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Curly's Girl is an episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.

Synopsis

Curly gets Rhonda to act like his girlfriend after something happens to Rhonda's mother's fur coat and he fixes it.

Plot

When Rhonda's father shows her a mink coat that's intended to be her mother's birthday present, she secretly takes the coat to wear at the school's art show, and accidentally gets it stained by a candy apple when Park knocks her over while holding his painting. Curly offers to clean the coat if Rhonda agrees to pretend she's dating him for a week. She initially refuses, but then reluctantly agrees to it when she realizes that her possible punishment if her parents find out about what she did would most likely be worse---she and Curly pretend to be a couple until Friday at noon. Curly adds that is if she doesn't fall for him in the meantime.

Curly then takes pictures as proof of what happened to ensure that Rhonda cannot back out of the agreement. Afterwards he goes to his parents' dry cleaning business and manages to clean the coat. On the way home he tells Rhonda some phrases she can use and what she should say when he does a certain gesture.

The next morning she gets on the bus and Curly calls out to her saying that he saved her a seat. She takes the seat next to him as her classmates stare at her. Curly then gets her to say aloud that she is his girlfriend, much to the surprise of her classmates.

Curly continues to show off their "relationship" giving Rhonda gifts such as a framed picture of him and a t-shirt saying "Curly's girl." On Friday afternoon, Rhonda arrives in the cafeteria and pulls Curly aside. At 12 exactly, she harshly dumps him, in front of everyone. Arnold asks if he's okay, as Curly sheds a tear. For the rest of the day, and the first few days of the next week, people shun Rhonda for her cruelty as they feel sorry for a heartbroken Curly. Rhonda's popularity begins to decline as one by one her friends leave her.

She meets up with Curly after school with a plan to win back her place as the most popular girl in school. She says that she will pretend to get back together with Curly until she regains her popularity. At school she puts on a big display, giving Curly a picture of her and a t-shirt that says "Rhonda's Hunk."  Curly kisses Rhonda who then rushes to the bathroom to wash out her mouth. She begins ranting and he overhears her saying that if she doesn't go through with this everyone will hate her. He angrily breaks up with her in front of everyone in order for her to gain her popularity back.

Rhonda realizes what he did for her and after school, Rhonda kindly thanks him and said he's an okay guy, at least until he wants a lock of her hair to keep under his pillow. The show closes with Rhonda running from Curly calling him crazy.

Reception

The episode has been criticized by fans for its cruel overtone, along with being very uncomfortable. One of the criticisms of the episode is that after Rhonda dumps Curly in public, the 4th graders (including Arnold and her best friend Nadine) no longer trust her and immediately take Curly's side, despite them knowing about Curly's unstable behavior.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Helga calls Rhonda "Cruella," which is a reference to the book 101 Dalmatians, in which the main antagonist is named "Cruella De Vil."
  • This episode is a rare instance where Arnold does not have anything to do with the main plot.
  • This is the second time Curly has kissed Rhonda; the first time was in "Deconstructing Arnold".
  • Curly's eyes are shown for the first time in this episode.
  • This episode suggests that Stinky Peterson may be ambidextrous since he is seen using both his right and left hands to complete different tasks.
  • There was a "Contributing Guest Artists" credit for this episode. These are the children of production staff, and probably did the paintings at the art fair. The names listed are:
    • Katie Bartlett, Madison and Morgan Buteyn, Danny Friemark, Grant and Justin Higa, Eric Keefer, Dan and Rachelle Lyman, Melissa and Michael Mark, and Helena and Paris Shaffer.
    • Younghee Higa and Dave Lyman are sheet timers, Brian Mark is the layout supervisor, and Karen Shaffer is the final checker.
  • Curly reveals that his family own a dry cleaners.

See also

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