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Road Trip

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Episode of Hey Arnold!
Road Trip
Road Trip
Season 3, Episode 54b
Air date: September 30, 1998
IMDbTV.com
Don Del Grande's

Road Trip is an episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.

Summary

Helga is stuck going on a trip to South Dakota with her mother Miriam, who manages to lose their money and the directions, but saves the day by winning a mechanical bull-riding competition.

Extended Plot

One afternoon in art class, Pheobe asks Helga if she made a Mother's Day card for Miriam. Helga shows her a cheaply drawn card with a stick figure of herself that simply says "Happy Mother's Day. Helga." Pheobe says it's rather plain looking but Helga goes on a long rant about how terrible of a mother Miriam is and how she just wants a better one. Arnold assumes that she isn't doing anything special for Miriam then, but then Helga says she, Miriam and Big Bob are driving to South Dakota to visit Helga's grandma that weekend. Arnold tells Helga to have faith in Miriam and give her a chance.

Later at home, Bob gets a call from a client in Dallas who wants to buy a large order of Beepers and immediately leaves for the airport, but not before telling Helga that it will be just her and Miriam driving to South Dakota. Helga pleads with Bob to not go but Miriam assures her that it will be fun.

On the way out of the city, Miriam tries making conversation with Helga which isn't too exciting as Helga would rather listen to the radio. She turns on a station with loud rock music. Later, Miriam has had enough of that and Helga lets her switch the stations. Miriam finds one that plays an old song she hasn't heard in years called Old Tomorrow. She starts to reminisce about her teen years until seeing The Wheeler Inn with a Herb's Big Guy restaurant next to it that has a Karaoke lounge. Helga begs Miriam to keep driving but Miriam turns right into the parking lot nearly getting into a head on collision with a truck. Helga sits and watches in embarrassment as Miriam sings an off key rendition of Old Tomorrow. They end up spending the night at the inn.

The next morning Miriam stumbles out of the inn with a 2nd prize coffee mug from the Karaoke contest. She reaches into her purse for the car keys but spills coffee on Helga in the process. Miriam tries to clean it off an annoyed Helga, and puts the purse on top of the car. Miriam tells Helga it's a new day and everything will be fine. They leave the inn, not realizing that Miriam left her purse on top of the car and it falls off as they turn into the road. A large truck then drives over it.

Later, Miriam asks Helga if she would play a fun car game like when she was a lot younger but Helga tells her that she's not that little girl anymore. Miriam says she still is but Helga just sighs. Miriam then asks if she still wants to play a fun car game but Helga really doesn't.

Further along their route, Miriam asks Helga if she knows what road to take next, and reaches for an envelope with directions written on it but as she reaches down, she almost runs the car off the road and she lets it slip out of her hand, where it gets blown out the window. Miriam then says there's a map but it's a map of Wankyland. While Helga is complaining that they're lost, Miriam tries to get in front of a horse and buggy but a large truck is coming, and they narrowly avoid it thanks to Helga grabbing the steering wheel, but end up driving through a corn field and crashing into a muddy ditch, thus wrecking the car.

While Helga is pushing the car to a service station, Miriam can't find her purse. Helga assumes she left it on top of the car again and Miriam agrees that's exactly what happened, as it's apparently happened before. At the service station, the mechanic tells them it would need $497.98 to fix the car since all they have is $5.37. Helga storms out of the shop, while Miriam says everything will be fine, but Helga reminds her of all the things that went wrong because of her and that she's a lousy mom. Helga then goes into the adjacent Floyd's to order a cheeseburger with their remaining money. A heartbroken Miriam looks down at the ground and sees a flyer for a mechanical bull contest that night that would cost 5 dollars to enter, and it has a $500.00 prize. She believes she can win but Helga would rather eat food than blow money on some stupid contest. Miriam ends up entering.

That night, Helga sits and watches Floyd uncover the dangerous looking mechanical bull. Helga doesn't believe Miriam would be able to ride it. A patron asks Miriam if she thinks she could win because he's won for the last 5 straight years and she has no chance. The contest begins and so far all of the riders only last a few seconds on the bull before getting thrown off. Slim, the patron who always wins, stays on for 4:15, the longest time out of everybody. Next up is Miriam who can't get on the bull, and gets laughed at. An embarrassed Helga leaves the bar as Miriam watched, and sits at a bus stop with her suitcase. Miriam gives the signal and Floyd starts the bull. She is actually able to stay on while everybody laughs and hoots and hollers. Outside, Helga hears commotion and walks in, and sees Miriam doing some amazing bull riding skills while everybody cheers her on. Finally, she gets flung off and Helga runs over to a dazed Miriam. Floyd declares Miriam the new winner and hands her his cowboy hat along with the $500.00.

Later, in the newly repaired car, Helga says she can't believe Miriam won. Miriam then tells her that as a girl, she was state bullriding champion. Helga says she didn't know that and asks Miriam what else she was like as a kid. Miriam then starts to tell her about how as a kid she wanted to ride horses but her father wouldn't let her. Miriam almost collides with another truck but they avoid it.

Trivia

  • Helga plays (or had once played) soccer.
  • Miriam habitually leaves her purse on top of the car, causing her to lose it.
  • This episode features the original song, "We Got Tomorrow", co-written by the show's creator, Craig Bartlett
  • According to Miriam, she was a "a state bull-riding champion" when she was a girl.
  • Miriam mentions that when she was 15, it was the "Summer of Love," which was in 1967. This places her birth year around 1952.
  • The mechanic who is set to fix Miriam's car is based off of the main character Karl from the 1996 movie Sling Blade. The character is played by the director and screenwriter of the film, Billy Bob Thornton.

Goofs

  • Helga orders a strawberry shake at Floyd's Restaurant, but in "Quantity Time" she said she was allergic to strawberries.
  • When Miriam and Helga are sleeping in The Wheeler Inn, Helga's nightdress is pink in one shot and white in another.

See also



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