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Recap / Hey Arnold S 5 E 98 April Fools Day

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Airdate: April 1, 2002

Arnold temporarily blinds Helga in an April Fools Prank, but after regaining her eyesight she still fakes it so Arnold, who feels he owes her, will spend more time with her, as well as take her to the April Fools Prom.

Tropes found in April Fool's Day

  • Animation Bump: Due to this episode (and "The Journal") being produced over a year after the rest of season 5, the animation is arguably better than even Hey Arnold! The Movie.
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  • April Fools' Day: Obviously.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Arnold spends most of the episode being Phil and Helga's prank bitch.
    Gerald: [Arnold is] trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind. In fact, you’re the perfect target for an April Fools’ joke.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Grandpa Phil points this out to Arnold when he was surprised that he blinded Helga.
    Phil: So, how’d the prank go, Arnold? Was it a big hit?
    Arnold: No, Grandpa, it was terrible! Helga went blind!
    Phil: So? What’s so terrible about that? Sounds like a total success. Heck, I nearly wet my pants when the same thing happened to Jimmy Kafka.
    Arnold: What?! Grandpa, why didn’t you tell me?
    Phil: What? That I wet my pants? Well that's no big news.
    Arnold: No, that the prank could cause blindness?
    Phil: Arnold, I did. I said it had a BLINDING flash.
  • Jerkass Ball: Both Arnold and Helga are pretty nasty to each other in this episode, especially since it takes place after Hey Arnold! The Movie where Helga confessed her true feelings to Arnold:
    • Arnold at first tries to ignore Helga's constant practical jokes at his expense, but the last straw was making him sit down in a plate of chocolate pudding. He calls Grandpa and asks for his gag gift box that, when opened, would temporarily blind the person who opened it. He gives it to Helga, claiming it's a belated birthday present (coincidentally, her birthday was the previous week). Creates a bit of a Fridge tearjerker when you realize that Arnold knew she'd believe his lie due to her feelings for him blinding her judgment. On the other hand...
    • After the prank succeeds, Helga pretends to still be blind and practically tortures Arnold in every way imaginable for the remainder of the episode: "accidentally" hitting him with her walking stick, making him carry her across the street, almost getting them run over by a cab, making him do her homework and constantly reminding him of the fact that she's blind all because of him.
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    • Then when Arnold discovers she's faking, he aggressively dances and flirts with her for a bit, before tossing her in the pool. Then Helga pulls him down with her when he tries to help her out.
    • Even Phoebe takes hold of the ball for a moment. When she finds out that Helga's elaborate prank, you might expect her to be appalled at Helga for tormenting Arnold. Instead, she commends Helga and agrees to keep quiet so Helga can reveal the truth in front of the entire dance and further embarrass Arnold. She even laughs as she tells Helga that she's impressed with her "brilliant April Fool's prank."
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • Francesca Marie Smith's voice for Helga had been gradually deepening since season 4, but here she sounds like a grown woman and Helga's only supposed to be nine!
    • Christopher Walburg's voice for Stinky is also considerably deeper.