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Show 11 of 25: HEY ARNOLD!
(1996-2004)

it’s about:
Arnold, a fourth grader who lives with his grandparents in a boarding house. The animated series focuses on Arnold navigating big city life as he selflessly helps out his classmates, neighbors and housemates.

my earliest history with the show:
It was in sixth grade when we finally had cable in our house. One of the shows that I got into was Hey Arnold! on Nickelodeon. I liked the series, the characters and the subtle wit and sincere goodness that it had.

why it sticks:
The show, to me, is a classic from my generation. It’s an animated series that isn’t too young; but isn’t too adult either. There is an underlying smartness in the dialogue, which I love. As a bonus, the title character is a good role model… one who helps other people out and sticks to his convictions, despite being so young. The cast of characters around him are likable and entertaining. In addition, the stories are simple; but I never get tired of watching them over and over.

What stuck with me most is the relationship between Arnold and Helga Pataki, a female classmate who treats him like dirt in order to cover up her undying love for him. Helga’s efforts to cover up her feelings bring us into some pretty hilarious situations; and it never gets old.

The show simply resonates in my head as one of those cartoons from my teens that will always stay with me.

best memory:

I couldn’t find a video of it online; but the Romeo and Juliet episode is the most memorable for me. When Helga hears that Arnold is Romeo in the school’s production of the famous Shakespeare play, she schemes to get the part of Juliet, mainly because of the highly-anticipated kissing scene. It’s a great episode that showed the conflict between Helga’s two personas: the one that hates Arnold and the one that LOVES Arnold. It is, from start to finish, hilarious and entertaining.

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