Narrator: Once upon a time there was a girl I knew, who lived across the street. Brown hair, brown eyes. When she smiled, I smiled; when she cried, I cried. Every single thing that ever happened to me that mattered, in some way had to do with her. That day we promised each other that, no matter what, we would always be together. It was a promise full of passion, and truth, and wisdom. It was the kind of promise that can only come from the hearts of the very young.
Howie: Kevin, something's wrong?
Kevin: Beat it!
Mr. Dexter: Young man, where's your uniform?
Kevin: Stick it!
(Eric stands up.)
Narrator: I had all night to decide what to do.
Kevin: I just want you to know...
(Kevin punches Eric. Winnie stands up quickly as Eric falls back on the table.)
Kevin: I'll be leaving now.
Narrator: Not that I was down or anything. It was the Fourth of July - so call it macaroni. I'd set out to find myself, and ended up losing everything.
Narrator: By that evening I'd come up with a plan - win enough money to buy out the resort, and fire all the life-guards. After that - suicide.
(the last lines; in voice-over)
Young Boy: Hey Dad? Wanna play catch?
Dad: I'll be right there.
Narrator: Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you're in diapers, the next day you're gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house like a lot of other houses, a yard like a lot of other yards, on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back, with wonder.
This is the only sixth-season episode in which Karen appears.
Originally, the ending was written so the viewers could actually know that Kevin lost his virginity. However, ABC producers didn't like this ending, so they decided to change the ending by letting the viewers use their imagination for the end.
"Brothers" from "The Mission" original soundtrack by Ennio Morricone
Excerpts from "The Natural" original soundtrack by Randy Newman
ABC did not cancel the series until just after this episode had been filmed, so modifications were made to the final narration to make a satisfying closing for the series. It is odd, however, that the producers had gone to the extent of making "makeshift" series finales for the two seasons prior to this (Season Four-"Clip Show"; Season Five-"Broken Hearts and Hamburgers"), but did not prepare a final clipshow for the true end of the series.
Peter Billingsley, who plays Micky Spiegel in this episode, is best known for his starring role in Jean Shepherd's infamous holiday film, A Christmas Story. The Wonder Years was loosely modeled on that film (the use of running first person narration, looking back on childhood from an adult's vantage point, etc.), so it seems fitting that Billingsley--who has only made a few TV guest appearances in his adulthood--appeared in its series finale.
Fred Savage (Kevin Arnold) is the only actor to appear in every episode of the series. Daniel Stern (Narrator/Adult Kevin Arnold) narrated every episode, but was credited only in one episode, "Pottery Will Get You Nowhere," from season 2.
The final narration by Daniel Stern and the fireworks scene from this episode was used to close "ABC's 50th Anniversary Special" in May of 2003. The narration (and song) were played over small clips from the final episodes of "Barney Miller," "Roseanne," and "Growing Pains," prior to closing in on the (abbreviated) fireworks scene.
The songs that were used in the last few minutes of this series finale were originally used in two popular 1980s movies. The music in the final kissing scene between Kevin and Winnie in the barn is Ennio Morricone's "Brothers" from the 1987 movie "The Mission", and the song that was used in the parade scene and closing fireworks scene is from the 1984 Robert Redford film "The Natural" and was composed and performed by Randy Newman. It is interesting to know that the last two songs ever used on "The Wonder Years"-a show that did an extremely good job (though not perfect) at using music only from its set era (or before)-were from two 1980s movies ("The Natural" and "The Mission"), which were released more than a decade after the final episode supposedly took place. Both soundtracks are still widely available at most music stores in the United States today.