Monkeyman! is an episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.
When Arnold gives the superhero Monkeyman a taste of normal life, he's far too busy to bother helping the weak and downtrodden.
Arnold is pulled into an alley by two teenage thieves when the mysterious local superhero, Monkeyman, arrives to save him. The next day at school, he tells some of his classmates about the incident. Helga mocks him for it, but the others are excited and ask questions. Sid interrupts everyone, allowing Gerald an opportunity to retell the urban legend of Monkeyman. Arnold disputes that the superhero is crazy or evil, choosing instead to believe he's a regular person like everyone else. Though the chances are slim, Arnold vows to find Monkeyman and offer his thanks.
While walking to the boarding house, Gerald tells Arnold it would be near impossible to find the "mythological" Monkeyman. Mr. Green overhears their conversation and says Monkeyman, "a mystery wrapped in an enigma," comes to the loading docks on Tuesdays to replenish his supply of bananas.
That Tuesday, Arnold and Gerald go to the docks. After three hours of waiting with no signs of Monkeyman, Gerald leaves for home. Arnold stays until after sundown, nodding off briefly before being awakened by Monkeyman's call. He chases him through the alleyways until finding the "monkey lair." They both startle each other and introduce themselves. Arnold thanks him for chasing off the bullies and invites Monkeyman to dinner at the boarding house. Monkeyman, however, says he's accustomed to life outside society. He's apprehensive, fearing "the finer things in life" will distract him from fighting crime. But Arnold eventually convinces him to come to dinner.
At the house, the other boarders are put off by Monkeyman's eccentric behavior and lifestyle. Monkeyman is likewise uncomfortable with the setting, but enjoys the dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. After sharing his origins as a superhero, Arnold offers to buy him a banana spit down at Slausen's Ice Cream Parlor.
Outside the parlor, Arnold's classmates are shocked to see him sitting at the counter with Monkeyman. The superhero appears to have finished two banana splits, declaring they are the greatest thing ever made. Arnold figures Monkeyman should be getting back to fighting crime, but Monkeyman is already enthralled and eager to experience what other great things society has to offer. Arnold and Gerald help him acquire new clothes. With a more dapper appearance, Arnold goes to the art museum with Monkeyman, who manages to impress the more affluent citizens of Hillwood. He even meets Mayor Dixie.
Monkeyman, enjoying his new life in high society, is waiting to attend an opera with the mayor when Arnold expresses concern that his new activities are distracting him from fighting crime. The socialites laugh while Monkeyman blows Arnold off. Before entering the opera house, he says protecting the "weak and downtrodden" is a job for the police force. Arnold leaves immediately afterward. Seconds later, Sid is jumped by the same two bullies that attacked Arnold. They drag him into the bushes right outside the opera house. Through the window, Sid sees Monkeyman and screams for help. However, Monkeyman is too occupied and doesn't see or hear the attack on Sid.
Arnold meets up with Gerald and Stinky in front of the arcade. All of them are surprised at Monkeyman's new lifestyle, but while Arnold is worried about the changes, Gerald reassures him he's just having fun. He repeats that the police force are the ones obligated to handle crime and Monkeyman attending social events doesn't make a difference. Their conversation is interrupted by Sid who is hysterical over the assault and theft of his Beatle boots. A limousine pulls up nearby. Monkeyman emerges and is panicked upon seeing Sid. Angry, Sid blames Monkeyman for the attack and calls him selfish. Devastated with remorse, Monkeyman runs away.
Some time later, Arnold goes to the docks again. He sees Monkeyman, who has decided to quit the "superhero business," packing up his possessions. After the incident with Sid, Monkeyman feels like a failure. He is disgusted with himself for abdicating his responsibilities as a crime fighter to become part of high society. Arnold explains that it was one mistake; Sid needed Monkeyman's help, but dozens of others still need the superhero's protection. He pleads Monkeyman not to abandon them altogether.
When Arnold arrives home at the boarding house, he finds a package addressed to him on the porch with a thank you note asking to give the contents to Sid. Monkeyman's call echoes throughout the neighborhood as Arnold opens the package to find Sid's Beatle boots inside.
- In an interview, Craig Bartlett said that this is one episode that he wanted to make from the very start, but didn't get a chance to do so until late in the series.
- The "new" Monkeyman's purple suit and hair style is reminiscent of Willy Wonka as performed by the late Gene Wilder in the 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
- Mayor Dixie and Monkeyman go to see the 19th century Italian opera La bohème.
- This is the second time Arnold was attacked, the first was Mugged.
- Monkeyman randomly includes "Monkeyman" in most of his sentences, seemingly on an impulse similar to a tic.
- Monkeyman was voiced by Andy Dick, however in most episodes where Monkeyman speaks, he is usually voiced by Craig Bartlett.
- This episode is the first episode to air in the 2000s.
- Sid's boots are revealed to be Beatle boots in this episode.
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