April Fool's Day is a special half-hour episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.
It's April Fools Day and Helga has targeted Arnold as her practical joke victim for the day. When Helga goes one prank too far, Arnold stages a retaliation and brings in Grandpa's prized practical joke.
It's April Fool's Day at P.S. 118 and everyone is playing pranks on one another. Helga, however, primarily targets Arnold, humiliating him for most of the day. After she sets a tray of pudding on his seat, he decides to get back at her with a gift box that glares a bright light, claiming it's a belated birthday present. Unfortunately, he isn't aware that the box temporarily blinds someone. Helga decides to use this to her advantage by acting like she's permanently blind to indirectly force Arnold to be her personal slave. She occasionally messes up by proving that she's not blind, but she manages to cover it up.
After he walks her home, he follows his grandfather's advice and asks her if she'd like to the April Fool's Dance held at the school. She reveals to Phoebe that she's pretending to be blind only to reveal to Arnold that it's another prank, but Gerald overhears this and tells Arnold. They come up with a plan to finally get back at Helga without hurting her this time. Arnold and Helga dance while Gerald opens up the pool that's in the gym. Right before the King of Fools is announced, Arnold spins Helga right into the pool.
This episode was produced in 2001, when Nickelodeon ordered an additional three half-hours for Season 5 after deciding to release the TV movie Arnold Saves the Neighborhood on theaters as Hey Arnold! The Movie.
As a result of being produced one year after the rest of Season 5 and the movie, this episode features Alex D. Linz as the voice of Arnold and Taylor Gifaldi as the voice of Sid, since their previous actors went through voice changes during the one-year production hiatus as they were going through puberty.
According to Craig Bartlett, this episode is meant to take place after the events of Hey Arnold! The Movie, and was written from the perspective that Arnold has already heard Helga's confession, and is aware of her feelings for him.
- While Arnold and Helga are dancing the tango, Arnold seems to flirt with Helga, hinting that he's starting to have feelings for her.
- Final in-show appearance of Robert Simmons and Principal Wartz.
- During his second interview on The Arun Mehta Show, Craig Bartlett himself confirmed that during their tango, Arnold was indeed flirting with Helga.
- Arnold says Helga's birthday was "last week", meaning that Helga was born roughly around March 25th. It's generally agreed that her birthday is on March 26th, the same day as her actress, Francesca Smith's birthday.
- The YMAA's gym floor can be opened up to get access to the pool. This is a reference to the dance scene in the movie It's a Wonderful Life.
- This is the only holiday episode that actually aired on the day of its respective holiday.
- Gerald states that Arnold is too "trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind" for April Fool's Day. Those characteristics are 6 of the 12 laws, in order, of Boy Scouts of America's 'Scout Law'.
- Both Harold & Patty and Rhonda & Curly are seen dancing together, so it's possible that they may have come to the dance together.
- Continuing the running gag of Pookie confusing her holidays, she thinks April Fools Day is Groundhog's Day, and when she sees her shadow it means twelve more weeks of Christmas.
- For a long time, this was one of several specials to not be apart of TeenNick's rotation on The Splat until Valentine's Day of 2017 when this episode along with Married and Arnold's Valentine aired. However the second half of the episode did not air for unknown reasons (most likely due to it being aired at the wrong time, although it was included on TV listings), similar to what happened with The Racing Mule in 2002.
- It finally aired in it's complete form (with both segments intact) on the morning of April Fool's Day of that same year.