13 Life Lessons Learned from Hey Arnold!

The 90s saw a huge shift in children's cartoons. Where the 80s saw over-the-top, morally upright heroes like G.I. Joe, He-Man and the Voltron, the 90s saw a deluge of shows focused on normal, everyday kids like Doug, Recess, and my personal favorite: Hey Arnold! 

As a kid, I picked up on a few of the life lessons this show sought to teach kids, but as I've gone back to watch the show as an adult I've begun to understand just how often the Nickelodeon show tackled real-world issues. Of course a short list of GIFs would never be able to capture the nuance and subtlety of this incredible cartoon, but this little piece serves as a sampler of the life lessons this show taught us. 

Normalcy is relative

There's is nothing more tragic than families who don't understand one another  

Trust in your abilities

Sometimes you've just gotta say "F@#$ Authority"

You may have a cool room but it will never be as cool as Arnold's

Never be afraid to leave your stoop and broaden your horizons

You never know what life-altering consequences a simple act of kindness can have

The world could use a little more optimism

True friendship will never die

Sometimes we just can't seem to get over our crushes...even when others think we should

Value all life

What if some of our "crazy" people actually have the most accurate perception of humanity?

Sacrificing your own happiness for the future of your family is the most noble thing you can do.


J. Leonard has been writing since 1994 when he wrote his first piece on what he wanted to be when he grew up in Mrs. Wagstaff's Kindergarten class. His writing has improved marginally since that time.