Monday, September 17, 2012

Old School Lane's Top 10 Favorite Hey Arnold episodes

To conclude our discussion of Hey Arnold, time to list our favorite episodes. When discussing our favorite episodes, it was kind of hard to find 10. We originally wanted to do 15 of our favorites because there were so many good ones, but we eventually narrowed it down to 10. Here's are my favorites.

10. Pigeon Man

In this episode, Arnold's pigeon gets sick and doesn't know what to do. When he hears about the Pigeon Man from one of Gerald's legends. Arnold wants to go to him, but everyone else says that he's a weirdo. But Arnold goes anyway and finds out that he's a nice man who loves pigeons and is not around people because they're not to be trusted. In the end when Harold and his friends destroy his home, Pigeon Man leaves with a positive message to "wash his berries before eating them" and "flying towards the sun". It's truly a favorite for many people, including me.

9. Stuck in a tree

Eugene gets himself stuck in a tree and ends up getting Arnold and Harold stuck as well. While waiting for Chocolate Boy to get a fire truck to rescue them, they argue and think about what would happen if they were stuck there for 50 years. Seeing Harold marrying a squirrel is so hilarious. In the end, with everything bad going on, Eugene teaches Arnold and Harold to look at the bright side when things seem down.

8. Eugene's Bike

Eugene gets himself a new bike and Arnold accidentally gets it broken. He tries to make amends to Eugene, but it ends up with Eugene having a broken arm, leg, getting his tonsils and spleen removed. But Arnold doesn't give up trying to give Eugene the best day of his life. Eugene, despite him going through physical pain, appreciates everything that Arnold is doing. 

7. Arnold's Christmas

This is one episode that really made me cry. We find out that all Mr. Hyunh wants for Christmas is his long lost daughter. He gave her away to an American soldier during the Vietnam War and has been looking for her ever since. Arnold and Gerald goes to the case worker and he refuses since it's Christmas and he needs to do shopping for his family. They agreed. Meanwhile, Helga is thinking about what to give Arnold for Christmas. When she sees what Arnold and Gerald are doing, she gives away for favorite present in order for Arnold to be happy. In the end, the case worker finds Mr. Hyunh's daughter and everyone's happy. Seeing this picture makes me want to cry right now. Excuse me. *sniff.

6. Longest Monday

In this episode, the 4th graders were about to go through a school tradition that is not a good one. The 5th graders would dump the 4th graders in dumpsters and trash cans. Arnold and his friends run away from the 5th graders trying to escape from them. It's an intense episode that leaves you wanting to know what happens next.

5. Big Sis

In this episode, we see Olga being involved in a sibling program being a big sister to an only child. To Helga's surprise, it's Lila. At first, Helga's happy about it, but then Olga and Lila spent too much time together and Helga's jealous. It's really funny to see Helga angry at two people who she hates a lot spend time together looking happy.

4. Downtown as Fruits

The first episode has Arnold and Gerald being in Helga's play. They don't want to, so they decided to go around the city. They get themselves in a bad situation when they take the money from a group of thieves unintentionally. It was a great start to an excellent series.

3. The Baseball

Arnold hears the news of his favorite baseball player Mickey Kaline retiring. He tries his very best to go to his last baseball game. While he eventually does, he gets the worst seat in the entire stadium. Arnold struggles to see his Kaline play for the final time. It shows the dedication of how to get closer to see our role model, despite the obstacles. 

2. Stoop Kid

For a lot of people, this is one of their favorite episodes. It's the story about a kid simply known as Stoop Kid who has always lived in a stoop of an abadoned apartment. He has never left the stoop and the kids make fun of him for that. Arnold helps him leave the stoop, but Stoop Kid continues to struggle because he feels safe there. It's such a memorable episode despite Stoop Kid not appearing throughout the entire show.

1. The Jungle Movie

Oh wait. They never showed the movie, did they? Damnit! Oh well, here's my real #1.

1. The Train

In this episode, Arnold, Gerald, and Helga go into an abandoned train station and see if Grandpa Phil's story of a haunted train exist. When they go in, a train for some reason does appear and strange things occur in it. From the smell of rotten eggs to the lights flickering to a mysterious person following them around, it makes up for a great episode.

That's my top 10. Now here's Patricia's.

10. Helga's Makeover

In this episode, Helga is the only one in the class who doesn't get invited to Rhonda's all girls party. This is due to the fact that Helga is a huge tomboy and not as feminine as the rest of them. Helga decides to prove them wrong and puts on makeup, does her hair, and puts on a dress and goes to Rhonda's party. The girls are shocked with the changes that Helga goes through and are accepting of it, except Phoebe. She tells Helga that being yourself is what a real person does and that she shouldn't listen to the other girls' advice since that's not who she is. Helga learns a lesson about being yourself and the other girls learn to not worry about growing up so fast.

9. Crabby Author

Arnold wishes to meet his favorite author Egatha Kaufield for a school report he's doing. But it turns out that no one knows where she is or if she's even alive since she hasn't written a book in 10 years. When Arnold finally does find her in a small shack in Elk Island, he finds out that she's a bitter, mean, nasty old woman who has stop believing in herself. She's constantly mean to Arnold telling him to go away. But despite that, Arnold goes back to the island every day and waits for her to talk to him. Eventually she does and is still being mean to him. Arnold never talks back at her and still treats her with respect. Unlike Mickey Kaline in "The Baseball", it shows you that not all of your role models are going to turn out to be nice people. They will be mean and nasty to you. It takes a lot of courage to still keep your cool to someone who is a jerk and Arnold demonstrated that to us beautifully.

8. Grandpa's Sister

When Grandpa Phil would tell Arnold his stories from his youth, he never mentioned anything about another sibling. Well, in this episode, we do. Grandpa's sister Mitzi visits him and stays for a few days due to her house being fixed. Grandpa hates the idea and does whatever he can to get her to leave. Arnold finds out more about why they hate each other. In the end, it's as simply stupid as you can imagine, but completely understandable at the same time. Mitzi's a great character who was voiced by the late Phylis Diller. 

7. Veteran's Day

This is an episode that I feel is very overlooked. Whenever you ask a question to any Hey Arnold fan about what's their favorite holiday episode, they would probably say either the Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas Special. No one has mentioned this one and it's a real shame. In fact, I feel that most people don't even appreciate Veteran's Day at all. But I think this episode shows the real meaning of the day quite well. Arnold and Gerald plan on something special to do for Veteran's Day whether it's the movie theater, golfing, or the aquarium. Grandpa Phil and Martin Johanssen, Gerald's father, had both fought in wars in their youth and decide to do something special to help remind Arnold and Gerald that Veteran's Day is not an extended weekend. They drive to the Washington Memorial Site and tell their stories about their time in the war. For Arnold, he doesn't believe his grandfather's story. For Gerald, he was disappointed that his father didn't fight in the war at all. He was just a file clerk. But they soon learn the real meaning of Veteran's Day. A day to celebrate the men and women who risked their lives for this country.

6. Pigeon Man/Stoop Kid

Yeah, yeah. Predictable, I know. Kevin said why he liked it and I agree. Next.

5. Arnold's Christmas

Same reason that Kevin liked it. Moving on.

4. Chocolate Boy

Talk about an episode that shows the negative side of addiction. We've all seen Chocolate Boy as a minor character who simply loves chocolate. No big deal, right? Wrong! We learn all about this character in this episode. Chocolate Boy loves chocolate more than anything. When he's constantly teased by Wolfgang and his gang about going two weeks without chocolate with a reward of a 10 pound bag, Chocolate Boy accepts. He asks Arnold to help him not think about chocolate and it's not easy. When the two weeks are up, he relapses and eats chocolate like crazy, even digging for some in the dumpster. Chocolate Boy knows he has a severe problem and talks to Arnold again about helping him out. We find out why he loves chocolate and surprisingly, the story's a bit sad. In the end, he no longer eats chocolate and is free from his habit. But now, he eats nothing but radishes. Maybe he's Radish Boy now? I don't know.

3. Weighing Harold

Sid, Stinky, The Jolly Olly Man, and others are teasing Harold because of his weight. He feels hurt about it and decides to go on a six week cruise to lose weight. Yeah, yeah. What's going to happen now? He's going to lose the weight and act like a jerk to everyone praising his new body? Well, no. He gains even more weight than before and refuses to leave his room because the teasing has gotten worse. Arnold helps Harold lose the weight, but Harold feels hopeless because he says he's always going to be fat. However, he liked who he was before everyone began teasing him, so Arnold tells him to lose enough weight to be where he was before. He does and everyone is shocked by how great he looks, despite looking the same. 

I can relate to this problem a lot! I always had a weight problem when I was younger and still do. While I was never teased about my weight in school, I was teased about it at home by my younger sister and my mother. I felt the sadness and depression of trying to lose weight, but giving up because it didn't matter. I was always going to have a weight problem no matter how much I lost. But I did learn about exercising and eating right to lose weight. Is it easy? Hell no. Do I feel like quitting? You bet I do. But I don't lose weight because I want to look good to everyone. I do it because I want to be healthy. That's what's important.

2. Helga on the couch

We all know why Helga's a bitter angry girl. Because her home life sucks! Well, we get more details about it in this episode. Helga punches Brainy in the nose for the 1000th time and Principal Wartz advises her to see a therapist. Helga says nothing at first, but then she starts warming up to the therapist telling her story about her family. My God, is it depressing. Even at 5, she has to walk to preschool by herself in the rain because her parents are gushing about how proud they are of Olga. She also tells the therapist her ultimate secret: she loves Arnold. Helga was already a well developed character throughout the show. In this episode, we see a lot more about her.

1. Parent's Day

I wanted to put "The Journal" at #1, but I couldn't because the ending gets me so angry! I can't believe that the final episode is left on a cliffhanger. I'm still hoping every day that The Jungle Movie will finally see a release date. But unless we get enough signatures on the petition, we won't. But this episode is still really good for the following reasons:

1. We finally get to know about Arnold's parents more. Before this episode, we only saw them in a flashback in the episode "Arnold's Hat". We know what they look like, we know what they did before Arnold was born, and we get a little backstory about how they met. It's a really nice introduction to a group of people we've been dying to know so much about.

2. The whole episode has more depth going on. In "The Journal", it's just Arnold learning about his father's past in the journal and Grandpa reading from it. In "Parent's Day", Grandpa is telling the story, but there's another plot point about a competitive event involving the kids and their parents. Arnold is the only one who has his grandparents there and it doesn't bother him at all. That is until Big Bob is furious about losing the events and not wanting to lose to Arnold and his grandparents. He calls them "an orphan boy" and "his ancestors". That's harsh, even for Big Bob. So there's more going on in the episode besides learning about Arnold's parents. 

3. It ends in a happier note with Arnold dreaming about flying in a plane similar to what his parents did in the hope of one day finding them. Unlike "The Journal" in which it leaves us in a cliffhanger ending. For those reasons and much more, "Parent's Day" is my #1 favorite episode. 

What are your favorite episodes of Hey Arnold? Post it in the comments below and let us know. 

That's all for now. Tune in next time as we take a look at Nickelodeon's first animated variety show KaBlam! 

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon.

-Kevin and Patricia

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