Hey Arnold! Theory, is it true?
About every ’90s kid knows the Nickelodeon series, “Hey Arnold!”. The show about a small boy with an odd shaped head. That’s about the first thing you notice, the oddly shaped heads the characters have. We’ll get back to that later on.
I want to tell you one thing first. The show isn’t fiction. It has all happened. That’s why there are a lot of life lessons in it.
Arnold is a boy who lives in a “fictional” city. The city actually is New York. The poor area of New York, it’s clearly visible that Arnold lives in a ghetto. He’s just a poor orphan living in with his grandparents Gertie and Phil. Well, he BELIEVES he’s an orphan. He actually is the child of the people he believes to be his grandparents. The grandparents are mentally unstable and told Arnold that his real parents, of normal age, died in a plane crash. That’s not true at all.
Because Gertie and Phil were old when they “made” Arnold, he was born with a few conditions. One of them is hydrocephalus. That the reason his head has such an odd shape. There’s one type of hydrocephalus, the one Arnold suffers from, that’s called the Arnold Chiari syndrome. That’s the reason why the creators decided to call the boy Arnold.
Gertie and Phil themselves are mentally unstable. This is because of their age. This is also the reason why Phil sexually abused Arnold. Phil says to Arnold that it’s totally normal that a “grandparent” does this kind of stuff to their grandchildren.
Arnold is being bullied for his oddly shaped head. This is where another condition Arnold has comes in. Because of Gertie’s and Phil’s old age, Arnold suffers from several psychological conditions. This makes him see things that aren’t there. Because he’s bullied a lot, he escapes to an imaginary world, with imaginary friends. That’s the reason the other characters have weird shaped heads too. It makes him feel like he’s normal, and no one can pick on him because of his head. This also is the reason why Arnold believes that his parents are his grandparents, and that his real parents died in a plane crash. His condition makes him believe that it is reality.
But the reality behind the series is way worse. It is reality. It tells the story about a poor boy living in New York. It’s all based on facts. When the creator got lost in New York he accidentally got in to the poor area. It was really late, so he decided to stay at a hotel. Then he came across a 9-year old boy, the child of two people who were clearly too old to have children. He saw that the boy was mentally unstable, and he believed in all the things he made up. The creator decided to talk to the boy. He felt really sorry for the boy when he discovered the boy only had imaginary friends and would die if he didn’t get medical care quickly. He felt like he needed to do something. So he asked the boy if he could tell his story, and then he’d make sure that the boy’s life would become better.
But he didn’t. He just used the sad story for a TV programme. He just took advantage of it. All the misery was so successful as a children’s’ programme. He became rich and didn’t care about the poor boy suffering.
He did not tell anyone about the way he came up with the idea for the series. He knew that if the truth would come out, it would all be done for him. No one would support a programme created by someone who became rich over the misery of someone else. The secret was well kept for so many years. But when it all came out to one of the important people from the Nickelodeon found out, the show immediately got canceled.
So, now you know it all. Where the idea came from, what it really is about and why it ended. The boy probably is dead by now, we can’t help him anymore. But please, make sure no one takes advantage of someone else’s misery ever again. We can help all those poor kids in ghettos, but not by making a programme about them.
Debunking Hey Arnold! Theory
That Theory is all wrong!
Craig Bartlett is the creator of Hey Arnold!, I’ve read and watched many interviews of him talking about Hey Arnold!, he said that his own personal life was an inspiration for the show.
A friend of mine told me that his wife (Lisa Greoning, Matt Groening’s Sister) Lisa Simpson was the one who suggested for Helga Pataki to be “secretly deeply in love with Arnold”.
Another thing the Theory lies about is why Hey Arnold! got cancelled, the show got cancelled because in the early 2000’s Nickelodeon was going Movie Making, Hey Arnold! sadly wasn’t as big of a hit that the Rugrats was so they decided to cancell it.
So to answer your question with good news: NO! That Theory is completely wrong and that is not the true story for Hey Arnold!.