The Wonder Years - Transcript

Episode 2: Swingers

Written by Neal Marlens and Carol Black
Transcribed by Paul Young
Edited and Corrected by Kyle Gittins and Peter Reynders


[Music “For What It’s Worth” starts: “Something’s happening here...”]
[Shot of hundreds of headstones in a large cemetery.  A barely discernable group of mourners is on a hill in distance. The camera slowly zooms in across a field of headstones.]

MINISTER (Voice Over): We live in confusing times, times of change and of disagreement. [Fade to long shot of group.] There are those [Shot  of parents] who will say that Brian Cooper was a man who died defending his country and there are those who will say that he was a child who died in vain!

[Camera slowly circles from center of group, showing individuals.]

NARRATOR: Brian Cooper was the first person I ever knew who wasn't old that died. I guess we all had that moment when we realized that someone who was basically a kid can cease to exist and were never the same after that...

MINISTER: We must have faith that none of Gods children die in vain!

NARRATOR: But it wasn't just Brian's death that had changed me. [Shot of KEVIN looking toward WINNIE.]  It was also Brian's sister. [Shot of WINNIE looking sad.] I hadn't seen Winnie since we'd kissed in the woods but I hadn't been able to think about anything else.

MINISTER: But through all the change there is one thing that remains constant and eternal and can never die, and that is the human soul.


[The Arnolds are getting ready to go to the Coopers’.  Close shot of NORMA poking a bowl of green Jell-O. Kevin watches impatiently.]

NORMA: Oh no, the Jell-O salad isn't set, here Kevin you take the ham.

[NORMA passes a plate of ham to KEVIN.]

NARRATOR: Like women all over America my mother confronted tragedy and death with cold ham and Jell-O salad.

[NORMA continues to fuss with the Jell-O.]

NORMA: The little marshmallows are just swimming in there.

JACK: Come on Norma, lets just go.

NORMA: Let me put some ice cubes in - it will take 5 minutes.

JACK: You've got the ham.  You don't need to bring the Jell-O too.

NORMA: Five minutes, just give me five minutes.

NARRATOR: The rest of us had other ways of dealing with our grief. [JACK looks out window. KAREN wipes her nose. WAYNE puts pretzels in his ears.  KEVIN paces while holding ham.]  But I for one was a wreck. I would think about Brian and I feel almost sick to my stomach and then I would think about Winnie and the thrill would pass through my 12 year old body like the wind through the trees. Life's two greatest forces, love and death, were tearing me apart, at the waist.

KEVIN: Come on, mom. Lets go!


[The funeral crowd is in the livingroom.]

NARRATOR: Well here I was at Brian's funeral and Winnie was nowhere to be seen. I felt sort of weird though, I mean what was I going to do if I saw her? Ask her to dance?

[WINNIE enters the room and sees KEVIN.]

NORMA: Kevin, take this plate of food over and try and get Winnie to eat something. She really needs her old friends right now, go on.

[KEVIN walks over to WINNIE with the plate of food.]



KEVIN: Hi, my mom wanted me to give this to you.

WINNIE: Thanks, I'm not really that hungry.

KEVIN: Yeah, you should eat though.  Something. [They sit down side-by-side.]

NARRATOR: What was she thinking? What was I thinking? I was so confused, she was so close I wanted to grab her, take her in my arms, feel her 72 pound body next to mine!

KEVIN: Try the ham.

WINNIE: OK. [She takes a bite. She only looks down throughout scene.]

NARRATOR: Oh God, I was an animal! Watching her eat the ham, I felt, how could I be having these feelings? Did it show? Could people see through me?! What would Brian think?

BRIAN (V/O): So! [KEVIN looks up to see a ghostly image of BRIAN standing in the doorway.] You're at my funeral and all you can think about is my little sister.

NARRATOR: Of course he would think I was scum!

BRIAN [smiling]: Your a man after my own heart.

[Shot of Kevin in thought.]

NARRATOR: Wait a minute, that's right, Brian wasn't like that.

BRIAN: Kev, Kev, Kev!  Not now... just give her a little time.

[KEVIN looks away and when he looks back BRIAN'S ghost has vanished. KEVIN looks at WINNIE.]

MR CUTLIP (V/O): The female reproductive system!


[Shot of boys sitting on the floor, watching MR CUTLIP writing on the blackboard. He has just finished writing “THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM“ across the top.]

NARRATOR: Among the many great historical milestones of 1968 perhaps the greatest was the advent of sex education in the schools.

[Sounds of some giggles. CUTLIP turns toward class.]

MR CUTLIP: Now if I hear any giggling, if I see any smirking, this class is over.  Do you read me people? Over! Now the female reproductive organs look like this...

[MR CUTLIP draws a rather strange looking diagram on the blackboard. Then has to refer to a drawing on paper.]

[Shot of kids looking on.]

[CUTLIP turns away fron the board to reveal drawing.]

NARRATOR: Unfortunately it looked more like a cows head to me.

MR CUTLIP: Now, who can tell me what these [taps board with pointer] are?

[A boy raises his hand.]


BOY: The ears?

NARRATOR: Apparently I was not alone!

MR CUTLIP: The ovaries.  The ears would be up here. [He points to top of board.]

BOY: Uh, why don't you draw the whole lady? so we know where everything goes.

[General agreement from the rest of the class.]

MR CUTLIP: All right.  [He turns back to board.]

[Shot of KEVIN looking on in anticipation.]

[Shot of MR CURLIP and his drawing, the worst diagram of a lady the boys have ever seen.]

NARRATOR: Suddenly it became very clear why Mr Cutlip had never been married.  [CUTLIP adds the woman’s hair.]  Any man who saw women that way would have no reason to.

MR CUTLIP: Now, the ovaries of course are the site of ovulation!

NARRATOR: As Mr Cutlip went on one fact became increasingly evident, sex, in the hands of public educators is not a pretty thing!

[Shot of bored class. KEVIN and PAUL yawn.]

MR CUTLIP: And that in a nutshell is the story of ovulation. Questions! Yes.

BORED BOY: When do we start football?

MR CUTLIP: All right, I am going to hand out your textbooks right now, "Health and Human Sexuality."

KEVIN [to PAUL]: Textbooks!

MR CUTLIP: For Wednesday people, you will read chapters 1 and 2.  Do not read ahead, repeat do not ... read ... ahead!


[Shot of bus driving off, revealing KEVIN, PAUL, and a couple other kids.]

KEVIN: Chapter 14, the human reproductive system.

NARRATOR: Telling us not to read ahead was like telling a pack of wolves to stay away from red meat.

[Shot of kids circling around KEVIN and PAUL.]

BOY: What's the matter Arnold.  Are you horny?

OTHER BOY:: Yeah, I think Arnolds horny!

[The kids giggle and make “ooh-aahh” sounds.]

[KEVIN spots WINNIE getting out of the car across the street]

KEVIN: Shut up you guys!

[PAUL snatches book from KEVIN. PAUL and others scurry off.]

PAUL (V/O): Oh my God!

[KEVIN crosses the street to see WINNIE.]

[Close shot of KEVIN and WINNIE coming together.]




WINNIE: What are you doing?

KEVIN: Nothing.


KEVIN: When are you coming back to school?

WINNIE: Monday.


WINNIE: But, maybe we could do something tomorrow. I mean, if you want.

KEVIN: Yeah, I mean, sure.  If you want.

WINNIE: Well, I'm going to my uncles in the morning but I'll be back around three.

[Shot of KEVIN and WINNIE in profile. PAUL stands across the street, seen between them.]

PAUL [shouting]: Come on, Kev, lets go!

KEVIN: OK, well bye.  See you tomorrow.

WINNIE: OK, bye.


[KEVIN crosses the street to join PAUL.]


[PAUL and KEVIN are sitting on Kevin's bed reading their textbook. "Young Girl" plays on radio.]

KEVIN: And thusly a women's anatomical construction is fantastically adaptive to the needs of a ... what's that word?

PAUL: Burgeoning.

KEVIN: To the needs of a burgeoning human life.  This stuff's not that good.

PAUL: Well, we could look up burgeoning.

NARRATOR: But we had already looked up pre-natal and amniotic fluid and it was clear we were barking up the wrong tree.

[The bedroom door opens and WAYNE walks in. He sees the book.]

WAYNE: Ha, working on your sex education I see. Not sure you boys are old enough for this.

[WAYNE snatches the book from KEVIN.]

KEVIN: Give it back, Wayne.

[The following scene was missing in some airings:]

WAYNE: Let's see, oh pretty hot stuff.  Ya know I bet the guys who wrote this stuff have never even been to second base.

PAUL: Well, what's that supposed to mean?

WAYNE: You don't know what second base is?

KEVIN: Course we know what second base is, sort of.

NARRATOR: And then with an air of authority that only an idiot or an older brother can have, Wayne proceeded to elaborate a baseball metaphor that changed the way we looked at women, and baseball, for ever.

[WAYNE swings at imaginary baseball. The boys follow the imaginary homerun.]

WAYNE: And I'm telling you, everybody gets to at least second base by the seventh grade.

[End of missing scene.]

NARRATOR: This was a lot of pressure!  Especially since most of the girls we knew had no second bases!

WAYNE: Look, I'll tell you what you guys should do, you should get a real book.

PAUL: A real book?

WAYNE: Yeah, you should get "Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask".

PAUL: There's a book called that?

WAYNE: Yeah sure, it was a best seller, just go to a bookstore.

KEVIN: Well, have you read it?

WAYNE: No, I don't have to.  The great ones go on instinct.

KEVIN: Oh, yeah I go on instinct too. [KEVIN and PAUL gesture in agreement.]


[PAUL and KEVIN run up to the book shop door. Shot in “double-speed”.]

NARRATOR: Instinctively, we went to the bookstore first thing the next morning.

[Sound of squealing tires as PAUL and KEVIN reach the door.  They enter the bookstore and see a display of the books.]

PAUL: Holy mackerel!

[Shot of male store-owner looking harshly at them.]

[PAUL reaches for one of the books. KEVIN grabs PAUL's arm and pulls him down an aisle.]

KEVIN: You idiot!

PAUL: What? That was it.  Didn't you see it?

KEVIN: Of course I saw it.  But you can't just rush in and grab one.

PAUL: Why not?

KEVIN: Why not? Because he'll think were perverts that's "Why not".

PAUL: Well, what do you want to do?

KEVIN: We've got to look around, get some other stuff.  Clean stuff.  Here this looks OK.

PAUL: Ivanhoe?

KEVIN: Here, lets get one of these "War and Peace's" too.


KEVIN: Right.  Now we get the sex book.

[PAUL grabs a book from the pile.]

KEVIN: All right, now put it on the bottom and the guy will never even notice what it is, maybe.

[KEVIN and PAUL go to pay for the book. KEVIN looks up to find the male shopkeeper has gone and a young lady has taken his place.  He drags PAUL back behind the book case.]

KEVIN: It's a lady! Forget it, we've gotta go.


NARRATOR: I'd known Paul since he was 36 hours old and never before had I seen that kind of fire in his eyes.

[PAUL puts the book inside his jacket and zips it up.]

PAUL: Buy those books and act casual.

KEVIN: What are you crazy?!

NARRATOR: This was going too far. I was a pervert, not a felon.

PAUL: Kevin, it's everything you always wanted to know about sex.  Everything!

[PAUL and KEVIN approach the counter.  KEVIN hands the two other books to the lady.]

SHOPKEEPER: Its pretty advanced reading for a boy of your age.

KEVIN: Thanks,

SHOPKEEPER: OK, it'll be seven ninety-five.

[KEVIN passes over a handful of money.]

KEVIN: Thanks!

[KEVIN and PAUL run out.]

SHOPKEEPER: Hey, there's 20 dollars here!


[KEVIN and PAUL run into his bedroom.]

NARRATOR: It was about two miles from the bookstore to my house, we made it in just under four seconds.

KEVIN: Come on, get it out.

NORMA (V/O): Kevin, lunch.

KEVIN: Oh no!

[KEVIN pushes the book under the mattress on his bed. PAUL lingers.]

PAUL: Maybe I should stay here.  To watch the book.

KEVIN: Paul!


[KEVIN is rapidly eating his lunch. JACK and NORMA look on.]

NORMA: Kevin, slow down, your going to make yourself sick.

[PAUL comes in through the kitchen door.]

PAUL: You done yet?

NORMA: Paul! You just left, you couldn't possibly have gone all the way home.

PAUL: I couldn't?

KEVIN: Mom, can I be excused?

NORMA: No, you may not be excused, now just sit down and finish your lunch. Don't forget its your day to do the dishes.

[Shot of KEVIN and PAUL doing dishes “Double-speed”.]

NARRATOR: We had about fifty dishes, we did them in just under four seconds!

[KEVIN and PAUL dash back into the bedroom, and reach for the book.]

PAUL [surprised]: It's gone!

KEVIN [resigned]: It's gone.

NARRATOR: Oh my God! My parents! No, wait, we'd stolen it.  Of course, the pretty lady, the police!

[KEVIN hears a snicker from behind the other bed. KEVIN turns and frowns.]

KEVIN: Wayne!

WAYNE: Oh, looking for this? [He giggles.]

KEVIN: Gimme that, you jerk!

WAYNE: Well, I don't know.  Think I'm going to have to preview this for you boys.

PAUL: Thought you didn't need it, Wayne.

KEVIN: Yeah, give it back.  We got it.

WAYNE: Now, I bet you'd like to try this with your little girlfriend Win-nie!

KEVIN: Shut up, Wayne!

WAYNE: Or this! No wait a minute. I think Winnie kinda might like this one.

KEVIN: Shut up, Wayne!

WAYNE: How far are you going to go with her, Kev?  You gonna try for a home run pal, huh?

[WAYNE takes a little baseball swing withthe book and makes sound of hitting the ball.]

WAYNE: No wait a minute, wait a minute.  Now this one looks like a lotta fun, why don't I read it to you.

[KEVIN hurls himself at WAYNE and they start to wrestle around.]

NARRATOR: It's hard to know just how it happened but suddenly at that moment with an intensity that no one in that room had previously thought possible, 12 and a half years of pent up impotent rage became potent!  Sort of...  Wayne still out weighed me by a good 30 pounds!

[WAYNE tosses KEVIN onto the bed, and stands up.]

WAYNE: What's the matter with you!?

[NORMA flings open the door.  KEVIN and WAYNE stop fighting.]

NORMA: What is going on in here?

[NORMA spots the book lying on the floor.]

NORMA: Oh my God!

[The boys get up.]

NORMA: Uh, Paul, I think you better go home now.

[PAUL picks up the book and tucks it under his polo shirt. NORMA stops him and gives him a cold stare. PAUL hands over the book.]

NARRATOR: Well, you gotta give Paul credit for trying!

NORMA: What are you boys doing with this book?

WAYNE: Don't ask me. Kevin got it.

NORMA: Kevin?

[Shot of KEVIN.]

NORMA: Is that true?


NORMA: Wayne, go outside

WAYNE: Kids! I don't know!

[WAYNE leaves.]

NORMA: Kevin, I am so disappointed in you.

NARRATOR: At that moment I felt like the lowest thing on earth. I was a pervert, a thief, a sneak, I had always been here sweet innocent little boy but at that moment my mother couldn't even bare to look me in the eye.

NORMA [emotionally]: It's not so much your reading this book!.but what were you doing in my dresser drawers anyway? [She has a hurt look.]

[NORMA leaves.  KEVIN's jaw drops and he looks very surprised.]


[KEVIN is sitting on the curb, with a stick.]

NARRATOR: I guess my mother figured out her mistake pretty quickly because I never heard from either of my parents on that topic again. We seemed to have a tacit understanding that they wouldn't mention my book if I didn't mention theirs!

[Winnie's car pulls up opposite.  KEVIN looks on as the Coopers get out. WINNIE sees KEVIN.]

[Shot of KEVIN. Shot of WINNIE.]


[KEVIN and WINNIE are walking up curving park path toward camera.]

NARRATOR: When Winnie got back from her uncles we went for a long walk in the park. Neither of us said a word about it of course, but we both knew the park was where you went to make out.

[Fade to shot of KEVIN and WINNIE approaching the baseball diamond.]

NARRATOR: As we approached the baseball field I started to sweat, nearing first base,!..second base,!third!

KEVIN: Lets cut across the outfield


NARRATOR: I didn't know what to do, our first kiss had happened so naturally I couldn't even remember how I did it! Did I, did I breathe through my mouth or my nose? Well I had to make some kinda move...

[Camera follows them as KEVIN tries, a couple of times, to put his arm around WINNIE. He finally chickens out and slaps her on the shoulder.]

[Camera moves in front again.]

KEVIN: There was a bug on you.

WINNIE: Oh. Thanks. [She looks puzzled.]

NARRATOR: Some move!

[Shot of them cresting a small hill, at the edge of the woods.]

[KEVIN and WINNIE reach the trees.  They both hesitate.]

NARRATOR: Well, there was no turning back now.  We were here.

KEVIN: So, what do you wanna do?

WINNIE: I don't know.  What do you wanna do?

KEVIN: I don't know.  What do you wanna do?

WINNIE: I don't know...

[Music “Tell It Like It Is” starts and continues throughout.]

[KEVIN toes the dirt.]

[WINNIE picks a leaf.]

[KEVIN picks up a rock, inspects it, ant tosses it away. He looks at WINNIE, then away, neither saying a word.]

[Shot of WINNIE.]

NARRATOR: The moment stretched out so unbearably. [WINNIE looks around, toes dirt.]  I thought we'd both explode! It was clear we were both stalling. [Shot of KEVIN scuffing the dirt.]  We knew what we were here to do.  [KEVIN looks around.]  We both wanted it, one of us just had to come out and say it! [WINNIE looks around.]

WINNIE: Do you wanna go on the swings?

KEVIN: Yeah, sure.  [He smiles.  WINNIE smiles.  They run off to the swings.]

NARRATOR: And in the end that's as far as Winnie and I went that day, maybe we both felt we'd come too far too fast.

[Shot of KEVIN and WINNIE getting on swings. Camera very slowly starts to pull up and back]

NARRATOR: Maybe we both realized that growing up doesn't have to be so much a straight line as a series of advances and retreats. Maybe we just felt like swinging. But what ever it was, Winnie and I made an unspoken pact that day to stay kids for a little while longer.

[Shot of KEVIN and WINNIE on swings freezes, and changes to black –and-white.]

[Shot fades to black, as music continues.]


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