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Ghost Bride (episode)

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Episode of Hey Arnold!
Ghost Bride, episode
Ghost Bride
Season 5, Episode 88a
Written by: Steve Viksten
Air date: November 11, 2003
IMDb •
Don Del Grande's

Ghost Bride is an episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.


A group consisting of Arnold, Helga, Gerald, Harold, Stinky, Eugene, Sid and Curly are passing by the local cemetery. Sid brings up the story of the Ghost Bride. Curly wants to tell the story, but the other kids all agree that Gerald's a better storyteller.

Gerald begins to tell the story of a beautiful young woman who was very much in love with her fiancée and was eagerly awaiting the day of their wedding. But when that day finally came, the groom never showed up. It's later revealed that the reason the bride's husband-to-be never showed was because he had fallen in love with the bride's sister--and to add insult to injury, the groom and the bride's sister got married the day after the groom was supposed to marry his original bride. The following night, the jilted bride put on her wedding dress and went down to her basement to grab a large, sharp axe. She walked to her sister's house and murdered her sister and brother-in-law with the axe while they were sleeping in bed. When the police finally arrived, they found the jilted bride rocking herself in a rocking chair next to the bodies, throwing rice and smiling while humming the Wedding March. She then committed suicide by jumping out the window so she couldn't be arrested, and was later buried in the city cemetery (her name's revealed to be Cynthia Snell). On every anniversary of the murder/suicide, the ghost bride returns to the graveyard looking for more victims.

Everyone claps for Gerald, but Curly interjects saying that he could have told a better version of the story; he also states that Gerald left out the fact that tonight was the anniversary of the ghost bride's murder/suicide and angrily leaves. The group all agrees to meet at sundown at the cemetery later that night. Helga asks what time the group should meet, but is told that it's a boys-only thing. Helga's infuriated by this and rushes home. While at home, she finds an old white dress and plans to pretend to be the ghost bride to scare the boys.

That night, all of the boys (with the exception of Curly) show up at the cemetery. As soon as they enter, Helga locks the door behind them. The boys check out Cynthia's gravesite, but then decide to go home, thinking that the legend isn't true. When they return to the front gate, they find the locked door and panic, thinking that Cynthia Snell really has risen from the grave as her undead alter ego and picked them to be her next victims. Arnold calms everyone down and leads them to the north gate to see if it's open.

As the boys are walking through the cemetery, Harold begins to hear the wedding march. Arnold once again tries to calm the group down, but things only get worse when Helga (as the ghost bride) stands on top of a tombstone brandishing a hammer. The group flees toward the north gate, but she already closed it and locked it. She then makes the gate shake to scare the boys even more.

While the boys are struck with fear trying to think of a way to get out of the cemetery (except Arnold and Gerald), Helga appears yet again to chase the boys away. She snickers at the fact that anyone would believe in a ghost bride. After she finishes that sentence, the sound of the wedding march is heard and the real ghost bride makes her presence known by standing on a tombstone behind Helga. She screams with terror and runs away.

She eventually catches up to the boys and admits that she dressed up as the Ghost Bride to get back at the boys for not letting her come along with them, and then tells them that there's a real ghost bride. The boys are furious with her and refuse to believe her until the ghost bride appears right behind them. The whole group runs away and takes refuge in a tomb. The ghost bride continuously circles the tomb, waiting for a chance to attack. Minutes pass and Arnold decides that they should at least try to leave and get help. Gerald decides to go with him after all friends stick with their friends and he is loyal. 

Arnold and Gerald leave the tomb and the ghost bride comes into view; they duck into the bushes. As the ghost bride passes Arnold takes notice of something and follows her. The ghost bride picks up an ax and begins hacking away at the tomb door. Just as she gets the tomb door open, Arnold walks up behind her and takes off her veil, revealing the ghost bride as Curly. The group gets mad at Curly, who explains that his reason behind this stunt was because he was mad at the others for saying that Curly's not as good at telling stories as Gerald is. Sid suggests that they should lock him in the tomb and leave him; everyone agrees and gang up on Curly.

As the group is leaving the cemetery, Arnold reveals that he knew it was Curly because as he walked by, Arnold took notice of his red-and-white striped socks and remembered that Curly was wearing them earlier that day. The group leaves the cemetery and also leave Curly trapped in the tomb tied up (Arnold tells the others that he didn't think it will take long for Curly to figure that the door of the tomb only locks from the inside). The episode ends with Curly hearing the ghost bride humming the wedding march and asking if it's Helga. He then screams madly as the episode ends.



  • The urban legend of the Ghost Bride is considered by many as the darkest moment in the entire series.
  • The moment when Arnold notices Curly's red-and-white striped socks when Curly was dressed up as the Ghost Bride and unmasked him is known as a "Scooby-Doo moment". This is when the gang from the Scooby Doo show retrace clues and events from during an episode and unmask the monster.
    • This episode uses many Scooby-Doo gags:
      • Helga shuts the South and North gates making it look like a ghost actually did it and shook the north gate by ropes.
      • The axes that Curly and Helga were using were mallets disguised as axes.
      • Arnold noticed that the socks the second ghost was wearing were Curly's.
      • Helga confessed she scared the boys when Curly was unmasked; Curly explains why he did the same thing. Helga and the boys lock Curly in the tomb.
  • Helga and Curly both got revenge on the others in the same way but for different reasons:
    • Helga got revenge from the boys for not letting her come to the graveyard because she was a girl and so she pulled ghost pranks on them. The real Ghost Bride then appeared scaring everyone, only to turn out to be Curly, who dressed as the Ghost bride because he wanted to tell the story instead of Gerald.
  • When the boys are at the Ghost Bride's grave, Arnold reads the words on her tombstone. It says "Here lies Cynthia Snell. She lived her life and went straight to..." the last word wasn't seen because it was hidden in dirt. The last word is most likely "hell."
  • Eugene is seen wearing a mauve sweater for most of the episode which is a nod to the Mauve Avenger from Grand Prix.


  • When Gerald tells the story, he says that the Middle Ages happened eighty years ago, and in the next scene as it is continued, motorized cars and clothing from the late 19th century to early 20th century can be clearly seen, which never existed in the Middle Ages. Since Gerald said the murders the Ghost Bride commited, her suicide and the events prior were eighty years ago, then it actually happened in the 1910s rather than the middle ages.

See also

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