Remembering Hey Arnold!

Does anyone else remember Hey Arnold?

I grew up watching it. I didn’t like it as much as Rugrats, but I still liked it. Recently I started watching it again. I was really surprised to find that now I like that show so much more than I did as a kid, I didn’t realize how much meaning it had and couldn’t appreciate all of the comedy. And I’m sorry but this is gonna be a long one XD, if you don’t feel like reading all of it, please scroll down to the last paragraph, it probably has the most important information.

As a child, I empathized with Helga whenever she was in awkward situations. There was a boy I was mean to. I liked him but I didn’t realize it then, was in denial about that for a pretty long time to. I remember realizing in I think, 7th grade, that if you like someone you should be nice to them… the thought makes me laugh. But I also now find Helga incredibly hilarious. It’s almost like I’m laughing at my past now that I’ve moved forward.

There are people online who are all “why doesn’t she just tell Arnold?” Those people are idiots. I was in her position. You do not tell. You just don’t tell. Not to mention the fact that everyone will make fun of you if they find out. Also, with respect to the show, you wouldn’t have the show if Helga was able to tell him. That was what made it so funny. Who could forget her Arnold shrines or all of the times she broke into his house or how she’d sneak away to take out her locked and fawn over him? It was hilarious, especially how she wished she could be nice to him, and even tried at times, but just couldn’t do it.

But I realized more about Helga from watching the show now. She is quite possibly the best cartoon character who never lived. She doesn’t change who she is to conform to what’s normal, or to win over Arnold. When she dressed up as Lyla she realized that Arnold liked spending time with her because she was being like Lyla, and didn’t want that. She wanted him to like her for who she was. In that episode when she becomes the “it” girl, and she acts nice to get fried, Arnold tells her he liked seeing her act nice, without even a second thought she says she won’t do that anymore because it’s not who she is. There was also that time she girl’d up to go to Rhonda’s party and then realized it was stupid.

Are you familiar with the term tsundere? It’s used to describe a character, often in an anime, who acts rough on the outside, but is really a softy deep down. Normally said character is an attractive female, they normally say things like “Baka! It’s not like I like you or anything! I’m doing this because I want to!” or they’ll be embarrassed to like something that’s cute or a hobby they have or some other stupid thing. It’s funny that the Japanese invented the term, because Helga is by far, the best tsundere ever. I can’t even describe how in words but she is. She puts all others to shame, she does a much better job.

Something else I realized about Helga, is how dysfunctional her family is. As a kid I mostly got the impression that her mom was always tired, and her dad wanted her to be her sister. Now I’m pretty sure her mom was an alcoholic. She was *always* drinking those smoothies. Sometimes she had brief moments of bonding with her family, but they didn’t seem to last long. It’s the perfect explanation as to why she’s such a psycho. Liking Arnold is probably one of the best influences she has in her life because of what a good kid he is. I rewatched the movie, at the end of the movie, he offers Helga an escape from her confession by saying something along the lines of “we were under a lot of pressure, things were intense back there, you really hate me right?” He knows it was the truth, but still gave her the opportunity to save face.

Anyway, moving beyond Helga, Hey Arnold! had so many other memorable characters. As a kid his grandparents were my favorite characters. And who can forget all of the regulars, Gerald, Phoebe, Harold, Rhonda,  Eugene, Brainy, etc. ? But even some of the characters who didn’t show up so much, or only had *one* episode were amazing. I think pigeon man only had one episode, but his episode was probably the most profound in the entire series. I also love how many references they make to Shakespeare and classical music and other things kids simply aren’t being taught in school these days. Hey Arnold! really is an amazing show, but it lacks one thing, a true ending.

Did you know, the movie that aired in theaters was meant for TV, and that the movie that was going to be made for theaters was going to pick up where the last episode of Hey Arnold! left off? The last episode was the one where he found his father’s journal with a map inside. We were going to find out what happened to his parents. But the first movie didn’t make enough money, so they axed it. But the good news, is the shows creator, Craig Bartlett is willing to make the movie if Nickelodeon wants it made. Here’s a link to a facebook group trying to get that movie made. please join it. Hell I’d be more than happy with a hour special at this point. Nickelodeon, if you are reading this, PLEASE MAKE THE JUNGLE MOVIE!


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I absolutely love this post! Hey Arnold! and the Rugrats were such a big part of my childhood. I hated that they never had a true ending to the show. I can’t believe there is a FB group out there for it XD

    Helga was always one of my most favorite characters because she always stuck to her guns. Pretty strong sense of moral judgement for someone who was always trying to be “mean.” lol.

    • 2

      improperintegirl said,

      Join the FB group. THAT MOVIE MUST BE MADE!

      She actually tried to be nice more than anything, she was just incapable. Like she’d try to do something nice for Arnold and then just snap and go back to being mean, and then while fawning over him, ask herself why she had to be that way.

      I find it surprising that she turned out as strong as she did with such a dysfunctional family.

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