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This article refers to the relationship between Helga and Arnold. Their shipping name is Shortaki. While Helga constantly bullies Arnold and outwardly puts up the front that she hates him, she is actually deeply in love with him to the point of obsession, as she frequently stalks him and writes love poems about him, builds Shrines, and often speaks in dramatic monologues about her love for him as she admires him from afar.

In contrast, Arnold was often shown to be annoyed with Helga's constant bullying of him throughout the series. However, due to his kind nature, he tolerated her to a certain extent. However, he seemed to have complex feelings for her, as he is sometimes pushed to the edge by her pranks but at other times seemed to show hints he likes her "true self", which is hidden under her tough front. Episodes have been dedicated to their relationship, which is the most catalytic and complicated of the series. In The Jungle Movie, after going through several events, they finally acknowledged their feelings for each other and become a couple.

Craig Bartlett, the show's creator, has confirmed that Arnold and Helga are meant for each other and, as adults, they get married and have children -- he's also stated that Arnold eventually finds out all that Helga did for him (and to him) over the course of the series.

Helga's View of Arnold

Helga Arnold pre-school.jpg

As explained in the episode "Helga on the Couch", Helga has had a crush on Arnold since the two had first met. This is due to her unstable family upbringing where both her mother and father constantly neglect her and shower all of their attention onto Olga, leaving her deprived of the love and attention she needed growing up. On her way to preschool, Arnold shared his umbrella with her in the rain, and even complimented her hairbow. He even later gave her crackers during their snack time. Arnold's kindness and being the first person to notice her quickly caused Helga to transfer all of her love and attention to Arnold.

However, because the other kids took note of this and began mocking her affection, she immediately developed a mean front to avoid ridicule for having a softer, more sensitive side. Another reason she continues to bully Arnold is to hide her feelings for him out of fear of rejection. She easily gets jealous of any girl who he has a crush on, and often attempts to sabotage any chances he has with the other girl. Helga is possessive of her love for Arnold and thinks non-stop about him to the point of obsession. This is evidenced throughout the series by the many shrines and poems she makes of Arnold and of her frequent dramatic soliloquies about her love for Arnold. She does make attempts to improve herself and get Arnold's attention, though her attempts usually end badly. Nonetheless, Helga is devoted to Arnold and is willing to go to great lengths to help him whenever she can, even if she has to has to give up or risk something to accomplish it, as is the case in "Arnold's Christmas", "Spelling Bee", "Save the Tree", Hey Arnold! The Movie and Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie. On some of these situations, she doesn't take credit for her efforts and doesn't tell him of her helping him, simply glad to make Arnold happy.

Arnold's View of Helga

Arnold remained completely oblivious to her feelings for him throughout the series, despite obvious hints being presented in front of him.

During the first season, Arnold generally saw Helga as an annoyance above anything else. However, Arnold does admire Helga in some ways: In "Arnold's Valentine", when Helga (as Cecile) asks, 'Is there anyone you especially like in your class? Perhaps a smart, funny, beautiful girl?', Arnold replies with 'Helga' (but also adds 'she bugs me').

But as the series went on, he began to see Helga in a more positive light, often giving her advice, sometimes talking to her like friends, and even going as far to convince Patty to spare her from a deserved beating. He understands that she isn't always so mean and that she's kind deep down with feelings like everyone else, though this could also be attributed to the fact that he always sees the good in everyone. Despite this, Arnold does get annoyed by her frequent bullying of him, and Helga can push him far enough that he either retaliates (such as in Girl Trouble) or tells her off.

However, Arnold did seem to show interest in Helga when she acted nice, such as in "It Girl" and "Helga's Masquerade". His feelings are further shown during his dreams. In "Arnold Visits Arnie", he's instantly attracted to Hilda, who's essentially the "real" Helga behind her mean façade. And in "Married", he has a nightmare about getting married to Helga who's neglectful. At the end of his dream he confronts her, telling her that he knows that she isn't truly lazy, cold and uncaring and that she's a kind person. The dream Helga admits that under her tough exterior, she truly likes him. She comes close to confessing her love before he wakes up, hinting that Arnold subconsciously knows that Helga has a crush on him. It's also heavily suggested in several occasions (most notably in "Married") that Arnold is aware of Helga's dysfunctional family life.

In Hey Arnold! The Movie, Helga confesses her love to Arnold and kisses him passionately after she gets caught red-handed by him, trying to help him in secret. After saving their neighborhood, Arnold and Helga come to an agreement to dismiss her actions as part of "the heat of the moment", as neither of them were ready to deal with the fallout of the confession. Despite this, the look on his face after Helga storms off indicates that he's now fully aware of her feelings for him. This is further evidenced when he flirts with her during their tango in "April Fool's Day", which takes place after the movie. 

In Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie, Arnold is witness to Helga's devotion to him: she contributes to getting him to San Lorenzo, escape Lasombra's lair and is the sole reason his parents are reawakened. The two also had a romantic moment while in a near-death experience hanging off a cliff when they gaze into each other’s eyes and realize that they care about each other very much. Near at the end of the movie, Arnold kisses Helga to express his feelings for her. Arnold and Helga do become an official couple afterwards, though likely in an effort to keep the relationship a secret (at least until she feels ready to express it), Helga continues to act mean to Arnold in public.

Episodes Focusing on Their Relationship

  • "Arnold's Valentine" - Arnold asks Ruth out on a date at a French restaurant but Helga, who decides to reveal her nicer self to Arnold, steals a letter from Arnold's French pen pal Cecile and rewrites it to say that she's coming to visit Arnold the next night at a French restaurant across from the one he invited Ruth to. She picks out a pretty pink dress from her closet, tries to learn French (with poor results), and even goes to a French salon (which is actually a French dog groomers) to get her hair done in order to pretend to be Cecile. Arnold decides to hold both dates on the same night and travel between the two. When she goes to the date, she asks Arnold if he likes someone but she ends up puking her dinner when she learns she ordered brains. Arnold takes this chance to go back to his date to Ruth but learns he doesn't really like her. Helga comes back with her hair down but believes Arnold has left and is about to leave as well until Gerald tells Arnold to go back to his date with "Cecile" with flowers. Arnold then tells Helga how he thought he liked someone but that he realized they don't have anything in common. Helga then tells him that he might not be looking at the right girl and that sometimes the best gift can come in the plainest box and Helga then tells Arnold she really likes him and asks if he likes her as well. He asks her to give him one last moment so he can set things straight with Ruth as he no longer likes her, but Helga sees this and is furious that he was switching between their date and a date with Ruth. She throws her pumps onto the ground and claims she hates people to lie only to be caught in her own lie when the real Cecile comes. As the real Cecile and Gerald leave, Helga says it was a crazy night and drops down to pick up her shoes as Arnold does the same thing and asks her who she is. She states she can't tell him but that they will see each other again soon. She is then kissed on the hand by Arnold and takes one of her shoes with her. As she walks away, she contemplates on how Arnold likes her, or rather the "Cecile her" and begins to state that she's a basket case.
  • "Helga's Love Potion" -  Helga decides that her obsession with Arnold has gone too far and decides to go to a gypsy woman to buy a potion that will make her fall "out of love" with Arnold. However, being "out of love" leaves her completely emotionless.
  • "Biosquare" -  Arnold and Helga perform a science project in which they're locked together in a greenhouse for 24 hours, but Helga's only looking for an easy A. When the greenhouse floods, Helga saves Arnold, and they smile at each other.
  • "Girl Trouble" - Arnold, Phoebe, Gerald and Helga are forced to be in a group for a school art project. Upon seeing Arnold's wavering patience with Helga's conduct, Grandpa Phil tells him similar childhood stories revolving around a girl named Gertie who tormented him to no end in school. 
  • "The Big Scoop" - Helga breaks away from Arnold's school newspaper and exercises her First Amendment right to start one of her own, filled with tabloid stories instead of facts. In order to stop Helga from her antics, Gerald enlists Sid's help in taking private photos of Helga, showcasing her softer, sensitive side. He gives the incriminating photos to Helga, but instead of using them to blackmail Helga, he remarks on how Sid's photography is improving, seemingly because he likes the photos of Helga showing her kinder side.
  • Episode 56 "Arnold's Thanksgiving"-
  • Episode 59 "School Play"- Helga overhears a conversation between Rhonda, Sheena and Phoebe in the girls bathroom that Arnold is gonna play Romeo in the school production Romeo and Juliet. She decides to be in the play after hearing that the two main characters kiss each other. Mr. Simmons lets her be the fifth understudy for the part of Juliet but had to convince the other four girls to quit the play so she can kiss Arnold without any risk of her secret crush on Arnold being exposed. She succeeds and she's able to be in the play and kiss Arnold.
  • Episode 64 "Dinner for Four" - Helga decides to prove to Arnold that she can be as sophisticated as Lila, inviting him, Phoebe and Gerald to an elegant French restaurant, during dinner Arnold seems impressed by Helga's refined attitude and at the end of the episode they both share a small smile.
  • Episode 67 "Egg Story"- Arnold and Helga have to take care of a egg for an entire weekend. Helga is overjoyed to be partnered with Arnold but Arnold thinks that she'll be mean to him. They get into a big argument and they accidentally lose the egg. They go on a wild goose chase to find it and eventually find the egg has hatched into a baby bird.
  • Episode 70 "Weird Cousin" - Arnold becomes jealous when Lila has a crush on his cousin Arnie and Helga convinces him to make Lila jealous by spending time with another girl, after Helga dismisses the other girls from the school as candidates. Arnold suggests that Helga pretends to be his girlfriend, she reluctantly agrees, but when she gets off the bus and is alone, she becomes extremely happy. The next day Arnold and Helga spend a lot of time together with Arnold brushing Helga's hair, massaging her feet and sharing a shake together.
  • Episode 75 "Helga on the Couch" - Helga is sent to a psychologist after hitting Brainy in front of Dr. Bliss. During the therapy session it’s revealed that Helga fell in love with Arnold when she was in preschool after he was the only person who showed her attention and kindness at his first meeting. However, Helga decided to hide these feelings when the other children started to make fun of her. It can be assumed that Helga's rude attitude was what separated Arnold from her during the following school years because in the flashbacks of this episode it’s shown that Arnold was also attracted to Helga the first time he saw her, since he told Helga that he liked her pink hairbow and gave Helga his crackers when Harold took hers off her plate.
  • Episode 80 "Summer Love" - Arnold's grandparents, boarding house members and Helga's parents end up vacationing at the same beach and beach house. Helga gets jealous that Arnold is spending time with a beautiful girl named Summer but realizes that she's using Arnold so she can win a sandcastle contest so she can appear on Babewatch. Helga tries to warn Arnold that Summer is up to no good but he refuses to believe her given her attitude towards him the day before. Until Helga leads him to spy on a conversation between Summer and her boyfriend, which shows him that she was telling the truth. Upon realizing that Helga was telling the truth Arnold apologizes to her, the two later participate in the sandcastle contest where they win the contest and the first prize which is an appearance in the Babewatch program in which Helga kisses Arnold.
  • Episode 88 "Beaned" - Helga is annoyed that Arnold always pays attention to everyone except her, then Arnold accidentally hits Helga with a baseball, causing amnesia, Arnold feeling responsible for her takes care of her by walking her home, making her soup, reading to her as she falls asleep and waiting for Miriam to arrive so he can leave. The next day Helga makes a full recovery but upon learning from her mother what Arnold did for her, she decides to continue pretending that she has amnesia so that she can spend more time with him. Arnold goes to Helga's house, escorts her to school, spends most of the day with her with Helga pretending to be disoriented and taking Arnold away from his friends. Helga then listens to Arnold cancel his plan to go to the baseball game with Gerald so he can take Helga home and begins to feel guilty for taking advantage of Arnold's kindness, for which she purposely hits her head on the drinking fountain, when Arnold asks her if she’s ok, she tells him that she has recovered from amnesia, but Arnold still insists on walking her home, which Helga accepts as annoyance, but secretly she’s very happy about it.
  • Episode 90 "April Fool's Day" - After being pranked by Helga one too many times, Arnold decides to get even with her by giving her a prank gift claiming to be a late birthday present. The gift ends up blinding Helga, feeling guilty Arnold decides to make it up to her by taking her to the April Fools Day Dance at the YMAA. While Helga was in the girls room, Phoebe noticed that Helga’s eyesight was restored and Helga tells her that she’s faking being blind so Arnold would feel sorry for her. Arnold overhears the conversation over the air ducts in the boys bathroom and decides to get payback by dancing with her and revealing to everyone that she was pretending to be blind. While dancing the Tango Arnold flirts with Helga.
  • Episode 92 "Married" - 

Helga's Actions

Protecting her Secret

  • "The Little Pink Book" - Helga is writing love poems about Arnold while riding the bus home. As she is getting off, she tries to put her book in her bag but instead it falls on Arnold's books. Gerald picks the book up and reads the embarrassing poems out loud. Helga realizes she signed her name at the end of the book and tries whatever she can to get the book back but fails each time. As Arnold goes to school and reads the last poem, before he can finish, Helga takes that page and uses it at a spitball to hit at Arnold and is relieved he didn’t find out her secret.
  • "Helga Blabs It All" - Helga goes to the dentist to fill her cavity and uses laughing gas to make her feel peaceful and numb the pain. Unfortunately, it makes her go goofy and she even tells her dentist about how Arnold is always on her mind morning, noon and night. When the procedure is done, she remains goofy and calls Arnold to admit her love for him. The message is stored on their answering machine. When she realizes this, she decides to erase the message. She meets and beats up a campfire lass to steal her clothes and pose as one to get into the house. She ends up going through the vent to avoid everyone inside. Arnold's grandma hears the message but hears it wrong and tells Arnold that Helen of Troy called to sell him a soft drink. After everyone leaves, Helga falls through the vent, gets the message and goes back up. However, she ends up in Arnold's room, but she walks out and everyone dismisses it.
  • "Helga's Parrot"- While Helga is sleeping, her father puts his new parrot into Helga's room as it keeps repeating words in his room. As Helga writes a poem in her journal, the parrot copies her words and flies out the next day and into Arnold's ownership. Helga sneaks into his house and tries to steal the parrot back, but can't because Arnold is in the same room as the parrot and she doesn't want him to figure out that the poem the parrot keeps reciting is about her love for him. As she hides behind his couch, she also sees him get undressed and faints happily at the sight. Her secret barely managed to stay safe when her monitor lizard eats the parrot at the last second.
  • "Helga Sleepwalks" - After eating her dad’s pork rinds, Helga sleepwalks to Arnold's house attempts to confess her love for him, but narrowly escapes before he can hear it. The first attempt involved her buying flowers and going up to Arnold's front door, but Arnold's grandpa mistook her for a religious promoter and slammed the door in her face, which woke her up. The second time she was asleep at night and walked into his basement and into the kitchen, but she escaped as she heard Arnold coming down. Only his grandmother saw her but she claimed to have seen Eleanor Roosevelt instead. The third time, she finds herself naked in Arnold's shower, barely managing to escape with a bathrobe. Finally, even with Phoebe on guard, she ends up on Arnold's fire escape and confesses her love to what appears to be his shadow, but it turns out to be his plant with a football head likeness to it, and she dismisses being on his fire escape as going out for a midnight stroll.
  • "Helga's Locket" - Helga gets her locket engraved with the words "Arnold, my soul, you are always in my heart, Love Helga G. Pataki". However, her locket is stolen by Abner the pig and Arnold's grandma finds it. Arnold's grandpa takes it thinking it is Arnold's grandma's present for their wedding anniversary and loves it. Helga then tries multiple times to steal back the locket with no success. When Arnold is embarrassed with how his grandpa is showing off the locket with his picture in it, he tries to replace it with his grandma's picture. Helga tries to steal it from Arnold's bedroom but Arnold's grandpa takes it back. Eventually, Arnold convinces his grandpa to change the picture to one of his grandma but can't open the locket so they go down to the basement. Just when they open it, Helga turns off the light and takes the locket back before he can discover her feelings for him.


  • "Operation Ruthless"- Helga does whatever she can to prevent Ruth and Arnold from meeting, with disastrous results.
  • "Love and Cheese" - Helga does everything she can to prevent Arnold and Lila from having a good time at the annual Cheese Festival, but only ends up making Lila like Arnold more.
  • "Eugene, Eugene!" - When Helga learns that Arnold will star in the school musical "Eugene, Eugene" as the villain and the script writer has rewritten the play so the bad guy wins the girl and kisses her (and she's played by Lila), Helga decides to set up a prank where she will pull a rope and pour red paint over them to prevent the kiss. However, after learning Eugene and Arnold changed the play to its original script to preserve the message of the original play and because they didn't like the changes, she realizes Lila will kiss Eugene and not Arnold and tries to stop the bucket of red paint from falling, only for it to fall on her.

Helping Arnold

  • "Arnold's Hat" - When Helga finishes her gum sculpture of Arnold, she decides to take Arnold's hat to complete the sculpture but fails each time. Finally, as she is about to give up, by a sheer coincidence the hat falls into her hands and she takes it to put onto her sculpture. However, she realizes after seeing how much Arnold misses his hat that she needs to give it back, only for her mother to throw it away. Helga chases after the garbage truck and dives through the dump to find the hat. She eventually does find it and returns it to Arnold, though she claims she just happened to find it, who happily hugs her in gratitude.
  • "Runaway Float" - After hearing how his float design won't be built, Helga convinces Bob to fund Arnold's parade float. However, due to the agreement with her dad, and after being offered a spot at the top of the float, Helga leaves Arnold behind, only to regret it later when the float goes out of control.
  • "Arnold's Christmas" - Helga does whatever she can to find the perfect Christmas present for Arnold, but fails despite her efforts. She learns Arnold wants to find Mr. Hyunh's daughter, Mai for Christmas and needs to get a pair of Nancy Spumoni snow boots for Mr. Bailey to do so, but couldn't get any. Helga decides to give up her own pair given as a present from her mother and help him locate Mai, Mr. Hyunh's daughter. When Mai is returned safely, Helga watches outside through the window, smiling and wishing Arnold a Merry Christmas. She doesn't go in or take any credit, showing the depth of her devotion.
  • "Save the Tree" - Helga goes against Bob's wishes and climbs the tree he wants to tear down. When the bulldozer is about to ram the tree that Arnold and Helga are in, Helga jumps into Arnold's arms and thinks he smells nice.
  • "Arnold & Lila" - Helga writes on a brick wall "Arnold loves Helga" but it then hurriedly changes it to "Arnold loves Lila", getting Lila to believe Arnold likes her, much to Helga's frustration. After Arnold tells Lila he doesn't like her-like her, but realizes he does like her-like her, he asks Lila to meet him at the park. However, Lila tells him that after much personal thought, she realizes that she doesn't like him-like him anymore. Helga, who was overhearing everything from a nearby tree, comes down and comforts Arnold, telling him he'll recover and that there’s plenty of fish in the sea. He asks her if he can walk her home, and she’s secretly ecstatic.
  • "Summer Love" - When Arnold and Helga end up at the same beach house, she insults him and later tries to apologize, only to find Arnold interacting with another girl. She ruins their day out of jealousy until Arnold catches her and tells her off. Later, Helga overhears Summer and Sandy's plan to manipulate Arnold in order to win the sandcastle competition and to be on Babewatch. She warns Arnold about this because she doesn't want to see him get hurt. Eventually she succeeds, and she and Arnold win the competition and appear on Babewatch.
  • Hey Arnold! The Movie - Similar to "Save the Tree", Helga goes out of her way to help Arnold find the Tomato Document in order to save their neighborhood, even though by doing so, she's blowing the chance of her family becoming rich. She helps him in secret, though, by creating a disguise and using a voice changer whenever she calls him on the cellphone to give him vital information to find the document to ensure he doesn't find out it's her helping him. However, Arnold soon finds out it's her helping him, leaving him shocked that she was willing to give up a wealthy life to help him save their neighborhood.
  • Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie - Helga donates her video recordings of Arnold's good deeds over the years to help win the trip to San Lorenzo that Arnold was desperate to get. However, she does this with the ulterior motive of winning his affections, and doesn't genuinely care about finding Arnold's lost parents. She later confronts Arnold on the crow's nest, asking about his feelings for her, but they're interrupted by another boat and Arnold doesn’t answer her, making her throw away her locket and tear up its photo in anger and heartbreak. Helga is angry at Arnold up until she overhears him crying over the situation regarding his parents while trapped in Lasombra's lair, after which she makes up her mind and decides to help him unconditionally, no matter what. She convinces Gerald and Phoebe to create a plan to escape and find the Green-Eyed People. Finally, she gives up the secrecy of her locket containing Arnold's photo (which was retrieved and put back together by Brainy earlier) in order to release the cure to the sleeping sickness that was keeping Arnold's parents and the adult Green Eyes in a permanent deep sleep.

Nearly Confessing

  • "Wheezin' Ed" - Helga assigns pairs to explore the cave, with Gerald being Phoebe's partner, and herself being paired with Arnold. She continues to insult Arnold, and he decides to leave the cave, fed up with her. She laments her own callousness and decides she will confess to him. She saunters over to him, but is interrupted by the heavy breathing of someone inside the cave. Frightened, she shrieks and jumps onto Arnold (the only other time Arnold picks up Helga is in "Save the Tree"), only to find out it was Brainy.
  • "Magic Show" -  During Arnold's magic show, he makes Helga disappear by putting her in a box, but Helga sneaks out. After running into a post and knocking herself out, she has a dream that she really disappeared, and no one missed her. She returns to the box and apologizes to Arnold for ruining his magic trick. She is on the verge of confessing to him, and Arnold comments with an exasperated "Tell me what? I'm listening". She decides not to, and instead ridicules his bad magic skills, while running off and confessing to a flyer with Arnold's face on it.
  • "Monkey Business" - When Helga believes that she's going to die, she has all of her classmates come over to her house so she can say goodbye and give away all of her stuff to them. Arnold is the last to see her and she tells him she has something important to say. She talks about how despite how mean she acts towards him, that is not how she really feels. She almost confesses but Phoebe interrupts and explains to Helga that she is not going to die and that everything was in her head. She is happy but when Arnold reminds her she was going to tell him something important, she says that it is none of his business and bombards him with insults. As he leaves annoyed, she confesses that she thinks he is actually okay, and he responds by saying he thinks she is okay too and touches her arm. As he walks away, Helga is happy that he thinks positively of her and that he touched her.
  • "Grudge Match" - After getting hit on the head with a golf ball Helga falls to the ground. Arnold then asks if she's alright. Helga then replies by saying "Oh Arnold! I'm fine as long as you're near me! Your honest eyes, so full of concern and, and lo-" just then Big Bob comes over to yell at her for making him miss the shot.
  • "Crush on Teacher" - Arnold and Gerald bump into Helga, who gives a short soliloquy ending with Helga not even knowing what Arnold's last name is.

Gaining His Affections

  • "Helga's Boyfriend" - Helga tries to date Stinky to make Arnold jealous, but after Stinky makes a mess out of all three of their dates, she decides to dump him.
  • "Helga's Masquerade" - Helga tries acting like Lila to make Arnold like her-like her, but quits when she realizes Arnold is only paying attention to her because she reminds him of Lila.

Listening to Arnold's Advice

  • Phoebe Takes the Fall - In Helga's dreams, she sees Arnold telling her that it was wrong for her to force Phoebe to take the loss at the trivia competition. On the night of the competition, Helga apologizes to Phoebe and lets her take her place. After Phoebe wins, Arnold approaches Helga and commends her for doing the right thing.
  • Big Sis - Arnold seemingly appears out of nowhere each time Helga tries to sabotage Olga's and Lila's mentor-sister relationship, reminding her why she’s so determined on wrecking their relationship. At the end, Helga confesses to Olga that she's been jealous of Lila and her relationship.
  • Beeper Queen - Miriam's inattentiveness to Helga has taken a toll on Helga's happiness. While Arnold is pushing his bike home, he sees Helga brooding over the river while, and her ice cream melting in her hand. He picks up on her sadness and asks her if she's okay.
  • Big Bob's Crisis - After Big Bob has a heart attack, he tries to become nicer. When he goes overboard and announces the family will be walking to Oregon to join a commune, Helga struggles to get her dad to revert to his old ways. While Arnold is pushing his bike home, he sees Helga by the river speaking to her locket. He says that she should just talk to him. He recommends that she try another way to snap him out of it.
  • Deconstructing Arnold - Helga tells Arnold to stop trying to help everyone and mind his own business. After unsuccessful attempts to give out solid advice backfires, Helga feels really bad for causing Arnold to stop giving advice to people. Ultimately, Helga's able to persuade Arnold into going back to giving advice, acknowledging that she and their classmates need it.
  • Olga Comes Home - In the lunch line, Arnold notices Helga is in a good mood. When he asks for the reason, she tells him she has sabotaged Olga's report card and how upset Olga is. Arnold finds Helga's behavior pretty mean and tells her so, but she doesn’t let it spoil her mood. Later on, she dreams of a surrealistic desert landscape in which Arnold appears as her angel of reason, telling her that she should do the right thing so that everything would again be in order. When Helga wakes up, she goes into Olga’s bedroom and apologizes to her.
  • Olga Gets Engaged - Arnold is sitting on a bench in the park with Helga and comments on how cool it was that Olga's fiancé was a racecar driver. Helga tells him the truth about Doug and Arnold tells Helga she needs to help her sister even if she doesn't like her.
  • Student Teacher - Olga becomes the new student teacher for Helga's class. In one scene, Helga opens the front door, surprised to see Arnold. He greets her at the door and comes in to be tutored by Olga. In another scene, the class of PS. 118 is on a class field trip to the park, Arnold and Helga are alone, away from the other students. Helga is very frustrated with having Olga as a teacher, and she hits her head against a tree. Arnold comforts her, and encourages Helga to have a sit-down with her sister and tell her how she really feels.

Daydreaming about Arnold

  • "What's Opera, Arnold?" - Helga is bored on her school field trip to the opera and imagines herself as Carmen in the opera Don Juan with Arnold as "Don Arnold" who fights against Curly for her affection and nearly kisses him in her dream until she wakes up when the real opera ends.
  • "Best Man" - Tish asks Helga to be her maid of honor since her cousin, Connie is out of town and she was the captain of her girl's bowling team. Helga doesn't want to until she hears Arnold will be there and daydreams of her getting married to Arnold until agreeing to Tish's request. Tish then talks to Helga about how she liked Wittenburg since they were children but pretended to be mean to him since she didn't want anyone to be the wiser. However, after he let her win at a game, she realized he liked her the same way she did and decided he was the one and tells Helga she will feel the same way about a boy. While, Helga denies this, she daydreams about a wedding with Arnold. At Coach Wittenburg's second wedding to his wife Tish, as Tish and Coach Wittenburg run off to their car after the wedding, Tish throws her bouquet and Helga catches it, which by wedding tradition means she's next to get married. Helga looks at Arnold who looks back at her and she faints of happiness, dreaming of her wedding to Arnold. She consistently says "I do, I do." before she gets back to reality and tells Arnold to stop touching her as he attempts to help her on her feet.
  • "Ghost Bride" - When Gerald tells the story of how the Ghost Bride was very much in love with her fiancé, Helga lovingly looks at Arnold, but quickly changes her expression when he catches her doing so.
  • Parents Day - Big Bob has an outburst and calls Arnold "Orphan Boy", which distracts Arnold and makes him lose the egg toss. Helga tries to apologize for Big Bob's nasty comment after he storms out, albeit unsuccessfully.

Arnold's Hints

  • In "Arnold's Valentine", when Helga (as Cecile) asks, 'Is there anyone you especially like in your class? Perhaps a smart, funny, beautiful girl?', Arnold replies with 'Helga' (but also adds 'she bugs me'), suggesting that at the very least Arnold finds Helga to be 'smart, funny' and 'beautiful'.
  • Arnold has hugged Helga on three occasions: "Arnold's Hat", "Runaway Float" and "Arnold Visits Arnie".
  • "Monkey Business" - Helga believes that she’s dying and is about to confess her love for him before Phoebe interrupts by saying that the disease Helga believes she’s dying from is imaginary and was all in her head. As she celebrates this, Arnold reminds her she had something important to say to him but she rebuffs him with insults. As he walks away annoyed, she takes it back and admits she thinks he is an okay guy. He responds by saying he thinks she is okay as well, touches her arm and walks away smiling.
  • "Quantity Time" - After class ends, Arnold and Helga walk out together, and he asks her what her plans are for spring break. She tells him she's interested in going to Wrestle-mania, which he finds to be cool, but Helga cuts the conversation short when she shoos him away. Arnold walks away, annoyed. Later on, when Helga is at the park, reluctantly riding a pony because of Big Bob, Arnold and Grandpa Phil see her and wave at her. Embarrassed, Helga falls off the pony and into a mud puddle to which Arnold expresses some concern.
  • "Helga and the Nanny"- When Helga's dad hires a new nanny while Miriam conducts community service, Helga's nanny forces her to dress up like her. When she goes to school, he tells Helga that she has flowers in her hair. she angrily asks him "What of it?" and he states that he thought she looked nice.
  • "The Aptitude Test"- When Helga thinks she's dumb because she failed an aptitude test at school, she transforms herself into a country hillbilly. Arnold and Gerald visit Helga, and Arnold asks why Helga missed baseball practice.
  • "Helga vs. Big Patty" - When Helga says a lot of mean things about Big Patty, Big Patty challenges her to a fight after school the next day. Arnold shows genuine concern over Helga and convinces her to apologize to Big Patty to prevent her from beating her up. However, because Big Patty does not want to lose her reputation as a bully on school, she continues with the fight. Arnold then talks to Big Patty, saying that even though the things Helga said about her were mean, she really is a nice person and didn't mean to hurt her. He continues to state that Helga is only saying these things to hide her own insecurities and is not that bad deep down. This is enough to convince Big Patty to spare Helga and have Helga only pretend she was beaten up by her.
  • "Arnold's Thanksgiving" - Both Arnold and Helga leave their chaotic family thanksgiving because they wish for a more normal one. They both end up bumping into each other and spend the day together. They come across Mr. Simmons's thanksgiving and initially think it’s perfect and want to join, but when they see how his family is just as crazy as theirs, they decide their thanksgiving with their families aren’t that bad and Arnold walks Helga to her house. He tells her to go on and watches through the window as she happily celebrates with her family. He bids her a "Happy Thanksgiving" and walks away smiling.
  • "Girl Trouble" - Helga works with Phoebe, Arnold and Gerald on a history project. Helga insults Arnold, glues feathers to his butt and causes him to step in chewed gum. When Arnold goes home, his Grandpa takes note of his bad day and he says it was because of Helga. Grandpa then tells Arnold how he personally thinks that Helga bullies him because she secretly likes him, mentioning how she often skips rope across the street from the boarding house as if waiting for him to come out. Arnold, however, doesn’t believe that to be the case. Grandpa then tells Arnold a story of when he was a boy in school, he dealt with the same type of trouble as Arnold with a girl named Gertie. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Pookie is Gertie. This implies that Arnold and Helga will get married just as Arnold's grandparents did.
  • "Helga's Show" - After Helga makes fun of her classmates, they ask Arnold what he thinks about this, Arnold says it was really funny about how Helga makes fun of them.
  • "The Flood" - As Helga falls in the water during a huge storm as she and her other classmates attempt to save Mr. Simmons from the flood, she screams "Arnold!" and reaches her hand so he can help save her, showing the first person she thought of to save her was Arnold.
  • "It Girl" - When Helga is recruited to be the new "It Girl" because of her bad attitude, everyone begins to copy her image which annoys her as she feels stripped of her individuality. Arnold suggests that since she became popular because she acted mean then she should act nice. This works and Arnold comes and visits her backstage as she gathers her items from her dressing area, saying it was funny how everyone could love her for being mean and nasty yet hate her for being nice and polite. He then tells her how he likes it when she acts nice and asks why she can't be like that all the time. She tells him that being mean, nasty and insensitive is just who she is and what makes her special.
  • "Buses, Bikes, and Subways" - While on the bus, Arnold has a feeling that something is wrong but can’t pinpoint it. He eventually realizes that Helga (along with Harold) is missing and asks Phoebe about Helga's absence. He notifies Mr. Simmons and assists in looking for them with the help of Chocolate Boy.
  • "Grudge Match" - After getting hit on the head with a golf ball, Helga falls to the ground. Arnold then says "Helga! Are you okay? Say something!" Helga then replies by saying "Oh, Arnold! I'm fine as long as you're near me! Your honest eyes, so full of concern and, and lo-" just then Big Bob comes over to yell at her for making him miss the shot.
  • "April Fool's Day" - While dancing the tango, Arnold flirts with Helga.
  • "Dinner For Four" - At the end where they’re washing dishes, Arnold states Helga confessing to the bill mistake was sophisticated and then playfully sprays her with the rinse hose whilst smiling and winking at her. She then nervously tells him to keep rinsing the dishes.
  • Arnold and Helga kissing in The Jungle Movie

    Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie - Arnold kisses Helga, though the status of their relationship at this point is most implied as a couple, at the end of the movie Helga pretends to be her old mean self towards him in public (although this is temporary until it’s time to make their relationship official).


Helga robot: Arnold! Did I ever tell you how much I like you? I mean, I really like you!
Arnold: Aw, man! Even the robot Helga has a crush on me!