Harold the Butcher is an episode of Hey Arnold!.
The episode starts with Harold walking through the neighborhood with Arnold and Sid. Arnold talks about what he wants to be later in life (such as an archaeologist), and then asks Harold what he wants to be when he grows up. Harold says that he doesn't want to be anything, but he just wants to eat. He then gets really hungry when he sees Mr. Green weighing a ham on the scale. As Arnold and Sid walk on without Harold, Harold walks into Mr. Green's butcher shop. Mr. Green welcomes him and asks him what he can get for him today, but Harold tells him he doesn't want anything and that he was just browsing; so Mr. Green goes into the back to pluck a chicken. Harold grabs the ham and runs out of the store. He stops around the boarding house, however, and Mr. Green catches up to him, having noticed the theft, and asking if he has seen the ham somewhere.
Harold, who has hidden the ham under his shirt, does not claim to have seen it, but it slides out from his shirt and falls onto the street. Mr. Green is shocked and accuses Harold for stealing his ham as he angrily informs Harold's parents. Mr. Berman explains to him that this was something that could not be let go because of the consequences of stealing; including "going to prison, being in a chain gang, maybe even death row". He tells him that he needs to learn a lesson from this and Harold asks "What kind of lesson?".
The Bermans (whose names are revealed to be Jerry and Marilyn) bring Harold to Rabbi Goldberg for advice on how to handle the situation. He explains the severity of Harold's offense; he explains that he has not only broken the law by stealing (Thou Shall Not Steal), but he has also gone against his family's religion and the Kashrut, by stealing ham, a non-kosher food. Harold apologizes and Rabbi Goldberg knows Harold's sorry because "he did something that got him into trouble but doesn't think he understands why". He tells Harold a story - when he was his age, he had a friend who admired a vest in a tailor shop; a red velvet one with gold buttons. He coveted it but he did not have the money to buy it. When his friend stole it, he was punished and had to work for the tailor, "learning how to cut and sew and stitch so he would see just how much work it takes to make a vest." Rabbi Goldberg then tells Harold that he has an idea.
Rabbi Goldberg suggests working in the butcher shop for a week to allow Harold to work off his debt, and to show him how much work it takes, in order to teach him a lesson. Mr. Green is not very enthusiastic about the idea, but eventually agrees. In the beginning, Harold doesn't like the work at all, but over time he warms up to it, and begins to enjoy it more and more. Mr. Green on the other hand, sees Harold's help as more of a burden, as he makes mistakes or causes other problems, such as letting sausages fall on the floor. Harold meanwhile, tries to learn as much as possible, and even dreams of being a butcher himself someday, while Mr. Green counts down to the end of the week. When that day comes, and Mr. Green tells Harold he has worked off his debt, Harold is disappointed, having enjoyed working in the butcher shop. He tries to convince Mr. Green to hire him as an assistant, but he refuses, and sends him home. Harold becomes very depressed, sitting all day in front of Mr. Green's store.
When Mr. Green is back in the shop working, Harold sneaks back in and takes a turkey from the counter, figuring that if he stole from him again, he would have to work another week in the store. Mr. Green, however, refuses again, to Harold's chagrin. The next day, Mr. Green's store has its annual sale, and is flooded with customers. When Arnold comes to pick up an order from his Grandma, he sees Mr. Green starting to fray under the stress, and asks if he would need Harold to help him. At first, he is not very fond of the idea, but he gives him a chance. Harold performs admirably, and with his help, the sale goes smoothly. Mr. Green, quite impressed, decides to take Harold on as his apprentice, much to Harold's delight.
- In this episode, we find out that Harold's parents' first names are Jerry and Marilyn.
- The episode name "Harold the Butcher" could be a humorous reference to the name of pro-wrestler Abdullah the Butcher.
- Gerald, Stinky, and Helga are absent in this episode.
- Harold, being Jewish, became an apprentice at the age of 13. Jewish tradition dictates that a boy can become an apprentice after turning 10 years old.
- Despite Harold being Jewish, he stole a ham which the Jewish tradition strongly prohibits eating, which was most likely Harold's intentions. Also, while eating at the dinner table, Harold mentions prosciutto (a form of ham) and pork sausage, but they're not Kosher. Rabbi Goldberg even yells at Harold for stealing something that isn't Kosher in the first place. It's highly possible that Harold doesn't keep Kosher.
- In Harold's dream, his first customer in line's hair changed from black to blonde, and back again (when Harold hands him his meat).
- Kath Soucie wasn't credited for voicing Miriam.
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