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  #1  
Old 05-12-2012, 02:48 PM
Stauderhorse Stauderhorse is offline
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Why was Helga Pataki so mean on Hey Arnold?

I recently watched the first few seasons of Hey Arnold for the nostalgia value and to see how well it held up. The character of Helga is a pretty awful person to everyone around her, which I can kind of understand, given her home life is a mess. She bosses her classmates around to feel respected and powerful because she is ignored and neglected at home. She is especially cruel to Arnold because she has feelings for him; he represents everything her parents aren't: kind, big-hearted, starry-eyed, principled.
There's one episode in particular in which she pulls pranks on him, then immediately berates herself and wonders why she has to be so awful to him. It's almost like she's compelled to act that way, and I started wondering why. My own theory is that she has such low self-esteem that she feels she doesn't deserve happiness or love, and therefore does everything she can to alienate the one person she really does like and who might like her if she started being nice. Is there a psychological term for this kind of thing? What was your take on their strange relationship?
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2012, 03:13 PM
Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares is offline
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Originally Posted by Stauderhorse View Post
My own theory is that she has such low self-esteem that she feels she doesn't deserve happiness or love, and therefore does everything she can to alienate the one person she really does like and who might like her if she started being nice.
Yeah, I'd say that pretty much sums it up.

It's worth noting that her childhood wasn't exactly sunshine and roses. Her father does love her, but he's frequently busy with work. He has extremely high expectations for her, and that isn't helped out at all by her over-achieving older sister. It's strongly implied that Helga's mother is an alcoholic, and at any rate she's often so out of it that she doesn't understand how to care for Helga.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:29 PM
armedmonkey armedmonkey is online now
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Originally Posted by Stauderhorse View Post
Is there a psychological term for this kind of thing?
reaction formation. She is unable to deal with her feelings for Arnold due to her age and her home life, so she employs it as a defense mechanism for the anxiety.

Last edited by armedmonkey; 05-12-2012 at 03:30 PM.. Reason: fixed link
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:20 PM
RandMcnally RandMcnally is online now
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I always just assumed she was insane.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:23 PM
Sir T-Cups Sir T-Cups is offline
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I always just assumed she was insane.
Bitches be crazy
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  #6  
Old 05-16-2012, 05:31 PM
Orca Eyes Orca Eyes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stauderhorse View Post
I recently watched the first few seasons of Hey Arnold for the nostalgia value and to see how well it held up. The character of Helga is a pretty awful person to everyone around her, which I can kind of understand, given her home life is a mess. She bosses her classmates around to feel respected and powerful because she is ignored and neglected at home. She is especially cruel to Arnold because she has feelings for him; he represents everything her parents aren't: kind, big-hearted, starry-eyed, principled.
There's one episode in particular in which she pulls pranks on him, then immediately berates herself and wonders why she has to be so awful to him. It's almost like she's compelled to act that way, and I started wondering why. My own theory is that she has such low self-esteem that she feels she doesn't deserve happiness or love, and therefore does everything she can to alienate the one person she really does like and who might like her if she started being nice. Is there a psychological term for this kind of thing? What was your take on their strange relationship?
It's because Helga loved Arnold, but didn't want to show her true feelings. She even had to see a therapist because of it.

I always liked Helga Pataki, since was actually well-developed and interesting.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:44 PM
Kozmik Kozmik is offline
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The same reason Angelica Pickles was so mean on Rugrats - she's a brat.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:43 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups View Post
Bitches be crazy
Word
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