Olga resembles her mother more than she resembles Big Bob. Although she has her mother's hair and skin color, she had her father's nose. Her hair is styled in that of a bobbed flip style and she wears a black headband. Her usual outfit is a midriff-baring white long-sleeved shirt with a black vest over it. She also wears a green plaid skirt and emerald hoop earrings, as well as brown boots and white knee socks. Her nighttime attire is a sleeveless seafoam green nightgown and a matching headband.
In "Student Teacher", she appears to be wearing red lipstick as her lips are quite visible, as well as a navy blue beret, a black long-sleeved shirt and a longer redesign of her green plaid skirt.
In Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, nothing much has changed in her appearance. However, during the trip, she wears a purple/indigo striped tank top with white frilly lace on the bottom. She also wears denim shorts, amethyst hoop earrings, violet headband, navy blue sneakers with white laces and soles. She also has a pair of cat-eyed blue sunglasses.
In her younger years, she looked very different and had a unibrow just like Bob and Helga.
Olga is a sweet, perfectionistic, and gifted young woman, but she’s also very ditzy, childish, spoiled, whiny and oblivious to what’s going on. Olga has been raised to always be number one and anytime something difficult comes up, she tends to show a more sensitive and vulnerable side to herself. Although Olga truly does care about her younger sister, she is too blind to notice that Helga despises her and does not want spend time with her.
Olga is Helga's older sister. Although it's never said how far apart in age they are, from what's said in "Helga on the Couch", she must be at least 12 years older than Helga. Olga is very intelligent (she hasn't received so much as an A-minus since third grade), beautiful, popular, talented, sweet, well-meaning and kind. Despite her intelligence, she appears quite clueless when it comes to Helga's feelings and never realizes that Helga doesn't like her at all.
It's apparent that she suffers from perfectionism and is known to become easily depressed when she doesn't meet her own high expectations. In "Olga Comes Home", she locked herself in her bedroom and cried for days when she thought she got a "B+". Unbeknownst to Olga, Helga had sabotaged her sister’s college report card and changed the grade out of jealousy. Near the end of the episode, Helga confesses to Olga what she did, and the sisters reconcile (at least until Olga’s next appearance).
Despite her seemingly perfect exterior, however, Olga suffers just as much, if not more so, under their parents than her sister. While she isn't neglected and unloved like Helga generally is, Olga feels overburdened and pressured by their constant praise and expectations of her---Olga even goes so far as to describe herself as a "wind-up doll," and claims that Helga's lucky that their parents aren't breathing down her neck all the time, expecting nothing short of perfection.
Throughout the series, Olga (who has good intentions) tries very much to bond with Helga. But it usually doesn't work because Helga despises Olga for being overindulged, also very jealous of the attention that Olga receives from their parents and of her perfectionism. From Helga's point of view, Olga's insincere. Olga has a tendency to pay attention only to the good in life and ignores the negative as well as (albeit unintentionally) be condescending to Helga. She does not really listen to Helga's bigger concerns about family dynamics. Except for the episodes "Olga Comes Home," where Olga mentions the stressful demands put upon her from their parents and "Student Teacher" where Helga tells Olga that it would be better if Olga gives her some space, only the surface is scratched. But the root of their problems is never really dealt with. Throughout the series, the sibling relationship is primarily through Helga's point of view.
Olga and Helga's Relationship
There are a few instances where it's shown that Helga really does care about Olga. The episodes include as follows:
Helga's amused by the idea of Olga marrying a sociopathic con man and pathological liar named Doug LeSham because that would mean that Olga would fall from grace with their parents. Doug quickly wins over Bob and Miriam with his clever lying. But on the day of Olga's wedding, Helga catches Doug talking to another woman on the phone and knows that he isn’t faithful. Helga confronts Doug and begins intervening on Olga's behalf.
She threatens to press the redial button to spill the news of his marriage to the other woman. Doug panics and Helga tells him to leave, basically saying that she'll tie up the loose ends. Upon hearing that, Doug leaves. Helga then writes a note to Olga and signs it with Doug's name saying that he got called away on an emergency and left her in tears and a broken heart resulting in the wedding being called off.
Olga comes home for spring break and surprises Helga when she shows up at her school, P.S. 118, and announces that she decided not to move to Alaska but to instead be the new student teacher for Helga's class. Throughout most of the episode, Helga tries to get Olga fired and at one point, gives Olga's car a flat tire. But Helga becomes frustrated when Olga meets her on the bus and tells her about her flat tire which she doesn't know was done by Helga. After Olga goes too far and reveals to the class that Helga was a bedwetter until she was 7-years-old and after Arnold persuades Helga to have a one-on-one talk with her sister, Helga confronts Olga and tells her that she can’t stand her which had Olga crying. But Helga came up with a way for them to be closer.
Helga convinces Olga to take a student teaching position at a school all the way over in Alaska, claiming that the further apart in distance that the two of them are, the closer they'll be emotionally. Olga's a little unsure, but decides to try it -- at the very end of the episode, Helga receives a letter from Olga talking about what's been going on with her new life in Alaska. Helga writes out a response to her sister's letter, initially signing it "From, Helga" -- but after looking at a picture of Olga, Helga crosses out "From" and signs it with "Love, Helga."
Helga's initially delighted by the fact that Olga joined the Big Sisters, Big Brothers program because she knows that Olga will be busy entertaining someone else and will leave her alone. But when Helga finds out that Olga will be spending time with Lila, Helga becomes jealous and does everything she can think of to mess things up.
Near the end of the episode (after being convinced to do it by Arnold), Helga confesses Olga that she's really jealous of the relationship that Olga's developed with Lila. Olga assures Helga that, despite whatever she might think, they have a special bond that only real sisters can have and that nobody else can ever break.
- See Olga Pataki/Gallery.
- During the flashback in "Helga on the Couch", Olga's stated to have been 15-years-old when Helga had her first day of preschool -- since most kids usually start preschool when they're around 3-years-old, this would mean that Olga's at least 12-years-older than her sister. This in turn would mean that Olga's 21 in the original series and 23 by the time of The Jungle Movie.
- She's an accomplished concert pianist and was valedictorian in high school.
- In one episode, Helga says Olga attends Bennington College but it's revealed in Season 1 on Olga's report card that she goes to Wellington College. However, there is an existing Bennington College located within the United States in the state of Vermont, and there is an existing Wellington College in England.
- Her tears are black because of her mascara. It is unknown if she wears any other makeup; however, in "Student Teacher", she did wear red lipstick.
- In the episode "Helga on the Couch", Olga is able to play Chopin's 'Minute Waltz' in exactly one minute -- an impossible feat in real life, no matter how talented one is at playing the piano.
- Olga and Lila exhibit similar personalities in the episode "Big Sis". It was during that episode that Olga became Lila's "adopted big sister". Some of their shared traits are being seen as “perfect” and being friendly to everyone they meet, with many guys falling for them (all of these Helga finds very annoying).
- In the episode "Phoebe Takes the Fall", it was explained by Big Bob that Olga was unable to win the Trivia Question for the state bird of Maine, the chickadee. It stated that was the only trophy that Olga couldn't win.
- Olga drives a pink-colored classic convertible with flowers on it.
- Olga didn’t appear in Hey Arnold!: The Movie.
- In Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, she develops a crush on one of the shipmates named Che until it’s revealed that he works for Lasombra. Later in the movie when her parents and Arnold’s grandparents come to rescue them, Olga tells Big Bob that Che was mean to her resulting in him chasing Che and beating him up for breaking her heart.
- 14a. Spelling Bee (mentioned, shown in a photograph)
- 15a. Olga Comes Home (first full appearance)
- 20. Arnold's Christmas (no lines)
- 37b. Quantity Time (mentioned and shown in pictures)
- 41a. The Aptitude Test (mentioned)
- 43b. Olga Gets Engaged
- 51a. Phoebe Takes the Fall (mentioned)
- 56. Arnold's Thanksgiving
- 63b. Student Teacher
- 78. Helga on the Couch (flashbacks)
- 81b. Big Sis
- 95b. Big Bob's Crisis
- 96. Married (no lines, seen in Arnold's dream)
- Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie