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April Fool's Day

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Episode of Hey Arnold!
April Fool's Day
April Fool's Day
Season 5, Episode 98
Air date: April 1, 2002
Don Del Grande's

April Fool's Day is a special half-hour episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.


It's April Fool's Day at P.S. 118 and everyone, including Helga, plays pranks on one other. However,  Helga mainly targets Arnold, humiliating him for most of the day. Then after she sets a tray of pudding on his seat, he gets back at her with a gift box that glares a bright light. 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. 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 accidentally 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. When the dance ends, Arnold spins Helga right into the pool.


Grandpa bursts into the kitchen with an ax in the head. Arnold panics until Grandpa yells "April Fools!" Grandpa proceeds to pull several pranks on Arnold in quick succession. Grandma leaves saying she's going to wrap presents. Grandpa offers to give Arnold the best prank ever, but Arnold turns him down saying that the kids at school aren't really into pranks.

When he arrives at school he discovers that everyone is really into it. Helga pulls the first prank of the day on him and tells him she'll be at it all day. It continues until Arnold has finally had enough. He calls Grandpa and requests the ultimate April Fool's prank and a new pair of pants, as one of Helga's pranks led to him sitting in chocolate pudding.

After pulling several pranks over the phone, Grandpa does finally show up with the gag plus a new pair of pants, which actually belong to him. 

Arnold returns to the cafeteria telling Helga the gag box is a belated birthday present. Helga accepts it, promising to herself to never pull another prank on Arnold. When she opens the box, the light goes off blinding her. At first everyone thinks she's joking, but then Arnold sees that her eyes are watering and are unfocused. 

In the Nurse's office, the nurse tells Helga it is only a temporary blindness and that should cut back on the pranks before she permanently hurts herself. Helga decides to get back at Arnold by pretending to still be blind. She grabs a cane and walks out the door. Everyone is shocked and Arnold is wracked by guilt. He offers to help her until she gets her sight back. Helga asks him to walk her home and Gerald says that it is a pathetic sight. At first people think he is talking about Helga, but then he says that Arnold may be indebted to Helga forever.

As Arnold walks Helga home, she nearly reveals herself several times such as when Arnold is carrying her across the street and Helga warns him about a cab speeding towards him and when she reads their server's name-tag. When she finally arrives home she makes sure to remind Arnold of her blindness several times.

Arnold arrives home and asks Phil why he didn't mention that the box causes blindness. Phil responds saying that he told Arnold it unleashed a "blinding flash." Phil says that if she's lucky she'll get her sight back and that Arnold should take her to the April's Fools dance to take her mind off of the fact that she's blind. 

When Arnold calls Helga, she agrees to go to the dance with him. After she hangs up, she laughs saying that Arnold is going to be crowned King of Fools at the rate he's going.

At the dance, everyone stares and whispers about Helga's blindness. Arnold dances with Helga while Sid and Stinky put a snapping turtle in one of the toilets in the girl's restroom. Helga causes several incidents during the dance.

Helga asks Arnold to take her to the restroom. While there, she runs into Phoebe and tells her the truth. Gerald overhears everything and tells Arnold that Helga's faking. They come up with a plan to get back at Helga. Helga and Phoebe leave the restroom after Helga flushes Snappy down the toilet. Sid and Stinky begin to cry.

Mr. Simmons begins to play tango music. Arnold and Helga tango. Arnold turns out to be really good at tango gaining the attention of the entire dance floor. Then just as the King of Fools is announced. Helga takes off her glasses and yells "You!" while pointing at Arnold. Arnold dips Helga telling the the King is her and then spins her into the pool which Gerald opened during the tango. Mr. Simmons says the King is actually Eugene. Eugene accepts the award and Helga asks Arnold to pull her out. When he reaches down to do so, she pulls him in. After this everyone either jumps or is pushed into the pool. 

Rhonda and Helga share a laugh and then Helga is bitten by Snappy, who managed to crawl up the sewer lines and drainage pipes into the pool. Stinky pulls her off Helga and then Sid and Stinky realize that he was flushed and he ended up her. They frantically get out of the pool.

Eugene says this is the best dance ever and Arnold and others are seen swimming happily in the background.


  • Arnold says Helga's birthday was last week, meaning that Helga was born roughly around March 25th.
  • 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 was the first episode to feature Alex D. Linz as the voice of Arnold. The other episode where he voiced him was "The Journal".
  • This is the only episode not to feature Sam Gifaldi as the voice of Sid. In this episode, he was voiced by Sam's younger brother, Taylor Gifaldi.
  • Unlike the episodes "Arnold's Christmas", "Arnold's Valentine", "Arnold's Halloween" and "Veterans Day", this episode actually aired on the day of April Fool's Day.
  • Canonically, this episode takes place after the "Hey Arnold!: The Movie", which means Arnold already knows about Helga's feelings.
  • 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'.
  • Harold and Patty are seen dancing together in one scene, either implying that they went to the dance as friends or as a couple.
  • Craig Bartlett himself admitted on the The Arun Mehta Show that during the tango  Arnold was indeed flirting with Helga.
  • This is the second time where Helga is given a wedgie.

See also

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