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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80. It's About Time
In this episode, Cory and Topanga get married. However, there is no drama in Cory and Topanga's relationship by this point, so the drama goes to Shawn and Cory, and it is the end of their bromance. Shawn wants to talk about it, but Cory is doing anything he can to avoid it. At one point, Shawn quits the wedding because Cory was acting like a jerk. Eric takes over and arranges for a whole new wedding, but something is up. IT seems too good to be true. The hall is way above their paygrade, and the staff is calling Cory and Topanga by the wrong names.
Shawn returns during the ceremony, and Cory and Shawn make up after having it out in front of everyone at the wedding. Topanga and Cory get married, and they say lovely vows, and it is just such a sweet moment. It is also hilarious because Shawn is up there with Cory, and then there is Eric, who is acting very suspiciously.
Shawn gives a great speech about how he and Cory will not be best friends anymore because Topanga will be his best friend now. It is sweet, but I did not like how they tied the idea of Cory being married to the death of the best friendship there ever was.
Also, I did not like that they had children hit on adults in this episode. One little girl hits on Jack, and a young boy asks if he and Rachel could "go somewhere after. " Not only was it creepy, but it also made it seem as if all Rachel and Jack were supposed to be are attractive friends. This episode had some flaws, but it was still an excellent episode that gave us a lot of good comedy, With Eric and Shawn and a moment seasons in the making with Cory and Topanga's wedding and some drama in Cory and Shawn's friendship. I give it a B+
79. Life lessons
In this episode, Feeny is giving three exams in one day. The kids do not like it, and they rebel. However, Feeny stays firm. This causes a divide between the kids. Cory stops trying to change the schedule when Feeny doens't listen, but some other kids decide to take things a step further and vandalize Feeny's house. Feeny thinks about quitting but reconsiders when he sees that he has affected Cory Topanga and Shawn. In a B storyline, Eric (18-year-old high school student ) goes out with A TWENTY SEVEN-YEAR-OLD!
This b story was ridiculous. I did not see a problem with it when i was younger, but now that I am closer to Brenda's (27-year-old) end of the age line, I have to say what the hell was she thinking? Dating an 18-year old that she knows is still in high school; even worse, it is her friend's son? Like, forget the age for a second this is your friend's child; how is that not strange for you? Also, Amy was way too meek in this episode. I get that she voices that Eric and Brenda should not go out. However, the way she objected made it seem like Amy did not have a problem with it like it was not that big a deal. She needed to put her foot down and call and check her friend, who was trying to rob the cradle with her son. I am Not a fan of that storyline.
The A story, however, was excellent. I agree with the messaging that Feeny wants to pressure them, and he knows they can handle it. Feeny wants them to rise to the occasion and apply themselves. It is a great lesson, and this is a great episode to revisit during finals. I also like that we see Feeny finish a thread from season one. Feeny loves teaching, but as a teacher, it also frustrates him. In season 1, episode one, we see him lecture Cory saying every year after they leave, he wonders if the kids have learned anything in the time they have spent together. 2 years later, he seems to be at his wit's end.
Feeny says that he measures his success each year by whom he could reach, but he feels like this year the kids have reached him. He is ready to quit. You feel so bad when you see the look on Feeny's face as he sees his home vandalized. Also, to think Shawn could have anything to do with that or that Cory started this is another good thread because Cory started the whole crusade to change the exam schedule. Also, when Cory stopped, Shawn went with the kids that ended up vandalizing Feeny's home.
The kids who vandalized Feeny's house are trying to vandalize the school. They plan to steal the test right off the Feeny's desk. Shawn and Cory have realized they were responsible for what happened to Feeny last time. Cory for starting this whole thing and Shawn for knowing about what they planned to do to Feeny's house and not doing anything to stop it. That leads us to Cory, Shawn and Topanga facing the mob and trying to talk sense into them, and even though it does not work on the mob, it works on Feeny. Feeny showed up at the school, and he heard their speech about the value of pressure in learning and all that Feeny had done for them. Shawn, Cory and Topanga get to teach Feeny something. He learns that he is appreciated and has a place at John Adams high that he has affected people's lives, and it is a beautiful moment.
I will say though one problem I had with this story is three finals in one day is ridiculous in college; If you have three finals in one day, you can ask to have one rescheduled, and on some campuses, they flat out do not allow three exams in one day the professors are obligated to change one. So to have them have 3 in one day in the high school level is a little crazy. Furthermore, even Turner points that out. It's still pressuring to have a final a day or maybe two. Feeny never even considers what the faculty thinks or the students, and I feel like he should have at least considered it. I think this episode would work a lot better if the kids questioned why they have to have finals at all rather than not wanting to have 3 in one day. Grade B+
78. The Pink Flamingo Kid
In this episode, Cory helps Shawn with a video card for his dad. However, along the way, he sees an acquaintance of Shawn's committing a crime. He wants to submit his video of the crime for a contest Mr. Williams suggested to him. Shawn says not to do it but will not say why. Since he will not say why Cory sees no reason not to do it, he says he will press on, but Shawn rips up the tape so that nobody can use it. This makes Cory angry.
The next day Shawn tries to act as if nothing happened, but Cory is still mad, and tensions increase and they fight after Shawn refuses to tell Cory why he ripped up the tape. They get detention, but once free, Cory goes back to the trailer park to catch Eddy(the criminal from the tape) in the act. Shawn is frustrated that Cory is not listening, and Mr. Feeny councils Shawn through this challenging time. Shawn tells Feeny that family always has your back. Feeny tells Shawn that the family you choose is what is most important. Those are the people you can genuinely count on. This is the perfect lesson for Feeny to give because we know he isn't very close to his family.
Back at the trailer park, Cory gets beat up, but when Shawn shows up and saves him, it is revealed that Eddy is Shawn's brother. Shawn apologizes to Cory, and Cory sort of makes up for his behavior by saying he would not have done this film if he had known about Eddie.
This revelation explains Shawn's behavior. He did not want to rat on his brother. However, he threatened to do just that to save Cory. In the end, Shawn reveals he considers Cory, his family. In a b story, Eric sells junk for money, but he has to give it all to Feeny when it is revealed that he made money off Feeny's stuff.
I like Shawn in this episode a lot. I like that they did it mostly from Shawn's perspective, and I like that we saw Shawn and Feeny relating to each other. However, they dropped the ball on Cory. He does not catch Eddy doing a crime. Eddy having a computer, does not prove it is stolen at all. Also, what are the odds he is doing the same crime the next night? Also, Cory and Shawn are supposed to be best friends. I feel like Cory gave Shawn such little credit. Shawn should be able to ask Cory not to do the piece without reason. Also, in the end, it does not feel like Cory learned anything. He learned the reason Shawn was acting strange, and he gets detention and gets beat up, but he does not seem to realize he has been a jerk, and he does not apologize to Shawn outright. Shawn does not really have any reason not to tell Cory why he cannot use the footage. I feel like the only reason he didn't was for the plot.
Also, the b story with Eric was unnecessary. I like this episode. It has a good lesson, lots of drama and twist but between this b story and their handling of Cory; it falls short of its potential. Grade B+
77. I Never Sang For My Legal Guardian
This episode is good, but it has a few errors. I do not feel like they ever really explain John's commitment issues. He cannot commit to Kat, and he drags his feet on adopting Shawn, and I do not know why. Adopting a kid is a big deal, but I feel like Shawn living with him showed Turner is a good guy who cares for Shawn. So while I wish turners issues were better explained, I give this episode some points back for making it clear that Turner is a good guy.
Also, I think Shawn shined in this episode. He was dangerous and moody, but it was all tied back to his need for stability. For example, he stole Johns's harley to see his dad, and Shawn got arrested. I was surprised that Cory did not go with Shawn to see his dad when he offered. For example, just next episode, Cory sneaks to Florida with Shawn. Earlier, he went off to Feeny's cabin after Shawn stole the keys from Amy. It is out of character for Cory not to go with Shawn here.
I liked seeing Shawn arrested. I do not like that he got in trouble as a fan. However, I think it is important to show that there are consequences. A lot of time, Shawn and Cory get away without any real world consequences. I also liked that they played up Cory being responsible for jokes with the relator bit.
I did not like Cory going to see Shawn's dad at the diner without Shawn like you would not go with Shawn, but you go with Topanga? Moreover, you do not tell Shawn when you know he wants to see his dad. However, once again, I have to give some points back because Cory doing this for Shawn shows how close they are.
Plus, the diner scenes are gold. The fight between the diner girl and Topanga was funny. It is worth noting that Cory and Topanga are broken up despite the fact the Topanga said she would not jump all over the girls' Cory was with. She challenged a girl he danced with to a fight. The sit down between Chet and Cory was really good. Cory pleads with Chet to see Shawn and Chet, letting us know why he did not come back; he does not feel like he is good enough. All culminating in Shawn and Chet meeting in jail together.
I have to say while I like this scene, where was Turner? How was Shawn alone in the park? Why didn't he go to Turner? However, this heart to heart between Shawn and Chet is excellent. You can see it In Shawn's eyes; he is pleading with his father to stay. Even though Shawn is trying to keep it together, you can see how much this means to him.
Also, the B plot was pretty much a smaller scale "teachers bet episode " with Eric tutoring a jock who needed a good grade to get into college, and in the process, he taught himself. It barely tied in, but it advanced Eric's story, and it was good. It had some errors, but the content was worthwhile. The lesson is hard to put your finger on, but I would say it is that what looks good on paper is not always right in reality. Shawn looked like he was doing well, but he really needed his father. There was just no metric for that. The jock is the one with all the college offers, but in actuality, Eric, his tutor, was the better student. Grade B+
76. Brotherly Shove
In this episode, Cory and Eric are supposed to clean out the garage together, but Cory does it with Shawn and Topanga instead. Eric and Cory fight all episode and even get into an actual brawl with a customer while having a yard sale. Eric feels cut out of Cory's life, and Cory realizes that Eric has been cut out, but he does not have to stay that way. In the end, they reconcile by cleaning out the garage together.
In the B plot, Shawn and Jack try to find something in common. In the c plot, Angela and Rachel spring clean. The c plot was barely even there. The B plot was a retread of a story they did in season 5(a very Topanga Christmas). Nevertheless, the main story was worthwhile, and while that could also be considered a recycled story, it serves better as a follow up than the Jack/Shawn story. I am honestly surprised that Shawn or Jack did not offer better advice. They went through a similar issue when Chet died, and it was time to clean out the trailer.
I think the lesson is excellent. It is easy to fall out of contact. It is easy to neglect relationships as you grow older and start doing your own thing, but it is essential to nurture your relationships. Also, you should not worry about it being too late. All your best memories are not behind you just because you are not kids anymore. The side plots took this one down a bit for me. Grade B +
75. Fraternity Row
In this episode, Shawn skips school to pretend to be in college, and he gets suspended. In the B plot, Eric and Jack create a fraternity that nearly gets them kicked out of school by the dean.
The B plot was good. It ties into the main story because, just like Shawn is sick of high school and pretends to be college, Jack and Eric are sick of being on the outside of the frat system, and they pretend to have their own. Eric and Jack pretend members of "The Love Boat" cast are alumni, and Jack pays them to impress the dean. It is not the best B plot ever, but it is funny, and it ties in, which means it did its job of being a relevant yet light in contrast to the main story.
The main story is pretty good also: Feeny is at his wits end with Shawn, and it feels like he does not know what to do with him. Shawn does not believe he can get into college, so he has given up; this leads him to act out in class. However, when Shawn pretends to be in college for a girl, he actually likes the class. Shawn found a way to see himself in college. Cory being the good friend that he is, tries to help Shawn the entire way. However, as Cory would later learn in "The Eskimo," Shawn needed to learn this lesson by himself.
Shawn has one good class, and the material and the praise from his professor motivates him. Nevertheless, the fact that he is in high school holds him back, and he fails. The professor tells Shawn that his essay was poorly written, and at that level, he did not have time to teach him the basics. I love how they tie this back to Feeny, who is trying to teach Shawn the basics. He does believe in Shawn, but that does not mean Feeny gives him a free pass. This misadventure in college was an excellent way for Shawn to realize not only that he smart enough for college but that he needed high-school to be successful in college. Shawn learns a valuable lesson.
I think another lesson they touch on but do not go over(in-depth) till later in the season is that while Cory wants what is best for Shawn, he goes about it the wrong way. Making excuses and asking for chance after chance without Shawn putting in the work is not beneficial to Shawn.
Furthermore, Feeny punished the whole class for Shawn's antics and Cory's attempts to make excuses. He assigned them an essay on what it means to be a friend. I wish this episode would have had more resolution on what it means to be a friend essay Feeny assigned. Grade B+
74. A Kiss is More Than a Kiss
This episode is funny and heartwarming and delivers a vital message. This episode also shows Morgan's return with a funny little moment between Amy and Morgan, where Amy tells her to be happy she was written back in after she complains about Cory not having a heart to heart with her.
The B story is so sweet and relatable. Eric is down in the dumps because he is not getting into college. Feeny sees Eric open a rejection letter alone in the backyard and gives him an excellent speech to lift his spirits after being rejected from Penn state. Eric hilariously/sadly pretends that he is trying to protect his "parents" because his "parents" take these rejections hard. Later in the episode, after Eric pretends to believe he got into a college that does not exist(Borus) to fit in with his friends, Feeny ends up seeing how much college means to Eric and writes him a letter of recommendation. This moment exemplifies an excellent arc for Eric's character. As earlier in this season, Eric is trying to forge a letter of recommendation from Feeny's stationery, and even before that, he tried to bribe Feeny, and finally, he earns Feeny's support.
Cory and Topanga in the A story are dealing with the fallout of their breakup. They are clinging to each other and falling into the same patterns as if they are still together. So much so that Cory cannot bring himself to kiss another girl when Shawn tries to help him get back out there. That is until he sees Topanga kissing another guy. Cory is shattered. He confronts Topanga about it the next day after kissing Mellissa (his date) the night before but ultimately realizing there was no spark. Here the episode loses some points with me. Topanga will not stay with Cory five more minutes to talk this out because they are just friends now. Yet she expects Cory to do basically everything he did as her boyfriend as her friend, and when Cory says I do not want to be your friend, he is looked at as the bad guy. I think Cory's talk from Amy and Alan was worthwhile and where this episode should have stayed. They tell him that if what he and Topanga had was worthwhile, he should not throw away their friendship. If Cory had stopped being Topanga's friend strictly because She was dating or kissing another guy, he would clearly be In the wrong and thus owe her an apology. However, Topanga also keeps kissing him even though he says to stop it, and she wants him to do the prom thing and continue being her friend, but she seems to change what that entails at will. She cannot talk things out with him because they are just friends, but she can continue to cheek kiss him like she did when they were together. Also, they can still do a prom walk together even though she has a new guy. It is clear that she did not have the same expectations of friendship for Cory that she had for herself, and that was never really addressed.
However, the rest of it was done well. Navigating a breakup with someone you have been with a long time is hard, and I think this episode tackles it well. I think Cory was adequately called out for expecting Topanga, not to date, and I think he learned from it. I think they addressed the challenges of their new platonic relationship well on Cory's side but not so well on Topanga's. For that reason, I'm giving this episode a B+.
73. Happiest Show On Earth
This episode starts with Cory dating Kristen because, apparently, he has been out with a different girl every night. However, annoyingly this is something they just made up for this episode. This storyline would have actually been an exciting thing to explore all season, given how season two went. Also, it is only used as a plot device to push Topanga and Cory apart. Which makes Topanga kind of annoying in this episode because she gave Cory a lot of crap for not wanting to date other people when they first broke up but now she is using the fact that he did against him.
However, once this episode gets going, it is very good. We get Shawn and Cory's usual back and forth. However, there is also the addition of Kirsten. She follows Cory and keeps interrupting these moments between Cory and Topanga and pushing Topanga away. After that first one at school, it is quite hilarious.
Then there is the b story of Eric using a Cory dummy to make everyone believe Cory is still around and, as usual, Eric is hysterical. Cory packs in even more comedy when he tries various ridiculous tactics to get Topanga back, and every one of them backfires because she does not like to be pursued. However, then Boy Meets World starts getting to the feels. Earlier in the episode, they established a dolphin that will not eat because it has been separated from its mate. Well, Cory goes down to the dolphins looking for Topanga and instead finds a girl from another sitcom, and they have a charming interaction where she tells Cory animals have feelings too. She tells him about Amber ( the dolphin). She then exits stage left, and Cory gives his big romantic speech to Amber about how Topanga is the one true girl from him( something he already told Topanga ) and how he was doing all those stunts because he did not know how to express his feelings.
Well, he gets Amber to eat, a feat even her trainers could not pull off, and then he leaves. Topanga heard everything and chases after him. She apologizes for being so hard on him and not understanding his feelings; then, they make up in this big climactic kissing scene.
Back home, Cory gets in trouble, and Morgan has this sweet line about how she hopes a boy does that for her one day. Then Eric gets busted when Feeny digs the dummy up out of the yard.
It essential, and it is romantic and hilarious. The things that hold it back for me are the continuity errors things put in there just for convenience and the fact that what was said between them about getting back together after Topanga apologized was a little lackluster considering this is a finale to a season-long issue. Grade B+
This episode covers quite a few things, but it is mostly about leaving the nest. In this episode, Cory and Shawn are finally seniors. Cory is super excited to have his own room, but all that is ruined when Eric returns from college to live at home and cramp Cory's style. I think this is an interesting moment for Cory and Eric because not too long ago, Eric was going off to college, and Cory was fighting him to try and get him to stay, and now that Cory is a senior, he wants Eric out. Although I think they do a good job of making this seem more like Cory is just growing up rather than being inconsistent.
Alan loves having Eric home, but Amy sees this as what it is: Eric relying on them too much, plus she does not want to have to say goodbye to him again. Eric did not fill out his housing info, so he did not get a dorm. Cory tries to find Eric a roommate and bumps into Jack(first appearance), looking for a roommate. Also, Shawn reveals to Cory that Jack is his half brother. This revelation leads to two confrontations between Jack and Shawn, both with different sides of why they have not spoken in years. Jack wants a relationship, but Shawn does not.
When Jack comes to the trailer, Chet kicks him out, telling him to go live with Jack in an attempt to give him a better life. This a touching moment, but I cannot help but think about it in context. This scene reminds me of when Chet tried to give Shawn to the Mathews for a better life. From Shawn's pov, he has been destabilized by his home life and had finally found some normalcy in season four(when he lived with his mother and father). It seems damaging for Chet to send Shawn off in his last year of high school when they have only been back together for like a year. I can understand why Shawn did not want to go. However, based on the result(he bonded with Jack) and intention, I think it can be fairly argued Chet may have made the right choice, so I will not doc the episode too much for that.
Eventually, Alan kicks Eric out, and we get a bunch of moments. One where Eric realizes he has to leave. Another where Shawn realizes how hard it must have been for his father to tell him to leave. A moment between Chet and Alan, which is rare. We see them in the elevator bonding over the fact that both of their sons have left the nest. Lastly, they bring the Eric and Cory drama back around when Cory tells Eric that he wanted the room back but wants to be in Eric's life, and Eric gives him an extra key and apologizes for being so obnoxious. The history of Shawn and Chet holds this back a little for me. Grade B+
Questions for the comment section:
Where is Virna? let your fan theories fly.
Did Chet make the right choice in kicking Shawn out?
71.Hogs and Kisses
This episode was like a parody of the epic Lauren saga. Cory and Topanga do a student film, but when Cory sucks at acting, Shawn fills in as Cory with Topanga. All goes well until the director asks them to kiss. Now, if I were in Shawn's position, I would say no. Like they do not have to kiss just because the director says so. If he wants to delete all his footage and shoot it over again just to get a couple to kiss, he can do that, but I doubt he would. Even if the director did, why should Topanga and Cory and Shawn care they are getting very little for this?
Cory is understandably upset as he watched his girlfriend and his best friend kiss or, better yet, make out with no hesitation for his feelings like they had more of a problem just doing the roles together then they had for the kissing. Cory goes wild, and it is hilarious. He watches the kiss over and over again. Cory delivers the infamous underpants line, and he rips his shirt and screams for Topanga in his dorm.
It has kind of been a running gag that Shawn likes Topanga. Shawn asked her out in hair today gone tomorrow, and they fake went out in season 3(my best friend's girl), and they kissed in season 4 when she went off to Pittsburgh, so seeing them kiss again got Cory justifiably nervous. He did what Topanga did to him. He sent them on a date to test their feelings, just like Topanga did with Lauren. Shawn and Topanga pretend to have sex, which was a terrible idea, and it just makes Cory feel even worse.
Cory brings Angela into it, and Angela really shines in this episode, guiding Cory through the whole thing, much like that soap opera guy helped Topanga out in season five, but it is much better here because Angela is established and her friendship with Cory is believable. She kisses Cory and shows him it meant nothing. Topanga conveniently is not there,' but Angela left some lipstick on him, so maybe Topanga does not care because Topanga ignores it. Cory gets the point that what happened between Shawn and Topanga means nothing, just like what happened between Cory and Angela.
The b storyline of Jack and Eric trying to act proper around Rachel is comedy gold. One of my favorite b stories in all of Boy meets World and probably my favorite Rachel storyline. Shawn and Jacks' attempts to pretend to be perfect were hilarious. Also, The food fight is iconic. This episode is not perfect, but it is fair to all the characters, and it is creative and damn good. Grade B+
Question for the Comment section:
If you were in Shawn/Topanga's position, would you kiss your partner's best friend or your best friend's partner?