The Wonder Years (season 1)

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

The Wonder Years
Season 1
The Wonder Years season 1.jpg
DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes6
Original networkABC
Original releaseJanuary 31 (1988-01-31) –
April 19, 1988 (1988-04-19)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of The Wonder Years episodes


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
11"Pilot"Steve MinerNeal Marlens and Carol BlackJanuary 31, 1988 (1988-01-31)B8800317.9/31[2]

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. Robert Picardo in his first appearance as Kevin's physical education teacher Coach Cutlip. Arye Gross provided the voice of adult Kevin Arnold during this episode's original post-Super Bowl XXII broadcast. The voiceover was re-recorded by Daniel Stern when he assumed the role for the remainder of the series.

In 2009, TV Guide ranked this episode #39 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes.[1]
22"Swingers"Neal Marlens and Carol BlackCarol Black and Neal MarlensMarch 22, 1988 (1988-03-22)B8810119.5/30[3]

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). 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 second 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.
33"My Father's Office"Jeffrey BrownCarol Black and Neal MarlensMarch 29, 1988 (1988-03-29)B8810219.2/30[5]

Kevin's father comes home from work, in a foul mood, most of the time. However, on the really bad days, Jack will seclude himself in the backyard, and look through his telescope. Kevin decides he wants to know what his father actually does at work, so Jack brings Kevin with him to NORCOM (Jack's employer), and Kevin learns more by spending the day in his father's office. While in the break room, Jack describes his original dreams of being captain of a ship, using the stars to navigate, but reality, and marriage set in, and Jack eventually ended up in the employment he currently has. 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, and why his father finds solace in looking through his telescope at night.

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.[4]
44"Angel"Art WolffCarol Black and Neal MarlensApril 5, 1988 (1988-04-05)B8810317.1/28[6]

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: Wendel Meldrum in her first appearance as Kevin's English teacher Miss White (although uncredited).
55"The Phone Call"Jeffrey BrownA. Scott FrankApril 12, 1988 (1988-04-12)B8810417.7/22[7]

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.
66"Dance with Me"Arlene SanfordDavid M. SternApril 19, 1988 (1988-04-19)B8810517.6/27[8]

Kevin, by way of in-class note-passing, asks Lisa Berlini to the Fall Dance and she accepts. Soon after, when Brad Gaines (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) 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

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").


  1. ^ "TV Guide's Top 100 Episodes". Rev/Views. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. February 3, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306013062.
  3. ^ "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. March 30, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 305993024.
  4. ^ TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. pp. 185. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9.
  5. ^ "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. April 6, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306060935.
  6. ^ "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. April 13, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306023207.
  7. ^ "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. April 20, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306035713.
  8. ^ "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. April 27, 1988. p. 3D. ProQuest 306042628.