Updated: Apr 27
About this series
I have ranked and reviewed every episode of boy meets world. I will be dropping ten episodes on Fridays (8/7 central). 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. Fan questions at the bottom.
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40. Truth and Consequences Episode 7, Season 3
In this episode, Cory and Shawn have to do a film report for Mr. William's class. They are told to get a hot story, and they do. The boys find out that Janitor Bud is skipping out early and committing time fraud. They think they did an excellent job on their report, but their report results in Feeny firing Janitor Budd, and everyone hates them for it. Even Cory's parents cannot agree on if they did the right thing because now Budd will lose out on his pension. In the end, Feeny hires Budd as his secretary, and Eli teaches Cory about the news business. In a b story, Eric does a sleep study, and they discover he had no brain activity during sleep.
This episode shows what season 3 did well; it delivers dramatic storylines and still puts in great comedy moments. It also shows off one of Boy meets World best storytelling traits. This episode Introduces a moral dilemma to show us the nuance of the adult world. Here Cory is technically right, but at the same time, he is wrong. While it is wrong for janitor Budd to skip out on work and Cory does have a right to report him, it would also be wrong to take a pension he worked decades for. So Cory was kind of wrong in reporting it the way he did because it allowed Feeny very little wiggle room he had to take action.
This dilemma highlighted how even when you are doing the right thing and telling the truth; there are consequences for that truth, and to say what is right, you should weigh the full weight of those consequences. This episode also gave both positive and negative looks at the news. On the one hand, it showed that cable news is not the most above-board. For example, when the boys try to record a woman dancing naked in the window for their report, Turner attempts to school the boys by showing them what the news is doing, but he cannot do that because the news is using sex for ratings. At the same time, It showed that real investigative journalists pay the price even when delivering the truth. They do this by showing us what happened to Shawn and Cory with their reports and revealing that Mr. Williams was fired for doing his job.
The b story was funny, but it did not need to be there. The A-story has enough humor that the episode did not need to be lightened up. However, it did not detract; it just does not add much either. Grade A.
39. Chasing Angela Episode 8, Season 5
In this episode, Shawn finds out that the woman he was in love with was Angela, a woman he dumped. Cory and Topanga are in a rut again. Eric and Jack try to have thanksgiving at their place.
I love the dynamic here. After years of Shawn being the cool ladies man, it is great to see him in love. Also, it is nice to see him in a role reversal. For years Cory has always looked to Shawn for advice, but here Shawn is looking to Cory. Also, there are many nods to Cory and Topanga stories. For instance, when Shawn looks in Angela's eye and laughs, a reference to Boy Meets Girl where Cory and Topanga touch and Cory laughs because of hormones. Then, Shawn confessed his love to angela, but she leaves just like when Cory confessed his love to Topanga at chubbies, and she dumps him in season 3.
Then Cory is acting 90 again, signaling Topanga and Cory are in a rut like in season 3. However, this time they do not break up. They are older, wiser, and have seen life outside their relationship. Cory and Topanga fight through the rut this time. They make a memory on the table in the restaurant they were at for their anniversary. Shawn and Angela see how much they love each other, and Angela says it. I want what they have. Honestly, I felt Angela and Shawn were all of us at that moment loving the epic love of Cory and Topanga.
At the end of the episode, Jack and Eric gey bailed out of serving thanksgiving by the Mathews, who bring the dinner to them. This episode was creative. It changed dynamics; it was dramatic; we were unsure whether Angela and Shawn would make it. It was also hilarious. I feel like the best episodes can carry that balance as this one does. It even snuck in a good lesson about being yourself. Shawn tries to be Cory but doesn't get far with Angela until he is himself. Cory's relationship is struggling when he is trying to be who thinks Topanga wants him to be. Cory and Topanga get back on track when Cory decides to be himself. Also, an additional layer is that putting yourself out there is hard but worth it. Grade A
38.Her answer part 2 Episode 2 Season 6
Topanga and Cory run off to elope in this episode, but Topanga cannot go through with it. I thought this was odd. Cory says, oh, you hate to see it like he is happy she said no. However, he is not happy when they are in the car. The scene back in the Mathews home where everyone is coming in because they can't sleep builds the drama for Cory and Topanga's return while also hilariously reminding us that Feeny is retiring. The writers balance the parents' drama with Eric's hilarious antics and the joke about only creeps and weirdos being up at this time well.
The writers in this season (6) balanced drama and comedy exceptionally well. The comedy of Rachel and Eric and Jack in the B plot is at its height. In this episode, watching them confirmed to me that there was something special about their dynamic that I think was lost once Rachel eventually picks one of them. The way they play off each other in this episode was hilarious. My favorite parts were probably when Jack and Eric said they loved each other one second, and then the next second, they were beating each other up to get to Rachel in the shower. Also, it was hilarious when Rachel thanked them for friend-zoning her.
This episode also had tension between Cory and Amy, which blew up this episode. It was nice to see Amy get a featured role. It was also good to see her have a heart to heart with Topanga. Amy was stealing the episode in a lot of these scenes. One of her best scenes of the series was in this episode when she broke down to Alan about being replaced.
In the backdrop of all this, we have Feeny's retirement, which produces one of the funniest scenes of the series, Eric doing Amy's speech to Topanga for Feeny's going away party(why couldn't you have just gone to Yale). Whoever devised that scene deserves and award. The episode was hilariously and dramatic and taught valuable lessons. For example, support the people you care about, or you could end up pushing them away. This episode also teaches you that you should not go off and make a life-changing choice just to prove something. Grade A.
37.The Psychotic Episode 21 Season 6
In this episode, Cory is having nightmares about killing Shawn. Eric is trying to find a roommate, and once he does, things take a deadly turn.
This episode was extremely creative. Making an entire episode a dream sequence is not a new idea in BMW, but I think the way it was handled here was done well. It is not super hokey or an excuse for time travel. They really aim to make this feel like a dream, and putting murder on Boy Meets World was definitely an unexpected step.
On top of the jokes and entertainment, it also has a great concept: the unconscious and Cory's repressed fear of marriage. They have always shown Cory diving into his relationship with Topanga with very little consideration for the implications. So I like that they take the time to show that Cory is not perfect. He still loves Topanga, but he still has fears about marriage, and it is such a genuine one like he does not want things to change between him in Shawn. He does not want everything to change.
Furthermore, we see this is consistent with his character. Cory is scared of change. Also, I love how they look at dreams and talk about how you should not take dreams literally, and Cory goes to finish his dream to find out what it is telling him, he confronts his fear and listens to himself. Also, Alan Mathews, aka William Russ, directed this episode.
The b story was entertaining too. As usual, Eric was hilarious, sneaking into everyone's room and trying to live with them, but also sticking with the theme of mental health. Eric's roommate is insane. He has a dead bird and his dead relatives in his closet. He called Eric on the phone when there were in the same room, but it is still just a hilarious bit. Grade A
36.Band On The Run Episode 8 Season 2
This episode is season 2 in a nutshell. Cory and Shawn's are on a quest to date girls and become popular and carve out their own place in the world. While Topanga slowly gets closer to Cory, planting the seeds for a bond that will evolve into Cory and Topanga's epic romance.
Here the boys, specifically Cory, need a date to the dance. Cory is not having any luck until some guys (one being future Griff) leave their guitars with them, and the girls start flocking around them because they think they are in a band.
So, of course, Cory and Shawn start a massive scam to get girls by pretending to be in a band. While pulling this scam Topanga, ask Cory to the dance and informs him someone else asked, but she wants to know what he wants. Cory says no cause he has girls now. I like this choice because it shows some parity between them. Earlier in the season, Cory asked Topanga out, and she turned him down because she thought they needed to grow more. However, then we see her start going out with some random dude. Cory is more or less doing the same, trying to see what is out there, not wanting to depend on the girl he has known forever.
Meanwhile, Alan reveals he had a band and calls up his buddies and gets equipment to play and relive the glory days.
Except he is not good, and as Amy tells him, he never was. Then we get the lines of the episode "it never mattered that you were not good. You looked so cute up there with your little guitar. It was not about the music. It was about the whole package". To which Alan replies, "all this time I thought you liked me for my music, but you liked me for me. I feel cheap."
Later Cory and Shawn get signed to perform in the school dance by their groupies, and, of course, they epically fail, breaking their one rule by playing. Topanga stays back, and while students and their groupies and even teachers are laughing, Topanga tells Cory the words his mother told his father. They have a sweet moment. Just like in Cory's alternative friends, a low point for Cory is turned into a great moment by Topanga.
Furthermore, I think the failure of Cory and Shawn's band shows how girl crazy and eager to fit in; they are that they let themselves get roped into playing a dance even though they know they cannot play. I love this episode cause it can be looked at as a thesis of the season. Also, it ties in nicely between the a and b stories and gives us a good Cory and Topanga moment and a great Cory and Shawn adventure. Grade A.
35.Notorious Episode 2 Season 2
In this episode, Shawn pulls a prank on Feeny that has the whole school laughing at the new principle. Shawn changes Feeny's name in the paper to weeny. Cory is the one who looks guilty, so Feeny gives him until the end of the day to sell out Shawn, or he is suspended. In a b storyline, Eric jumps from one status relationship to another.
I like this episode for several reasons; one, it has classic second season humor. Also, it is a very tightly written episode. Everything is working towards one point. Even Eric's b storyline is about Eric trying to make a name for himself through girls. Eric gets burned just like Shawn when he tries to make a name for himself. There are also some important lessons being taught about reputation. For example, the episode shows how easily you can damage someone's reputation. Turner points out how they undermined Feeny's reputation and how easy it to do that. We also learn you have a responsibility not to mess with people's reputation recklessly. Because even if you feel like you have no power, you do. Shawn is just one student who feels like he is a nobody. Feeny is the principle, but Shawn still has the power to damage Feeny's reputation.
Then, Amy delivered the episode's lesson, which is that who you are makes you special not stunts or gimmicks. The school starts buzzing about Shawn's prank, but nobody knows it was him. Eric is learning the same thing. He starts to feel special because he is dating a senior, but all that has done is put him in a terrible relationship with a senior who does not care about him.
Lastly, there is the test of character for Cory. Does he rat out Shawn to make it easier on himself? I love BMW, moral questions. I love how Cory is guided but not outright told what to do. He must figure it out, and honestly, I think Cory made the right choice. Some things are worth the consequences, and I think not sending Shawn off to military school was worth it. Feeny seems proud that Cory had the strength of character, not just to save himself. Also, it was nice to see the bullies off to the side being funny. I think this episode was very entertaining and tight. Grade A
34.Back 2 School Episode 1 Season 2
In this episode, Cory and Shawn start high school. To me, this episode is the best in the series at introducing the next season, compellingly giving us a new world. The lighting is different. We are leaving Feeny, or so we think because Feeny returns as a teacher and principal to discipline Cory. We get a reintroduction to Feeny. We get many new characters we get Harley and Frankie and Joey. They fulfill the promise that high school is an entirely different world. We get girls from 7th grade and up. What will this mean for the boys? We get a new teacher in Turner who is wise and cool and set up to be Feeny's rival/protege.
What I love about this episode is that it does not just set up high school. It sets up the mythology of high school. Part of the way they set this up is with the parallel of highs school to the odyssey. We see Cory go through a journey in one day as he is thrown into this new experience. They show us a side of Eric we were not privy to in the last season. In this episode, Cory and Eric's relationship starts changing.
Moreover, we learn a valuable lesson about courage when Cory decides not to hide away from Harley, who called him out and instead decides to face Harley head on. I think anyone can use this lesson. Because often in life, there are times when you are thrown into a situation that scares you or makes you want to shrink, but as Cory and Eric show us, it is important to rise to the occasion instead of just shrinking because it feels safe because that is how you grow. Grade A
33.Security Guy Episode 20 season 4
In this episode, Eric is fired by his parents. He quickly gets another job, but they are not happy because he is taking the easy way out. Eric has yet another heart to heart with a hard working person he met, this time, his partner who was an engineer in another country but has to do it all over again here in America. Plus, Eric's parents, fed up with his behavior, tell him they coddled him. Moreover, Feeny says that Eric gives up too quickly.
After all of this feedback, Eric buckled down and took the SAT after studying some more. He gets a full two hundred points higher than the first time, and he has a moment with his father, where Eric tells him that he will live forever cause the lessons he taught him will always be with him.
Meanwhile, Cory Topanga and Shawn study for SAT and thank Feeny for preparing them for the test and pushing them. This episode is a little confusing continuity wise because Eric said he would study two episodes ago, but hey maybe he lost his will. This episode provided an exciting development in the season's long Eric college saga. We finally see Eric make progress to college. I liked seeing Feeny give us Eric's actual ability revealing that Eric is very smart; he just does not apply himself. He is not stupid.
Also, I think Eric learned a very important lesson from his parents and Feeny. See, understandably, he thought, what do you want from me? I got another job, but it was not about the job. They saw his potential, and they knew he was not maximizing it. He was scared after he failed twice with the SAT. He was scared to find out his limitations, and he needed tough love from Amy and Alan and the helping hand from Feeny and Cory to see that they believed in him and that they would not tolerate him not taking advantage of his potential. He needed a push and look at what he was able to achieve. It is such a realistic, heartwarming story. Grade A.
32. The Heart is A Lonely Hunter Episode 15 Season 3
In this episode, Shawn goes out with Dana, a nice girl he likes, but she does not like him back because of his reputation. In a b story, Eric gets an internship at a news station.
• The Eric plot was excellent. Eric's teachers Turner and Eli Eric, show us that he is perceived as a slacker. A reputation that he has earned, but that reputation has now been flipped on him and is stopping him from achieving his goals. He wants an internship at the news station, but his years of slacking off have not left him with good grades or recommendations from his teachers. It is nice to see Eric passionate about something, especially a career path. Moreover, the moment he has in the studio is honestly the moment you hope for in real life. He got nervous, and the reputation he got had become a handicap between him and other students, but he overcame that with strength of character and gets the job because he wants it the most and will work the hardest.
That correlates in a subtle way to Shawn. Shawn has always been a ladies man bouncing from woman to woman but never really connecting. However, he has made a connection for the first time, and the girl does not want him. She wants Cory, and Shawn finds out that his reputation has become negative, and that was so interesting seeing his reputation that Shawn had been proud of being used against him.
I will say everyone is pretty judgy in this episode. If the tables were flipped, I feel like we would have a problem with the Cory or Shawn rejecting a girl purely off her reputation and the message that she dated around too much being a negative thing. However, at the same time, I can understand why everyone in the story feels the way they do. Also, I think Topanga's brief appearance was done well; they finally found a way to include her in a Shawn/Cory story. It is not the first time but its more sparse then you would think.
I like how Cory and Shawn date the same girl, but it never gets in between them. They are open, and they talk through their feelings honestly. When Turner says Cory is Shawn's best relationship, it is true. Turner breaks down what women want well and even shows Shawn has been doing that with Cory so that Shawn knows he is capable of giving that to a romantic partner. This was an excellent Turner lesson. I like How Cory comedically served as a metaphor throughout the conversation; exhibiting the traits that Turner was pointing out to Shawn was nice. Cory is looking for a glove while Shawn is looking for answers from Turner. I think Cory finding the glove at the end in his jacket was the shows way of saying Shawn had the answers all along.
One negative, though, is that Cory and Dana are supposed to be dating, but that ends with no real explanation. Cory asked why she plays with Shawn's heart, but like he is still supposed to be dating her at that point. Also, I think it was crummy of Dana to use Shawn to ask out his best friend, but somehow it does not make me dislike her as a character(reputation is strong). Also, it was nice to see Cory be the one the girls preferred for once; as Cory pointed out, usually, the girls want directions to Shawn. Also, when Cory says he did not date any flashy girls, what about T.k his first girlfriend?
Lastly, The last scene was great, showing Shawn overcoming his reputation with his character, and making this grand romantic gesture was a memorable moment. This episode has a few issues, but I do not think any of them detract from the story. Also, the story they are telling is outstanding, and it is a pivotal episode for Shawn and Eric, and their story's tie in nicely.Grade A
31.Pairing off Episode 2 Season 2
This episode gets into the element of high school that was only touched on in back to school. That is is girls and relationships. This episode sets up a really cool dynamic that the show will have for the rest of the season, showing a relatable experience and teaching a lesson. Also, we meet Wendy, the new girl. In this episode, everyone is pairing off, and Cory feels social pressure to couple up. This is relatable; nobody wants to be left behind by everyone or feel like they are missing out. I also think it was realistic that a young Cory was confused seeing people couple up and struggling to figure out how it's done even as it is occurring around him.
Also, Shawn getting girls very easily and Cory not being able to use his methods was realistic too. In dating, what works for one person may not work for another Cory being the odd one out, and having to find what works for him was an interesting, relatable story. I also like the way they use Eric. He almost has sex with Rebecca, but Cory interrupts. Then Cory gets advice from his older brother. This development is realistic, too kids advising other kids and giving bad advice. I like Cory that they included the parents. We get to see them taking the time to tell Eric not to rush into sex, but not only that, but to be a better man and treat women better. I think that is a lesson that stands up. This moment is also a lesson to parents watching to talk to their kids and guide them because if they do not, someone else will. I also like that they made sure Eric understood why is was slimy to try to get with a girl he knew nothing about. They asked him if he felt good about it. They did not just talk at him.
I also thought the entire scene with them in Cory and Eric's room was hilarious. So was Amy Alan's convo where Alan is upset that Amy does not think he is cheating. Alan is acting like Cory, wanting to be considered dangerous so we can see where Cory gets it from.
Now Cory did ask out Topanga, but he only did it so that he could keep up with everyone, and Topanga recognizes this and turns him down. This scene is important because this scene serves as the reason Cory and Topanga cannot be together this season. Cory isn't mature enough and is not ready to be with Topanga, and she knows it.
Insert Wendy, who is like a Topanga surrogate. She even has the same first date storyline as Topanga. Cory asks her out to keep up with Shawn but cancels the date at the request of his parents once it is revealed he is not interested in Wendy. Then he cancels the date, but they end up getting to know each other anyway. In the end, he gets Wendy to say hi a come around moment from when he has the health teacher(wish we got more of her) how to get a girl to say hi.
A lot of takeaways from this episode do not rush into sex. Respect women, and also, things work out best, especially in dating when you are yourself. Cory accomplishes his goal of getting a girl to say hi (making a connection) when he is himself. It is a lesson Cory learns a lot, especially this season, but it is one easily forgotten in life, especially in high school.
Was Cory wrong for reporting on Janitor Bud skipping out early?
Should Cory have told on Shawn in Notorious?