Veterans Day is a special half-hour episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.
Arnold's Grandpa recalls his adventures as a soldier in the Second World War, outwitting a regiment of Nazis, while Gerald's dad, Martin, remembers his own time serving in Vietnam.
It's Veterans Day weekend and Arnold and Gerald are having trouble deciding how to spend their extra day off from school. At dinner that night, Grandpa wants to tell his story of how he helped defeat Hitler and the Nazis in World War II, only to be met with disinterest. This annoys Grandpa and he sadly goes to eat his dessert, only to discover Oscar stole it. Wanting dessert, Grandpa takes Arnold to the ice cream shop where they run into Gerald and Martin. While Arnold and Gerald play a video game, Grandpa tells Martin about how no one wanted to listen to his story. Martin sympathizes, having served in the Vietnam War and never getting to tell anyone about his experiences. They lament that, unlike in Washington D.C., everyone in Hillwood just treats Veterans Day as a day off from school and work. Realizing that D.C. is just a short drive away, they decide to take the boys on a trip there to teach them the real meaning of the holiday and tell their war stories. Gerald is excited to hear about his dad's experiences while Arnold thinks his grandpa will just tell more tall tales.
Grandpa goes first and relates his experience during the Battle of the Bulge. Under orders to dump some spoiled cans of cham, he got lost and blew a truck tire. He then initially tells a typically over-the-top story involving his single-handedly defeating Hitler in a fistfight, but Arnold calls him out on making that up. Grandpa tells them that he was actually captured by an entire Nazi regiment. Upon discovering the cham, he managed to convince them that the cans were regular provisions and they all ate it. The regiment fell ill with violent food poisoning, creating a breach in the enemy lines. The Allies managed to get troops through the breach and it was vital to helping them end the war.
Martin goes next and Gerald is eager to hear if his experience was just as exciting. However, Gerald is disappointed to learn that his dad, due to being sick with the flu during most of basic training, mostly just worked as a desk clerk and saw very little actual combat. The closest he got to combat was driving through an area where a battle had taken place and finding a man named Private Miller who was bleeding. Martin used some files to make a bandage for him and went on his way. At a motel later that night, Arnold is convinced that Grandpa's story was all made up while Gerald dismisses his dad's job as a paper pusher, something Mr. Johanssen is sad to overhear.
The group makes it to D.C. the next day and visits several monuments and watches the Veterans Day parade. Later on, Grandpa and Arnold wonder off on their own in the woods so Grandpa can show Arnold something. He shows Arnold a monument of him that confirms his entire story. Arnold is happy to learn his Grandpa really was a hero and he can tell an honest story.
Meanwhile, Martin and Gerald are at the Vietnam War Memorial. Martin tells Gerald he knows that Gerald's disappointed that he wasn't a big war hero but Gerald says it's okay and he knows his dad did his best. Right after this, they are approached by Private Miller. It turns out that Miller was bleeding to death when Martin came across him and his emergency first-aid had actually saved his life. Miller says he's been waiting twenty years to personally thank him for it. Martin introduces Gerald to Miller, who tells Gerald that his dad is a real hero. Private Miller introduces his wife and their two children, who seem to know the story well: his wife and daughter both look moved and his son salutes Mr. Johanssen. Both families watch the big fireworks presentation as the episode ends.
- The armband of the Nazi soldiers is a sad face. This replaces the real Nazi armband of a swastika that had been used by Nazi Germany from 1933 until 1945, or Adolf Hitler's death, as it may have caused some controversy, most especially in Germany (as well as in several other countries that implemented anti-Nazi laws, such as Austria and Poland) if they decided to use the real symbol. It is also important to note the swastika is not of German origin, as the swastika has many Asian variants and a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
- This is also one of the very few kid's shows to openly address the touchy subject of Hitler and Nazi's.
- The statue of Phil said "In the Honor of Private Steely Phil, he Single-Handedly won the Battle of The Bulge".
- Phil delivered the Cham to Northern France, the difference between Cham and Spam being that Spam was made of ham while the Cham was combination of chicken and ham used for military for experimental purposes in 1944.
- During the WWII flashback, Phil is seen holding an autographed photo of Austro-American starlet Hedy Lamarr while he is peeling potatoes. As seen in the episode "Big Caesar", Phil still has this autographed photo.
- Phil and Martin were both Privates in the U.S. Army, but they are not promoted until the end of World War II and Vietnam War, respectively.
- Lieutenant Major Goose, first seen in "New Teacher", reappears, but his rank is different: before it was either Lt. Colonel or Major of the U.S. Army. On "Veterans Day", his rank is a Drill Sergeant.
- This is only episode of Hey Arnold! that Martin used inhaler to cure the asthma due to long trips.
- The Germans are eating Cham in the evening during Phil's capture. The Cham can be spoiled easily due to change the weather.
- The date of his battle is January 15, 1945. 10 days later, (January 25, 1945) the Battle of the Bulge ends with an Allied victory.
- When Martin agreed Phil to go Washington D.C. for Veterans Day, "Hey Phil, Are you thinking what I'm thinking?", his saying is the same as Gerald's quote saying.
- According to the episode "Arnold's Christmas", Mr. Hyunh was also in Vietnam at the time of the war.
- This episode aired on November 6th, but Veterans Day is on the 11th.
- The standard infantry rifle issued to the majority of ground troops by the German Army in the Second World War was the Mauser k98, rather than the Machinepistole 40. *In Real Life, Most of the Germans are using Kar98k rather than MP40 due to cold battle winter like Battle of Stalingrad or Battle of the Bulge.
- The following message appears at the end of the credits: "Dedicated to the Brave Veterans who really won the Battle of the Bulge".
- This episode has 2 guest voice actors, both of whom have since passed away. The Major is voiced by Joe Alaskey who is best known for voicing several Looney Tunes characters (most notably Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck) and the voice of Lou Pickles on Rugrats. Miller is voiced by Joe Lala, a drummer who was the co-founder of the rock band Blues Image (who are best known for their song "Ride Captain Ride") and worked alongside several artists and bands (including Stephen Stills and The Bee Gees) acting and doing voiceover work in different shows and films. Lala would later voice one of the cops in On the Lam.
- As of 2017, this is the only special that hasn't aired on TeenNick's block The Splat (despite clips from it being used in one of the block's bumpers).
- When Phil is telling on his heroism during his family is eating some pudding, he says "When I was on battlefield of Northern Europe". But the Battle of the Bulge took place in eastern Belgium and Luxembourg.
- The weapon that Phil used was an M1 Carbine, but he couldn't use it when he was captured from the Germans. But when the soldiers salute Phil, you can see the weapon he was holding.
- When Martin reloaded his rifle, he still had one round chambered.
- Phil salutes multiple times with his left hand, when salutes are always supposed to be done with the right. Saluting with the left hand is extremely disrespectful.