With the long and drawn out history of this fanfic, I thought it fit to fill you guys in with some "DVD extras" per say. To tell you what was changed and cut from the story to see what it was like originally, plus show you some other ideas that while they were good – just didn't fit in the story in a reasonable way. Also, I'm using this as a chance to fill you in on stuff you may have not caught (references and such) while reading this story.
-I'll open this commentary from a good quote Shaun made when he first read the story: You need to throw more into it though. A little more soul. Try not so much as to think about how the story's gonna work for ya, but how the characters are gonna work. Think of all that small talk we take for granted. Think of all the little things and quirks that make the show worth watching.
-I took the title of this story from a 1995 Oasis B-side of the same name. The two have nothing to do with each other, but it was my fourth idea for a title. Other names for the story that I first thought of: The End of Lila, The Crush Gets Crushed, Endings & Beginnings. Ones proposed by Shaun: About A Girl, Unreciprocated, Tell Me When, Everything & Nothing, Loved and Lost, Crushed, The Next Page, One More Dance.
-I thought of changing the grades, as the characters were talking more along the lines of middle school. I was thinking about making it take place in sixth grade, but somehow I'd have to weave that in without being too cheesy about it, nor just flat out saying it. Rather, I left it alone and trapped them in that fourth grade universe. Or you could use your imagination and put them in fifth. Not much difference either way.
Gerald: (Singing along to music.) Uh-uh-uh, come on, girl…shake ya tail now…
-His original line: "Move somethin' shake something, shake ya tailfeather…" At the time of writing this, the song "Shake Ya Tailfeather" by P. Diddy, Nelly & Murphy Lee was a hot track for the Bad Boys II movie. It was decided not to put in the actual song's name, but some other lyrics instead.
Gerald: (Lifting headphones.) You've got a lot of nerve interrupting my Fluff Father CD.
-A blatantly obvious reference to Puff Daddy, who now goes by P. Diddy.
Gerald: (Takes his headphones off.) Didn't we have this same conversation once before? In fact, I think this is the same bus and same seat we were sitting in too… which means that there must be a glitch in the mat…
-Shaun stuck in this line. Gerald was about to say "matrix", as reference to the popular series of The Matrix films. Moreover, this is a reference to the beginning of the episode "Love And Cheese".
Arnold: Well, yeah, but we can't forget that at one time…
-To quote Shaun: I just like bringing her up. I used to do it all the time, but then I saw the Valentine's Day episode where he realizes she's an idiot. So I like rubbing it in his face.
Arnold: Not this time, Gerald. This time I will change her mind. One way or another, she will be mine, Gerald. Oh yes, she will be mine.
-The "Oh yes, she will be mine" line was taken from the 1992 movie Wayne's World, thus its reference in the next line by Gerald.
Arnold: (Has his devious planning face on, sort of a Mr. Burns hand thing going when he says "excellent". Totally oblivious to what Gerald said.) Yes…
-Unless you've been living underground for the past fifteen years, you know this reference is to The Simpsons.
Gerald: (Mouth full of food.) Isn't that a Paula Abdul song?
-Yes, the song "Opposites Attract" is off her debut release Forever Your Girl from 1988. It has quite the memorable music video to go with it; Paula dancing with cartoon cats – the animation techniques are similar to those used in the 1988 film Who Framed Rodger Rabbit?.
Gerald: I hope so, 'cause you're one big fool. (Rim shot.) Did you just hear that?
-A rim shot is that little drum noise you'll hear usually during late night talk shows, and in a lot of the jokes on Hey Arnold!, to emphasize the punch line of a joke. Duhn-da-duhn, chhhhhhh!
Arnold: Eugene's uncle is a driver for the limo service here in town. I asked if he could cut me a deal.
-Shaun had another idea for this character, here he explains it: I'm not gonna do it because I think it would throw the story really off balance, but I think it'd be funny if instead the driver was Sheena's Uncle Earl; he had a change of profession. "Argh, this here motor vehicle reminds me of when I used to work the coal room on the Queen Victoria…"
Helga: (She's sitting at her usual table with Phoebe looking over at all fallen Eugene…) Poor, poor loser. (…then her eyes shift to Arnold as she listens to his conversation with Gerald.)
-These were the original directions: (Looking over at Eugene, the camera follows with her eyes as she shifts over to Arnold's table. She's sitting with Phoebe at their usual table, eavesdropping on Arnold and Gerald's conversation.) As you can see, the newer directions work much better.
Helga: (Her fist is making a direct line to Brainy's face, but she turns her head and stops her fist just as it is going to make impact.) Brainy, what happened to your glasses?
-I was opting to use the directions "an inch way from his face while he winces at the incoming pain", but I decided to leave it the way it was.
Helga: (Aside.) Now back to the issue at hand. I gotta stop Lila from going along with Arnold to the dance, but how? I mean, what if this time she actually gives in? What if this time his hair-brain scheme will actually work? I can't let it happen! He will be mine! Oh, yes, he will be… (Bowl of pudding flies through the air and hits Helga in the face. She scowls over at Harold pointing at her and laughing.)
-The original line: "Not a bad way to give Ol' Betsy a rest if I do say so myself. Now back to the issue at hand. I gotta stop Lila from going along with Arnold to the dance. The boy is mine. Yes Lila, I'm sorry that you, seemed to be confused – he belongs to me, the boy is mine." This was taken out as it was an unexciting spoof of the Brandy & Monica hit "The Boy Is Mine" (1997). It was appropriate, but later on felt misplaced and was replaced with the more established Wayne's World type line like Arnold said before on the bus.
Gerald: (Hand on forehead.) Are you trying to sound like some John Hughes movie?
-In case you don't know who he is, he's the writer/director of such classic 80's teen films as Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty In Pink.
Arnold: Yeah, but I needed to fill the void where number four was. Any way you slice it, this is a sure-fire way for me to win her over.
-The original line: "Uh, well…when you write your own masterplan you can make it anyway you want." The newer line just had more zeal than the older one.
Gerald: It's a semi-formal occasion, which means you're supposed to dress up, but not like you're going to a church or anything. It's like a casual sort of dance. A mix between dressing up like a gentleman… and dressing up like you do now.
-The original line: "It's dressing up, but not like you're going to a prom or anything. It's like a casual sort of dance. A mix between dressing up like a gentleman…and dressing up like a slob." The newer line was better sounding. Shaun liked it, as it has that innocent little lesson learned "the more you know" kind of thing.
Arnold: Okay, well, I understand… wait, you said yes? (She smiles and nods.) Yes! (Does a "puntish schwing" kind of body gesture.) I mean... (Regaining his dignity.) thank you so much, Lila, I promise you won't regret your choice. How about I pick you up at seven?
-For the life of me, I could not find a term to properly explain the move I had Arnold doing. You kick up a knee, and have something like the whole "cha-ching" cash register thing, where you're not doing the Wayne's World "schwing", but where you just kind of pull an elbow like you're opening a cash register. C'mon people, you know the move! It's been done in film and TV! If you know the proper name, e-mail me!
Arnold: (Singing along.) You spin me right round baby, right round like a record baby, right round, round, round…
-Shaun thought it better not to sing the actual 1985 Dead Or Alive song "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)", but sing something very similar as cartoons always parody things like this. He loved how cartoons always have to modify and mock pop culture in a way that they won't be sued. He recommended "I get twirled in a circle, baby, circular like a CD, spinning in a circle... ", but I hate when cartoons do that. It was then I was thinking of switching the lyrics to the 1986 Genesis song "Invisible Touch"…
She seems to have an invisible touch yeah
She reaches in, and grabs right hold of your heart
She seems to have an invisible touch yeah
It takes control and slowly tears you apart
…That whole song sums up how Lila is like in this story, but in the end I decided to keep the lyrics the way they were.
Then you're eighty-one and you've ended up married to a woman who thinks the song "It's Raining Men" was a weather advisory set to music;
-This song is by one-hit-wonders The Weather Girls (1983).
-The whole process of going to the dance was re-worked. The revised version as you see had Lila getting picked up with the flowers, Arnold and Lila in the limo, and it became overheated and Phil had to pick them up and drive them to the dance. Then Helga follows behind in a taxi. The original concept was after Arnold picked up Lila at her house, they would first stop by Ms. Vitello's flower shop to pick up some flowers, and the limo would overheat there and Helga has caught up to them and hides in a garbage can by the shop to watch the events unfold. Phil shows up in the dirty Packard after Arnold calls him via the limo driver's cell phone. Arnold runs into the flower shop to get the flowers, and while Phil and Lila are waiting for his return, Helga would somehow jimmie her way into the truck of the Packard so she could listen in on the conversations. It was then the "allergic to the roses" bit came into play, and some bad lines were cut just because they sucked in the way they were worded. Then they would be on their way to the dance. There was also a scene change stuck in there with all that mess. As you see, the newer idea cut out an unnecessary extra stop, re-works the whole process of going to the dance and eliminated a scene change that didn't need to be there.
Arnold: Easily. (He rolls down the sunroof on the backseat of the limo and pokes out of it with his hands cupped around his mouth.) Grandpa! Grandpa!
-I, for some reason, always saw this scene where Arnold would flash "The Grandpa Signal" in the sky and Phil comes out of the Sunset Arms saying something Batman like, such as, "Another person of the city in peril, Grandpa to the rescue!" Shaun recommended, "Quick! The school dance is already in progress and innocent children's social lives are in my hands! To the Packard!" I was really thinking about changing it, but just didn't bother. But at least you know the alternate lines.
Arnold: Uh, Grandpa? Why is the car so dirty?
-Originally, I mentioned the Packard got muddy from Phil off-roading it before he went to pick up Arnold and Lila. Shaun thought of the genius idea behind "Junior Octane" and I thought it was hilarious and a brilliant way to explain why the Packard got all filthy. He's also behind much of the dialogue between the three of them in the car going to the dance.
Helga: And you wonder why I won't give you a tip! (The passenger door is still open as the cab pulls away, the force of the motion slamming the door shut.) You're lucky I paid you at all! (She turns around, trips on a small pebble and goes face down onto pavement.) Ugh, why me?
-Going by my above notes about the changes of some scenes, here is what was supposed to happen after Arnold and Lila walk in the school: (Helga opens the trunk proceeding to get out. And just as she does Phil starts up the Packard and it starts moving. Helga loses her balance and trips out of the trunk and faceplantes on the pavement. Ouch! The trunk shuts itself and Phil is off to do more off-roading.) Faceplates was possibly going to be replaced by "forcibly dives on to the pavement face first", but that never happened as things were changed for Helga to show up in a taxi.
-The entire gym scene with the music was changed, along with part of the ending. I wrote the story assuming you actually could give DJs CDs to play, but Shaun informed me otherwise. Arnold was to put the CDs down on the punch table, and then go mingle with the guys while Lila was in the powder room. He asks Gerald to watch the CDs, but doesn't really pay an attention to them while drinking his punch. With his back turned, Helga, who was hiding under the table, switches the CDs. Then we have the washroom scene with Lila and Phoebe which stayed the same. Coming back to the gym, Arnold grabs his CDs off the table with Gerald sticking in the line "I hope you brought earplugs for everyone". Arnold then asks the DJ to play certain tracks off the CDs, as Helga just switched the CDs themselves and not the cases. Lila comes out of the washroom looking for Arnold, Helga goes back into hiding. Arnold finds Lila, thumbs up to the DJ and the CDs start playing. The roar of a screaming electric guitar bellows through the speakers (more specifically the beginning to Metallica's 1984 song "Ride The Lightning"). This is followed by Arnold yelling at the DJ to switch tracks and CDs, which result in the songs "Crazy Train" (Ozzy Osbourne, 1980), "I Was Made For Loving You" (Kiss, 1979), and "Highway To Hell" (AC/DC, 1979) being played. A disgruntled Arnold goes over to the DJ to find his CDs have been replaced by Classic Rock of the 70's and Metal Hits of the 80's. Again, some bad/cheesy Arnold and Lila lines were cut out. Helga had some sort of Charlie Brown type line saying, "That Lila is just as optimistic as the stupid football head. I can't stand it, I just can't stand it!" Arnold and Lila would eventually have a dance. Then Phil would come and pick up the kids at the school, drive them to the Sunset Arms (which made no sense cause he needed to drop Lila off first), pull up in front of the building and leave the couple to discuss the night on the stoop of the boarding house. From then on the story stays as it does. As you can see from the newer current version, all of this was rewritten to have Arnold making the requests, Helga distracting the DJ to put on her music, Lila runs out and later Arnold calls Phil via Sid's cell phone to get picked up and then finds Lila. And then Phil runs out of gas because of more "Juniors Octane" madness. I loved how that came full circle. So…are you as confused as me? I tried to explain that as clearly as possible.
-Shaun proposed a total other idea to the whole song request thing and gym scene. Here from an e-mail excerpt, he explains it: Maybe if he had contacted the DJ before the dance and given a list...and maybe Helga swapped the list...or find something else that you can replace the whole music thing. BETTER YET! Take Lila to dinner, have Arnold scheduled for the band to play something like "Lost In Your Eyes" or "The Best of Times", but Helga changes it to something like "Shake Ya Tailfeather", "The Thong Song", or "She Hates Me". Got an idea – something happens at the dance: maybe Helga has some Carrie-esque plan for Lila. Maybe she drenches her in fruit punch...because blood is just sick to her. Give them an excuse to go back and get dressed. Maybe Lila can wear one of Arnold's shirts or something.
-On another note, I don't think PS 118 has a gym after all. In the series, they either went to the YMAA like in "April Fools Day", or the Community Center like in "6th Grade Girls". Changing it now would be stupid as the whole story would have to been re-written in areas, again, and that's not going to happen. Let's just all imagine they do have a gym, alright? To quote Shaun about this topic: Well, when in doubt, f--- with people. Do what I do, play off the characters. "Since when did our school have a gym?" "We've always had a gym." "But I don't remember-" "We've always had a gym!"
Helga: (Now in the dance she snuck into, pops up from under the punch table she had been hiding under.) Hmmm… so, Football-Head's trying to con Lila into like-liking him. Pssh! How pathetic! (Takes a long silent pause, staring at the ceiling and then her feet.) Screw it, it's punch time.
-If you didn't understand her long pause, I'll fill you in: she's reflecting back on herself.
DJ: Barry White? Geez, I might have that in vinyl. (He thumbs through a crate by his feet.)
-I had a crazy idea for Arnold to sing the words to "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe" to Lila, but thought it would be out of character.
Helga: Goodbye, DJ. Pulls a CD out of her pocket. Hello, German Death Metal.
-It's not the name of a band, but a genre of music. Do a Google search if you don't believe me!
DJ: (From the front entrance.) Hey! (Helga quickly runs off and disappears. The DJ goes back behind the table.) What the… I didn't know I brought this disc. (Looks around.) YEAH! ROCK ON! (DJ raises his arm in a "rock on" hand fashion, a few kids in the back have started head banging. Nobody joins them.)
-You know, the "rock on" symbol: middle and ring finger down, index and pinkie pointing out, thumb placement is optional.
Arnold: (Looks up to Sid.) Where'd you get a cell phone?
Sid: We don't talk about such things. (He pulls it out of his jacket.) Do you want to use it?
-Shaun's little tribute to the episode "Deconstructing Arnold".
Phil: See, I thought I was only picking up Arnold this time from our quick little talk on the phone, and I went and bought him a Vanilla shake. I didn't get one for you, Lila, but if you want you guys can split or something. Neither one of you is sick, right?
-To quote Shaun: I don't know why, but I love the Junior Octane joke. I also like with how quick Phil shows up when you think about it, and still had time to buy a vanilla shake.
-Where the story ends was probably the most screwed up part of the story, made all the worse since I hadn't seen the show in a while and my mind was fuzzy on certain things. Surprisingly, at the time I posting this story here, I had about 80 HA! episodes on my computer (thanks to some dedicated fans) and it made me remember many things. First off, I was questioning if Phil's car could be parked on the left side of the boarding house by the fire escape. I needed the tow truck scene to be at the front of the house, not at the back where the garage is. I referenced several episodes that have different shots of the house in them and the alley space differs episode to episode. In the end, I deemed it fine and that problem was put to rest. The next problem was the placement of the characters as Lila walked away from Arnold. This was the way I had it planned from the beginning – Lila would walk off and find Helga in the alley. I guess Lila would have to be walking pretty slow to have Arnold watch her walk away for a bit and then look at the night sky, and then go into the house where he reads his list, throws it away and Helga sees it. Then Lila starts walking up the alley. At first, I couldn't remember if there were windows for that side of the house, but there was. And in my mind I could see what Helga could see – staring through the living room window and seeing Arnold in the hallway through the entrance to the living room. Before that, I had the dimensions and rooms of the boarding house mixed up (as they messed up many times in the series itself) and thought Helga would be looking through the kitchen window. The kitchen is actually at the back of the house where the backyard is. It was originally planned Lila would cut through the alley to get home and find Helga in the alley by surprise, while Helga was in the process of dumping the spy outfit and was wearing her pink dress, but still had messed up hair and black makeup under her eyes. Now Lila would finally know it was Helga that tampered with the evening. As you have read though, Lila and Helga met at the dance first when they were hiding from Arnold. Then Lila spotted Helga from the side of the boarding house in the process of walking home, obliviously knowing Helga was there for a reason – and that was to see if her plan had worked. Technicalities aside, that last scene does work the way it sits. I remember racking my brain out for hours wondering where each character would be at each moment. I suppose for a time delay to the alley scene, Lila could have fixed her shoe if it became undone, or something.
-When I was confused about the character placement at the end of the story and how I wanted Arnold and Lila alone on the stoop, Shaun thought a funny scene that moved the tow truck elsewhere. Perhaps Tow Truck Thug went and helped Phil push the Packard in the garage, while Pookie whipped them like Egyptian builders. Then, tow truck gone, Phil and Pookie are in the boarding house. It was a good idea, but I really didn't know how to fit it into the ending, so I abandoned it. It was just for some small comic relief anyway. Now looking back on it, I wish I had included more crazy Grandma antics.
Helga: (To herself, somewhat depressed.) The masterplan is complete.
-At first, I wrote it so Helga was happy she ruined their evening. But it worked better if she felt guilty. Helga may be conniving, but she does feel compassionate when she knows what she's done is hurting Arnold.
Number five – Make an overall great impression on Lila and get a goodnight kiss. (He balls the paper up and throws it away, smiling.)
-The original line: "(Feeling his cheek where he was kissed.) I guess #5 kinda worked." Arnold was supposed to be really down at this point, but Shaun changed it up. When I read the rewritten part the first time, I didn't know where Shaun was coming from. It took me a while to get why Arnold would be smiling. Shaun didn't want him to feel depressed about the whole crush on Lila coming to an end; he wanted him to be happy. To quote Shaun: If he can happily end the whole Lila thing, he can truly be over it. Throwing the paper away kind of symbolizes that he's done with it. I don't want him to be bitter.
Well, that's all folks! I can finally put this story to rest and move on with other projects! Keep a look out for my new writings as they pop up from time to time. Many thanks to the readers who read this fic – I'm glad the story went over well with so many fans. Thank you, and goodnight. :)