Don't forget the hyphen!

Season 1 Specials 
Arnold's Christmas / Arnold's Valentine 

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Arnold's Christmas
While Helga agonizes over getting the perfect present for Arnold (and wondering whether or not her parents got her a pair of designer snow boots that make Tickle Me Elmo dolls (or, for 1999, Pokemon cards) look plentiful in comparison), Arnold tries to get Mr. Hyunh a present - the daughter Mr. Huynh sent to this country at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975
Story by Craig Bartlett, Steve Viksten, and Joe Ansolabehere
Written by Steve Viksten
Storyboard Direction by Tuck Tucker, Stark Howell, Kelly James, and Jamie Mitchell
Animation Direction by Larry Leichliter and Steve Socki
(Only Jamie Mitchell received a "Directed By" credit)
Storyboard Artists: Derek Drymon, Tricia Garcia, Kelly James, Rob Porter

Arnold - Toran Caudell
Gerald - Jamil W. Smith
Helga - Francesca Marie Smith
Phoebe - Anndi L. McAfee
Rhonda - Olivia Hack
Stinky - Christopher P. Walberg
Grandpa - Dan Castellaneta
Grandma - Tress MacNeille
Ernie - Dom Irrera
Mr. Hyunh - Baoan Coleman
Oskar - Steve Viksten
Big Bob Pataki - Maurice LaMarche
Miriam Pataki - Kath E. Soucie
Mai - Hiep Thi Le
Mr. Bailey - Vincent Schiavelli

  • Well, Mr. Hyunh never actually says he's from Vietnam nor that it was 1975 (he mentions that he is from Vietnam in "Snow"), but he's mentioned in "Snow" that that's where he's from, and the war did end there in 1975
  • Speaking of Vietnam, in the scene with Arnold and Gerald on a bench right after they leave Mr. Bailey's office after they bring back his shopping, behind Helga is a poster with "Saigon Helicopter" (and a picture of a helicopter) on it.  This is a reference to the musical Miss Saigon, which takes place at the end of the Vietnam War, and includes a scene with a helicopter on stage (at the end of the war, a number of what was then South Vietnamese civilians tried to evacuate on helicopters - the only way out - because they felt that once the North Vietnamese government took power, they would be considered traitors and killed).
  • How did the soldiers who took Mai away know what her name was? Somebody knew, because they obviously found her just by her name
  • Grandma celebrates three holidays: Thanksgiving (when she greets Mr. Hyunh), Independence Day (she plays "Yankee Doodle Dandy" during the second Secret Santa drawing), and New Year's Day (she wears a "Happy New Year" sash on Christmas Day)
  • Someone suggested an explanation for the "Nancy Spumoni" name: singer Dino Spumoni ("The Old Building", "Partners") is supposed to be like Frank Sinatra, whose daughter Nancy had a famous song titled "These Boots Are Made For Walking"
  • Helga is splashed by Mr. Green's meat truck
  • There's a "Stark's Moving Company" van; Stark Howell is one of the show's regular directors (there are also stores named Tildale's and Hoske's, but those names do not appear in the credits)
  • In the "Secret Santa" bowl, there should have been just one slip per person (otherwise, what names go on the "extra" slips?), but there were far more slips in the bowl than people involved (and what happens if someone pulls their own name out?)
  • Helga calls Rhonda "Rhondaloid", which makes more sense after you watch "Rhonda's Glasses" in the second season
  • The front of the government building says Cave, Quivi Sumus, which, I have been told, can mean "Beware, Whoever We Are"; I assume the writers meant Cave, Quivi Estis, which is Latin for "Beware, Whoever You (plural) Are", which is a little more appropriate for government buildings and I should know, having worked in one since 1984...
  • How did Mr. Bailey know Arnold and Gerald were nine years old?
  • The list Mr. Bailey gave Arnold never said what size snow boots to buy; how would Arnold know what size would fit, and for that matter, how would Helga know that her size would fit Mr. Bailey's daughter?
  • When Helga comes home, she calls her mother "Miriam"; once Miriam gives Helga the pressent, Helga calls her "Mom"
  • When Mr. Bailey leaves on Christmas Eve, he's not carrying his packages, but when Helga appears with the boots, he has some of the bags, although not all of the ones Arnold was carrying earlier
  • Unlike most other shows' Christmas episodes (especially non-cartoon ones), nobody in this episode sings a Christmas carol, although Big Bob and Miriam sing half of the chorus of "Jingle Bells" (and there are a few instrumental jazz versions of carols, including "Jingle Bells" over the closing credits)
  • One thing still escapes me: when Helga came up with this great plan to give (or, presumably, sell) her snow boots to Mr. Bailey and then possibly stay up all night with him on Christmas Eve to find Mai, how did her parents take it - and if she didn't tell them, how is she going to explain where her snow boots (that her mother stood in line for 18 hours for) are (and how did she manage to get the boots into a box and get the box out without anybody noticing)?

Arnold's Valentine
On Valentine's Day, Arnold manages to arrange two dates; one with Ruth, the sixth-grader he likes, and one with his French penpal Cecile (actually, it's Helga in disguise) - only for the real Cecile to suddenly appear and Arnold to discover what Ruth is really like
Written by Steve Viksten and Rachel Lipman
Supervising Director: Jamie Mitchell
Storyboard Direction by Tuck Tucker and Stark Howell
Animation Direction by George S. Chialtas (credited as "Chiatas" in the broadcast) and Larry Leichliter
(only Jamie Mitchell received a "Directed By" credit)
Storyboard Artists: Derek Drymon, Rob Porter

Arnold - Toran Caudell
Gerald, Peapod Kid - Jamil W. Smith
Helga - Francesca Marie Smith
Ruth - Lacey Chabert
Cecile (the real one) - Kath E. Soucie
Miss Slovak - Tress MacNeille
French tape voice, man in salon - Lloyd Sherr
Cecile's father, Jacques (Chez Paris waiter) - Maurice LaMarche
Stewardess - Danica Ivancevic
Chez Pierre busboy - Michael Bacall
uncredited: Carla

  • French lesson - "On The Chez Paris Menu" (er, uh, this might not be absolutely accurate):
    • Escargot Chez Paris - Chez Paris snails
    • Cervelles Braisees avec les Ouefs Brouilles - braised brains with scrambled eggs
    • Turkis En Creme - (something) in cream
    • Couque du Vin - I think they mean "Coq au Vin", which is chicken in wine sauce
    • Steak Tartare - raw hamburger meat
    • Duck L'Orange - I think they mean "Duck a l'Orange", or duck in orange sauce
    • Oxen En Brouchette - ox (?) cooked on a skewer
    • Bouilliboise - I think they mean "bouillabaisse", which is a fish/shellfish stew of some sort
    • (also note "Chez Paris" means "House of Paris")
  • "Haven't I heard Ruth somewhere before?"  You have if you watch FOX's Party of Five (Lacey Chabert is Claudia) or Nickelodeon's The Wild Thornberrys (she's the voice of Eliza)
  • When Ruth smiles in the first scene, she doesn't have braces on her teeth, unlike in other appearances (for example, when she skates by in "Snow")
  • When Peapod Kid is talking, the two other kids in the scene aren't regular characters, but after that, neither Peapod Kid nor the other two kids are in the class any more
  • P.S. 118's ZIP code (on Helga's letter) is 96374-0171, which is listed as an Army Post Office code (and a number beginning with "96" usually means it's somewhere in the Pacific or Asia)
  • There's no such place as "Baghdakistan"
  • Arnold's steak tartare was hot - which is not a good sign for the restaurant when you consider that steak tartare is raw hamburger meat!
  • Cinderella in reverse: If Helga ever does want to tell Arnold what really happened, all she has to do is show him the shoe she kept, since Arnold has the other one
  • There's no credit for Carla (the girl Gerald talked to who gave him the brush-off), nor for the girl who called for Ruth at the beginning
  • "I don't remember the waiter's name being mentioned" - that's because it's not, until "Dinner For Four"
  • Jamie Mitchell got the directing credit, yet he's not credited as either a storyboard director or an animation director
  • Somebody Call The Animators: look carefully at Helga's head in the dinner scene just before Ruth arrives, and you'll notice that her face moves around but her hair stands perfectly still, as if she's wearing a wig
  • Quick Change Artist: when Helga is in the restaurant, there is a man sitting behind her dressed in white.  However, when they show Helga close-up, the same man is suddenly wearing black.
  • Bad Hair Day: "Peapod Kid" has brown hair, but usually it's black
  • Bad Hair Day Is One Thing, But This: in the classroom, while Gerald is working on his valentine, if you look behind him, you see Nadine - with white skin

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