Helga's Mom From "Hey Arnold!" Had A Drinking Problem And It Went Right Over My Head

    Hey Arnold! was a lot darker than I thought it was.

    It doesn't matter if you're an older millennial or a younger millennial; odds are you grew up watching Hey Arnold!

    And Hey Arnold! has always been a bit more human and true-to-life than some of the other cartoons we grew up watching. It was never afraid to get serious — I just didn't realize how serious it really was until now.

    Helga Pataki? She never had it easy. I mean, her love for her crush was always unrequited. And at home? She was living in her older sister's shadow.

    But recently — and don't ask me why — I was scrolling through the Hey Arnold! wiki when I arrived on Miriam Pataki's page.

    And when I read this paragraph in particular, I spit out all of my coffee directly at my laptop screen. Suddenly, certain parts of this show started to make a lot more sense...

    The smoothies? I remember those...

    ...she was constantly...



    And the passing out? As a kid I thought nothing of it. But now? I can't stop thinking about how tired she always was.

    Miriam just could not stay awake. And when she was awake, she sounded really tired and, uh, not sober.

    These hints aren't subtle either. They're right out there in the open. But apparently the writers decided to make Miriam's drinking problem even more explicit, not to mention disturbing...

    In a Season 3 episode titled, "Road Trip," Miriam drives very erratically and at one point almost drives off the road.

    That very same season, the Patakis hire a nanny to watch after Helga because Miriam has to do mandatory community service.

    And in case they weren't being explicit enough, Season 4 features an episode where Miriam drops Helga off at school. It's here we learn that Miriam not only got her driver's license taken away, but she's also driving without it.

    And that very same episode? It opens with Miriam looking for her Tabasco sauce, which she keeps in what appears to be her liquor cabinet...

    ...which means she presumably uses it to make "smoothies."

    In conclusion, Miriam Pataki has a drinking problem and I don't know how I didn't notice it sooner.