Boy Meets World

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For the album by Fashawn, see Boy Meets World (album).
Boy Meets World
Boy Meets World season 1 intertitle.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by Michael Jacobs
April Kelly
Starring Ben Savage
William Daniels
Betsy Randle
Will Friedle
Rider Strong
Danielle Fishel
William Russ
Lee Norris
Lily Nicksay
Anthony Tyler Quinn
Alex Désert
Lindsay Ridgeway
Matthew Lawrence
Trina McGee-Davis
Maitland Ward
Theme music composer Ray Colcord (seasons 1–4)
Phil Rosenthal (seasons 5–7)
Composer(s) Ray Colcord
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 158 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Michael Jacobs (entire run)
David Kendall (seasons 2–3)
Bob Young (season 4)
Howard Busgang
Mark Blutman (both; season 5)
Bob Tischler (seasons 6–7)
Location(s) John Adams High School
(3939 Tracy Street, Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California)
Walt Disney Studios
(500 South Buena Vista Street, Burbank, California)
Camera setup Videotape; Multi-camera
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s) Michael Jacobs Productions
Touchstone Television
Distributor Buena Vista Television
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original run September 24, 1993 (1993-09-24) – May 5, 2000 (2000-05-05)
Chronology
Followed by Girl Meets World

Boy Meets World is an American television sitcom that chronicles the coming of age events and everyday life-lessons of Cornelius "Cory" Matthews (played by Ben Savage). The show follows Cory and his friends and family through seven seasons, from his middle school days as a pre-pubescent child to his life in college as a married man. The show aired from 1993 to 2000 on ABC, part of the network's TGIF lineup. The entire series has since been released on DVD, as well as on iTunes. A spin-off series titled Girl Meets World, focusing on Cory's pre-teen daughter began airing on Disney Channel in June 2014.

Synopsis[edit]

Season 1: Middle school[edit]

The first season of the show begins with Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) and his best friend Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), two average sixth-graders who come from different backgrounds. They do not care about schoolwork, despite the efforts of George Feeny (William Daniels), their longtime teacher. Their primary interests are in sports, though later Shawn and then Cory begin to express an interest in girls. This season focuses specifically on Cory's relationships with the other characters in the show. He begins to understand his parents more and respect them for all that they do. His relationship with his older brother Eric (Will Friedle) becomes confusing as Eric's constant obsession with girls is foreign to Cory, and he becomes more protective of his little sister Morgan (Lily Nicksay from this season through the end of the second season). Cory also begins to show interest in Topanga (Danielle Fishel), a smart outsider in his class, though he often hides this by insulting and berating her. Cory and Topanga have known each other since they were kids, making romance in their relationship even more predictable. Cory and Shawn's friendship endures real tests for the first time, and Cory must often choose between what Shawn wants him to do and what is best for their friendship.

Seasons 2–5: High school[edit]

During the second season, Cory, Topanga, and Shawn start high school and meet Mr. Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn), an unconventional English teacher. Although they initially view Mr. Turner as cool, they soon realize that he is a teacher first—hence why Cory calls him "Feeny with an earring." Throughout the second season, Cory and Shawn try a variety of ways to become popular with their classmates. In doing so, they nearly get into fights with school bullies and trouble with Mr. Feeny. Eventually, Shawn becomes cool and popular at school, but still keeps his friendship with the less popular Cory. Shawn’s mother Virna deserts her son and husband Chet (Blake Clark), which upsets Shawn greatly. Chet then leaves to find Virna. After this occurs, Shawn lives briefly with Cory and his parents but soon figures out that it's just not the right fit for him. Later, Shawn moves in with Mr. Turner. Cory tries at some points to begin a relationship with Topanga, but this is mostly because he does not want to be left out of the dating game. Sensing this, Topanga is wary of his advances, and despite the mutual attraction, the two do not date during this season.

During the third season, Cory finally admits that he wants to ask out Topanga but cannot work up the courage to do it. Consequently, his best friend Shawn asks her out. Although Cory was hurt, he soon realized Shawn set the whole thing up so he could unite Cory and Topanga and make Cory confess his feelings for her. He tells her how he feels, and they become a couple. Later in the third season, Cory and Topanga are worried that their relationship has hit a rut, and decide it would be best to break up while they are still able to keep the friendship. They get back together a few months later, when Cory follows her to Disney World to win her back. Eric spends this season desperately trying to make up for his first three years of slacking off in high school. He makes progress, but it is not enough; he is not accepted to any universities as of his high school graduation. He decides then to take a year off and figure things out, beginning with a summer road trip. After finding out in the season finale that Cory feels estranged from him, Eric invites Cory along for the ride. Shawn nearly makes several life-changing blunders this season, but Cory and then Mr. Turner help him to make the right choices. Cory endures several tests of character this season—everything from being credited for a great deed (which he did not deserve), to being insistently pursued by another girl while he is with Topanga. Sometimes Cory makes the right decision—sometimes the wrong one—but he learns from each.

The fourth season opens with Cory and Eric's return from their road trip. In this season, Eric finds himself confronted with life after high school. After having a couple of jobs and meeting people that teach him some interesting lessons, Eric decides to retake the SAT and give college another try. The Matthews' patriarch Alan (William Russ) decides to quit his job and open a sporting goods store with Eric as his partner. Topanga’s mother is transferred at her job to Pittsburgh, which is over 300 miles (480 km) from Philadelphia. The news devastates Cory, but Topanga runs away from her new house and returns to Philadelphia. Topanga’s parents decide that she can live with Aunt Prudence (Olivia Hussey) in Philadelphia until she graduates. Shawn's mother returns for a brief period, but then leaves again under unknown circumstances at some point between season 4 and season 6.

Later that school year, Mr. Turner gets into a severe motorcycle accident in which he almost dies. The next year Eric moves out of his parents’ house and begins college at the fictional Pennbrook University (a pastiche of local Philadelphia schools including Saint Joseph's University and the University of Pennsylvania). He moves into an apartment with Jack (Matthew Lawrence), who turns out to be Shawn’s half-brother. Shawn clearly shows his hatred toward Jack and refuses to live with him because he did not like the fact that Jack never called or checked to see if Shawn and his dad were doing ok (Shawn eventually discovers that Jack never received any of Shawn's letters or he would have come to see him immediately). However, after being convinced by his father and others around him, Shawn moves in with them but has nothing in common with Jack, which causes a lot of tension. A new student, Angela (Trina McGee), moves to Philadelphia and begins to date Shawn. Over winter break, the students go skiing on a school trip. Cory sprains his ankle and Lauren (Linda Cardellini), a ski-lodge employee, takes care of him. The two kiss, but Cory lies to Topanga. When Topanga finds out that he lied, they break up. Cory, upset about the break-up, gets drunk and is arrested, along with Shawn. The two agree never to drink again, but Shawn breaks the promise and shows up at school drunk. With the help of Angela and Jack, Shawn realizes that alcoholism runs in his family and that he needs to stop drinking.

Topanga forgives Cory after encountering her own kiss with an old friend from grade school. She realizes no kiss means more than the ones she shares with Cory. Cory and Topanga reunite and attend the prom together, where they are named King and Queen. On prom night, Cory's mother Amy (Betsy Randle) announces that she is pregnant. Mr. Feeny decides to retire at the end of the school year and move to Wyoming; however, he soon returns from retirement and goes back to teaching. Topanga is accepted to Yale, but Cory does not want her to leave him. At graduation, Topanga tells Cory that she decided not to go to Yale because she wants to be with him; then she proposes. The couple's parents are upset that they got engaged so young, but Cory and Topanga decide to elope. However, at the last minute, they decide that they want to get married "the right way," in front of family and friends.

Seasons 6–7: College[edit]

Shawn, Cory, Topanga, and Angela join Jack and Eric at Pennbrook. Rachel (Maitland Ward), a new student from Texas, moves in with Eric and Jack, causing tension as both boys have crushes on her. Angela and Shawn break up due to his claim that they should meet new people and, despite Cory’s efforts, decide to stay just friends. They eventually are brought back together by way of Angela's father during his visit to the college, recruiting students for his R.O.T.C. program of basic training in the army. Mr. Feeny returns to take some classes, but then is offered a teaching job at the university. During their freshman year, Stuart (played by Ben Savage's brother Fred), one of their professors, makes inappropriate—and unwelcome—sexual advances towards Topanga, causing Cory to shove him through a glass door at the Student Union. Cory is suspended but for only one day; the Dean (Bonnie Bartlett) believes that Stuart had crossed the line. Mr. Feeny and the Dean eventually gain feelings for one another and begin dating.

Cory and Topanga face a major blip in their marriage plans when Topanga’s parents go through a divorce and she decides to call off the wedding. She breaks up with Cory completely and tells him that she doesn’t believe in love. Topanga is convinced that she is doing what is best for herself and Cory, until her mother comes to explain everything and tell her that love is worth the risk.

Chet dies of a heart attack, and Jack reacts by admitting feelings for Rachel. They start dating, which causes problems for Jack and Eric. Eric decides to move out of the apartment so that he doesn't get in the way of Jack and Rachel and later sleeps in Mr. Feeny’s car. Shawn goes on a road trip to deal with his father's death, saying he won't come back. He does return however when Cory's brother Joshua is born prematurely and has a small chance of survival. Shawn receives a letter from his mother, confessing she is not his biological parent. Shawn unsuccessfully searches for his biological mother. Alan offers to adopt Shawn, but he decides that it was not necessary because Shawn knows that he is already part of the family.

Shawn and Cory have challenges in their relationship throughout the season, including on the day of Cory’s wedding. Shawn admits that he is no longer Cory’s best friend and gives him away to Topanga. Despite this, their friendship remains intact, but Topanga sometimes feels left out. Cory and Topanga get married and move into a shabby apartment for married couples on campus. They struggle for a while, wondering why Alan and Amy refuse to help them, but Alan later admits that he didn't want to deprive of them of the joy and bonding that comes with a building a life together when you're new to marriage. They eventually make it a wonderful home, and realize that they are capable of doing things on their own as a married couple. The group is growing up—they have to start thinking about what to do with their lives. In one episode, the newer friends get involved in a prank war with the originals (Jack, Rachel, and Angela vs. Cory, Shawn, and Topanga) which ultimately results in an ill-considered prank that exposes a very private secret of Rachel's. The friends are almost completely torn apart by of this, until Eric and Mr. Feeny intervene by reminding them of the importance of their relationships, and as a result - everyone makes up.

In the series finale, Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Eric all head to New York City, where Topanga was offered a dream internship at a law firm. Angela decides to move overseas with her father, and Jack and Rachel join the Peace Corps in Guatemala. The final scene has Cory, Topanga, and Shawn having a final meeting with Mr. Feeny in their old sixth grade classroom, along with Eric, with each one telling him how important he is in their life and to cherish each other forever.

Characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Cornelius "Cory" A. Matthews (Ben Savage) is the main character of the series. In the early seasons of the show he is portrayed as a wisecracking slacker who is intelligent and capable, but does not pay attention in class. Throughout the later years his "slacker" tendencies diminish, and instead he seems more neurotic. Despite his trademark neuroses and paranoia, Cory is usually perceived to be the most level-headed member of the main cast. In fact, Cory’s relationships with his best friend Shawn and his brother Eric, revolve around Cory frequently keeping the both of them from making immature decisions. From season 2 onward, Cory openly expresses his feelings for Topanga. It is explained in ‘A Long Walk to Pittsburgh’ that although he teased her during the first season, "she was the girl [he] sat up at night thinking about." Despite his strong feelings for Topanga, he still has strong attractions to other women, and has been unfaithful to Topanga on a few occasions, but has regretted the decisions and realized he loves Topanga more than he could ever be attracted to anyone else. He had his first kiss with Topanga in the season 1 episode, 'Cory's Alternative Friends,' and in the 7th season they get married. Cory has an extremely idealistic view of the world and strives to make sure that he and his friends will grow old together. His realised name is Cornelius, as revealed in the series finale (Mr. Feeny calls him by it to which Cory quickly shushes him by saying "Shh, Mr. Feeny! Not even Topanga knows that!"). He and Topanga raise a family, a daughter and a son, which leads into Girl Meets World.
  • Shawn Patrick Hunter (Rider Strong) is Cory's best friend. Shawn is more of a troublemaker than Cory, and is also more popular. Shawn is also more laid-back, yet rebellious. It is revealed in the second season that Shawn lives in a trailer park. Later in the second season, Shawn’s mother Verna leaves him. His father (Chet) then goes after her. This results in Shawn moving in with Mr. Turner. As a result of being abandoned and passed from home to home, Shawn is the most prone to depression of all the characters of the show. Shawn begins to resent his father until they reunite shortly before Chet’s death. After his death Shawn receives a letter from Verna, stating that she is not his real birth mother, but the mother who raised him. His relationship with his half-brother, Jack Hunter, is often a tense one, as they have very little in common. Early in the series, Shawn’s sister Stacy is mentioned, and his other half brother Eddie (from Verna's side of the family) is seen, however neither character is ever acknowledged again. In the series finale, Shawn and Cory have a hard time saying goodbye to each other, so he decides to move with them to New York. He shares a tearful goodbye with Mr. Feeny, acknowledging how Mr. Feeny never once gave up on him and that he is the best man he knows.
  • Eric Randall Matthews (Will Friedle) is Cory's elder brother. Early on in the show Eric is portrayed as suave and popular; this contrasts with Cory, who has trouble finding his niche in school. Eric's character devolves from a suave elder brother to a dimwitted buffoon serving as comic relief. When Eric struggles to get into college, Mr. Feeny is the one who teaches Eric many lessons and eventually puts him on the right track again. Eric views Mr. Feeny as a mentor, and as a running joke in the series he often stands outside Mr. Feeny’s fence shouting for Feeny to come out. Though Eric’s own friends are rarely seen or mentioned, he develops a closeness with Cory and his friends. When the gang has a big falling out after a series of pranks, it is Eric who pushes for everyone to make up. When Shawn's older half-brother Jack appears in season five, Eric moves in with Shawn and Jack. Although he and Jack are almost complete opposites, they eventually become best friends. He cherishes family and finds it essential to happiness and satisfaction. Eric also proves himself to be very protective over Cory throughout the show, intervening when the school bully decides to make Cory his target in the episode 'Back 2 School', fighting a guy who punched Cory in the episode 'Brotherly Shove', and pulling him out of the wrestling ring during a fight against Frankie the school 'enforcer' in the episode The 'Thrilla in Phila'. A common theme is that Eric is far smarter and savvier than he appears and has hidden, untapped potential, and is often impressing his friends and family who underestimate him. He ultimately ends up moving to New York City along with Cory, Shawn, and Topanga, following his graduation from college. When saying goodbye to Mr. Feeny, Eric tells him that he doesn't know what he's going to do in life, but whatever it is, he's going to be a good person, which he "blames" Feeny for. Throughout the series, Eric expresses aspirations for being a weather man, and is shown to be very good with children. This is shown when he gets along with the son of one of his girlfriends, and when he becomes a "big brother" to a foster child.
  • Topanga Lawrence-Matthews (Danielle Fishel) is Cory's girlfriend, and later wife. Like many characters in the show her personality changes as the show progresses. Her change, however, is probably the most drastic. From the first season to the second, she changes from an eccentric hippie with interests in the supernatural phenomena, to a calm and collected, mature teenaged girl. In the first season episode "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not," she has a sister, Nebula "Nebbie" Stop-the-War Lawrence, played by Krystee Clark. Also in that episode, she develops a crush on Eric. Neither the existence of her sister nor her crush on Eric are ever mentioned again, and Topanga’s only romantic relationship for the duration of the show is with Cory, with the exception of a boy named Ricky Ferris, an old friend from grade school, whom she goes on one date with after spending all day at the Van Gogh exhibit in the episode 'Starry Night'. She kisses him and realizes that a kiss can be just a kiss and forgives Cory for his feelings for Lauren and they reunite. Although Topanga is admitted to Yale, she decides to attend Pennbrook University with Cory and their friends. She proposes to Cory during their high school graduation, and they marry during their sophomore year of college. Throughout the relationship, Topanga is generally the realist to Cory's idealist. When her parents get divorced, she is plagued by doubts and insecurities about their own relationship. In the end, she and Cory, along with Shawn and Eric move to New York for an internship for which she was accepted. Topanga was simply a recurring character during the first season, but for the duration of the series she was a main character.
  • George Feeny (William Daniels) is a constant mentor to Cory and his friends. He first appears on the show as their 6th grade school teacher, and next door neighbor to the Matthews family. The first season centered around his student-teacher relationship with Cory, but throughout the rest of the show Feeny’s role progressed. He became the high school principal in the second season, and eventually their college professor. When around his home he is frequently seen tending to his garden and making small repairs. It is often joked about how Mr. Feeny followed them throughout their education. In a later episode, it is mentioned that Mr. Feeny was Cory's kindergarten teacher. He is neighbor to the Matthews family, and while he acts as a mentor to the entire cast, his primary teachings go to Cory, Shawn, Eric, and Topanga. He is a widower for most the series. He later re-marries, and the Dean of Pennbrook, Lila Bolander (played by William Daniels' real-life wife Bonnie Bartlett) becomes his onscreen wife. Mr. Feeny often states that the line between teacher and friend should not be crossed, but it is periodically mentioned throughout the show that he cares much more for the main cast than for the other students whom he has taught. In the "A Long Walk to Pittsburgh" episode, after receiving criticism from Topanga's aunt, Prudence Curtis, Feeny told her "madam, if you choose to question my opinions, then you disregard 38 years in the public school system, where I have borne the responsibility of those opinions for thirty thousand students, none held in higher regard than Mr. Matthews and Miss Lawrence". Mr. Feeny is largely absent in the series finale, but he is, however, the central focus of the final scene where Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Eric come to his classroom for one last "lesson". Mr. Feeny then encourages them to live out their dreams and to do good in life. After saying goodbye to everyone, Mr. Feeny is left alone in the classroom. He is both the last character to be seen onscreen, and to deliver the final line of dialogue by saying: "I love you all. Class dismissed." before exiting the classroom, thus ending the series.
  • Jack Hunter (Matthew Lawrence) is Shawn's older half-brother who debuts in the fifth season premiere. Jack was born to Chet and an unknown woman. Jack's mother took him with her when she left Chet due to his alcoholic ways and became involved with a wealthier man. Shawn initially alienates Jack due to the fact that Shawn wrote him a letter every day, but Jack never responded to them. It is explained that Jack’s mom was keeping the letters from him, and Shawn comes to realize that Jack wanted to be close to him all along. The two eventually form a strong brotherly bond and move in with Eric in an apartment. Although Jack and Eric are opposites in many ways, Jack being serious and ambitious while Eric is wacky and lazy, the two ultimately become best friends. Jack’s only love interest throughout the show is Rachel, apart from a girl revealed to be a witch with whom he was briefly involved during a Halloween special.
  • Angela Moore (Trina McGee-Davis) is Shawn Hunter's first and only major love interest. She debuts in the seventh episode of the fifth season, when Shawn is seen breaking up with her due to his two-week dating limit. Later on however, Shawn finds a lost purse. Based on the contents of the purse, Shawn presumes he shares common interest with the purse's owner. He then "falls in love" with the purse’s owner, and later discovers that the purse's contents belonged to Angela. She becomes his girlfriend for the duration of the 5th season, and the two date on-and-off for the final two seasons. In the end she moves to Europe with her father, Sgt. Alvin Moore (played by Julius Carry who also played Shawn's philosophy professor in the episode "Fraternity Row") when he is stationed overseas. Although she was in the fifth season, she was only a recurring character until season six.
  • Rachel Kimberly McGuire (Maitland Ward) joins the cast in the sixth season and moves in with Jack and Eric. Eric and Jack initially compete for her admiration. She eventually becomes a love interest of Jack’s after Eric realizes he was competing more for the sake of competing, rather than due to any genuine feelings for her. She dates Jack for a relatively short period of time before joining the Peace Corps with him.
  • Alan Matthews (William Russ) and Amy Matthews (Betsy Randle) are Cory and Eric's parents, who often provide advice to their sons. Alan sometimes shows quick temper, though when it shows up, he often apologizes afterward. Amy is a housewife and Alan is originally the manager of the Market Giant supermarket. Eventually, he becomes disillusioned with his standard "9-5" job that he had worked for so many years, and quits without discussing it with his family first. Amy proclaiming that she will, in turn, "make a major decision that affects the entire family without consulting with him first" purchases a sporting goods and outdoor supply store that is up for sale, which Alan takes over, and renames Matthews & Sons. The two tend to be a little biased with their sons, as Alan sometimes coddles and over protects Eric, and is firmer with Cory, and Amy is firmer with Eric and more 'Motherly' toward Cory. It is also mentioned infrequently during the show that Alan served briefly in the Navy prior to becoming the manager of the "Market Giant."
  • Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn) is an English teacher at John Adams High. His first year teaching happens to be Cory and Shawn’s first year in high school. They are in his home room class and he thus develops a bond with the two. There is often a focus on his bachelor life. He has a few on-screen romances; the most notable of which is with fellow teacher and recurring character Miss Tompkins. Turner's more laid-back approach to teaching often clashes with Mr. Feeny's more traditional method, and the students, especially Shawn, easily identify with the hip, Harley-riding teacher. Shawn moves in with Turner when he is found homeless, and the two become even closer. In the third season Turner introduces his friend Eli, who becomes the media arts teacher. Turner’s final appearance is in the episode "Cult Fiction" when he gets into a near-fatal motorcycle accident. In the graduation episode, he is mentioned, and he appears in a flashback sequence in the series finale where he is credited as a "special guest star" despite never filming a single scene for the episode.
  • Morgan Matthews (Lily Nicksay, seasons 1–2; Lindsay Ridgeway, guest star, season 3; regular, seasons 4–7) is the daughter of Alan and Amy Matthews, younger sister of Eric and Cory and the older sister of Joshua. She is originally a cute, little sister whom Eric shared a humorous relationship with as he used her to win the hearts of girls he had hoped to date. She disappears without mention at the start of the 3rd season. When she returns, Cory responds "Long time no see!" to which she answers "that was the longest time out I've ever had!" With the introduction of a new actress in the role came a shift in personality as Morgan became a more sarcastic character who delights in making fun of her brothers.
  • Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris) is the smartest student in Cory’s 6th grade class. He is a geek, and rival to Cory and Shawn. He has a crush on Topanga, and is often made fun of by Cory and Shawn. After season 1 he vanishes until their high school graduation, where Stuart makes a cameo appearance with the rest of the class where he says he has been "on the other side of the school" this whole time (referencing behind the set). He later waves at Mr. Turner, who like Minkus has disappeared, and evidently has also been "on the other side of the school." Mr. Turner, however does not actually make an appearance in the episode. Interestingly, Cory and Shawn treat him nicely, but he fights with Topanga over who the valedictorian is. Minkus is last seen being hugged by Cory, Shawn, and Topanga after receiving his high school diploma. He, is like Cory and Topanga, ended up moving to New York. There, he raises his son, Farkle, who is friends with Cory's daughter.
  • Eli Williams (Alex Désert) is Jonathan Turner's best friend who becomes the media teacher at John Adams High. At first he struggles to relate with the kids, but after talking with Jonathan, he becomes a bit of a mentor for them. He first appears in the episode "He Said, She Said" and leaves the show in "Brother, Brother". He is only seen in season 3, where he is credited as a full-fledged cast member despite only appearing in 13 episodes.

Recurring[edit]

  • Joshua Gabriel Matthews (unknown babies, Daniel Jacobs) is the youngest of the Matthews siblings. He is born in the episode "My Baby Valentine" but only weighs 5 lbs and is very ill. He soon gets better in the episode "Resurrection". He makes his final appearance in the last episode where Cory gives him a speech about all of things that he has learned over the past seven years. He is set to return as a teenager in the sequel series Girl Meets World, this time playing a larger role and being portrayed by Uriah Shelton.
  • Chet and Virna Hunter (Blake Clark and Shareen Mitchell respectively) are Shawn’s parents. Chet is also the father of Jack Hunter. Though he loves both his son and his wife, he can't seem to hold on to any of them and often takes to the road and vanishes for months at a time. In Season 2, Virna runs off, and Chet leaves Shawn with the Matthews (and then Jonathan Turner) to go and track her down. The Hunter family is reunited during the third season. Virna sees that Chet is trying to become a better father to his sons. Later in Season 5, Virna leaves again (never to return), once again causing Chet to chase her. Shawn moves into an apartment with Eric and Jack. Chet returns in season 6 but a matured Shawn is now resentful of what a poor father he had been. During a heated confrontation Chet suffers a massive heart attack. Shawn and Chet manage to make amends along with Jack before Chet passes away. Following Chet's death, Jack uses Shawn as a means to learn more about his father. Chet appears as a ghost three times after his death; twice to talk to Shawn, and once where nobody sees or hears him. Though Virna does not return, after learning of Chet’s death she writes to Shawn telling him that she is not his real mom.
  • Frankie "The Enforcer" Stecchino (Ethan Suplee) and Joey "The Rat" Epstein (Blake Soper) are two students at John Adams High. They are best friends, and usually serve as bullies. Joey is the more talkative of the two, and is much smaller. Frankie's hulking demeanor is comically offset by his surprisingly eloquent and poetic speech. Frankie is the fictional son of Vader, and has a little brother Hermon. It was also mentioned early on that he had a sister, but like Topanga’s and Shawn’s alleged sisters, she is never mentioned again. They first appear in the season two premier as Harley's lackeys. They later turn into Griff’s sidekicks, and eventually set themselves free. Frankie comes off as a thug, but later is discovered to have a kind heart, and even enjoy poetry. He befriends Cory and Shawn in season 3. Joey vanishes after Season 3 and Frankie after season 4, but the two return for the season five finale, Graduation, when they are last seen receiving their High School diplomas after spending a presumed 8 years in high school. Frankie suggests that they both become criminals, first asking Cory and Shawn to put down their addresses and times that they wouldn't be home.
  • Jedediah "Jed" Lawrence (Peter Tork, Michael McKean, and Mark Harelik) and Rhiannon Lawrence (Annette O'Toole and Marcia Cross) are Topanga’s parents. They are first mentioned in season 1, however on this occasion Topanga states that her mother’s name is Chloe, and not Rhiannon. Peter Tork first portrays Jed, and like Topanga early on, he is very eccentric. Later on, Topanga’s mother is relocated and they move to Pittsburgh. They allow Topanga to stay in Philadelphia with her aunt. While living in Pittsburgh, Jed, who is now portrayed by a new actor, and is much more cynical, has an affair. The two then split up, hurting Topanga’s beliefs on love.
  • Dean Lila Bolander-Feeny (Bonnie Bartlett) is the dean of Pennbrook College. She first appears in the season 4 finale, "Learning To Fly" when Eric is trying to convince her for a second opportunity at a college entrance interview. She is not seen again until season 6 "Friendly persuasion" where she lures Mr. Feeny to teach again instead of becoming a student. In "My Baby Valentine" it is revealed that George is in love with Lila. In the episode "Bee True" Dean Bolander sees that George loves her more than her ex-husband and thusly decides to pursue a relationship with George. The two get married on the season 6 finale, "State of the Unions". She is never seen again after season 6, but is mentioned several times.
  • Jason Marsden (Jason Marsden) is Eric's initial best friend. He is often more calm than Eric, and can either be his voice of reason or the one who gets him into trouble. Jason often appears jealous of Eric's greater success with women. The two go their separate ways after high school, presumably due to Eric's taking a year off rather than going to college right away, and his role in Eric's life is eventually replaced by Jack. Though he is mentioned once, he does not make an appearance at all in season 3 (or any subsequent seasons), even though Eric is still in high school at time.
  • Harvey "Harley" Keiner (Danny McNulty and Kenneth Johnston) is a bully who leads Frankie and Joey and the main antagonist of the second season. He makes Cory the number one target of his bullying, and frequently calls him "(Johnny) Baboon". He appears and acts like a typical 1950s greaser and always speaks with strangely proper grammar (in an apparent tribute to Guys and Dolls, where the gambler characters speak in a similar way). He is eventually sent to "juvenile boot camp," leaving Frankie and Joey on their own. He appears in season 2 several times, played by Danny McNulty. Johnston took his place for one episode, after which the character was written out, but when Harley returned for one episode in season 3, it was once again McNulty playing the part. Harley is set to return in Girl Meets World as the school janitor, a job he secured with help from Cory (whom he has befriended since their high school days). In contrast to his antagonistic role on Boy Meets World, he is a good character.
  • Griffin "Griff" Hawkins (Adam Scott) becomes Frankie and Joey’s ringleader after Harley leaves. Griff is a smooth-talking freeloader who uses his wits and charm to weasel his way to what he wants. When Harley returns to confront Griff, Frankie and Joey declare their independence. Before he debuted as Griff, Adam Scott played another character briefly in the episode ‘Band on the Run.’
  • Lauren (Linda Cardellini) is a girl that bonded with Cory while the gang was on a skiing trip. The two shared a kiss that led to Cory and Topanga breaking up for a portion of the fifth season. Lauren appeared in four episodes (Once in a flashback and once in a dream sequence).
  • Leslie "Frankie" Stecchino (Vader) is Frankie's father and a former student of George Feeny. He is an internationally renowned professional wrestler. Vader is indeed a famous professional wrestler in real life, however Vader’s alter-ego so to speak is not modeled after the true life Leon White.
  • Tommy (J.B. Gaynor) is a foster child whom Eric takes interest in. Eric first meets Tommy while playing a mall santa, where Tommy asks him if he can have parents for Christmas. Eric feels sorry for Tommy and decides to become his Big Brother. Tommy later wants Eric to adopt him and becomes frustrated when he doesn’t. Eric wants to adopt Tommy, but another family in California wants to as well. Eric decides that it is best for Tommy to go with the other family, so he does not adopt him. Tommy is angry at first, but eventually goes to Eric's home to say his final goodbye.
  • Lonnie Boden (Jen Campbell) is a tomboy mountain girl who works at Alan's camping store. Eric was immediately attracted to her, and tried to hit on her, but she treated him in a rough, playful demeanor. Her outdoor interests, country upbringing, and overly friendly manner made adjustment to the city life and consequently dating difficult. So Eric attempted to help her with her social skills and even offered to drive her home for the holidays when she got homesick. Lonnie appeared for three episodes in season 4.
  • Miss Katherine "Kat" Tompkins (Darlene Vogel) is a regular character in the second season and Mr. Turner's only love interest throughout the show. She debuts as a new teacher whom Mr. Turner admires then dates him for a number of episodes until she asks him to make a commitment. He instead makes a commitment to become Shawn's guardian, and she does not reappear in the show.
  • Janitor Bud (Bob Larkin) is the janitor at John Adams High. It was mentioned in one episode that he "lost his eye," then in another episode he stated that "[he] seen them with his good eye;" so it can be assumed that he has suffered an eye injury at some point in time. Little else is known about Janitor Bud, except for that he has presumably "seen dead bodies" and presumably retired after season 3 when he was last seen serving as Mr. Feeny’s secretary.

Character Timeline[edit]

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Ben Savage Cory Matthews Main
Rider Strong Shawn Hunter Main
Will Friedle Eric Matthews Main
Danielle Fishel Topanga Lawrence Recurring Main
William Daniels George Feeny Main
Matthew Lawrence Jack Hunter Main
Trina McGee-Davis Angela Moore Recurring Main
Maitland Ward Rachel McGuire Main
Betsy Randle Amy Matthews Main
William Russ Alan Matthews Main
Anthony Tyler Quinn Jonathan Turner Main
Lily Nicksay Morgan Matthews Main
Lindsay Ridgeway Morgan Matthews Recurring Main
Lee Norris Stuart Minkus Main Guest
Alex Desert Eli Williams Main

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired Nielsen ratings DVD release date
Season premiere Season finale Viewers (millions) Rank Region 1
1 22 September 24, 1993 May 13, 1994 8.4[1] #37 August 24, 2004[N 1]
2 23 September 23, 1994 May 19, 1995 11.5[2] #36 November 23, 2004[N 1]
3 22 September 22, 1995 May 17, 1996 10.1[3] #48 August 23, 2005[N 1]
4 22 September 20, 1996 May 9, 1997 8.7[4] #41 December 7, 2010
5 24 October 3, 1997 May 15, 1998 11.6[5] #55 May 3, 2011
6 22 September 25, 1998 May 14, 1999 10.9[6] #58 July 5, 2011
7 23 September 24, 1999 May 5, 2000 8.7[7] #73 October 4, 2011
Notes
  1. ^ a b c Seasons 1, 2 & 3 were all re-released on September 7, 2010.

Production notes[edit]

Theme music and introductions[edit]

Boy Meets World used a number of theme songs and opening title sequences over its seven-year run. Season one was the only season of the series that incorporated the names of the main cast and series creators within the opening title sequence, while those credits were shown along with the credits for producers and that episode's director and writers during the show's cold open for the remainder of the series. Every episode of seasons one and four through seven utilized a single theme song for every episode; however, the entire second season and part of season three used various instrumental themes composed by Ray Colcord (who also composed the incidental music used between scenes and commercial breaks throughout the show's run). This practice ended with "The Last Temptation of Cory" (season 3, episode 9) as one of the cycled themes became the sole opening title music for the rest of that season. The final theme, written and performed by Phil Rosenthal, of the band Twenty Cent Crush[8] remained for seasons five through seven, though the visuals changed from seasons 5 to 6 to include Trina McGee-Davis (when she moved from guest star to regular cast member in season 5) and Maitland Ward (who was added as a regular cast member in season 6).

ABC Family was the first network since ABC to show all the accurate introductions for each of the show's seven seasons. For the broadcast syndication and Disney Channel airings between 1997 and 2007, the opening title sequence from season four (along with a slightly modified version of the theme music from that season) anachronistically replaced the title sequences for the first three seasons, while the opening titles for seasons four through seven were kept intact.

Philadelphia references[edit]

It is one of many television shows to take place primarily in the Philadelphia area, and makes multiple local references. These include Cory's love for the Phillies and Morgan's often wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jacket. Eric mentions that he and his father always talk about the Eagles, 76ers, Flyers, and Phillies, the four major sports teams in Philadelphia, and his attempts to be accepted into Swarthmore College—finally ending with Cory and most of the cast attending Pennbrook, an institution that appears to be a pastiche of Penn and Saint Joseph's University. In the episode "Starry Night," Cory and Topanga visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a Van Gogh exhibition. In the episode “Singled Out” in season 4, Eric meets with one of the producers of the Singled Out show, and the producer makes reference to Eric living in and around Philadelphia.

The name of John Adams High School is an homage to William Daniels' long-running role in the Tony-award-winning Broadway play (and later film) 1776, in which Daniels played Founding Father John Adams.

Syndication[edit]

Disney-ABC Domestic Television (sister company to Touchstone Television, now ABC Studios) currently handles the syndication rights to the series.

Boy Meets World reruns began airing in off-network syndication from September 8, 1997 and ran until September 2000. During the latter month, Disney Channel assumed syndication rights (leaving season 7 as the only season that did not air on off-network syndication), with the series running on the cable channel until 2007. To the consternation of some longtime fans of the show, Disney Channel edited many episodes that contained scenes with suggestive content deemed inappropriate for the channel's target audience of 7-14-year olds. All 158 episodes aired during the series' initial run on the Disney Channel, however due to the adult subject matter and complaints from parents, Disney Channel omitted three episodes from later airings: season five's "If You Can't Be with the One You Love..." (due to its depictions of underage drinking) and "Prom-ises, Prom-ises" (whose main storyline involves Cory and Topanga contemplating losing their virginity on the night of their prom), and season six's "The Truth About Honesty" (due to its sexual references).[9] On May 5, 2014, the network began re-airing the series again after a seven year absence, as a lead-in to Girl Meets World.[10]

ABC Family has aired Boy Meets World from 2004 to August 2007 and again since April 1, 2010.[11] Though the network in a way inherited the syndication rights to the show from Disney Channel, the episode prints broadcast by ABC Family differed from those seen on Disney Channel and in broadcast syndication as it incorporated scenes cut from the Disney Channel broadcasts (though small portions of certain scenes from episodes during the earlier seasons were cut due to time constraints) and featured the three episodes that Disney chose not to air, incorporated each season's corresponding opening title sequence, and restored the placement of the teaser scenes during the season one episodes to running before the opening titles in the manner that they were shown in the original ABC telecasts (instead of having the cast and creators' names shown during the teasers). The series also began airing on MTV2 in November 2011, again with the original opening title sequences intact.[12]

Internationally, reruns of the series have been broadcast on ABC Spark, the Canadian version of ABC Family, since the network debuted in March 2012. In Brazil, the show was aired by SBT (terrestrial television) and Disney Channel Brazil (cable television) until 2005.

Cultural impact[edit]

Angela's interracial relationship with Shawn was a relative rarity for a major network television show targeting youths at the time. Trina McGee-Davis once remarked that the typical reaction regarding the relationship that she received from young fans was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging, often inquiring as to when the characters would reconcile after a breakup. She expressed her personal wish that her character's relationship would serve as an example of color blindness for the world, in lieu of a less positive reaction a similar relationship had received on Ally McBeal at the time.[13]

Christian rock band Relient K references the series in its song "Mood Rings", describing how some girls seem to be fickle in their moods at times: "If it's drama you want, then look no further. They're like The Real World meets Boy Meets World meets Days of Our Lives."

As the show took place throughout most of the 1990’s, there was a lot of fashion in the 1990s worn. Most of the main characters dressed in preppy, with the exception of Shawn who would dress in the a mixture of the grunge look and hip hop fashion. Eric and Shawn both wore a popular 1990s hairstyle called curtained hair.

Spin-off[edit]

Main article: Girl Meets World

In November 2012, Disney Channel announced that it had ordered a pilot for a sequel series, Girl Meets World. The new series will exist in the same continuity as the original series and will follow Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard), the daughter of Cory and Topanga Matthews, as she navigates the challenges of middle school and her early teenage years. Michael Jacobs will return as showrunner, while Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel will reprise their roles as Cory and Topanga for the new series, but this time starring their daughter Riley. Philadelphia area native Sabrina Carpenter will play Riley's best friend Maya Hart. On June 17, 2013, Disney Channel announced that it had ordered a first season episodic order for Girl Meets World; the show premiered on June 27, 2014.[14]

DVD releases[edit]

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (as Buena Vista Home Entertainment) released the first three seasons of Boy Meets World on DVD between 2004 and 2005.[15] Because the sales figures did not meet the company's expectations, no further seasons were released. As of 2009, these releases have been discontinued and are out of print.

On August 4, 2008, it was announced that Lionsgate Home Entertainment had acquired the rights to the series. They subsequently re-released the first three seasons on DVD on September 7, 2010, with the same special features from the original releases.[16] Season 4 was released on December 7, 2010.[17] Season 5 was released on May 3, 2011.[18] Season 6 was released on July 5, 2011.[19] Season 7 was released on October 4, 2011, completing the series' run on DVD.[20] Ultimately, Lionsgate was able to release all seven seasons in almost a year's time. All seven seasons of the series are available for download at iTunes Store.

On November 5, 2013, Lionsgate released Boy Meets World- The Complete Collection on DVD in Region 1.[21] The 22-disc set features all 158 episodes of the series as well as new and previously included bonus features from the original sets.

DVD name Ep# Release date Bonus features
The Complete First Season 22 August 24, 2004
Re-release: September 7, 2010
Bonus Episode from Season 4: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow (Disc 3) & Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew
The Complete Second Season 23 November 23, 2004
Re-release: September 7, 2010
Bonus Feature: "Fear Strikes Out" Video Commentary (Disc 2) & Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew
The Complete Third Season 22 August 23, 2005
Re-release: September 7, 2010
"The World According to Boy" Pop Quiz – Answer these quiz questions correctly and you'll graduate from John Adams High with honors (Disc 3)
The Complete Fourth Season 22 December 7, 2010
The Complete Fifth Season 24 May 3, 2011
The Complete Sixth Season 22 July 5, 2011
The Complete Seventh Season 23 October 4, 2011
The Complete Collection 158 November 5, 2013 Boy Meets World: Back to the Beginning featurette, Boy Meets... World Fandom Featurette (Bonus disc)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1994 Young Artist Award Best Youth Comedian Rider Strong Nominated
Best Youth Actor Leading Role in a Television Series Ben Savage
Best New Television Series
Best Actress Under Ten in a Television Series or Show Lily Nicksay
1995 Best Performance: Young Actor in a TV Comedy Series Will Friedle
Jason Marsden
1996 Best Performance by a Young Actress: TV Comedy Series Danielle Fishel
Best Performance by a Young Actress: Guest Starring Role TV Series Erin J. Dean
Best Performance by a Young Actor: Guest Starring Role TV Series Justin Thomson Won
1997 Best Performance in a TV Comedy: Supporting Young Actress Danielle Fishel Nominated
Best Performance in a TV Comedy: Supporting Young Actor Rider Strong
Best Performance in a TV Comedy: Leading Young Actor Ben Savage
1998 Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Leading Young Performer
YoungStar Award Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy TV Series
Best Young Actress/Performance in a Comedy TV Series Danielle Fishel Won
1999 Kids' Choice Award Favorite Television Show Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Guest Starring Young Actor Jarrett Lennon Won
2000 Kids' Choice Award Favorite Television Show Nominated
Favorite Television Friends Ben Savage & Rider Strong Won
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Guest Starring Young Performer J.B. Gaynor
YoungStar Award Best Young Actress/Performance in a Comedy TV Series Danielle Fishel Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moore, Frazier (July 8, 1994). "NEWSMAGAZINES CROWD INTO TOP OF RATINGS". Sun Sentinel. p. 4E. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  2. ^ "Complete TV Ratings 1994–1995". Fbibler.chez.com. 2002-07-26. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  3. ^ "Complete TV Ratings 1995–1996". Fbibler.chez.com. 2002-07-26. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  4. ^ "Complete TV Ratings 1996–1997". Fbibler.chez.com. 2002-07-26. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  5. ^ "The Final Countdown". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #434 May 29, 1998. May 29, 1998. Retrieved 02-12-2010. 
  6. ^ "TV Winners & Losers: Numbers Racket A Final Tally Of The Season's Show (from Nielsen Media Research)". GeoCities. June 4, 1999. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 02-12-2010. 
  7. ^ "Top TV Shows For 1999–2000 Season". Variety. Retrieved 02-12-2010. 
  8. ^ "Twenty Cent Crush". TCC Records. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  9. ^ BMWCentral, retrieved 8/27/2011
  10. ^ "'Girl Meets World' to premiere in June". CNN.com. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  11. ^ "No Foolin' ABC Family Brings Back Boy Meets World, 7th Heaven; Modern Family Wins Peabody". Sitcomsonline.com. April 1, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ Posted by Pavan -- SitcomsOnline.com (November 17, 2011). "Boy Meets World Now On MTV2; South Park Renewed Through 2016, Its 20th Season – SitcomsOnline.com News Blog". Blog.sitcomsonline.com. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  13. ^ McGee-Davis, Trina (1999-02-22). "TV Can Help World Erase Color Lines". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  14. ^ "Disney picks up Girl Meets World". USA Today. 
  15. ^ ""Boy Meets Word" (1993) – DVD details". IMDb.com. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Boy Meets World DVD news: Announcement for Lionsgate re-releases of Season 1, Season 2 and Season 3". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  17. ^ Boy Meets World – Lionsgate Announces Season 4: Release Date, Cost, Packaging and Specs! TVShowsOnDVD.com September 13, 2010
  18. ^ Lambert, David (February 7, 2011). "Boy Meets World – 'Season 5' DVDs Announced: Street Date, Cost, Specs and Package Art". TVShowsOnDVD. Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  19. ^ Boy Meets World – The Next-to-Last Season of the Show—Season 6—is Scheduled! TVShowsOnDVD.com April 11, 2011.
  20. ^ Boy Meets World – The Long-Awaited 7th and Final Season Completes the Show's DVD Run TV Shows on DVD July 11, 2011
  21. ^ "Boy Meets World DVD news: Announcement for Boy Meets World - The Complete Collection". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 

External links[edit]