The Patakis was a planned spin-off series based on Hey Arnold!, similar to the All Grown Up series in relation to the Rugrats. Intended to be aired on Nick at Nite, the show focused on the life of Helga Pataki in her teenage years, her family, and classmates.
Nickelodeon ordered a script more structured like The Simpsons: three acts, half hour. If they liked the script, they would order an episode or a series.
Craig Bartlett wrote a pilot script with Michelle Lamoreaux in 2000. However, it was deemed as "too dark" for Nickelodeon's intended audience. The series was also offered to music channel MTV. This was during the time when the channel began to air animated shows like Beavis and Butt-Head, as opposed to full length music videos. However, the channel declined it, as it was considered too similar to another show called Daria, which went on to run for 5 seasons.
Some information about The Patakis was revealed through Craig Bartlett's chats and interviews. Most of the kids from Hey Arnold! are in The Patakis as well, except for Arnold, who has moved away, thus making Helga the star of the series. Bartlett stated in an interview on The Arun Mehta Show that development on the spin-off didn't get very far, so many aspects of the show (such as the circumstances of Arnold's moving, and the role of characters such as Lila) were never defined.
- Helga (she still is supposed to be voiced by Francesca Marie Smith) is 15 in the series and is still crazy about Arnold. It's unclear if they once were a couple that went through some stormy times and broke up, or if they're on a long-distance relationship. Helga writes a letter to him every night, mails them, but takes them out of the mail, and keeps the letters in binders, very organized like her shrines. She also is a budding author. Helga still is an underdog and pretty grumpy; ticked off, but not exactly depressed. Helga stubbornly keeps her pigtails and unibrow, she has become taller and skinnier, and wears jeans. She keeps her pink bow, but hides it under a cap (her own, not Arnold's).
- Arnold has recently moved away. He still keeps his blue cap, and most likely writes letters to Helga. Many fans speculated that he moved to San Lorenzo to live with his parents, but Craig Bartlett said that was never decided. (In his words, he needed Arnold move away to make Helga the main character.) Craig Bartlett had an idea for an episode where Helga runs away to find Arnold.
- Olga has moved back home from Bennington (she kept straight A's throughout college) and is pursuing an acting career. She is always auditioning for plays "off-off-off-off" Broadway. Helga still thinks she's an annoying dork. The pilot for the series involved Olga losing favor with her parents.
- Big Bob continues to run his successful business empire, which has morphed from beepers to cell-phones, and is a lot like Tony Soprano in the way he looks and acts.
- Miriam is attending AA meetings and is now working at a TV station.
- Gerald and Phoebe are a cool couple, not a dysfunctional one like Helga and Arnold. Their relationship is kept in the background.
In 2012, a fan-led campaign began on Facebook asking Nickelodeon to have The Patakis put into production.
- The Patakis by Meryl Jennyfer Valdes Maciel a.k.a. Kokoro Asakura. Helga tries to find Arnold.
Fan Fiction based on The Patakis
- "The Patakis Episodes" by Ioxmo
- "The Patakis" by Krossfire
- "A Trip to Nowhere" by Ms Frosty
- "The Patakis" by Old Betsy
- "The Patakis" by RenaeAurora (in fact it hardly has anything to do with The Patakis)
- "The Patakis" by DeadPixel
- "Dark At Heart" by Brat-Child3
- "Hungry Hearts" by Kaydance
- "Changing of the Guards" by Krossfire
- "Run" by Krossfire
- Confirmed Notes About “The Patakis” on Hey Arnold! - A Critical Analysis by Tendra
- The Patakis project on 0catch
- Hey Arnold! — The Jungle Movie Fanmade Projects! community on Livejournal — Community in which you can also share your ideas, plot devices for The Jungle Movie fan project, and also a place to post/share all of your projects, whether they be for The Jungle Movie, the years after The Jungle Movie, The Patakis, and even the years after The Patakis.