‘The Wonder Years’: Where Was Arnold Family Home Set?

by Keeli Parkey

“The Wonder Years” is a television show that is beloved by millions of fans, even nearly two decades after its conclusion. It’s a show about growing up, having friends, being part of a family, and much, much more.

According to an article on CheatSheet.com, the first episode of the hit show aired on Jan. 31, 1988. In the 30-plus years since the show began its television run, fans have often wondered exactly where Kevin Arnold, the main character in the show and his family lived.

The exact location was never addressed during the show. However, according to the article, one of the show’s co-creators wanted to set the show in his hometown. That man’s name was Neil Marlens and he grew up in Huntington, New York. That town is located approximately one hour from the middle of Manhattan.

Unfortunately, ABC, the network that brought “The Wonder Years to television audiences, did not like the idea of the show being set in that town so close to New York City. According to CheatSheet, ABC felt that making it clear that the show took place on the east coast would limit its audience. So, the decision was made to never explicitly say where the Arnolds lived.

Even though he didn’t get to name the town where the Arnolds lived, Marlens was reportedly able to let some of his past influence the show. According to reports, he used the names of friends from his youth as names of characters on “The Wonder Years.”

Fans Try to Solve Mystery of ‘The Wonder Years’ Location

Even though it is never specified where the Arnolds live in “The Wonder Years,” some fans believe they have solved the mystery. Where did that iconic television family live? According to the article, some fans believe they lived in California – specifically the San Fernando Valley.

There are several clues that lead to this conclusion. Possibly the most obvious one is that the license plate the Arnold family car is a California license plate. Also, many, many scenes in the show take place outside during pretty warm weather. This lack of inclement weather has led some fans to believe that the show is set in California.

Another clue to the Arnold’s home base location is father Jack’s job. In the show, which is set in the 1960s, it is said that he worked as a defense contractor. According to the article, during that time California’s San Fernando Valley was a hub for the nation’s defense industry.

Wherever it was set, “The Wonder Years” remains a beloved television show by many. Set during the 1960s and 1970s, the show is focused on the life of Kevin Arnold. We watch as Kevin goes to school, falls in love, and navigates life with his family and friends. Interestingly, the show is narrated by Kevin as an adult.

“The Wonder Years” aired on television from 1988 to 1993.