List of Boy Meets World characters
Boy Meets World is an American television sitcom that chronicles the coming of age events and everyday life-lessons of Cory Matthews (Ben Savage). The show aired from 1993 to 2000 on ABC, part of the network's TGIF lineup, thus it ran for seven seasons.
- 1 Main characters
- 2 Recurring characters
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Cornelius A. "Cory" Matthews (Ben Savage) is the main character of the series. His best friend is Shawn Hunter, and his mother and father are Amy and Alan Matthews. By the end of the series, he has three siblings: Eric, Morgan, and Joshua. Cory is friends with Topanga Lawrence, his "first true love," whom, he eventually marries late in the series. Sometimes, Cory does not get along with Topanga, when Cory is not doing "the right thing", or not doing things "the right way" (humorously), complete with deadpan humor and puns. Mr. George Feeny is Cory's teacher/principal, mentor, and neighbor. He goes to him for advice on his problems. Cory always works his problems out. In the last episode, it is revealed that Cory is actually short for 'Cornelius'.
Cory struggled in high school, where he often had trouble with bullies and has less-than-stellar study habits. Cory's personality changes somewhat as he gets older. For the first few years, he's a slacker and just barely a better student than Shawn. One major difference between Cory and Shawn is that Cory seems to get more worked up or neurotic about random things, whereas Shawn is more laid back. If Cory does not want to do something school-related, he will make a big production about the fact that he does not want to do it, and how unnecessary he finds it; whereas Shawn will just not do it, preferring to fall asleep or make paper airplanes. As the series progresses, Cory's "slacker" tendencies diminish, and his neuroses increase, along with his pessimism and paranoia. This leads Cory to occasionally develop an inferiority complex; such as Shawn gets better ideas than his when participating their high school's work study program, meeting art prodigy Alexandra Nechita, and Topanga gets a better job than his after they got married.
When Cory and Topanga begins their relationship, many women seem to be attracted to Cory, which Shawn explains as girls being attracted to men who are off the market. In the past, Cory has kissed other women while with Topanga; Lauren (Linda Cardellini), whom Cory develops an affectionate bond with at a ski resort, led to him being suffered indecision between the two women and break up with Topanga for a while until they reconcile, and a college girl almost had sex with him once.
By the end of the series, Cory, Topanga, and their friends eventually left Philadelphia for an internship that Topanga got with a law firm in New York City, and by the time of the events of Girl Meets World, Cory has had two children with Topanga, a daughter named Riley plus a son named Auggie. Cory is, at this point in his life, a seventh-grade history teacher and his daughter is also in his class. In the spin-off, Cory, who is now matured and experienced, plays the similar role as George Feeny and his parents had; mentoring his children and their friends about life.
Eric Randall Matthews (Will Friedle) is the elder brother of Cory, Morgan, and Joshua Matthews. He began the show as a suave, popular young man, who constantly went out on dates. He was originally portrayed as the stereotypical elder brother. Eric's character changed mid-series from preppy elder brother to "crazy, moronic brother". During the fourth season, Eric takes a year off from school when he doesn't get into a college of his choice.
Eric often plays off his hero and mentor, Mr. Feeny. Though Eric and Feeny are not originally seen as having a close relationship, the two develop a bond, that—at least in Eric's mind—is one of love. It was even implied once that Eric likes to tell people (such as Rachel) that Feeny is his grandfather. This culminates at the end of the fifth season when Eric sings a rousing of "To Sir, With Love" at Cory's high school graduation. Eric also coins the "Feeny call", and even makes a talking doll for Feeny to "make the call", so Feeny will not miss him when he moves to New York with the others.
Eric is actually highly intelligent, and Feeny mentions that Eric can get passing grades in his sleep (in fact, he once did). He compares this to Cory who, though lacking Eric's natural intelligence, makes up for it by being hard-working when he wants to be, and thus succeeds. Eric, on the other hand, is too lazy and immature to be anything but a ridiculous "goof-off", to the annoyance of his family and Mr. Feeny.
During the later years, storylines involving Eric became stranger and wackier, often bending the rules of reality itself, such as an episode where Eric continually tries to sneak up on Topanga by using many disguises and crazy situations. The change from a girl-crazy cool-conscious teenager (the first half of the series) to a scatter-brained odd-ball (the second half of the series) was a drastic change. Eric often provides comic relief in tough situations throughout the series. It is hinted that his favorite show is the raunchy animated comedy South Park, as he has made references to the program, by doing voice impressions of Cartman and other South Park characters on different occasions.
On the contrary, Eric has appeared sensitive when it comes to matters of family and friends, as in the episode "Brotherly Shove", where Eric feels rejected by Cory when he was not asked to help clean out the garage, which was filled with memories from their childhood. Also, in the episodes "The War" and "Seven the Hard Way", the audience realizes that Eric finds friendship a serious matter and values it more than anything, apparent in his quote, "Lose one friend, lose all friends. Lose yourself."
Despite having moved to New York City with his brother, sister-in law, and Shawn Hunter after the series finale, Eric will not appear in Girl Meets World due to Friedle, who is focusing on his voice acting career since his debut on the animated television series Batman Beyond, declining to reprise his role. Early plans for the series had Eric's son, Troy, being a prominent part of that show's cast; the role of the teenage relative will instead be filled by Eric's youngest brother, Joshua. However, Friedle visited the set of Girl Meets World.
Shawn Patrick Hunter (Rider Strong) was born in Ohio and lived in Oklahoma for a while as a child. He had been in five different schools before he was 12. Shawn has always been the best friend of Cory Matthews. The two met when Cory fell into an animal pen at a zoo and Shawn came to his rescue. Shawn has a personality almost opposite of Cory's. Shawn takes more risks and has more of a bad boy image. Their personality differences do cause problems between the two a few times, but these problems can never destroy the friendship between Cory and Shawn. Later seasons depict the relationship between Cory and Shawn as being so intimate that Topanga is jealous of it. Several innuendos are made as to the subconscious homoerotic nature of their friendship.
In the first season of Boy Meets World, not much is known about Shawn Hunter except that he is Cory's best friend. In season two and thereafter, the show began to focus on Shawn's life as well. In the beginning, Shawn lives with both his parents, Chet and Verna Hunter. One day, Verna runs off with the trailer and Shawn is left under the care of the Matthews family when Chet chases after his wife. When the Matthews find that Chet will not be returning for a while, Jonathan Turner, a teacher at John Adams High School, offers to be Shawn's legal guardian. About a year later, Chet comes back and eventually Verna rejoins her family temporarily before taking off again. Shawn goes through many issues, including joining a cult briefly and at risk of succumbing into alcoholism as his father. In a later season, Shawn's half-brother Jack arrives in town for college. Shawn moves in with him and Eric Matthews, Cory's older brother, which leaves Chet free to take off again. However, on a trip back to town, Chet dies of a heart attack. Towards the final episodes of the series, Shawn discovers that Verna was not his biological mother when she sends him a letter after Chet's death. Apparently, Chet was left to take care of Shawn after his biological mother, who was actually a stripper, left shortly after his birth. Despite the Matthews declare that they would take Shawn in as a part of their family after Chet's death, Shawn declines and declares that he still has Jack as a blood kin.
Shawn is a ladies' man, something of which Cory sometimes is envious. Conversely, however, Shawn is jealous of Cory's close, long-term relationship with Topanga. Later in the series, Shawn falls in love with a girl named Angela. They have a tempestuous relationship, but genuinely care for each other. Things get rocky when his best friend Cory breaks up with Topanga. At the end of the series, Shawn moves to New York with Cory, Topanga, and Eric.
In the episode "Fraternity Row," revealing that during high school, Shawn is challenged in writing, but in episode "Poetic License: An Ode to Holden Caulfield," that during college he has improved significantly and becomes good in poetry. He is also a skilled photographer, and nearly chooses this job from a glamour magazine company over college.
By the events of Girl Meets World, Shawn left New York the day after the birth of Cory and Topanga's daughter Riley, ultimately making a name for himself as a world-traveling writer and photographer. He also forms a bond with Riley's best friend Maya, as they both come from broken homes and her childhood is similar to his.
Topanga Lawrence-Matthews (Danielle Fishel) is Cory's main love interest. Her character underwent dramatic changes during the course of the series. When she was initially introduced in the first season, first as a guest character and later recurring, she was a hippie vegetarian and somewhat of an outcast, sitting at the table with the other "weird kids." Even her name was taken from a hippie hangout, Topanga, California. However, once the characters entered high school (and Danielle Fishel became a main character), she became more of a "regular teenage girl," and her beliefs about the environment and other topics were less emphasized. Much was now made of the fact that Topanga was attractive, popular, and academically successful. She also cut her trademark long hair in an episode in season 4 while trying to show Cory that true beauty is on the inside. She grows distant from her parents, whom she once was very close to; by the fourth season, her parents force her to move to Pittsburgh; but she runs away from them back to Philadelphia to be with Cory. Her relationship with her parents became further apart after their divorce.
Also starting in high school, her on-again/off-again relationship with Cory became one of the major elements of the show. Their relationship seems to mirror traditional high school sweethearts, dealing with normal boyfriend/girlfriend problems; such as Cory suffers indecision between Topanga and another girl named Lauren (Linda Cardellini). However, this only continues up to "A Long Walk to Pittsburgh," when the show starts to depict them as predestined lovers. The series tries to justify this by saying that Cory and Topanga first met as toddlers and became best friends, only to be driven apart as they grew older and Eric pressured Cory to think of girls as "icky." By the time of the first season episodes, Cory has apparently completely forgotten about Topanga and knows almost nothing about her.
Although Topanga was accepted to Yale University, she decided to attend Pennbrook College with Cory and their friends. She proposed to Cory at their high school graduation. They married during their sophomore year (during the final season), after which the show attempted to put them in stereotypical marriage problem situations. At the end of the series, she and Cory, along with Eric and Shawn, moved to New York City where Topanga pursued a law internship.
Shortly after the Boy Meets World finale, Topanga became pregnant and later gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Riley. Several years later, she had a second child, a son named August "Auggie" Matthews. In addition to raising the family, Topanga continues her pursuit of a career in law and eventually passes the bar exam. Cory and Topanga's marriage continued in Girl Meets World, by which point Topanga has become a successful attorney and Riley is twelve years old.
It is strongly implied that her name is the result of a journal entry by her maternal grandmother, Rosie McGee, concerning a chance encounter with a young artist in 1961.
George Feeny (William Daniels) Throughout the series, George tries his best to guide young Cory, Shawn, and their friends as they encounter problems in their lives on their road to adulthood. He first appears on the show as their grade-school teacher. He eventually becoming their principal, and lastly college professor (teaching such diverse courses as archaeology, English literature, and quantum physics). Cory mentions more than once that Feeny is the only teacher he has ever had since kindergarten. Later on in the show, George Feeny becomes the mentor and idol of Eric Matthews. George Feeny is a Boston native and enjoys gardening. He delivers the final line of Boy Meets World dialogue in the series finale, directed to an empty classroom just vacated by his beloved students: "I love you all. Class dismissed."
Mr. Feeny was once married to a woman named Lillian, who died before the series began. Although Feeny had dated another teacher named Elizabeth from Boston off-screen for 15 years, a conversation with Eric made him to realize that, despite that he and his romantic partner each believed that they are not married because of their careers; they simply do not love each other. He later marries Dean Lila Bolander (played by William Daniels' real-life wife Bonnie Bartlett; the duo similarly portrayed spouses on St. Elsewhere), whom he finds success after his relationship with Elizabeth and competition with Dean Bolander's ex-hushand Dr. Curtis Kincaid (Francis X. McCarthy) for her affection.
Alan Matthews (William Russ) is the husband of Amy Matthews, and the father of Eric, Cory, Morgan, and Joshua. Alan, as the father of the Matthews children, provides guidance to his children. He has a quick temper, though when it shows up, usually through consultation with his wife, he often apologizes afterwards for words spoken in anger. In some later episodes, Alan does not support Eric in all of his ventures, and Amy, in turn, tells Alan that his coddling of Eric is the reason Eric has turned out the way he is.
Alan was also somewhat of a "father figure" for Shawn Hunter. He explained to Cory in the first season that he saw a lot of his younger self in Shawn, and encouraged Cory to be there to help Shawn through his tough life. While there were times when he thought that Shawn was too much of a negative influence, such as when Cory and Shawn were arrested for underage drinking, he always cared about Shawn's well-being, even stating in the fourth season that he would "kill to protect Shawn from con men like you" to a cult leader who was trying to take advantage of Shawn's feelings of isolation.
He began his career as the manager of the Market Giant supermarket, eventually winning a prized "Grocie" Award. Prior his marriage, Alan joined the United States Navy instead of enrolling in college after high school, a decision he is regretting and glad that his children did not made the same choice. In the episode "Better Than the Average Cory", reveals that after Alan's father's health deteriorated, he took over his job as a janitor for a factory before working at Market Giant. 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. A brief period of family distress follows, with Amy proclaiming that she will, in turn, "make a major decision that affects the entire family without consulting with him first". Accordingly, she purchases a sporting goods and outdoor supply store that is up for sale, which Alan takes over, and renames Matthews & Son.
Amy Matthews (Betsy Randle) is the wife of Alan Matthews and the mother of Eric, Cory, Morgan, and Joshua Matthews. During the earlier years of the show, Amy was a real estate agent and eventually became an art gallery worker toward the end of the show.
Amy often plays counterpoint to Alan in giving their children discipline and guidance. In dealing with Eric, she always discourages "babying" him, whereas several episodes involving Cory see a much more gentle and motherly Amy.
Morgan Matthews (Lily Nicksay/Lindsay Ridgeway) is the daughter of Alan and Amy Matthews, the younger sister of Eric and Cory and the older sister of Joshua. She inexplicably disappeared partway through the show's second season and reappeared a season later in the episode "A Kiss is More than a Kiss" played by a different actress. In the episode of her return, a joke is made about her long absence. Upon her reappearance, she says, "That was the longest timeout I ever had!" With the introduction of a new actress in the role came a shift in personality as Morgan went from being the cute and innocent little sister to being a more rude and sarcastic character who delights in making fun of her brothers, especially Cory.
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Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris) was the resident genius and nerd in Cory's sixth grade class. During his time on the show, he was shown as being in love with Topanga, and was often made fun of by Cory and Shawn. Everyone referred to him as simply "Minkus," except Topanga and Mr. Feeny. Before Topanga's character changes, he was the one constantly obsessed with grades and academic achievements. Minkus was on the show from 1993-1994, reappearing in the "Graduation" episode in 1998, with Minkus and Topanga now portrayed as bitter rivals. The reason given for his absence was that his classes were on the other side of the school all along. He is never seen or mentioned again afterwards, but as revealed in the sequel Girl Meets World he eventually moved to New York, got married and had a son named Farkle Minkus, who appears as a regular character on the program. Stuart makes a cameo in the episode "Girl Meets Maya's Mom," with Norris reprising his role. It is revealed that he has become a wealthy businessman that owns a helicopter.
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Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn), known as Mr. Turner, was the teacher of Cory, Shawn, and Topanga starting in the second season. His more laidback approach to teaching often clashed with Mr. Feeny's more traditional methods, and the students found that they could more easily identify with the hip, Harley-riding Mr. Turner. In the third season, Shawn found residence with Mr. Turner (when his dad went on a cross-country search for Shawn's mother Verna), and found in him a friend and mentor. Mr. Turner remained on the show until midway through the fourth season, when he was put in the hospital after being involved in an accident. When Chet Hunter got back, Shawn again lives with his father briefly, until Chet had him to live with his half-brother, Jack, as his roommate; thus Jack taking over the guardianship for Shawn from Jonathan and Chet. As homage to the character, the show made two references to him in the last two episodes of Season 5; of Jonathan helping Shawn secured a part-time job as a photographer and when Stuart Minkus returns for a cameo and calls out to an unseen Mr. Turner, both are off-screen and indicating that he has recovered from his accident and return to work. Mr. Turner is also best friends with Eli Williams.
Eli Williams (Alex Désert) was another teacher to Cory, Shawn, and Topanga. He joined the show in season three when his best friend and former college roommate Jonathan Turner got him a job at the school, teaching media arts. Like Turner, Williams is considered "hip and cool," and can relate easily to the young students. However, being a former journalist at a television station in Philadelphia, he sometimes finds teaching and reaching out to students to be a difficult chore, something that Turner helps him out with. Stories in the third season were written to focus on the friendship between Turner and Williams and the single bachelor life of dating, partying, and socializing that they experience outside of their teaching, showing the life of young adults post-college. Williams had a starring role for some of the third season before he disappeared with no explanation. He is featured in flashbacks via archive footage in the series finale, and as a result, Alex Désert (who by this time was co-starring on Becker) is credited as a guest star despite never making an actual appearance.
In the DVD commentaries, Michael Jacobs and some of the actors discuss the network pressure during seasons 2 and 3 to bring more young adult characters to the cast. Eli Williams strongly reflects this trend.
Angela Moore (Trina McGee) was the sweetheart of Shawn Hunter in Seasons 5 - 7. Her first appearance, uncredited, was in Season 5, and she became a regular cast member later that season but was only billed in the closing credits with a special "And Starring" credit. Angela is witty and passionate about causes and people. She enjoys things for their artistic value. Although she broke up with Shawn during one or two episodes, and once for a longer period in the show's Pennbrook stage, eventually revealing that, like Shawn, Angela also comes from a broken family as her mother left her and her father. Angela fears that she would hurt Shawn as her mother did to her father. They resolved their issues and became very close, declaring their love for each other. Angela left for Europe with her father to be close to him in the series' second to last episode (unwittingly fulfilling her prediction that she would leave Shawn after all), therefore she is the only main character absent in the series finale. There was never a mention of Angela's race over the course of her relationship with Shawn, except for her mentioning a paper she did about "maintaining black identity when you have three very white friends," and commenting that she "has to get some black friends."
Jack Hunter (Matthew Lawrence) is Shawn's paternal half-brother, and very different from him. Growing up in a wealthy stepfamily at New York City, Jack has money, works out, and has experienced relatively little difficulty in his life. Besides Shawn, Jack has at least one maternal half-sister at home.
Jack's mother left Chet Hunter with her son due to she could not cope her former husband's alcoholism, and eventually she and Chet both remarried after their divorce. Shawn learned about Jack's existence from his father when he was eight year old, he was happily written to his half-brother in hopes of getting acquainted as brothers. Jack's mother, however, hid Shawn's letters from her son, leaving Shawn to believe that his half-brother turned his back on his paternal family with his mother for years until Jack finds out. Despite of it, Jack and Shawn did meet before the former enrolled to Pennbrook College at some point, but they weren't yet aware of Jack's mother's deception at the time.
Despite Jack resenting his father for his past alcoholism, he also wants to have relationships with him and Shawn, which leads him to choose Pennbrook in hopes of becoming close to them. Dialogues imply that though Jack has a good relationship with his stepfather, but never as close as Jack would like with his father. Jack's aversion to his family's alcoholism makes him vow never to drink, and tries to save Shawn from it in one episode. However, despite having been raised by his stepfather, Jack had a gambling problem—a trait he shares with his father, but falls into brief relapse when placing a school bet. When Chet visiting his sons at Pennbrook, he is beginning to reconcile with them before his death, leaving both Jack and Shawn devastated.
Chet had Shawn to live with Jack during the latter's senior year in high school, effectively having Jack taking over the guardianship for Shawn from his father and Jonathan Turner until his half-brother's graduation, though Shawn eventually move back in with him later. Like Eric and Cory Matthews, Jack and Shawn share a comical and somewhat hostile sibling rivalry which ultimately ends with reconciliation; they have acknowledged each other brothers with Jack entering Shawn's life.
He became Eric's roommate, and the pair developed a friendship parallel to their siblings'. Jack, along with Eric, pined for Rachel after she moved in with the two, eventually winning this battle once Eric realizes he was competing more for the sake of competing, rather than due to any genuine feelings for Rachel. The relationship between Jack and Rachel ultimately doesn't work out. Jack's personality was often adapted to the episodic storyline, rather than having his own distinct character.
He currently has six percent body fat, though he confides that in high school he was referred to as "Jumbo Jack," much to Eric's delight.
Rachel Kimberly McGuire (Maitland Ward) is the final addition to the main cast, appearing in the sixth and seventh seasons of the series. Rachel is a very sweet, and mature young woman who forms a bond with Jack and Eric almost instantly. She and Jack date for a relatively short period of time, before deciding on being just friends. Still, it's strongly implied that the two harbor feelings for one another. Prior to moving in with Jack and Eric, she lived down the hall with her Texan boyfriend. She also roomed with Topanga and Angela for a few episodes until she got an on-campus job as a resident assistant, allowing Jack, Eric, and Shawn to get the apartment back. Rachel was the focus of a two episode story-arc in season seven when a prank war goes wrong, leaving Rachel (as well as Angela and Jack) feeling like the outcast of the gang. After Eric and Feeny intervene in an effort to save their friendships, the gang realizes the whole thing was petty and make up. In the series finale, she joins the Peace Corps with Jack.
Lauren (Linda Cardellini), is Cory Matthews' potential love interest and rival of Topanga Lawrence during Season 5; Cory meets Lauren when he strained his ankle during getting off a bus for a skiing trip. She appeared on two episodes in Season 5 and a cameo on one episode in Season 6. Though Cory develops an affectionate bond with Lauren, and they had kissed; caused Cory and Topanga to break up for a while. Cory ultimately chooses Topanga after realizing his love for her and ended his potential relationship with Lauren off-screen. Topanga herself also kissed another guy during her separation with Cory, making her realizes that sometimes she and Cory need to endure trials in their relationship to prove whether their love for each other is strong; Cory and Topanga ultimately got back together.
Despite Cory is happy of his relationship with Topanga, one episode reveals that Cory occasionally thinks about Lauren, and she later appears in Cory's dream in a Season 6 episode after he and Topanga got engaged, implying Cory is wondering in his subconscious of what life could have been like if he chose Lauren instead.
Shawn's father, Chet Hunter (Blake Clark), is an on-again, off-again father figure, frequently leaving town for months or even years at a time. He is a jack-of-all-trades, holding a wide variety of (usually low-paying) jobs over the course of the series. Shawn originally idolizes his father and thinks he himself is responsible for his father's frequent departures. In time, though, he grows angry and resentful at the way his father treats him. Chet's eldest son, Jack, though also resenting his father for his past alcoholism and the subsequent divorce with his mother, but he also looking for an opportunity to reconcile with him, out of hope that they can be a family with Shawn.
During his first major departure, Chet leaves Shawn in the care of Alan and Amy Matthews, but this ends quickly and Shawn goes to live with Jonathan Turner instead. He moves back in with his father when Chet returns to town, but at Chet's insistence, moves in with his half-brother Jack and Eric Matthews. When Shawn goes to Pennbrook, Chet goes to Jack's stepfather to ask for money to pay for Shawn's tuition. Chet returns to Philadelphia briefly, prompting a conflict with Shawn, who finally loses patience with his father's inability to stay around. Chet tells Shawn he always wanted the best for him, and stayed away because he didn't think he was good enough for him. Chet has a heart attack soon after, and he and Shawn are only able to begin reconciling when Chet dies.
Chet appears as a ghost in three episodes, "Road Trip" in Season 6, as well as "Family Trees" and "Brave New World (Part 2 - Series Finale)" in Season 7. He acts as a spirit guide for Shawn in the hard times portrayed in the first two episodes, giving him counsel and advice. His appearance in the series finale is a comical one as he proudly watches over his sons but in a moment played for laughs, Chet is outraged when he hears Jack deciding to give up his wealth for happiness, but later proud after knowing that he is joining the Peace Corps. In this appearance, no one can see or hear him - so when Jack is being scolded by Chet, he's unaware of it.
Two episodes which involve Chet ("We'll Have A Good Time Then..." and "I'm Gonna Be Like You, Dad") are named for lines from the Harry Chapin song "Cat's in the Cradle," which is about a broken father-son relationship.
Joshua Matthews, (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.
Francis Albert "Frankie the Enforcer" Stechino (Ethan Suplee) is one of Harley Keiner's "lackeys" at John Adams High. Surviving much longer than his counterparts, Harley and Joey, Frankie's character began his tenure on the show's second season as the "enforcer," torturing the other students, especially the seventh graders, including Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter. Season three put him into a friendship with Cory and Shawn.
He enjoys writing poetry. His father is the professional wrestler Vader (whose real name is stated on the show as both Francis Albert "Frankie" Stechino, Sr., and Leslie). He has a younger brother named Herman, who develops a crush on Morgan Matthews. He lives in the same trailer park as Shawn.
His last appearance as a recurring character was in the fourth season, and he returned once more, along with Joey, for the graduation episode in season 5.
During the series' second and third seasons, Joey "The Rat" Epstein (Blake Sennett) is Harley Keiner's other "lackey," also antagonizing both Shawn and Cory. Joey's exact purpose in the bully entourage is never really explained. Sennett left the show in season three to pursue music with his band Rilo Kiley, but he made one last appearance in season five's graduation episode.
First appearing as the bane of Cory's existence at the start of season two, Harvey "Harley" Keiner (Danny McNulty/Kenny Johnston) was a major antagonist and recurring character for about a year of the show's run. One of the gags surrounding his character was the oddball sophistication he added to the bullying trade, often referring to the harassment of underclassmen as if it were a career and to his gang as if it were a corporation. He had a younger sister named Theresa "T.K" (Danielle Harris) of whom he is overprotective.
When McNulty left the cast toward the end of the second season, Harley made one appearance as a different actor (Kenny Johnston), only to be subsequently written out under the pretense of going to "juvenile boot camp." The original actor made one last cameo in the third season.
Harley appears as a recurring character on the sequel series Girl Meets World. Having reformed into a mature adult, he works as the school janitor at John Quincy Adams Middle School. A job he obtained with help from Cory (with whom he has become good friends). Unlike his former self, he cares a great deal about the well-being of his students and is very sorry for his behavior towards Cory and the other kids he picked on when he was a teenager. He is also friends with the four main kids (Cory's daughter Riley, Maya Hart, Lucas Friar, and Farkle Minkus). When Farkle is bullied by another student, Harley sympathizes with the boy.
When Danny McNulty left the show at the end of season 2, Griffin "Griff" Hawkins (Adam Scott) stepped in briefly as his replacement. A far different sort of bully than Harley, Griff was a smooth-talking freeloader who used his wits and charm to weasel his way out of many an obligation and punishment. He was on the show from 1995-1996.
In an episode of the sequel series Girl Meets World, there's an easter egg that alludes to Griff. When Cory is presenting his class with awards, he gives Maya Hart the "Griff Hawkins Totally Cool" Award.
Jedidiah and Rhiannon Lawrence
Jedidiah (Peter Tork, Michael McKean, and Mark Harelik) and Rhiannon Lawrence (Annette O'Toole and Marcia Cross) are Topanga's estranged parents. Dialogue suggests they were married at the same age as Cory Matthews and their daughter, Topanga, however their relationship is not as strong due to Jedidiah's (off-screen) extramarital affair with a woman named Marie.
For Topanga's sake and without her knowledge, Jedidiah and Rhiannon spend years in counseling in an effort to salvage their marriage. Topanga stays with her aunt, Prudence Curtis (Olivia Hussey), in Philadelphia during the attempt. After their reconciliation failed, they eventually divorced. Rhiannon kept their house in Pittsburgh, while Jedidiah moved into an apartment. Their separation caused Topanga to doubt whether her relationship with Cory would last, which led to her breaking their engagement. However, touched by Cory's perseverance, Topanga ultimately gives their love another chance. By the time of the events of Girl Meets World, Topanga and Cory are shown happily married with two children.
It is unclear how many children the Lawrences actually have. One episode in Season 4, "Singled Out," Topanga refers to having four sisters while visiting Cory off-screen when he is hospitalized for surgery.
Jason Marsden (Jason Marsden), Eric's best friend from the age of three. He is often more calm than Eric, and can either be his voice of reason or the one who gets him into trouble. He is quite fond of girls, as is Eric. He was on the show from 1993-1995; he left the show after graduating and going to college, leaving Eric at home to be a "townie," and was never referenced again. He was the only character on the series to have the same exact name of the actor portraying him.
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Janitor Bud (Bob Larkin), the high school janitor, who later becomes Mr. Feeny's secretary due to Cory's getting him fired from his janitorial duties. After the change is made, he never appears on the show again, though he is referred to in an episode in a later season. He was on the show from 1994-1997.
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Lila Bolander-Feeny (Bonnie Bartlett, William Daniels' real-life wife), Dean of Pennbrook, who later begins a romantic relationship with Mr. Feeny. She was on the show from 1997-1999.
In the show, she is stereotypically portrayed as a strict, disciplinarian college administrator who is romantically attracted to George Feeny, who initially did not reciprocate her affection for years until he is under her employ.
In her first appearance in the episode "Learning to Fly," she was having doubt of whether Eric Matthews of being serious of enrolling into colleges because of his less-than-stellar grades and history as a slacker, but Eric persuasively convinced her after an interview.
George Feeny eventually sees the dean's reasonable side when she is willing to trust his judgment over Cory Matthews after he started a fight with a corrupted young professor named Stuart (portrayed by Ben Savage's real-life brother Fred) who made an advance towards Topanga Lawrence; Dean Bolander had Cory under a probationary period for starting physical violence on campus instead of expelling him, and the professor under an investigation for his misconduct. Bolander and Feeny fall in love afterward and eventually they married. After marrying Feeny in the last episode of season six, she isn't seen again and is mentioned only a few times during the seventh and final season.
Bolander was previously married to archeologist Dr. Curtis Kincaid (Francis X. McCarthy). In contrast with Feeny, Kincaid cares more about his personal success than the well being of others, which ultimately leads Dean Bolander to choose Feeny over Kincaid during the latter's attempt of salvaging their past marriage.
- In "Girl Meets 1961", Rosie McGee (Rowan Blanchard) ventures down to Greenwich Village for the first time. At Café Hey, she unknowingly meets the ancestors of three of her great-granddaughter's classmates (along with an off-camera Bob Dylan and Joan Baez). A mysterious blonde artist (Sabrina Carpenter) tells of her plan to travel to Topanga Canyon, leading Rosie to remark in her diary about what a nice name Topanga is for something one loves.
- In "Girl Meets Smackle", Topanga defends her insufficient familiarity with all of the life lessons that Cory teaches by explaining that "he has so many of them." This leads her to gasp, "Oh my God; I married Feeny!"