The Wonder Years quotes

222 total quotes

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Albert: I guess, uh... I guess my cousin, Rose, liked family gatherings more than anyone I've ever known. Even after she had trouble gettin' around, she always loved to have a chance to see the folks. As she liked to call us. Course, lately it seems like the only time we get together is, uh... when there's a wedding, or... or when somebody leaves us.
Narrator: As I stood there, listening to Grandpa's words, a lot of things began to become real for me. Aunt Rose. The loss Gramps was feeling. And why coming here was so important, for all of us.
Albert: But, I can tell you one thing, Rose is not gone from us. She never will be. She will always be a part of us, as long as we remain a family. Part of... the folks. Part of who we are. Even for those who really didn't know her very well.
Narrator: I guess that's when I understood what my grandfather had been trying to explain to me. That my life was bigger than the little neighborhood I lived in. And that these strangers who surrounded me, weren't just relatives, they were my family. And the death of one affected each of us in some way.

Jack: Don't ever get old, Kev.
Narrator: I wasn't sure whether he meant me, or him. I guess we both knew it didn't really matter. We didn't have a choice. Growing up is never easy. You hold on to things that were. You wonder what's to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come. The thing is, we didn't have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves for growing up.

Narrator: Adolescence is a battle. A life-or-death mission into hostile territory. You tiptoe through minefields. Dodge bullets. Try to do the right thing... in a crazy time. But war has another side. The noble side. Forging friendships between improbable comrades. Uniting men. Bringing together the good... the bad... the ugly. Along around ninth grade, one thing was clear. In the battle of growing up... junior high school was basic training. Not that any of us had actually enlisted in this army. Still, we'd learned one thing. We'd learned how to survive. It was all a matter of balance. Poise. Keeping your head down. Avoiding the war. Until, that is... the war came to you.

Narrator: After all if growing up is war, then those friends who grew up with you deserve a special respect. The ones who stuck by you shoulder to shoulder in a time when nothing is certain when all life lay ahead and every road led home.

Narrator: And I guess that's when I finally understood. I'd been part of Winnie's past, a past she wanted to forget. And now... there was nothing to do... but go. Only I didn't. I couldn't. There are things in a life that matter, things in a past which can't be denied. Winnie Cooper was part of me, and I was part of her. And no matter what, for as long as we lived, I knew I could never let her go.

Narrator: And over the years, through good times and bad... through seasons of hope and change, he stood by us all. A silent partner. The first one to greet me at the door when I came home from my senior prom. The one who stared out our front window, on the day I left for college. And my mom said he stayed there for hours.

Narrator: Any kid who's ever been to junior high school knows one great universal truth. Image is everything. Who you are is pretty much who you appear to be. And who you appear to be is pretty much a matter of hard work and careful planning. For most kids, anyway.

Narrator: Back there on our seat... the ride home in the dark seat... there it was- the ring I gave to Winnie; the one she was giving back to me. I looked for her on the other bus but I couldn't find her, she was already lost in the crowd. I knew then that the girl next door was gone. And my life would never be the same again.

Narrator: Before my parents were Mom and Dad... they were Norma and Jack. Or, so the story goes. Back then, they didn't have much. So they got by on what they had - each other. Somewhere along the way, though... hearts and flowers gave way to other things. Guess it kinda took 'em by surprise. So, like any couple of their generation... they did what they had to do - they became... parents. Providers.

Narrator: Childhood is a struggle. In struggling to separate ourselves from one another... Wayne and I had also struggled to stay together. In order to break apart, we had to hurt each other. And now... we'd done what we had to do. And the thing is, even today... on nights when I lie in bed, listening to my children in their rooms, breathing next to one another... I wish for them what my parents had wished for my brother and me. I wish for them... what we had.

Narrator: Every American family has its own unique blend of personalities, my family was no exception. Within our four suburban walls we ranged the full spectrum of types. From the flamboyant, to the demure. From the repellant, to the ideal. Somehow, we managed to fit together in a kind of fragile alliance. One for all, and all for one. With one exception: Buster - the family dog.

Narrator: Every generation has its idols. Guys who were our heroes. Guys who defined "cool". Guys who drive chicks crazy. My generation produced a ton of these guys. The Beatles... Mick Jagger... and, of course... yours truly. OK, so I didn't have a Top 10 single. I did have the one thing every teen idol needs. A fan. Debbie Pfeiffer, Paul's little sister. Debbie was a seventh-grader now, and, to put it mildly, she thought I put the moon in the sky... and told the stars to shine. It was kinda flattering, I guess. It was also kinda... nauseating. And the worst thing was... no matter how hard I tried to ignore it... it... wouldn't ignore me. Not to seem insensitive, but a man of my years had more important things to think about, than moony little girls.

Narrator: Everybody know politics is a dirty business. Yet our greatest national heroes have always been politicians. Maybe there's a reason for that. Maybe it takes a certain kind of person to get down in the mud... and come out with the bricks of statecraft. After all, in America, they say any kid can grow up to be president. What they don't say... is how.

Narrator: Heck - I was no Superman. Not really, anyway. But if Debbie Pfeiffer needed a hero... so be it. She had plenty of time to grow up, and figure it out on her own. After all, a little stardust in the eyes never hurt anybody. Least of all, me.

Narrator: I couldn't really say what I did that summer. It passed in kind of a blur. What I remember... are green lawns and sprinklers... and the smell of backyard grills. And the nearness of friends.