Rugrats may be the shadiest cartoon ever, but we’re fairly certain that Hey Arnold! is the saddest. Unlike Rugrats, which is full of disturbing hidden messages and sexual innuendos, the latter-mentioned Nickelodeon animated series brought tears to our eyes on more than one occasion. Here, let us remind you of some of those particular moments, plus some other meh lessons you could take away from the show:
1. Parents can leave their child behind as they go off on adventures… and never return. Arnold’s mom and dad were adventurers, so it was their jobs to jet off for long periods of time. So much so, that they left young Arnold in a boarding house with his already elderly grandparents. Though their fates are never exactly mentioned, it’s pretty much implied that they met their demise on one of their trips.
2. Alcoholism. As a kid, you probably thought of Helga’s mom, Miriam, as forgetful, sleepy and just slurred her words a lot. Now, though, her problems seem more serious than that. Here, watch this to get a better sense of what we mean.
3. Favoritism. Keeping up with the whole ‘Helga’s parents suck’ thing, the young girl’s d-bag father clearly loved his eldest daughter, Olga, more than the baby of the family. RUDE.
4. Violence. And a blatant disregard for authority, as proven in the GIF below. Mainly when Brainy’s around. Though, to be fair, he was kind of a stalker.
5. Stalking. To be fair, the girl had quite the dysfunctional upbringing (as referenced above), but her obsession with Arnold reached creepy levels.
6. Bullying. Not the best way to get the guy to like you back.