Eric Matthews (Boy Meets World)
|Eric Randall Matthews|
|First appearance||"Pilot" (Boy Meets World)
"Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels" (Girl Meets World)
|Last appearance||"Brave New World" (Boy Meets World)
"Girl Meets Goodbye" (Girl Meets World)
|Created by||Michael Jacobs
|Portrayed by||Will Friedle|
|Number of episodes||158|
|Occupation||Student (formerly) (Jefferson Elementary, John Adams High School, Pennbrook University of Philadelphia)
Box boy at the Philadelphia District Market Giant (formerly)
Mall Model (briefly)
Employee at Matthews' Wilderness Outpost (formerly)
Channel 7 interim weatherman (temporarily)
Department store Santa Claus (December 1998)
Pennbrook Student Union store employee (formerly)
Mayor (St. Upidtown, New York) (formerly)
U.S. Senator (State of New York)
|Family||Alan Darnell Matthews (father)
Amy Matthews (mother)
Cornelius A. "Cory" Matthews (younger brother)
Morgan Matthews (younger sister)
Joshua Gabriel Matthews (younger brother)
|Significant other(s)||Heather Ralston (ex-girlfriend)
Desiree Emmaline Hollinger Beaumont (ex-girlfriend)
Lonnie Boden (former crush)
Rachel McGuire (former love interest)
|Relatives||Topanga Lawrence-Matthews (sister-in-law)
Riley Matthews (niece)
August "Auggie" Matthews (nephew)
Bernice Matthews (paternal grandmother)
Grandpa Poppy (maternal grandfather; deceased)
Nana Boo Boo (maternal grandmother)
Unnamed Aunt (paternal aunt)
Charlie (paternal great-grandfather; deceased)
Uncle Maury (great-uncle)
|Hometown||Cedar Heights, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Residence||New York, New York (formerly)
St. Upidtown, New York (formerly)
Eric is the oldest brother of Cory, Morgan, and Joshua Matthews and son of Alan and Amy. He began the show as a popular young student and stud, who constantly went out on dates with pretty girls in his high school. Though he was never the most popular or the school bully. He was originally portrayed as a stereotypical brother and teenage boy who picked on his younger brother and bragged about his love of cars and girls. Eric's character morphed throughout the series from that stereotype to a crazy moron. He gradually becomes dumber and during the fourth season, he takes a year off from school when he is unable to gain entrance into any of the colleges he applies.
Eric often plays off of the series mentor and his neighbor, Mr. Feeny. They do not originally have a close relationship, but they grow closer throughout the series as Cory grows closer to his friend and girlfriend. It is implied once that Eric tells people (such as Rachel) that "Feeny" is his grandfather, not just his neighbor. Eric also coins the "Feeny call," which becomes a popular ongoing joke throughout the series and carries on into the spin-off, Girl Meets World. At the end of the series, Eric makes a talking doll, which is the third of doll-making skills on display in the series, for Feeny so that he will not miss him when he moves to New York City with his brother and their friends.
Sometimes it seems as though Eric is actually highly intelligent. Occasionally it is shown that he has little moments of wisdom, which he does not even realize himself. Mr. Feeny once mentions in an episode that Eric can get passing grades "in his sleep" without even trying. Eric is presented as lazy and immature throughout the entire series, much to the great annoyance of his family and Mr. Feeny. In Girl Meets World, Cory mentions in an episode to prove to others that he trusts Eric, that Eric is the only person he knows who can "do the impossible," and later in the same episode, Jack Hunter, Eric's best friend from college asks him if he is still an "idiot genius." Eric, like many television characters, is the token idiot savant.
During the later years of the series, when the brothers are in college with their friends, storylines involving Eric became stranger, often bending the rules of reality. In one episode Eric continually tries to sneak up on Topanga by using disguises. He cross-dresses in this and several other episodes. The change from a girl-crazy teenager to odd-ball is a drastic, but gradual change in the series. Eric is often the source of the comic relief throughout the series, particularly in the later seasons when Cory becomes more serious and mature. It is hinted that he is a fan of South Park, because he makes references to the program several times, especially when he does voice impressions of Cartman and other characters on different occasions.
Eric also often appears sensitive when it comes to family and friends, especially in the episode, "Brotherly Shove," in which Eric feels rejected by Cory. The garage is filled with memories from their childhood, but Cory asks Shawn and Topanga to help instead. In the episodes "The War" and "Seven the Hard Way," friendship is shown to be important to Eric. He says, "Lose one friend, lose all friends. Lose yourself." After working as a mall Santa one year in college, Eric befriends a young orphaned boy named Tommy. Eventually he wants to adopt him, but does not because he is young and Tommy is adopted by a new family that can better support him. When he graduates from college in the series finale, Eric decides to move to New York City with his brother, Cory, sister-in law, Topanga, and their best friend, Shawn.
During the fifteen years between the events of Boy Meets World and the sequel/spin-off series, Girl Meets World, Eric moves upstate, and is elected mayor of [the fictional] St. Upidtown, on the Quebec border on the edge of Canada and the United States. By his own admission, he has no understanding whatsoever of the town's political problems, but the electorate trust him because of his handling of their personal problems. Topanga intentionally mispronounces the municipality's name by disregarding the period and space, thus rendering it, "Stupidtown."
Although Will Friedle initially declined to reprise his role, Eric became a recurring character in Girl Meets World, beginning with its upcoming second season. His first appearance occurred in the episode "Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels". The episode title is a reference to the Boy Meets World Season 7 episode "Seven the Hard Way"; and he delivers his above-quoted "Lose one friend…" philosophy from the earlier episode. Early plans for the series had Eric's son, Troy, being a prominent part of the cast; the role of the teenage relative is instead filled by Cory and Eric's youngest brother, Joshua (now portrayed by Uriah Shelton). Friedle has made numerous visits to the set of Girl Meets World. After a major political blunder by the six-term United States Senator from New York, Jefferson Davis Graham, Eric is recruited by Graham's political advisor to run against the senator - since Eric is the only one who has a chance…of making the Senator look good in comparison. However, due to Eric's innate goodness and the Senator's incompetence, Eric is able to defeat Graham and assume the position of Senator of the state of New York. He gets strong praise and recommendation from a blogger named T.J. who turns to be an adult Tommy.