Updated: Nov 19, 2020
About this series
I have ranked and reviewed every episode of boy meets world. I will be dropping ten episodes every other day(8/7 central) except for the first drop, which will only include 8. The rankings are based on tiers. So, for example, you have to have received a B grade to be ranked above another B grade episode, and a B grade episode cannot be ranked higher than a B+ or A level. The grades were given mostly based on four major categories. Creativity, was the episode concept done interestingly. Subjective enjoyment is this one enjoyable to watch. Logic, does the episode make sense, and are they successful in communicating the message they set out to share. Emotion is the moments of drama, humor, and tragedy still significant
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130.New friends and old
In this episode, Joey gets suspended, and Frankie is left to fend for himself. Feeny encourages Frankie to find better friends, so Frankie sets his sites on Cory and Shawn. But Frankie finds out changing his perception will be more challenging than he thinks. In the side story, Turner reunites with a woman from his past.
This episode had a lot of good qualities. For example, Anytime Vader and Frankie are in an episode, it is always a plus to me. I love the bit where they show how small Frankie's mother was compared to Vader and Frankie. This episode is a good Frankie story with a valuable lesson. He needed to learn to stand up for himself. His size intimidates people and causes them to make assumptions about Frankie. The kids think he is terrifying. Harley believes he is a weapon and even Shawn and Cory take advantage of his size. But he also allows people to take advantage of him because he is afraid to be alone.
Also, we get a backstory for Turner. I like it a lot; it's not something most people would have guessed. Turner came from money and gave it all up to become his own man and become a teacher. It makes a lot of sense why he doesn't want to be tied down and is hesitant to commit in relationships, but still takes care of Shawn. I also liked Melanie. If they had brought her in more, they could have extended Turners time on the show IMO. It was a good story that they never followed up.
But the lesson was a little flawed Cory and Shawn shouldn't have used Frankie, but he did intimidate them into being his friend In the first place. Also, he wasn't alone when Joey got suspended because Harley came back already. Finally, while the episode is very entertaining, it wasn't funny enough or deep enough to be ranked above the rest. But it was nice to see them flush out the side characters. Grade C+
129.The honeymoon is over
This episode is conflicting. I like its idea, and it was dramatic, but it's execution leaves a lot to be desired. In this episode, Cory and Topanga return from their honeymoon, and right away, Cory is acting like a jerk, and I don't know why but this is something they did in the later season's a lot. And I didn't understand why it wasn't funny.
Also, I already have a question if Topanga said she would move out, why wouldn't she have looked for a place? Why would she expect to come back to an apartment she said she was leaving. Also, even if Shawn did move in, these people are supposed to be best friends. Are we really supposed to believe they wouldn't allow their friends to stay with them until they found a place? Then we go to Jack and Eric, and I get wanting to get Topanga back( for that apartment match ), I guess, but to steal his brother's dorm right after his wedding was just cruel. Then their parents also didn't let them stay, which makes little sense. They have always been supportive. They allowed Eric to remain with them when he didn't have a job and didn't get into college. But they couldn't let Cory and Topanga stay for a week or two to find a place? They have the room. Yes, I know they sent Eric away eventually, but that was different. He had a place to go and didn't want to. They had no home and just needed a little time to get on their feet. They weren't trying to stay forever.
Then they go to a campus(funded by millions of dollars) dorm, and it looks like a run-down motel, which makes no sense. They live in the same housing, funded by the same campus as before. Feeny also says he would do anything for them except the one thing they need, and he just comes off as not genuine like thoughts and prayers. Shawn is the only one who truly offers to help because, as usual, Shawn is down, and Cory turns him down presumably cause he is poor, I guess, but like Cory needed it. Cory needed it so much that he went back to his dad, and they had maybe their worst argument ever about it. So if he is in such dire straights, why Wouldn't he take Shawn's help? Ultimately, except for Shawn, their entire support network turns on them in the most challenging time of their life, and it's the most uncharacteristic thing. So yea, it's a pull yourself up by the bootstraps narrative, and there is value in that, but there is also value in help. Cory and Topanga are hardworking and honest people; it's not like they would have never tried to find a place if they got help. While I don't wholly agree with the messaging in this episode and how they made the characters act, this is an entertaining dramatic hardship for Cory and Topanga and a welcome change from the honeymoon episode (aren't they happy they returned to their friends and family /s) Grade C+
128. The Father Son Game
This is a charming episode. Here Cory and Eric have a father-son game with their father, but they don't want play. After they try to get out of it with excuses (Cory's is the best laugh of the episode ), their father lets them off the hook by telling them it's been canceled. They later realize he lied, and they try to make up for disappointing their father. They get another game going after a failed barbecue with Lenny, and they learn the value of reciprocation and allegiance to the people you care about. I think this is a really good episode for the themes of the season. It builds off father knows less and on the fence in terms of valuing your parents and thinking of others.
I also believe this is one of the strongest episodes in terms of Eric and Cory's relationship. We see them interacting as brothers. This is very much an Eric and Cory story. I will say that this episode doesn't do a good job of voicing the social protest position. I don't feel that side was justly represented. I feel like this episode worked well on Cory's 11-year-old level but fell short on the greater context. This episode's lesson is a version of lessons we have already learned but without super impactful moments. Even the moment with Feeny seems lesser. While it's touching, Feeny wasn't really part of this episode. Grade b-.
In this episode, Cory gets passed over for a double date with Eric because Eric's girlfriend doesn't think he is mature enough. Eric lies to Shawn to get him to take Cory's place, telling him Cory couldn't make it. This all blows up when Cory sees them at Chubbies. Meanwhile, Feeny is tired of people underestimating him. When everyone assumes that he wants the chess club, he is offended. Cory and Feeny bond over being underestimated and decide to show everyone they are dangerous by riding an extremely unsafe rollercoaster.
This episode is hilarious throughout. Probably the two funniest parts are when Morgan runs in and gives Cory her bear because it will be safe with him. And when Feeny and Cory come back around from the rollercoaster. This episode is also creative, a Feeny and Cory caper is unique. Usually, we see Cory and Feeny as mentors and protege, but here they act like friends. But this loses some logic points. One, Cory wasn't passed over because he wasn't dangerous enough. Two, he was passed over cause he was immature. Yet Cory doesn't try to get more mature. Also, Eric is sucking up to Cory hardcore because he feels terrible, but suddenly, he calls him lime jello. Like didn't Eric just feel bad for Cory? Why would he do that at that moment? Also, why would the girl care if it was Cory or not? Either way, she gets to see Eric as opposed to not seeing him this Saturday.
I will say this episode gets some points back, though, because I don't think anyone looked like the bad guy here. I could understand why Eric didn't want to tell Cory. I can also understand why Eric didn't bring him after the fountain thing. I could understand how Cory felt even more insecure after this, because he has always felt Shawn was better than him when it comes to girls and being cool, and it must have hurt for his brother to confirm it. I also feel like this episode lost some of it's potential. Feeny gives a good lesson on not caring what other people think, but they discard all of that and try to change everyone's opinion.
I think this would be better if it were a more dramatic exploration of Cory's insecurity. I feel the lesson here was to show: if you care about what other people think of you, it can push you into doing some stupid things. Cory and Feeny risk their lives because of some off-handed comments and their own insecurities, and they realize that in the end. The lesson is a little hazy, and some logic problems are holding it back, but it's still an entertaining episode that did have a good point. Grade B-
126.A very Topanga Christmas
This episode contains a vital lesson about getting to know your partner and learning to compromise. Also, the side story of Shawn and Jack is interesting and relevant. The B-story of Shawn and Jack trying to find common ground moved the plot. It also tied in nicely to the Cory and Topanga struggle. As well as adding comedy.
However, Topanga was horrendous in this episode. She was rude and annoying most of the episode. It's normal to expect to participate in someone else's traditions if you spend Christmas with them. But Eric was the only one who kept it real. Nobody else's said much to Topanga. Also, she never learned to compromise anything in this episode. Her apology was trash, too; she didn't take any responsibility for her part in the conflict. Also, while the ghost of the future past format was entertaining, they treat Cory like he can't function without Topanga(fat Cory was lowkey hilarious), but Topanga is totally fine. Cory shouldn't have run, and I'm glad he learned more about Topanga and accepted that it's ok for Topanga to not be just like him. Also, the father-son moment was nice to see. Alan using his experience to guide Cory, is always a plus. However, there needed to be more balance between Cory and Topanga for this episode to be rated higher. Grade B-
125. City Slackers
This episode was fascinating. It was pretty paint by numbers, in the beginning, silly jokes mainly from Shawn and Eric. Shawn swipes the keys to Feeny's cabin, and Eric is trying to date some girl who only dates jocks. I have to admit Shawn taking the keys to the cabin was exactly like the scenario they made fun of in Eric goes to Hollywood. Also, there has always been a tension between Feeny and Shawn, but I don't think it's ever been to the point where Shawn would think Feeny hates him that seems exaggerated. Also, Cory was convinced to run away and break an entering pretty easily. While the ranger character was funny, it was also a ridiculous stereotype of country people, which is reflected in a lot of Boy meets world.
The episode picks up when Feeny arrives. Once Feeny is on the scene in the cabin, the jokes are funnier, and at the same time, it feels more dramatic. I love the interaction between Shawn and Feeny, where he asks why he hates him, and it's revealed that Feeny knows a lot about him. However, we do learn more about Feeny and his former wife and life. The boys show they have good hearts by diving through a septic tank (eww) for Feeny to recover the watch they dropped down there that meant so much to George. I guess you could say the lesson of this is don't judge a book by its cover. Cory and especially Shawn learn there is a lot more to Feeny than they know, and he cares about them. Also, while Cory and Shawn were incredibly out of line like the entire episode, they show at the end they have good hearts. Feeny shows that he is aware of that when he tells Amy and Alan to go easy on Shawn and Cory.
Eric also provides a laugh with his 15-hour pool game against Frankie, where they hit zero balls. This episode had a lesson; it was entertaining, but it took a while to get there, and it could have been better structured and a little less contrived with Shawn thinking Feeny hates him. Grade B-
124.Fishing for Virna
In this episode, Shawn's mother, Virna, comes back. Shawn and Chet try to prove they are worthy of her so that she will return. In a B plot, Brenda, the lunch lady, dies, and through learning more about her life, Cory learns to appreciate his own mother more as he morns Brenda.
This episode blended the storylines well, and it was really touching. My problem is Virna's return was two seasons in the making; there should have been more focus there, and Shawn shouldn't have been so passive. It would have been way more impactful to see Shawn have a heart to heart with his mother who left him behind. Shawn, who runs away repeatedly, impulsively breaks the rules and puts Topanga and Cory back together after breaking them up. There is no way he should be on the sidelines while Cory solves this. I will say aside from that; I love the through-line. Virna wanting to feel appreciated, and Cory seeing how much the kids at john Adams high meant to Brenda. Also, feeling the weight of her absence enough to realize he hadn't been showing his mom the proper appreciation. This is a lesson that stands up. Grade B-
In this episode, Cory is feeling neglected by his father. This manifests in Cory, knocking his father down while struggling for a ball with him. Cory feels terrible, but it leads Alan to reevaluate their relationship. After some guidance from Amy, Alan realizes he hasn't been giving Cory enough attention and treated him differently. So Alan lets Cory skydive with them. He lets him in on Eric's side of the relationship after telling Cory that he has always valued talking to Cory even though Cory didn't think their conversations were as valuable as Eric's relationship with Alan.
Eric goes through the same struggle Cory went through because he doesn't want to be left out of the intellectual side of Alan's relationship. So Alan levels up as a father again and lets Eric in, and they go to a museum, and we get a beautiful moment where Eric gives an uncanny analysis of a sculpture. This episode had a worthwhile and original lesson, and it was balanced well with the comedy in the episode. However, this episode wasn't incredibly funny or super dramatic, just solid. Grade B
122.My baby valentine
In this episode, the Mathews have their baby. But its also valentines day, and Cory is upset that Topanga seems more concerned about making a good impression on his parents rather than spending time with him. In the side plot, Rachel and Jack are having trouble telling Eric they have decided to be a couple.
This episode had a good cliff hanger. The storyline between Eric and Rachel and Jack is getting better but not at the peak yet. Cory and Topanga are in the middle of an interesting moment where they are both wrong. Cory is going way too hard for their relationship, and Topanga is going way too hard away from it, not giving Cory much consideration because she is so eager to please the Mathews. All in all, this is a good set up episode for the much better part 2—grade B.
121. You're Married you're dead
In this episode, Cory takes off his ring at the bar to prove he is one of the boys, but he loses it. In the B-plot, Rachel studies how female presence affects male bonding. This episode was an interesting exploration of being engaged in college, involving Cory and Shawn and Topanga. However, the lesson was a little cluttered. Topanga pretends to be understanding only to manipulate Cory into doing what she wants and is shocked to see him at the bar even though she told him he could go. Then she reveals that he should wear his ring cause she has feelings too, while at the same time revealing she would have been fine if he never wore one in the first place. She says that the other guys are just jealous and infers that fitting in amongst his peers isn't essential; it's no surprise that Cory feels they should come before everything and nothing else in the Valentine's Day episode matters to him.
The side story was actually terrific. Seeing The boys so effected by Rachels's presence while they are at the boy meets world version of hooters was funny. They kept trying to act like she did not affect them, but they were clearly just in denial. But it was also really touching when they brought it around and told Rachel how important she was to them.