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New Bully on the Block

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Episode of Hey Arnold!
New Bully on the Block
New Bully on the Block
Season 5, Episode 84a
Written by: Craig Bartlett
Air date: April 12, 2000
IMDbTV.com
Don Del Grande's

New Bully on the Block is an episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.

Synopsis

Arnold and his friends must face two bullies when a new kid, Ludwig, returns and challenges Wolfgang for control of the vacant lot.

Plot

Arnold and the gang are playing football at the vacant lot when Wolfgang shows up and takes the ball. He doesn't give it back and starts playing football with his gang. The kids decide to wait until he is done, since he generally gives it back, when a new guy shows up and tells Wolfgang to get lost. Arnold recognizes him as Ludwig, a bully who has spent the past few years in juvenile hall. He claims that before he left, the lot belonged to him and tells the 4th graders he's in charge of them now. Wolfgang tells him that that they are his 4th graders and they start fighting. The 4th graders leave, relieved that Wolfgang has Ludwig to keep him busy. However, Arnold is concerned about losing the lot. The next day, Wolfgang tries playing football while Ludwig tries playing soccer and they fight again. The 4th graders try playing baseball in the street, but it goes horribly.

Arnold tries to talk to Wolfgang and Ludwig, telling them that they could all share the whole lot. They respond by punching Arnold in the eye. Arnold comes up with another plan. He tells each of the bullies the other gives up and suggests they arrive at the lot around 4:00 to check it out. At 4:00, Arnold is at the field and both bullies arrive and ask why the other is here. Arnold tells them they should have a game of football to see who gets the field. The two agree to the game, but Wolfgang spots the other 4th graders about to play baseball and gets an idea. Instead of injuring each other by playing themselves, he and Ludwig will split the 4th graders into teams and coach them. Helga refuses to play and gets punched in the eye. This causes all of them to fall in line and the bullies choose their teams. They agree to play until the sun sets beyond the wall and whoever is winning at that time gets the lot.

The game starts and the two teams battle back and forth with everyone getting scraped and bruised. Before kicking a field goal to try to tie the game, Arnold notices that the bullies are starting to get along and thinks that they'll be willing to share the lot now. He makes the kick and ends the game in a tie. Ludwig and Wolfgang agree to share the field with each other and keep all the 4th graders out. Arnold and the others are against this, but the two bullies beat them all up. Arnold, Helga, Gerald, and Stinky are seen hanging by their shirts on the goalpost and Helga complains that they now have two bullies and no lot. Arnold tells them he'll come up with another plan while Ludwig and Wolfgang continue hanging out and repeatedly saying "Dude" to each other.

Production

This episode was written for the explicit purpose of reuniting all the "main" Arnold voice actors. Wolfgang is played by Toran Caudell (Arnold for Season 1) and Ludwig is played by Phillip Van Dyke (Arnold for Season 2 and Season 3), while Spencer Klein is the current Arnold. A special thanks was listed at the end of the credits to thank all of the actors who voiced Arnold through the course of the series. (Including J.D. Daniels, who voiced Arnold in the pilot and did not return for the episode).

Gallery

Reception

This episode has a mixed reception and is often criticized by many fans for its mean-spirited overtones, due to having Arnold and his friends continuously being tormented by Wolfgang and Ludwig, only for them to end up losing Gerald Field to the two bullies at the end. Some fans were also disturbed by Helga getting hit, despite previous episodes showing her being able to take down characters like Harold that is around the same size and has the same physical strength as Wolfgang and Ludwig without any problem. Some have even used to argument that if Helga in the episode Road Trip could push a car all by herself to a repair shop, despite the difficulty a normal nine-year-old would have doing by themselves in that situation, she should be able to take on Wolfgang and Ludwig and not let them get away with giving her a black eye and do what they ordered her to do. The episode is also criticized for Arnold trying to get the two bullies to become friends, despite what fans considered to be an obvious outcome that came to be because of the plan, making him look like an idiot that just tries to fix problems but ended up making it worse in the end.

Trivia

  • This is the only episode Ludwig appeared in.
  • Despite Wolfgang and Ludwig taking control of the vacant lot at the end, later episodes show the 4th graders using the lot again.
    • Considering that Ludwig never appeared again in the show, it's possible that he went back to juvenile hall sometime after this episode, and this caused things to go back to the status quo.
    • In "Timberly Loves Arnold", the vacant lot is referred to as "Gerald Field" once again, and the 4th graders are shown playing against Wolfgang and the 5th graders again, supporting the above possibility.
  • Running Gag: Wolfgang and Ludwig punch the 4th graders in the eye.
  • This is the only time in the series Wolfgang calls Arnold by his actual name rather than an insulting one.
  • Wolfgang's team includes Arnold, Gerald, Helga, Phoebe, Sid, Park, Iggy and Brainy.
  • Ludwig's team includes Harold, Rhonda, Curly, Joey, Stinky, Eugene, Sheena and Nadine.
  • Both of the bullies are named after composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.
  • This is the only episode where Arnold ruins everything.
  • At the end of the episode, when Arnold and his friends appear hanged by their shirts, Helga seems to be wearing a pink jumper, despite the fact that she usually wears a pink dress.
  • The title "New Bully on the Block" is a parody of New Kids On The Block.
  • When Arnold and his friends are forced to play on the street again, their baseball hits the hood of a car with the front license plate "KIDH8R."

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