The Pig War is an episode of Hey Arnold!.


The episode opens with Arnold and his friends playing with water guns in front of the boarding house when Grandpa steps outside wearing an old fashioned American Army uniform. He explains to the kids that he's wearing it to honor the anniversary of "The Pig War". Years ago, the area was half American territory and half British territory with ownership of Elk Island in dispute. Things came to a head when an American farmer shot a British military officer's pig that was eating his crops and both sides went to war with the Americans emerging victorious and obtaining all of the land.

The kids are excited by Grandpa's tale and he happily tells them he signed them all up to be the American team during the annual reenactment. Arnold asks him how he was able to do that and Grandpa tells him he also signed Arnold's pet Abner as the pig being fought over. Arnold is concerned, but Grandpa assures him Abner will not be harmed and it will be fun.

Later on, the team arrives on Elk Island and meets the British squad led by Rex Smythe-Higgins and Rex III. The two sides exchange insults and the reenactment begins once Abner is covered in grease. A chase ensues all over the island, but eventually the British team captures Abner. To Arnold and Grandpa's shock, they find out that whoever captures the pig also gets to eat it. The British team takes Abner back to their fort and Grandpa tells a distraught Arnold they still have until sundown to save Abner.

Initially, Arnold goes up to the fort gate and demands Rex III give Abner back, but he's met with a barrage of rotted cabbage and fruit. The rebels then try to get into the hideout using a Trojan horse shaped like a pig. The plan works and the team attacks the Brits with water guns. Arnold makes a beeline for Abner, but gets caught as the Brits are about to cook him. Rex III refuses to release Arnold until he finds out that Abner is Arnold's pet and decides to help Arnold rescue him. The two of them use a flag to catch Abner as he's about to be dropped in a vat of boiling sauce and Abner slides happily into Arnold's arms.

As the Americans head home, Rex I is mad at Rex III for helping the enemy while Grandpa tries to persuade Arnold to do the reenactment again next year. Arnold tells him he wants to forget the whole experience but Grandpa keeps insisting. 



Skagit Island

Skagit Island as seen from Snee-Oosh beach

  • Sid is seen wearing a Davy Crockett outfit, Harold in an outfit similar to Rambo, and Stinky a Confederate uniform.
  • Grandpa and Rex Smythe-Higgins also square-off in the episode "Tour de Pond".
  • If you ever find yourself in La Conner, go to Snee-Oosh beach and you might be able to see the island where it took place.
  • When Arnold first confronts Rex Smythe-Higgins III at the fort, Rex taunts Arnold and gets his fellow British reenactors to throw things at him.  This parodies the situation faced by King Arthur (Graham Chapman) in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • Grandpa wanted to eat Abner in the episode "The Journal".
  • The events in this episode are based on real life events that took place on San Juan Island in Washington State, also known as The Pig War, in which the only casualty was indeed a pig, the shooting of which started the whole thing.
  • Rex Smythe-Higgins I actually uses the British profanity "bloody" when he instructs one kid to "Chop down the bloody tree, you idiot!" 
  • Rex Smythe-Higgins I is voiced by Tony Jay, who also voiced Judge Claude Frollo in the Disney film "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame".
  • When approaching Elk Island, Grandpa and the kids parody Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware.
  • The fort on Elk Island appears to be based off of Fort Vancouver (despite Fort Vancouver being nowhere near Skagit Island).
  • Second episode after "Big Caesar" in which the dialogue continues over the end credits.


  • When using the Trojan Horse tactic, Arnold incorrectly states the Trojan Horse was used by the Trojans. Actually, the Greeks used the Trojan Horse to enter Troy.
  • Helga was not seen coming out of the Trojan Horse.
  • When Arnold and Rex climbs the ladder to save Abner, on account of Harold, a flower bed smashes a part of it above them. Except the ledge, nothing else held the ladder stable. Under the circumstances, they did not fall.
  • Rhonda was dropped on the island but was not seen throughout the whole war except for once in the Trojan Horse.
  • One side of Rex Smythe-Higgins I's wig is occasionally the color of his skin instead of white.


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