Nick On Toons-Hey Arnold “Operation Ruthless”

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It’s a Friday night here at Nick On Toons and I’ve got to tell you, the only thing better then sucking back a cold Chips Ahoy iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts (No, they’re not sponsoring me, but gosh darn it they should!) is watching a classic episode from everyone’s favorite football head cartoon show, Hey Arnold! Now there are certainly plenty of great episodes to choose from (even though like many Nicktoons, later episodes became a bit too weird, over the top, and difficult for me to follow) and while it would make sense to start from the beginning, I’m all about being random and in addition to that, I’m now going to only center in on one episode, even for those cartoons that crammed two episodes into one showing. It just gets a bit too messy for me, like when you go swimming and realize your phone is still in your-oh hey Aaron, how ya doin’, buddy?

No, seriously. How you doin’?

Anyways, we’re going to take a look at the episode “Operation Ruthless” which deals with important issues like jealousy, love, and of course, cheese festivals, because really, I don’t know about you, but back in my pre-teen years I knew nothing was more important to my fragile psyche than cheese festivals. I mean, these are the kinds of things that make all the difference in a young person’s life. It could be the deciding factor between becoming a contributor to society or a sociopath with unhealthy obsessions, but I digress.

And then he stole my spice rack and..oh the horror!

We begin with Arnold and Gerald discussing the fact that it seems like only yesterday they were sitting there talking about the fact that it was only yesterday since the last Cheese Festival. You follow? Good, because then Phoebe, the original hipster she is, tells of one of the long standing festival rituals of taking a piece of Swiss cheese, which somehow has been patented as a window to the soul (be sure to Windex those suckers, the soul window, not the cheese) spin around with it, and then hold your breath before looking through a hole to find your one true love. So that’s how Nick Stephens and Rob Luther got married! I mean, to their wives, of course. It could also explain some terrible celebrity marriages. How insightful, Phoebe. Anyways, Helga believes it’s a joke, until of course the cheese lands her on her one true love, Arnold, and, well, you know what happens next. She turns into Landon Long at the first sight of a chicken biscuit, Willie Culver at the next chance to get Chadwick Hall to do something stupid, Rob Luther during a Buy 1 Get 1 Flannel Sale, you get the point.

Of course, Arnold doesn’t love Helga (I mean, have you seen this girl’s unibrow, yeesh) and shows his affections to a girl named Ruth, who doesn’t even know Arnold exists, and probably wouldn’t want to with his creepy smile and statements like “Ruth, what a beautiful name for such a divine creature.” I’m not a woman, but I’d like to think most of my female readers can attest that being called a creature, even with the word divine in front of it isn’t the most endearing of sentiments. Helga is disgusted and has a friend like Phoebe who is always there to remind her of who she isn’t and what she’s up against. I don’t know about you, but I can always appreciate the fact that I am a great friend and will always remind my fellow Junkies of when they are doing something wrong, in the most friendly and heartfelt manner imaginable.

STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW.
STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW.

Arnold begins discussing his plans for Ruth P. McDoogle, as does Helga, which includes her fixing her wagon, which is a great thing for someone to do I’d say. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I wished someone would fix my wagon.

This one time, in Oregon..

Arnold is practicing his opening line, which actually sounds good, until Gerald craps all over it and turns Arnold into a cult follower of Ruth to the point where he’s even saying “Hi Ruth, hi Ruth, hi Ruth” without his mouth moving. This is either horrible animation or there’s an ear worm inside of Arnold’s head making him repeat something he wouldn’t normally say, something that could ruin his very reputation and the sanctity of life as we know it. I know someone is behind this, but who?

Curse you and your song without an end!!

You know, another sign of a great friendship, as exhibited by Helga and Phoebe, is when a friend has a complete meltdown and then tells the other “This conversation never happened” because chances are in our own lives there are things we’ve done we’d rather not mention.

I rest my case, buckos.

Gerald and Arnold are talking strategy, which includes Arnold offering Ruth his kabob of cheese as a token of his affection. Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever got my pre-relationship token of affection cheese kabob. I’ll have to ask for that this month for my 7 year anniversary with Kathy (Yes, someone fully admits to loving me/putting up with me everyday 24/7 without complaint for nearly 7 years) but what I won’t do (or maybe I should) is repeat Kathy’s name in cult like fashion as Arnold is set to do, because ladies, there’s no bigger turn on then a guy with a cheese kabob saying your name over and over again in creepy monotone fashion, am I right?

And some ladies like guys who look like this..who knew?
And some ladies like guys who look like this..who knew?

Of course, the nefarious Helga, who sends in her lack Phoebe, foils Arnold’s plan by using a diversion before shoulder blocking Arnold to the ground, thus sending his cheese kabob sailing into the air before hitting the ground. That’s why we can’t have nice things, kids, and also how the 5-second rule was invented.

All hail King Germ!

Arnold is undeterred and chooses a direct-direct approach (because 1 direct just isn’t enough) before forgetting his opening creepster line which Gerald reminds him of, before doing as any good friend would, calling him a “sick boy” as he heads for the House Of Mirrors, which is what any good sick boy would do when trying to earn the affections of a girl who doesn’t even know he exists. Is anybody getting a psychopathic or sociopathic vibe from Arnold right now? Speaking of which, how are Phoebe and Gerald so fond of each other? Have they been stalking each other in episodes past?

Nicktoons were always big on telling girls how they should look, as evident by how Helga turns into a near supermodel in the House Of Mirrors, which just goes to show you, mirrors aren’t bad luck after all, if you’re a female cartoon anyways. This portion of the cartoon ends with Arnold running into Helga, getting treated like dirt, then leaving after some sexy saxophone music that would make Kenny G proud. Oh and Helga punches that kid with the glasses. See kids, bullying was easily solved in the 90s, even if the bully was really a creepy heavy breathing kid who would probably end up doing some pretty heinous things later on in life and could have needed a friend and not a punch.

After more sound shows of youth and bullying to Eugene, Sid tells everyone that the accelerator in bumper car #4 sticks, which instead of causing a full scale investigation and recall on said bumper cars sends Helga into an evil plot. After all these years, we still don’t know who or what caused the accelerator to stick, but I’ve uncovered the truth.

The source of evil in Hey Arnold. If all else fails, blame Chocolate Boy.

Due to the exploits of said chocolatey villain, Helga is duped and ends up cascading with Phoebe into a giant inflatable hot dog, deflating it. Nothing makes hot dog less fun then a bumper car with pre teen girls crashing into it. We move onto the Tunnel Of Love, which not only has a Soul Train style cupid announcing it, but also someone looking like they’re going to throw up, because, as Barry Cupid says so eloquently “Yeah, sure it’s risky, but so is love.” I bet Mrs. Robert P. Luther and Mrs. Nicholas Barry Stephens thought the same thing, but I digress.

After the Tunnel Of Love fiasco, which sees Ruth with the smooth criminal Sid, Arnold with his sailor suited Grandma, and Helga of course with her heavy breathing stalker (who gets another punch) it seems Helga’s plan has worked, except Arnold will continue his admiring/stalking of Ruth from afar, as Gerald goes off with Phoebe, and Helga is left sad and alone, which just goes to show you, kids, not evil plan that sounds good on paper looks great when it is finally executed.

I'm just going to leave this here..and shudder.
I’m just going to leave this here..and shudder.

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