"Hey Arnold!" Theme Song (HQ) Episode Opening Credits Nick Animation

From left to right: Helga, Arnold, and Gerald.

The main characters. From left to right: Sid, Gerald, Stinky, Arnold, Harold, Eugene, Brainy, Sheena, Rhonda, Helga, Phoebe and Nadine.

Hey Arnold! is a Nicktoon created by Craig Bartlett for Nickelodeon, which originally ran from 1996 to 2004. The show's premise focuses on a fourth grader named Arnold who lives with his grandparents in a large city. Episodes center on his experiences navigating big city life while dealing with the problems he and his friends encounter, including urban legends.

The series' pilot, which was later reworked into the episode "24 Hours to Live", was shown before Harriet the Spy in theaters. The series debuted on Nickelodeon on October 7th, 1996 with the episodes Downtown as Fruits/Eugene's Bike.

The show spun off a theatrical film, Hey Arnold!: The Movie (which was actually originally produced as a 3-part episode), and a made-for-TV movie, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie (which, ironically, was supposed to originally be a theatrical film).


Animator Craig Bartlett graduated from Anacortes High School and obtained a degree in communications from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. During high school and college, he studied painting and sculpture at the Museum Art School in Portland, and his first job after college was at Will Vinton Productions, a claymation house. Originally, Bartlett intended to become a painter "in the 19th-century sense", but he became interested in animation during a trip to Italy. In 1987, while working on Pee-wee's Playhouse, he created claymation cutaways about a character named Penny and her friend Arnold.

Six years later, Bartlett was teamed up with five writers from Rugrats to develop animation projects for Nickelodeon. These meetings were generally difficult and the writers became frustrated; Bartlett recalled: "Our ideas were OK, but such a large and motley group couldn't get far at pitch meetings. Network execs got migraines just counting us coming in the door." As a last resort, Bartlett played the "Penny" tapes, intending to highlight the Penny character. However, the executives were more impressed by Arnold, despite him being a minor character.


The show stars fourth grader Arnold Shortman, a boy who lives with his paternal grandparents, Phil and Gertrude, proprietors of the Sunset Arms Boarding House, in the fictional city of Hillwood. In each episode, Arnold, often accompanied by his best bud Gerald, often helps a schoolmate solve a personal problem, or encounters a predicament of his own. The show also frequently focuses on Arnold's classmate, Helga Pataki, who often treats Arnold cruelly and bullies him constantly. However, a recurring theme of the show is the fact that Helga only pretends to dislike Arnold to hide the fact that she has possessed a profound, Shakespearean-in-magnitude love for him for years.

Cast and Characters

Main article: List of Hey Arnold! characters


Main article: Hey Arnold! episode list
Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 26 October 7, 1996 December 7, 1998
2 14 September 21, 1997 November 3, 1997
3 20 August 31, 1998 May 10, 2000
4 20 March 10, 1999 June 21, 2000
5 20 March 18, 2000 June 8, 2004

Broadcast history

1997 Buckeye CableSystem Hey Arnold! ad.jpg

Country Channel
Flag usa logo.gifUnited States
  • Nickelodeon
    • Original run: October 7, 1996-June 8, 2004
    • Reruns, June 9, 2004-December 6, 2007
  • NickToons (May 1, 2002-November 24, 2007, February 22, 2018-September 20, 2020)
  • TeenNick (September 2011-present/United States)

Home media

Main article: Hey Arnold! videography


External links

This show has a wiki of its own: Hey Arnold! Wiki.

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