‘The Wonder Years’: Danica McKellar Said Kevin and Winnie’s First Kiss ‘Nearly Killed Us Both’

Danica McKellar and Fred Savage will always be connected from working on The Wonder Years. They’ve continued to stay in touch over the years and have talked about their first kiss. Find out why McKellar said it nearly killed them to film the scene for the pilot that’s now available for streaming on Hulu.

‘The Wonder Years’ started with their first kiss

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The sitcom showed Kevin Arnold reflecting on his childhood during the ’60s. Older Kevin narrated stories about his family, who lived in the suburbs and his friends in junior high school.

There was Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano), who was nerdy and had many allergies. Then there was Winnie Cooper, who lived in the neighborhood. Kevin and Winnie used to be close when they were younger.

The show started with Winnie starting junior high with a new look. Kevin took notice and the episode ended with them having their first kiss.

“It was the first kiss for both of us,” Kevin says as the narrator. “We never really talked about it afterward. But I think about the events of that day again and again. And somehow I know that Winnie does too, whenever some blowhard starts talking about the anonymity of the suburbs or the mindlessness of the TV generation.”

Fred Savage doesn’t think he was a good kisser

Fred Savage and Danica McKellar of 'The Wonder Years'
Fred Savage and Danica McKellar of ‘The Wonder Years’ | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

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The actors talked about their big kiss scene years later with Entertainment Tonight. Savage was very humble about his kissing skills at the time.

“I can’t imagine I was a very good kisser,” he said. “But we were very nervous and excited.” McKellar talked about what her real feelings were for her co-star at the time.

“I did have a crush on Fred, in the beginning,” she said. That made the lead up to their kiss hard.

Danica McKellar said their first kiss nearly killed them

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The cast did an oral history of the show. McKellar talked about the lead up to their first kiss on The Wonder Years, which was also her first kiss in real life.

“I had my first kiss on that show,” McKellar told The Rolling Stone. “It was [Winnie’s] first kiss and my real-life first kiss, too. I had a crush on Fred and he had a crush on me. I think the anticipation of that kiss nearly killed us both.”

The actors then talked about their character’s future and them not ending up together. “I was rooting for them [to stay together],” McKellar said “but I also knew that The Wonder Years was a show about bittersweet memories so I wasn’t surprised when they didn’t end up together.”

Savage said, “Kevin and Winnie obviously shaped each other in ways that will stay with them forever, but there’s more to their story than just the two of them and they moved to do other things. To me that felt very real — that bittersweet loss of something you wanted so badly.”

The show ran from 1988 to 1993. There will be a reboot of The Wonder Years following a new family. Savage is returning as a director and executive producer.