|“||Save your new ageisms for the saps, Granola Boy!||„|
|~ Curly before attacking Mr. Simmons with a kickball.|
Thaddeus Gammelthorpe, more commonly known by his nickname Curly, is a minor recurring character from Nickelodeon's animated series Hey Arnold!. Although usually a background character, he has played a larger antagonistic role in some episodes.
He is a fourth grade elementary student known for his bizarre and borderline psychotic behavior, having a tendency to overreact over anything he perceives as injustice towards him (even if said injustice was unintentional), among other trivial things. He is also known for his obsessive one-sided crush towards his fellow classmate, Rhonda. Such demeanor has led him to commit several questionable and outright villainous acts throughout the series.
Several different actors have voiced Curly; in most episodes, he was voiced by Adam Wylie. Other voice actors include Haley Joel Osment (in the episode "Deconstructing Arnold"), Steven Hartman (in "Downtown as Fruits"), and Michael Welch (in episodes "Ghost Bride" and "Curly's Girl"). In Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, he was voiced by Nicolas Cantu.
|“||Arnold: Curly's acting a little strange today.
Gerald: Today? He's strange everyday!
|~ Arnold and Gerald's remarks about Curly.|
Curly's background is largely unknown and was never explored in great detail in the show. He, like most kids among the cast, is an elementary schooler who resides in Hillwood and attends P.S. 118, being a part of Arnold's class.
Among his peers, Curly is notorious for being antisocial, impulsive, and wildly unpredictable. He is easily agitated whenever things don't go his way, no matter how trivial, and will set off at the slightest hint of wrongdoing he feels is directed towards him. Unsurprisingly, this would often put him in direct conflict among other kids and adults alike, as he would go to great lengths to retaliate and escalate the situation at hand.
An example of this can be seen in the episode, “False Alarm”. Here, he let another classmate, Eugene, borrow his favorite pencil. When Eugene returned it, it was sharpened down to a stub and had chew marks all over it. In response, an enraged Curly set up an elaborate plan to frame Eugene for pulling the fire alarm at school in an attempt to get him expelled. In another episode, "Ghost Bride", he wanted to tell his version of the urban legend, the Ghost Bride, but was turned down by the group. Outraged by this, he decided to become the legend itself by donning a wedding gown and veil, and set off into the cemetery to scare the kids into thinking he's the real Ghost Bride.
Curly's most infamous act occurred in the episode "Curly Snaps". In this episode, Curly was scheduled to become the Ball Monitor for the whole week. However, due to an error in Mr. Simmons' agenda, that role was instead mistakenly given to Sid. After failing to convince the teacher that he was supposed to be the next Ball Monitor, Curly “snapped” and locked himself in Principal Wartz' office after stealing a bag of kickballs. From there, he wrecked havoc upon the school by throwing balls at students and staff from the transom window above the door, all while broadcasting his demands and grievances over the intercom. After a round of negotiations, with Arnold acting as mediator, and Mr. Simmons discovering and admitting to his mistake, as Curly was assigned the role of Ball Monitor for all of next week, and the chaotic ordeal came to a peaceful end.
Later seasons revealed that Curly has a crush on Rhonda, much to the latter's chagrin. His love for Rhonda is visibly one-sided; he has shown to be rather brash and assertive towards her, frequently making unwanted advances and, at one point, even coerced her to go on a 'date' with him (as shown in the episode "Curly's Girl"). His actions tend to be great source of embarrassment and disgust for Rhonda, who would often scold and lash out against him in return. Despite this, there exist moments where she has learned to tolerate and even appreciate the 'freak' (as she and others would often call him), even if his love for her remains unrequited.
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