Updated: Nov 25, 2022
About this series
I have ranked and reviewed every episode of boy meets world. I will be dropping ten episodes on Fridays and Sundays (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.
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70. Things Change
Cory is so selfish in this episode. The reason I do not mind it is because it is addressed. It is the whole point of the lesson. In this episode, everything is changing. Shawn gets waitlisted while everyone else gets into college. Cory then convinces people to go to other schools or the military or take a year off so that Shawn can get into college. It is messed up, but it is also funny.
However, Shawn does not even want to go to college because he has a good job. This change from Shawn is strange messaging because they already established in "Fraternity Row" Shawn does want to go to college, and just next episode, he will talk about how he could have done better in high school. I like that Feeny supports Shawn's choice, but I wish Feeny would have told Cory why to drive home the point.
Shawn's points seemed flimsy like he was scared, and they do not match up to other episodes. Shawn feels like he found a decent job, and he is good at it. I kind of get Eric "you can go home again" vibes, but it also seems like Boy Meets World is trying to say college is not for everyone.
Topanga gets waitlisted at Yale, but she is quickly taken off the waitlist and accepted. Feeny decides he will retire after graduation, and Chubbies is changed into Pirate Pete's.
I like that they brought Morgan in to get some screen time, but Cory is a little selfish with her too. She tells him she is not doing well, and he pretty much ignored her problem. I also like that they brought in Eric because he went through all this last year in season four, so he has perspective. He schools Cory and tells him life will change, and it is about how he reacts to that change. Then Eric has a hilarious moment where he loses his cool when Cory reveals Feeny is retiring. Eric makes a sweet appeal to Feeny; in the end, it is the line of the episode "if I'm quiet will you stay" get this man a new contract. Eric steals every episode he is in from season four on.
Now I know many people might come down hard on Cory for this episode, but I give him credit because honestly, it is hard not to think selfishly and focus on your struggles when you feel like things are going wrong for you. Also, some people never change their perspective and stay stuck in their ways. The fact that Cory was able to adapt and change for the better at the end is a huge plus to his character. Also, I think this episode was about the series as a whole changing and going to college and that once fans got over the changes and took a bite, they would realize it was good. Grade B+.
Question for the Facebook/Twitter/blog comment section:
In this episode, was Boy Meets World trying to teach us that college is not for everyone? Or were they trying to tell us not to settle out of fear?
Right away, I have a problem with this episode. Turner says Cyrano wins the heart of the woman he loves, but for someone else because his love interest assumes the good looking guy is the one who has been whispering to her late at night. The girls of Turner's class all say it is romantic. Actually, Topanga speaks for the woman. Topanga's right looks do not matte Lawrence says it is romantic; this girl just assumed it was some good looking dude and went off with him. However, it is not if Cyrano's words truly made her fall in love with the good-looking guy, then she is not really in love with that man making Cyrano's sacrifice even less romantic.
However, this does set up the episode's thesis because all the boys think he is a wimp. Turner even says the thesis verbatim men have a hard time understanding what women find romantic, which is the episode theme.
Alan gets Amy a trash compactor for their anniversary. He thinks it is a good gift cause she really wanted it, and it was costly. She does not like it, and Alan does not understand why. Alan stays confused while Amy stays angry.
Harley and his girlfriend, Gloria, are having problems. She is not feeling appreciated by him, and he is feeling annoyed by her. Cory and Shawn have a hilarious altercation where they make fun of his hair, and Harley almost ends them. However, because Shawn is such a ladies man, he convinces Gloria to take pity on them. Harley passes them off to Frankie, and Frankie ends up asking them for a favor.
He wants their help with the lady's, Franky has a crush. They agree to help. Frankie comes over, and it is revealed he used to bully Eric too. They hilariously practice confessing to Franky's crush in the Mathews living room. The practice goes well, but Frankie tells them they need to be there with them. So he puts them in his locker while he talks to the girl. Originally I wanted to ding them logic points because Gloria should hear them talking through the locker. However, I will give them a pass because even Frankie had a hard time hearing them, allowing me to believe Gloria could not hear them.
Gloria is so happy that someone is treating her right. She agrees to go out with Frankie. Shawn and Cory only realize what they have done after it is too late. They just helped Frankie steal Harley's girlfriend. Then Harley pops up, and their guilt has Harley onto them after a funny bit about them being angels of their former selves and trying to float away. Harley accosts the boys and takes them to Chubbies to confront Gloria and Frankie.
Alan talks to Feeny and gets a lesson in being a husband. Feeny is able to point out why Alan was wrong. He points out that the gift Alan bought took no effort. Alan did not have to think about Amy and what would make her feel special. Alan realizes that Amy wanted a more thoughtful gift. Feeny does not even break a sweat on this one. You can see that he is a masterful educator.
Back at Chubbies, Gloria and Harley start to have the same argument again, which comes down to Harley not appreciating her. Cory reveals that his parents are going through the same thing, and Harley asks if they will split up( high school relationship logic). Cory reveals that they will get through it like they always do. Harley then goes to Cory's house.
Now I will ignore how ridiculous it is that he knows where Cory lives, etc: for the power of the scene, it creates. Harley asks Amy for help because he cannot ask his mom, and it just becomes this sweet moment of Amy, giving him motherly advice in his relationship. Harley is a little too thick-skulled, but he eventually gets it when Alan comes in to reinforce the point by resolving the conflict he and Amy were having and giving some advice. Basically, Amy explains then Alan restates it when Harley does not understand and then acts as an example.
Then Harley concludes the right thing to do would be to let Gloria go because she is happy with Franky. This brings us back around to Cyrano again. Except this is romantic because, unlike in Cyrano, Harley lost his girl by being crappy, and Gloria actually likes Frankie. She did not just fall in love with Cory and Shawn's words. Cory and Shawn just basically acted as ice breakers for Frankie to express himself.
I think this episode is excellent. I love how this episode uses its sides characters and how the lesson of appreciating women is echoing throughout this whole story and that they had moments with Amy and Harley and Feeny and Alan. The only thing that holds it back is how some logic is lacking, but I can forgive it because the payoffs are worth it. Grade B+
68. Turkey Day
In this episode, Cory and Shawn's family unite for thanksgiving at Shawn's house. This episode's springboard is kind of silly. Cory and Shawn win some stuffing, and they cannot decide who should get it, so they decide that the best way to solve their problem is to have thanksgiving together.
This episode is Hermon's best episode. The Mathews family was not as impressive. It was striking to see the family we followed four seasons who always had the answers to the problem be problematic. Amy, Alan, and even Eric were jerks. I like the moment in the trailer park, where the family displays different levels of bias. Eric whines about missing the game and wanting to eat at a house built in the ground. Alan scolds Eric, but he is no better as he states he did not want to leave his car in the car. Amy scolds them both as if she is above those types of judgments, but as soon as morgan asks to use the bathroom, her bias jumps out, and she tells her to wait till they get home.
It is a little hard to believe that Cory and Shawn have been the best friends since the Llama pit, yet their parents never made friends. The episode was a combination of heartwarming, funny, and awkward as hell. I think they did an excellent job of exposing the mental blocks between classes. Chet and Virna do not want to be looked down on. Virna feels inferior. She wants to impress the Mathews, and Chet is defensive. Amy and Alan do not want to offend Chet and Virna, but they also have not dealt with the fact that they feel superior to the Hunters, and they should check themselves.
Furthermore, because of their issues, their thanksgiving interaction is uncomfortable. Because it is uncomfortable, the families try to avoid the discomfort, and they tell themselves that its nobodies fault that some people just do not mix well, and that is just the way it is. However, When the parents see the kids eating together, and they hear the kids are ashamed of their behavior. They see that they can coexist just fine if they actually tried in earnest and checked their preconceived notions at the door.
Moreover, they tied it into their school lesson about class differences well. Boy Meets World is so good at that it felt like they could do it in their sleep. They even had a moment with Shawn, where he gets an A for writing about their experience, bringing the lesson home. Grade B+
67. Starry Night
This episode had a really good arc and journey. We start with Cory still pining over Topanga, wishing he had her back. Then we find out that Topanga feels similar, but she cannot reconcile what happened with Lauren with her feelings about Cory. However, she meets another guy, and it seems as if all hope is lost for Cory and Topanga, but plot twist it only made them stronger.
I like how this was done because it flips around the entire journey up to this point. This fissure between Cory and Topanga reached a critical mass when Cory failed Topanga's ridiculous test. So it is fitting Topanga would give Cory another test which he rightly refuses to take part in. Also, Topanga has her own Lauren experience, so she can finally understand what Cory has been telling her the whole time. Moreover, the way the writers made it seem as if they were getting further apart when they were really getting close was masterful. The criticism I have is that Cory says the kiss meant nothing and that he felt nothing, but that is not entirely true. He liked Lauren a lot, and after their date, he was not sure who was right for him. Topanga never seemed as into the guy she dated. Also, whereas Cory was kissed without participating, Topanga's kiss was mutual. Grade B+
66.Breaking up is really hard to do
As a fan, I love this episode but watching it with a more critical eye. I noticed that it is kind of sending mixed messages. In this episode, Cory dates Wendy's because he needs a date for the party, which is funny because it seemed like the writers needed this party as an excuse to get them together since we never see it happen. He tells her he really likes her and so she agrees to go out with him. Throughout Cory and Wendy's relationship, they try and make it seem like Wendy is crazy, and she is a little forward, but even though Cory does not like it at first, he always comes around. Also, a lot of what Wendy does are things Topanga does. She straightens his collar just like Topanga in season one. She comes over to his house uninvited and gets to know his family(just like Topanga, Season 1), and Wendy bases their relationship on her family(like Topanga in season 7&4).
Cory does not seem to know what he wants to do with Wendy. He likes her, but Shawn tells him to dump her. Plus, Cory isn't used to the way Wendy treats him, and at times, he does not like it, but overall he likes it and seems to want to be with her by the end. Oddly, Shawn seems to want to break them up, and I am honestly not sure if it was because he was threatened or did not know what he was talking about and gave bad advice.
In the end, after Cory figures out that life with Wendy would be great, he opens his big mouth and ruins it telling her that he lied when he asked her out. Wendy finds out their relationship was based on a lie, she breaks it off, and Cory is left in the wreckage of one of his first heartbreaks. Wendy received a lot of development and a Topanga like set up; it makes me wonder if they considered replacing Topanga. Speaking of season plans, we also get the first view of "the scent" with Wendy that we would get later in Cory's last temptation.
In regards to the lesson, Wendy says some words that were telling. In the end, she says she does not want to do this unless it is something they both want. She does not want their relationship to be based on a lie. I think this is the most exact picture of what the lesson is. It is about being open and honest with your partner. Cory loses out because he lied to Wendy. It is also about being mature. Cory's lack of maturity ultimately cost him his relationship, and Wendy's lack of maturity put Cory off at times. Lastly, I think it is about not playing with someone's heart knowing what you want in a relationship and if you are ready. Cory is so wishy-washy that while Wendy is all in on him, he is not all in on her, which is not fair to Wendy. Also, because he is so wishy-washy about their relationship, others' opinions easily sway him. By the time he figures out what he wants, it is too late. The damage he has done has lost him the relationship. The side story with Eric was brilliantly hilarious. He cannot see girls anymore, something he has done none stop for two seasons because his grades have slipped. So he goes to this salon where a sexy girl does his hair to substitute dating. I do not see how it ties into Cory's story, but I loved it. Grade B+
65. B team of life
In this episode, Boy Meets World shows the plight of the middle child. Here it takes shape when Cory is put on the b team of the school basketball team. he feels ostracized from friends as they are more athletically gifted and made the A-team. Minkus made the b team, but Cory does not want to be grouped with Minkus in sports. I love how they have Minkus so excited to be on the b team. It shows a clear contrast between Cory and Minkus and Cory's friends, once again singling him out to find his way. This contrast is not unlike the alternative friends contrast where Cory found himself with one group who was okay with who they were while he was trying to be apart of another group the kids he deemed as cool.
This episode uses everyone very effectively. Feeny is in full life lesson mode, guiding Cory through this time. He first motivates Cory to try harder in sports with a little reverse psychology. Feeny tells Cory to quit basketball because, scientifically, he is not built for sports. Later in the episode, Feeny also breaks down how much his parents care about Cory and even drives Cory to his game. Cory's friends start off making fun of Cory but eventually come and try to cheer him up with other stars players who rode the bench.
Cory's family starts off ignoring him and later realize the error of their ways, and then they go and support Cory. That is one of the biggest strengths of this episode. Cory goes through a clear trial and tribulation of being on the b team and learns to persevere even when things do not go his way. Also, this episode shows the importance of a support system. Cory was feeling a little crushed by life even while he was trying to preserver and the fact that his family( his support system ) came out to watch him motivated him to go out and endure the bench, and that act was rewarded by actually getting in the game.
Also, the people around Cory go through an arc. His parents and his friends start the episode one way and end another. His parents learn they have not been paying as much attention to Cory as they should, and they make a change, and to a lesser extent, Eric does too. Cory's friends start out roasting b string guys, and they are forced to readjust perspective when their friend joins the b team. The only flaw I see with this episode is that Cory believing he was abandoned is a little unrealistic. While I think the episode was structured well and the lesson was worthwhile, I think Boy Meets World had more deep and meaningful episodes in this season alone. So I will give this one an A-.
64. Risky business
This episode is the boy's first adventure together. Cory and Shawn enter into the world of illegal gambling. This was all sparked by a class assignment where the kids have a fake business. However, the boys get into a pissing contest with Minkus, and he challenges them to invest real money( very vague terms ). Of course, the boys take advantage of these vague terms by gambling their money on a horse race. They win big time crushing Minkus.
Cory is getting addicted to the high, and the boys are learning that risk gets them rewards, that is, until Cory makes a mistake. His first time babysitting Morgan, he leaves her at home to get his baseball card signed by a famous baseball player. Morgan is just like Cory, so she is given some freedom for the first time she causes trouble breaking a window. She runs up into the treehouse chanting this is bad. Cory gets back, and Morgan is gone The door is open, and the window is broken. He thinks the worse chanting this is bad (did I mention Cory and Morgan are alike). Cory goes to Feeny in a panic( if you have ever been in charge of a younger family member that wanders off, you can relate ) when Mr. Feeny tells him Morgan is just in the treehouse. He has a heart to heart with her and tells her that it is all his fault, and she will not get in trouble, and it is an incredible moment.
I like that Morgan got more time in this episode, and we got to see the brother and sister dynamic between Cory and Morgan(this is when Cory talks to Morgan). The lesson of not risking anything you cannot afford to lose is a valuable one. However, I do not see how it goes into the b story with Amy and Allen. The parent's story is interesting; it is nice to know that Amy was proposed to before. It is also lovely to see the parents fight but work through it, but I would still have liked it to tie in. I give this episode an A -
63. Model family
This is actually an Eric episode disguised as a Cory episode. I think it Was very clever how they went about it. They do this family project about familial roles and conflict resolution. It gets all kids involved with them playing different roles and giving Cory an excuse to be an observer in Eric's conflict.
Eric and newly introduced Jason are at the mall when Eric gets discovered. A pretty woman gives him a few encouraging words, and he is ready to be a model, and he gives her 90 dollars. The kids tell him it is a scam, and his parents say nothing at first. So he gets his money back but is instead roped in even further, deciding to quit his job for his first modeling job, which is honestly a little unrealistic. He did not even need to quit to be a model. His parents beg him not to do it.
Nevertheless, Eric shuts them down, thinking he knows best and refusing to listen. Of course, he falls on his face. His first gig is as a lobster, and he wants to quit but cannot after embarrassing himself at the mall, he begs his dad for his job back and similarly to the 7th season, Alan says no.
This is a great parenting choice. Letting Eric feel the consequences of his actions will definitely make him think twice next time. Eric begs to be bailed out, but being the great dad that he is, Alan does not relent. However, he does help his son; he gives him a less desirable job. This is what separates Alan as a parent. He does not just punish Eric. He also helps him. He will feel the weight of his modeling choice, but it does not mean he is not worthy of any help that nuance is super important. This episode shows the importance of thinking out your choices before making them and the balance between holding someone accountable and still helping them out. Also, Cory learns that there is no perfect family that you have to adapt kids will mess up in life, and it is your job as the parent to adapt just like Cory's parents did.Grade A-
62. Santa’s Little helper
In this episode, it is Christmas, but as Cory learns from his father, Shawn's father has lost his job. So Cory attempts to give Shawn one of his gifts. Shawn blows up at Cory because he does not want his charity. Feeny schools Cory on how gifts should be given with no expectations. At school, Minkus hounds Shawn for five dollars for a class card for Feeny. Shawn cannot pay, and even though Shawn and Cory are fighting, Cory covers it for Shawn without him knowing it. Showing Cory understood Feeny's lesson when Shawn finds out what Cory has done; they make up.
In this B plot, Morgan thinks she killed Santa clause after a Santa at the mall has a heart attack in front of her. Ending with Feeny dressing as Santa to help convince her Santa is all right.
Cory and Shawn have the most remarkable friendship of all time. Ironically all the episodes where they fight are amazing. This is no exception. Cory learns an important lesson that I think is still relevant today. When Cory initially gives the gift, he is doing so more for his benefit. He did not think about how Shawn may have felt or any of that because he was so busy trying to get praise for being a great person. He could not even fathom that Shawn would not want his gift. Also, side note, I want to point out that Shawn has this cool acting moment where Cory and Shawn back each other down with their words as they get angry, and I thought it was great.
Back to the main point, Shawn learns a lesson too, and that is not to be too proud to accept help. Shawn is insecure about being poor, and you can see this many times in the series. He let that insecurity get the best of him here with Cory. He was afraid to be exposed and worse, to be looked at as lesser by his friends. However, Cory is his best friend, and he would never do that, and even though he went about giving the gift the wrong way, he does care about Shawn, and by the end of the episode, Shawn is reminded of that.
In this episode, Shawn and Cory do not let financial differences come between them. They overcome them, and it is heartwarming. I give this episode an A-. The minus is because while the b story did balance the drama, it did not tie in.
61. She Loves Me She loves Me Not
In this episode, Eric comes to terms with being a role model after giving his younger brother's class a speech. Topanga is crushing on Eric, but the boys think she is crushing on Cory.
One of the errors of this episode is a common Boy Meets World error, which is continuity. Cory and Topanga Kissed like eight episodes ago. I can believe Cory maybe was not ready and so he was not into Topanga like that. However, isn't Topanga is into him at this point. The only other debatable problem is Eric being a jerk, but honestly, it is consistent with his character. This is the first time we see Eric getting guidance from Feeny, and I have to say it was great. They showed Feeny helping him grow from the first speech to the second. I also think the way they chose to roll out the kids growing up was creative, and they did well-getting everyone involved. If you are watching this for the first time, I think you would assume Topanga likes Cory, and the twist that's it is Eric was a fascinating plot to explore.
I think there are a couple of lessons in this one. Eric learns that even if you do not consider yourself a role model, you have a responsibility to use that influence responsibly if you have influence. I think that is a lesson a lot of us can relate too. Topanga learns an important lesson about love and not dumbing yourself down for a guy. Maintain your integrity through dating, and she also learned that true love is not about looks and superficial things, and the right guy will love you for you. Also, not to be so naive in dating because there are guys out there who will take advantage of it.
I think Topanga learns that not everyone is worth her attention. She hangs on to Eric's every word, but in the end, he proves not to be worth her affection taking an interest in her sister on looks alone right in front of her. I want to say Eric learned from Topanga to treat women better from how heartbroken she was, but I cannot confirm that. Cory learns with the rest of the class that they are growing up; it will be difficult, and they will change. In a way, they are braced for the challenges ahead. However, Cory is still trying to fight it, as we see in the end.