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The Beeper Queen

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Episode of Hey Arnold!
The Beeper Queen
The Beeper Queen
Season 4, Episode 65a
Air date: March 29, 1999
IMDbTV.com
Don Del Grande's

The Beeper Queen is an episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.

Summary

After Big Bob suffers a small accident that injures his back and prevents him from tending to his store just as he's about to close an important deal, Miriam offers to step in and administer Big Bob's Beepers while he's recovering. Due to her usual role as an absent-minded housewife, her offer is met with much disbelief and sarcasm, but Big Bob is too hurt to move and is forced to accept. He stays home watching midday soap operas, to which he eventually grows so addicted to that he is intimately familiar with the plot and cries along with it.

Meanwhile, an initially hesitant Miriam hits her first few successes at the Beeper emporium. She quickly becomes confident, taking on a weathered businesswoman's approach to things, making the business's income skyrocket. She even changes her usual house dress and bland hairdo for an elegant suit and a bun. Miriam's self-confidence and focus increase as well (implying that her unemployment and Big Bob's overbearing personality are the cause of her apparent alcoholism). She becomes sharper and more attentive, appears to stop drinking, and becomes intimately interested in her younger daughter's life, much to Helga's joy. Soon, they are spending large amounts of quality time together (Miriam helps out Helga with her schoolwork as she manages her own papers), with the now more focused Miriam preparing elaborate, healthy lunches for Helga, dropping her off for school on time and generally making great improvements at home.

However, things don't stay the same for long: Miriam begins to get more and more absorbed in her work, slowly neglecting Helga once more. Her lunches become less elaborate and the evenings are no longer a shared event, until eventually Miriam is too busy controlling the emporium via cellphone to care for her home. That day, Helga arrives at school to see Phoebe unpack a lovingly made lunch, whereas her lunchbox is empty. After an impromptu piece of advice from Arnold, Helga goes to the emporium to talk to Miriam about this new neglect.

Miriam is in the middle of filming an elaborate commercial for the store (a musical number with men in tuxedos, in which she appears as the Beeper Queen in a bright red dress) when Helga shows up: her attempts at pointing out how her mom's new job is harming her are distantly dismissed by Miriam, who ends the conversation by simply telling Helga to run along. However, as she is on her way back to the stage, a camera begins to show a replay of her dismissal that was filmed by accident. Miriam is mildly horrified by how she sees herself act towards her daughter.

Helga is walking home in the dark when a pair of headlights illuminate her and Miriam stops the car beside her. They share a tender moment in which Miriam chooses her family over the satisfaction that running the emporium gave her.

She is next seen seeing a recovered Big Bob out of the house (as he grumbles that she must record the soap opera he'd be missing today) in her regular attire, giving him advice on how to deal with the clients.

Trivia

  • Stock footage from the episode "Helga and the Nanny" is used.
  • The Beeper Emporium also sells cellphones.
  • When Arnold sees Miriam drop Helga off at school, he assumes she got her driver's license back. This is one of several instances throughout the series pointing to Miriam having a drinking problem.  
  • The song in the commercial Miriam was shooting, "Beepers Are A Girl's Best Friend", parodies the song "Diamonds Are A Girl`s Best Friend."
  • Physician's Hospital, the soap opera Bob watches, is a parody of General Hospital. But the names he mentions ("Meg" and "Colden") resemble characters from As the World Turns.

See also


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