Robert Pataki, known better by his nickname "Big Bob". Big Bob, also known by the initial "B" by Miriam, is a fictional character on Hey Arnold!. Since Miriam was supposedly born in 1952, it is safe to assume that Bob is close to the same age, putting his age somewhere around 45-50 during the series' original run.

He owns a chain of beeper emporiums called Big Bob's Beepers, though he also may have another small business selling high-tech camping equipment [1]. Big Bob serves as the antagonist to Arnold and his family in several episodes.[2][3]


Big Bob is indeed big; he looks like he was at one point muscular, but has let himself go and started becoming overweight. He boasts the same eyes, ears, nose, and unibrow as his daughter, Helga. He has gray hair, combed to the left side. Most of the time, he wears a short sleeve green golf shirt with a golden crown on the left side by the chest. He wears dark brown pants and big white belts.

Bob's hair is brown only for Hey Arnold! The Movie. In Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie, Bob seems to have started balding, and now wears white shoes instead of black.


Bob is very neglectful and inattentive, who seems to put much of his attention in his business and his image as the "Beeper King", though he does in one episode undergo a change in life and let go of all of his material things. He is also extremely competitive and often takes his competitiveness too far, such as when he called Arnold and his grandparents "some orphan boy and his ancestors" after losing an event to them in the Parents Day competition[4]. During competitions, he often makes angry remarks toward his competitors. Because his oldest daughter, Olga, is a multi-talented achiever, he shows an apparent favoritism towards her, while he often ignores his younger daughter, Helga, and often forgets her name, calling her Olga time and time again. He has a very short temper and seems very hostile, such as when he ran through poison ivy on a camping trip[5]. His two catchphrases are saying "Hey... Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!", which Helga has adopted, and "criminy" which has also been picked up by Helga. He is a huge blowhard. However, despite his self-centered personality, it is shown on several occasions that he does actually care about others, including Helga, and somewhere within is a conscience and a big heart.

It has been shown in several episodes that Bob's favorite show is Wheel of Fortune, or possibly a similar show called "Wheel" that exists in the Hey Arnold universe. Bob drives a blue Lincoln Continental Mark V and also owns an olive drab Hummer.




Bob seems to have lost interest in his wife Miriam. Their marriage is extremely dysfunctional, with their lack of communication and Miriam's apparent alcoholism. It is not known if the relationship between Miriam and Bob was ever exuberant, but it is hinted that Miriam gave up her life to marry Bob, who she thought was a great guy, but was proven wrong in the long run[6]. However whenever Olga comes home, they seem much happier and act more lovingly toward each other.


By far, out of the nuclear Pataki family, Olga is Bob's favorite. Bob is always proud of Olga for her many accomplishments. He has an entire collection of all of Olga's trophies lining the walls of his den. Bob often calls Helga "Olga" by mistake.


Most of the time, Bob has no idea that his youngest daughter even exists. Bob only gets involved in Helga's life when it benefits himself[7], or when it has do with a competition[8][9]. Despite all of this, Bob has come through for Helga on a few occasions, most notably in "Quantity Time" when he mistakenly buys her tickets for a musical called Rats instead of the wrestling match she had been hoping to see (though both father and daughter end up enjoying the corny musical anyway). Also, in "Arnold's Thanksgiving", Bob becomes very concerned when Helga goes missing and is overjoyed when she finally comes home.

Nick Vermicelli

Nick Vermicelli is Bob's associate and possibly a business adviser. He presumably works at the beeper emporium with Bob. In Hey Arnold! The Movie he and Bob engage in a violent fight after Bob finds out he tricked him into signing off 51% of his company.


  • Bob has been shown to be a quite vulgar character on a few occasions.
    • In "Summer Love", Bob passes gas while driving the car on the way to the beach, to which Miriam responds by opening the window and fanning the resulting smell.
    • In "The Beeper Queen", Bob can be heard saying "Mother scratcher!" when he is yelling about his back hurting. Another sugar-coating of obscene language.
    • In the movie, he tells Nick Vermicelli that he will "beat the living snot out of him" for tricking him into signing the contract. Yet another curse word coverup. He also says that Vermicelli and Scheck "shafted" him.
  • Bob owns a large Hummer decked out with army decals. Despite this, Bob's Hummer is more than likely a civilian model. It was first used in "Arnold's Halloween" to travel through Hillwood which was thought to be invaded by aliens. Since the civilian Hummer was first released in 1992 as a 1993 model, and the Halloween special first aired in 1996, it can be assumed that Bob's Hummer is a 1993-1996 model. It was mentioned again in "Arnold's Thanksgiving" when Bob was dressed up as a soldier & he was going to use it to track down Helga when she went missing. It was used a second time in The Jungle Movie.
  • Bob's daily driver is a blue 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III with vanity license plates that say "BIG BOB." The Lincoln is seen in many episodes, driven by both Bob and Miriam, and seems to be the Pataki family car. The large, powerful, and well-built luxury coupe fits Bob's personality almost perfectly.
  • In "Helga and the Nanny", Big Bob mentions that he has not had potato dumplings since his "baba" last cooked them. Seeing as how "baba" is Ukrainian for "grandmother" as well as pierogi (potato dumpling) being an Eastern European dish, it can be assumed that Big Bob is of Ukrainian descent.  However, Bob could have also said "papa", which is a generic term that can mean either "father" or "grandfather". Additionally, "Pataki" is a Hungarian surname, and Hungary and Ukraine share a border.
  • Also in "Arnold's Halloween", and "Helga vs. Big Patty " Big Bob has commented about losing money over football games and boxing matches, indicating that he gambles on them.

Appears in


  1. Roughin' It
  2. Parents Day
  3. Grudge Match
  4. Parents Day
  5. Roughin' It
  6. Olga Gets Engaged
  7. Runaway Float
  8. Parents Day
  9. Spelling Bee