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|“||I think your heart... is more pure than you know.||„|
|~ To Helga|
Arnold Shortman is the main protagonist of the Nickelodeon animated television series Hey Arnold!. His head is shaped like an American football, thus earning him the nickname "Football Head", also Gerald's best friend and Helga's arch-rival yet love interest, later his girlfriend.
Throughout the series' run, he was voiced by at least five different voice actors:
- J.D. Daniels (who did his voice in the pilot)
- Toran Caudell (who was also the voice of the bully Wolfgang)
- Phillip Van Dyke
- Spencer Klein (who did his voice in the movie), and
- Alex D. Linz who did April Fool's Day and The Journal.
- Mason Vale Cotton (who did his voice in the second movie)
He is Kind, caring, brave, calm, peaceful, self-less, smart, and wise.
Arnold is completely unaware of Helga's feeling for him for most of the series, other than the occasional hint from Helga and other classmates.
Hey Arnold!: The Movie
Arnold gave Helga the opportunity to take back her confession, attributing it to "the heat of the moment".
Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie
Arnold and his best friend Gerald plan to make a humanitarian video during the summer, after their fifth grade year, to win a trip to San Lorenzo, where Arnold's parents were last seen. They try to record themselves making a home out of junk for one of their friends, eccentric Monkeyman, but that backfires; Arnold leaves, heartbroken.
Arnold returns Helga's feelings with a kiss of his own, after thanking Helga for her help in finding his parents and using her locket to help activate the device that releases the cure to the sleeping sickness which his parents had contracted before they could release the cure. It's also implied at the end of the movie that he and Helga become a couple, as Arnold holds hands with Helga (although Helga pretends to be hostile to Arnold in public).
- According from Hey Arnold's creator, Craig Barlett himself; Arnold and Helga do get married and have children.
- While his surname is never revealed in the show, it was confirmed to be Shortman by Craig Bartlett in an interview with BuzzFeed (and talked about in The Jungle Movie), it was also hinted in the show by his Grandfather.