Season Five Episodes

5-01: The Lake
The Arnold's and Pfeiffer's go on vacation together.

I wanted to stay there, in that night, more than anything I wanted before. But I knew I couldn't. I was fifteen. I slept under a roof my father owned, in a bed my father bought. Nothing was mine, except my heart, and my fears. And my growing knowledge that not every road was going to lead home anymore.

5-02: Day One
Kevin's joke lands him in hot water with his English teacher.

That first week of high school, as I watched our class band together, I realized something about these strangers I'd just met; strangers I hardly knew. Strangers who were just like me. We were all sharing the same feelings. The same fears, the same lonliness We were just starting out, and there was only one direction to go. So we went - together.

5-03: The Hardware Store
Kevin takes a job at a hardware store, but he'd rather be working at the mall and meeting girls.

I felt him watching me. And somehow, I knew what he was thinking. How much I'd learned, how much he taught me. But I was fifteen. I lived in a world that was new and alive and exciting. And everything here was old. Maybe it was stupid. That's also part of being fifteen. I traded in my tie for a stupid hat and a plastic name tag at the mall. When I left a month later - no one cared. But every time I pick up a flat-head screwdriver, I think of Old Man Harris, and how those cowbells clanged as I walked out that door. And even though I can't say exactly what I gained... I know I can't measure... what I lost.

5-04: Frank and Denise
Kevin helps a greaser fix his relationship with his girlfriend.

Poets say love comes and goes in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, in high school, it goes more than it comes... and then from somewhere, I don't know - it just came to me.

5-05: Full Moon Rising
Kevin and his friends spend a night on the town; Kevin moons his parents by accident.

We didn't really accomplish anything that night. Nothing of any real importance, anyway. But through the high school years that lay ahead... there would be a thousand other nights, just like that one. Stupid, ridiculous... and glorious.

5-06: Triangle
Wayne's girlfriend uses Kevin to get back at him, but finds herself falling for him instead.

As I sat there, listening to my brother's pain... and the lies he told to cover it... I didn't know what to do. I knew I wanted to be with Sandy, holding her in my arms, dancing with her. But in the end... I stayed with my brother... because, after all, he was... my brother.

5-07: Soccer
Kevin tries out for the school soccer team.

There's one in every high school in America - the trophy case. Filled with winged statues, and silver-plated victory cups... all monuments to the winning spirit. To team play. To greatness on the field. Not just anyone could get inside that case. You had to be a winner. You had to have determination. You had to have guts. And most importantly... you had to make the cut. That fall of my sophomore year, one thing was clear: no matter how hard I tried, the wide world of sports wasn't wide enough to include me. Face it. I was five-foot-four, and a hundred-and-ten pounds. What team could I play on?

5-08: Dinner Out
Jack's birthday dinner is ruined when Karen shows up with her boyfriend.

My dad was always a sucker for birthdays. Every year, he loved the ritual. The attention. The cake. Heck, we all loved the cake. But most of all, dad loved our gifts. No matter what we gave him... it was his moment of glory. His time in the sun. His change... to be king for a day. Unfortunately by birthday time, nineteen-seventy-one... the king wasn't looking so... kingly. Maybe it was because he was about to turn forty-three in a week. Maybe it was the day-to-day irritations. Maybe it was something else. Face it. For the past six months, ever since he'd found out my sister was co-habitating without benefit of clergy... dad had become kinda... monosyllabic.

5-09: Christmas Party
Nobody is looking forward to the Arnold's annual Christmas party.

Every year when I was a kid, my parents threw a Christmas party. Everybody in the neighborhood came. Dad played the "big cheese"... Mom played "Donna Reed"... and a really stupid time was had by all. It was a time when hopes were high. When the neighborhood was young. It was fun, before fun got so... complicated. Before life got so... simple.

5-10: Pfeiffer's Choice
Jealousy rears its ugly head when the Pfeiffer's make a killing on a deal that Jack turned down.

Whenever I look back on growing up in the suburbs, there's one thing I remember most clearly: our neighbors, the Pfeiffer's... were always there. But we were more than just neighbors. We were like one big happy family. And at the heart of it all... were our dads. The men who set the tone. My dad, the athlete... and Paul's dad... the optometrist. Under their watchful eyes, our families grew and prospered. One for all, and all for one. Until, that is, things started to change.

5-11: Road Test
Kevin takes his driver's license test.

That night, my dad taught me a lot. How to parallel park, why you put away the lawnmower. And in some small way, what it takes to grow up. That Monday, he took the afternoon off, and we went and got my license. He was so proud. Then it took it away... and grounded me for a month.

5-12: Grandpa's Car
Grandpa Arnold gets in trouble with the law after a series of car accidents.

Some gifts are simple. Some come at a price. Some you buy for a buck, and last you a lifetime. I guess everybody remembers their first car. I know I remember mine. Not because it was my first car... but because it was my grandfather's last.

5-13: Kodachrome
Kevin's teacher gets in trouble after using untraditional methods to teach.

That afternoon, there was kind of a... celebration. They were celebrating youth. Enthusiasm. Idealism. They were cheering for the best and the brightest. Only they didn't know what I knew then. But they found out. I guess in the end, Miss Shaw did what was best for her. After all, no compromises, no regrets. The only thing is - she didn't do what was best for us. Even today... I don't know who to be angry at. Her... or the system that drove her away.

5-14: Private Butthead
Wayne and a friend decide to drop out of school and join the army, despite Jack's disapproval.

Love is never simple. Not for fathers and sons. We spend our lives full of hope and expectations. And most of the time we are bound to fail. But that afternoon, as I watched my father sheltering his son against a future that was so unsure, all I knew was they didn't want to let each other down anymore.

5-15: Of Mastodons and Men
Kevin feels smothered in his relationship.

In a lot of ways, high school boys are a lot like primitive man. They forage for their food. They fashion crude tools. And of course... they hang out in groups. In fact, about the only difference between my friends and Neanderthal man was... Neanderthals had bigger brains. The tribe. That year we were inseperable. We'd faced all the challenges. All but one, anyway: women.

5-16: Double Double Date
Kevin and Winnie go on a double date, but their dates end up falling for each other.

And then I kissed her, on the eye. And then she kissed me, on the eye.

5-17: Hero
Kevin and Jack attend a school basketball game, where Kevin learns what a true hero really is.

I guess magic doesn't last forever no matter how much you wish it would. Destiny can turn on a dime and cut like a knife.

5-18: Lunch Stories
Lunch period finds Kevin trying to get out of donating blood and Wayne trying to win a bet.

And there you had it: lunch. Where romances bloomed and died... and returned again. Like last week's leftover tuna casserole. Where the fondest dramas and aspirations of young adults reached their zenith... and the quest for knowledge became its own reward. Sure... maybe all those dramas played out over lunch weren't really dramas after all. Still, looking back... they sure seemed that way.

5-19: Carnal Knowledge
Paul misses an opportunity to see an R-rated movie with the guys, but winds up in an R-rated situation with a college student instead.

If there's one thing every kid needs growing up, it's a best friend. Someone you trust. Someone who trusts you. Someone you measure yourself against. You go through everything together. Important things. Stupid things. Things that matter. Things that don't.

5-20: The Lost Weekend
Kevin decides to host a poker game, which turns into the party of the year.

Growing up brothers is kind of a mixed bag. Strangers. Warriors. Enemies. Idiots. Friends. One day you fight to the death. The next... you'd lay down your lives for each other.

5-21: Stormy Weather
Karen returns home after an argument with her boyfriend, but won't reveal why they're fighting.

It always seemed that in my house, the most dramatic things happened inthe middle of the night. Like the night of the big blizzard when dad got stuck out on the highway... and we thought we'd never see him again. Or the night my brother swallowed a whole bag of marbles... and threw them up in the car, on the way to the hospital. Or the night my eight-legged science project escaped... and turned up in mom's nightgown at 3am. But nothing ever created quite as much confusion around my house... as the night my sister came back home.

5-22: The Wedding
Karen decides she wants a non-traditional ceremony, which causes problems on her wedding day.

The next morning, I watched my sister get married... and welcomed a new brother into my family. I watched my mother send her firstborn out into the world... and felt her sorrow. I watched my father give away his only girl... to a stranger he hardly knew. I said goodbye, myself. Looking back, maybe it all seems a little silly. But being there, in those passing moments, I saw that something real and important was happening.

5-23: Back to the Lake
Kevin takes Paul on a joyride to the lake.

When I was growing up, summer vacations meant one thing - fun. Two solid months of goofing off, hanging out, and sleeping late. June, July and August were a time when anything was possible, when the hardships of school were over, and the promise of great times lay ahead. As for me that summer of nineteen-seventy-two, I was sixteen. Still young enough to bask in the pleasures of summer.

5-24: Broken Hearts and Burgers
Winnie is upset at Kevin, as their relationship plays out via past show clips.

By the time you've made it to age sixteen, you pretty much know all there is to know. About history, philosophy, the world. About life. There was virtually no situation you can't handle. Yeah, you're on top of your game - the pinnacle of poise, the essence of cool. No doubt about it - from the right thing to wear, to the right place to sit, to the right person to sit with. At sixteen, you pretty much learned it all. Well, almost all. Okay. So there's one subject you're just as dumb about as you ever were. Yeah, love. Like I said, at sixteen... you've learned nothing. Nothing at all.
Narrator: Like women all over America, my mother confronted tragedy and death with cold ham and Jello salad.