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Arnold Betrays Iggy (Hey Arnold!)

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Arnold Betrays Iggy (Hey Arnold!)
How to destroy the reputation of a recurring background character in 11 minutes.
Part of Season: 3
Episode Number: 10a
Air Date: October 19, 1998
Writer: Steve Viksten
Director: Dan Povenmire
Previous episode: Oskar Gets a Job
Next episode: Helga and the Nanny

"Arnold Betrays Iggy" is the first segment of the tenth episode of the third season of the Nickelodeon animated show Hey Arnold!.


When Arnold sees Iggy wearing bunny pajamas, he promises he won't tell anybody. But when Sid and Stinky guess, Iggy refuses to forgive Arnold.

Why It's A Betrayal

  1. This episode is extremely mean-spirited and unpleasant compared to the show's otherwise heart-lifting tone, mostly due to how much of a complete jerk everyone is to Arnold.
  2. Arnold is somewhat out of character by laughing at the reveal of Iggy wearing bunny pajamas (although he does try to contain it and doesn't outright humiliate him for it).
  3. The infamous scene where Arnold humiliates himself by wearing bunny pajamas in front of the whole town, just for wanting to win Iggy's forgiveness, was one of the worst moments in the entire show.
  4. A horrible ending where Arnold doesn't trust Iggy anymore and many of Arnold's friends laughed at him when Iggy made him wear bunny pajamas in public.
    • As a matter of fact, the ending feels incomplete since it just involves Arnold walking away from Iggy as Iggy tries to gain his forgiveness while shooting Arnold's name.
  5. Grandpa Phil acts very out of character in this episode, one such example is near the end of the episode, he plans on taking pictures of Arnold in bunny pajamas for the photo album, even though he is supposed to deeply care for him.
    • To be fair, Grandpa Phil may not have known that Iggy told Arnold to humiliate himself so that he'd gain Iggy's forgiveness, as Arnold never told Grandpa Phil that himself, so in Grandpa's eyes, he likely thinks that Arnold is doing it for fun.
  6. Unexplained plot holes.
    • Biggest plot hole: Why was Iggy wearing bunny pajamas, to begin with? From the way he acts, it's shown that he doesn't like wearing them, and he's not poor enough for them to be the only pajamas he can afford.
    • Why didn't Arnold just tell Iggy that Sid and Stinky were the ones who correctly guessed that he (as in Iggy) was wearing bunny pajamas?
  7. Iggy, Sid, and Stinky are completely unlikable in this episode. Iggy is at his absolute worst in this episode and marks the start of his Flanderization. E.G.: Sid and Stinky correctly guessed what Iggy was wearing and tell the entire school, resulting in Iggy refusing to forgive Arnold, and Iggy himself is a complete jerk to Arnold, thinking that he was the one who told on him and refusing to accept his apology, even after Arnold does his chores, causing Iggy to not have another major role and no longer be friends with Arnold for the rest of the series afterward. And while he does realize at the end that Arnold didn't reveal his secret and thinks he went too far, he still doesn't try to stop Arnold from humiliating himself outside of yelling "Arnold, wait! You don't have to do this!", as he just sits in his chair and does nothing.
  8. Sid and Stinky are also very out of character as their actions in this episode contrast widely with their personalities.
    • In the case of Sid, while he can be a jerk at times, deep down he is very good-hearted.
    • In the case of Stinky, he is a very gentle character who would never make fun of someone.
      • Adding to this, Stinky also had no reason to act like that to Arnold and go so far as to take pictures of Arnold wearing Bunny pajamas, considering that Arnold helped him on many occasions.
    • They both get off scot-free, despite being out of character and revealing Iggy's secret.
  9. Misleading Title: The title of the episode gives off an impression that Arnold betrayed Iggy by telling everyone that Iggy was wearing Bunny pajamas, but Arnold never exactly betrayed Iggy and never told anyone that (seeing how he never breaks promises) for rather it was Sid and Stinky that correctly guessed it.
  10. Helga is also very out of character, seeing as she too is also at Arnold's humiliation, even though she has a crush on him.
  11. This whole episode tries way too hard to make Iggy look like the bad guy, even though Sid and Stinky were the ones that caused this whole mess to happen in the first place.
  12. Iggy somehow returned after the negative reception this episode has received without still feeling bad for humiliating Arnold.
  13. Everyone else, except Gerald, backstabs Arnold in this episode.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. After Iggy finds out it wasn't Arnold who told everyone his secret, Iggy realizes he went too far and tries to stop Arnold from humiliating himself, so at least he tries to redeem himself.
  2. Arnold is still a likable character.
  3. Gerald, Grandma Gertie, Mr. Hyunh, Principal Wartz, Olga, and many more were the only characters who were the ones who never attended Arnold's horrible humiliation because Gerald would never make fun of his best friend, Grandma Gertie would never make fun of her grandson and Lila would never make fun of Arnold either, while 5th grader Wolfgang probably has standards and seeing 4th graders publicly humiliated on TV is too mean-spirited for him and the other 5th graders. Also, Olga's nice and was in college around this time.
  4. There are a few funny moments, such as Helga saying the line "Oh look, boys and girls, it's the Bunny Pajama Boy."
  5. Decent moral: Being sorry won't always mean that somebody will forgive you regardless of how sincere you're being.


Among fans and critics, this is almost unanimously considered the worst episode in the series, due to Sid & Stinky being portrayed negatively while getting no consequences for their actions, Arnold putting himself through humiliation just for wanting Iggy's forgiveness, Iggy refusing to forgive Arnold, many of Arnold's friends/acquaintances laughing at him in the end, and simply being more mean-spirited and unpleasant than the rest of the series. As a result of this episode's poor reception, Iggy never had another major role on the show and was back to background appearances in later episodes (despite Stinky and Sid being the true antagonists of the episode).


  • There was a widely spread rumor that show creator Craig Bartlett hated this episode and that the staff was forced to apologize and sympathize with fans. This rumor, however, is false as it was a hoax of unknown origin, that has been furthered by sources such as various YouTubers (ChannelFrederator was singled out by Bartlett, for their "107 Facts About Hey Arnold" video), and TV Tropes. Craig Bartlett debunked the rumor in a response to fans on an Instagram post and later in an interview with Arun Mehta. ChannelFrederator later uploaded a new 107 Facts video about Hey Arnold! on November 10th of 2017. Made this time with help from Bartlett, in the intro to which he alluded to the mistakes of the original video, calling them "facts". The original video is still uploaded.