[[caption-width-right:350:The Arnold family and friends. Left to right: Wayne, Karen, Kevin, Jack, Norma, Paul, Winnie.]]

->''"I remember a house like a lot of houses, a yard like a lot of yards, on a street like a lot of other streets. I remember how hard it was growing up among people and places I loved. Most of all, I remember how hard it was to leave. And the thing is, after all these years I still look back in wonder".''
-->-- '''Kevin Arnold'''

''The Wonder Years'' is a nostalgic semi-comedic series about a boy growing up in TheSixties -- or, to be more accurate, a middle-aged man reminiscing about growing up in TheSixties, with a voiceover narrating/voicing the boy's thoughts. The series was basically a warmhearted and vivid recollection of a specific time and (inspecific) place.

The boy in question, Kevin Arnold (Creator/FredSavage), has an abusive older brother named Wayne (Jason Hervey), a hippie older sister named Karen (Olivia d'Abo), and parents (Dan Lauria and Alley Mills) who, while still in love each other, would often fight. Kevin's best friend Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) is a gangly geek with frequent asthma attacks, and the GirlNextDoor is Winnie Cooper (Danica [=McKellar=]), with whom affection is mutual but "SheIsNotMyGirlfriend".

The show is one of the earliest half-hour sitcoms done in single camera format -- and without a laugh track, being a precursor to the shows that are considered to launch the format such as ''Series/{{Spaced}}'' and ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle''. It wasn't afraid of addressing touchy subjects and was often frank about things that happen when growing up. One episode dealt with Kevin getting to [[ThanksForTheMammary touch a girl's breast]] for the first time.

The show aired on Creator/{{ABC}} from 1988 (when it premiered following SuperBowl XXII) to 1993; the show's continuity runs from 1968 to 1973, [[JuniorHigh seventh grade]] through eleventh grade for Kevin and his friends.

''The Wonder Years'' has long been one of the most-requested shows for TV-on-DVD fans, but the music rights clearances were considered too expensive to make the set worth it -- until 2014, when [[http://timelife.com/products/the-wonder-years-complete-series Time-Life announced a complete series release of the show]] that has ''96% of the original music'' (285 individual clearances) left intact, including the show's famous opening theme (Music/JoeCocker's version of "With a Little Help from My Friends").

!! ''The Wonder Years'' contains examples of the following tropes:
%%* AbhorrentAdmirer: Debbie Pfeiffer to Kevin at first.
* AesopAmnesia: In a couple of episodes, Wayne goes too far in how he treats Kevin. Although he and Kevin make up, Wayne soon reverts back to his usual ways.
* AmicableExes:
** Kevin and Winnie are a couple on-and-off throughout the shows run, but during periods when they are exes, they are usually this. [[spoiler: And it's mentioned that, although Kevin ended up married to somebody else, they wrote once a week for eight years.]]
** For the most part, after Kevin breaks up with her, Becky Slater resents Kevin (though for the most Kevin doesn't have anything against her), but they are amicable exes during the short period when Becky and Craig Hobson were a couple.
* TheBGrade: In "Math Class Square", Paul is unhappy to get a B on his math test, saying that a B grade is "like kissing your sister". Kevin, however, would be happy to get a B, since he was getting a C average in math.
* BigBrotherBully: Kevin's older brother Wayne frequently abuses him, beats him or argues with him. He's really a jerk, but later got some slightly redeeming moments.
%%* BitchInSheepsClothing: Becky Slater.
* BittersweetEnding:
** Many of the episodes have bittersweet endings. For example, in one episode the gang fight for Harper's Wood to be saved from becoming a mall. They fail, but decide to play there for one last time.
** The SeriesFinale. ([[spoiler:Jack is revealed to have died shortly after the finale, and while Kevin eventually marries and has a son, it's not with Winnie.]])
* {{Bookends}}: At the beginning of "She, My Friend, and I", Kevin and Winnie briefly discuss how they've been getting a lot of history homework lately. At the end of the next episode, "St. Valentine's Day Massacre", Kevin and Winnie decide to study for their history test together.
* BreakTheCutie:
** Subverted with Winnie. Considering that at the end of the first episode, her brother dies in [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar Vietnam]] -- and at the end of the second season, [[spoiler:her parents get a divorce]] -- she is still a perfectly normal teenager.
** When Miss Haycock takes over the title choir in "Glee Club", she is a student teacher full of enthusiasm and ideas, determined to help the {{Dreadful Musician}}s in the class become talented singers, and truly believing they can successfully perform Sig Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein's [[Theatre/TheNewMoon "Stout-Hearted Men"]] in the Spring Sing. The glee club members are as reluctant as they are dreadful, and most of them think she's insane; when Kevin is finally persuaded to tell Miss Haycock that they don't want to perform, she breaks down crying... which inspires the hitherto silent Warren Gander to reveal his almost angelic singing voice, restoring the self-belief of both the students and Miss Haycock. Sadly, it is short-lived; on the night of the concert, the performance spirals irreversibly downward after Warren's voice starts breaking on the very first note, and by the end of the song, Miss Haycock has fled the stage in despair. Adult Kevin says she supposedly went back to college, but wherever she went, they never saw her again.
%%* CallBack: If an episode has a scene where a TV program can be seen on the Arnold's TV, it's a safe bet that there'll later be a fantasy sequence involving that show.
* CatchPhrase: Wayne calling people (usually Kevin) "Butt-Head".
%%** "And there you have it."
* ChekhovsGun: Two occur in "A Very Cutlip Christmas". First is Mr. Cutlip sneezing, which is how Kevin finds out that the mall Santa is Cutlip, and the other is Norma's desire to buy Kevin a tie that he doesn't want.
%%* ChristmasEpisode: Several.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome:
** Very few of Kevin's classmates from Junior High returned after graduation (it makes sense that the teachers would stay). These include Doug Porter, Tommy Kissling, and Becky Slater. Kevin's only classmates who went to Senior High with Kevin were Paul (after a brief stint in prep school), Winnie, and Randall Mitchell.
** Carla Healy disappears after the third season, with no further mention.
* ClassicallyTrainedExtra: Dan Lauria, who played Jack (the dad), is a [[ShakespeareanActors Shakespearean actor]] who initially considered the role beneath him. This may, however, have [[EnforcedMethodActing helped him maintain his dour, beaten-down-by-life attitude]] on-screen.
%% * ClipShow: "Looking Back", "Broken Hearts and Burgers"
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: The one time Grandpa Arnold gets mad at Kevin and Wayne is when they fight in the car on the way to a burial site. He orders them out of the car and then drives away.
* CoolCar: This is Kevin's opinion of Brian Cooper's 1959 Chevrolet El Camino. Though it didn't run, Brian worked on it almost every day, cementing his image in the minds of the younger neighbourhood children as the definition of "cool", and after he was drafted and sent to Vietnam, the car remained on blocks in the Cooper driveway, "as kind of a reminder of who really ran things on our street."
* CoolTeacher:
** Mr. Tyler in "Walk Out". He encourages the students to take part of a walk out (which involves leaving class), even after Mr. Diperna won't allow it and threatens to put it on the permanent records of any student involved, and even encourages them to go through with it after Mr. Diperna won't accept the petitions with many signatures. However, on the day of the walk out, [[spoiler: Mr. Tyler calls in sick, though Kevin thinks he chickened out.]]
** Also Miss Shaw in "Kodachrome". She refuses to teach from the state-imposed curriculum, gives Pass/Fail (and when that's frowned upon, lets the students choose their own letter grades), and emphasizes there are no wrong answers when discussing literature. Sadly, her rebel ways were not tolerated, so she quit in protest.
* DadTheVeteran: Kevin's dad, Jack, is a vet from Korea.
* DeusExMachina: How Kevin gets out of denting the fender on Jack's car in "Ladies and Gentlemen...The Rolling Stones": On the way home from a square dance double date, Zeke pulls into the driveway too fast and bumps Jack's car. Turns out Norma was just as relieved as Arnold, as she hit the wall while backing out the day before and never told Jack about it.
* DirectionlessDriver: Kevin's dad. His justification was that he had navigated a half-track halfway across Korea, so he certainly didn't need to ask for directions in his home state.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: [[spoiler: In the show's closing epilogue, we learn that Kevin and Winnie parted ways and he married someone else.]]
* DownerBeginning: The very first episode ends with everyone learning Winnie's older brother was killed in Vietnam.
* DreadfulMusician: The title choir in "Glee Club" is an entire class of them, a dumping ground for male eighth graders who need to take a music class but don't play an instrument and are completely tone deaf. They are "led" by ApatheticTeacher Mr. Frace, who has long since given up trying to get anything resembling music out of them and now goes through the motions of leading them through singing arpeggios for the first few minutes of the hour before telling them to spend the rest of the class studying. When student teacher Miss Haycock takes over the glee club for a few weeks, she is optimistic that even they can be shaped into talented singers, but she sadly receives a very rude wake-up call when their Spring Sing performance of "Stout-Hearted Men" collapses into tuneless chaos. By the end of the episode, Mr. Frace is back, and the glee club have resigned themselves to being untrainably awful.
-->'''Adult Kevin:''' ''[as the camera pans across the students singing horribly out of tune arpeggios]'' Randy Mitchell: baritone. Doug Porter: monotone. Paul Pfeiffer: no tone at all.
* DreamIntro: The episode "Heart of Darkness" begins with Kevin having a dream where he's in a cave but then ends up in math class wearing pajamas. [[RuleOfThree It happens three times]] [[RunningGag during the first ten minutes]].
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** The first episode has a scene where 12-year-old Kevin's thoughts are heard, which is redundant with the adult narrator. The first episode also has Brian Cooper in it; he's introduced by the narrator as the last member of the cast, and it's extremely jarring.
** The early episodes "My Dad's Office" and "Christmas" have scenes without Kevin, who otherwise appears in every scene. Although the last season has a few (non-montage) scenes without Kevin. "Alice in Autoland" begins and ends with scenes at parties Kevin wasn't at, and "Eclipse" has a subplot of Chuck being left behind and finding his way to the museum. The narration in "My Dad's Office," the earliest example, makes clear that Kevin is speculating what happened after he left the room.
* EmbarrassingFirstName:
** On the first day of junior high in the pilot, Winnie tells Kevin and Paul to start calling her by her proper name, Gwendolyn, since Winnie sounds so immature. They never do and it's never mentioned again.
** In "Lunch Stories", Wayne makes a bet that he can find out the first name of a student [[KnownOnlyByTheirNickname known only as Maniac]]. It turns out his name is [[spoiler:Florence,]] and he threatens to kill Wayne if he tells anyone else (producing a knife and stabbing it into the table to show he is serious).
* TheEveryman: Kevin is supposed to represent the life of an average teenage boy growing up in the 1960's.
* ExactWords: In "Ladies and Gentlemen... The Rolling Stones", Kevin gets grounded for speeding, and when the parents go out, Jack tells Kevin that his car better not be an inch away from where it is when Jack gets back. They ride with somebody else, and Kevin takes his dad's car.
* FirstKiss: Kevin and Winnie in the first episode. It was apparently the first kiss for the actors as well.
* TheGenericGuy:
** Paul's girlfriend Carla Healy doesn't have much personality beyond being as nerdy as Paul.
** Becky Slater could be this whenever she's not angry at Kevin.
* GeorgeJetsonJobSecurity: In "When Worlds Collide", Norma worked at Kevin's school for about a week before she was fired.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: One of Wayne's nicknames for Kevin is "scrote". Everyone involved in the making of the show was amazed that the censors weren't aware this was short-hand for "scrotum".
* GirlNextDoor: Winnie who is a wholesome, pretty American girl. She has been Kevin's friend since chilhood.
* HotForTeacher: The episode, "Our Miss White", has Kevin having a crush on his teacher Miss White.
* IkeaErotica: This is Kevin and Paul's assessment of Mr. Cutlip's attempt at sex education (not helped by his ludicrously bad drawings of the female reproductive system - and the woman in which it resides) and especially their textbook ''Health and Human Sexuality'' in "Swingers". Mr. Cutlip's warning not to read ahead past the first two chapters is immediately ignored, but by the time they have had to look up "pre-natal" and "amniotic fluid", the boys conclude that they're about as likely to learn anything about sex from the book as they are from the instruction manual to a toaster. Then Wayne tells them about a best seller called ''Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (* But Were Afraid to Ask)''...
* ImagineSpot: Kevin frequently had these.
* InflationNegation: Kevin does chores around the house as suggested by his dad to earn money to go out with his friends. Kevin's dad is a stickler though, and for all his effort he gets a dollar from his dad's wallet. There are sound effects of a safe opening and closing when his dad opens his wallet too.
* IWillShowYouX: When Kevin breaks up with Becky Slater in "Just Between You and Me... and Kirk and Paul and Carla and Becky" and says he hopes they can be friends, her reaction becomes one of the most frequently re-used clips in the entire series as she punches him twice while screaming "'''''Friends!?''''' I'll give you ''[='=]friends![='=]''"
* JeopardyThinkingMusic: Plays in "Full Moon Rising" when Kevin and friends tutor Rickey for his drivers test.
* {{Jerkass}}:
** Wayne Arnold who apparently enjoys torturing his younger brother.
** In one episode, Kevin is perceived like a jerk when Becky Slater tells the whole school what he says about them behind their backs. HilarityEnsues.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Wayne never quite grew out of being the obnoxious older brother, but he eventually showed a BigBrotherInstinct and genuine concern for Kevin as the show went on.
* JoinTheArmyTheySaid: PlayedForDrama in "Private Butthead". Wayne is completely disinterested in going to college, so he wants to join the Army. His reasoning was that the Army would train him on a post-military job and pay him well. Jack counters by bluntly informing Wayne that he's going to be shipped to Vietnam if he goes through with it, and that the Army recruiters will say anything to get him to join. Despite being forbidden to join, Wayne is adamant to get his physical, and reveals after he's rejected why he wanted to join in the first place: He didn't know what else to do, as he thinks he's not good enough to get into college.
* KarmaHoudini:
** Becky Slater never gets in trouble for any of the mean things she does to Kevin after their break-up. Among the things she had done to him include knocking him out, telling most of the school about the mean things Kevin said about them behind their backs when they were a couple, trying to run over Kevin with her bike (which results in her getting a new boyfriend), pouring Kevin's milk on his lap, and punching Kevin after he beats her in a race on the track field (keep in mind a teacher was there when that happened, and she got no apparent punishment).
** The cool students in charge of the yearbook in "Yearbook". They let Kevin pick funny quotes for each student, including "oink oink" for a fat student. Feeling guilty, Kevin tries to talk them into removing that quote. When Kevin points out that the principal will see it, they decide to go to fix things.... By telling him that Kevin tried to sneak that quote in, and after Kevin gets detention for it, they decide they don't need him for the yearbook anymore, and remain unpunished.
** Kevin, apparently, in "Back to the Lake". When driving himself and Paul to work, he decides to skip work and go to the lake to see Cara, against Paul's will. While we never see what happens when they return to work, Kevin continues to be employed at Mr. Chong's Chinese restaurant while Paul is never seen or mentioned to be working there again.
** In "Ladies and Gentlemen... The Rolling Stones", Kevin gets grounded. When the parents go out for the night, Jack tells Kevin [[ExactWords not to drive his car]], so Kevin drives Jack's car. He ends up wrecking the back of the car, and fears his parents finding out when they get back... [[spoiler: only for the person who had driven them to accidentally bump into the car before Jack could see that it was already wrecked... and then Kevin learns Norma had already wrecked it.]]
* KnownOnlyByTheirNickname: In "Lunch Stories", Wayne makes a bet that he can learn the real name of a student known only as "Maniac". [[spoiler: He eventually admits to Wayne that his name is Florence, but then threatens him if he ever tells anybody.]]
* LoudGulp: Several times throughout the show, whenever Kevin had an OhCrap moment, the narrator would simply say, [[SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud "Gulp!"]]
* LoveTriangle: "Triangle" involves Kevin having a secret romance with Wayne's latest girlfriend.
%%* MasterOfTheMixedMessage: Winnie Cooper.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: The actor who played Wayne, Jason Hervey, was said to be a rather nice guy and was hurt that people thought of him as the epitome of abusive older brothers.
* MeaningfulEcho: In "Good-bye": "You don't need to grade it. It's an F." Then at the end of the episode: "You don't need to grade it. It's an A."
* MoodWhiplash: Used quite often both for comedy and drama, but a rather subtle one is used in the intro to the season two finale, ''How I'm Spending my Summer Vacation''. Adult Kevin reminisces about the Coopers' annual summer barbecue, over a very nostalgic flash-back of past barbecues. Then, in the flash-back, Winnie's brother Brian walks into frame. Brian, who had been killed in Vietnam in the pilot episode.
%%* NewYearHasCome: "New Years"
* NostalgicNarrator: The adult Kevin, voiced by Daniel Stern. Not the TropeMaker, but almost certainly the TropeCodifier, and thus the most parodied.
* OutOfFocus:
** Paul in the later seasons, after Kevin gets a bigger social circle. In the last season, Jeff and Chuck get many more episodes, and much more screen time, than Paul. This is acknowledged in "Poker" as Kevin and Paul are forced to confront the fact that after seventeen years as best friends, they are starting to grow apart.
** During her last two seasons as a regular, Karen appears very scarcely (she's in five episodes of season 4 and three of season 5), yet is still in the opening credits. Justified a bit in her moving away for college and then for part of season 5 her and Jack having a falling-out after [[spoiler:Jack finds out she was living with a man.]]
* PickedLast: An early episode had the final two kids left to pick from being Paul Pfeiffer and another student played by [[HilariousInHindsight Dustin]] [[Series/SavedByTheBell Diamond]] on numerous occasions. The episode's main focus, however, was on Paul's love for playing basketball and sheer lack of ability, which would make him one of the most undesirable players to have on a team. Kevin's protests to Coach Cutlip about how unfair the captain system is have the adverse affect of earning him a spot as a team captain. He decides use his position to pick all of the least talented kids for his team. This also led to a kid with a noticeably athletic build being the last pick, behind a nerd who was half his size.
* PopCultureOsmosis: An entire generation now only thinks of this show when they hear Music/JoeCocker's cover of Music/TheBeatles "With A Little Help From My Friends".
* PresentDayPast:
** Look behind their heads out the school bus windows. Count TheEighties cars.
** The pilot episode (set in 1968) has Kevin and Paul reading Karen's copy of ''Our Bodies, Ourselves'' (published three years later). In the next episode, they pseudo-shoplift a copy of ''Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (* But Were Afraid to Ask)''[[note]] They smuggle it out of the bookstore, but overpay for the books they give to the cashier.[[/note]] a year before it was published.
* PsychoStrings:
** Plays whenever Kevin looks at his math papers that got D's in "Math Class".
** Also plays in "Full Moon Rising" when Kevin realizes that the people in the next car whom his friends are mooning happen to be his parents.
* PutOnABus: Karen, after having a falling out with her father. Craig Hobson by his parents in Season 4, much to Becky's chagrin. Also all of the junior high teachers, most of whom stayed there after Kevin graduated (Coach Cutlip got transferred to a new job, but not at Kevin's new high school).
* RealSongThemeTune: Music/JoeCocker's version of "With a Little Help from My Friends".
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: In "Hiroshima, Mon Frere", when one of Wayne's pranks goes too far, Kevin lets it all out.
-->'''Adult Kevin:''' At that moment, as I looked at my brother, [[RageBreakingPoint something snapped inside me.]] I didn't hate his guts. I hated ''him''. I hated everything about him. And at that moment, I didn't care what it cost me. I didn't care about anything. I just wanted to hurt him.\\
'''Kevin:''' You want to know why Angela wouldn't come over!?\\
'''Wayne:''' Shut up.\\
'''Kevin:''' Because she doesn't like you, Wayne!\\
'''Wayne:''' Shut up!\\
'''Kevin:''' She doesn't! Nobody does!\\
'''Wayne:''' SHUT UP!\\
'''Kevin:''' No! You may be bigger than me, and stronger than me! But you know what, Wayne? I have friends! Nobody likes you, Wayne! You're just mean to everybody, all the time, because... nobody likes you! You're pathetic!\\
''[Wayne's face is lit by a bright white flash and his hair is blown back; cut to StockFootage of a nuclear explosion]''
%%* RoundTableShot
* SatelliteLoveInterest:
** Paul's on-again/off-again girlfriend Carla Healy doesn't seem to have much personality beyond being as geeky as Paul.
** Winnie's boyfriend Kirk [=McCray=].
* SawStarWarsTwentySevenTimes: Humorously used in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAzwTHBLGOg#t=00m15s this scene]] in the episode "Eclipse" where Chuck, who is uncomfortable with the creepy man who picked him up while he was hitchhiking, tries to lighten the mood by sharing how he's reminded of an ''Series/AlfredHitchcockPresents'' story about a man with "a big butcher knife" who was picking up hitchhikers. Getting creeped out by the man again, Chuck decides to drop the discussion, leading to the following exchange:
-->'''Chuck:''' Never mind, probably didn't see the episode[[{{Beat}} ...]] Did you?
-->'''Creepy Guy:''' 27 times! ''[creepy stare]''
:: Chuck quickly leaps out of the moving pickup truck.
* SeriesContinuityError:
** After he hit puberty, Fred Savage's voice was noticeably deeper than that of Daniel Stern, who narrated the show as Adult Kevin. It's not uncommon for men's voices to dip down during puberty and eventually middle out, but [[RealityIsUnrealistic it stood out nonetheless]].
** In "How I Spent My Summer Vacation", Paul reveals that his family will be away for the whole summer, starting the day after school ends. But in the next episode, "Summer Song", Paul is able to go on vacation with the Arnolds. There is no mention in either episode of Paul's plans being changed or canceled.
** In "Angel", the family is shown to have a color TV set. But the Christmas episode that comes a few episodes later involves the family wanting Jack to get them a color TV for Christmas.
** In "Heart of Darkness", Paul mentions that his mom once took him to try contacts, but he ended up being allergic to them. But then in the last two seasons he switched to wearing contacts. Maybe he got treatment for those allergies.
* ShapedLikeItself: From the pilot. "The jockstrap, sir, is a particular type of strap that is constructed of a strap-type material, which is utilized exclusively for the purposes...of jocks."
* SheIsAllGrownUp: Winnie Cooper goes from scrawny dork to "FanService for pre-teens" incarnate -- all in the first episode.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: One of Kevin's first lines about Winnie.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Wayne's friend Wart comes back from Vietnam and has trouble adjusting.
* TheShowMustGoWrong: "Glee Club" revolves around the eighth grade glee club, a dumping ground for male students who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket or sing in time with each other (including Kevin and Paul), being coached by optimistic and energetic student teacher Miss Haycock to sing Romberg and Hammerstein's "Stout-Hearted Men" at the Spring Sing (a showcase for all of the school's choirs); with the surprisingly beautiful voice of the erstwhile silent Warren Gander guiding them, the rehearsals start going very well indeed. Then, on the night of the concert, Warren's voice shows its first cracks of changing register just as the song begins... and the performance dissolves into chaos as the singers can no longer sing in tune or in time with each other, while Paul has a sneezing fit, Doug Porter keeps falling off the back of the risers, and Kevin drops his music and can't find it again. The mortified Miss Haycock leaves the stage before she can take her bow, and the glee club never see her again.
* SiblingRivalry: Kevin and his older brother, the butt-headed smart-ass Wayne.
* SliceOfLife: The show is about a teenager growing up in a suburban neighbourhood during 1960's UsefulNotes/VietnamWar Era America.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''Film/StandByMe'' and ''Film/AChristmasStory''.
* TheTalk: "The Treehouse" opens with Doug Porter lost in a ThousandYardStare, which Kevin and Paul correctly deduce can only mean one thing: his father has tried to explain sex and human reproduction to him.
-->'''Doug:''' ''[shell-shocked]'' I actually had to listen to my father say 'genitals'.\\
'''Kevin, Paul:''' ''[horrified]'' AHHH!
* TeacherStudentRomance: Subverted in "Our Miss White". Kevin develops a crush on his teacher throughout the episode, but at the end of the episode, he notices her kissing her husband in the stage background.
%%* ThanksgivingEpisode: "The Ties That Bind"
%%* ThatNostalgiaShow
* ThreeAmigos: Kevin, Paul, and Winnie. Kevin is the everyman, Paul his nerdy best friend, and Winnie is his best female friend and his main love interest throughout the series.
* TitleDrop: Adult Kevin utters the phrase "the wonder years" in the very first episode.
* WhamEpisode: The ''very first'' episode. It appears to be a fairly standard comedy/drama show, but at the very end of the episode, the audience finds out that the neighbors' son was killed in Vietnam.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: In universe example: In "Summer Song" Kevin goes on vacation and meets a girl he really likes, she promises to write back after he leaves but she only writes one letter and then he never hears from her again.
%%* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: The series finale ended with one of these.
* WhereNoParodyHasGoneBefore: The show had a parody of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' where Kevin and three other boys dressed as Kirk, Spock, [=McCoy=], and Scotty deal with girls that manipulate them with their wrist controls, as the narrator's way of explaining that he didn't understand girls.
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: The exact location of the show's [[{{Suburbia}} suburban]] setting is never explicitly spelled out, although it's presumably somewhere in California. (In one episode, we see a closeup of a letter Wayne's holding, and it shows the Arnolds' address as being in California, while in another episode Kevin is shown to have a California driver's license.) However, other episodes contradict this by hinting at a possible ''East'' Coast setting. [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094582/faq#.2.1.1 According to the IMDB]], the producers deliberately kept things vague in order to preserve the EverytownAmerica feel of the series.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Kevin and Winnie run an on-again, off-again relationship for almost the show's entire run. They spend about as much time apart as they do together. In the end, it's revealed that [[spoiler:Kevin ends up marrying another woman, but he and Winnie remain friends through the years.]]
%%* WomanScorned: Becky Slater
%%* {{Yandere}}: Becky Slater.
%%* ZettaiRyouiki: Winnie in the episode "Fate".