Hero Overview

Move it, football head!
~ Helga to Arnold
Arnold. What a nincompoop. What a dopey little dumb-headed dingbat. How I despise him, and yet... I love him! His naïve yet admirable innocence. His willingness to embrace the best qualities in a poor, lonely farm girl... even if deep down, she’s probably just simple and shallow, and only looks brilliant because she has a watch. Sure, she looks pretty and acts smart, and... and she’s funny and kind and popular, but... that’s still no reason to go all ga-ga over her! I mean, what’s she got that I haven't got? OK, so maybe I’m not pretty, and I’m not popular, and maybe I don’t act nice and sweet and kind like Lila always does, that still doesn’t change the fact that I’m the one, the one and only one who truly loves Arnold... if only he could see past my mean, blustery veneer, and into my soft, mushy interior, wherein, I adore him! Oh...
~ Helga admitting her feelings towards Arnold to herself
Watch where you're going, football-head!
~ Helga to Arnold

Helga Geraldine Pataki(born March 26th, 1988) is the anti-heroic tritagonist (but sometimes antagonistic or anti-villain) of the hit Nickelodeon animated television series Hey Arnold! and the deuteragonist of the television film Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie. She is Arnold's arch-rival yet love interest, later girlfriend.

She is voiced by Francesca Marie Smith in the series and movies. She's formerly the protagonist bully until she was redeemed later in "The Jungle Movie", where her loyalty towards the football-headed boy in his mission to locate his missing parents opens his eyes to the depths of her feelings. She generally acts like she hates Arnold while she truly loves him which she often hides.

Appearance

Appearance-wise, Helga is 50/50 between her parents. She has her mother's blonde hair, skin, and head shape. She has her father's unibrow, nose, and ears. She wears her hair in long pigtails without any visible hair ties. In the earlier episodes, her pigtails were longer and thinner, but as the character designs were refined, her pigtails became more short and thick.

In Hey Arnold!, she wears a pink dress with a red stripe over a white shirt and a pink bow on her hair, along with white shoes.

In Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, she wears a similar dress, but without a shirt underneath. As an indication of her age, she also appears more well-developed. Her dress receives an upgrade, becoming more fitting on her shape and gaining a pink stripe under the red stripe, as well as red and white converse shoes, and her pigtails become a tad bit longer and more flowing.

Personality

Helga is a tomboyish girl, as evidenced by her interest in playing contact sports alongside her male classmates, blatant lack of femininity, and disregard, to near dislike, for stereotypical female behavior, as seen in the episode "Helga's Makeover". Despite her occasional disdain for more feminine things, on several occasions, she tries very much to make herself appear as an attractive female, with varying degrees of success.

Helga can be very cynical, violent, and a bully, bossing around her fourth-grade classmates with an iron fist, including her best friend, Phoebe Heyerdahl. However, Helga also has a much softer side, which becomes apparent only when she is alone. On instances, she has conformed and tried to protect her friend Phoebe. She dislikes for Arnold on occasions because of his dreamer personality while she mocks his head for being different from most others. She has been periodically been depicted as bully, usually going so far to develop as the anti-hero of the entire franchise.

Several times in the series, Helga has also gone to considerable lengths to make her secret love Arnold happy. Some such episodes are "Arnold's Hat", in which she spent literally hours digging through the city dump to find Arnold's lost hat, and "Arnold's Christmas" in which she gave up a highly coveted gift in order to facilitate the fulfilment of a holiday wish for him.

Helga is heavily emotional, and able to comprehend spectrum emotions such as love and hate. This emotional extremity is a running joke throughout the series, as Helga is often the first to go into hysterics in times of crisis.

Helga is also quite intelligent. In the episode "The Aptitude Test", in which the class takes a standardized exam, it is eventually revealed that Helga achieved a perfect score on the test and the most outstanding result since her perfectionist sister, Olga Pataki, took the test. The types of grades she receives on an average basis in school, however, are low; in the episode "Quantity Time", Helga tells her parents that she failed another math test at school. Her bad grades are most likely caused by her lack of motivation, attention and academic concern. Mainly, Helga displays a remarkable gift for poetry, creating dramatic soliloquies expressing a situation or feeling with a generous use of vocabulary, especially for someone her age. These instances were more simple in the earlier episodes, but as the series progressed, grew in their intensity. Aside from poetry, Helga exhibits further aspects of cultural experience, being able to identify the work of Edward Hopper and make reference to George Orwell's 1984 in "Helga on the Couch".

Helga also possesses an almost shocking ability to memorize written works. Such examples of this include preparing for a vocabulary contest in "Spelling Bee", and successfully memorizing all the lines of Juliet for Romeo and Juliet in a single night in "School Play".

It is also insinuated throughout points in the series and also stated explicitly as an opinion by her older sister Olga Pataki, that Helga is highly perceptive and a good judge of character. Though her judgement of people is often overshadowed by her feelings, her gruff cynicism or pessimism, emotions and sometimes petty irritations, in the show she has perceived trustworthiness or the lack thereof in characters correctly, including even her own family members. Some such examples are "Olga Gets Engaged", in which she quickly realizes the man her sister is engaged to a is a charlatan, or in "Helga on the Couch" in which she realizes she can indeed trust her psychiatrist.

Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie

She is shown to have an extensive video library of Arnold which she and Phoebe convince Gerald to use for the contest for the class field trip that Arnold hoped to win to search for his parents, which proves successful. During the trip, Helga attempts to express her true feelings to Arnold who was not in the right frame of mind to hear it at the time and left, abruptly leaving Helga heartbroken to the point she ripped up the picture of Arnold in her locket which she discards along with the fragments in the river. She briefly becomes angry at Arnold though after the class is captured by Lasombra and she sees Arnold crying while looking at a picture of his parents. She forgives him and reaches for her locket only to remember she discarded it but finds that it and Arnold's torn picture were recovered and repaired by Brainy. She convinces Gerald to help her free Arnold so they could reach the Green Eyes before Lasombra got there first. Together with Arnold and Gerald, they manage to find the Green Eyes. Helga also comes up with the idea to use her locket to replace the Corazon which was lost while they were struggling with Lasombra, which activates the mechanism to release the cure to the sleeping sickness curing the afflicted Green Eyes and Arnold's parents. While she was attempting to retrieve her locket Arnold thanked her for all she did and returns her feelings, resulting in them kissing, only to be interrupted by Gerald. At the end of the movie, while it is implied that she and Arnold are now a couple, she reverted to her old ways when Arnold tried to hold her hand on the way to school with Gerald and Phoebe but secretly liked that Arnold made that attempt, implying that she's only pretending to be her old mean self towards him in public to maintain her tough girl reputation at once as well as she learns to get along with him.

Heroic/Good Acts

Redeeming herself

Clips

Trivia

  • Craig Bartlett revealed in a 2018 interview that Helga's appearance was inspired in part by a young Frida Kahlo.
  • Helga is similar acts like Squidward Tentacles from SpongeBob SquarePants who despises Spongebob and occasionally get along with them.
  • Her being jealous of her older sister is very similar to how Scar was jealous of his older brother Mufasa. Unlike scar, Helga does have some love for her sister while Scar has no love for his brother and killed him.
  • She also shares some similarities to Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion: they both are tsunderes, who are always yelling and bullying the protagonists, besides being love interests and friendly rivals to Arnold Shortman and Shinji Ikari.
  • Helga's right-handed.
  • Her favorite color is pink.

External links

Navigation

           Nickelodeon logo.png Heroes
Current Programming

SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob | Patrick | Squidward | Mr. Krabs | Plankton | Karen | Sandy | Mrs. Puff | Pearl | Gary | Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy | Larry the Lobster

The Loud House
Lincoln | Lori | Leni | Luna | Luan | Lynn Jr. | Lucy | Lana | Lola | Lisa | Lily | Lynn Loud Sr. | Rita Loud | Clyde McBride | Rusty Spokes | Zach Gurdle | Liam Hunnicutt | Stella Zhau

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Leonardo | Donatello | Raphael | Michelangelo | Splinter | April O'Neil

The Casagrandes
Ronnie Anne | Bobby | Sid Chang | Maria Santiago | Rosa Casagrande | Hector Casagrande | Carlos Casagrande | Frida Puga Casagrande | Carlota Casagrande | Carlos Jr. Casagrande | Carlino Casagrande | Carlitos Casagrande | Sergio | Lalo

It's Pony
Annie Bramley | Pony

Former Programming

Doug
Doug | Porkchop | Skeeter | Patty

Rugrats
Tommy | Chuckie | Phil & Lil | Susie | Angelica | Dil | Kimi | Didi | Stu | Grandpa Lou | Spike | Chas | Kira | Charlotte | Drew | Betty | Howard | Reptar | Fifi | Taffy | Ranger Margaret

The Ren & Stimpy Show
Ren Höek | Stimpy | Sven Hoek | Powdered Toast Man

Rocko's Modern Life
Rocko Wallaby | Heffer Wolfe | Filburt Shellbach | Spunky | Bev Bighead | Rachel Bighead | Sheila | Chuck and Leon | Alicia | Claudette | Dr. Paula Hutchison | Buddy Gecko

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
Ickis | Oblina | Krumm

Hey Arnold!
Arnold | Helga | Gerald | Phoebe | Grandpa Phil | Grandma Gertie | Stinky | Harold | Lila | Rhonda | Sid | Brainy | Eugene | Nadine | Sheena | Olga

The Angry Beavers
Daggett Beaver | Norbert Beaver

CatDog
CatDog | Winslow T. Oddfellow | Lola Caricola | CatDog's Parents | Roachie | Mervis | Dunglap | Randolph Grant | Mr. Sunshine | Murray "The Mule" Marconi | Mean Bob | Fred the Flying Fish | Gorilla | Dunlapia | Mr. Sunspock | Mervania | Randolphoran | Lolita 7 | Tallula Headbank

Oh Yeah! Cartoons
Slap T. Pooch | Jelly | Teddy | Art | Cat & Milk-Man | Jamal the Funny Frog | Thatta Boy | Zio | Hobart | Okra | Kenny | Edward and Emo | Peter Patrick and Persian Puss | Max | Tutu the Superina | Blotto | Dotto | Dot and Randy | Bene and Beck Crimson | Olly and Frank | Kitty the Hapless Cat | Super Santa | Hubbykins & Sweetypie | Little Guy and Big Guy | Urp | Trixie | Freddy Seymore | Obie | Jake Slade | Herb | Thom Turkey | Terry & Chris | Dan Danger | Debbie | Sick and Tired Skippy Spankerton | Elise | Cameron | The Semprini Triplet

The Wild Thornberrys
Eliza | Darwin | Donnie | Debbie | Nigel | Marianne

Rocket Power
Otto | Reggie | Sam | Twister

As Told By Ginger
Ginger | Courtney

Invader Zim
GIR | Dib | Gaz | Professor Membrane | Skoodge | Clembrane

The Fairly OddParents
Timmy Turner | Wanda | Cosmo | Poof | Sparky | Chloe Carmichael | Jorgen Von Strangle | Mr. Turner | Mrs. Turner | Tootie | Chester McBadbat | A.J. | Tooth Fairy | Trixie Tang | Veronica | The Crimson Chin | Alternate Crimson Chins | Crash Nebula | Catman | Turbo Thunder | Flappy Bob | Mark Chang | Mama Cosma

ChalkZone
Rudy Tabootie | Penny Sanchez | Snap

The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
Jimmy Neutron | Cindy Vortex | Carl Wheezer | Sheen Estevez | Goddard | Libby Folfax | Judy Neutron | Hugh Neutron | Granny Neutron | Zix, Travoltron and Tee | Nick Dean | Betty Quinlan | Ultra Lord | Jet Fusion

My Life as a Teenage Robot
Jenny Wakeman | Nora Wakeman | Brad Carbunkle | Tuck Carbunkle | Sheldon Lee | Vega

Danny Phantom
Danny Phantom | Sam Manson | Tucker Foley | Jazz Fenton | Jack Fenton | Maddie Fenton | Dani Phantom | Clockwork | Frostbite | Wulf

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Aang | Katara | Sokka | Zuko | Iroh | Toph | Haru

Catscratch
Gordon Quid | Mr. Blik | Waffle

The X's
Tucker X | Trudy X | Tuesday X | Truman X | Rex X | Home Base

El Tigre
El Tigre | White Pantera | Frida Suárez

Wayside
Todd | Dana | Myron | Maurecia | Mrs. Jewls | Louis

Tak and the Power of Juju
Tak | Jibolba | Moon Juju | Flora | Jeera

Back at the Barnyard
Otis | Pip | Pig | Daisy | Abby | Bessy | Freddy | Duke | Ben

The Mighty B!
Bessie Higgenbottom

The Penguins of Madagascar
Skipper | Kowalski | Rico | Private

Fanboy & Chum Chum
Fanboy | Chum Chum

T.U.F.F. Puppy
Dudley Puppy | Kitty Katswell | The Chief | Keswick | Tammy | Becky | Daisy | KIL-R

Winx Club
Bloom | Stella | Flora | Musa | Tecna | Aisha | Roxy

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness
Po | Shifu | Tigress | Viper | Crane | Monkey | Mantis | Mr. Ping

The Legend of Korra
Korra | Mako | Bolin | Asami Sato | Tenzin

Sanjay and Craig
Sanjay Patel | Craig Slithers

Breadwinners
SwaySway | Buhdeuce | Bread Maker | Ketta | T-Midi | Jelly

Harvey Beaks
Harvey | Fee | Foo

Pig Goat Banana Cricket
Pig | Goat | Banana | Cricket

Welcome to the Wayne
Ansi Molina | Olly Timbers | Saraline Timbers | Leif Bornwell III | Dennis O'Bannon | Wendell Wasserman | Goodness | Katherine-Alice

            Nicktoons logo.png Heroes

Corneil and Bernie
Corneil | Bernie

Kappa Mikey
Mikey Simon | Gonard | Guano | Lily | Mitsuki

The Secret Show
Victor Volt | Anita Knight

            1280px-Nick Jr. logo 2009.svg.png Heroes

Blue's Clues
Blue | Steve | Joe | Josh | Spice Family

Dora the Explorer
Dora Marquez | Boots | Diego

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan
Kai-Lan | Rintoo | Lulu | Tolee | Hoho

Bubble Guppies
Gil | Molly | Goby | Deema | Oona | Nonny | Zooli

PAW Patrol
Ryder | Marshall | Rubble | Chase | Rocky | Zuma | Skye | Cap'n Turbot | Robo-Dog | Everest | Tracker | Francois Turbot | Katie | Sweetie | Tuck & Ella | Rex | Wild Kat

Rusty Rivets
Rusty Rivets | Ruby Ramirez

Titular Nick Jr. Heroes
Abby Hatcher | Oobi | Shimmer and Shine

Lalaloopsy Heroes
Lalaloopsy Heroes

Backyardigans
Pablo | Uniqua | Tasha | Austin the Kangaroo | Tyrone |

See Also: Cartoon Network Heroes

           Nickelodeon Movies 2019 Print Logo.png Heroes

Animated Features
Tommy Pickles | Chuckie Finster | Phil DeVille | Lil DeVille | Susie Carmichael | Angelica Pickles | Dil Pickles | Didi Pickles | Stu Pickles | Lou Pickles | Spike | Charlotte Pickles | Drew Pickles | Chas Finster | Betty DeVille | Howard DeVille | Ranger Margaret | Kira Finster | Kimi Watanabe-Finster | Reptar | Fifi | Jimmy Neutron | Cindy Vortex | Carl Wheezer | Sheen Estevez | Goddard | Libby Folfax | Judy Neutron | Hugh Neutron | Nick Dean | Ultra Lord | Arnold Shortman | Helga G. Pataki | Gerald Johanssen | Phoebe Heyerdahl | Grandpa Phil | Grandma Gertie | Stinky Peterson | Harold Berman | Rhonda Wellington Lloyd | Sid | Eugene Horowitz Nadine | Olga Pataki | Eliza Thornberry | Darwin the Chimp | Donnie Thornberry | Debbie Thornberry | Nigel Thornberry | Marianne Thornberry | SpongeBob SquarePants | Patrick Star | Mr. Krabs | Sandy Cheeks | Mrs. Puff | Pearl Krabs | King Neptune | Princess Mindy | David Hasselhoff | Squidward Tentacles | Gary The Snail | Otis | Pip | Pig | Daisy | Abby | Bessy | Freddy | Duke | Ben | Rango | Beans | Priscilla | Wounded Bird | Roadkill | Spirit of the West | Mariachi Owls | Tintin | Captain Haddock | Snowy | Thompson and Thomson | Sheldon J. Plankton | Karen Plankton | Bubbles | June Bailey | Steve | Greta | Gus and Cooper | Peanut | Boomer | Rocko Wallaby | Heffer Wolfe | Filburt Shellbach | Spunky | Bev Bighead | Rachel Bighead | Chuck and Leon | Dr. Paula Hutchison | Buddy Gecko | Dib Membrane | GIR | Professor Membrane | Gaz Membrane | Clembrane | Sage | Otto | Tiffany Haddock

Live-Action Movies
Ed | Dexter Reed | Monique | Ignacio/Nacho | Wilbur | Charlotte A. Cavatica | Fern Arable | Templeton | Jared Grace | Simon Grace | Mallory Grace | Thimbletack | Hogsqueal | Byron the Griffin | Arthur Spiderwick | Aunt Lucinda | Bruce | Dave | Mark | Heather | Aang | Zuko | Iroh | Appa | Leonardo | Raphael | Michelangelo | Donatello | Splinter | April O'Neil | Casey Jones | Tripp Coley | Creech | Dora | Diego | Boots | Map

Original TV Movies
Drake Parker | Josh Nichols | Megan Parker | Fred Figglehorn | Jordan Sands

See Also
Avatar Heroes | Danny Phantom Heroes | Henry Danger Heroes | Invader Zim Heroes | Jimmy Neurton Heroes | SpongeBob Squarepants Heroes | The Fairly OddParents Heroes | TMNT Heroes

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.