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Pairing: Helga G. Pataki/Arnold
Alternative name(s): H/A, HA, Helga x Arnold, Arnold x Helga, Shortaki
Gender category: Het
Fandom: Hey Arnold!
Canonical?: yes
Prevalence: fandom's OTP
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Helga/Arnold is the popular het pairing in the Hey Arnold! fandom focusing on Helga G. Pataki and Arnold.


Arnold/Helga is by far the most popular pairing in the Hey Arnold! fandom, this is probably due to the fact that the series focuses on the two characters the most and the fact that Helga has a canon crush on Arnold although she covers this up by putting on a mean, tomboyish front which often makes her the fourth grade bully. The creator of the show, Craig Bartlett, has stated that Arnold would return Helga's feelings. See more in the ship manifesto.

Common Tropes & Fanon

  • Episode tags are especially popular; "Married" "April Fools Day", "Helga's Parrot" and "Helga on the Couch" to name a couple common ones.
    • Arnold Saves the Neighborhood, aka Hey Arnold! The Movie also appears quite often - using Helga's canon confession and other moments of action in the film to continue in fanworks.
    • The Patakis - the spin-off that never came to be, however due to Craig facts came to light on what might or would have happened, which fans took to heart and made into their own versions: the kids are in high school, Arnold moving away, Arnold and Helga having a thing before he left, Arnold/Helga writing to each other, etc.
    • The Jungle Movie - the second movie that never came to be (until 2016 when it was announced it was going to be) and facts from the Craig and the episode "The Journal" inspired many fanworks where Arnold sets out to find his parents - going to San Lorenzo to rescue them. Helga and their classmates often appear as well in these works, often focusing on the endgame of Helga/Arnold.
  • Certain quotes and monikers between the two often appear repeatedly throughout the series and are often treasured by the fans, including "Football Head" and "Whatever you say, Helga", also often appears in fanworks.
  • Marriage and other Domestic type fanworks, generally set in the Future. Kidfic is also large part of this as well.
  • Aging Helga & Arnold up to be teens (in high school) or older (in college) is quite popular in higher rated works especially if they focus on Teen pregnancy, Physical/Mental/Emotional abuse, alcohol, and other drama/angst type fanworks.


Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


  • Christmas in Brooklyn by Heidi Pataki, Rated T, Dragged back to the old neighborhood as her life falls to pieces, Helga finds herself swept up in Arnold again.
  • Tutoring Arnold by Azure129, Rated K+, Oh no-it seems Arnold needs a little help with his poetry assignment if he wants a decent grade in English! Hmm, I wonder what fourth grade poet laurete Mr. Simmons could assign to help him out... (Post-Canon Confession) Sequel: Learning to be Helga

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