The first season of the Hey Arnold! series consists of 48 quarter-hour episodes and 2 half-hour specials, making it the longest season of the series.
Episodes from this season are distinguishable from later episodes due to the differences in animation and the Games Animation Inc card at the end of each episode.
|#||Segment A||Segment B||U.S. air date||Production code|
|1||Downtown as Fruits||Eugene's Bike||October 7, 1996|
|2||The Little Pink Book||Field Trip||October 23, 1996||102B /|
|3||Arnold's Hat||Stoop Kid||October 30, 1996||103A /|
|4||Helga's Makeover||The Old Building||November 6, 1996|
|5||6th Grade Girls||The Baseball||October 16, 1996||/ 107B|
|6||Heat||Snow||November 4, 1996||107A / 106B|
|7||Operation Ruthless||The Vacant Lot||October 14, 1996|
|8||The List||Haunted Train||October 9, 1996|
|9||Mugged||Roughin' It||November 11, 1996|
|10||Door #16||Arnold as Cupid||November 13, 1996|
|11||Benchwarmer||Cool Jerk||October 21, 1996|
|12||Das Subway||Wheezin' Ed||November 18, 1996|
|13||Tutoring Torvald||Gerald Comes Over||October 28, 1996|
|14||Spelling Bee||Pigeon Man||November 20, 1996|
|15||Olga Comes Home||Sally's Comet||November 25, 1996||/ 117A|
|16||Abner Come Home||The Sewer King||November 27, 1996|
|17||False Alarm||World Records||December 23, 1996|
|18||Magic Show||24 Hours to Live||December 9, 1996||119B /|
|19||Part Time Friends||Runaway Float||November 30, 1998|
|20||Arnold's Christmas||December 11, 1996||120|
|21||Helga's Boyfriend||Crush on Teacher||November 5, 1997|
|22||Hall Monitor||Harold's Bar Mitzvah||November 10, 1997||/ 122B|
|23||Coach Wittenberg||Four-Eyed Jack||November 12, 1997|
|24||Tour de Pond||Teachers' Strike||November 24, 1997|
|25||Arnold's Valentine||February 12, 1997||124|
|26||Biosquare||Partners||December 1, 1997|
- This season was animated by three different animation studios. The first 16 episodes were animated by Hong Ying Animation and Hung Long Animation, while the remaining 10 episodes were animated by Wang Film Productions. These last ten episodes look noticeably different from the previous sixteen.
- This season looks noticeably different from later seasons in the art and animation departments. The animation itself is of somewhat lower quality, and many characters look much different and less detailed compared to later episodes. For example, Helga's pigtails are longer and thinner, Arnold's head looks like a blimp, and many characters have very thin arms. The designs were improved upon over the course of the season.
- Several things seen in this season aren't present in later seasons, such as Arnold's daydreaming tendencies (which originated with the original claymation shorts), and several characters such as Lana Vail and Mr. Smith.
- In the US, Nickelodeon aired only 20 out of the 26 episodes produced for this season as part of its run. Episodes 21, 22, 23, 24 and 26 were held over and aired at the end of Season 2 in late 1997, and episode 19 was held over until 1998, and was aired as part of Season 3. Other countries saw all 26 episodes aired.
Note about Episodes 19 and 26
- There exists two versions of episodes 19 and 26. The versions that were aired and released in the U.S. have "Part Time Friends" paired with "Biosquare", and "Runaway Float" paired with "Partners". However, in the international versions, "Part Time Friends" is paired with "Runaway Float", and "Biosquare" is paired with "Partners".
- In fact, most U.S. TV listings say Part Time Friends / Runaway Float and Biosquare / Partners, respectively. This, along with the less detailed animation in "Runaway Float" (which indicates it was produced earlier on), and differences in the end credits between versions, raises the possibility that these international versions are actually the originals, and the versions used for the U.S. broadcast are alternate, edited versions.