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Hey Arnold!
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The first season of the Hey Arnold! series consists of 48 quarter-hour episodes and 2 half-hour specials, making it the longest season of the series.

Episodes from this season are distinguishable from later episodes due to the differences in animation and the Games Animation card at the end of each episode.

Episodes

# Title card Title Original air date (United States)
1 Title-DowntownAsFruits "Downtown as Fruits" October 7, 1996
Arnold and Gerald try to skip out on the school play that Helga is in charge of.
Title-EugenesBike "Eugene's Bike" October 7, 1996
Arnold accidentally destroys Eugene's brand new bike, so he tries to make it up to Eugene by taking him out on a day of fun, but clumsy Eugene keeps getting into accidents.
2 Title-LittlePinkBook "The Little Pink Book" October 23, 1996
Helga's diary is lost and then found by Arnold and Gerald.
Title-FieldTrip "Field Trip" October 23, 1996
The class go on a field trip to the aquarium where Arnold wants to see Lockjaw, an old sea turtle.
3 Title-ArnoldsHat "Arnold's Hat" October 30, 1996
Helga steals Arnold's hat to complete her bubble gum statue in the shape of his head.
Title-StoopKid "Stoop Kid" October 30, 1996
The gang's football ends up on the stoop where Stoop Kid lives.
4 Title-HelgasMakeover "Helga's Makeover" November 6, 1996
All the girls in fourth grade are invited to Rhonda's slumber party except for Helga, so she gets herself a makeover to be a girly girl.
Title-TheOldBuilding "The Old Building" November 6, 1996
Arnold is caught in the middle for the problem of how the Circle Theater ready to be torn down yet.
6th Grade Girls title card "6th Grade Girls" October 16, 1996
Arnold and Gerald take 6th Grade Girls Maria and Connie to the school dance, upsetting their boyfriends.
Title-TheBaseball "The Baseball" October 16, 1996
Arnold and Gerald go to the baseball stadium for Mickey Kaline's retirement.
Title-Heat "Heat" November 4, 1996
On a hot day, Arnold and Gerald must flee from the heat.
Title-Snow "Snow" November 4, 1996
On a cold day, Grandpa Phil teaches Arnold work ethic while 4th graders play without him in the snow.
7 Title-OperationRuthless "Operation: Ruthless" October 14, 1996
Helga tries to prevent Arnold from meeting his crush, Ruth McDougal, at the annual Cheese Fair.
Title-TheVacantLot "The Vacant Lot" October 14, 1996
Arnold and the other fourth graders fix a vacant lot for their baseball field, but it is soon taken over by the neighborhood adults.
8 Title-TheList "The List" October 9, 1996
Arnold attempts to do everything on the legendary "List for a Kid's Perfect Saturday", but all of his plans go horribly wrong.
Title-HauntedTrain "Haunted Train" October 9, 1996
Phil tells Arnold's gang a scary story about the haunted train, but during that investigiation at night, it turns out to be driven by an old man.
9 Title-Mugged "Mugged" November 11, 1996
After Arnold gets mugged on the street, Gertie teaches him how to do kung-fu.
Title-RoughinIt "Roughin' It" November 11, 1996
Grandpa takes Arnold and Gerald on a weekend camping trip
10 Title-Door16 "Door #16" November 13, 1996
Arnold is given a package, which is for the mysterious Mr. Smith, and the boarders become curious about figuring out what it is.
Title-ArnoldAsCupid "Arnold as Cupid" November 13, 1996
Oskar Kokoshka moves in with Arnold after an argument with his wife Suzie, so Arnold must play cupid in order to make them reunite.
11 Title-Benchwarmer "Benchwarmer" October 21, 1996
Arnold and his friends play on a basketball team led by Coach Wittenburg, who tells the team to pass the ball to just his son, Tucker.
Title-CoolJerk "Cool Jerk" October 21, 1996
Arnold makes friends with a cool older boy named Frankie G., but he soon discovers the real reason why this guy likes him so much.
12 Title-DasSubway "Das Subway" November 18, 1996
The gang encounters trouble while traveling on the subway.
Title-WheezinEd "Wheezin' Ed" November 18, 1996
The gang travels to Elk Island to find a pirate treasure said to be haunted by a gangster with a breathing problem.
13 Title-TutoringTorvald "Tutoring Torvald" October 28, 1996
13-year old math bully Torvald comes along and Arnold must tutor him.
Title-GeraldComesOver "Gerald Comes Over" October 28, 1996
Gerald visits Arnold's boarding house and meets the eccentric boarders.
14 Title-SpellingBee "Spelling Bee" November 20, 1996
Arnold and Helga represent P.S. 118 in the city spelling bee finals, where Arnold eyes the $500 prize so he can buy a new electronic keyboard, but Helga's father is so sure Helga will win that not only has he cleared space on the wall normally full of Olga's awards, he's promised to give away beepers if she doesn't win.
Title-PigeonMan "Pigeon Man" November 20, 1996
After his carrier pigeon Chester gets sick, Arnold confronts a man that has known and trusted pigeons all his life.
15 Title-OlgaComesHome "Olga Comes Home" November 25, 1996
Helga's sweet older sister Olga returns home from college, so she must ruin one of her grades to sadden her.
Title-SallysComet "Sally's Comet" November 25, 1996
Arnold and Gerald mail in cereal box tops to receive a telescope so they can see the well-known interstellar event known as Sally's Comet.
16 Title-AbnerComeHome "Abner, Come Home" November 27, 1996
Arnold's pet pig, Abner, goes missing, then he announces a search party to find him in time.
Title-TheSewerKing "The Sewer King" November 27, 1996
Arnold accidentally drops a watch for his Grandpa Phil in a gigantic hole being dug for new sewer pipes, so he and Gerald must go down there to retrieve it, only to find that it's in possession of the Evil Sewer King.
17 Title-FalseAlarm "False Alarm" December 23, 1996
Eugene is framed for pulling the school's fire alarm, and it's up to a student jury to vote on the verdict. But Arnold's the only one who believes that Eugene is innocent.
Title-WorldRecords "World Records" December 23, 1996
Arnold and his friends try to get into the Guinness Book of Records.
18 Title-MagicShow "Magic Show" December 9, 1996
Arnold picks Helga to be in his magic act, but when Helga decides to trick him by running off during his disappearing trick, she knocks herself out and dreams of a world where no one misses her now that she's gone.
Title-24HoursToLive "24 Hours to Live" December 9, 1996
Arnold accidentally knocks Harold out during a baseball game, and the bully gives Arnold 24 hours to live before he beats him into a pulp.
19 Title-PartTimeFriends "Part Time Friends" November 30, 1998
Arnold and Gerald's friendship hits a snag while working at Mrs. Vitello's flower shop.
Title-RunawayFloat "Runaway Float" November 30, 1998
After creating an idea for a parade float, Arnold is confident of it showing up in a parade. Helga gets her dad to fund the float, but he turns it into a giant advertisement, and endangers all of the other kids in the process.
20
Title-ArnoldsChristmas
"Arnold's Christmas" December 11, 1996
For Christmas, Arnold tries to reunite Mr. Hyunh with his long-lost daughter.
21 Title-HelgasBoyfriend "Helga's Boyfriend" November 5, 1997
Helga hires Stinky to be her boyfriend to try to make Arnold jealous. It backfires when Stinky develops a crush on Helga.
Crush on Teacher Title Card "Crush on Teacher" November 5, 1997
Arnold develops a crush on Miss Felter, a substitute teacher.
22 Title-HallMonitor(HA) "Hall Monitor" November 10, 1997
Phoebe becomes hall monitor, but she becomes overwhelmed by the "power".
Title-HaroldsBarMitzvah "Harold's Bar Mitzvah" November 10, 1997
Harold runs away from his Bar Mitzvah, thinking he will retain his childhood this way.
23 Title-CoachWittenberg "Coach Wittenberg" November 12, 1997
Arnold and his friends get Coach Wittenberg to be their new bowling coach.
Title-FourEyedJack "Four-Eyed Jack" November 12, 1997
The ghost of a former boarding house resident is believed to have been causing strange occurrences in there when Arnold and Gerald find an old pair of glasses believing to have belonged to him.
24 Title-TourDePond "Tour de Pond" November 24, 1997
Arnold and a descendant of his grandpa's arch enemy, Rex Smythe-Higgins, compete in a boat race.
Title-TeachersStrike "Teachers' Strike" November 24, 1997
P.S. 118 teachers go on strike because of inadequate funding; Arnold and his friends are on cloud nine, only to find out that every lost school day will be taken from their summer vacation.
25
Title-ArnoldsValentine
"Arnold's Valentine" February 12, 1997
On Valentine's Day, Arnold manages to arrange two dates; one with Ruth, the sixth grader he likes, and one with his French pen pal Cecile (actually a disguised Helga) – only for the real Cecile to suddenly appear and Arnold to discover what Ruth is really like.
26 Title-Biosquare "Biosquare" December 1, 1997
Arnold and Helga have to work together along in a science assignment for 24 hours in the Sunset Arms greenhouse.
Title-Partners "Partners" December 1, 1997
Dino Spumoni moves into the Sunset Arms after renouncing his songwriter, Don Reyonlds, who also moves there.

Trivia

  • This season was animated by three different animation studios. The first 16 episodes were animated by Hong Ying Animation and Hung Long Animation, while the remaining 10 episodes were animated by Wang Film Productions. These last ten episodes look noticeably different from the previous sixteen.
  • This season looks noticeably different from later seasons in the art and animation departments. The animation itself is of somewhat lower quality, and many characters look much different and less detailed compared to later episodes. For example, Helga's pigtails are longer and thinner, Arnold's head looks like a blimp, and many characters have very thin arms. The designs were improved upon over the course of the season.
  • Several things seen in this season aren't present in later seasons, such as Arnold's daydreaming tendencies (which originated with the original claymation shorts), and several characters such as Lana Vail and Mr. Smith.
  • In the US, Nickelodeon aired only 20 out of the 26 episodes produced for this season as part of its run. Episodes 21, 22, 23, 24 and 26 were held over and aired at the end of Season 2 in late 1997, and episode 19 was held over until 1998, and was aired as part of Season 3. Other countries saw all 26 episodes aired.

Note about Episodes 19 and 26

  • There exists two versions of episodes 19 and 26. The versions that were aired and released in the U.S. have "Part Time Friends" paired with "Biosquare", and "Runaway Float" paired with "Partners". However, in the international versions, "Part Time Friends" is paired with "Runaway Float", and "Biosquare" is paired with "Partners".
    • In fact, most U.S. TV listings say Part Time Friends / Runaway Float and Biosquare / Partners, respectively. This, along with the less detailed animation in "Runaway Float" (which indicates it was produced earlier on), and differences in the end credits between versions, raises the possibility that these international versions are actually the originals, and the versions used for the U.S. broadcast are alternate, edited versions.
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