Looking back, Arnold of Hey Arnold! fame definitely lived in a character-rich community, an intriguing subsection of mock-Brooklyn rife with famous faces and urban legends. In this mix, though, are less familiar faces and urban... um, short stories. Yes, outside the boarding house are forgotten Hey Arnold! characters lost to even our most nostalgia-obsessed memories, and as we await the football-headed hero's triumphant return via the upcoming Jungle Movie, I decided to take a deeper look back.
And I'm not just talking about those iconic forces like Pigeon Man and Stoop Kid, the non-names that are forever burned on your brain. No, no, dear friend. I'm mostly talking about one-episode wonders, classmates that fall by the wayside, and recurring characters that you've for whatever reason can't pinpoint whenever they pop up in a comfort rewatch. It's a big, wide city and a cartoon series with several episodes and seasons, but somebody's got to do it. And... that somebody is me. But hey, you get to reap the benefits of my labor with only nominal scrolling, so that's pretty cool.
So join me as we rewind the VHS and look back on some of the forgotten (but not necessarily forgettable) Hey Arnold! characters.
1. Doug LeSham
True to his last name, Doug was Olga's scumbag fiancé who was on the fast track to conning the practically perfect Pataki sister... until Helga stepped in at the last minute.
2. Rex Smythe-Higgins
He's Grandpa's archnemesis and fittingly the grandfather of Arnold's own rich kid rival.
After Harold or Torvald or Helga or... kind of Big Patty, I guess Wolfgang is the most memorable bully at P.S. 118. Yeah, easily the fourth best.
We can't blame you if you've blocked out memories of Arnold's creepy cousin Arnie and the bizarro world he lived in, and if such is the case, you've probably forgotten about Helga's sweet-tempered doppelgänger.
5. Agatha Caulfield
Arnold's favorite author turns out to be a more-than-grumpy recluse, but leave it to our favorite football head to inspire her once again.
6. Dr. Bliss
Dr. Bliss ends up being Helga's psychiatrist, to which I can only say, "It's about time."
7. Campfire Lass
I don't know if she has a name, I do know she has rage issues.
8. Baby Oskar
Oskar was left in charge to take care of his nephew, which essentially means that Arnold was left in charge to take care of this little guy.
9. Lieutenant Major Goose
Without the harsh rule-enforcing of Lieutenant Major Goose, the fourth graders never would've learned to embrace Mr. Simmons.
10. Ronnie Matthews
"I saw your face, and wow." That guy. It's that guy.
Arnold's Parisian pen pal gets shafted when Helga pretends to be her during Valentine's Day. Or maybe not, because she leaves to get a hamburger with Gerald, and that honestly seems like a better deal.
12. & 13. Connie & Maria
Maybe it's Harold and Gerald's Saturday Night Fever act, but I personally hold this episode dear to me. And it's helped by those feisty sixth grade girls who take the boys to their school dance in order to piss off their actual boyfriends. Bold move.
14. Frankie G.
Oh, Frankie G. He was cool for awhile, until he tried to take advantage of an impressionable 9-year-old.
That's the chick who got you to chant "big open spaces" every time you feel claustrophobic on the subway.
16. Arnold Skelter
Turns out Arnold's teacher crush had the hots for another Arnold, her fiancé Arnold Skelter. Disappointment for Shortman, comforting to us.
... aka Thurston, the precious little kitten that Harold fell in love with (to the point of barricading himself in a building).
I know that Lorenzo pops up in a lot of episodes,and he even gets a handful of featured roles, I just never really see him in the crowd of the usual suspects. Either that's my fault, or he just doesn't cut a striking image among the other schoolchildren.
19. Rabbi Goldberg
A stand-up mensch and spiritual leader to Harold, he also has excellent cardigan game.
This girl uses Arnold so she can win a sandcastle-building competition, who does that?
21. Mr. Bailey
Of course we remember when Mr. Hyunh's daughter was revealed at the end of the Christmas special, but the disgruntled employee who hunts her down escapes us. Welp, now you know: It's Mr. Bailey (and a pair of Nancy Spumoni boots) that helps facilitate this Christmas miracle.
22. Coach Wittenburg
The worst coach of all time, of "pass the ball to Tucker" fame. Weirdly enough, I recall Tucker and the Tucker episodes, yet I've blocked out all the other times this jerk has popped up in the series.
23. Madame Blanche
She gifted Helga that "love potion" (which is what, mostly grape juice or something?).
24. Candy Maldonado
Dino Spumoni's most recent ex-wife (sure enough there are other blondes holding court at his fake funeral).
OK, you guys probably remember Iggy as a background character, and yet maybe you forgot when he forced Arnold into humiliating bunny pajamas. My editor hasn't. She wanted everyone to never forget that (and that Iggy's a dick).
26. Johnny Stitches
If you're gonna trust anyone to make Helga an it girl, let it be this guy.
27. Aunt Mitzi
The episode with Grandpa's fabulous twin sister is too, too great. R.I.P. Pooter. R.I.P. Phyllis Diller.