‘The Wonder Years’: 15 Fun Facts About The Series 30 Years Later

We can't believe we're writing this, but ‘The Wonder Years’ premiered on ABC over THIRTY YEARS ago. Want to know the show's biggest secrets? Take a look!

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Image Credit: Courtesy of ABC

Believe it or not, The Wonder Years recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, so in celebration of that amazing milestone, we decided to put together a list of some fun facts about the series. These are facts that even die-hard fans of the show probably don’t know! For example, in nearly every dinner table scene, one of the Arnold family members mentions a potato dish. This, of course, is according to the show’s IMDb page, where we found nearly all of the fun facts you see below. Want to know more about the beloved ABC comedy drama that premiered on Jan. 31, 1988 and lasted six seasons? Keep reading for some amazing trivia!

1. Did you ever wonder why Winnie (Danica McKellar) disappeared into the background for several months, after breaking up with Kevin (Fred Savage)? Well, it all came down to the fact that Danica had a growth spurt, and she was already much taller than Fred to begin with. So producers kept them apart on-screen until Fred caught up in height. When he did, Kevin and Winnie reconciled.

2. The house used for exterior shots of the home in the opening sequence, and throughout the entire show’s run, can be found at 516 University Ave., Burbank, California. But if you get caught taking pictures in the front yard, don’t tell the owners we sent you!

3. The series was inspired by A Christmas Story (1983).

4. Fred Savage’s brother Ben Savage (who played Corey in Boy Meets World) appeared as a student/cupid on The Wonder Years’ Valentine’s Day episode. Pretty cool, right?

5. Fred Savage is the only cast member to appear in every episode.

6. For years, rumors swirled online, saying that the role of Paul Pfeiffer was played by Marilyn Manson. As cool as that would be if it were true, it’s not. The role was played by Josh Saviano.

7. Winnie’s name is short for Gwendolyn.

8. Each episode of the series was set 20 years prior to the year of its air date. So the first episode that aired on Jan. 31, 1988 was set during the summer of love in 1968, when Kevin was 12. And just as well, the final episode that aired in 1993 was set in the summer of 1973.

9. In the series finale, Kevin says Paul Pfeiffer went to Harvard and became a lawyer. Ironically, Josh Saviano, who played Paul, went to Yale and became a lawyer.

10. Kevin’s dad, Jack Arnold, was born on November 6th, 1927. He died in 1975, following a heart attack.

11. Since the series wrapped, Fred Savage and Danica McKellar are often asked why Kevin and Winnie didn’t end up together. And both have said that it was likely due to the fact that in real life, most people don’t wind up in permanent relationships with their first loves.

12. In 2018, Alley Mills said the show was cancelled as a result of a “ridiculous” sexual harassment suit filed against Fred Savage and Jason Hervey by a member of the crew.

13. The Wonder Years debuted in 1988 and featured Home Alone star Daniel Stern  as the voice of adult Kevin Arnold. Interestingly, in 1989, Daniel played Fred’s dad in the movie Little Monsters.

14. The character of Wayne Arnold (Jason Hervey) was ranked #7 in TV Guide‘s list of “TV’s 10 Biggest Brats”, which was featured in the March 27, 2005 issue.

15. There was always a real narrator on-set reading the voiceover lines out loud, so it was easier for Fred Savage to react to it.

To see what the cast has been up to since the end of the series, click through our photo gallery above!