Part of the show's running storyline is a falling-out between Kevin and Winnie, who becomes a background character for several months, until she and Kevin reconcile. The main reason for this part of the storyline was that actress Danica McKellar had had a growth spurt, and she and star Fred Savage, already shorter than McKellar, didn't look right standing together. The characters reconciled after Savage began to catch up in height.
The scenes in which Wayne would continually inch a car forward as Kevin was trying to get into it were initially improvised by Jason Hervey. Hervey has said the routine was inspired by his own older brother having done it to him.
The show's setting is never mentioned. Creator Neil Marlens wanted to set it in Long Island, NY, but ABC wanted an anonymous setting to reflect an "Anytown, USA". Various clues indicate the series took place in the suburbs of either New York City or Los Angeles.
According to the 2013 book "Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad", ABC wanted to make the show a bit edgier as Kevin matured, and to do that they discussed hiring the TV writer and producer David Chase (who later created "The Sopranos"). Chase wrote a script in which Kevin reads "Catcher in the Rye" and thereafter starts acting like Holden Caulfield, including drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. The script was rejected as too edgy and Chase never went to work for "The Wonder Years."
Becky Slater, who played Kevin's occasional love interest and frequent nemesis was actually played by Danica McKellar's(Winnie Cooper) younger sister Crystal McKellar. The role of Becky was specifically created for Crystal after she had actually been a close runner up for the part of Winnie.
After the series ended, Fred Savage's mother kept the New York Jets jacket worn by Kevin during the show's first few seasons. In October, 2014 Savage announced intentions to donate the jacket to The Smithsonian, upon the institute's request for props from the show.
Fred Savage 's brother Ben Savage (who played Corey in Boy Meets World) appeared at a very young age as a student/cupid on The Wonder Years Valentine's Day episode. Blake Sennett also had a role on The Wonder Years, mostly seen in shop class, who later was given the role of Joey "The Rat" on Boy Meets World. Dan Lauria (who plays Jack Arnold on The Wonder Years) also made an appearance on Boy Meets World.
The series was canceled due to declining ratings and raising budgets. In addition, the cancellation partly came about due to disputes between the network and the show's producers. As Kevin aged, producers wanted to explore more mature issues, but the network thought such issues would be inappropriate for the show's time slot, and were unwilling to change it.
Rumors on the Internet said that the role of Paul Pfeiffer was played by rocker Marilyn Manson. Although this is believed widely, it is not true. The role was played by Josh Saviano. Plus, Manson would not have been able to play a 12 year old character when the show started because he was actually 19 years old in 1988.
The Wonder Years debuted in 1988 and featured Daniel Stern as the voice of adult Kevin Arnold played by Fred Savage . In 1989, Daniel Stern played Fred Savage's father in the movie 'Little Monsters' also starring Howie Mandel
Fred Savage came to the attention of the show's casting directors through his roles in Vice Versa and The Princess Bride. Not hearing of either movie, Producers obtained a rough cut of Vice Versa, and cast Savage largely as a result of his performance in the film.
Producers were unclear as to whether the show would be renewed after the sixth season. As a result, what would come to be the series finale was written and initially produced in an open ended manner. Kevin's closing narration recapping the series wasn't recorded until official word of the show's cancellation came down.
Season 1 Episode 1 is the only episode when coming into the kitchen from the back door, the refrigerator is on the right side of the room & the stove is on the left side and the entry way to the dining room is on the right. The rest of the series the refrigerator is on the left & the stove is on the right and entry way to the dining room is on the left.
The Wonder Years series was told in the style of A Christmas Story, and was intentionally written based on this style. Daniel Stern, The Narrator/Adult Kevin, later went on to appear in A Christmas Story 2 in 2012. In addition, Dan Lauria, who plays Kevin's father on the show, featured in a stage musical version of A Christmas Story.
Although an actual town or State is ever mentioned, in Episode 3 #7 (The New Car) when Jack is working on the old Dodge Polaras at the beginning you can clearly see the last letters of the license plate indicating it is a California plate.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Fred Savage and Danica McKellar are most frequently asked why Kevin and Winnie didn't get together in the end. Both believe it was for reasons due to practicality and realism, as in real life, most people don't wind up in permanent relationships with their first crushes/loves.