If you were one of the internet’s coveted 90s kids, you probably get slightly triggered by the name Arnold. After all, who can forget the particularly loud and in-your-face yelling from one Helga G. Pataki from Nickelodeon’s Hey Arnold! cartoon? From the intro sequence–which saw her screaming at the titular Arnold throughout parts of the neighborhood–through the many episodes focusing on her obsession of good ol’ Football Head, Helga is as vital to the show, if not more, than anyone else.
So, consider real Arnold-heads shocked when the creator of the show, Craig Bartlett, confirmed recently in an interview with El Estímulo that Helga’s signature look–bow, attitude, and the prominent eyebrows–was inspired by old childhood photos of none other than Frida Kahlo. Although Bartlett gave Helga her iconic pigtails, you can see the similarities in an Instagram post that the creator shared back in August.
This isn’t the first revelation from Bartlett this year, as the show gears up to come back into your life with Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, releasing on Thanksgiving. Back in August, he revealed that a lot of the plot and atmosphere of the iconic cartoon was inspired by the magical realism employed by Gabriel García Márquez: “We were reading Gabriel García Márquez and 100 Years of Solitude, and Love in the Time of Cholera,” Bartlett said to Great Big Story. “Those were big influences on us, because magic realism is the term coined about García Márquez’s writing. I wanted there to be a magical realism to Arnold’s house and his neighborhood.”