the similarities between the two are astounding.
The first and best thing about Helga was that her character turned the boy-crushes-on-girl story completely on its head. Usually with cartoons in the ’90s you saw boys fawning over girls — Doug and Patti, for example — but Helga was full-on obsessed with Arnold, to the point of objectifying him. And the nice thing was she wasn’t some girly girl-type that would help explain away her obsession — she was, in fact, a tomboy. (Her unibrow was hard to ignore.) She played sports with the boys, she was aggressive, tough, bossy — and as we found out later on in the series, extremely smart. And mirroring how many boys act when they have crushes on girls — Helga was mean to Arnold instead of just telling him how she felt. Not only did she come up with the nickname “football head,” she had a picture of Arnold she would talk to, saying, “How I love you… and yet I hate you.” Even Helga had a sense of humor about Helga. Her crush actually went deeper than her dramatics, though — she talked to the school psychiatrist about it and it was revealed that her poor relationship with her family was leading to her need for love from someone, and that someone happened to be Arnold.