|“||I created Arnold when I first moved to LA, ten years ago [in 1988]. I was still doing clay animation on glass (the Penny cartoons from PeeWee's Playhouse) so I designed him out of clay. I cut out the football shape from a big sheet of clay, set the eyes wide apart, gave him the huge hair and tiny hat, and that was that.||”|
The oblong shape of the head is shared by Arnold's relatives: his mother Stella and cousin Arnie (which makes some think that he is Arnold's maternal cousin). His late maternal grandfather Arnold probably was football-headed as well. Ruth, though unrelated to Arnold, has oblong-shaped head as well.
Also Craig Bartlett mentioned, that "Football Head" is a popular motif in the architecture of the Green-Eyed people.
Helga even used an actual football to construct a secret shrine to Arnold.
"Football Head" in various translations
- Afrikaans: Voetbal Kop
- Chinese: 足球头 (Zúqiútóu)
- Czech: Šišatá hlava ("Pine Cone Head")
- Dutch: Rugbyhoofd ("Rugby Head")
- French: crâne d'oeuf ("Egg Head")
- German: Footballschädel ("Football Skull")
- Hungarian: Futballfejű (Football-headed)
- Japanese: フットボール頭 (Futtobōru Atama)
- Malay; Kepala sepak ("football Head") or kepala bola ragbi ("rugby ball head")
- Polish: Futbolowa głowa
- Portuguese (Brazil): Cabeça-de-bigorna ("Anvil Head")
- Portuguese (Portugal): Cabeça-de-melão ("Melon Head")
- Russian: Репоголовый (Repogolovyj, "Turnip Head")
- Spanish: Cabeza de balón ("Ball Head")
- Swedish: Fotbollshuvud ("Football Head")
- Turkish: Futbol topu kafanı
- Ukrainian: М'ячеголовий (Mjačeholovyj, "Ball Head")
- Greek: πατατοκέφαλος (potato head)