On his first day of high school, Kevin quickly realizes that it is not quite the same as junior high where he knew everyone and was the high man on the totem pole. He is followed by an annoying classmate, bullied by Wayne, and picked on by an egotistical teacher.
Denise and Frank seem to be made for each other, until Denise turns her eye to Kevin because he understands poetry. Although she breaks up with Frank and kisses Kevin, Kev thinks it would be better if she went back to Frank because they are a perfect match.
After being cut from the football team, Kevin finds out that McKinley High has a soccer team. He signs up for the team but soon realizes that most of the kids on the team are nerdy and un-athletic and the coach is a legendary former football coach whose best days have passed him by.
For Jack's 43rd birthday, Norma decides to try and repair his relationship with Karen by having them meet at a restaurant. Her plan begins to backfire when Jack continues to begrudge Karen's live-in boyfriend Michael.
Alvin Pfeiffer's investment in some oceanfront property pays off. But while the both the Arnold's and the Pfeiffer's seem happy over the new developments, Jack Arnold seems a bit put-off by Alvin's new spending habits.
Wayne goes to take his SAT's, but shocks his family when he decides to try and join the army instead. With The Vietnam War still going on, the Arnolds are afraid that Wayne could be shipped off, and into the war.
Kevin starts spending most of his time with his new girlfriend, Julie, and her family, no longer allowing him to "hang out with the guys." When she all of a sudden wants him to "go steady", he begins to have second thoughts about their relationship.
When Kevin develops a crush on the new Swedish exchange student, he asks Winnie to help fix him up on a date with her. In return, Winnie asks Kevin to fix her up with a new student that is in one of his classes. Things get interesting when they are all forced to double date to the spring dance.
With McKinley High making a run in the state basketball playoffs, Kevin takes an interest in the team and has a new hero in star player Bobby Riddle. However, when Bobby has a letdown, Kevin learns a valuable lesson in a what a hero really is.
We follow several different stories during the course of one lunch period at William McKinley Senior High. Wayne Arnold tries to win a bet by finding the true identity of a kid known only as Maniac. Kevin is asked by Winnie to donate blood for the school blood drive, and is also hooked into trying to sneak out of school to see an X-rated film with his friends.
When his parents go away for the weekend, Kevin decides to invite the guys over for a night of poker. When their poker night gets boring, they decide to invite more people over, turning Kevin's house into an out-of-control party.
When Karen has a fight with Michael, she comes back home in the middle of the night to stay with the family. The next day, Kevin, his dad, and Wayne drive to Michael's house to move her stuff out, prompting Michael to follow them home in hopes of trying to reconcile with Karen.
With their wedding day approaching, Karen and Michael decided to forgo a traditional church ceremony in favor of a small outdoor ceremony with family and friends. Kevin sees a potential disaster after the wedding when he finds out that Karen and Michael are planning to move to Alaska and have yet to tell his mom and dad.
As summer begins, Kevin is dismayed that almost all the fun of previous summers is gone. All his friends are working summer jobs, and his Dad wants him to do the same. Feeling that the world has turned on him, Kevin and Paul head back up to the Lake, where Kevin hopes to find a girl he met at the Lake a year earlier.