Move it, Football Head! Fans of the Nickelodeon Nicktoon Hey Arnold! are likely familiar with Helga’s taunt — after all, it’s featured in the beginning credits. But Hey Arnold! was about more than that. The show, which aired for five seasons between 1996 and 2004, was created and developed by Craig Bartlett, whose career has been set in children’s programming. Bartlett reportedly created characters based on actual people he knew while he was growing up, which may be why they’re so relatable. His character of Arnold typically did the right thing, even with a few personal setbacks. And yes — that includes his head shape.
Hey Arnold! is streaming online, meaning that you can catch up with all the episodes from way back when. And unlike many animated shows, the lessons and humor within each episode still hold up. If you’re looking to watch Hey Arnold! online, here’s a guide to the episodes you won’t want to miss.
How to Watch Hey Arnold Online & Stream the Complete Series
Among all the streaming services, Hulu has exclusive rights to every episode of Hey Arnold!. There are a couple different options when signing up for Hulu, but either one will get you access to the show’s complete library:
If you simply want Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, you can sign up right here. It costs $7.99 per month for the limited commercials plan or $11.99 per month for the no commercials plan.
Hulu With Live TV
If you want to go from watching Hulu’s on-demand library to watching MLB games or other live TV without changing the app, you can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV”. This option gives you access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, as well as a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels. It costs $39.99 per month for the plan that includes limited commercials with the on-demand content or $43.99 per month for the plan that includes no commercials with the on-demand content.
After signing up for either of the above options, you can watch any episode of Hey Arnold! on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead
How Many Hey Arnold! Seasons Are There?
In total, there are five seasons of Hey Arnold! and 100 episodes. His character was such a hit with viewers that he also had a feature film and television film, the latter which came out in 2017. Here’s a rundown of what happened during every season of Hey Arnold!
Hey Arnold! Season 1
20 Episodes | October 1996 – February 1997
While the pilot of the show technically aired in theaters during screenings of the Nickelodeon film Harriet The Spy, the first episode of Hey Arnold! is equally memorable — primarily because it features Arnold and his best friend Gerald getting lost downtown while dressed as fruits due to a school performance. Other episodes include “The List,” where Arnold tries hard to complete the “List for a Kid’s Perfect Saturday,” an episode where Helga tries hard to sabotage Arnold’s crush, Ruth, and an episode where Arnold and Gerald get approached by girls who are in the sixth grade. Arnold and his Grandpa set out to free a turtle who’s stuck in the aquarium named Lockjaw, and viewer are introduced to Stoop Kid, who’s afraid to leave his stoop.
Hey Arnold! Season 2
19 Episodes | September 1997 – January 1998
In season two, Arnold and his friend force their new teacher, Mr. Simmons, to quit his job but regret his replacement. Helga relies on a secret potion to try to end her crush on Arnold, and Harold has a very hard time giving up his stray kitten, Cupcake, after he realizes that she already has an owner. In “Monkey Business,” Helga thinks she has a case of monkeynucleosis after being kissed by a monkey, and Arnold and Gerald are too terrified to be caught playing hookey to actually enjoy their day off from school.
Hey Arnold! Season 3
20 Episodes | August 1998 – March 1999
Helga almost blabs her secret crush on Arnold to Arnold himself, after leaving a message on his answering machine. Harold gets a job as a butcher’s assistant due to a punishment, but ends up actually finding his real calling in life. The neighborhood realizes that Mr. Hyunh actually has a talent for singing country, and he ends up becoming more famous than he could have recognized. In order to help with his singing voice, Randy Travis guest starred on this episode, titled “Mr. Hyunh Goes Country.” Helga is threatened with a fight when she picks on Big Patty one too many times, and Arnold gets to experience a career day with the Jolly Olly Man.
Hey Arnold! Season 4
17 Episodes | March 1999 – December 1999
During the show’s fourth season, Helga’s more popular sister Olga starts as an aide in her classroom, which infuriates Helga. Stinky grows a giant pumpkin to help improve his self-esteem. After learning that Oskar is illiterate, Arnold vows to help him out and get him through this setback. Harold goes on a weight loss cruise to try and lose weight, but ends up coming back heavier than ever. Phyllis Diller voices Grandpa’s sister in the episode “Grandpa’s Sister,” and singer Dino Spumoni goes into hiding at Arnold’s boarding house.
Hey Arnold! Season 5
24 Episodes | March 2000 – June 2004
The final season of Hey Arnold! had episodes that spanned a few years. In the final season, Mr. Simmons gets promoted up to the job of principal, Sid turns into a neat freak after becoming terrified of germs, Arnold learns more about his parents and their disappearance, and Chocolate Boy tries to give up his chocolate habit for good, after learning why he turns to it as his vice. The season was meant to end on Arnold figuring out where his parents might be as a lead-in to a theatrical movie, but it was canceled, and finally released years later for television. Episodes after that aired in Belgium years before they ended up hitting America.
What Are the Best Hey Arnold! Episodes?
Hey Arnold! has a bunch of memorable episodes, especially during their earlier seasons. Here are a list of the best Hey Arnold! episodes throughout the show’s run on Nickelodeon.
Season 1, Episode 8: “Stoop Kid”
While it’s easy to pick on Stoop Kid, who harasses the other kids from the safety of his stoop, Arnold realizes that he probably has some good in him. Together, they try to get Stoop Kid to feel safe leaving his own property. Years after the episode aired, creator Craig Bartlett said that Stoop Kid really went places after that. According to Buzzfeed, Bartlett said “Once he had the power to leave the stoop, he left when he wanted to. He basically went around the world and sat on some huge stoops. Remember, Arnold showed him a bunch of stoops? He went to the Great Pyramids.”
Season 1, Episode 14: “Pigeon Man”
Arnold befriends a neighborhood loner who many of the kids are frightened by after one of his own carrier pigeons gets sick. The man is known for keeping company primarily of pigeons, which intrigues Arnold. After he gains his trust, Arnold’s friends accidentally sabotage his home in a heartbreaking manner, forcing Pigeon Man to fly forward.
Season 2, Episode 11: “The High Life”
In order to make his own money, Gerald becomes a watch salesman — and he’s surprisingly good at it. But unfortunately, his business crumbles when he realizes that he can’t sell someone the same watch twice. For anyone who thought they could get rich quick as a kid, this episode is more or less a good reminder that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Season 2, Episode 15: “Harold’s Bar Mitzvah”
Harold is too afraid to “become a man” during his traditional Bar Mitzvah ceremony, so he tries hard to run away from it. As there aren’t many episodes of television geared towards children that outline Jewish culture, this episode flawlessly provided a cultural education to its viewers.
Season 3, Episode 1: “Harold The Butcher”
Harold shoplifts a ham, but is quickly caught by the butcher, Mr. Green. In order to have him pay off what he took, as the ham was now unusable, Mr. Green orders him to help out in the store. But then, Harold never wants to leave — he earns an education in meat while figuring out his true happiness.
Who Are the Voice Actors in the Hey Arnold! Cast?
Hey Arnold! actually had a few voice actors play the character throughout the year, simply because many actual kids provided voices. While it’s easy for Arnold not to age, the same can’t be said about the show’s vocal talent — so, people were often replaced. Here are the most prominent voice actors from Hey Arnold!
Lane Toran as Arnold Shortman
Lane Toran voiced Arnold the longest, for 40 episodes between 1996 and 2001. While not playing the role as Arnold, he does appear in Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie as various voices. Despite taking a break between 2004 and 2015, he got right back into voice acting, with roles in series such as Satisfaction and RePlay
Francesca Marie Smith as Helga Pataki
Francesca Marie Smith voiced Helga for an impressive 86 episodes and came back for the 2017 television movie. She also provided voices in a few episodes of VeggieTales.
Jamil Walker Smith as Gerald Johanssen
Jamil Walker Smith was Gerald for 81 episodes of the series. These days, he seems more interested in actual acting. He played Sgt. Ronald Greer in SGU Stargate Universe and just wrapped up a film called Getaway Girls.
Dan Castellaneta as Arnold’s Grandpa
Most famous for voicing Homer Simpson, Dan Castellaneta also played Arnold’s wise grandfather, who more or less acted as his dad in his parents’ absence. He was in 75 episodes. As an actor outside of vocal work, he played Aaron Spelling on both The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story and The Unauthorized Beverly Hills, 90210 Story which were Lifetime television movies.
Justin Shenkarow a Harold Berman
Justin Shenkarow played Harold Berman on the show, and appeared in 71 episodes. His other work includes voices in the Pound Puppies series, and voices in the show W.I.TC.H..
Christopher Walberg as Stinky Petersen
Christopher Walberg was best known for his role as Timmy Moore in the 1994 film Little Giants. Playing Stinky was actually the last credit on his resume.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on Hey Arnold!?
While Hey Arnold! didn’t rely heavily on guest stars, they did appear on occasion to help voice specific characters. Aside from Phyllis Diller and Randy Travis, who were already mentioned, here are a few other big names that helped bring memorable characters to life.
Beverley Mitchell as Summer
Beverley Mitchell, famous for her portrayal of Lucy Camden on 7th Heaven, provided the voice of Summer. Summer appears in a special half-hour episode of the show called “Summer Love,” which aired during the fourth season.
George Takei as Kyo Heyerdahl
George Takei plays the role of Kyo Heyerdahl, Phoebe’s father. He appears in a few episodes throughout the run of the show, most notably “Phoebe Cheats.’
Davy Jones as himself
Davy Jones, known for being a key part of The Monkees, played himself in an episode called “Fishing Trip” in season five.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Miss Felter
Arnold develops a crush on his teacher, Miss Felter, during the episode titled “Crush on Teacher.” Miss Felter is actually voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine on Seinfeld and is currently known for her role in Veep.
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind Hey Arnold!?
Craig Bartlett is credited a creating the series, but he wasn’t the only talent to help bring Hey Arnold! to life. He had some help, namely from Steve Viksten and Joe Ansolabehere.
Craig Bartlett: Hey Arnold! Creator And Writer
Craig Bartlett may be best known for Hey Arnold! but he’s also worked on projects such as Dinosaur Train and Ready Jet Go! He was also a story editor for 12 episodes of Johnny Bravo.
Steve Viksten: Hey Arnold! Writer and Developer
Steve Viksten, who undortunately passed away in 2014, was also a writer on Rugrats. He penned an episode of The Simpsons called “Homer Scissorhands,” which aired in 2011.
Joe Ansolabehere: Hey Arnold! Writer and Developer
Joe Ansolabehere has kept busy since Hey Arnold! wrapped up, most notably on the television series of Peter Rabbit and Pound Puppies, the latter in which he helped develop for television.
Joseph Purdy: Hey Arnold! Writer
Joseph Purdy also worked on Ready Jet Go! and Dinosaur Train but also worked behind the scenes of children’s television shows such as Arthur and Doc McStuffins.
Steve Socki: Hey Arnold! Director
While he helped direct 38 episodes of Hey Arnold!, Steve Socki is best known for working in animation, specifically as an animation timer. He’s worked on The Loud House, the Napoleon Dynamite television series, Futurama, and The Powerpuff Girls.
Where Hey Arnold! Ranks in the Television Pantheon
Hey Arnold! wasn’t the most talked-about Nicktoon (that honor probably goes to Spongebob Squarepants) but it was one of the most relatable. Much like Doug, which came years before it, the series focused on a pretty relatable pre-teen who learns from experience and strives to be a better person. The differences are, Hey Arnold! very often lets other characters lead the story, and features experiences that kids who live in the city would be more familiar with, such as taking the subway.
There’s a reason why the second Hey Arnold! movie was released years after it was created — people still feel a warmth for Arnold and his friends and wanted to see their journeys continue. Especially Arnold, who was trying to figure out whether or not his parents were still alive.
Even watching today, Hey Arnold! holds up. It’s a show that Nickelodeon should be proud of