When the last episode of Hey Arnold! aired in 2004, devoted fans were left with many important questions. The cartoon’s mysteries plagued viewers for over a decade. But relief came when Nickelodeon announced a Hey Arnold! movie reboot, which promised to provide some overdue answers—specifically what exactly happened to Arnold’s parents.
During San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, Buzzfeed caught up with Craig Bartlett, the creator of the series, to finally get answers to some of the most common Hey Arnold! questions. And it turns out, many of your theories were true.
Here’s a sample:
"What happened to Pigeon Man? Did he kill himself?"
Bartlett: "I shouldn’t say, but I have plans for Pigeon Man. Let’s just say, he’s not dead. [There are some] bad misconceptions about that [scene], that it was a suicide scene where he jumped off the roof. He doesn’t commit suicide — he hooks up all those pigeons and flies away. I always imagined that he went to Paris, because that would be a good place to take care of pigeons."
Is Mr. Simmons gay? And why did he replace Miss Slovak?
Bartlett: "We had our teacher Miss Slovak in Season 1, and Slovak was too much of a caricature. That seemed a little bit too simple — it wasn’t smart enough. What if we put, instead, a great teacher who really cares about the students and is just full of passion? And then we thought, 'Well, let’s make him gay, why not? It’ll be fun.'"
What is Arnold’s full name?
Bartlett: "Yes, [his last name is Shortman]. That one has just become a fact, but we still are going to do a joke where he reveals his last name in The Jungle Movie — just to confirm it. [And] I think [Arnold’s middle name] should be Phillip. Arnold P. Shortman, after Phil, his grandpa."
Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie will be released in 2017.