The Wonder Years

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Unknown Jan 31, 1988 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • In the first dinner sequence, the kitchen appliances are set up opposite from how they are throughout the rest of the series. The sink, oven, and counter are set up opposite from the the side with the kitchen door.

    • In gym class, the uniforms contain a different logo than they do in the rest of the series. In the pilot, the school logo is a wildcat standing for the "Kennedy Wildcats". After this episode, the school logo is an Indian.

  • Quotes

    • Narrator: There where moments that made us cry with laughter, and there were moments, like that one, of sorrow and wonder.

    • Narrator: Because we know that inside each one of those identical boxes, with its Dodge parked out front and its white bread on the table and its TV set glowing blue in the falling dusk, there were people with stories, there were families bound together in the pain and the struggle of love.

    • Narrator: It was the first kiss for both of us. We never really talked about it afterward. But I think about the events of that day again and again. And somehow I know that Winnie does too, whenever some blowhard starts talking about the anonymity of the suburbs or the mindlessness of the TV generation.

    • Narrator: A suburban junior high school cafeteria is like a microcosm of the world. The goal is to protect yourself, and safety comes in groups. You have your cool kids, you have your smart kids, you have your greasers, and in those days, of course, you had your hippies. In a fact in junior high school, who you are is defined less by who you are than by who's the person sitting next to you

    • Paul: Well, I guess I'll see you at the bus stop.
      Kevin: Yeah.
      Paul: Last night I had a dream that when I got to school, I realized that I had no clothes on.
      Kevin: If you're naked when you get to the bus stop, I'll tell you.

    • Narrator: 1968, I was twelve years old. A lot happened that year. Dennis McLain won 31 games, The Mod Squad hit the air, and I graduated from Hillcrest Elementary and entered junior high school...but we'll get to that. There's no pretty way to put this: I grew up in the suburbs. I guess most people think of the suburb as a place with all the disadvantages of the city, and none of the advantages of the country, and vice versa. But, in a way, those really were the wonder years for us there in the suburbs. It was kind of a golden age for kids.

    • Mrs. Ritvo: Kevin Arnold...You're Wayne's brother, aren't you?
      Kevin: Well, according to my mother, yes, but my own theory is--
      Mrs. Ritvo: You got a tough road of you, young man. A tough road of you.

    • Narrator: The days were still long and back then kids could still go for walks at dusk without fear of ending up on a milk carton.

  • Notes

    • The city and state in the series was never mentioned.

    • This episode received an Emmy nomination for Writing.

    • Featured Music:
      "Turn! Turn! Turn!" by The Byrds
      "Both Sides, Now" by Judy Collins
      "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James and the Shondells
      "Come Softly To Me" by The Fleetwoods
      "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge

    • Ayre Gross narrated the first episode the first time it was aired. When ABC reaired this episode, they recorded Daniel Stern's voice over Gross's voice so it would match the rest of the episodes.

    • The Wonder Years was inspired by the movie A Christmas Story.

    • This series premiered in the coveted post-Super Bowl time slot on January 31, 1988. When it re-aired on March 15, 1988, as a lead-in to the regular series, the narrator was Daniel Stern insead of the original narrator, Arye Gross.  While the original airing of the pilot began with the same "With A Little Help from My Friends" opening theme, the titles were scrolled over a solid black screen without the traditional 8mm film-style scenes that were seen elsewhere in the pilot.

  • Allusions