How to Dress Like Arnold Shortman

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Best Arnold Shortman Costume Guide

Arnold Shortman is the main protagonist of the popular and well-loved Nickelodeon animated series, Hey Arnold! In the television show, Arnold is a fourth-grader who lives with his grandparents, Phil and Gertrude. The animated show follows the ins and outs of his life as a fourth-grader in PS 118 and features many other quirky characters such as his best friend, Gerald, bully Helga, and the many tenants who live in the boarding house run by his grandparents. The unique thing about him is that his head is shaped like a football; people are often calling him “football head” because of it.

Get the look of the personable football head with this Arnold Shortman costume guide. People will be saying, “Hey, Arnold!” when they see you pass by in a crewneck sweater pulled over a red and yellow flannel paired with blue jeans. Finish off this ensemble with black shoes, a blonde wig, and a baseball cap.

Arnold Shortman Cosplay Costumes

Arnold is a very kind, optimistic, and down-to-earth kid. His personality may be why he’s so well-liked by his peers in PS 118 as well as the people he lives with at his grandparents’ boarding house. He’s much more mature than his friends, displaying emotional intelligence when faced with conflict or struggles (as far as conflicts and struggles are for a fourth-grader, that is). It is then no surprise that people gravitate toward Arnold and are continually asking for his advice! His friendliness also may be why Arnold is the one person who is openly bullied by Helga Pataki. On the other hand, it may be because she has a long-standing crush on him.

Of course, Arnold has his bad days too. There are moments when he is seen frustrated by the way his friends are acting or by a situation he can’t control. Either way, you can gather the whole gang to dress up as the Hey Arnold crew as an ode to the top 90s Nickelodeon show. Your friends can dress up as other characters such as Helga, Gerald, Harold, and Sid.

Arnold Shortman Costume Tips & FAQs

Dive into the animated urban adventures of “Hey Arnold!” with our Arnold Shortman costume guide. Embrace the unique and thoughtful style of Arnold, the football-headed protagonist known for his cool, calm demeanor and distinctive outfit, as we guide you through crafting a look that captures his iconic ’90s vibe.

Arnold Shortman's outfit is a classic representation of his practical and laid-back personality. Essential components include a simple plaid shirt in shades of red and blue, layered over a plain white undershirt that extends below the hem of the plaid shirt, creating a unique layered look. He also wears dark blue jeans and simple black shoes. Completing Arnold's signature style is his small blue hat with a tiny propeller on top.

Arnold's hair, though mostly obscured by his hat, is blond and cut in a simple, clean style. If your hair matches, simply style it in a neat, uncomplicated manner. If not, consider using a light blonde wig, cut short or styled to fit comfortably under the hat.

For Arnold's shirt, find a plaid shirt with a red and blue pattern, ideally with a checkered or tartan design. The undershirt should be a plain white crew neck, long enough to extend a few inches below the hem of the plaid shirt. This creates Arnold's distinctive layered look, which is key to his character's style.

The most important accessory for an Arnold Shortman costume is his small blue hat with a propeller on top. This unique hat is a defining feature of Arnold's character. You can create this hat using a basic blue beanie and attaching a small, crafted propeller. Additionally, simple black sneakers will complete the look.

Incorporating quotes from Arnold can bring depth to your portrayal. Some memorable lines include: "I think you're cool just the way you are.," "You're a bold kid, you know that?" and "Grandma, you're really something." These lines reflect Arnold's supportive, understanding, and often mature nature, adding an extra layer of authenticity and character to your costume.


About Arnold Shortman

One of the main themes of Arnold’s character is the fact that he grew up without his parents. His parents were said to be humanitarians and environmentalists, always flying off to remote jungle communities that they needed to help. When Arnold was a young boy, his parents had to leave him with his grandparents for urgent business in a remote jungle community. They never came back. While the consensus was that they had gotten into an accident and passed away, Arnold always held on some hope that they were lost in the jungle and that one day, they can reunite.

His need for true paternal love drives his complexity as a young boy despite being close to his grandparents. His grandparents consider him as their child in their own right. The good thing is as he has a great set of people around him who act as his support system on good and bad days.

Arnold Shortman
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