Gerald's Game is an episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.


Gerald gets swept away in a roleplaying card game, and it's up to Arnold to bring him back to reality.


The episode opens with Arnold and Gerald playing pinball, talking about all of the various fun thing they'd done that day, and they agree to go to see a movie the next day. Arnold wait for Gerald, but he doesn't show up until after it's already sold out. They go to Lamoreaux's Bookstore and Gerald looks at a book about a game called "The King Rules", which Arnold notes as being "pretty crazy", and a "waste of time". Gerald buys it, saying that he's getting it for his brother. They agree to work on a school project the next day, but Gerald is absent altogether this time. He claims to have been playing with Timberly, although Arnold doesn't believe him. Gerald tells Arnold that he can't help with the project all week, either, and tells Arnold that he has to go to bed.

On a later day, after school, Arnold sees Gerald, Big Gino, and Edmund behind Dr. Steiglitz's office, but loses them when Steiglitz bumps into him. He later interrogates Gerald about it, but he claims to have nothing to do with them. Arnold follows Gerald the next day, and he does go into a shack behind Steiglitz's office, where he is playing a game of The King Rules, where he is king, and the others must obey him. Arnold confronts Gerald about it, who says that Arnold can't tell him what to do, and that he's not going to stop. Arnold seeks advice from Grandpa, who advises him to make up an "invisible friend". After overhearing that there is an upcoming tournament, to which the winner will become king. Arnold learns to play the game, becoming more and more skilled. He leaves a letter in Gino's locker, saying that he's the King Rules king of P.S. 119, and that he wants to enter their upcoming tournament. As instructed, Gino leaves a note at Gerald Field saying that the tournament is to be held at his place.

Arnold arrives to the surprise of everyone, but Gerald allows him to enter. As more and more players drop off, the final two are revealed: Arnold and Gerald. Gerald tries to convince Arnold not to play, but he is determined, and stands his ground. Arnold tries to reason with Gerald while they play, eventually putting all of his cards on the table, to the shock of everyone else. Gerald insists that Arnold not risk becoming a dungeon pawn, but Arnold forces Gerald's hand. Ultimately, Gerald folds, and leaves the others to fight over the crown. He apologises to Arnold, and tells him that his hand was "three unhappy uncles", the best hand in the game.



  • Gerald's Game is also the name of a novel authored by Stephen King.
  • Some of the noises from the arcade games are taken from the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man which is considered one of the worst video game ports of all time.
  • Lamoreaux's Bookstore is a reference to Michelle Lamoreaux, one of the show's regular writers.
  • Some of the books in the bookstore are called Kings Queens and You; Chivalry is Not Dead; Frog Prince and Dragons Bite Hard.
  • Part of Big Gino's costume includes a stick horse. The head is part of the rocking horse Sid bought and Gino later used to threaten him in the episode "Big Gino."
  • The King Rules is a parody of Dungeons and Dragons, a roleplaying fantasy game.
  • Unlike Magic: the Gathering, Pokemon or most other card games, The King Rules doesn't seem to be a "collectible card game" where players have to buy more and more cards in order to get the good ones. All of the cards seem to be in every deck.
  • The "dungeon pawn" is Steve who was the kid who stole Arnold's kite in "The List".

See also

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