Recap How 'Hey Arnold!' Ended Before The 'Jungle Movie' Solves The Show's Greatest Mystery

Ad failed to load

The cartoon phenomenon known as Hey Arnold! featured an ensemble cast that got up to all kinds of edutainment, and many of them will be returning for the Hey Arnold! Jungle Movie. But it's been 15 years since Hey Arnold! was last on the air, so even the most die hard fan should be forgiven for being a little hazy on the details of how Hey Arnold! ended. Of course, solving that mystery requires knowing what happened in the Hey Arnold! finale. Well, the answer is: a lot.

Though it wasn't the final episode to air, the final episode of the show produced was a two-parter called "The Journal," which was meant to lead into the Hey Arnold! Jungle Movie before the movie was scrapped. Hey Arnold! Jungle Movie was also preceded by a 2002 theatrical film called Hey Arnold! The Movie, which could also be seen as a finale of sorts, but none of the episodes of Season 5 — the last season — ever referenced or were affected by the events of the movie, despite some of them airing after it.

While re-watching the entire series is the only way to catch every reference that the Jungle Movie could make, consider this your refresher on the most relevant events in the fictional city of Hillwood. (Yes, the city has a name, and, no, it's not New York.)

Ad failed to load

It was the episode "Parents Day" that first tragically revealed that Arnold's parents disappeared on a humanitarian mission to Central America — the fictional country of San Lorenzo, to be specific. However, the plot of "The Journal" is kicked off on Oct. 5, the anniversary of the day his parents left, when Arnold finds the titular journal while packing his parents' things up in the attic. The journal belongs to his father, Miles, and it details how he met Arnold's mother, Stella, while in San Lorenzo and everything that led up to the disappearance.

Miles was part of an anthropological research party with his college friend, Eduardo. While in San Lorenzo, he met botanist and physician Stella, who soon becomes his regular physician considering how clumsy Miles is. The two fall in love, and, while hiking one day, they fall into a ravine from which they are rescued by one of the Green Eyed People — the indigenous inhabitants of San Lorenzo. To repay their savior, they track down a relic called La Corazón from La Sambra, a local river pirate who, Eduardo reveals, stole it from the Green Eyed People. Stella and Miles successfully recover it and return it to the Green Eyed People's ancient shrine.

Ad failed to load

In return, after they get married but before their honeymoon, they're given a wedding gift by the Green Eyed People: a piglet, who is currently Arnold's pet Abner.


Some time later, Eduardo asks them to return to San Lorenzo because the Green Eyed People have been struck by what Stella identifies as a sleeping sickness. The pair create a cure and drop it off at another shrine. Then, when Stella is about to give birth, Eduardo and Miles are cut off from the town by an erupting volcano. But, when they stumble on one of the Green Eyed People's temple, they find a bed has already been prepared for her there. Even crazier, the eruption stops the moment she gives birth to Arnold, causing Stella and Miles to identify him as a "miracle baby." Sadly, as Arnold grows, the dangers of the jungle make Stella and Miles realize San Lorenzo is no place to raise their child, so they return to Hillwood and move in with Miles' parents.

Ad failed to load

All is happy and bright until after Arnold's first birthday, when Eduardo comes calling at the boarding house. The Green-Eyed People are again succumbing to the sleeping sickness, and Stella and Miles are needed to help them. Heartbroken, they leave Arnold in the care of his grandparents and make what they believe will be a short trip to help the Green Eyes, who have helped them so much over the years. And it's from this trip that they never return.


Upon learning all of this, Arnold is at least happy that he got to learn more about his parents and why they left him, even if he doesn't know what happened to them next. But, on the last page of the journal, he finds a map that details the San Lorenzo route his parents took when they left that final time. Finally, after all these years, a clue that could help him answer the question that has been weighing on him since childhood.

Ad failed to load

Sadly, "The Journal" ended with a cliffhanger that was meant to lead into the cancelled Jungle Movie. Happily, now, after all these years, fans — and Arnold — will finally get to know what happened to his parents.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In March, So You Can Plan Your Next Marathon Now

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow — forecasting six more weeks of winter — a nice spring thaw is already on everyone's minds. Fortunately, Netflix has things squared away for March. Whether you're ready to cozy up in front of a fire or get you…
By Sophy Ziss

11 Thoughts That Mean You’re Not As Happy With Your Partner As You Might Think

Even if your current dating situation seems to be going well — you're hanging out, having fun, having sex, etc. — it's still possible that you might not be happy with your partner, and thus not truly happy in your relationship. This can be a gut feel…
By Carolyn Steber

25 Book Recommendations From Your Favorite TV Characters

Although the two may seem like natural enemies, the truth is, television and reading are a match made in bibliophile heaven. Not only are some of the best shows based on or inspired by literature, but whenever you turn on the tube you can be sure to …
By Sadie Trombetta

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Bustle Editors On CPAC + 'Making A Murderer'

Adulthood is, essentially, just waiting until the weekend hits — which is why I know we're all glad it's finally Friday. Whether your plans are to catch up on all the Netflix content that'll be leaving the platform at the end of February, a weekend g…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale