What This Episode of The Wonder Years Can Teach Us About WaitingNovember 3rd, 2013 by Julie Kerr
Quick background: The Wonder Years was a popular, greatly-adored coming of age TV drama that aired from 1988-1993. One episode in particular (episode #606, titled “White Lies”) supports the idea of waiting-till-marriage dating, and highlights a romantic relationship between two teenagers who are not sexually active with each other.
Kevin (played by Fred Savage) is the hero of the show, and he spends most of the show’s six seasons being in love with Winnie Cooper, the girl next door (literally). Winnie and Kevin have a deep and meaningful relationship, yet they never have sex, which makes them a good example for WTMers.
The “White Lies” episode starts with Kevin’s voiceover as an adult, “They say you can live a lifetime and never find love. So, I guess I was lucky because true love crossed my path the first time I met the girl next door…Winnie Cooper.”
One night, Winnie and Kevin fall asleep on the couch watching TV. When they wake up together in the morning, we see Kevin race Winnie home in fear of getting in trouble with her parents.
We later learn that Winnie’s parents didn’t worry at all. They knew she was safe with Kevin. Even they trust Kevin to be respectful to Winnie (because Kevin is a respectable guy).
Later the day, Kevin, under the pressure of his friends’ scrutiny, lies and says that he had sex with Winnie, sparking a rumor throughout the school that gets back to Winnie.
Winnie finds out and is heartbroken.
When Kevin tells his Dad what happened, his father promptly tells him to apologize.
Winnie dumps Kevin. Kevin is heartbroken.
By the end of the episode, he realizes he had something better with Winnie than sex. He had true love with her. He says so in his grown-up voiceover at the end of the episode: “They say hindsight’s 20/20, And, I guess it’s true, because as I stood outside Winnie’s house that night, I suddenly saw it all so clearly. I’d sold both of us short by taking something most people never have and throwing it away for something less. I’d been in such a rush to impress people that didn’t really matter. I’d torn apart the only ones who did…us.”
If you watch the show, Kevin is a nice guy who unfortunately makes a bad mistake and learns a lesson about the value of true love and how it far surpasses “getting laid.”
The show supports WTMers by putting a happy, loving, romantic relationship above sex. It’s a good episode, and you can watch it on Netflix streaming and for free on YouTube…
Carry on, waiters, carry on.