Summer Love is a special half-hour episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.
When Arnold and Helga go to the beach for a week, Arnold hooks up with a girl named Summer, but Arnold is ignorant of the fact that she is just using him so that she can win a sandcastle competition and the chance to appear on Babewatch.
The episode starts of with Arnold and his friends leaving school and getting ready for a week off from school. Helga is excited to leave school and is pushing and shoving past people. She bangs into Arnold and insults him, telling him that she'll have the best vacation ever because she'll be far far away from him. Arnold is happy that he's going to be away from Helga himself.
Arnold and his family are going to be spending their weeklong vacation at the beach. Helga and her family are also going to the beach. Big Bob wants to go, but Miriam hates the beach, and Helga's pretty sure she's going to be miserable as well since she is going to be away from her beloved Arnold.
Downtown, Oskar rents a metal detector of hunt for treasure, meanwhile Mr. Hyunn and Ernie hunt for love.
Helga's bad luck changes when she sees Arnold, but because she doesn't want Arnold to know she likes him; she puts on her "I-hate-you" act again. Arnold takes Helga's word and will stay out of her way.
Helga goes to her room in the duplex, and feels bad for the way she always treats Arnold, planning on being nicer to him for the whole vacation, but by the time Helga goes back outside to apologize to Arnold, it's too late; an older girl named Summer is befriending him, and shows interest in his sandcastle. The two explore the beach together. Helga grows extremely jealous and plots to keep Arnold away from Summer. Helga's dad gets a sunburn, and Miriam begins to love the beach when she and Suzie go to a dance class with a guy named Carlos. Arnold's grandpa is stranded on an island and can't find his way back to the beach.
Summer is obviously up to no good when she is seen at sunset going with a guy her own age on his motorcycle with a devious smirk.
The next day, Arnold and Summer are still hanging out. When they are in the ocean lying on a raft, Helga spits a dart at the raft, causing it to pop and both Arnold and Summer flip over and fall in the water. Ernie is buried in the sand and three mean kids trap his head in a bucket. Grandpa is trying to call 911 on a shell, and thinks that they put him on hold. Arnold and Summer are on the pier in a restaurant, having lobster. Helga puts a live lobster in the pot the waiter is bringing Arnold and Summer, and the live lobster lands in Summer's hair. Big Bob is lying in bed, trying to get his phone from the bedside table, meanwhile, Miriam and Suzie are going to Carlos's dance class. Ernie is still buried in the sand, and three mean kids trap his head in a bucket.
At sunset, both Arnold and Summer are lying on beach towels. Arnold is really warming up and becoming closer to Summer. He has the courage to express his romantic and honest feelings for her, telling her that he's really glad to have met her, and that they have had a great time even though lots of crazy things have been happening. Then he tells her that she's a lot nicer than girls at his school, mostly meaning Helga. Arnold tells Summer he really likes her a lot. She tells him she feels the same way too, which is (of course) a lie.
Helga sneaks over to them and puts bread crumbs on them to attract seagulls. Arnold overhears Helga's laughing and talking to herself about how her little plan has worked out and confronts her. He tells her that she should take her own advice and stay out of his way, for good. Helga begins to feel guilty and sits down at the end of the pier and begins talking to herself. She plans to apologize to Arnold again. She then hears talking and decides to listen in. It's Summer with the guy again. Helga hears Summer telling him about how Arnold thinks she really likes her, getting him to build her a killer sandcastle in a competition so she could have a guest appearance on Babewatch. Helga decides to do the right thing and tell Arnold the truth about Summer.
When Helga tries to tell Arnold about what she heard that night, he doesn't believe her, and thinks she's making it all up. Arnold continues hanging out with Summer, and Summer continues using him. Helga still tries warning Arnold about Summer, but he ignores her. Later, she gets trapped in a rolling umbrella, which frees Ernie from the bucket, but a fat guy ends up sitting on him. Mr. Hyunh keeps looking for Ernie. Arnold and Summer watch the sun come up together. Summer decides that they should take pictures together. Helga warns Arnold again; but he refuses to even hear her out. Then Arnold and Summer go in the sand and make a sandcastle. As planned, Summer's real boyfriend--the guy she was talking to--comes up to them and admires Arnold's work. Helga tells Arnold that Summer is using him to be on Babewatch. Arnold thinks she's being a crazy person. Summer gets a "yes" out of Arnold--that he'll enter the competition with her.
Big Bob plans to get Helga and Miriam so they can leave the beach, but first he must leave the house. And when he tries to walk downstairs, he falls and tumbles down the stairs.
Meanwhile, Arnold is waiting for Summer under the banner, and Helga is sitting behind a wooden fence watching him. She hears the sound of a motorcycle and turns to see Summer and Sandy (Summer's boyfriend) arriving. Helga rushes over to get Arnold and brings him over to the fence so he can hear what Summer really thinks of him and how her plan has worked out great. Arnold is crushed and realizes that Helga was just trying to protect him. When Summer comes for Arnold, he tells her off and that he knows now that she was just using him from the beginning, and refuses to build any sandcastles with her.
Arnold feels guilty for not believing Helga and he apologizes to her. They have a little moment, but Helga feels it's getting to mushy and changes the subject by saying they have a sandcastle competition to win.
Everything goes well for the other characters too (well, all except Big Bob). Ernie finally gets his head out of the bucket, Grandpa Phil is rescued from the island(which turns out not to be an island, after all), and Oskar becomes a hero for saving Ernie from being under the fat man.
Arnold and Helga are at the sandcastle competition working together on their castle. Summer and Sandy are attempting to build one, but fail. Arnold and Helga win the competition while Summer cries. Sandy tries comforting her, but she hits him in the stomach with her elbow and breaks up with him. And now Arnold and Helga are going to appear on Babewatch.
The episode ends with them doing an episode of Babewatch. Arnold pretends to drown, When the lifeguards pull him out of the water, Helga pushes the lifeguard out of the way, then she kisses him without stopping even when the director yells cut.
- Babewatch is a crude reference to the TV Series Baywatch.
- On the Babewatch clapper-board we can see the current date: "7/22/99". It is the only episode with exact date known.
- This is the second time Helga has had a scripted kissing scene with Arnold. The first one being in the episode "School Play".
- The Beach Officer's appearance and voice is based on William Shatner.
- This episode received minor controversy because of a sex joke that Grandpa told.
- Even though the episode is called "Summer Love" and the weather is consistent with weather in the summer, the fact that the class only gets a week off of school is reminiscent of Spring Break.
- In some sources, this episode is known by its alternate/working title: "Beach Story".
- Lyrics to the Hall & Oates song, "Maneater", is referenced by Helga when she shouts to Arnold "She's a maneater!"
- The photobooths have the word "Photo" on top of them except for the one in the middle which has "Ph to".
- It is unexplained how Arnold knew Sandy's name.
- During Arnold and Helga's appearance on Babewatch, Helga is seen wearing her white shirt, but later appears wearing a red lifeguard swimsuit.
- Also during the filming of the Babewatch episode, Arnold's swimming trunks suddenly change from being red plaid to blue.
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