Updated: Jul 15
About this series
I have ranked and reviewed every episode of Boy Meets World. . 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 the episode 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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60.16 Candles And 400 Pound Men, Episode 9, Season 4
In this episode, the boys agree to help Frankie with a love problem in exchange for poetry help. They think this is another Cyrano, but it turns out to be Frankie's father, and wouldn't you know it the night Frankie's dad had a number one contenders match and needs Frankies wrestling tips (which are Cory's), Topanga also needs Cory to dance with her at her sweet sixteen just like her parents did. I like the Flinstone references they make comparing the plot of this episode to when Fred Flinstone had to be in two places at once. Also, I liked Shawn's meta-joke about time on boy meets world being just like tv.
I think this was a super creative idea to divert from romantic love into familial love and use wrestling to do it. Male bonding through sports is not a new thing, But I think they did a good job capitalizing on their wrestling connections to make it a more dramatic episode. Instead of just watching a game with his father, Frankie is coaching his father through a wrestling match to bond with him. However, they also subvert expectations when Frankie and his father overcome their differences and bond despite Frankie admitting he is not a wrestling fan.
I also like that we are left to wonder what happens in Vader's match instead of finding out Shawn Michaels buried him cause he was a jerk back in the '90s, but I digress. I think they balance the two stories well. We see how Shawn is there for Cory providing the plans for Cory and covering for him. Also, we see how Cory is there for Frankie, splitting himself between Topanga and Frankie on a significant night for Topanga. Also, we see how Topanga is there for Cory and vice versa.
Topanga was very forgiving when she caught Cory on tv at the wrestling match, and I think this taught a good lesson. She could have flipped out on Cory, and she would be in the right to do so, but she chooses to understand, and then they get this great moment dancing in the stadium that they will probably never forget because of that choice.
There are multiple lessons here. However, I think they all center around communication. Cory and Topanga make it to that moment of dancing in the ring because Cory confesses what is going on, and Topanga is willing to listen. Frankie and Vader have a moment once Frankie opens up and communicates with his father. The only thing it was missing IMO, were some more dramatic steaks, but it is still an excellent episode. Also, Herman was great, as always (woof). Grade A-
59. The Eskimo, Episode 13 , Season 5
This episode is an excellent Feeny lesson. Cory and Topanga have sent in college applications, but Shawn has not because he does not think that he can make it. Shawn does not even bother to do his homework. Cory, of course, tries to cover for him, saying they did his paper together. However, Feeny gives them both a D instead of the B Cory would have got if he had not covered for Shawn. Topanga tried to stick up for them, and Feeny tells her to mind her business.
Cory and Shawn's behavior, plus the fact that they believe Feeny has nothing left to teach them, summons the wrath of Feeny. He clears the classroom, and he challenges Shawn to get Super Bowl tickets, or he fails, and he challenges Topanga too stay out of it, or she fails, and he challenges Cory to make sure his friends succeed cause if either one of them fails Cory fails.
The episode is hilarious in the beginning, and even after the assignment, the jokes keep coming. However, it shifts from humor to drama with the Eskimo. Shawn is on a billboard trying to win tickets in the winter in February, and he is one of the final two, but an Eskimo is eating an Ice cream cone, and then Shawn realizes there has always been an Eskimo in his life, something stopping him.
The kids think Feeny just wanted them to reach for the stars. So they come back all proud of themselves for figuring out the lesson, but Feeny tells them they are wrong. After Feeny tells them he wants the tickets and trying is not good enough, Shawn does some soul searching, and he says that another reason why people like him do not go anywhere is that they do not believe that they can.
He gets super motivated, and even though Cory does not believe he can get the tickets, Shawn is on a mission, and Cory has to let him go. Cory tells Feeny, and Feeny tells Cory he passes the challenge. Because he cannot do everything for Shawn, Shawn will not succeed unless he wants to succeed. Topanga gets her awakening all on her own, and I get that she is smarter than Shawn and Cory, but I felt that Topanga wrapping her own arc up when Feeny was right there and just helped Cory was cheap.
It would have been nice to see Feeny give Topanga an explanation also. She was on this journey, and that part made her feel separate from Shawn and Cory. It made it seem like this was not as important for her character.
In the B plot, Eric and Jack are looking for their soul mates, and they find them. Two girls who are exactly like them, but each of their dates is perfect for the other guy. They try to switch, and the girls do not like that, and they point out that they want someone different from them. They want balance in a relationship. The boy's hilariously let them go without going after them. I say hilariously because the girls wait in the hallway for them, but they do not come. This was funny, but I do not see how it related to the main story besides the fact that the truth of the matter was there but not quite what they expected. I thought the writers balanced humor and drama well, and even though I was not too fond of the way they wrapped Topanga's story, it was still a good lesson. Grade A-
58. No Guts, No Cory, Episode 6, Season 5
This episode is very well executed. It stays funny throughout with plenty of jokes that do not detract from the story—at the same time, delivering a dramatic love story between Cory and Topanga. There is a war(WW2) that Shawn Cory and Alan go off and fight in. there is death when Cory runs into an explosion. There is another woman that Cory proposes to after he loses his memory. Shawn proposes to Topanga, and they almost get married. "Straight out of a telenovela, right"?
I think it is the best of the time travel episodes. The time travel seemed to free the writers up creatively. However, my knock against it is that it was self-contained and did not move the story forward, given its nature. However, I felt like this was a test episode for the Lauren saga testing the waters to put Cory and Topanga through a real test with real consequences. The time warp allowed them to do so without consequences. Grade A-
57. Family Trees, Episode 12, Season 7
In this episode, Shawn finds out that his mother is not his mom. This news sends him into a downward spiral about being an orphan. Alan asks to adopt Shawn. After talking to his father in the cemetery, he decides to continue to stay a hunter.
I know Cory was a bit of a jerk, but he was right about Shawn's letter. Cory has known Shawn the longest and seen everything the closest. Rewatching this, I realized everything would have been fine if Shawn would have listened to Cory and ignored that letter.
Then even while Shawn was searching, Cory was right again. While I cannot blame Shawn himself for being curious about his birth mother, everyone else wrongish IMO. Once again, they ignore Cory's warnings. He is right Shawn may not like what he finds, and nobody seems to think of that.
Also, is Virna the worse mother of all time or what? She steals her son's home and abandons the family then comes back years later only to disappear again. Then, she decides to tell Shawn after his father died; she is not his real mother, just the worst. Also, if Cory thought Shawn was going off to do something destructive, why would he let him go? After Shawn fails to find his mom, he runs, and Cory says that he thinks he is going off to devastate himself and his friends, but he still lets him go. He could hurt himself, but they let him go, and it is just for the plot.
The cemetery scene is similar. It is not impossible, but again, why does everyone at the Mathews let Shawn go off into the night clearly drunk and sad. Why would Cory ask so many questions instead of just going to the cemetery to support Shawn? It seems to be for the plot.
The scene where Shawn is drunk and criticizing himself was tremendous and Alan asking to adopt him was a Boy Meets World moment. I like that the Mathews saw Shawn was hurt, so they went for healing instead of straight punishment/dismissal. I think this is a pretty great episode. It was very dramatic, and it has good lessons about what family is and how to and not to respond to emotional crises, and how to help someone in crisis. The B-story of Eric trying to throw a surprise party for Alan was funny but collided with the main story instead of tying in. I give this episode an A-
56. Dangerous Secret, Episode 8, Season 4
In this episode, Cory thinks that Shawn has had sex. So he tries to have sex with Topanga. Shawn and Cory also try and help Clair, but they struggle to help a victim of abuse.
I think this show does an excellent job of giving us a major fakeout. It seems like an episode about sex, but it is not. However, the writers handled the topic well. Eric gives Cory great older brother advice telling him sex is like riding a bike without training wheels do it before you are ready, and you will fall off and break your face.
Also, Topanga getting upset with Cory was completely justified. I do not know why Cory thought Topanga would be willing to help him keep up with Shawn. Nevertheless, In the end, they make up because while it seems like Topanga may have been questioning Cory, she sees he has learned his lesson, and he apologized and took accountability and the fact that he had been doing an altruistic task probably also played a factor in Topanga being able to believe that Cory is, in fact, the boy she thinks he is. I do wish Topanga would have gotten to express herself more in this episode. She is part of a significant conflict, but she is a little sparse in this episode. Also, The tie between Cory and Topanga and the abuse story is a little loose, but it is there. Cory says it at the end that he would ever want To abuse the relationship he and Topanga have.
Claire being abused by her father and the boys trying to help her pulls at the heartstrings. The conflict is also an ethical tough spot for teenagers to be in. Claire does not want to go to the police, but she is in danger. Even though it took the boys some time to decide to go to the police, I cannot blame them, especially when they have Clair, who will not cooperate. Claire says if they tell, she will lie.
Amy and Alan serve essential roles as the parents to guide them out of the grey area and show them the light. They convince them that they cannot take care of Claire unless they go to the police. However, I do not think Shawn's concerns should be waved off. If Shawn had gone to the police, they might not have believed him, and what if Claire did not trust him after that. It was a challenging situation.
Also, even in this episode, Claire's father goes to therapy, he beat up a minor and not just any minor his own daughter. He should be in jail. It is possible that he went to prison and is maybe getting therapy there, but since it is never explicitly said, we are left to infer. Between that and Topanga not having as strong a voice, I have to mark this one down just a little. Grade A -
55. Stormy Weather, Episode 16, Season 3
In this episode, Eric gets his dream job filling in as a weatherman on his 18th birthday. However, his grades are slipping. He is not doing his schoolwork; he is putting his all into his weatherman internship. This could be my ignorance, but it seems odd that they would allow Eric to have an internship during the school year and not over the summer. This episode has good stakes; Eric is told that he won't graduate if he doesn't start doing his work.
However, Eric sees an easy way out at the news station, and he thinks he has found his calling, so he goes with that. He never really cared for school anyway. This choice starts a big argument with his parents, and the scene where they argue about it is the best. Amy is torn between agreeing with Alan and Eric. She agrees that Eric needs to go to school. She also does not want to hurt Eric; it is his eighteenth birthday after all, and you can see the turmoil in her face.
Eric is rebelling and trying to prove himself. Alan orders Eric to go to school and says if he wants to playing adult, he can start paying to stay at the house. Eric drops out of school, slams his money on the table, and says fine; he will pay to stay at the house. Then he leaves, and Amy says happy birthday to him, but Alan does not. Eric waits, but Alan walks away. However, you can also tell that he is hurt when Alan does not say happy birthday to him.
You can see that Alan is trying to regain control, but he is also super angry with Eric. It is like "Wheels" part one. I also love that you can understand everyone's POV here. Eric's parents want the best for him. They do not want him to ruin his life. Eric thinks he has it all figured out, and his parents do not understand. I cannot be mad at anyone's reaction. Although I will say Feeny asked Eric for a 2,000-word essay that would put him back on track, and it was a special olive branch he did not have to extend. So it is frustrating that Eric does not take it. Like 2000 words is a challenge, but it is also one Eric is easily capable of, which is proven by the fact that Eric pulls a 20,000-word essay out of his butt.
Before that, Eric goes to the station, and he just gets dumped on. Even though his coworkers wish him a happy birthday, nobody really cares even his cake is cardboard. Then the boss tells him that they are bringing in a real weatherman. While this scenario is plausible, I do not like it. The station manager says, what did you think I would just hand you the job?
I do not think that is outlandish when you think about it. Why couldn't he hand Eric the job? Eric has been doing the job all week, so clearly, he is capable, and he is a kid, so he is probably way cheaper than this "real weatherman." Also, he would not just have been given the job; Eric worked from the bottom of the totem pole as an intern.
In the end, it seems like the only reason he does not give him the job is because of his age, not his ability. He says I will give you a job when you get out of college, but once again, why does he need a degree to do a job he was already doing well? Eric ultimately gets fired for not being a student meaning he cannot be In the internship. Cory was not the first Mathews to be fired in a nonpaying role.
Alan tells Eric this great story of how he and his dad had a similar argument when he was 18, and he joined the navy instead of going to college. Alan reveals their relationship was never the same. I love that Alan acknowledges he may have handled Erics' choice the wrong way. He supports his son and does not make the mistakes his father did, and that is big. Eric and Alan makeup, and Eric goes back to school.
Initially, Feeny is hard on Eric, and he does not seem like he will let Eric back in school. I cannot blame Feeny cause Eric honestly learned this lesson season one when he quit his job to become a model. So the fact that he did not think this over for a second kind of makes him less sympathetic. However, Feeny sees that Eric has learned his lesson. He sees that Eric now realizes how hard life is and so he allows him to return. This is consistent with Feeny's character he told us in season two by hook or by crook, "I don't write people off."
Now the b story was just nonsense meant to lighten the episode. Dana and Shawn are grossed out when Turner starts dating dana's mom. However, it is almost worth it for that one moment when Turner and Dana's mom says they will stop seeing each other, and after complaining about them being together for the whole episode, the kids flip flop and are angry at them for breaking up. I give this episode an A -.
54. Once In Love With Amy Episode 12, Season 1
In this episode, the kids are trying to solve a difficult problem from Feeny. At home, they suspect Amy may be cheating on Alan, and they decide to investigate.
I like this episode concept; it is creative and entertaining. The problem Feeny gave them was an intriguing set up. A question so hard Minkus could not get it, but Topanga could. Knowing those two characters, it is intriguing to find out why that is. Also, Amy possibly cheating on Alan added drama/stakes into the episode. Then they reveal that Amy and Alan were sneaking around to stay hot for each other, introduces an interesting adult element to the story.
Cory trying to wrap his head around his parents lying to him, was a good balance of comedy and substance. For example, Amy says she was dancing with their father when they caught her, and they say, "dads not fathers!" Also, I think the lesson of thinking like an adult was taught interestingly and in a way that stands up.
Cory feels his parents are wrong because they lied. However, it was a white lie to keep the romance in their marriage alive, and even though they technically deceived their children, they were not doing anything wrong. I think Amy highlights the difference in how a kid thinks and how an adult thinks well. This episode is entertaining and creative. It has no logical errors, and it moves the plot along by showing Cory growing up. It is still just as enjoyable now, even when I know what happens, and the lesson stands the test of time. Grade A.
53. Cory’s Alternative Friends, Episode 4, Season 1
In this episode, Cory and Topanga paired up for a project about the ozone layer, and their differing viewpoints clash until Cory's perspective is changed when he sees things from Topanga's perspective after an incident with his hair, and he and Topanga grow closer.
I think this episode works on two levels. One, it works on the level of teaching a lesson. Topanga shows how Cory conforms all the time, and she tells him that it is not a good thing. Its a poignant moment watching it; I feel like Cory. It is easy to ignore that Cory is just doing what everyone else is doing until Topanga points it out.
Topanga also makes Cory question what strange is. She points out that in her household, she is normal. Also, how to treat people he may deem weird. The writers give Cory's perspective in such a clever way. Cory is attempting to conform to a hair beauty standard, but it goes wrong and only makes him stick out more because that is not him.
He gets to see what it is like on the other side of ridicule. He does not like it. However, Cory becomes a better version of himself while he is strange, he did not have to worry about fitting in, and while he is not worrying about fitting in, he leads a successful protest and stands up to ageism. He also gets his first kiss while he was not conforming. That is an excellent lesson to be yourself instead of trying to fit in and look what you can accomplish.
This episode also works on the relationship level. You can see that Topanga has an attraction to Cory, and by the end of the episode, you can see why outside of liking the physical (desert tumbleweed ), Cory is a good guy. At the start of the protest, Topanga's friends do not believe Cory will show up, but she knew all along he had this in him, she believed in him. On Cory's side, you can see why he would like her. She is the one who does not laugh at him, who challenges his way of thinking. She is interesting but also a good person who seems to care for him genuinely.
I applaud BMW because sometimes you can only see the attraction from one side of Cory and Topanga's relationship; here, we see Topanga wearing a Phillies hat showing Cory made an impression on her. The entire episode shows that Topanga made an impression on him, but that was a nice example of reciprocation. Grade A
52. Father Knows Less, Episode 3, Season 1
This episode is a moral debate. On one side, we have Feeny, who will not allow Cory to take a make-up test after he failed because he fell asleep during the test. Cory fell asleep because Alan kept him up that night watching a no-hitter. Feeny's explanation for why he will not give Cory a make-up test is that Feeny is responsible for testing these kids. He cannot just give kids a free pass because eventually that will catch up with them, and then he would have failed to do his job. Feeny says Alan does not understand because he is not a teacher.
On the other side, there is Alan, who just wanted to spend some time with his son. Work is always pulling him away, and that night he got a unique opportunity to see a rare sports moment with his son. He feels that the moment should not cost Cory his grade and that Feeny should have allowed him to take a retest. Alan says Feeny does not understand because he is not a father.
I agree with Alan that Cory sleeping through a test does not say that he does not know the information. So it is not a free pass. Cory still has to pass or fail the test on his own merit. I think George was too hard on Cory. The important part of this episode is that it does not matter what I think was correct. Because both Alan and Feeny admit to being wrong, Feeny does it in a sentimental backyard chat that showed the strength of the relationship between him and Cory and gave Feeny some backstory. Also, Feeny talks about education and its real purpose in a relevant way to today's world. He says that education is not about memorizing obscure facts and figures. Instead, it is about the overall shaping of an individual's ability for critical thinking and problem solving to create a cumulative effect of knowledge, and the process cannot be threatened by missing one class.
Alan told Cory what he concluded on his way to work and showed Cory that he learned his lesson by not repeating his mistakes. Cory asks if Alan will make up for the fact that he has to bail on their plans by waking him up for another great baseball game. Alan tells Cory that he does not need to because he will always be there to talk it over with him in the morning.
Feeny and Alan have a heart-to-heart where they apologize to each other, and after their explosive first argument, it seems each man can appreciate the other a little more. Amy explains this episode's lesson: two adults can sometimes think two different ways about something, and both can be right. This is perfectly in line with the growing up theme of Boy Meets World by showing that the adult world is not black and white. Also, this is the first great episode of the series. The episode establishes the bond between Feeny and Cory beyond the classroom. The writing is impactful as well. The sentimental moments still feel right after countless rewatches the jokes still hit and the lesson stands the test of time. Grade A
51. Brave New World Part 2 Episode 23 Season 7
This is the last episode of the epic send-off. I have a few problems with this episode. They played some of the flashback clips too long, and it felt like a barrage. In the beginning, the editing could have been better. Also, I did not like Chet pinching Rachel's ass. It was not funny. Besides those things, the episode was excellent.
It brought a conclusion to Jack's greed story by having him give up his money to join the peace core. Shawn and Jack have a great moment with Chet, where Shawn thanks Jack for helping him through his grief, and Chet looks on as his boys go off into the world. The goodbyes in this episode were just really well done between the family and Feeny; it was just emotional being at school and the house we had been in so many times before and knowing that it was the last time. Watching this episode, it genuinely feels like you are saying goodbye to a family member when you watch it. It makes me wanna watch Girl Meets World, just to see them again. Grade A
1.If you were Cory and you HAD TO CHOOSE between dancing with Topanga at her Sweet 16 or going to help Frankie in a WWF match which would you choose?
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