Season Three Episodes

3-01: Summer Song
During summer vacation, Kevin experiences his first French kiss and the heartbreak of a summer romance.

I knew at that moment, that life was not fair. Sure... I'd write to her, and maybe she'd write me - then what? Could we really wait for each other for the next ten or twelve years? It was hopeless. I'd never felt pain like this before in my entire life. It felt... wonderful.

3-02: Math Class
Kevin feels his math teacher is being unreasonable.

The transition from summer to fall is a tricky one. Like astronauts returning from space. We had to re-enter the atmosphere of school carefully, so the sudden change in pressure wouldn't kill us.

3-03: Wayne on Wheels
Kevin's only way to the mall is if Wayne drives him.

As we drove home in silence... we began to realize the absurdity of our situation. We were two people, with almost nothing in common... thrown together by circumstance. The harder we struggled against that fact, the more tightly we were bound together. That night, the gap between thirteen and sixteen... got a little smaller. I didn't make it back to the mall for several weeks. Somehow I just didn't feel like getting into a car. As for Wayne and me... we'd reached a new understanding. We didn't have to be friends or anything. But we'd always be brothers.

3-04: Mom Wars
Norma tries to stop Kevin from playing tackle football.

When you're a little boy, you don't have to go very far to find the center of your universe: mom. She's always there. It's a pretty good arrangement - when you're five. But around age thirteen, there starts to be... a problem. The problem is... she's always there. And I mean always. Now a mom has to be a mom, but a guy's gotta be a guy. And when an irresistable force meets an immovable object... sooner or later... something's gotta give.

3-05: On the Spot
Winnie gets stage fright during the school's production of "Our Town."

It was humiliating. I wanted to just walk away. But then, then I realized I couldn't walk away. She looked beautiful. And terrified. And I knew she needed me. Those next few minutes seemed to last a thousand years. Every moment was potential disaster. We were both struggling. And then, a weird thing happened. I was holding the light on Winnie, when everything got very quiet. And I felt something. I don't know what it was. I felt like I was holding her up with that light. That we were connected by the light. And I wouldn't let her fall. No matter what - I wouldn't let her fall. That night I learned something. About courage... and maybe about love.

3-06: Odd Man Out
Kevin and Paul find new best friends after getting into a fight.

The best part of having a best friend is knowing someone really understands you. Paul Pfeiffer and I shared more than just the laughs and the Oreos. We shared confidences. In a lot of ways, Paul knew me better than I knew myself. And he wouldn't hesitate to remind me if I ever forgot. It was a tried-and-true relationship. But like all relationships... sometimes it got a little... stale.

3-07: The Family Car
Kevin hopes his father will buy a new, fancier car than their previous one.

There was more to that old car than fuel pumps and crankshafts. There was part of all of us in that car. The places we'd gone, the things we'd done... the family we had been. The family that was moving on. And for the first time... I understood the value of what my father had put into it. And why it was so hard to let it go.

3-08: The Pimple
Kevin gets his first pimple right before a family friend comes to visit.

Growing up in the suburbs, in the '60s, you were pretty much sheltered from the forces of change unleashed by the outside world. But what about the forces of change unleashed from within? Change. Not always a pretty sight. In fact, it could get pretty ugly. But that was the stuff movies were made of. That wasn't the real world. Or was it?

3-09: Math Class Squared
Kevin decides the only way to get ahead in math class is to cheat on his test.

Well, I'd learned one thing in advanced math class. I'd learned I was going to fail. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But soon... and for the rest of my life.

3-10: Rock 'n Roll
Kevin joins a rock band.

What we felt in those years - the hope, the joy, the possibilities, the sense that anything might happen no matter who we were - will always be a part of us. After all, people said the Beatles would never last, and they were right... except, of course, they did.

3-11: Don't You Know Anything About Women?
Kevin hopes to go to the school dance with one girl, but ends up going with another.

In the game of life, there are few certainties. In fact, most things are left to chance. There's someone for everyone, we're told. But the search for that one person to ride through life beside is serious business. Especially when you're thirteen. It's a matter of trial, error... and pure dumb luck.

3-12: The Powers That Be
Grandpa Arnold gives Kevin a dog, angering Jack.

And for some reason, maybe the way he said it, I began to understand. He wasn't giving me an order. My dad, was asking me for help. That morning, as I stood with the man who was my father... the son of my grandfather, the man who would one day be the grandfather of my sons... I realized something: that not all gifts are simple; that some battles are fought out of love.

3-13: She, My Friend and I
After Carla breaks up with Paul, Kevin sets him up with Winnie in the hopes to make Carla jealous, but Paul ends up falling for Winnie instead.

I'd never felt so lost in my life. I tried to make sense of what had happened. I wanted to believe Paul had lied to me. Winnie, too. But somehow, I knew better. I'd been lying to myself. The funny thing is, now that I was sure about my feelings for Winnie... there they were: my best friend and my best girl. I'd brought them together. And now I had no right to interfere.

3-14: The St. Valentine's Day Massacre
Kevin accidentally puts Winnie's Valentine's Day card in another girl's locker.

Oh yeah... love. Once upon a time, it was... simple. If you liked somebody, you let them know. And if you didn't, you let them know. One way or another, you knew where you stood. But as you got older, communication gets more... complicated.

3-15: The Tree House
Kevin and Jack build a treehouse, providing them with a good view of the attractive neighbor next door.

My father and I never had "the talk," and we never finished the treehouse. I guess some things between fathers and sons are left unspoken... and unfinished.

3-16: The Glee Club
A new student teacher tries to make the Glee Club into something more.

The boys' eighth grade glee club. The singing group from hell. Twice a week, we transformed Mr. Frace's choir room into kind of a chamber of musical horrors.

3-17: Night Out
Kevin and Winnie are invited to a make-out party.

Everyone knows what happens when you fall in love. You hold each other close, you kiss, and then... you live happily ever after. For Winnie Cooper and me, "happily ever after" had arrived. After years of waiting... we were ready to face the future, together. Passing notes in class... sharing tater-tots at lunch... being a couple. It was all kinda... wonderful. Of course, in eighth grade, part of being a couple is doing what other couples do, even if it was, well, kinda stupid. And so long as we had each other, we were ready for anything. Well, almost anything.

3-18: Faith
It's tax time, and Norma loses the year's receipts; Kevin has to write his own obituary for class.

As I looked at that blank page, I knew that whatever I wrote would be a lie - or at best, a wild guess. It didn't matter. Whatever life lay ahead of me - a life of hope, of possibility, of uncertainty - I felt sure I knew what it would take to survive. I guess what I'm saying is... for the first time, I understood that some things are bigger than death and taxes. Like family. Like faith.

3-19: The Unnatural
Kevin is surprised at having made it through baseball tryouts, but soon finds out that the coach is an old friend of Jack's.

There's a dream that's as old as natural grass, and nickel hot dogs... and being young. It's a dream every kid shares. The one big moment. Hero time. Of course, when you're five... that dream doesn't seem out of reach. Everyone plays the game about the same: bad. Still, for all your shortcomings... you've got the one thing that matters most: potential. Then... as springtime rolls into fall, and Little League gives way to summer jobs... somehow the dream gets left behind.

3-20: Goodbye
Kevin gets tutoring from his math teacher before a big test.

Teachers never die. They live in your memory forever. They were there when you arrived and they were there when you left. Like fixtures. Once in a while they taught you something. But not that often. And, you never really knew them, any more than they knew you. Still, for awhile, you believed in them. And, if you were lucky, maybe there was one who believed in you.

3-21: Cocoa and Sympathy
Paul develops a crush on Norma after she gives him a confidence boost.

The night Paul Pfeiffer gave my mom a rose... he gave me something, too. He gave me a new way of seeing her. Paul made my mother feel good. Because he didn't look at her the way we always did. We saw "mom." And he saw "Norma Arnold." And I think she liked that, for a change. That night I found out my mother once got sent to the principal's office for smoking in the bathroom. And that she almost married someone else, until she met my dad. I learned a lot about her - about who she was... about who she'd been... about who she wanted to be. And the next morning, she was "mom" again. Our straight-man. Only, this time - I knew better.

3-22: Daddy's Little Girl
Jack fears he is losing his little girl as Karen prepares to leave for college.

That night of my sister's 18th birthday, a lot of things happened. Maybe more than she knew. Because that night, when my father let Karen go out, he let Karen go. Maybe that's how it had to be. Children leave. And parents stay behind. Still, some things are deeper than time and distance, and your father will always be your father. And he will always leave a light on for you.

3-23: Moving
Kevin learns that the Coopers are moving; instead of saying goodbye to Winnie, Kevin attends Karen's high school graduation.

There was a time when the world was enormous... spanning the vast, almost infinite boundaries of your neighborhood. The place where you grew up. Where you didn't think twice about playing on someone else's lawn. And the street was your territory, that occasionally got invaded by a passing car. It was where you didn't get called home until after it was dark. And all the people, and all the houses that surrounded you were as familiar as the things in your own room. And you knew they would never change.
Narrator: I was thirteen years old. Being self-conscious was a full-time job.