Ruth P. McDougal is a sixth grade 11-12 year old student at P.S. 118. It is unknown what class she is in. Ruth is Arnold's crush in the first season of the show. Arnold was completely in love with her, but Ruth had no idea that Arnold even existed. Although Ruth did not know much of Arnold's existence throughout the show, however in the episode "Operation Ruthless", she did indeed express some interest towards Arnold by smiling at him when they are both on the Go-Karts, as well as in "Snow" when she smiled at Arnold after he scores a goal in ice hockey.
Ruth is a sixth grade girl. She appears to have a tall lanky frame and is pubescent. Her feet seem quite large. She wears a light blue sweater with a pearl necklace. Her skirt is plaid, and she wears saddle shoes. She has a semi-football shaped head and brown hair shoulder length hair styled in two long hanging pigtails in the back of her head. She wears two pearl studded earrings. Her most distinguishing feature is her smile (she has braces).
Relationship with Arnold
Arnold spends a lot of time trying to come up with ways to get closer to Ruth. In "Arnold's Valentine" he finally gets his chance. He gives her a valentine and sets up a blind date with her at a restaurant. The only problem is that his French pen pal Cecile, is meeting him the same night. Arnold has to juggle back and forth between Ruth and Cecile (Their restaurants are right across the street from each other.). Ruth treats Arnold like a nobody throughout the episode, and eventually falls for a busboy instead and leaves with him. Arnold realizes that he didn't really know much about Ruth and lets his crush get the best of him. He realizes that Ruth wasn’t who he thought she was and that they were never meant for each other.
Ruth effectively vanishes for unknown reasons after season two, (most likely due to the fact that her main purpose on the show was that she was Arnold's crush, but since he got over her that ended her role) but makes appearances every now and then like being shown in awe at Arnold's geek party in "Cool Party". She makes an appearance in "Hey Harold!" where she is hit on by Sid at Rhonda's party. She is replaced by Lila Sawyer as Arnold's crush and Helga's envy.
At the end of the episode "Love and Cheese", Ruth is seen with a boy leaving the cheese festival. She looks back and sees Arnold with Lila and smiles seeing that he found another girl.
- Ruth is shown walking with Helga, Phoebe, Rhonda, Nadine and Sheena in the title sequence, even into the 5th season, after she disappears from the show. It is also odd because she never hangs with the main girls of the show.
- Ruth is sort of like a female doppelganger of Arnold. She has a football shaped head, the same shaped eyes, a blue shirt with a plaid skirt (like Arnolds plaid undershirt resembles a skirt.). Her hair dangles down in two tufts on both sides of her head, likes Arnold's does when it's slicked back.
- Sid may in fact also have a crush on Ruth, as he is the one who get's placed with her in the Tunnel of Love Ride in "Operation: Ruthless". He says his well known saying when messing with girls "So, nice night huh?" and put's his arm around her. He again flirts with her at the punch bowl at Rhonda's party in "Hey Harold!", saying his pickup line once again, while she looks irritated at him and eventually walks away.
- Even though Arnold likes her, the rest of the characters (minus Gerald and Sid) don't know about her (or the fact that she even exists) and they seem indifferent towards her, but she is despised by Helga (due to the fact that she was Arnold's crush).
- In the Valentine's Day episode. Arnold tells Gerald how Ruth gave up her own seat on the bus. For a woman who was carrying a watermelon.
- It's unknown if she and the waiter from "Arnold's Valentine" are still dating, but it's presumed that they broke up when Ruth was shown in "Hey Harold" and "Rhonda's Party" without him.
- In "Love and Cheese" she is briefly seen in the cafeteria as one of the people staring at Helga for laughing very loud in front of everyone. Also later on in the episode near the end when Arnold and Lila are heading out of the cheese festival she is seen walking in front of them. When Arnold asks if Lila likes him likes him she stares at them briefly then turns around. However Arnold and Lila pay no attention to her.
- Ruth, in some episodes, appears to have blue eyes. She was the only character in the show to have visible colored eyes.
- In the Hungarian dub Ruth's name was changed to Roze in some episodes because the word "rút" means ugly in Hungarian.
- When Ruth is seen laughing in The Jungle Movie, she no longer has her signature braces, meaning she had gotten them off at some point before the events of the movie.
- 2a. The Little Pink Book
- 6. Heat / Snow
- 7a. Operation: Ruthless
- 17a. False Alarm
- 18a. Magic Show
- 20. Arnold's Christmas
- 21a. Helga's Boyfriend
- 25. Arnold's Valentine (first lines)
- 39b. What's Opera, Arnold? (last lines)
- 42a. Curly Snaps
- 49b. Hey Harold!
- 52b. Cool Party
- 67a. Helga's Parrot (seen in picture)
- 68a. Love and Cheese
- 91a. Harold Vs. Patty
- Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie
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