Boy Meets World

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Template:Infobox television Boy Meets World was a U.S. television sitcom that chronicled the events and everyday life lessons of a teenaged boy named Cory Matthews who grows up from a pre-pubescent boy to a university freshman (in a comedic way). The show aired from 1993 to 2000 on ABC, where it was one of the headlines of ABC's TGIF lineup. It currently airs on ABC Family Channel and the Disney Channel. The series starts when Cory is eleven years old and it ends when he is in his early twenties, although there are continuity errors, especially surrounding Cory's accelerated aging. It is one of the few television shows to take place primarily in the Philadelphia area, and makes multiple local references, including Cory's love for the Phillies and his brother Eric's attempts to get into Swarthmore College -- finally ending in he and most of the rest of the cast attending Pennbrook, an institution that appears to be a pastiche of Swarthmore and other Philly-area liberal arts colleges.

The series is often compared to The Wonder Years, another "coming-of-age" series set in the late 1960s and early 1970s that starred Ben Savage's older brother Fred Savage (who makes a cameo in the show's final season), although Boy Meets World focuses on comedy more than drama. The show is widely regarded as containing an uneasy mix of dramedy and smart humor (especially in the story arc of Shawn Hunter) and a non-stop straight-out farce, with the latter beginning to increasingly dominate the show as time went on. Fourth-wall jokes abound: multiple episodes openly parody then-current movies, including Scream, Rounders, and The Truman Show; wrestler Big Van Vader and Baywatch's Yasmine Bleeth appear as recurring characters playing themselves; and characters repeatedly mention the show's format, various plot formulas and continuity errors. The humor is mostly for adults because of the use of hard-to-understand humor and lines.

The show is particularly notable for openly acknowledging its Chuck Cunningham syndrome, going to the lengths of bringing back the character of Stuart Minkus from the first season as a cameo for the high school graduation episode, who explains his absence by having been in "that part of the school over there (pointing off-camera)." Similarly, Cory's sister Morgan unexpectedly returns after an entire season's absence with a wisecracking comment, "That was the longest time-out I've ever had."

Similarly, the show was one of the only ones in ABC's TGIF programming block to openly acknowledge its placement there and have characters poke fun at it; when the show was rescheduled from 8:30 to 9:30 because of its increasingly adult subject matter, a boy Cory is babysitting complains that his "favorite show" has been rescheduled past his bedtime for no good reason, to which Cory enthusiastically agrees. Similarly, when ABC began advertising its airing of The Beatles Anthology by replacing its shows' theme songs with Beatles songs, a move ignored in the scripts of most of its shows, the writers of Boy Meets World twisted the concept around by instead using a Monkees song and having that week's episode feature the Monkees as guest stars.

The increasing sense of the show's realism unraveling and the plot becoming increasingly farcical -- especially with the character of Eric Matthews, who had changed from a relatively serious character into a hyperactive, wisecracking, idiot savant failure who served as a source of screwball comic relief -- caused many viewers to conclude that the show had jumped the shark. However, the "post-jump" episodes of the series -- the ones taking place at Pennbrook and driven by Eric's madcap exploits -- are among the most prized by adult fans of the show, who look on it as a source of nostalgia and self-aware camp humor.

File:Boymeetsworld1.PNG
Main cast from left to right: Rachel, Topanga, Shawn, Jack, Eric, Alan (behind), Morgan (front), Amy, George, Cory.

Continuity Errors

The biggest continuity problems revolve around the characters' ages. In the first season (1993-1994), Cory and his classmates are in 6th grade at Jefferson Elementary School while Eric is four years older in 10th grade at John Adams High School. The second season (1994-1995) continues this. Cory and the others start high school in 7th grade, while Eric reaches 11th grade. The third season (1995-1996) is where the trouble starts. Eric is clearly a senior. No grade is given for Cory, etc., but Cory and Topanga claim to be 14, and Shawn says he is 15. It is also mentioned that Cory and Eric now have a three year age difference. In season four (1996-1997), they've skipped to 11th grade, reducing the Cory/Eric age difference to two years. From that point on, the ages stay consistent for the rest of the series, but the result is they only spend four years in what should be a six year high school.

Shawn and Topanga's family changes constantly. In episode four, "Cory's Alternative Friends", Shawn says he has a sister named Stacy, but she is never mentioned again after that. In the third season episode "The Pink Flamingo Kid", Shawn runs into his half-brother Eddie, who is also never mentioned or seen again after that. In the fifth season, Matthew Lawrence becomes a regular as Shawn's half-brother, Jack. In season one's, "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not", Topanga's sister, Nebula Stopthewar Lawrence is introduced but never shown or mentioned again after that. In the first season, Topanga's mother's name is said to be Chloe on multiple occasions, but when she actually makes an appearance, her name has been changed to Rhiannon.

Amy Matthews's profession changes from real estate agent to art gallery worker with no explanation.

Main cast list

Recurring cast list

Episodes

SEASON 1

  1. Pilot (9-24-93)
  2. On the Fence (10-01-93)
  3. Father Knows Less (10-08-93)
  4. Cory's Alternative Friends (10-15-93)
  5. Killer Bees (10-22-93)
  6. Boys II Mensa (10-29-93)
  7. Grandma Was a Rolling Stone (11-12-93)
  8. Teacher's Bet (11-19-93)
  9. Class Pre-Union (11-26-93)
  10. Santa's Little Helper (12-10-93)
  11. The Father/Son Game (12-17-93)
  12. Once in Love with Amy (1-07-94)
  13. She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not (1-14-94)
  14. The B-Team of Life (1-28-94)
  15. Model Family (2-04-94)
  16. Risky Business (2-11-94)
  17. The Fugitive (2-25-94)
  18. It's a Wonderful Night (3-11-94)
  19. Kid Gloves (3-25-94)
  20. The Play's the Thing (4-29-94)
  21. Boy Meets Girl (5-06-94)
  22. I Dream of Feeny (5-13-94)

SEASON 2

  1. Back 2 School (9-23-94)
  2. Pairing Off (9-30-94)
  3. Notorious (10-07-94)
  4. Me and Mr. Joad (10-14-94)
  5. The Uninvited (10-21-94)
  6. Who's Afraid of Cory Wolf? (10-28-94)
  7. Wake Up, Little Cory (11-04-94)
  8. Band on the Run (11-11-94)
  9. Fear Strikes Out (11-18-94)
  10. Sister Theresa (11-25-94)
  11. The Beard (12-09-94)
  12. Turnaround (12-16-94)
  13. Cyrano (1-06-95)
  14. I Am Not a Crook (1-13-95)
  15. Breaking Up Is Really, Really Hard to Do (1-27-95)
  16. Danger Boy (2-03-95)
  17. On the Air (2-10-95)
  18. By Hook or By Crook (2-17-95)
  19. Wrong Side of the Tracks (2-24-95)
  20. Pop Quiz (3-10-95)
  21. The Thrilla' In Phila' (5-05-95)
  22. Career Day (5-12-95)
  23. Home (5-19-95)

SEASON 3

  1. My Best Friend's Girl (9-22-95)
  2. The Double Lie (9-29-95)
  3. What I Meant to Say (10-13-95)
  4. He Said, She Said (10-20-95)
  5. Hometown Hero (10-27-95)
  6. The Little Piggy (11-03-95)
  7. Truth and Consequences (11-10-95)
  8. Rave On (11-17-95)
  9. The Last Temptation of Cory (12-01-95)
  10. Train of Fools (12-15-95)
  11. City Slackers (1-05-96)
  12. The Grass Is Always Greener (1-12-96)
  13. New Friends and Old (1-19-26)
  14. A Kiss Is More Than a Kiss (1-26-96)
  15. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (2-02-96)
  16. Stormy Weather (2-09-96)
  17. The Pink Flamingo Kid (2-16-96)
  18. Life Lessons (2-23-96)
  19. I Was A Teenage Spy (4-26-96)
  20. I Never Sang For My Legal Guardian (5-03-96)
  21. The Happiest Show On Earth (5-10-96)
  22. Brother Brother (5-17-96)

SEASON 4

  1. You Can Go Home Again (9/20/1996)
  2. Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow (9/27/1996)
  3. I Ain't Gonna Spray Lettuce No More (10/4/1996)
  4. Fishing For Virna (10/11/1996)
  5. Shallow Boy (10/18/1996)
  6. Janitor Dad (10/25/1996)
  7. Singled Out (11/1/1996)
  8. Dangerous Secret (11/8/1996)
  9. Sixteen Candles And Four-Hundred-Pound Men (11/15/1996)
  10. Turkey Day (11/22/1996)
  11. Easy Street (12/13/1996)
  12. An Affair To Forget (1/3/1997)
  13. B & B's B 'N' B (1/10/1997)
  14. Wheels (1/17/1997)
  15. Chick Like Me (1/31/1997)
  16. A Long Walk To Pittsburgh - Part 1 (2/7/1997)
  17. A Long Walk To Pittsburgh - Part 2 (2/14/1997)
  18. Uncle Daddy (2/28/1997)
  19. Quiz Show (3/21/1997)
  20. Security Guy (4/4/1997)
  21. Cult Fiction (4/25/1997)
  22. Learning to Fly (5/2/1997)

SEASON 5

  1. Brothers (10/3/1997)
  2. Boy Meets Real World (10/10/1997)
  3. It's Not You, It's Me (10/17/1997)
  4. Fraternity Row (10/24/1997)
  5. The Witches Of Pennbrook (10/31/1997)
  6. Not Guts, No Cory (11/7/1997)
  7. I Love You, Donna Karan - Part 1 (11/14/1997)
  8. I Love You, Donna Karan - Part 2 (11/14/1997)
  9. How To Succeed In Business (11/28/1997)
  10. Last Tango In Philly (12/5/1997)
  11. A Very Topanga Christmas (12/19/1997)
  12. Raging Cory (1/9/1998)
  13. The Eskimo (1/16/1998)
  14. Heartbreak Cory (2/6/1998)
  15. First Girlfriends' Club (2/13/1998)
  16. Torn Between Two Lovers (2/27/1998)
  17. And Then There Was Shawn Feeling Like A Fool (2/27/1998)
  18. If You Can't Be With The One You Love... (3/6/1998)
  19. Eric Hollywood (3/20/1998)
  20. Starry Night (4/3/1998)
  21. Honesty Night (4/24/1998)
  22. Prom-ises, Prom-ises (4/1/1998)
  23. Things Change (4/8/1998)
  24. Graduation (4/15/1998)

SEASON 6

  1. His Answer (9/25/1998)
  2. Her Answer (10/2/1998)
  3. Ain't College Great (10/9/1998)
  4. Friendly Persuasion (10/16/1998)
  5. Better Than The Average Cory (10/23/1998)
  6. Hogs And Kisses (10/30/1998)
  7. Everybody Loves Stuart (11/6/1998)
  8. You're Married, You're Dead (11/13/1998)
  9. Poetic License; An Ode To Holden Caulfield (11/20/1998)
  10. And In Case I Don't See Ya... (12/4/1998)
  11. Santa's Little Helpers (12/11/1998)
  12. Cutting The Cord (1/8/1999)
  13. We'll Have A Good Time Then... (1/22/1999)
  14. Getting Hitched (1/29/1999)
  15. Road Trip (2/5/1999)
  16. My Baby Valentine (2/12/1999)
  17. Resurrection (2/19/1999)
  18. Bee True (4/9/1999)
  19. The Truth About Honesty (4/30/1999)
  20. The Psychotic Episode (5/7/1999)
  21. State Of The Unions (5/14/1999)

SEASON 7

  1. Show Me The Love (9/24/1999)
  2. For Love And Apartments (10/1/1999)
  3. Angela's Men (10/8/1999)
  4. No Such Thing As Sure Thing (10/15/1999)
  5. You Light Up My Union (10/22/1999)
  6. They're Killing Us (10/29/1999)
  7. It's About Time (11/5/1999)
  8. The Honeymooners (11/12/1999)
  9. The Honeymoon Is Over (11/19/1999)
  10. Picket Fences (11/26/1999)
  11. What A Drag! (12/3/1999)
  12. Family Trees (12/17/1999)
  13. The Provider (1/7/2000)
  14. I'm Gonna Be Like You, Dad (1/28/2000)
  15. The War (2/11/2000)
  16. Seven The Hard Way (2/11/2000)
  17. She's Having My Baby Back Ribs (3/3/2000)
  18. How Cory And Topanga Got Their Groove Back (3/17/2000)
  19. Brotherly Shove (3/31/2000)
  20. As Time Goes By (4/7/2000)
  21. Angela's Ashes (4/28/2000)
  22. (Series Finale) Brave New World (5/5/2000)

External links

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