The Wonder Years (season 1)

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The Wonder Years (season 1)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 6
Original network ABC
Original release January 31 (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 as they are about to enter the newly renamed Robert F. Kennedy Junior High School. The first day for Kevin is tough. One teacher remarks about his experience with Kevin's older brother Wayne (Jason Hervey) and assumes Kevin will be as much of a problem. Later at lunch, after being teased by Wayne and his friends over his anticipated relationship with Winnie, Kevin gets into trouble with Principal Diperna, who catches him leaving the cafeteria with an apple, against a school rule which states food must remain in the cafeteria. In defiance, Kevin subsequently hurls the apple back into the cafeteria. Norma (Alley Mills) and Jack (Dan Lauria) are called in for Diperna's disciplinary session with their son. Just as Kevin is about to face punishment from his parents, they hear tragic news upon returning home—Winnie's brother Brian is killed in action in the Vietnam War.

Guest-starring: Bentley Mitchum as Winnie's older brother Brian Cooper, who scolds Wayne for bullying Kevin; Raye Birk in his first appearance as principal Mr. Diperna.

In 2009, TV Guide ranked this episode #39 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes.[1]
2 2 "Swingers" Neal Marlens and Carol Black Carol Black and Neal Marlens March 22, 1988 (1988-03-22) B88101

Brian Cooper's funeral is being held, and even at his funeral, all Kevin can think of is Brian's sister Winnie. Meanwhile, in the boys' physical education class at school, Coach Cutlip (Robert Picardo) begins the much-anticipated sex education. Becoming quickly bored over Cutlip's presentation, Kevin and Paul decide to learn about sex beyond the classroom, so at Wayne's suggestion, Kevin and Paul go to the local bookstore to purchase a copy of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask). Out of fear of embarrassment, because of an attractive store clerk, Kevin and Paul shoplift the book, but without getting caught. Later, when Kevin's mother Norma walks in on the boys squabbling with Wayne over the book, she scolds Kevin for supposedly snooping in her dresser drawers (indicating that she has a copy of the book as well).

Guest-starring: Robert Picardo in his first appearance as Kevin's physical education teacher Coach Cutlip.

Recurring guest: Bentley Mitchum in his final appearance as Brian Cooper's ghost in Kevin's imagination, giving Kevin friendly advice on being involved with Winnie.

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.
3 3 "My Father's Office" Jeffrey Brown Carol Black and Neal Marlens March 29, 1988 (1988-03-29) B88102

After Kevin wants to know what his father does at work, Jack brings Kevin with him to NORCOM (Jack's employer), and Kevin learns more by spending the day in his father's office. After witnessing severe disciplinary action from Jack's boss over the incompetence of Jack's subordinates, Kevin realizes why his father 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.[2]
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) has become a hippie who does not communicate with her parents anymore. The tension is worsened when she brings home her new boyfriend Louis (John Corbett), also a hippie who angers Jack with his anti-war sentiments. Kevin also takes an immediate dislike to Louis; in the end, Kevin's inclinations about Louis turn out to be true, as it is revealed that Louis has been cheating on Karen.

Guest-starring: John Corbett as Karen's boyfriend Louis; Wendel Meldrum in her first appearance as Kevin's English teacher Miss White (although uncredited).
5 5 "The Phone Call" Jeffrey Brown A. Scott Frank April 12, 1988 (1988-04-12) B88104

Kevin is smitten with Lisa Berlini (Kathy Wagner), an attractive girl in his class. He decides he will call her at home, but he is nervous to do so. 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 tries again to call Lisa but waits until after dinner. To help give himself additional courage, Kevin asks Norma during dinner about the time Jack first called her. Later, after Jack scolds Wayne for teasing Kevin about wanting to call Lisa, Kevin finally works up the courage to break the ice. Lisa answers, and she and Kevin have a friendly chat as the episode fades out. In a subplot, the Arnolds gather around the TV to watch the Apollo 8 transmit live pictures of the Earth from the moon.

Guest-starring: 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. Soon after, when Brad Gaines asks her, she decides to go with him instead. Kevin confronts her about this, and a guilt-stricken Lisa explains to him that she just wants to be friends. Dejected by Lisa's rejection, Kevin finds himself asking Winnie to the dance, but he finds out she is going with her new boyfriend Kirk McCray (Michael Landes). In retaliation, Kevin tries to make Winnie jealous at the dance by dancing with another girl, but Winnie does not seem fazed by it. Winnie finally feels sorry for Kevin and ends up dancing with him.

Guest-starring: Michael Landes in his first appearance as Winnie's new boyfriend Kirk McCray; Krista Murphy in her first appearance as Paul's new girlfriend Carla Healey; Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Brad Gaines.

Recurring guest: Kathy Wagner in her final appearance as Lisa Berlini. She would only be referenced to in Episode 44, "Cocoa and Sympathy" ("The Lisa Berlini Poll").

Side notes: The role of Brad Gaines was played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who would soon become Bayside's mischievous, scheming ladies' man Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell. Also, during the school dance scene, the present-day Kevin narrates about how several couples were "having the time of their lives." This may have been written in as an inside reference to the Bill Medley/Jennifer Warnes hit "(I've Had) the Time of My Life" from the movie Dirty Dancing, which was released in theatres a year prior to the airing of this episode (in 1987).


  1. ^ "TV Guide's Top 100 Episodes". Rev/Views. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  2. ^ TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. p. 185. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9.