The Dark Theory Of "Hey Arnold!"

The Dark Theory Of "Hey Arnold!"

I'm here to ruin your childhood, one article at a time.

If you're a true 90s kid or had at least a halfway decent childhood, then you've probably watched "Hey Arnold!" While it was probably one of the best classic Nickelodeon shows, there's a dark theory behind it.

Arnold's grandparents really weren't his "grandparents." They're actually his real parents and the story about his parents getting lost after a plane accident is a just a lie. Gertie and Phil, the grandparents, had Arnold at a rather elderly age and unfortunately for Arnold, this led to some health conditions.

Arnold was born with hydrocephalus, which gives Arnold his uniquely-shaped head. Arnold's name was actually inspired by a specific form of hydrocephalus, known as Arnold Chiari Syndrome. But wait, Arnold isn't the only one with an oddly-shaped head! Yes, this is where another one of Arnold's health conditions comes into play.

In the real world, Arnold is severely bullied for the shape/size of his head. All this distress paired along with his conditions allows him to hallucinate a world where everyone has oddly shaped heads. This helps Arnold feel normal, because no one can make fun of his head because theirs are equally f*cked up.

So where did this idea originate from? Some claim that the creator of the show had an encounter with the child of two rather elderly adults. The child was noticeably mentally unstable and spoke of his imaginary friends and their wild adventures. It's said that the creator had gained permission to share the boy's story and in exchange he would improve his life. Instead, the creator broke his promise and got rich by making a TV show (douchebag).

So is any of this true? Nope. Craig Barlett, the creator, actually got the inspiration for the show based on who he was as a kid, a vivid daydreamer. Bartlett had always wanted to make an animated series. While working on "Rugrats," he approached Nickelodeon and told them about his vision.

So where did the dark theory come from? Fans of the show always wondered what had happened to Arnold's parents. Bartlett really hadn't thought of a solid backstory for his parents yet, so fans started to make their own. This resulted in fans believing that the parents Arnold always envisioned did not actually exist, and that his grandparents are his true parents. This theory spread rather fast, faster than Bartlett could release an episode explaining the parent's backstory, and so the theory lived.

Luckily, Arnold is not the result of delusional elders. Arnold is just a regular boy who lives with his crazy grandparents in a neighborhood of oddly shaped people. Moral of the story: explain everything to your fans or else they'll ruin the reputation of your show and you.

Cover Image Credit: Beliefnet

Popular Right Now

The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.

The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.

3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.

6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.

7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.

13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.

14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.

You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 Reasons I'm Chandler And Phoebe's Love Child

I'm the walking depiction of the combination of two of your favorite "friends."



1. I'm always talking.

The GIF basically does the explaining for me..


2. People who can't be independent annoy me.

This GIF basically covers this one too..


3. I have impeccable dance moves...  

....or rather the lack thereof


4. Slight temper may be an understatement.

I could make a sailor blush if I wanted to. Thanks for the extensive vocabulary, mom!


5. I tend to make jokes during serious moments..

...or really any time


6. Ever so slightly perverted

I could make basically anything perverted with a look, sound, or phrase to add onto it. It's a gift.



Doesn't matter the time, occasion, or mood. I can always find a reason to yell this. And yes, sometimes I do say it like Chandler.


8. What I mean 90% of the time when friends invite me to something.

​Sorry girls😂😅


9. Low-key (but no so low-key) clumsy.

Okay, high-key. The other day I face planted because I tripped over nothing. On the bright side, if I wanted a part in a horror movie, I've already got that part down!


10. And then there's the obvious reason

I may be weird and a lot to handle, but all in all, I'm pretty awesome.



Related Content

Facebook Comments