Top 5 Girls From the Wonder Years

The Wonder Years was full of amazing dialogues, and amazing actors. For the boys who watched these episodes in their young age though, all that really mattered were the girls in the show, the girls that Kevin would inevitably end up falling for. They represented all the different girls that they wanted to meet themselves growing up through their teenage years, from the girl next door, to the seemingly unattainable girl who digs you to your disbelief. All the swings of teenage romance were palpable in the Wonder Years, from a first kiss, to a first slap, to a first possibility of infidelity. It’s with this in mind that we rank the women of the Wonder Years, in hopes of bringing back the images of these women from a golden era who embodied the grace and class of a gender currently lost.

#5. Norma Arnold (Alley Mills)

C’mon, Norm was attractive for an older woman, whether you wanted to admit it or not. You wanted her as a mother compared to the way all the other mothers looked. You wanted your wife to age as gracefully as Norma did with flowing golden locks and a sophisticated style that could charm and discipline at will.

Norma was the superlative suburban mother who cared deeply about her children and always made an above-average dinner, even when she started a job herself that took out many hours of her day. She played the part to perfection, nagging at every little detail in Kevin’s life and speaking with a soft spoken affirmation that demanded the attention of the Arnold household.

Norma and Jack were a 60’s marriage that represented the springing of a new America and the divergence of ideologies. Often, Karen (their daughter) and Jack would embody these ideological differences. It was Norma though who acted as the consummate mediator who could take any extreme down to its knees.

#4 Bonny Douglas (Paula Marshal)

All of the Arnold family, all of Kevin’s friends, and all viewers of the Wonder Years were shocked to see that Wayne bagged this girl. A long haired brunette who would wear the most stylish burettes and fit into the skimpiest dresses. Kevin was most in awe and even jealous by this fortuitous happening. How could this happen? How could Wayne Arnold be dating this girl?

Bonny, had a child…She was looking for a suitor…Wayne saw something he could excel at and dated Bonny for a couple episodes. Their relationship was one where you saw a girl looking for any support she could get, and a guy looking for anything to support…the most perspicuous entrance into long term commitment.

Their relationship ends when Bonny goes back to the guy that she had a child with. Wayne punches things, and then realizes he wasn’t ready for this commitment anyways. Bonny would come to represent the girl we were with, when we thought we were men…

#3 Cara (Lisa Gerber)

Kevin meets Cara on a week summer trip with his family and Paul. Kevin and Paul are at the drive in movie theaters when Kevin spots the distant gaze of the cool girl in the back of a 4 x 4 truck smoking a cigarette, acting like she has no care in the world. Kevin, dazed by this look he has never seen before, goes over to her to say “hi”. Cara offers Kevin a cigarette which he takes, then coughs on it, ostensibly losing all hopes at seeing this girl again, until she chuckles and continues the conversation with Kevin. As usual, Paul is in the background pissed because he never gets to talk to girls, except for the ones that Kevin sometimes sets him up with, that are…less than…ummm…..

Cara would go on to represent for Kevin, and all teenage boys at the time, the summer girl who you lost yourself in for the moment, to never see again. The final night of the vacation when you ask her “Will I ever see you again”, and she looks at you half fearful and half confident and says “I just don’t know”. She is different from all the town girls and all the school girls. She is from a far off distant place where everything is different and nothing is safe. In Cara, you lose yourself to completely something new, to never see again…

#2 Winnie (Danica Mckellar)

“The Coopster, “Coopinhagen”, “Kevin’s little Coop”…Wayne had a myriad of names for Winnie Cooper, Kevin’s long time girlfriend throughout the Wonder Years. Whenever Kevin’s mother would ask Kevin where he was going for the night, Wayne would usually interrupt with one of these ingenious teases.

Winnie Cooper is the girl that every boy grows up with, thinking their going to marry because their parents think they will, until they realize how different they are from each other. Regardless, the ups and down that these two go through prove a special bond between them that is different from marriage, and even friendship.

Winnie was notorious for the perennial frightened look on her face every time she talked to Kevin. It always looked like she was going to throw up every time she had to talk to him, probably out of fear that she was eventually going to have to hurt him. Every guy had a crush on Winnie at some point because she hit the perfect medium between beauty and attainability, a medium that has become forgotten in modern casting. There is only one “girl next door” in TV history, and it’s Winnie Cooper.

#1 Madeline (Julia Condra)

“Shortttttttyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”, is what you would shout at your TV screen the first time you saw Madeline. Madeline comes into the Wonder Years when Kevin moves onto middle school, where Winnie moves onto a different school. Kevin and Winnie promise each other to think of each other every hour, until Kevin lays his eyes on this perfectly shaped blonde with the eyes of a cheetah. He is always at least ten minutes late in thinking about Winnie because whenever he looks over in French class, there is Madeline with the soft smile that would strike at your budding hormones.

Sometimes there comes a time in an average guy’s life when the hottest girl in school wants them, and they ask themselves “Why the fuck would she be into me?” For the life of you, you can’t understand it, but its happening. Everywhere Kevin goes, Madeline is smiling at him. Every partner assignment being assigned seems to go to him and her.

The night comes where Kevin has to go Madeline’s house to bake a cake for a Home Ec class. The first thing Kevin notices is that she’s all alone in this big house. She is mature way beyond Kevin’s years. Its there that they comes face to face, just inches away, in Kevin trying to put back on Madeline’s necklace. When the kiss is about to happen, he dashes for the door and runs to Winnies house showing a loyalty and magnanimity that is completely lost in modern TV.

Regardless, Madeline is the #1 girl in The Wonder Years. No girl strikes you so immediately as she did, no girl swayed you with her coquettish style of French class diction as she did, no girl would come as close as she to breaking the unbreakable relationship between a childhood romance. She is the ultimate test for all relationships…

Related Posts


  1. Well written about Madeline.. congrats

  2. AnonymousJune 29, 2011

    Hell yeah! My jaws dropped when I saw Madeline! Hell fine!

  3. AnonymousMay 07, 2012

    Madeline definitely got my attention the first time I saw her. I found this blog just trying to find out her name again. I also liked Cara but Madeline really stood out. I was only about 12 years old when though episodes first aired. Thanks for the lovely blog and for reminding me of their names.

  4. You forgot 2 other awesome and stereotypical women encountered by many boys growing up during their "Wonder Years." What about Becky Slater (Danica's real life sister) and Ms. White (redhead! aka Mrs. Heimer)? THey definitely caught your eye.

  5. Where's Karen!!!??? She was definitely the hottest

  6. Madeline- a solid yes. Kevin was gay

  7. Winnie will always be Kevin's girl.

  8. Winnie cooper will be for kevin

  9. Madeline is absolutely #1. Sophisticated, classy, incredibly good-looking, with a beautiful smile and a distinctive eyebrow gesture. She would make the perfect girlfriend.