold mentioned when he showed interest in Helga during their time together in preschool, so she's worn it ever since because she knows Arnold likes it.
  • Arnold hitting Harold in the face while playing baseball in "24 Hours to Live" and knocking the ball out of the park in "The Baseball" when Harold's taunting him could be due to his Dangerous Lumber, from the episode of the same name.
  • In "Pre-teen Scream" Phoebe's favorite pop singer Ronnie Matthews is revealed to be a fraud who lip syncs like Milli Vanilli. The brilliance is that she finds this out at a Greasy Spoon. He's so cheap and a fraud that he doesn't take her and Helga to a better restaurant.
  • In one episode, Helga supposedly suffers from "monkeynucleosis," which is an obvious pun on mononucleosis. "Mono" means "monkey" in Spanish.
  • Crossed with "Fridge Tearjerker", Arnold's joke against Helga in "April Fool's Day" is a Fridge Batman Gambit. The episode takes place after Hey Arnold! The Movie, meaning that Arnold is aware that Helga's in love with him. While Helga may come across as an idiot for falling for such an obvious gag, it was only natural for her to do so. Arnold knows that Helga will buy the "belated birthday present" line if it's coming from him because he knows she can't resist a kind gesture from the boy she adores, so she takes the bait anyway, on the off-chance that it really was a belated birthday present (especially since her birthday coincidentally falls on the week before April first). Instead she gets temporarily blinded, betrayed by her true love. It was actually quite cruel for Arnold to prey on her desires for love only to metaphorically yank her chain after baiting her with false hope (even though he didn't know that the flash would blind her despite Phil telling him it was a blinding flash). No wonder Helga was so desperate for revenge against him.
  • In "School Play," after Helga (playing Juliet) says the line "Go, get thee hence, for I will not away," Stinky (playing the Friar) nonchalantly says, "Okey dokey," and walks away. If you don't know the play, this seems like a funny ad lib by Stinky. Once you've read or seen that scene, however, you see just how accurately that line describes how the Friar's exit is handled. A distraught girl tells him to leave her alone with her husband's dead body, and he... just does! He has no line at that part of the script, but you can easily picture the actor shrugging and saying, "Okay," when he leaves her — his nonsensical exit gives that impression exactly.
  • The name of the teacher of the manners school that Patty and Rhonda attended in one episode is "Madame Parvenu". A parvenu is someone who is trying to adapt themselves to society while denying their origins (usually more humble, since the term is usually used to describe new riches, but it has ben used on other ways, it was used first to descrive Jewish women who married to Christian men to be socially accepted). The fridge comes when that's what both girls tried to do, deny her more brash natures (that are also present in their families) and trying to be more delicate in order to fit into society.
  • The episode "Heat" has Grandma acting sane while everyone else acts insane. The heat has put her back in her own mind while everyone else goes out of theirs.
  • A small case, but in "Married", Arnold's nightmare has him and Helga having three nasty kids. But by contrast, Helga's dream has her and Arnold remaining childless. This could suggest that Helga has no interest in becoming a parent. Dig deeper, and it makes perfect sense; Arnold knows what a good child he turned out to be, and it was partially because he had two excellent parental figures, and would want to give a child the same thing his grandparents gave him, confident that he could emulate them. On the other hand, not only might Helga know deep down that she doesn't have a personality conducive to good parenting, but she also wouldn't want to risk having a child that would end up like Olga or Helga herself, because she knows from experience how horrible that type of life is.
  • During the breakfast scene in The Jungle Movie we see boarders like Ernie, Mr. Hyunh, and Oskar but Oskar’s wife Susie is absent. It’s more than likely she ended up leaving him.
  • Helga has been shown to be jealous of any other girl Arnold has a crush on, but she seems to be especially jealous of Lila, even though Lila only likes Arnold as a friend. In the episode “Arnold & Lila”—the episode in which it is shown how Arnold’s crush on her began—reveals that Helga herself is mostly responsible for it, as she nervously changed a written message from “Arnold loves Helga” to “Arnold loves Lila” and the girls who saw it, including Lila who happened to be there, thought Arnold wrote it. It’s possible one of the reasons Helga is so jealous of Arnold crushing on Lila is because it’s mostly her own fault. Basically, Helga is trying to end what she started.
  • Although Arnold has made it clear to Lila that he has a crush on her, Lila only likes him as a friend. In many episodes, Arnold tries unsuccessfully to get Lila to like-like him. In the episode “School Play” Lila got Helga to confess that SHE loves Arnold. One of the reasons Lila continues to only like Arnold as a friend may be because she knows Helga loves him.
  • Despite being called "Deconstructing Arnold", Arnold does not appear a lot in the episode. That's because the episode is not just focusing about him, it's also focusing on the world he lives and his impact on it.
    • Arnold's tendency to intervene in other people's business causes them to be heavily dependent on him and not learning from their past mistakes since they more or less get lighter punishments or no punishments at all. If any of them do request Arnold to stop it, he will do it and will stay that way despite how much he feels it's wrong.
    • As consequence for this, the kids (the same kids Arnold helps) who call out on Arnold's flaws receives their punishments in full effect. Rhonda's fake love letter prank backfires since Curly could track the letter back to her and would stalk her without mercy. Sid's theft of Lorenzo's phone and flimsy justifications would still make him solely responsible in case it breaks and Lorenzo would not be happy if he sees his possession that way. Harold and Stinky do pranks they think are not so harmless but they are still harmful especially for a jinx like Eugene. Considering the injuries Eugene took, the boys already deduce that they will get brought into court or get arrested.
    • Helga's status as the cruel but actually misunderstood stalker gets deconstructed as well. Since she spent a large portion of her time in the school as a bully, that's how everybody views her. The only reason nobody told her off is because Arnold held them back but since Arnold is gone thanks to Helga, that is a different matter. The status quo cannot be returned and some of the people Helga hurt will retaliate against her, even getting violent based on statements by Rhonda and Harold who has the wealth and strength to back it up. Helga looks at this and realized she is done for unless she apologizes to Arnold.

Fridge Horror

  • Not outright scary, but the home life of the Pataki family on Hey Arnold! gets a lot creepier when you think back to it years later with a better understanding of how much Abusive Parents can screw a person up. Her most tear jerking day in the limelight was where her heartbreaking Freudian Excuse was shown in full. On her first day of preschool, her parents were so enamored with Olga's piano playing that they didn't realize they had to take Helga to preschool, so Helga had to walk there herself; on the way, it began to rain and her lunch was stolen by two rottweilers. Then Arnold gave her his umbrella, possibly the first kind action toward her in her life. So if that's how neglectful her childhood was, how was her mom's pregnancy and her overall infancy?
    • Miriam's pregnancy was probably normal (i.e., she didn't drink while pregnant with Helga), but the infancy probably was a living nightmare, knowing what was already established by "Helga on the Couch."
  • In the first episode featuring Olga, Helga changes one of her grades from an A to a B+ out of jealousy. Olga goes into a depression, spending days doing nothing but lay in bed with Lacrymosa playing on repeat, sobbing and verbally abusing herself. Years later, upon rethinking that episode, this troper had a thought: if that's Olga's reaction to a B+, what would she do if she got an F?
    • I fear she might do the unthinkable.
      • The Fridge Horror deepens when you realize that Olga's life pretty much revolves around her grades, for which she receives praise from her parents. On some level, she must realize just how miserable Helga is, and know that if her grades ever slipped, she would suffer the same fate. While that's horrifying enough on its own, one has to wonder: what exactly did her parents do to instill this sort of thinking in her?
      • Correction: What did her dad do to instill that thinking in her. Mama Pataki doesn't seem the sort that would care if one of her girls got a B+.
      • Oh it gets worse, there's a scene with Bob muttering "B+" under his breath, now it COULD be disbelief, or it could be that he's disappointed that Olga got a B+.
      • More support for this, when Olga steels herself away in her room after thinking she got a B+, her dad attempts to cheer her up by buying her various presents such as front row tickets to a show. Now at first glance, this seems like Papa Pataki trying to be supportive of his child as any parent would if their child got depressed, however given Olga's perfectionist attitude the consolation gifts may had only reinforced her belief that getting less than an A+ was the end of her world or at least a horrible disaster. Also it never occurs to Bob to tell his daughter that it's ok to have a B+, that they dont care about it and that they love her and arent disappointed despite the fact it would cheer up Olga up immensely and raise her esteem which would indicate that Bob really is disappointed about his daughter's grades.
    • A couple of elements regarding Olga and Helga's relationship that require a few episodes to fully connect. While Olga does love Helga unconditionally, she's not the best at showing it. This is in large part due to the fact that the need to perform for Bob Pataki is so overwhelming, Olga can't show it in a healthy manner. Meanwhile, the treatment Bob and Miriam give Helga warps her perspective and makes Helga only see Olga as either an obstacle or a rival, situation depending. In all likelihood, Olga did always care for Helga and tried to show that, even when Helga was little. However, their parents had already created such a toxic environment that Helga couldn't even comprehend what Olga was doing, and thus Helga didn't even recognize it as kindness - thus, Arnold wasn't the first person to show her kindness; he was just the first person who demonstrated kindness that Helga recognized as such.
    • It's also possible that Olga felt no need to intervene with respect to Helga's not being noticed because she views her as the lucky one. The episode in which Helga changes Olga's grades reveals this. She sits up in bed looking like a disheveled mess with loads of running mascara after Helga confesses that she really did get straight As. Her tone isn't sickeningly sweet, but rather flat and depressing. She explains to Helga that she has to preform all the time "like some kind of wind up doll" and that Helga was "lucky that they didn't even notice her." To top it off, when Helga demands that she tell their parents what she did, she decides to pass and let them think otherwise. She even suggests a little girls day out. If this episode is any indication, Olga is tired of being "Perfect" all of the time. Both sisters envy one another because of how they are treated by their parents.
    • Olga is probably at least 10 years older than Helga (since she's in college when Helga is 9). Considering how neglectful BOTH Bob and Miriam are towards Helga, it's entirely possible than Olga might have been her sister's primary caretaker in infancy, which likely reinforced Bob and Miriam's idealized image of Olga rather than alert them that they weren't properly taking care of their new baby themselves. (Truthfully, it's probably a miracle Helga SURVIVED infancy)
  • In "Olga Gets Engaged", Olga fell for Doug LeSHAM who appears to be a sociopath that would have ruined her life and came way too close to marrying him. His actions during the episode leave no question about what would have happened if they tied the knot. Helga walks in on him during a phone call in which he's declaring his love for someone else and lying to her about his location... The wedding.
    • 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.
  • More Fridge Tear Jerker than horror, is the episode "Magic Show", where Helga wakes up in a world where she no longer exists. 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.
    • To get more specific: the dream proves that Helga knows deep down that her mean behavior is not well-received by her friends and classmates. It also hints that Helga might actually blame herself for the dysfunction in her family (which does really happen to kids with problematic families) and that she is fully aware that mistreating Arnold will eventually destroy her chances to be with him.
      • That last point gets more depressing the more you think about it: it's very possible Helga believes that her bullying front could very well ruin any chance she had to be with Arnold, and that she will have to watch Arnold date (and eventually marry) another girl, and she will only have herself to blame for it.
  • 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 could be 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 if this is indeed the case the writers of the show probably were told by the Nick censors not to allude to the fact that Pookie had dementia, much like with Miriam and her alcoholism (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.
    • It should be noted that this theory might not be true, since there are a few hints that Pookie's actually Obfuscating Insanity. For example, getting serious in "Parents Day", and escaping for jail and driving a bulldozer in Hey Arnold! The Movie.
  • 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 abuse/violence.
  • Helga was totally willing to chainsaw a parrot. Just... think about that for a minute. It really speaks to just how afraid she is of anyone knowing that she has feelings for Arnold.
  • Word of God states that Arnold's teacher Mr. Simmons is gay. In a few episodes like "The Aptitude Test" Big Bob Pataki is a jerk to him and refers to him as a throw pillow. Bob's not the nicest guy in the world but here he comes across as homophobic.
    • To be fair, Bob may have been targeting him for his "wimpy" personality, rather than his sexual orientation.
    • Helga also calls him a throw pillow in (I think) a separate episode. What's that gotta tell you?
  • In "Student Teacher" Olga shares a story about how Helga wet the bed until she was seven years old, possibly the result of her abusive and neglectful upbringing.
    • Or because Helga is just a kid and sometimes kids wet the bed until they're even older than seven.
      • With wetting the bed age seven is when you need to start worrying about your kid maybe being a psychopath.
      • Not to mention "until she was seven" implies a consistent or frequent bedwetting issue. Normally that's the kind of thing that indicates problems with some aspect of toilet training, but since it's an embarrassing secret and at least Arnold has known Helga since preschool, it's unlikely that anyone would be surprised to hear she wet the bed if she was wetting herself in first or second grade. Since we know what kind of home life she had, it's much more likely that it's a nod to the stresses Helga had to cope with when she was little, and Olga's behavior is just another reason why Helga can't trust her enough to see her as a positive influence.
  • In "Helga on the Couch" Dr. Bliss has a dartboard on the door to her office. If someone opened the door when a game of darts was going on, they could lose an eye.
    • However, from another perspective, this could be Fridge Brilliance on her part. It is possible that she put the dartboard up on the door so other people who work in the building don't interrupt her during her therapy sessions. She doesn't even need to play darts for this to work; most people would get the message just by seeing the dartboard on the door. However, if this theory is accurate, we then have the question of why she would need to use a dartboard to make it clear to others not to interrupt her.
  • In "Cool Jerk", when Frankie G. and his gang were trying to force a reluctant Arnold to break into a building for them, there was no one around that could have helped in case Frankie and his friends decided to get violent. If it hadn't been for Gerald's Big Damn Heroes moment, then Arnold could have easily been badly injured or even killed.
  • In "Arnold's Thanksgiving" Arnold and Helga think their Thanksgivings are subpar, but we see Mr. Simmons's is worse. What about someone like Lila? Considering her father had problems with unemployment, it's possible they spend their holiday at a soup kitchen.
  • Pigeon Man's departure gets about ten times more depressing when you realize that the means to which he left were visible on him from the beginning of the episode. From day one, he knew there would come a time when he'd have to leave the city forever.
  • Meta example: I was chatting with a friend and mentioned a fanfic where a college-aged Helga gets a stalker (one who's mentally ill, obsessed with her and eventually gets violent with both her and others, even landing Brainy in the hospital); his response was "Good; she deserves it." Is this thought process common? Yeah; Helga's treatment of Arnold is a bit Double Standard but she never tried to actually cause him real harm.
    • Sadly, yes. Though a quick Google search might make it seem like everyone loves Helga, there are people who dislike Helga for being a stalker and, because, as you stated, her behavior seems a bit Double Standard at times. It's understandable, though not to the rate of people who kill Helga off in their stories.
    • She also bullied Arnold, so while not a psychopath, she wasn't completely harmless to him either.
    • Hey there, another person who doesn't like that much Helga. While I'd know there are some vocal haters that go extreme with their flaming, the majority of us who don't like Helga can explain ourselves perfectly well without wishing harm on her. We don't like her because she acts terribly towards others and the show often romanticizes her actions, painting them as "cute" and "things kids do", and other times tries hard to justify them "well yeah she had a bad childhood that's why she's a jerk nowadays". She often gets away with doing bad, selfish things but only gets away with a slap on the wrist (or just numb slapstick). What we are concerned is how her attitude reflects on Arnold, and we find it baffling how we're supposed to accept that he falls in love with a nasty girl who's only belittled him and threatened him as long as he knew. Helga HAS a sweet and romantic side, but she never shows it, which is her own undoing. There's little there for him to like, and again, we find it concerning how so many people find it "romantic" instead of deeply troubled. We imagine if the genders were reversed, people would loath the couple and deem it abusive (as it happened with Snape and Lily from Harry Potter).
  • Part of the reason that "New Bully on the Block" is so uncomfortable to watch is because of the implications of its ending. Sure, it's a Downer Ending to see the kids getting beat up and kicked off of the field that they built themselves...but what about the last shot of the episode? The football game ends well before sunset, but when we cut to the ending scene of the kids being forcibly hung from the goalposts en mass, it's after dark. How long have they been there, unable to leave? Are Wolfgang and Ludwig just holding them hostage for their own amusement?
  • It was mentioned that a female boarder was meant to have a crush on Arnold. It is surprisingly a good thing Nick put the kibosh on it. Imagine having Arnold's grandparents not realizing that a potential child molester was living right under their noses.
    • Maybe but maybe not, as we don't know how old said female boarder was supposed to be.
    • She was this boarder. She's very clearly an adult.
  • In the end of "Phoebe Skips", Phoebe is replaced by a third grade girl named Siobhan. It's never said if Siobhan found out the 6th grade girls were using her. She could still be being used by the sixth graders.
  • Stinky and Harold deconstructing Eugene's bike in "Deconstructing Arnold." Sure it was meant to be a prank, but what would happen if Eugene got run over and died? Harold and Stinky would have gotten arrested for killing someone.
  • Craig Barlett once hinted that Lila had more of a dark side to her, but we never got to see it in the series for one reason or another. Or so we thought. In Lila's first episode, Helga (and the other girls) subject Lila to some garbage-based torture and Lila seems to just forgive them for it. After Arnold & Lila, she also forgives Arnold and wants to be his friend. We actually don't see much of Lila after this episode... not until School Play, where she finds out Helga is in love with Arnold. After this episode we start to see Lila and Arnold spending more time together. Her dark side could have been her purposely leading Arnold on as a way to hurt both Arnold and Helga and we just never got the closure episode to prove it!

Fridge Logic

  • How much of "Arnold Visits Arnie" was a dream? The episodes ends with Arnold waking up in his room, going to the baseball field where his friends are and Helga says she thought he was visiting his cousin.
    • He may have been planning to visit Arnie, and had a dream about doing it.
  • In "Cool Jerk" Arnold accidentally beans Harold in the face with a dodgeball, Harold tries to beat him up, and the other kids try to stop him. How come they didn't do the same in "24 Hours to Live?" In the latter, they were egging on a fight.
    • The episode "24 Hours to Live" occurred very early in the series, so Arnold may not have been as popular/respected as he was by the time "Cool Jerk" aired.
    • Despite Airing after "Cool Jerk", "24 Hours To Live" is a remake of the pilot episode, making it canonically the first episode of the series, so yeah, this took place before Arnold earned Harold's respect.
  • How come the kids still play baseball in the street after the episode "The Vacant Lot"?
    • "The Vacant Lot" became a proper baseball field. Maybe whenever the kids had to play in the street, it was because another baseball team (like Little League) was using it for a game or for practice.


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