Arnold's Thanksgiving is a special half-hour episode of Hey Arnold!.


Arnold and Helga are tired of their respective Thanksgivings, so they decide to enjoy dinner with Mr. Simmons, but it's less magical than they would have imagined.


Arnold's grandmother celebrates the Fourth of July when it's really Thanksgiving, which is not what he had in mind for the holiday. Meanwhile, Helga's optimistic hopes are squelched when her mom tells her to put her pine cone table piece she made next to Olga's ice sculpture of a turkey. This annoys Helga, who doesn't bother displaying her table piece. She becomes increasingly unhappy when she has to put up with helping Olga make dinner, Big Bob watching football, and a usual drunk Miriam. When Arnold has had enough of dealing with his family's way of celebrating Thanksgiving, he decides to leave. At home, when Helga bluntly states she is thankful for nothing when having her Thanksgiving dinner with her family, Bob sends her to her room.  She decides to leave her house as well.

Coincidentally, Arnold and Helga run into each other and start talking about how things at home aren't working out. During this time, Helga's family notices her absence and becomes increasingly concerned about her whereabouts. As the day progresses, Helga's family takes to the streets (Olga posting flyers) and starts looking for her. Eventually, both Arnold and Helga go to Mr. Simmons's house in search for the perfect Thanksgiving, only to find out that his isn't going so well either. After they leave Mr. Simmons's house, they realize that their Thanksgiving wasn't as bad as they thought and return to their homes. When Arnold gets home, he embraces his grandmother's Fourth of July celebration and Helga's anxious family warmly greets her with a loving embrace. The Pataki family also places Helga's pine cone place setting back onto the table next to Olga's and sit down together to eat dinner.




Arnold's Thanksgiving cel

A cel from the episode.

  • This episode gained a large amount of controversy in May 2016 after a Vine (that was posted in 2013) became viral, which showed a clip from the episode that supposedly depicted anilingus. Craig Bartlett ultimately denied this scene (after being forced by the internet) was depicting anilingus in a recent news article on May 26th as it was actually Chuck eating turkey. The news article can be found here
  • This episode aired on the exact same date as The Powerpuff Girls's first episode "Insect Inside".
  • Mr. Simmons' first name is indirectly revealed as Robert.
  • In the last scene where Arnold looks at Helga and her family through her window and wishes her a Happy Thanksgiving from outside, is similar to the end scene of the episode "Arnold's Christmas", when Helga stands outside the boarding house and wishes Arnold a Merry Christmas.
  • In the end credits, instead of playing the usual ending theme, Stars and Stripes Forever plays through the first part.
  • Thanksgiving is on two different dates depending on one's location within North America. It is on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Due to this, the episode was aired in between the two.
  • This episode wasn't aired on many TV networks outside of North America, because most countries don't celebrate Thanksgiving. However, the episode was shown on local Nickelodeon channels.
  • When Bob Pataki told Helga about what work she had to do, he said there was a 3 day weekend sale coming up which means he was talking about black Friday which is after Thanksgiving.
  • In a rare moment when Olga gave Helga a large amount of potato's to peel and prepare, Helga briefly talks back to Olga by saying "Just a darn minute Ms. Merry Sunshine! I've got plenty of other things to do today." But before Olga can respond, Bob buts in and reminds Helga that he needs her to "stuff beepers into cornicopias" for the 3 day weekend sale after she finishes doing what Olga wants her to do.
  • This is the second time a Heimlich Manuever is done, the first was "Eugene's Bike". In this episode, Joy chokes on a turkey while Mr. Robert Simmons holds her chest to pull it out.
  • A muffled arguement in the kitchen scene between Mr Simmon's boyfriend Peter and his mother Pearl, can be heard. Peter yells at Pearl saying "You've always hated me! You've always been jealous! I'm a better cook than you, I take better care of your son than you", Pearl then responds with "I am a wonderful mother!".
  • Whenever Olga speaks, a piano arrangement of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BMV 1048 is heard.
  • Bob drives a Hummer.


  • Mayor Dixie's mouth doesn't move when she christens the replica Mayflower.
  • When Helga and Arnold represents themselves on Simmons' Thanksgiving, they already have places where to seat with pre-set cutlery and plates, although they weren't expected.
  • In the play scene, when Helga is complaining about her family, it shows a close up of Phoebe. But the background is Helga's living room, not backstage.
  • At the end of the play, when everyone takes their bows, Helga withdraws her hand from Arnold's, but in the next shot, they are holding hands again.

See also

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