The Wonder Years (season 1)

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The Wonder Years (season 1)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 6
Original channel ABC
Original run January 31, 1988 (1988-01-31) – April 19, 1988 (1988-04-19)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of The Wonder Years episodes

The first season of The Wonder Years aired on ABC from January 31, 1988 to April 19, 1988.


No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
1 1 "Pilot" Steve Miner Neal Marlens and Carol Black January 31, 1988 (1988-01-31) B88003

Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) and his friends Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) and Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) are introduced during the summer of 1968 just before they are getting ready to enter the newly renamed Robert F. Kennedy Junior High School. The first day for Kevin was tough. At least one teacher remarked about what a problem his brother Wayne had been, and assumed the same of Kevin. Later at lunch, after being teased by Wayne and his friends over his anticipated relationship with Winnie, Kevin attempted to leave the cafeteria with an apple in front of principal Diperna (leaving the cafeteria with food was prohibited). As Diperna confronted him; Kevin, already angry from Wayne's teasing over Winnie, hurled the apple back into the cafeteria. Kevin's parents were called in for Diperna's disciplinary session with Kevin; and just as Kevin was about to be punished when he and his parents returned home, horrible news is received--Winnie's brother Brian had been killed in action in the Vietnam War. Later, Kevin and Winnie share their first kiss at Harper's Woods as Winnie mourns the loss of Brian. Part one of two.

First appearance of Bentley Mitchum as Winnie's older brother Brian Cooper, who scolds Wayne for bullying Kevin.
2 2 "Swingers" Neal Marlens and Carol Black Carol Black and Neal Marlens March 22, 1988 (1988-03-22) B88101

Picking up where the pilot left off, Brian Cooper's funeral is being held; and even at Brian's funeral, all Kevin can think of is Winnie. Meanwhile at school, in the boys' physical education class, Coach Cutlip (Robert Picardo) begins the much-anticipated sex education, but after becoming quickly bored, Kevin and Paul want to learn about sex beyond the classroom; so at the encouragement of Kevin's older brother Wayne (Jason Hervey), they decide to steal a copy of the book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask). Part two of two.

Inaccuracy note--This episode is set in 1968, but the book "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex" was not published and released until 1969.

Final appearance of Bentley Mitchum as Brian's ghost in Kevin's imagination, giving Kevin friendly advice on being involved with Winnie.
3 3 "My Father's Office" Jeffrey Brown Carol Black and Neal Marlens March 29, 1988 (1988-03-29) B88102

After Kevin asks him about what he does at work, his father Jack Arnold (Dan Lauria) brings Kevin to work at NORCOM (Jack's place of employment); and Kevin learns more about his dad by spending a day at his office. After witnessing severe disciplinary action from Jack's boss over the incompetence of Jack's subordinates, Kevin realizes why his dad returns home from work in a nasty mood most of the time.

Absent--Danica McKellar as Winnie Cooper.

Note--In 1997 TV Guide ranked this episode number 29 on its "100 Greatest Episodes of All Time" list.[1]
4 4 "Angel" Art Wolff Carol Black and Neal Marlens April 5, 1988 (1988-04-05) B88103
Kevin's older sister Karen (Olivia d'Abo) is now a hippie who doesn't communicate with her parents anymore. The tension is worsened when she brings home her new boyfriend Louis (John Corbett). Kevin takes an immediate dislike to Louis, also a hippie who angers Jack with his anti-war sentiments. In the end, Kevin's inclinations about Louis turn out to be true, as it is revealed that Louis had been cheating on Karen, leaving her in tears.
5 5 "The Phone Call" Jeffrey Brown A. Scott Frank April 12, 1988 (1988-04-12) B88104

Kevin is smitten with cute classmate Lisa Berlini (Kathy Wagner), and decides that he will call her later that night. Meanwhile, Paul tries to find out if Lisa likes Kevin by consulting the junior high grapevine. After a day of cowering (he fakes an illness to cut school), Kevin finally musters up the courage to call Lisa and break the ice. In a subplot, the Arnolds gather around the TV to watch the Apollo 8 transmit live pictures of the Earth from the moon.

First appearance of Kathy Wagner as Lisa Berlini.
6 6 "Dance With Me" Arlene Sanford David M. Stern April 19, 1988 (1988-04-19) B88105

Kevin, by way of in-class note-passing, asks Lisa Berlini to the Fall Dance and she accepts; but soon after, when Brad Gaines asks her, she decides to go with him instead of Kevin. When Kevin confronts her about this, a guilt-stricken Lisa (after struggling to find the right words to say) explains to Kevin that she just wants to be friends. Meanwhile, while having lunch with Winnie and Paul; Kevin, still dejected from Lisa's rejection, feels himself falling back in love with Winnie and asks her to the dance, but she already has a date for the dance with new boyfriend Kirk McCray (Michael Landes). In retaliation, Kevin tries to make Winnie jealous at the dance by dancing with other girls; but he fails, as Winnie doesn't seem fazed by it. Winnie does, however, finally feel sorry for Kevin and she ends up dancing with him after all.

The role of Brad Gaines was played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who would soon become Bayside's mischeivious, scheming ladies' man Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell.

Final appearance of Kathy Wagner as Lisa Berlini. She would only be referenced to in Episode 44, "Cocoa and Sympathy" ("The Lisa Berlini Poll").

First appearance of Michael Landes as Kirk McCray.


  1. ^ TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. p. 185. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9.