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Shawn Hunter

Boy Meets World

Boy Meets World was an American television sitcom that chronicles the events and everyday life lessons of Cory Matthews, 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.

Synopsis

Grade 6-Grade 12

The story begins with Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter as two Philadelphia students who would rather be anywhere than in Mr. Feeny's sixth grade classroom. Cory’s older brother, Eric, is a very popular tenth-grade student. During the second season, when Cory and Shawn start high school, they meet Mr. Jonathan Turner, a non-conventional English teacher, who is the sometimes-enemy of Mr. Feeny, who is 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. The two had been close friends as children, but when they were seven, 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 Pittsburgh, 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 breaks 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 when 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 Wyoming. Topanga gets accepted to Yale, 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 couples' 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, Topanga, Cory and Angela join Jack and Eric at Pennbrook. Rachel McGuire, 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 and, despite Cory’s efforts, decide to stay just friends. Mr. Feeny returns to take some classes, but then is offered a teaching job at the university. During their freshman year, Stuart, one of their professors, hits on Topanga, causing Cory to shove him through a window. Cory is almost expelled, until the Dean realizes what the motivation for the shove was. Shawn writes a poem for a contest, but decides not to read it. Cory reads it without his permission, upsetting Shawn because the poem was about how he still has feelings for Angela. Shawn and Jack’s father, Chet, then comes to visit and tells the boys he will stay this time. Shawn doesn’t believe him and, during an argument, Chet has a heart attack and dies. Shawn, devastated about his father, goes on a road trip and decides not to go back to Philadelphia. Cory can’t convince him to come back, but Chet’s ghost helps Shawn to make the decision. Amy gives birth to a son, Joshua, but he is in an intensive care unit due to a lung defect. The family is very nervous, but Joshua makes it through. Mr. Feeny has had a crush on the Dean since he arrived at Pennbrook and decides to ask her out. The couple eventually gets married. Jack and Rachel begin dating, so Eric moves out. Topanga’s parents show up and tell her that they are getting divorced. Topanga, who is devastated, calls off her wedding to Cory because she doesn’t want to end up like her parents. Angela’s father shows up and Shawn tries to impress him so that he will put in a good word with Angela. Angela, however, doesn’t want to get back together with Shawn because she is afraid she will leave him like her mother left her father. The couple, however, reconciles. Cory and Topanga reconcile as well, and begin to re-plan their wedding. The couple finally gets married, after a huge fight between Shawn and Cory in the middle of the wedding. When the couple returns from their honeymoon, they realize they don’t know where they are going to live, because the dorms they had planned on living in are off-limits to married couples. They move into the married dorms, which are disgusting apartments, but Cory fixes up the apartment for them. The friends then get into a friendly war, with two teams – Cory, Shawn and Topanga against Jack, Angela and Rachel. However, when the war is taken too far, the friendships end. Mr. Feeny and Eric attempt to bring the friends back together, and after a flash into the future shows what life would be without each other, the friends reconcile. Topanga and Eric then decide to go on a diet, but Cory and Shawn misinterpret Topanga’s change in behavior and appetite as her being pregnant. Word gets out, and soon everyone thinks she is pregnant. She finally announces, at her surprise baby shower, that she isn’t expecting. She and Cory discuss having children, but decide to wait until they are ready. Angela’s father shows up again, this time to ask Angela to go to Europe with him, where he will be stationed for a year. This news greatly upsets Shawn, but he tells her to go because he wants her to have time with her father, something he never had with Chet. Eric, Rachel and Jack graduate from college. Topanga gets an internship at a prestigious law firm in New York City, but decides not to take it for Cory’s sake. Cory, however, decides to move with her to New York because he wants to be a supportive spouse. Eric and Shawn decide to move with the couple. Jack joins Rachel in the Peace Corps after Jack’s rich stepfather stops sending him money. Before Eric, Cory, Shawn and Topanga leave for New York, they make one last stop in Mr. Feeny’s classroom, where he gives them one last piece of advice for the real world.

Cast / Characters

Actor Character Seasons Number of Episodes
Ben Savage Cory Matthews 1-7 158
Will Friedle Eric Matthews 1-7 142
Rider Strong Shawn Hunter 1-7 158
Danielle Fishel Topanga Lawrence-Matthews Recurring 1; Starring 2-7 121
William Daniels George Feeny 1-7 133
William Russ Alan Matthews 1-7 120
Betsy Randle Amy Matthews 1-7 123
Lily Nicksay Lindsay Ridgeway Morgan Matthews 1-2 Recurring 3; Starring 4-7 34 44
Matthew Lawrence Jack Hunter 5-7 53
Trina McGee-Davis Angela Moore Recurring 5; Starring 6-7 58
Anthony Tyler Quinn Jonathan Turner 2-4 50
Maitland Ward Rachel McGuire 6-7 38
Lee Norris Stuart Minkus 1 24
Alex Désert Eli Williams 3 12

Notable Guest Stars: Jason Marsden, Leon White, Keri Russell, Candace Cameron, Melissa Joan Hart, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Shane West, Pat Morita, Marcia Cross, Lindsay Price, Larisa Oleynik, Mena Suvari, Brittany Murphy, John O'Hurley, Nia Vardalos, Fred Savage, Wesley Jonathan, Linda Cardellini, Ethan Suplee, Bonnie Bartlett, Rue McClanahan, Jim Abbott, Buddy Hackett, Nancy Kerrigan, Soupy Sales, Mick Foley, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, Robert Goulet, Davy Jones, Staci Keanan, and Paul Gleason.

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 21 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

Production notes

Continuity

The series features many continuity errors, including:

  • In season one, Cory, Shawn and Topanga are in sixth grade and Eric is in tenth grade. Cory, Shawn and Topanga are able to graduate by season five (when they should be in tenth grade). Eric, however, graduates during season three, when he should graduate.

Season Cory, Shawn, Topanga Eric
1 Grade 6 Grade 10
2 Grade 7 Grade 11
3 Grades 8-10 Grade 12
4 Grade 11 Year Off
5 Grade 12 1st Year of College
6 1st Year of College 2nd Year of College
7 2nd-3rd Years of College 3rd-4th Year of College

  • Shawn has a sister in the first season, Staci, and a half-brother, Eddie, in the third season, but later it is stated that Jack is his only sibling.
  • Topanga has a sister, Nebula, during the first season, but later refers to herself as an only child.
  • Topanga's mother's name is Chloe at the beginning of the series, but Rhiannon at the end of the series.
  • The age that Cory and Topanga were when they first met (everywhere from birth to age six) and how they met (parents were friends to meeting at a playground when Cory couldn't get off of the monkey bars) changes each time the issue is discussed.

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.

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

Stage settings

Boy Meets World was filmed almost exclusively on stage settings.

  • The Matthews' House - Seasons 1-7

The House was a four-room set-up, consisting of the living room, kitchen, Cory and Eric's bedroom, and the backyard that adjoined Mr. Feeny's backyard. There were also occasional scenes in Cory and Eric's bathroom and their parents' bedroom.

  • The Classroom - Seasons 1-7

Although the classroom was used for different teachers, it was present during every season. It consisted of multiple desks, a teacher's desk and a blackboard. During Seasons 6-7, the desks were raised onto platforms.

  • Mr. Feeny's Office - Seasons 2-5

The office consisted of Mr. Feeny's desk, as well as chairs for visitors. It was only used during the high school years.

  • John Adams' Main Floor - Seasons 2-4

The main hallway, containing the students' lockers, led to classrooms and an additional room that was used for Mr. Feeny's office, a bathroom and a janitor's closet.

  • John Adams' Senior Floor - Seasons 5-6

This was adapted from the "Main Floor" set. Most of the room placements were flipped, but it contained the same basic set pieces, except for the addition of a couch and table.

  • Jonathan Turner's Apartment - Seasons 2-3

Jonathan Turner's apartment contained a living room area and a kitchen area.

  • The Apartment - Seasons 5-7

The apartment contained a living room area and a kitchen area. It had a loft-style partition that led to a balcony and the bedrooms.

The apartment was inhabited by different variations of the friends throughout the series:

  • First line-up: Jack, Eric and Shawn live together for all of season 5.
  • Second line-up: Jack, Eric, and Rachel. At the beginning of Season 6, a few months before Shawn plans to move out of the apartment and into a dorm with Cory, Eric and Jack kicked him out to make room for Rachel. Shawn, upon seeing Rachel, takes this in stride and moves in with Cory.
  • Third line-up: Jack and Rachel. Jack and Rachel begin dating and Eric moves out to give them space.
  • Fourth line-up: Topanga, Angela and Rachel. When Jack and Rachel break up, Eric decides to return to the apartment, but at the same time, Rachel invites Angela and Topanga to move in. Eric and Jack fight the girls for the apartment, but they lose.
  • Fifth line-up: Angela, Shawn and Rachel. After Cory and Topanga get married, Topanga moves out and Shawn moves in with Angela and Rachel.
  • Sixth Line-up: Shawn and Angela. Rachel moves out to become a resident assistant.
  • Seventh and Final Line-up: Jack, Eric and Shawn. Angela decides to move in with Rachel, so Jack and Eric move back into the apartment with Shawn.
  • Chubbie's Famous Hamburgers - Seasons 2-5

Chubbie's was a multiple-room set, with a game room on stage left and restaurant/bar on stage right. Eventually the restaurant becomes a pirate-themed restaurant called "Peg-Leg Pete's" and was written off the show.

  • Dormitories - Seasons 6-7

The dorm rooms were small areas consisting of two beds and a desk. Shawn and Cory lived together in one dorm room, Angela and Topanga in another and later Angela and Rachel in a different dorm room. The rooms connected to a hallway, which connected to the co-ed bathroom that was used in much of Season 6.

  • The Pennbrook Student Union - Seasons 6-7

This replaced the John Adams High School hallway as the main school setting. The set included a café, couches and a coffee table, a pool table behind it and an outdoor patio.

  • The Married Couples Dormitories - Season 7

This included a hallway and Cory and Topanga's apartment. Cory and Topanga's apartment included and kitchen and living area and their bedroom.

  • WIXB News Station - Season 3

The WIXB News Station included a break area, the newscaster's desk and an area for the meteorology department to work.

  • Cafeteria - Seasons 1-5

The cafeteria included a serving area, vending machines and tables.

  • 'Matthews and Sons' Store - Season 4 and 7

The local sporting goods store that Alan owned contained a checkout area and merchandise areas.

Season 2

After Season 1 of Boy Meets World ended, the production team made some changes to the show, which would affect the show until the end. The changes made for the 1994–95 season included:

  • The target demographs were changed from family viewers to more teenage viewers.
  • The Opening. Seasons 2 and 3 had short openings to allow for more episode time.
  • The Logo. The BMW logo looks different than the one in Season 1; the Season 2 logo is not seen in Season 3, although it is seen in Season 4.
  • The Credits. The Season 2 style of the credits were equivalent to the style of the logo. The Season 2 style of credits is used until the end of the series.
  • The Background Music. Instead of using Season 1's Irish reggae music for Season 2, they used guitar rock for Season 2's opening and episode music mostly until Season 4. In Seasons 4–7, the rock music is used briefly.

Philadelphia references

It is one of the few 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 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 College — finally ending with Cory and most of the cast attending Pennbrook, an institution that appears to be a pastiche of Swarthmore, Penn, Saint Joseph's University, and other Philly-area colleges. Pennbrook is also the name of a train station in suburban Lansdale on Philadelphia's R5 Line, as well as the name of a nearby middle school. In an episode in Season 4, while attempting to lure Shawn into an SAT review session, Cory coerces Mr. Feeny into mentioning that they have cake at the session from the "Westchester Bakery". There is no such bakery, but the borough West Chester exists west of Philadelphia. Chubbie's Famous was an actual Philly cheesesteak location that actually did not have much sit down space, unlike the sound-stage set led many to believe. The actual landmark is very similar to Pat's and Geno's, two other Philadelphia cheesesteak landmarks. Shawn's father is featured in an episode, and it is mentioned that he is from Reading, a town in the Philadelphia area. Also when Cory is on the basketball team he has a game against Cheltenham, which is a suburb right outside of Philadelphia.

Running gags

  • In season four, Eric coins the "Feeny Call".
  • In later seasons, Cory occasionally refers to Topanga as "the wife."
  • In the earlier seasons, characters such as Cory, Shawn and Mr. Turner end an awkward situation by saying, "Good night, everybody!" and walking out of the room.
  • After one of his theories is proven false, Cory sometimes says that he is "wrong about everything."
  • Eric often confuses the words "niece" and "niche."
  • In the later seasons, after Eric says or does something stupid, someone (usually Jack or Alan) will mutter, "Unbelievable."
  • Shawn and Cory always mention their love of cake.
  • Often if Topanga appears, or if she's done something semi-scandalous or unexpected, there's (usually by Cory and Shawn) a gasp and then a "To-PANGA!".
  • Eric calls Morgan "Weasel" constantly during seasons one and two.
  • Harley almost always refers to Cory as "Baboon," going back to the first episode of Season 2 when Harley nicknames him "Johnny Baboon".
  • Mr. Feeny is almost always gardening in his backyard and available to give the Matthews family advice. Panic ensues by the family when he is not there.
  • Cory and Shawn (and later Angela) always mention their love of actor Jean-Claude Van Damme.
  • Eric thinks that Mr. Feeny is from England and he refers to him as being British, though Feeny constantly reminds him that he is from Boston.

Awards

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1994 Young Artist Award Best New Television Series 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 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 Nominated

Syndication

Boy Meets World reruns began airing on Disney Channel after the show ended in 2000, however they were taken off of the Disney Channel lineup in 2007. Disney Channel edited episodes with mature content (i.e. sexual jokes) and does not show three episodes containing mature themes: "If You Can't Be With the One You Love...", "PROM-ises, PROM-ises", and "The Truth About Honesty". ABC Family also airs the show, but without editing any of the dubious content. However, ABC Family refuses to air any on the christmas-themed episodes. In October 2007, ABC Family stopped airing Boy Meets World. This came as a disappointment to many fans of the show. Many fans have started web sites and petitions to bring the show back to the air waves. Since then, rumors have begun to circulate claiming that Boy Meets World will begin airing on Nick at Nite beginning in the fall of 2009.

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 then put on hold, 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.

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

References

External links

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