Hey Arnold! Greatest Hits: Downtown as Fruits

Wow, people downtown sure are friendly.

- Written by Vinny Guarino

I don't want to brag or anything, but I think I just made the best purchase of my life.  Last week I decided that I needed to buy the complete series of Hey Arnold! on DVD since it is my favorite childhood show.

I haven't binged it; I have just been watching a few of the short episodes at a time, reliving its greatness.  While some shows from Nickelodeon like CatDog or Rugrats haven't stood the test of time, Hey Arnold! is still pretty captivating and funny.

I figured while I'm wasting time soaking myself in nostalgia, why not be productive and create a series out of it? So here we go, "Hey Arnold! Greatest Hits."

The Origin

This is where it all began.  We start off with Arnold daydreaming about surfing amongst dinosaurs while he's supposed to be reciting his lines for Helga's play about the food groups which is going to be held on the following day.  

Helga then yells at him and the rest of the cast for not preparing to the best of their ability.  After berating everyone, she drifts off to the back and confesses her love of Arnold in an aside to the audience which would become a recurring event in the series (also her punching of Brainy who would always end up behind her during this).

Anyway, the following night, Arnold and Gerald hop the bus on the way to the school to perform in the play.  Arnold is dressed as a banana and Gerald is dressed as a strawberry.  They're humiliated to look like this in public and complain about the way Helga treated them.  Instead of stopping at the school, they decide to ride the bus a little bit further.  Unfortunately, the bus keeps going to the end of the line and ends its cycle for the night, leaving the boys stranded downtown, dressed as fruits.

With no payphone in the area that works, the boys are lost. Until of course, some random car strolls past and throws them a brown paper bag filled with STACKS leading Arnold to say one of the most memorable quotes of the show: "Wow, people downtown sure are friendly." 

Turns out that money was meant for a couple of thugs who were also dressed as a banana and strawberry.  With their new cash, Arnold and Gerald buy a nice meal and some flashy outfits. Then they flex their swag at the local pool hall.

This is also where they run into the thugs who are pissed because they didn't get their money.  The thugs chase Arnold and Gerald who find refuge in a psychic's building.  The psychic's name is Zamboni Jones.

Here, Zamboni senses that something is troubling them.  Gerald and Arnold realize that they need to get back to the school to save the play which is failing horribly.  The crowd is throwing tomatoes at the stage and Helga is ruined.

This is until Arnold and Gerald return and sing the finale, "We're Fruits," save the play, and draw a standing ovation.  Also, on the way there, they give the rest of the money to a family whose car is broken down on the side of the road who echo the line from earlier, "Wow, people downtown sure are friendly."

Arnold is not completely incorruptible but he does have strong morals and this episode highlights that really well.  Gerald steers him away from them for a bit by indulging in their anger and humiliation but ultimately, Arnold decides that they need to do the right thing and head back to come through for their friends and classmates.  This is the first of many times where Arnold handles a tough situation by being the bigger person.

Stray Notes:

Monkeyman is shown running through the city streets in this episode.

"Legumes? I thought we were beans." - Peapod Kid

"Do vegetables have souls?" - Curly