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The Wonder Years

Season 3 Episode 7

The Family Car

Aired Unknown Nov 21, 1989 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
88 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Family Car
When the Arnold family car breaks down and Jack can't fix it, Kevin hopes his father will buy something more fancy.

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  • The Arnold family car breaks down and Jack eventually decides to give in and buy a new car. However, the family have a difference of opinion with Jack on which car to but and how much the old car is really worth.moreless

    I really liked this episode because it was a great example of one of my favourite characters - Jack Arnold. The way he growls whenever money is mentioned and is determined to fix and hang on to the old car really made me giggle. It was also lovely to see Norma and Jack in one of their 'couple moments' which I don't think we see enough of in the Wonder Years. It also paints a picture of the American suburbs in the 60's as I couldn't imagine anyone today getting excited about someone in their street buying a new car!moreless
Patrick Cronin

Patrick Cronin

Marvin Lutz

Guest Star

Jodi Rae

Jodi Rae

Young Karen

Guest Star

Biff Yeager

Biff Yeager


Guest Star

Sean Baca

Sean Baca

Craig Hobson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • The red station wagon that Jack looks over at the dealership is seen in several other episodes as a background vehicle.

    • The episode is supposed to take place in 1969. The song "I can see clearly now" by Johnny Nash was actually released in 1972.

    • There is at least one shot of Jack Arnold's old car, and it shows California license plates.

    • This episode is supposed to take place in 1969. In it, the narrator says the car was nine years old, but the FOR SALE sign on it said it was a '63 model. It would only be six years old if that was true.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Narrator: And so, we finally got our new car. It wasn't red, it wasn't a convertible... heck, it wasn't even a Mustang. But it was brand-new. And it was pretty cool. Course... Dad got his shot at king-for-a-day... and we were happy for him. But that afternoon, I began to understand what Dad had being going through. There was more to that old car than fuel pumps and crankshafts. There was part of all of us in that car. The places we'd gone, the things we'd done... the family we had been. The family that was moving on. And for the first time... I understood the value of what my Dad had put into it. And why it was so hard to let it go.

    • Narrator: Where I grew up, there was one time-honored event that united families. And brought neighbor together with neighbor. The arrival of a new car. There was something magical about it. Kinda like a one-float parade. For one shining moment, the proud owner became king... of the block. Yep, no doubt about it... in our neighborhood, ownership had its privileges. Except, of course... at the Arnold household. At the Arnold household, ownership meant... repairs.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Featured Music:
      "Stars And Stripes Forever" by John Phillip Souza
      "Hallelujah Chorus" by Händel
      "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash
      "Long May You Run" by Neil Young