Sometimes, Boring is Interesting
There's no need to hide the fact that Cory Matthews was perhaps the most bland protagonist to ever grace our television screens. And honestly, he never really had much going for him. He was a middle child, no interests to speak of, not particularly bright and had little to no work experience. (Although there was that one episode where he tried his hand at telemarketing.) To top it all off, the poor guy had hair like a Chia Pet.
So what made him such an endearing character? Well, for much of his early years, Cory was depicted as kind of a class clown, with an unhealthy obsession with baseball. But as the show went on, his buddy Shawn became more of the prototypical troublemaker, and Cory's baseball schtick was pretty well played out by Season 4. So instead of materializing hobbies and personality quirks that were never there, Cory embodied the every man, the loyal all-American kid with a heart of gold. And for quite awhile, that did the trick.
In fact, it wasn't until a Season 6 episode called "Better Than Average Cory" that his dullness issue was directly addressed. Here, Cory developed an inferiority complex that led him to believe he was nothing more than an "average" guy. However, this soon became a staple of his character, and the show ran with it. Yes, he was average, but extraordinarily so. As a result, he was one of the few main characters to pull off plain-vanilla with style, and for that, we can't help but love him.
It's All About the Hair.
And what's a plucky coming-of-age tale without a hero’s best pal and his girlfriend? Yes, the titular "Boy" of Boy Meets World was always Cory Matthews, but his two closest comrades Shawn Hunter and Topanga Lawrence played just as much of a pivotal role in the long-running series.
Rebellious phases deemed too dark and dangerous for Cory were usually assigned to Shawn. Drinking, vandalism, running away from home, cherry bombing mailboxes, cults -- these were more Shawn's bag. However, there were two areas in which Mr. Hunter never faltered: his undying loyalty to Cory... and his ever-flowing locks.
Topanga, meanwhile, was best known as the flower child of early BMW, but in time she ditched the crimps and became the curvaceous wavy-haired bombshell of every young boy's dreams. And she was more than just a beauty, she had brains, too. Yes... Topanga was the total package -- well, maybe except for that name.
Ten Times out of Ten, Feeny was Right.
Fee-nay! Fee-hee-hee-hee-hee-NAY! In all honestly, Boy Meets World wouldn't be half the show it was without its sage-like instructor Mr. Feeny. Imparting wisdom since 1993, William Daniels will always hold a special place in our hearts for portraying the mentor figure we all wished we had living next door. Not only was he a teacher in the classroom, but in his spare time, he was usually out in the garden, where Cory and whoever else could prod him for a quick pick-me-up or some free advice.
But most importantly, despite what any other character thought, Mr. Feeny was right... always. Whenever one of the kids was feeling down in the dumps, they could always count on Feeny to say the exact right thing at the exact right moment. As Shawn put it during his high school graduation speech, "You've always told us what to do, without ever telling us what to do."
And, as with any good grandfatherly-type, the man could read the hell out of some Charles Dickens.
Life's Tough. Get a Helmet.
Boy Meets World was a show that, in addition to having fun, also addressed some very serious real-world issues that were often a big part of growing up. The series never denied its three-camera sitcom format, but it definitely wasn't afraid of pushing limits emotionally. In fact, some of BMW's most powerful episodes were the ones where characters faced monumental struggles like bullying, poverty, and even death.
At the same time, the show had a knack for depicting the lighter side of tragedy. Even when it felt like things couldn't get any worse, you could almost always count on a heartwarming pep talk or an idle joke to ease the tension. Part of the show's success stemmed from its ability to balance comedy and drama at the same time, while also teaching moral values.
Monogamy Actually Works.
Who knew, right? If there's one definitive thing we've learned from Boy Meets World, it's that keeping a steady relationship is possible... at least on TV. One of the big anomalies of the show was that it rarely played the "on again, off again" card that's become so popular on television. When Cory and Topanga first got together, it was pretty much smooth sailing for years after that. Sure, they had a few fights here or there, but never anything detrimental.
That was until an episode called "Heartbreak Cory," in which Cory shared a kiss with another girl during their senior ski trip. It's the arc you love to hate, and it was really the only serious breakup Cory and Topanga ever actually had. To be fair, it only lasted six episodes... but what a gut-wrenching six episodes they were!
Cory and Topanga never had any notable relationship problems after that, save for one bitter argument about cork furniture or something. (Oh, and "Undahpants!") To this day, they remain the quintessential "it" couple of the 1990s, forever proving that a show can still be interesting even after you put the two main characters together.
Chill Teachers Will Let You Live with Them.
His time was short on Boy Meets World, but Jonathan Turner will forever be remembered as one of the raddest TV teachers of all time. In his heyday, Mr. Turner was the kind of guy you aspired to be. He was the Fonzie of a generation: impeccable hair, strong jawline, always wore a leather jacket -- plus, he rode a motorcycle to work! (And who could forget that earring?)
Not only that, but Mr. Turner was a genuinely nice guy. He'd stick up for Cory in times of need or help Mr. Feeny get his point across to the younger set. He even became Shawn's legal guardian for a time -- seriously, this dude was so noble that he took on a freaking ward. How much more badass can you get?
Eric Matthews is the Man.
Whether he was the coolest kid at John Adams High, or the token moron at Pennbrook U, Eric Matthews is regarded by many BMW fans as the show's most beloved treasure. Of course, it's impossible to recount all of Eric's classic moments, but needless to say his impact on the series was integral.
His comedic value certainly changed over the years, but he always had that charming puppy dog presence that made him the perfect counterpart to Cory. If a costume was called for, Eric was likely wearing it. If a disaster had just occurred, Eric was likely behind it. And if a shoulder was needed for crying on, Eric's would always be waiting.
He may have had the IQ of a cucumber, but don't let it be said that he wasn't the most lovable rascal BMW had to offer.
Assigned Seats are Forever.
Boy Meets World accomplished a lot over the course of its seven-season run, but the show's most important lesson was saved for last...
Over the years, BMW had placed an emphasis on the concept of change -- an appropriate theme, considering the premise and title of the show. The characters were constantly presented with new and exciting milestones, from first kisses and wedding days to heartbreak and self-discovery. But the one thing that never changed was the bond these characters shared. Through thick and thin, no matter what obstacles came their way, they always had each other.
In the series finale, during the final moments of the show, Mr. Feeny delivered what is often considered his best piece of advice, and the moral of Boy Meets World as a whole: "Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good."
my favorite lesson from BMW was when the man himself, alan matthews, wakes cory up to watch a phillies no hitter (or at least potential one in the 7th inning) and then cory falls asleep in class (during a test?) the next day. feeny acts all mad and shite and wont let him retake it or whatever, but then feeny is talking to cory at the fence (classic), and drops some awesome shite. feeny talks about when he was a kid, the president was gonna say some important arse shite on the radio about something big (i cant quite remember) but feeny's dad wouldnt let him stay up late to listen and feeny was naturally well rested for school the next day (perfect set up). george proceeds to ask corey, "and you know what i learned the next day in school?" cory is all "probably the magna carta or something big." and feeny goes "i have absolutely no idea."