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Deconstructing Arnold is an episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.

Synopsis

Arnold's classmates are tired of constantly telling them the right thing to do, so he stops giving them advice. Nevertheless, when his classmates get into sticky situations, they are in desperate need of his advice.

Plot

While the kids are on the bus on their way to school, Sid is prank calling on Lorenzo's phone, which he stole while Lorenzo is on vacation, and the others giggle. When Arnold calls him out on this, Helga tells him to mind his own business. Rhonda writes a fake secret admirer love letter to Curly, hoping it will get him off her back for good, and again Helga tells Arnold to mind his own business when he tries to talk Rhonda out of it. Finally, Stinky and Harold tamper with Eugene's bike, which Arnold suggests against as well, and yet again Helga tells Arnold to mind his own business with almost everyone agreeing with her. So Arnold decides to stop his reputation of giving advice.

Unfortunately, all of the kids' pranks backfire horribly:

  • Eugene's bike doesn't fall apart as planned and he veers out of control across the street, narrowly missing several cars, and crashes through a fence, where some neighborhood dogs maul him, leaving him seriously injured and Harold and Stinky racked with agonizing guilt.
  • Curly finds out that Rhonda wrote the love letter because Rhonda used the same pen on a history essay as she used for the letter, causing him to fall in love with her even more.
  • Furthermore, a kid throws a paper airplane at Sid, causing him to drop Lorenzo's phone and break it.

Of course, they try going to Arnold for advice on what to do, but he reminds of the agreement they made with Helga about not giving advice to people, so he's going to stick to it. The other kids get mad Helga for making Arnold stop giving advice, so Helga takes it upon herself to try and fix their problems.

However, her advice just makes their problems worse:

  • Sid arrives at Lorenzo's locker to put the phone back per Helga's instruction, but just as he gets the locker opened, Lorenzo, back early from vacation, appears right behind him and startles Sid, causing him to drop and break the phone even more, and Lorenzo to become furious to the point of wanting to kill Sid.
  • What Helga tells Rhonda to say to Curly just makes him say "give daddy some sugar!" and kiss her.
  • Helga tells Stinky and Harold to just blame the bike-incident on someone else, but Stinky and Harold, unable to think of a good enough scapegoat, blame it on each other instead and accidentally push Eugene's wheelchair down the stairs in the process, injuring him further.

The kids are all then left furious at Helga for her horrible advice and Helga feels really bad for causing Arnold to stop giving advice to people. Ultimately, Helga's able to persuade Arnold to resume giving out advice, acknowledging that her and their schoolmates need it. The kids gather up so Arnold can give them advice on what they need to do:

  • First, Arnold tells Sid to apologize to Lorenzo for stealing his phone in the first place.
  • Then he tells Rhonda to explain her situation to Curly.
  • Finally, he tells Stinky and Harold to ask for Eugene's forgiveness (assuming that he can still hear them, since he's now in a full body cast).

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