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5 Shows like Hey Arnold! – Growing Pains

samar2Arnold is a nine year old football-headed space cadet, living in an inner-city boarding house with his grandparents in an incredible fold-out room.

He’s joined in his adventures by his best friend Gerald, a street-smart loofah-haired kid who often starts off episodes with his signature urban myths, and teased viciously by Helga, his secret admirer.

Most of all, Arnold is a dreamy, optimistic boy who is always ready to lend a helping hand. Let’s take a look at coming-of-age TV shows like ‘Hey Arnold’.. ~ Samar N

Shows Similar To ‘Hey Arnold!’

This article recommends an underrated title, a must-see title, an unknown title, an ‘if you like, you will like’ title and an unexpected title so you have different options when it comes to choosing your next movie to watch.



‘Rugrats’ (Nickelodeon, 1990 – 2006)

This series similar to ‘Hey Arnold’ features talking babies and appeals to an older crowd, with its slightly suggestive humour (see: Anjelica’s mum on her mobile phone).

Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster and twins, Phil and Lil Deville, often hang out because their parents are friends. Tommy is the brave and righteous baby while Chuckie is the scaredy cat! Phil and Lil like to make messes.

Often, when their parents aren’t around, Tommy’s mean older cousin, Angelica, bullies the babies, but their slightly older friend, Susie Carmichael, stands up to Anjelica.


Similarity Match

A group of talking babies go on adventures beyond their years. 



‘Doug’ (Nickelodeon, 1991 – 1994)

Doug and Arnold tie for my favourite cartoon characters.

Doug is an anxious, humble kid who suffers from low self-esteem, mostly because he tries to impress his crush, Patti Mayonaise, unsuccessfully and the town bully, Roger Klotz, always squashes Doug’s hopes and plans.

But his best friend, Skeeter, and his anthropomorphic pet dog, Porkchop, give Doug confidence.

When Doug writes in his journal, he assumes the role of his alter-ego, Quailman, who compensates for Doug’s (mild) failings.


Similarity Match

Doug Funny, AKA Quailman, has a talent for writing and playing the banjo.



‘Doogie Howser, M.D.’ (ABC, 1989 – 1993)

Doogie Howser is a child prodigy who went to medical school as a teenager.

This show follows his daily grind as the country’s youngest surgeon, and his life outside of work as a normal teen coping with dating and strict parents.

After a hard day’s work, Doogie always find time to jot down a few words of wisdom in his computer journal.


Similarity Match

The youngest surgeon ever faces normal teenage obstacles.



‘Daria’ (MTV, 1997 – 2002)

Pessimistic Daria and optimistic Arnold are opposites but they’re both idealists! They’re both willing to help others, though reluctantly, on Daria’s part and sometimes naively on Arnold’s part. Of course, ‘Daria’ with its sardonic sense of humour, is an MTV show for an older crowd.

While Daria and her best friend Jane’s witty rapport drives the show, the most amusing moments focus on the contrast between Daria, a nerdy intellectual and her vapid and cute younger sister, Quinn, for whom life amounts to shopping and having bouncy hair.

Perhaps, as Daria says, Quinn only plays up the “”moronic aspects of [her] personality so [she’ll] fit in better with the fashion drones””.

Either way, she and her fashion club are hilariously superficial. My favourite is the haughty and eloquent president of the fashion club, Sandi, who is intensely competitive with Quinn.


Similarity Match

A parody of American high school as told by the wry comedian, Daria.


If You Like ‘Hey Arnold!’, You Will Like

‘The Wonder Years’ (ABC, 1988 – 1993)

A grown-up Kevin Arnold reflects on his transition from adolescence to adulthood in the late 60s and early 70s suburban America, which was also a period of great change in American history.

Kevin’s life revolves around his average family, his best friend Paul and on-again, off-again girlfriend, Winnie.

The show reflects the time period as Winnie’s older brother’s death in Vietnam plays a major role in the plot of the series.


Similarity Match

A mid 30s man reflects on the trials and tribulations of his adolescense.


Let Us Know Your Thoughts

These are my favourite TV series like ‘Hey Arnold’. Have I missed any?

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