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Harold the Butcher

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Episode of Hey Arnold!
Harold the Butcher
Harold the Butcher
Season 3, Episode 45b
Air date: August 31, 1998
Don Del Grande's

Harold the Butcher is an episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.


The episode starts with Harold walking through the neighborhood with Arnold and Sid. Arnold talks about what he wants to be later in life (maybe even an archaeologist), and he 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 and he gets really hungry when he sees Mr. Green weighing a ham. As Arnold and Sid walk on without Harold, on the spur of the moment, he 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. While Mr. Green's plucking the chicken, Harold sniffs the ham and checks to make sure Mr. Green isn't noticing; upon seeing that he was too busy with the chicken, he grabs the ham and runs out of the store. He stops around the boarding house and Mr. Green catches up to him, having noticed the theft, and he asks if he's seen the ham somewhere. Harold, who's hidden the ham under his shirt, tells Mr. Green that he and his friends haven't seen it, but then Harold opens his arms wide, forgetting about the ham in his shirt, which slides out and lands onto the sidewalk. Mr. Green, who realizes that Harold stole his now-ruined ham, is shocked, yells at Harold (who said that he was really hungry) that that doesn't give him the right to steal from people, and then he tells Harold's mom about this after Harold goes running back home down the street crying, "NOOOOOOO!!!!!! MOMMY!!!!!!". Jerry explains to him that this was something that couldn't be let go because of the consequences of stealing; including "going to prison, being in a chain gang, maybe even death row" (which results in Marilyn scolding, "Jerry!"). He tells him that he needs to learn a lesson from this and Harold cries out, "What kind of lesson?!".

Harold's parents bring him to Rabbi Goldberg for advice on how to handle the situation. He explains that he's not only broken the law by stealing (Thou Shalt Not Steal), but he's also gone against his family's religion and the Kashrut by stealing ham, a non-kosher food (which they haven't eaten for 5,000 years and don't need to start now). Harold apologizes and Rabbi Goldberg knows that Harold's sorry because he did something that got him into trouble, but he doesn't think that he fully understands why. He then sits down and tells Harold a story: When he was a kid about his age, he had a friend who admired a vest hanging in a tailor shop; a red velvet one with gold buttons. He coveted the vest, but he didn't have the money to buy it. So when his friend stole the vest, he was punished and he had to work at the tailor shop, learning how to make a vest so that he would see how much work it takes; then afterwards, he's learned his lesson.

Rabbi Goldberg suggests working in the butcher shop for a week to allow Harold to work off his debts, and to show him how much work it takes, in order to teach him a lesson. Mr. Green isn't very enthusiastic about the idea, but he agrees anyway. In the beginning, Harold doesn't like the work at all, but over time, he warms up to it, and he starts to like 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 and not picking them up, then slipping all over them. Meanwhile, Harold tries to learn as much as possible, and he even dreams of being a butcher himself someday (after reading a book at home called "So... You Want To Be A Butcher"), while Mr. Green counts down to the end of the week. When that day comes, and Mr. Green tells Harold that he's worked off his debt and that he can go home now, he's disappointed, having come to like working in the butcher shop. He tries to convince Mr. Green to hire him as an assistant, but he says that while he's a nice kid, he's really more trouble than his work and that he doesn't have time for this since he has to get ready for his annual meat sale. Harold then begs him to hire him, but Mr. Green says no and he sends him home. Harold becomes very depressed (even at his home, where his parents start to worry), sitting all day in front of Mr. Green's store on the sidewalk (even Mr. Green starts to notice).

When Mr. Green is back in the shop, 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. But Mr. Green realizes what Harold's trying to do and he says that he's not fooling him, that he already told him no, and then he yells at him to leave, much to Harold's chagrin and sadness (which makes a tear fall from his eye). 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 and excitement. As he leaves the butcher shop, he takes his hat off, jumps into the air and shouts, "ALL RIGHT!".


  • 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.


  • While eating at the dinner table, Harold mentions prosciutto (a form of ham) and pork sausage, but they're not Kosher. Rabbi Goldberg even chastises 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 hair changed from black to blonde, and again to black (when he hands him his wrapped meat).
  • Kath Soucie wasn't credited for voicing Miriam Pataki.

See also

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The original page was "Harold the Butcher".

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