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YMMV / The Wonder Years

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Miss Shaw. An idealistic teacher with bold new ideas that was unfairly driven away by a conservative school board that never gave her ideas a chance? Or an irresponsible teacher with terrible ideas that walked out on the students that needed her when she was forced to compromise with the school board? Lampshaded at the end when Adult Kevin notes that he didn't know if he should be angry at her or the school board.
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  • Confirmation Bias: A rather nasty case with Kevin's civics teacher. He does a number of prickish things, but Kevin only decides that he's irredeemably evil when it becomes apparent that he's a Republican.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In "Steady as She Goes", narrator Kevin says that Carla Healy was the only woman in Paul's life who wasn't a blood relative. In later seasons, she is no longer seen or mentioned, and Paul is rarely shown to be involved with other women (though he did lose his virginity in one episode).
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The first clip show ends with a montage playing over a recording of the song "In My Life". One of the lyrics is "some are gone and some remain", with the "some remain" line playing over a clip of Jack Arnold, implying he's still alive. However, in the last episode it's revealed that he died two years after the events of the last episode. On the other hand, the "some are gone..." part plays over a clip of Grandpa Arnold, whose death was never confimed on the show.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Jerkass Woobie: Becky Slater. Disproportionate Retribution aside, Kevin was the one that hurt her first. He's the one that asked her to go steady when he really still liked Winnie, stringing her along and using her to make Winnie jealous until she got wise to it and broke up with him. Then he got her to take him back by lying to her about not liking Winnie anymore and only finally came clean with her and ended it when it became clear that Winnie's current relationship was over and that Winnie might still like him. It's understandable that she would hold a grudge against him after all that; even if she did go too far with it at times.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • "Hey, it's The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager as the asshole Gym teacher!"
    • And Karen is married to Ross from Friends, you do remember Karen don't you?
    • Both Dib and Tak are on here!
    • Seth Green plays a student in "Lunch Stories" and "Sex and Economics".
    • The narrator would later be one of the Wet Bandits, and the voice of Dilbert.
    • Hey! It's Elaine's boss Mr. Lippman playing the high school principal in "Kodachrome"!
    • Subverted with Marilyn Manson. Despite the urban legend that he played Paul, the role actually belonged to Josh Saviano.
  • The Scrappy: Winnie Cooper, who is seen as bland and uninteresting compared to other characters and whose on and off interest in Kevin at certain points could grate on people's nerves.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: While it would have been hard to really focus on it since the shows entire focus was on Kevin and the last episode ended during the summer, it's a shame that they couldn't have shown Chuck and Jeff's summer road trip in the last episode, or even have the narrator reveal anything that happened to them on that trip.
  • The Woobie: Winnie, to a degree. In the first episode she loses her big brother, and her family never really recovers. She leaves her childhood home and goes through a rough period in the 3rd season, and it's implied she has some insecurity issues in a few episodes, particularly the ones where she hangs with the "cool kids" and tries to change who she is.

For the band The Wonder Years:


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