Remember Hey Arnold? Of course you do. The Nicktoon was one of the most entertaining, and occasionally educational, shows that aired during our childhoods, from humble absurdist beginnings to moral-of-the-week plot arcs. Arnold went from weird kid with a propensity for daydreaming and a cool room to saintly kid with a propensity for problem solving and a cool room. The first sign that you were in for about 30 minutes of awesomeness was the Hey Arnold opening theme song, which was less of a song than it was a beat underlying Helga calling Arnold's name every five seconds. Which, let's be real, was a fairly good summary of the whole show. In fact, the opening did such a good job of summarizing the show that I would argue that the Hey Arnold opening theme song is literally the best.
Sure, most Nicktoons had opening themes that described the show very well, but were any as funny or as curious as Hey Arnold's? I don't think so. Not only did it introduce most of the kids who really matter in one fell swoop, but it also introduced us to many of the wacky adult neighbors that Arnold sees and interacts with on a regular basis. It also introduced the plot of the show straight off the bat, and probably had a lot of people 'shipping Arnold and Helga before they even realized what they were doing. Reminisce on the theme song below, and then let me remind you why it was the greatest.
1. Cartoon Girls Double Dutch Better Than You
And at night, too. That takes skill.
2. Our First Look At The Boarding House
We didn't even know how cool of a building it was until...
3. All Those Cats Come Streaming Out
Why are there so many cats in your house, Arnold? What's happening? See how the theme already has you asking questions that only watching the show can answer?
4. Arnold Lives With His Grandparents
The question of where Arnold's parents are would haunt us for much of the series, but my important question was — if they look that worried about the fact that he's going out with a flashlight at night, why did they let him go?
5. Who's That In The Window?
So, Arnold flashes the light across the street and sees an oddly-shaped figure in the window literally staring at him before walking away. You would think he would go back inside and make this journey again during the day.
6. Nope, That Little Adventurer Keeps Going
In fact, he's even smiling. I smell some backstory here.
7. Then He Meets Up With His Friends
I'm at least glad that they seem to have some adult supervision during this, because this court is literally in a back alley. At night.
8. Arnold And Gerald Introduce Their Handshake
9. There's Someone In The Alleyway
Go home! GO HOME.
10. They Look Scared For The First Time
I repeat: they're wandering around what appears to be a city at night with a flashlight, and they look genuinely surprised that suspicious characters might be hanging around in alleyways at this time. Children, I swear.
11. Luckily, The Figure Is Friendly
Well, we learn during the show that Harold is actually a bully, but he's a soft-hearted bully, so it's OK.
12. It's The Name Of The Show
Because we all need to know what we're watching.
13. The Boys Are On A Mission
And the girls have moved from double dutch to hand games. Did their rope get stolen while we were following Arnold around? You know, since they're wandering around a city at night?
14. That Figure Is Still Following Arnold Around
She's calling his name, but he still doesn't seem worried that he has a stalker.
15. A Really, Really Big Stalker
How did she get on a bus?
16. Seriously, A Huge Stalker
Did she draw his name in chalk on the ground? And he's still not worried about this? Arnold, do you like her? (Oh, ho ho, see what I did there?)
17. I Saw Her Face And Wow
Their children are going to be so beautiful.
18. The Girls Rally For Battle
I assume there is some kind of rumble about to happen, because why else are these kids out at night?
19. Sadly, The Adult Figures Show Up For The Rumble Too
Again, I am glad for the adult supervision, but I am also sad for it because I am pretty sure these boys and girls were getting ready to fight each other.
20. Arnold's Stalker Yells At Him
Which turns out to be such a running theme for their relationship that he ain't even mad about it.
21. "Hey Arnold"
Other theme songs cannot hope to compare to this one. All other Nicktoons can go home, because Hey Arnold had the best opening theme credits of all time.
Image: Nickelodeon (21)