The Wonder Years quotes

222 total quotes



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Narrator: That night of my sister's 18th birthday, a lot of things happened. Maybe more than she knew. Because that night, when my father let Karen go out, he let Karen go. Maybe that's how it had to be. Children leave. And parents stay behind. Still, some things are deeper than time and distance, and your father will always be your father. And he will always leave a light on for you.

Narrator: And that's how I started the great Kennedy junior high peace walk out of nineteen-sixty-nine. As I said... some men pursue greatness... and some men have greatness thrust upon them... while they're in the bathroom. I'm not sure we really changed anything that day. I suppose the war would have gone pretty much the same if we'd stayed in home room. But one thing would be different. We wouldn't have the memory to carry with us today, of eight-hundred children on a football field, singing. And... it wouldn't all be on our permanent record.

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: 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.

Kevin: [to Kirk, about Winnie] She's not mad at you. She likes you. She's not sure if she likes you likes you, but she likes you. When she first liked you, she liked you liked you...unless she just thought she liked you when she really just liked you. But she likes you.
Kirk: I knew it...I'm a dead man.

Narrator: [after seeing Winnie and Kirk kiss] And so it finally happened. My poor twelve-year-old heart finally crumbled into a little pile of dust, and blew away. It was over. I was never gonna to get her back. It was time for a little self-respect. It was time to let go. Time to move on. After all, who needed women? Who needed friends? I'd just walk alone from now on. Yep, that was me, Kevin Arnold - lone wolf.

Kevin: I just have to know if you like me or not. And don't give any of that... "like me" like me stuff.
Narrator: Well, that was it. A straightforward, face-to-face, yes-or-no question. And I was going to stand there until I got my answer.
Winnie: I don't know.
Kevin: "I don't know"?! What do you mean you don't know? [Frowns]
Winnie: I mean I don't know. I really don't know! I wish everyone would just leave me alone! I don't know what I'm doing.
Narrator: This was something new. I mean, I always figured girls knew exactly what they wanted. They knew - they had a plan. Or maybe they didn't. Maybe they were just as confused as we were. Isn't that great? It - it's horrible. They don't know either. That means nobody knows. As I stood there that cold night, I realized for the first time in a long time that Winnie and I were feeling the same thing. We were both completely... miserable.

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.

Doug: I actually had to hear my dad say genitals.

Louis: Don't accept all this death and then justify it. It is wrong! Your friends should be alive...they should be enjoying dinner, and arguing with their kids, just like you are.
Jack: What do you know about it? Who the hell are you to say that?!
Louis: [pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket] You see this, man? This is my draft notice. In two weeks, I can go to jail, I can go to Canada or, I can go get shot, full of holes, like your friend Brian Cooper. You keep thinking the way you do, Mr. Arnold, and these two [points to Kevin and Wayne] will be next. And I just hope that's what they want.

Mr. Botner: Now, Botner's rules for study hall. Numero uno -
Kevin: Ah man.
Mr. Botner: Arnold! Do you have a problem?
Kevin: No....I....ah
Mr. Botner: Oh come on, Arnold. I'm sure whatever you have to say is very important. After all, we can wait here as long as it takes. Even if it's all evening.

Narrator: [Playing basketball] And then it happened. It was the miracle. It was the impossible. It was the dream come true. [Paul shoots a wild hook-shot, hitting Mr. Cutlip on the head] In that instant... that brief ping of rubber against steel... basketball... became fun again. Well, we still got slaughtered. But for the first time in a long time, it just didn't seem to matter. And Paul and I got back to the way things used to be. The way they would stay... for many years to come.

Narrator: That night, Paul Pfeiffer and I played the most important game of our lives. We both played hard. And we both played to win. And no game ever mattered more. To both of us. Maybe change is never easy. You fight to hold on. You fight to let go. But that night... after seven-hundred ninety consecutive loses... Paul finally beat me. Paul made the basketball team that year. And he had some loyal fans. But his biggest fan... was also his best friend. I guess sometimes you have to grow apart... to keep growing together.

Cara: Hey! Send me a Christmas card?
Kevin: I will.
Narrator: But, I didn't. After all, when you're sixteen, eight months is a lifetime. And time had moved on. For both of us.

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.