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Boy Meets World is an American television sitcom that chronicles the events and everyday life lessons of Cory Matthews, played by Ben Savage, who grows up from a young boy to a married man. The show aired for seven seasons from 1993 to 2000 on ABC, part of the network's TGIF lineup.

Boy Meets World was produced by Michael Jacobs Productions, Touchstone Television and distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television.

Synopsis

6th grade-12th Grade

The first of 7 seasons begins with Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter as two Philadelphiamarker students who would rather be anywhere than in school. During the second season, when Cory and Shawn start high school, they meet Mr. Jonathan Turner, an unconventional English teacher, who is the sometimes-enemy of Mr. Feeny, the new principal. Shawn becomes cool and popular at school, but still keeps his friendship with the less popular Cory. Shawn’s mother, Virna, deserts Shawn and his father, Chet, which upsets Shawn greatly. Chet then leaves to find Virna, and Shawn moves in with Mr. Turner. During the third season, Cory begins dating Topanga Lawrence, a girl who, in the first season, was mocked by Cory and Shawn.

Later in the fourth season, it is now explained that Eric told Cory that girls had cooties, which ended their close friendship. The couple breaks up later in the season but get back together a few months later, when Cory follows her to Disney World to win her back. Eric graduates high school and takes a year off to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Cory and Eric then spend the summer on a road trip. When they return, their father, Alan, decides to quit his job and open a sporting goods store, with Eric as his partner. Topanga’s mother is transferred to Pittsburghmarker, which is over 300 miles 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 her Aunt Prudence in Philadelphia until she graduates.

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 Pennbrook University. He moves into an apartment with Jack, who turns out to be Shawn’s half-brother. Shawn moves in with them, but he has nothing in common with Jack, which causes a lot of tension. A new student, Angela Moore, moves to Philadelphia and she and Shawn begin dating. Over winter break, the students go skiing on a school trip. Cory sprains his ankle and Lauren, a ski-lodge employee takes care of him. The two kiss, but Cory lies to Topanga, and tells her nothing happened. When Topanga finds out that he lied, they break up. Cory, upset about the breakup 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 while he still can.

Cory and Topanga reunite and attend prom together, where they are named King and Queen. On prom night, Cory's mother Amy announces that she is pregnant. Mr. Feeny decides to retire at the end of the school year and decides to move to Wyomingmarker. Topanga is accepted to Yalemarker, but Cory doesn’t 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.

College

Shawn, Cory, Topanga, and Angela join Jack and Eric at Pennbrook. Rachel McGuire, a new student from Texasmarker, 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 Savage), one of their professors, makes innapropriate (and unwarranted) sexual advances towards Topanga, causing Cory to shove him through a glass door at the Student Union. Cory is almost expelled, until the Dean finds out what the motivation for the shove was.

In the series finale, Cory, Topanga, Shawn and Eric all head to New York where Topanga was offered a dream internship at a law firm. Jack and Rachel join the Peace Corps in Guatemala. It is unknown what happens to Angela after she moves to Europe.

Cast

Main

  • Cornelius "Cory" Matthews (Ben Savage) is neurotic and a slacker during high school. Cory's "slacker" tendencies diminish, and his neuroses increase, along with his pessimism and paranoia. Despite his trademark neuroses and paranoia, Cory's actually the most idealistic of his friends. Cory married Topanga Lawrence, his "first true love," late in the series. He had his first kiss with Topanga in the episode, 'Cory's Alternative Friends.' His actual name is Cornelius, as revealed in the last episode. Cory strives to make sure that he and his friends will always be together throughout life, and his nature is to intervene when others find it unnecessary. He is madly in love with Topanga, but still finds other girls attractive and is put in troubled situations when he is with other women. Cory stands for what he believes in, no matter who he is defending it from, whether it is his mother, Mr. Feeny, or Topanga. As described later in the series, his faith towards love is that it "never dies."


  • George Hamilton Feeny (William Daniels) is a constant mentor to Cory and his friends. He first appears on the show as their school teacher, principal, and neighbor, and eventually toward the later years, their college professor. He later marries the Dean of Pennbrook, Lila Bolander (played by William Daniels' real-life wife Bonnie Bartlett). Originally, Mr. Feeny tried to keep a traditional teacher-student relationship with the other characters. This proved impossible, and in the series finale, Shawn says, "Oh, you know we're your favorites." Cory then adds, "C'mon Feeny. You haven't even spoken to another student in seven years!" At this final moment in the show, it is revealed that Mr. Feeny's care for Cory, Shawn, Topanga, and Eric in the last seven years is what the quotes, lessons, and devotion toward others in the show revolve around.


  • Eric Randall Matthews (Will Friedle) is the elder brother of Cory. He begins the show as a suave, popular young man, who constantly dates, in contrast to Cory's dorkier image. Eric's character changes mid-series from cool elder brother to psychotic elder brother, when he's made more of the comic relief. 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. Eric often tells Mr. Feeny "you know I'm your favorite!" Although Eric appears to have a looser grasp of reality later on and demonstrates an ambiguous moral compass throughout the series, he still holds true that friendship should never cease and he cares very deeply for the feelings of others. When the gang has a falling out after a series of pranks, it is he that pushes for everyone to make up. He cherishes family and finds it essential to happiness and satisfaction. A common, recurring 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 along with Cory, Shawn and Topanga, following his graduation from college.


  • Shawn Patrick Hunter (Rider Strong) is Cory's best friend who lives in a trailer park. Shawn takes more risks than Cory and has more of a bad boy image that leads to him having a number of different girlfriends. He also often gets into a large amount of trouble, and often sees himself as worthless trailer trash, though Cory helps him through it. He deals with his mother leaving him and his father leaving to going to find her, resulting in him staying in other homes. He eventually resents his father until they reunited shortly before his death. But no matter the situation, Shawn always remembers that he is Cory's best friend, whether he has emotional problems, whenever he hangs out with the larger crowd, or whenever Cory is having problems. Of all the characters of the show, Shawn is the most prone to depression and has had bouts with alcoholism. His relationship with his half-brother, Jack Hunter, is often a tense one, as they have very little in common. In the finale, Shawn is invited to go with Cory and Topanga to New York where Topanga has an opportunity for an internship. Shawn is the only character other than Cory to appear in all 158 episodes.


  • Topanga Lawrence Matthews (Danielle Fishel) is Cory's main love interest. She is initially a hippie vegetarian who sits at the table with the other "weird kids." In the first season, she has a huge crush on Eric, while Shawn pushes the issue that the crush is for Cory. In the episode, 'Cory's Alternative Friends,' she gives Cory his first kiss. Like Shawn Hunter and Frankie Stechino, Topanga had a sister in an earlier episode, but the character was later dropped from the show. However, Topanga's sister, Nebula "Nebbie" Stop-the-War Lawrence, did actually appear in the episode "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not," played by Krystee Clark. Topanga eventually matures into a smart overachiever and her beliefs about the environment and other topics were less emphasized. Although Topanga is admitted to Yale Universitymarker, she decides to attend Pennbrook College with Cory and their friends. She proposes to Cory during their high school graduation, and they marry during their sophomore year of college, after which the show attempts to put them in stereotypical marriage problem situations. In her relationship with Cory, Topanga is generally the realist to Cory's idealist, being more plagued by doubts and insecurities about their relationship.


  • Alan Matthews (William Russ) and Amy Matthews (Betsy Randle) are Cory and Eric's parents, who often provide guidance to their children. Alan has a quick temper, though when it shows up, usually through consultation with his wife Amy, he often apologizes afterward for words spoken in anger. 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 re-names Matthews & Sons. The two tend to be a little biased with their children, as Alan sometimes coddles and over protects Eric, and is firmer with Cory, and Amy is firmer with Eric and more 'Motherly' to Cory.


  • Joshua Gabriel Matthews (unknown babies) is the youngest of the Matthews siblings and Eric's, Cory's and Morgan's younger brother.


  • Angela Moore (Trina McGee) is Shawn Hunter's first major girlfriend who debuts in the second episode of the fifth season, albeit briefly. Angela is witty and passionate about causes and people, and enjoys things for their artistic value. Shawn is seen breaking up with Angela due to his two week rule of dating. Later, he finds a purse a girl had lost, and falls in love by the contents of the bag due to common interests. She becomes his girlfriend throughout the rest of the 5th season. In season 6, Shawn breaks up with Angela in order to 'meet new people' and remain friends. He soon regrets his decision, although he does not tell Angela that he is still in love with her. Angela and Shawn return to each other early in the seventh season, brought together by way of Angela's father Sgt. Moore. Prior to the two part season finale, Sgt. Moore stops by to visit and ask her to come with him to Europe for a year, where he's been reassigned to. Angela is undecided, and concludes that she will ultimately stay if Shawn wants her to. Conflicted by her wanting to be happy and his own selfishness, Shawn decides it is best to let Angela go spend time with her father, long denied to both of them.


  • Jack Hunter (Matthew Lawrence) is Shawn's half-brother who debuts in the fifth season premiere. Jack was born to Chet and an unknown woman, but she took Jack and left for a richer man when Jack was young. Jack tries to make amends to Shawn, as they never were officially acquainted before. Shawn alienates Jack primarily because he never returned to meet Shawn, and also because Jack has a richer father. Though Shawn believes Jack is selfish because Shawn wrote to him everyday for a year after he found out he had a brother and never received a response, Jack admits that his mom was keeping the letters from him, and Shawn realizes that Jack wants a brother more than anything as well. The two bond and move in with Eric in an apartment. Jack is often paired as the straight man and occasional rival to Eric, as the two are opposites in many ways (Jack being serious and ambitious while Eric is wacky and lazy) The two ultimately become best friends.


  • Rachel Kimberly McGuire (Maitland Ward) is the love interest of Eric and Jack after she moves in with them, though Eric realizes he is 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.


  • Morgan Matthews (Lily Nicksay/Lindsay Ridgeway) 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, though she disappears for a season. When she comes back 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 actor in the role came a shift in personality as Morgan became a more sarcastic character who delights in making fun of her brothers, especially Cory. Though all of the Matthews family (except Cory and Eric) gradually fade into the background as the series goes on, this is by far the most evident with Morgan.


  • Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn) and Eli Williams (Alex Désert) are two friends who become teachers while Cory and his friends are in high school. The two teach English and Film, respectively. There is often a focus on their single bachelor life of dating, partying, and socializing that they experience outside of their teaching. Turner's more laidback approach to teaching often clashes with Mr. Feeny's more traditional methods, and the students easily identify with the hip, Harley-riding teacher. He is serious about being a teacher though, to the point that Cory describes him as "Feeny with an earring". Turner introduces Eli, who becomes the media arts teacher. He sometimes finds teaching and reaching out to students to be a difficult chore, something that Turner helps him out with. In the episode "Cult Fiction" Turner gets in a motorcycle accident that almost kills him. That is the last episode in which he appears.


Minor

  • Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris), is the resident genius and nerd in Cory's sixth grade class. He is the one constantly obsessed with grades, he has a crush on Topanga, and is often made fun of by Cory and Shawn. He is never seen again after season one until their high school graduation, where Stuart makes a cameo appearance with the rest of the class where he says he's been "on the other side of the school" this whole time.


  • Chet Hunter (Blake Clark), is Shawn and Jack's wayward, irresponsible father. Though he loves both his sons 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, when his wife Virna runs off, Chet leaves Shawn with the Matthews family (and then Jonathan Turner) to go and track her down. The two are reunited again in Season 4, and Virna eventually returns as well - though only for a short time. In Season 5, Virna's gone again and Shawn moves into an apartment with Eric and Jack, leading Chet to disappear again. He returns in Season 6, seen hustling some students at Pennbrook. He's reunited with Shawn and Jack, but a matured Shawn is now resentful of what a poor excuse for a father Chet was. During a heated confrontation Chet suffers a massive heart attack, and Shawn and Chet manage to make amends before Chet passes away. Following Chet's death, Cory and Shawn take a road trip – winding up at a diner Chet frequented and was very popular at. In the final season, Shawn discovers that Chet had been hiding the fact that Virna was never Shawn's mother in the first place, and Shawn was in fact the son of a stripper he'd had a brief affair with. Chet appears as a ghost three times since his death. Once when Shawn takes a solo road trip after visiting the diner. Then when Shawn visits his grave and he has a brief chat with him about his mother. The third time was in the series finale, however this time, nobody could see or hear him. In this appearance, he is complaining that Jack is turning down his stepfather's money, but then expresses pride that he is joining the Peace Corps. He also pinches Rachel, which she clearly feels.


  • Jason Marsden (Jason Marsden) is 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. 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.


  • Harvey "Harley" Keiner (Danny McNulty/Kenny Johnston) is a bully who leads Frankie "The Enforcer" Stechino (Ethan Suplee), a large boy who acts as muscle and enjoys poetry and is the (fictional) son of real-life professional wrestler Big Van Vader, and Joey "The Rat" Epstein (Blake Sennett), who is much smaller and talkative. Harley, though he appears and acts like a typical 1950s greaser always speaks with strangely proper grammar. He is eventually sent to "juvenile boot camp". Following Harley's departure, Frankie and Joey latch onto the popular Eric to be their new ringleader, but as Eric finds the two annoying and irritating he devises a plan to pawn them off on a new boss.


  • That new ringleader turns out to be Griffin "Griff" Hawkins (Adam Scott), who is a smooth-talking freeloader who used his wits and charm to weasel his way out of many an obligation and punishment. Harley (played by original actor Danny McNulty) is reprised in season 3 in an episode where he confronts Griff. Though Frankie is commanded by Harley to beat up Griff, Frankie declares himself to no longer be a "lackie" and convinces Joey to do the same and thereafter neither Harley nor Griff are seen again. After vanishing in Season 4, Frankie and Joey return in season 5 for the season finale, Graduation Mathematically, the two of them have been held back their senior year five times, since they were initially seniors when Cory started High School, three seasons earlier. As Joey is excited to get "outta High School" and into the "real world," Frankie suggest that they become criminals. They decide to become "the Cory and Shawn of the underworld." The two were last seen receiving their High School diplomas at the end of the season.


Episodes

Season Ep # First Airdate Last Airdate
Season 1 22 September 10, 1993 May 13, 1994
Season 2 23 September 23, 1994 May 19, 1995
Season 3 22 September 22, 1995 May 17, 1996
Season 4 22 September 20, 1996 May 2, 1997
Season 5 24 October 3, 1997 May 15, 1998
Season 6 22 September 25, 1998 May 14, 1999
Season 7 23 September 24, 1999 May 5, 2000


DVD releases

The first three seasons were released on DVD by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and Touchstone Pictures in 2004 and 2005. Releases of future seasons were put on hold due to lackluster sales; however, on August 4, 2008, Lionsgate announced that they have purchased the rights to the entire series and may release seasons 4-7 on DVD, as well as re-release seasons 1-3 on DVD, as they have been discontinued by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment..

Season Ep# Release Date Bonus Features Distributor
1 22 August 24, 2004 Commentary; Season Four episode Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
2 23 November 23, 2004 Audio and video commentaries Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
3 22 August 23, 2005 Interactive trivia game Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
4 22 TBA unknown
5 24 TBA unknown
6 22 TBA unknown
7 22 TBA unknown


Production notes

Theme music and introductions

Boy Meets World used five theme songs and a number of opens over seven years. The final theme, written and performed by Phil Rosenthal , remained for the fifth through seventh seasons, though the visuals changed from Seasons 5 to 6 to include Trina McGee-Davis as Angela Moore (when she moved from guest star to regular cast member in Season 5) and Maitland Ward as Rachel McGuire (added as a regular cast member in Season 6).

ABC Family was the first network since ABC to show all the accurate introductions for all seven seasons. For the syndicated and Disney Channel broadcasts, a slightly modified version of the Season 4 theme is used for Seasons 1-4, however the opening credits for Seasons 5-7 were the original style.

Philadelphia references

It is one of many television shows to take place primarily in the Philadelphiamarker area, and makes multiple local references. These include Cory's love for the Phillies and Morgan always 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 get into Swarthmore Collegemarker — finally ending with Cory and most of the cast attending Pennbrook, an institution that appears to be a pastiche of Swarthmore, Pennmarker, Saint Joseph's Universitymarker, and other Philadelphia-area colleges.

Awards

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


Syndication

Boy Meets World reruns began airing on syndication on September 8, 1997. After the show ended in 2000, Disney Channel acquired the rights to air the series, lasting from 2000-2007. ABC Family also aired the show until August 2007.

References

  1. Rescue Records


External links




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