What's Opera, Arnold? is an episode of Hey Arnold!.


Mr. Packenham takes the 4th grade class on a field trip to see the opera "Carmen", and while Arnold falls asleep and dreams of him and Ruth, Helga dreams of getting rid of Ruth and having "Don Arnold" for herself.





  • This episode was likely inspired by the 1957 Warner Bros. cartoon, "What's Opera, Doc?". The Michael Maltese story features Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny through a 6:11 operatic parody of 19th century classical composer Richard Wagner's operas, particularly Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) and Tannhäuser.
    • The title of this episode is an obvious reference to the cartoon.
    • In Helga's dream sequence, where she parodies Elmer Fudd's character in "What's Opera, Doc?", she reveals her weapon to be a "golden magic slingshot". Gerald mentions that he thought the weapons were supposed to be a "spear and magic helmet"; these were what Elmer Fudd claimed as his weapons in the Looney Toons short.
  • Toran Caudell plays Arnold's singing voice even though he didn't provide his speaking voice anymore. This is because Phillip Van Dyke was uncomfortable with singing and Toran still sounded like Arnold when he sang. Craig Bartlett says it just worked out!
  • Creator Craig Bartlett says this was his favorite episode to make because it was so much fun to record.
  • Mr. Packenham takes the 4th graders on their field trip. But in "Teachers' Strike", Gerald claims that Mr. Packenham was a 5th grade teacher.


  • Robert's hair changes color from blonde to black and back several times throughout the episode.
    • Robert also vanishes during the Carm Helga scene.
  • During Carm Helga's Song at the phrase "We're Touring Fifty Cities", Stinky's head is facing backwards while his body is facing the wall.
  • At Arnold and Curly's fight scene, when Curly runs away, he steps on Rhonda's head like it was part of the background.
  • Ruth is seen on the field trip with the rest of Arnold's fourth grade class despite being a sixth grader.
    • She is however briefly seen talking to Maria and Connie (also sixth graders) at one point. This may imply that the field trip was for multiple grades (which could also explain why Mr. Packenham is taking the 4th graders despite being a 5th grade teacher).
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is credited among the composers in the opening credits, most likely an erroneous credit to Gerald's "Figaro, Figaro", often misattributed to his opera The Marriage of Figaro. It is actually from the aria Largo al factotum from Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville.

See also

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