Series creator Craig Bartlett had been planning to finally reveal Arnold's last name in a second feature film for the series, which would also deal with his search to find his parents. Craig mentioned in a subsequent. online chat: "I had an idea for the Jungle Movie (how Bartlett refers to the planned film), in the opening scene, a man comes to the door of the boarding house, and Arnold signs his name. Right, that's how you find out." However, problems between Bartlett and Nickelodeon, as well as the low gross of the first film, have left the future of this second film in doubt.
If Mr. Bartlett will never give us Arnold's last name - it's up to us to find it out. Here's all of the clues:
• In a commercial for the show that aired in the early part of the show's run, Arnold talks to the viewer to straighten out some facts about himself (such as the revelation that his notable red outerwear is a shirt, not a skirt). He ends with, "And yes, I do have a last name. It's..." at which point the screen becomes "snowy" and the sound cuts off.
• In the episode "Fighting Families" Arnold wins the school's raffle drawing for the chance to be on the game show Fighting Families. The lady doing the drawing announces, "The winner is Arnold...hmm, there seems to be a smudge over the last name." Here it is revealed that Arnold is the only one in the school with this first name, thus making his surname somewhat unnecessary.
• A similar instance to the one above occurs in "Eugene, Eugene!", where Tim Curry's character is casting the school kids for an upcoming play, and says, "I can't read my own handwriting", when he's casting Arnold as the villain. However, that scene did at least reveal Lila's last name (Sawyer, as mentioned above).
• In one episode, "Crush on Teacher", in which Helga does one of her many passionate monologues about her love for Arnold, she says that she would one day like to become "Mrs. Arnold...wait, what is his last name?", revealing that she is just as clueless as the viewer.
• In the episode "The Journal" Phil is reading the part of Miles' journal that recounts his and Stella's wedding. He gets to the part when they are pronounced "Mr. and Mrs...." at which point Grandma interrupts with a loud belch.
• In late 2002, Bartlett teased the viewers even further, by claiming that Arnold's last name is a name that was actually mentioned throughout the run of the show.
If Arnold's last name was actually mentioned throughout the run of the show, Arnold's last name could be "Smith". If I remember, there's an episode where Arnold and Gerald go to look for a man named, "Mr. Smith". Do you think "Smith" is Arnold's last name?