The Wonder Years quotes

222 total quotes

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Season 6

Kevin: By the way, congratulations on your SAT scores.
Winnie: Thanks.
Narrator: I mean, no sense being pigheaded. The way I saw it - the world was big enough for all of us. And besides, so what if women could influence government, take over big business, alter domestic policy, dominate education, make the world a better place. In one important respect, we had still a lot to teach them. Yep, when it came to being jerks, they still had a lot to learn.

Narrator: And as Hayley set off hand-in-hand with her new beau... one question naturally came to mind.
Ricky: What's he got that I don't?
Narrator: And of course, there was only one answer. He had her. That night was almost like a fairy tale. A night filled with magic... and love... and princesses. And pumpkins. Maybe it was fitting. In a land of insecurity, where curly-haired kids wanted straight hair, and heavy kids wanted to lose weight... and skinny ones wanted to gain it, and everybody wanted to be somebody else... the one true beauty... was the girl who simply knew herself. And was happy... with what she knew.

Narrator: And that's when I realized... there's all kinds of logic in this world. And a lot of it doesn't make any sense. That night, moved by the forces of teen logic, I'd stolen my dad's car... had a run-in with the police... a fight with my friends... and an accident. All in all... it was a great evening. Even if there were no Rolling Stones.

Narrator: At some point in your teenage years, if you're lucky, you make a discovery. You find out you're actually good at something. It's that critical juncture, where talent becomes...expertise - kinda. It's your chance to start or, end up flat on your face.
Coach: Why'd you let him pin you like that?
Narrator: Course, looking back, I probably just should have promised to do better. But instead -
Kevin: Yeah, know, these shorts are really hard to wrestle in.
Narrator: ...I made excuses.

Narrator: By the middle of junior year, life at my school was becoming... routine. The teachers, the kids, the classes... they were all pretty much predictable. Most of them, anyway. Jeff Billings, the new kid in school. When it came to unpredictable - this guy had the lock. In the short time I'd known the kid, I'd learned this about him - he had brains, a sense of humor... He had... attitude. Yep, in a way, the guy had it all. Including a girlfriend I'd never met. Julie McDermott, the legendary goddess from another town.

Narrator: By the spring of nineteen-seventy-three the women's liberation movement was in full force. Across America, a revolution was in progress, shedding old stereotypes... building new roles. It was a time of raised-consciousnesses and high expectations... a fight for equality and freedom. Women everywhere were facing difficult and complex choices. Take my mother for example. She was a woman of her time. A woman of accomplishments. A woman who was appreciated. Yep, you might say in everything she did, Mom commanded our utmost respect. And whether it was pouring our coffee, buttering our toast, or simply washing our socks... we Arnold men supported her, encouraged her... right up until that day, when...
Norma: I've decided to get a job.

Narrator: December, nineteen-seventy-two, was a time of change for my family. A time of strange occurrences. Improbable events. And, a fews surprises. After a twenty-year sabbatical in the kitchen... my mother was graduating from State College. We were all pretty proud of her. As for my father... after a half a lifetime at NORCOM... he decided to invest in the future. Well, the future of furniture, anyway.

Narrator: Every four years, our country is gripped by a case of temporary insanity. We call it... the presidential election. It's democracy defined. A chance for politicians who know better... to make promises they can't keep. And come November... it's a chance for us to believe them.

Narrator: For most kids I went to high school with, Tuesday and Friday nights meant homework, hanging out, dating - the usual agonies and ecstasies of teenage life. For me, those nights meant something else. My high school job. I was "Kevin Arnold - Chinese food delivery boy". Where you found harried waiters, agile cooks, Peking ducks, and of course... Mr. Chong. After four months on the job, we'd finally learned how to communicate.

Narrator: I guess some gifts are simple. They come from the heart... with a lifetime guarantee. And that afternoon... Christmas finally arrived. That Christmas Eve, I delivered egg rolls and pork lomein - for fifty cents more an hour. Then I turned right around and squandered the profits - on cashmere. Still, I think it was worth it. As for that big box, it turned out to be something much, much smaller. [Winnie gives Kevin a present] I hated it. I loathed it. I despised it. Then again, on the other hand... That night we skipped the customary dinner at home. Seemed there was a more fitting place to gather. We stayed up late. We talked about old times, new times. We ate turkey and dressing... and egg rolls. After all, the way I saw it, that year, we had a lot to celebrate.

Narrator: I guess things never turn out exactly the way you planned. I know they didn't with me. Still, like my dad used to say - traffic's traffic. You go where life takes you. I remember a time, a place, a particular 4th of July. The things I saw in that decade of war and change. I remember how it was, growing up. Among people and places I loved. Most of all, I remember how it was... to leave.

Narrator: I guess you can say that the laws of nature aren't always predictable. Still, when it came to matters of cause and effect... I think we managed to learn a thing or two. Perhaps that day, despite all the chaos, there really were cosmic forces at work. Forces so powerful, so profound, they defied all our attempts of rational explanation. I mean, hey, it had taken only five-thousand years to understand the moon... So, maybe, we were making progress. Then again, when it came down to it, may be, we learned enough for one day.

Narrator: I never did get that car. I got my old one back from "Pistol Pete". But I guess I did learn a few things from this mess. When it comes to couples, mind your own business. When it comes to women, you'll never understand them. And, when it comes to cars... always bring a wrench.

Narrator: If there's one way to describe adolescence... It might be this... It's a gamble. An adventure into the unexpected. A step into the unknown. It's a time of life that pits hope against fear. And logic against prayer. A game of luck... and opportunity. Not unlike, say, for instance... Poker.

Narrator: In a world where everyone was taking advantage of everybody else... sex and economics were facts of life. For all of us. I continued to see Miss Farmer every day, but, somehow, it wasn't the same after that. After all, in a way, she had done me a favor - taught me a lesson in "life". To wit, when it came to beautiful women and money, it would always end like this - some guy would get stuck on a ladder in November... and some guy would end up alone. All I know for sure is, it took me six weeks to finish painting that house. It cost me two-hundred-and-fourteen dollars of my own hard-earned money. And the next spring, Mr. Kaplan put up aluminum siding.