When I was a but a pre-teen in 1993, I wanted a show where the main character was the same age as me, liked the same things I did, and did the same things I did. That was going to school, hanging out with my friends, and liking sports, mainly baseball. I laid in bed dreaming that I could have the same teacher my entire life, and that my classes in school held 9 students. Because I was a weird kid, I wished the teacher lived in the house behind me. On September 24 of that year, my dreams came true. Boy Meets world premiered.
The pilot of the series was a simple formula. Cory loved the Phillies. Tried to listen to the games during class. His brother, Eric, was going to take him to a game. Eric was about 15 or 16 at this time. There was also a sister named Morgan, who was much younger. Cory moves into the tree house after Eric takes a girl to the game. Cory and Mr Feeny bond over being left out, after Feeny has no one to eat lunch with. That's how we started things.
Season 1 continued with Cory wanting a bad ass water gun for a water war, which I badly wanted to be a part of but alas, having to paint Feeny's shutters, but gets paint on the Matthews' fence. This episode also had a Cosby like sequence when Cory has to learn the value of a dollar. Episodes about Cory's dad letting him stay up to watch a no hitter, and a geography bee for the chance to be bat boy at the World Series (what) followed, as did episodes about Cory not being that great a student and cheating on an IQ test, and him being an outcast. This hit close to home to a socially awkward kid. We had episodes following where we met Alan's mother for the first and only time, which kind of made sense since she was flighty in the episode, the standard student/teacher switch roles and earn each other's respect, and the kids don't want to hang with their dad anymore affairs. And the one where Cory and Eric thought Alan was having an affair, when in reality their parents were sneaking out of the house to meet in hotels for kinky sex, which is much more disturbing.
Cory's best friends for the series were Shawn Hunter and Topanga Lawrence. Shawn lived with broke parents who always could afford leather jackets. Our first look at Shawn's futility was when Cory gave Shawn his prized NBA regulation basketball for Christmas out of pity. Topanga spent most of season 1 being a really weird girl who had a sister who was mentioned one time, and had a crush on Eric. Eric had a best friend, who would also go on to be a best friend on Step by Step, but no one really liked him and he died in a fire. Sad way for the family sitcom to go.
Even with his friends, Cory felt isolated. He was on the B team in basketball. In a future class reunion, he dressed as a Phillie, but was told he wouldn't play baseball. That led to a cameo by Jim Abbott, and making it a memorable ep. The season wrapped with Cory trying to find out how to be a man. He inherited his father's silver boxing gloves, felt weird about wearing tights for a play, and finally took Topanga on a date because Shawn started dating. Cory also wished for Mr Feeny to drop dead, and then Feeny was out sick. Cory struggled with his mortality.
Season two started off again with Cory trying to find out who he was, as he started junior high. He had to deal with Harley Kiner, and Kiner's goons Frankie and Joey. That eventually saw Cory take Harley's sister on a date, but only 1. Harley disappeared halfway through the season and was replaced by Adam Scott. Cory would also take the heat for Shawn when Shawn changed a headline in the school paper to "New Principal is Weeny," lead a protest, get invited to the party for dorks, which Cory thought was the cool party and gloated when Shawn wasn't invited. It turned out that the cool party was wherever Shawn was. He was magical.
Girls started becoming a big part of the show. Cory and Topanga made a tape of people talking about sex for a class project, hello Mr Turner, and when they fell asleep in the editing room (yeah the high school had an edit bay) people thought they did it. Cory and Shawn started a band trying to get poon tang, only for the Monkees to show up. One of the Monkees was Topanga's dad. Remember that. Cory was bad at this though. When he had 7 minutes in heaven with Pangs, he choked. However when he was supposed to babysit one of Shawn's two girls, Cory fell for her. She picked neither in the end. That led to Cory not getting asked to the turnaround dance. But, Cory and Shawn did help Frankie pick up Harley's girlfriend, which was impossible because she was a hot blonde. Cory used that game to date Brad from Home Improvement's girl, and have her fall for him, but ultimately ended when Cory broke her heart.
Cory's frustration with the females caused him to act out. He and Feeny were tired of being called boring, so they went on a crazy roller coaster. Cory and Shawn started a pirate radio show at school. Cory caught mono and told Topanga he was getting around. Eric starred in a forced Nancy Kerrigan cameo, where he dated an ice skater and told her he could skate. Meanwhile, Shawn and Cory were busy finding their path in life. Shawn joined up with some street toughs, that was until they wanted to trash Turner's bike. Cory got involved with wrestling for some reason. His love of other sports disappeared completely, so he wanted an easy letter jacket. That saw him end up fighting Vader, who was Frankie's dad. The season ended with Shawn's parents abandoning him, and Shawn moved in with Turner. Who was his teacher. It was kinda pedofilish.
We hit the ground running in season 3, Cory and Topanga started dating, Shawn lived with his teacher, and tried to run away to Paris, Texas, Cory told Topanga he loved her, they broke up and got back together, Cory became a hero by putting out a fire he started, Eric started working at a tv station and Shawn got a pig. Cory started becoming quite the filmmaker. While working at the school tv station, of course they had one for an episode, Cory and Shawn exposed the janitor for fudging the time cards. Cory and Shawn became the villains, but things worked out in the end, when the janitor became the secretary for principal Feeny. The Monkees made their grand return in an episode focused on Cory and Eric throwing a killer party at Chubby's, the only hangout in Philly, that turned into a surprise anniversary party for their parents.
It was at this point we started getting some Feeny back story and out of the house episodes. Cory and Shawn decided to break into Feeny's cabin, only to find Feeny there. We learn Feeny had a wife that died, and a watch that he lost. Shawn found it and the two shared a moment. Of passion. Or compassion. I get those confused. XXXX The first big Cory and Topanga break up happened when Cory pretended to be Shawn at a party, and Topanga pretended to be a French girl. When they realized they weren't happy, the couple called it quits. But not before dramatic run backs to the place where they broke up. It was very sad. Less sad than Zack and Kelly breaking up on Saved by the Bell at the prom though.
Morgan Matthews appeared in a little over 100 of the 158 episodes, and a large part of the absence was in season 3, where she didn't make her debut until halfway through the season. Talk about neglect. Morgan wasn't the only one to disappear. Stewart Minkus, a fixture early on, vanished. The bullies, they vanished. Shawn's girlfriend Alex Mack vanished, Turner, and Turner's best friend also just vanished. This series didn't write people out, they just banked on short term memories of the audience.
Speaking of Alex Mack, she came into the BMW universe in episode 15, when Shawn couldn't get a date with her because he was a bad boy. Eric was also being a bad boy, by trying to be a weather man and skipping out on high school. Obviously Feeny set him straight. Our little filmmaker reappeared with a dilemma. Cory caught Shawn's cousins committing a crime, and wanted to enter that in a contest. Shawn had reservations about turning in his family, but then he realized Cory was his family. Heartwarming. What wasn't heartwarming was another Cory led protest, this time against Feeny's exams. This lead to Feeny's house getting vandalized. Cory felt such shame he ended up back in 1950 for an episode.
Things closed out with Turner just now getting around to become Shawn's legal guardian, but Chet Hunter returned. For some reason the show went to Disney World, where Cory wanted to win Topanga back. After talking to Dana from Step by Step, Cory and Pangs made out in front of the Epcot Center. Back in Philly, everyone was leaving for the summer, so Cory and Eric took a cross country trip.
Eric was not wanting the trip to end. Not getting into college made Eric wonder what his life was all about. Cory had his peeps back and home, and after a sprinkle parade, talked Eric back into the suburbs. Change was key in season 4. Alan quit his job at a grocery store, Topanga got her hot makeover, Shawn's mom returned, Eric inspired a song about him being "Shallow," and the show started breaking the 4th wall. References to it's time slot were dropped in an episode about Cory and Topanga raising kids. Meanwhile, Chet Hunter, Shawn's dad, became the school janitor, while Alan started a Bass Pro Shop type store. Everything was changing.
That included the seriousness of some of the episodes. Child abuse was the first big target of the Boy Meets World universe, as an episode about Shawn's friend Claire, who was staying with Shawn out of fear of her father, brought us into A Very Special... territory. She walked into a door, a door named dad. I think that was from Full House, but it's a great line.
We immediately moved from that back to the cartoonish, where Cory and Shawn recreate a Flinstones episode where Fred and Barney went to two parties at once. This instance was Cory and Shawn attending Pangs Sweet 16, and a wrestling match featuring Vader. For some reason, this WWF house show was shown at the Sweet 16. This was 1996 WWF, not Stone Cold, the Rock, Triple H, DX, and so on, it was Vader, fat Jake the Snake Roberts, Brother Love WWF. Things got even more on the strange side in a episode where Shawn's girlfriend dumped him, took him back and demanded he stop seeing Cory. Season 4 was the start of the gay undertone with Cory and Shawn. This episode had them hugging at the end with Topanga saying "You are boys, stop it." I think it was also the one where multiple people asked Cory if he liked it when Topanga kissed him.
Season 4 was the second least watched season of the family sitcom, it had episodes like Cory and Shawn end up working for the mob, and Shawn turning Feeny's house into a bed and breakfast. That episode was the start of Eric and Feeny becoming friends, as they bonded in Boston. The series went weirder when Cory, a reporter for the school paper, got an idea to write a story "Chick Like Me," based off the book Black Like Me. Since Cory was ugly, Shawn became the girl. A guy asked him out immediately, and then tried to sexually assault him on the date, which was kinda weird. Cory dressed as a waitress for some unknown reason. Shawn learned a respect for women in the process. So did America.
The show went back into the serious with a 2 part episode based on Topanga leaving. Eric found Shawn and Pangs having a moment, thought they were getting together, told Cory, who got Pangs to reveal the secret she told Shawn, that she was moving to Pittsburgh. Cory didn't say goodbye when she left, because he didn't think it was real. In the very next episode, which was a couple weeks after in show time, Topanga came back to Philly. Her aunt came to take her back to Pittsburgh, but Cory, Topanga and the parents really poured on a deep, deep love story between Cory and Topanga. A Romeo and Juliet type bond that could never be broken. They were 16 years old. It was very heavy handed on destiny. Somehow, that worked, and Topanga stayed.
Eric was in flux this season. Not going to college left him with a void in his life. He was a couch potato, going on Singled Out (which was odd), getting a job at the store, and finally dating a woman with a son. Eric thought he was ready for something like that, but he didn't even tell his parents about it. They talked sense into him, and he left the relationship. His being an idiot at the store got him fired, and after a brief job as a security guard, he took the SATs and applied to college. Because college is the most important thing in the world, and Eric was a loser without it.
Season 4 had one of the most memorable BMW episodes, the one where Shawn joined a cult. It was another Very Special episode, which saw the return of Mr Turner after a long, long absence. Shawn lost himself, feeling there was a hole everyone could see. He met a girl who took him to the Centre. Of course, Turner gets in a devastating motorcycle accident during a debate with Shawn and the Matthews and Feeny over the Centre. During a heated exchange between the head of the Centre and the Matthews clan, Cory and Topanga lock Shawn in a room with Turner. Shawn goes on the memorable monologue "God, I don't know if you are here, but I'm gonna talk, and you're gonna listen." I don't know how Rider Strong didn't win an Emmy.
Season 5 was the highest rated out of all the Boy Meets World seasons. It was the senior season for Cory, Shawn and Topanga. Eric, after taking a year off, started college. And we were introduced to a couple of new characters. First, we get introduced to Shawn's long lost half brother, Jack. No one ever talked about him, but he showed up one day. Eric moved in with him, and Shawn's father forced Shawn to do the same. We also were introduced to the first full time black character, Angela. It's like BMW realized that everyone on the cast was white, and only talked to other white people. Of course, Angela dated Shawn. Because he was a playa.
The season got off to a rocky start. The first couple episodes were used to introduce Jack, and turned into a very forced Jack and Eric and the dean story lines. The dean was the principal from the Breakfast Club. That turned into witches being in the apartment building and kidnapping the duo, and the cat from Sabrina the Teenage Witch sending every back to the 1940s, the second time the show went back to that era. After using 2 episodes to introduce Angela, we saw Cory and Shawn enter a work program, where GASP, Shawn was promoted and Cory was a janitor. There was a 'guys just don't understand girls' episode, and a Christmas ep where Topanga took over the Matthews Christmas. Interesting that the Matthews had no Thanksgiving tradition. They went to the Hunter trailer, and Eric's apartment. Kind of weird. Cory and Eric explored their relationship with their father in a deep episode, and Cory, Shawn and Topanga fought senoritis by Shawn getting tickets to the Super Bowl. Shawn just leaves town by himself and goes to the game, much to every one's delight, and no one's concern.
The season took a turn for the serious on a class trip. Cory fell off the bus, injuring his ankle at a ski lodge. There, he bonded with Lauren, a worker at said lodge. Cory faked his injury to stay with Lauren on the final day, and they shared a kiss. Lauren wrote Cory a letter, which fell out of his bag and into the hands of Topanga. Pangs told Cory to go on a date with Lauren, and Cory did. That was a mistake, because Topanga dumped him for kissing, lying and seeing another girl to test his love. Cory turned to the bottle, getting drunk and being awesome at a party, but Shawn joined in and became an alchy and pushed Angela. Drinking is bad. Topanga went to a Van Gogh exhibition with Angela, and met a boy. She went on a date with the guy, who then kissed her. Topanga felt nothing, not even being a hypocrite, and reunited with Cory, who was whipped. The couple decided to fake being broken up so Shawn could put them back together, but Shawn broke them up again, but the Matthews getting in a fight at Chubby's showed that couples fight and brush it off, so they got back together.
In between the ups and downs of the happy couple, we got two of the strangest episodes in show history. First, Shawn started turning into a little whiny bitch about Cory and Topanga breaking up. He had a dream in the style of Scream and other slasher movies, that saw everyone, including Eric's real life girlfriend Jennifer Love Hewitt, but Cory, Topanga and Shawn die, because Shawn was the killer. This episode had Eric talking like Cartman multiple times. I guess he liked South Park. We also found out in this episode that Shawn Hunter, Philly poon hound for 5 years, somehow never had sex. It's rather unbelievable.
The second odd adventure saw Eric somehow become an amazing actor at school, and land a part on Kid Gets Acquainted with Universe. All the actors played bizarre versions of themselves, and the show went incredibly meta. Eric quit, and never acted again. That happened in real life too, he only does voice work. XXXX We close out the season with graduation, but not before Cory worries about change. Topanga gets into Yale, Feeny is moving, Shawn isn't going to college, and Cory, who had looked at schools no one else was going to , gets sad. Topanga starts to feel the same way, and at graduation asks Cory to marry her.
We start S6 with marriage talk. Cory says yes, but everyone else says it's a terrible idea. So, Cory and Topanga run off to get married. Only Cory says yes, and Topanga says no, because it's a terrible idea. Amy lashes out at the stupidity of the whole thing, but still loves the kids.
More importantly, we move on to college. Another new character is brought in, Rachel. Shawn, who lives with 2 people going to the same college he's attending, moves out into the dorms, which is a major downgrade. Why didn't Cory move into the apartment? Feeny moved out to Wyoming. After Cory scheduled his classes like a moron, he just leaves and goes to Wyoming for a weekend to hang with Feeny. He comes back and everything is normal. Meanwhile, Eric and Jack constantly vie for Rachel's love. Neither one thinks to get her drunk, which is rather dumb. We move on to Ben Savage making his first appearance, as a teacher. He can't just be a teacher, he has to hit on Topanga. So Cory hits on him, with his fist.
Also moving on was the theme song. Gone was the surfer dude theme, and in was the "when boy meets world, boy meets world, dun da dun dun da da da, da da da daaaaaaaaa," theme. That's approximate and off the top of my head. True sad story, my friend and I would sing that song, just like that. Not a proud moment. We also were in our late teens and not drinking at the time. Kind of a dork move. You knew that because I'm writing 4,000 words on Boy Meets World.
Shawn and Angela end their relationship when they get in college, like many high school couples. Shawn, being all emo, wrote poems about how he still loved Angela, that Cory read them a coffee house. Cory and Topanga invited Angela and Shawn to Christmas months later, even though Angela and Cory aren't really friends, despite the episode where they talked about how they weren't really friends, but Angela and Shawn kiss. Angela wants him back, but Shawn turns her down cold. Shawn still pines after her for some reason.
Shawn had even more trauma when his father returned. Chet had been in and out of his life, and this time, he would check out for good. After a first heart attack, Chet claimed he would be around forever. Shawn, obviously pissed at his father for years of neglect and now being a pussy, cried and said that he needed his dad more than ever. Then Chet had a second heart attack. Shawn and Jack had an argument about how Jack's step dad paid for Shawn's college, which is the only thing that made sense and Shawn was being naive, so Shawn decided to take a road trip. Shawn took Cory with him for part of it, where they ran into a metaphor, and eventually Cory let Shawn go find himself, and off he went. Meanwhile, Jack turned to Rachel after Chet died. He turned a hug into a kiss. Eric saw this, and like Shawn, ran away.
Just when you thought that was when shit got real, shit got even realer when Amy, who was pregnant, had her baby prematurely. Cory was being a real asshole, leading to the recreation of a scene where Topanga drew a heart on her face with lipstick, but not even that could break him out of his being an asshole. What broke Cory out of this, and saved the baby? Shawn's return. Eric, in a storyline so he wouldn't seem like a really stupid moron, had a little brother named Tommy. Tommy wanted Eric to adopt him, but Eric couldn't because he was a stupid moron who couldn't take care of a child.
The season ended with more uneven weirdness. There was the one where Cory was offered a million bucks to marry a bride a wedding the group crashed, one where Mr Feeny, who was a professor at the school, got the dean, this time a lady because the other one died or something, to fall in love with him, and eventually marry him in the Matthews' living room, and Jack and Rachel were boring. Finally, Topanga's parents, with a new father Michael McKean, told her they were separating.
The final season started with new parents for Topanga, and their relationship being over. Apparently Shawn and Angela were back together, and they broke up too. Cory and Shawn went to Pittsburgh to try and reunite them, but find out that some relationships don't work. Topanga and Angela move in with Rachel at the same time Jack asks Eric to move back in after yet another breakup, this time of Jack and Rach. Mankind officiates a wrestling match for the apartment, which the girls win. Topanga's mom comes back into town to tell Pangs that her and Cory are different than the mom and dad, which no shit they are destined to be together Topanga said it herself, and the wedding was back on.
Cory and Topanga got married in the 7th episode of the season. Cory and Shawn were fighting about not being best friends anymore, ending in a scene where Cory says they'll be best friends forever to a crying Shawn (I told you, bitch) during the ceremony. Shawn also had the rings when he showed up, so he was kind of important. Finally, Cory and Topanga have sex. This episode took place during the 90s, which shows it prudishness, but also shows that it was unrealistic because they would have done it a lot.
Back from the honeymoon, Cory and Topanga are without a place to live, so they move into the shittiest dorms in America, the ones for married couples. A lot of overacting takes place during the middle episodes, none of which are memorable. One has Jack and Eric dress in drag. Like Shawn, Jack got hit on by a dude, and sexually assaulted. The Hunter men could have been trannys. They really could have.
Things got tricky after an innocent prank turns into a prank way. Cory, Shawn and Topanga team up against Rachel, Angela and Jack. A revealing picture of Rachel spread around campus sends things too far, and Eric launches an intervention. He comes up with the not profound at all, "lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself," which makes everyone love each other. It was also the one with the fake reunion where Eric was a homeless man named Plays with Squirrels. Things continued to go over the line in the next episode. Topanga went from a size 0 to 4 in real life, and everyone thought she was fat, so being a girl, they thought she was pregnant. Eric had also packed on some pounds, and he and Pangs decided to go on a diet. At a baby shower for Topanga, Eric told the truth about them just being fat. It was a pretty cruel episode. Topanga gained weight from the early years yes, but she was only 17! She wasn't King Kong Bundy. We also got a third 1940s flashback episode. The producers loved that shit.
Boy Meets World wrapped up on May 5, 2000. The show ended with the core 4, Cory, Topanga, Shawn and Eric, in Feeny's classroom. How they got in there, who knows? They all had nice words before Feeny said the last words of the series, "I love you all. Class dismissed." Cory and Topanga, and Shawn and Eric, ended up moving to New York, Jack and Rachel join the peace corp because they suck. Angela moved to Europe the episode before this, and wasn't even mentioned here. Like it should have been. Eric graduated college this season after 2 years in college. Maybe he was a genius all along.
Change was key throughout the series. Cory went from being a Phillies obsessed, curly head rascal, to a Topanga obsessed, curly headed rascal. He didn't change much, because he was always a good person. Topanga went from weirdo, to girl as a friend, to girlfriend, to hot chick, to single, to reunited, to fat, to married. She also made a black friend, which was nice. Shawn went from bowl haircut, leather jacket wearing, getting all the ladies cool guy, and a friend everyone wanted, to a short haired, stupid goatee, whiny little bitch who never had a girlfriend the last two seasons of the show, that no one wanted to be around. That's fascinating. Eric went from cool brother, to dipshit moron. Mr Feeny went from widowed 6th grade teacher, to high school principal and teacher, to retired, to college student, to professor, to married. We went from a low key family show, to an absurd at times teen show. We had well acted episodes, and some where they went ham instead of HAM. We had basic storylines, and beat you over the head with morals storylines. We had vanishing side characters, three different Topanga fathers, two mothers, and two token black friends. We had love that wouldn't die, and whatever Shawn and Angela had. We had idiots, babies, little sisters, and hot roommates. What never changed about the show, was the entertainment it provided a generation. Thank you, Boy Meets World, thank you very much.
Quick note: got the images from google searches and a lot of them were uncredited. If you have an image that I stole, I'll be sure to correct it. Apologies.