Downtown as Fruits is an episode of Hey Arnold!, and the series premiere.
Arnold and his friends are rehearsing for Helga’s play about the food groups, although Arnold would rather day dream about surfing in his fantasy world, mainly consisting of dinosaurs. Helga gets mad, and tells the students they better be ready for the play on time.
On the night of the play, Arnold and Gerald have to travel to P.S. 118 dressed up as a banana and a strawberry, respectively. They find it embarrassing, and so on the bus, Gerald moans about how there is nothing they can do about being humiliated in front of the whole school; unless they “forget” to pull the cord for the bus to stop. Arnold is reluctant because it would ruin the play, but Gerald reminds him of how Helga made fun of him during rehearsals. Arnold is about to pull the cord to stop the bus, but at the last split second, decides not to, so they decide to get off at the next stop.
Back at P.S. 118, Helga gives a speech before the show to the cast, but then realizes that Arnold and Gerald haven’t turned up. This causes her to have an angry outburst.
On the bus, Arnold notices that the bus hasn't stopped for a while, but Gerald doesn't care. Suddenly, the bus comes to a sudden halt and the driver departs. They both realize that they have reached the end of the line and are stuck downtown…as fruits.
Arnold and Gerald find a payphone, but discover that the cord is cut. Just then, a car screeches by and drops them a bag. Arnold and Gerald are confused at first, but when they open it, they discover that it’s full of money, and mention how nice people downtown are. They then leave the street while two other men wearing strawberry and banana costumes turn up and wait for the bag of money, unaware that they have already missed it. The boys then begin to hit the town, buying new clothes and eating out.
Meanwhile, Helga’s play is ongoing, and she is having to stretch it out in order to wait for Arnold and Gerald.
Finally, Arnold and Gerald find the downtown pool hall and things appear to be going well, that is until the original men waiting for the money find them and chase them out of the pool hall. Arnold and Gerald lose them down the alleyways and hide out in Zamboni Jones' Psychic Palace. There, they meet Zamboni Jones, who “senses a disturbance” and suggests that they have wronged somebody. Gerald immediately thinks of Helga, but then denies it. Arnold then reminds Gerald about the other kids in the play, and how they have let them down. They then both decide to go back to the play.
Back at the school, Helga’s play has fallen apart, and she decides to go center stage to announce that the fruits scene won’t be going ahead, however, just as she’s about to finish, Arnold and Gerald run on stage, sing their number, and finish the play in style.
- This is the first episode to have Helga yell out "ARRRNOOOOLLD!". The second time was in "Arnold's Halloween".
- The so-called mystic, Zamboni Jones, is named after a big machine that smooths the ice in an ice-skating rink.
- This episode aired on October 7th, the day often considered Arnold's birthday in the fandom. However, the series finale, "The Journal", threw this into doubt.
- Monkeyman is first seen in this episode, when he runs by Arnold's house. Caesar also debuts in this episode as one of the people in the bus.
- When Arnold says "Rack em again Fat man" while playing pool, this is a direct reference to the 1961 film The Hustler.
- The cast of the play is as follows:
- This is likely where Peapod Kid inherited his nickname.
- The character designs in this season are reminiscet of the pilot designs. The characters were redesigned for a second time in season two, a third time in season four, and for one final time in the Jungle Movie.
- When Helga calls Arnold a "beautiful creature" he is the only one on stage and there are nobody in the crowd, immediately after that all the kids are on stage beside him and the crowd returns.