Boy Meets World is a show that each fan grew up on differently. Some caught it during its original TGIF Friday Night Lineup. Others saw it for the first time on Disney Channel in the early ’00s during its 2nd run syndication. I even know some people that literally only know the show for its college seasons. But this discrepancy is the reason why the show is beloved by fans of a wide age range. It’s just as relatable now as it was back then. And unlike a lot of ’90s sitcoms, the humor holds up incredibly well.
Just like I did with Even Stevens, I’ve ranked each episode based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, humor, series importance, re-watch value, character development and overall writing. And I’m sorry in advance if I offend any of you by my choices. I had a hard time, myself, not putting certain episodes higher up. There are episodes I love that aren’t even ranked in the top 50. That’s how good this show is.
As you will see, I have many of the 6th and 7th season episodes farther down on the list. It’s not because they’re all bad episodes–they just don’t have the same quality as the earlier seasons and I had to make an executive decision. While the 2nd season is my favorite, I’ve found that the 3rd season is the show’s true sweet spot. The characters were all in their prime–and they weren’t too old or too young.
(By the way, after you read this list, go and check out my list of the Top 15 Boy Meets World One-Off Characters!)
I’m not gonna lie, this process took a lot out of me. It was fun, but I obsessively and painstakingly went over and over this list until I felt it was absolutely perfect. I watched the series in order and compiled a list as I went. Then I took my own list and watched it in reverse order. Some episodes I re-watched 3 or 4 times for this–constantly going back and forth, making changes right before publishing. But I didn’t post this until I was completely happy with it. And I am.
At the end of my list, I have an MVP winner for each season. It goes to the character or characters who hold that season together the best. In seasons 2-4, I have more than one since I feel it’s a group effort.
So, without further ado, I give you my ranking of every Boy Meets World episode ever:
157. 702 For Love and Apartments, Part 2
This episode is the worst. It’s so asinine and incredibly hard to watch. Cory and Shawn go to Pittsburgh to try and get Topanga’s parents back together. That’s already marginal at best. But the stupidest part is that Jack and Eric have a WWF-style wrestling match with the girls to get their old apartment back–something that should have never happened to begin with. The episode is really just terrible. Even Eric can’t save this one.
Eric: That is one big freakin’ picture of the Backstreet Boys!
156. 505 The Witches of Pennbrook
In this Halloween-themed episode, Jack starts dating a witch in the form of Candace Cameron. It should be a better episode than it is. Instead, it’s more frustrating that Jack is such an idiot. Meanwhile, we get a Cory and Topanga subplot that never gets resolved. Fantastic.
Eric: Hi, I’m Eric Allison Matthews.
155. 221 The Thrilla in Phila
In the silliest episode of the season and maybe the series, Cory joins the wrestling team because he feels like he hasn’t accomplished much this school year. It’s the first episode featuring Frankie’s dad, Vader, and one of a few episodes where the writers are stuck with Cory amidst his awkward voice-cracking puberty phase. It’s like they’re not quite sure how to handle it, but luckily it doesn’t last long.
Mr. Feeny: This is why I avoid reunions.
154. 609 Poetic License – An Ode to Holden Caulfield
Perhaps the worst part of the sixth season, besides the sudden absence of Feeny, is how serious Shawn becomes. It’s like, all of a sudden the writers woke up and told him to become this brooding, angst-filled college guy. In previous seasons, he had his moments where he was emo, but he was balanced out with his humor and silliness/stupidity. Now he’s no nonsense and not that much fun. It’s painful to watch. This episode might be most evident of this. We discover that, all these years, Shawn is a brilliant poet. With this new information, Cory forces Shawn to perform at a poetry night. He reads a poem that’s about Angela, but pretends that it was written before they broke up. The only highlights come from the Eric storyline and the few instances where Cory is reading his own “poetry”.
Eric: That’s what I call the “Eric Matthews Fool-Proof Study System.” Hello. I’m Eric Matthews.
153. 606 Hogs and Kisses
For some reason this episode’s always bothered me. It’s funny and all, but maybe it’s the fact that Topanga kisses Shawn without any hesitation. Or maybe because the kiss lasts so long. Or maybe because we’ve always sensed that Shawn has been attracted to Topanga at various moments and now he finally gets a “free shot”. Or maybe because neither Topanga nor Shawn outwardly denied that there was any tension. The series takes a risk being more progressive with this episode, but it’s more cringe-worthy than anything else. If the circumstances went down a little differently, then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.
152. 708 The Honeymooners
Cory and Topanga go on their honeymoon to “paradise” and decide that they might want to stay there forever. It’s an uneventful episode, and not even very funny at all. The line Cory delivers at the end may be the corniest in the entire series.
Eric: I am losing my train of thought. I have decided to pass out.
151. 719 Brotherly Shove
It’s the last chance the writers had to make an episode about Cory and Eric’s relationship. But at a time in the series when Eric is pretty much mentally-disabled, it’s hard to imagine him being serious–even mad. People mistreat him all the time, but he chooses NOW to get upset about something. Cory is cleaning out his parents’ garage with Topanga and Shawn, but Eric gets hurt that he doesn’t get invited to join his brother. Eric and Cory are fighting the whole episode. It’s tough when your comic relief is so uncharacteristically serious. Then there are all these awkward transitions between goofy Eric and serious Eric. But he’s coming from a place we can understand. Cory is uncharacteristically dense and can’t see where his brother is coming form. And nobody helps him figure it out until it’s too late. It would have been a nice episode for a previous season, but just doesn’t work as well at this point in the series.
Shawn: You know, Jack, Eric said something interesting before that got me thinking.
Jack: Wait a minute, Eric got you thinking?
Shawn: He seemed well-rested.
150. 113 She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not
Eric speaks to Cory’s 6th grade class about what to expect in high school, but does a poor job. The writers have their first jab at making an episode developing Eric’s character, but with little success. Not a whole lot happens and they never fully commit. It’s a good thing they didn’t give up on this idea because it pays off in later seasons.
Cory: Oh yeah, I’m jealous. That’s just what I want–to be Topanga’s boyfriend. And then we can name our children Chewbacca and Plankton.
149. 418 Uncle Daddy
Eric dates a girl who has a son and wants to commit to the relationship full-time. However, he soon realizes how hard it is to be a father–even temporarily. The few cringe-worthy moments aren’t really worth the end result. The episode is mostly about Eric, but he’s not at his funniest so the laughs aren’t really there either.
Cory: Eric, listen, you do not wanna miss this one, okay? It’s Jim Carrey and Steven Seagal starring in “What Are You Doing in My Movie?”
148. 608 You’re Married, You’re Dead
The single guys that Shawn hangs out with keep making fun of Cory for wearing an engagement ring. So one night, Cory takes it off. Does he put it in his pocket? No. He leaves it on the table at the restaurant. It’s a funny episode, but Shawn, so far, in this season is far too emo. And he seems to be getting annoyed with Cory every single chance he gets. Like, REALLY annoyed. Jack is like this with Eric, but it works so much better because you still see the love for one another. And Jack’s not emo.
Cory: Before you say anything, I just wanna state, that as a man I am entitled to certain rights and privileges. So as a man, I went with other men and did man things because I do not want to be thought of by those men as–how to I put this delicately…
Cory: You could at least let me say it!
147. 704 No Such Thing as a Sure Thing
Wow. I’m glad the Cory/Topanga drama is finally over with so we can move on to something better. This episode is pretty dry, with the exception of a funny Eric-Feeny scene. When the star player on Pennbrook’s football team is struggling in school, Eric and Jack are convinced that they will come out ahead if they bet against their own team. Also, Cory and Topanga get back together.
Jack: He’ll understand that while he’s looking at our thumbs in a jar.
Eric: He has a thumb jar?? That seems odd.
146. 511 A Very Topanga Christmas
Topanga is pretty annoying in this episode. She’s spending Christmas with the Matthews, yet insists that they abandon all of their holiday traditions for her own–including making them drive all the way to Vermont to chop down a Christmas tree. There are some great messages about compromise and learning new things about a person, but they get muddled amongst the unrealistic scenarios that take place.
Eric: This is about the power struggle between men and women since the creation of man over 300 years ago!
145. 514 Heartbreak Cory
I don’t like this episode. Nobody does. Sure Topanga can be the absolute worst sometimes, but we all know she and Cory are meant for each other. Cory and the rest of his classmates spend the weekend at a ski lodge. When Cory breaks his ankle (or something), Topanga and everyone else goes skiing without him. He meets Lauren, a girl who works at the ski lodge, and they stay up all night talking, and at the end of it, she kisses him. He lies to Topanga about the whole thing. It’s probably the biggest turning point in the whole series and makes the next handful of episodes more difficult to endure. The episode isn’t really all that funny either–except for a couple of Shawn moments. Well-written, but just extremely hard to watch.
Shawn: Read the Bible!
144. 114 The B-Team of Life
This one tackles middle-child-syndrome as Cory’s family seems to be ignoring him amidst his crisis of making second string on the basketball team–which means he never plays. While things could be more tragic (and more realistic), there are a few good scenes with Eric.
Eric: The whole world doesn’t revolve around you, Cory.
Cory: I’m starting to get that feeling.
143. 407 Singled Out
It’s a very strange episode. Eric goes on the actual MTV game show, Singled Out, to meet college girls, meanwhile Cory goes into surgery to get his tonsils removed. The episode is probably the most different of any up to this point. You almost feel like you’re watching an entirely different show. And it doesn’t really seem to serve much purpose either.
MTV Lady: College?
MTV Lady: Harvard?
Eric: Yeah! Gooooo Smart Guys!
142. 518 If You Can’t Be With The One You Love…
It’s the alcohol episode. Cory gets drunk at a party and gets Shawn to drink as well. And as Cory decides he never wants to drink again, Shawn likes the feeling a little too much. But in the end, Shawn “recovers”. Most people who have experienced someone with this disease know it’s not that easy of a fix. There’s usually a lot more of struggle. This episode wasn’t shown when the show aired on the Disney Channel, but kids didn’t miss out on much. It’s not all that funny, and it’s more corny than anything else. But Amy possibly delivers her best line of the series.
Cory: I wouldn’t drink and drive. I’m not a moron.
Mrs. Matthews: You peed on a cop car!
141. 409 Sixteen Candles and Four-Hundred-Pound Men
Cory has to be two places at once. He has Topanga’s Sweet Sixteen party, but also has to be at Frankie’s dad’s professional wrestling match to give him tips so that Frankie can get closer with his dad. So Cory and Shawn have to run back and forth between events to fool everyone. It’s an extremely silly episode–and so is professional wrestling–but at least it acknowledges it it once or twice. Though not nearly enough. The main plot hole? The wrestling match is on the TV at Topanga’s party. Cory could have given tips to Shawn who could have, in turn, run back and forth between the match and the party. Also, there aren’t a heck of a lot of jokes, but at least we get to see Frankie and his dad.
Cory: Yeah, but you see, Shawn, that was a cartoon. Time was compressed. We’re real. We’re in real time.
Shawn: Trust men, it’s the same thing.
Cory: No, it’s not. You see, a television show can cover many days in only one half-an-hour program.
Shawn: Trust me, it’s the same thing.
140. 713 The Provider
Topanga used to be really sweet and thoughtful. In this episode, she’s all of a sudden not understanding at all about Cory. She’s oblivious and annoying. Cory gets a job selling magazine subscriptions over the phone. Topanga gets a better job and pretty much rubs it in Cory’s face the whole time. But somehow, even though they’ve been “dating since they were 2,” she can’t figure out what’s troubling him. It should be more meaningful, but Topanga’s behavior leading up to it sort of ruins it. The episode’s not a complete wash though. The scene when Cory’s trying to sell magazines is pretty entertaining.
Cory: I’m gonna read you our list of magazines. Now, there’s over 700 here, so please don’t hang up before I finish because I don’t like it and it’s mean to me.
139. 603 Ain’t College Great
Cory realizes that he may not be as prepared for college as he thought he was. He fails at signing up for the right classes his first week. Rather, he enrolls in quantum physics and organic chemistry. It’s a realistic episode about the struggles of the transition between high school and college, and the fact that no one is ever truly prepared enough. Although, it’s annoying that everyone is treating Cory like an incompetent moron.
Cory: It’s new and exciting, just like me! So nuts to you, you jerks!
138. 610 And In Case I Don’t See Ya
You’ll either love this episode or hate it. Eric does his own take on The Truman Show, where he sets up a camera in his apartment in order to become more popular, but all anyone wants to watch is Rachel. He quickly becomes manipulative, controlling everything in the apartment to torture his female roommate. The episode is surrealistic and fairly entertaining, although it doesn’t quite fit in with the show. Lo and behold, it’s only a hint of what’s to come for future episodes. I for one, appreciate its uniqueness. But I mostly like the scenes with Cory and Shawn back to their silly camaraderie again. Their subplot takes place back in the classroom with Feeny–which may have been better suited as the main storyline.
Cory: You can’t punish us, we’re in college now.
Alan: Oh yeah? How about if I hit you so hard you’re both back in high school?
137. 714 I’m Gonna Be Like You, Dad
While this episode is ludicrous–equipped with an old guy who thinks he’s Sammy Sosa–it falls perfectly in line with Cory’s character development. He gets diagnosed with hypochondria. It’s frustrating that everyone treats him like a psychopath–including his own wife. But his ailment serves for the butt of some good jokes. Meanwhile, Alan hires Eric at the store to protect him from the real world of having to find a job. The episode is funny, but the characters in it are frustrating.
Shawn: Placebos are what they give to crazy people like you to make them think they’re being cured of something they don’t have.
Cory: Hey! I have to be on these for the rest of my LIFE!!!!
136. 419 Quiz Show
After Cory, Shawn, and Topanga wind up being contestants on the syndicated “Pop Quiz” television show, the producers decide to abandon their prestigious and intelligent outfit for a more “hip” vibe. The kids learn lessons about what kind of knowledge is actually valuable in life. The episode speaks on this theme, while seeming to belittle trivial information. It eventually gets away from itself and becomes silly and over-the-top just to prove a point.
Producer: We’re gonna go on location in Oahu.
Shawn: Columbus, Oahu??
135. 211 The Beard
Shawn asks Cory to date a girl just to keep her off the market until Shawn’s ready for her. But when Cory ends up having feelings for the girl, he proves not to be as safe as Shawn expects. It’s a decently funny episode, but the way all the characters handle their issues is a little too convenient for the sake of moving the plot along.
Stacey: How about a romantic foreign film?
Shawn: Oh please. They don’t even try to speak English in those movies!
134. 109 Class Pre-Union
This one’s always bothered me a little, in a way. When Cory plans to be a major league baseball player for his mock high school reunion, Feeny gives him an “incomplete” for the assignment on the grounds that his $6 million a year contract wouldn’t be enough in the year 2020. He crushes Cory’s big dreams all because, well, Cory has a big dream. It’s a low point for Mr. Feeny in the series. As someone who’s had my own dreams dismissed by many, this is disconcerting. It’s okay for a teacher to want to prepare his student for potential failings, but not to discourage him altogether, telling him that he’s stupid for having big goals. While this is one of the few times Feeny is wrong, it does shine a nice light on Cory’s dad, who encourages his dream and even contacts major league baseball player, Jim Abbott, to come to their house and talk to his son. That’s enough to get me misty-eyed.
Shawn: My dad’s fat, my uncle’s fat, my grandpa’s fat. Let’s face it, Cory, I’m gonna be fat.
133. 622 State of the Unions
Normally season finales are supposed to end somewhere substantial, but this one leaves us with almost everything unresolved–not just one or two story lines, but everything. Even the ones that don’t need to be are still unresolved. With Mr. Feeny getting married to the Dean, Topanga finds out that her parents are getting divorced. It has its moments and sets the tone for the final season, but it’s just not the season finale that we’d hope for.
Amy: Actually, it’s time to feed the baby. Alan, why don’t you come help me feed the baby.
Alan: How can I help you feed–
132. 716 Seven the Hard Way, Part 2
The Plays With Squirrels scene seems to represent this whole episode, but truth be told, the rest of it’s not all that good. It has some nice moments and a meaningful message, but it’s uneventful. After everyone’s deep rooted issues come out and the gang starts fighting with each other, Eric and Feeny try to get them to make up. There ends up being a flash forward seven years later when they’re all grown up and they get to see what they would each lose out on. But it’s unclear who’s having the vision and how it even comes about. Also, some of the deep-rooted issues don’t ever get resolved, and the ones that do aren’t done so convincingly enough. The episode is vastly overrated, except for Plays With Squirrels.
Plays With Squirrels: Lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself.
131. 701 Show Me the Love, Part 1
After her parents decide to get divorced, Topanga no longer wants to get married. Not only that, she no longer wants to be with Cory anymore. It’s all very frustrating, and if it wasn’t for Eric’s genius, the episode would just be a flop. However, Eric is at his best.
Rachel: Wait a second, what are you gonna do when your hair grows back??
Eric: Psh, it’s not gonna grow back…I got my receipt!
130. 216 Danger Boy
When everyone thinks Cory and Mr. Feeny are soft, they prove they’re dangerous by riding the deadliest roller coaster on Earth. It’s a funny episode, but the last 5 minutes are silly. This show is above that.
Shawn: She’s imported. From New York. The Windy City.
129. 621 The Psychotic Episode
Like most episodes in the 6th season, the quality of humor is top notch, but some of the plots start getting a little thin–or strange. In this one, Cory is having a recurring dream that he kills Shawn. It’s filled with plot holes galore, but I suppose these types of episode are still better than an entire season of Shawn trying to find himself.
Cory: I wish peace for all the little niños.
128. 506 No Guts, No Cory
A time warp episode to the 1940s finds the whole cast contributing to World War II. It’s emphasis is on Cory and Topanga and their first real conversation about getting married. Cory goes off to fight in the war and leaves Topanga behind, proposing to her before he leaves. I’m not exactly sure what the point of the episode is. Perhaps to prove that if the show took place in the ’40s, Cory and Topanga would be married already. I dunno. But it’s a fairly funny episode, with Eric’s role being a standout.
Eric: As brother of the groom, I’m pretty sure I’m ordained to perform the wedding ceremony.
127. 319 I Was a Teenage Spy
An electrical shock sends Cory back to 1957 amidst the US/Russian Space Race where he adopts the alias Brad Pittser. Everyone from his world is there, with the addition of some Happy Days cast members, such as Anson Williams, Tom Bosley, and Pat Morita. It’s awesome seeing Cory as a fish-out-of-water during a time of less frills. It’s also one of the corniest episodes in the series, keeping it from climbing any higher on the list–a shame, since it has great potential.
Mr. Turner: Alright! Who said that?! Who said…utt-bay??
Shawnzie Hunterelli: I did, Mr. Turner. I said “butt”!
126. 711 What A Drag!
In this episode, Eric and Jack dress up like women to get back at a criminal who’s trying to kill them. It has tendencies to be funny, but has a few plot holes too. Cory is great as he tries to redecorate his and Topanga’s apartment in ugliness.
Cory: This is a cork coffee table! Do you realize the money we’re gonna save on coasters?!
Topanga: What if I want coasters??
Cory: Got ’em anyway!!
125. 408 Dangerous Secret
This is the epitome of a “very special episode.” Here, Cory discovers a girl sleeping over at Shawn’s house and assumes the wrong thing. In turn, it affects his relationship with Topanga. Besides the couple of frustrating plot holes, it’s a pretty good episode. But it also feels a bit too serious at times. Where it can have levity is where it’s the strongest.
[Cory puts on music]
Topanga: It’s really pretty. What is it?
Cory: I don’t know. It came with my mom’s Volvo.
124. 212 Turnaround
An unpopular girl asks Cory to the turnaround dance. So he and Shawn fix her up to become popular. It gets points for introducing us to the International Women’s Network. The episode is entertaining, but it’s just that the jokes mostly fall a little flat.
Cory: No! Keep your pity cheek kiss!
123. 102 On the Fence
The messages are subtle here, as they are for much of the first season. Cory wants to buy a water gun and gets a job painting Mr. Feeny’s shutters. It’s about being a kid and not rushing to grow up. It’s a mediocre episode, but Alan is too good in this one.
Cory: If they can’t afford to buy toys for three children, why did they have three children?
122. 718 How Cory and Topanga Got Their Groove Back
Cory and Topanga’s friends stop inviting them to go out with them because they deem them as boring. So the married couple throws a party at their apartment, which nobody goes to. Meanwhile, Eric hits his head and can now see the future. Both story lines are entertaining and funny, but perhaps only amidst an otherwise below-par season.
Eric: You know something, Jack? You take all the fun out of sneezing!
121. 620 The Truth About Honesty
It’s a really funny episode, but it’s almost all pointless. Cory and Topanga make a pact to be 100% honest with each other until it starts to backfire. It’s farcical, but nothing much gets accomplished other than some unnecessary drama between Cory and Topanga.
Dana: Aww, who’s the little one?
Eric: That’s Joshua.
Dana: He’s so cute. How old is he?
Eric: Months or somethin’, I dunno.
120. 116 Risky Business
When Cory and Shawn realize that although using their allowance to bet on racehorses may make them more profitable, it also makes them more confident to risk what they can’t afford to lose. It’s not a big episode, but it has its moments. The ending is a classic and shows Feeny in a unique light.
Mr. Feeny: Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you. I made that up.
119. 607 Everybody Loves Stuart
Fred Savage guest stars in one of the creepiest roles in the series. He plays Stuart, the gang’s new college professor. But one day, he comes on to Topanga and doesn’t leave her dorm room when she asks him to. Later, Cory shoves him to the ground and now Cory is on trial for expulsion from college. It’s a solid episode, and brings Feeny back to the forefront of the season–which is lacking him greatly up until this point.
Eric: Look, Mom, Dad, you know about my fifth sense, right?
118. 712 Family Trees
There’s a lot of discomfort in this episode, but there’s also a lot of genuine sentiment. Shawn discovers that Virna isn’t really his mother. He completely loses it, arriving drunk at Alan’s birthday party. The Matthews offer to adopt him, but he doesn’t want it quite yet. It’s a great episode about Shawn and Cory’s camaraderie and it’s well written. We haven’t seen one about the two of them in awhile.
Eric: Okay, listen up people. Here’s the plan as i see it. We give Morgan, who will be our decoy, some kind of poison that’ll make her ill. Dad will hafta take her to the hospital. And when he’s in the emergency room, that’s when the party begins!
117. 316 Stormy Weather
Eric gets a job as a weatherman at his internship, but drops out of school to give his new career 100%. Now there’s friction between him and his dad. It’s the biggest episode so far for Eric and adds to the list of his screw-ups. There are a few holes, and hardcore fans of the series may be frustrated with the fact that Eric’s future as a weatherman never pans out–or even gets revisited. Cory’s near-absence from this episode makes it a little weak–a common denominator among the episodes that don’t surround him.
Eric: Come on, little bro, you can walk, can’t ya?
Cory: In this blizzard? Oh sure, I’ll just trudge all the way to school, freeze my butt off, and walk through life buttless.
Eric: Good deal!
116. 703 Angela’s Men
This episode has some good moments. Angela admits that she loves Shawn, and Eric plans to sneak attack Topanga–which is a funny bit throughout the episode. But overall, as an audience, we’re still frustrated with Topanga. Her character is turning into someone we don’t really like all that much. However, the credits scene consists of a pretty entertaining blooper real, which we don’t really get in the series.
Eric: Eric Matthews will not be beaten up by a woman! Not yet!
115. 605 Better Than the Average Cory
Cory fears that he’s lived an average life and isn’t good at anything (maybe someone should remind him that he’s good at making movies). We understand where he’s coming from, but his issues never really get resolved and he ends up just getting scoffed at by those around him.
Cory: I could’ve one of the greatest ukulele players in the world!
114. 107 Grandma Was a Rolling Stone
Rue McClanahan guest stars as Cory’s grandmother, and it’s a shame this is the only episode that features her character. She brings a lively energy to the show and the friction between her and Mr. Feeny would have been one for the ages. Either way, we’re glad we get at least one good one with her in it.
Feeny: Who is that woman?
Cory: My grandma. Don’t you just love her?
Feeny: No. No, I don’t.
113. 706 They’re Killing Us
Luckily, they wrapped up the entire wedding planning into one episode instead of painfully turning it into a half-season story arc. This one has some funny scenes, mostly stemming from Eric’s ridiculousness, and is kept moving along by intermittent documentary-style interview footage. However, much of it may be boring for the casual viewer unfamiliar with the characters’ histories. The most interesting issue is Cory choosing between Eric and Shawn for his best man.
Topanga: We’ve heard wonderful things about you, Ms. Haberfeld.
Judy Haberfeld: Aww, please call me Judy Haberfeld.
112. 315 The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Shawn falls for a nice girl, Dana, but she won’t go out with him because of his bad boy reputation. There’s not a lot of basis for him to like her that much, but he does anyway. It’s one of many times where Shawn must relearn his lesson about misunderstanding girls. Meanwhile, Eric gets an internship at a news station.
Shawn: If I’m late for class, fall asleep without me.
111. 515 First Girlfriends Club
Topanga reads the letter that Lauren wrote Cory on the ski trip and finds out that they kissed. Their relationship is in limbo at the moment as Topanga needs time to clear her head. Meanwhile, a bunch of Shawn’s ex-girlfriends kidnap him in order to prove to Angela that he can’t commit to her. He realizes that he loves Angela and that he would never want to hurt her. Shawn’s finally changing his ways after talking about it all those years. His performance is so great in this episode, but the lack of really anything else going on keeps the episode marginal. The Cory-Topanga ordeal is just hard to watch. And you hope the show isn’t becoming too soapy.
Cory: Love doesn’t require you to be perfect, but it does require you to forgive.
110. 401 You Can Go Home Again
As far as season premiers go, this one isn’t necessarily the best. It’s heartfelt, but the jokes in the first half almost always fall flat. Eric and Cory are finishing up their road trip and get within 3 hours of home when Eric comes to the conclusion that he’s not going to go the rest of the way. Instead, he’s going to settle in rural Pennsylvania. Eric may be at his most annoying in this episode, but Alan comes through and makes the episode good. The highlights come after we meet some salt-of-the-earth-type people and Cory attempts to hitchhike home.
Amish Farmer: I’m going as far as…that farm house, there.
109. 103 Father Knows Less
When Cory’s dad wakes him up in the middle of a school night to watch a baseball game on TV, he falls asleep during his test the next day. Although Mr. Feeny won’t allow a make-up exam, he heads into a deep conversation with Cory about a time when he was younger and his dad wouldn’t let him stay up with him to hear the president announce the end of the war–although Cory larks in every chance he gets, often ruining the moment. But this episode ends on a sort of sad note. We realize Mr. Feeny’s longing for children–and so does he.
Cory to Mr. Feeny: It’s hard to picture you as a boy. Did your parents call you “Mr. Feeny”?
108. 105 Killer Bees
Cory wants to compete in the Regional Geography Bee because the winner gets to be bat boy for the World Series, but Mr. Feeny doesn’t have a lot of faith in him due to the fact that he’s a C-average student. The episode is fairly funny, but it’s ones like these that really weigh down the first season in comparison to the later ones. However, I like how here, it’s Feeny who’s proven wrong. And there’s a nice final moment between Cory and Feeny that makes it all worth it.
Minkus: Nothing against Cindy Crawford, but I’m more of a Connie Chung kinda guy.
107. 206 Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf
Puberty is masked as turning into a werewolf in this Halloween-themed episode. Cory is convinced that he’s becoming a fanged beast and it’s driving him insane. Phyllis Diller cameos as a fortune teller and Shawn is hilariously seen dressing up as Cory for Halloween. This one has some funny bits, but overall merely serves as a Halloween episode–albeit a pretty good one.
Cory: A wolf? Out here in the ‘burbs?
Mr. Feeny: Yes. Probably looking for better schools.
106. 619 Bee True
When Dean Bollander’s ex-husband tries to win her back, the gang makes a plan to get her and Feeny together. This episode can get really silly, but it has some really laughable moments, and a nice ending.
Eric: I am ashamed to call you guys my brother and Shawn.
105. 709 The Honeymoon is Over
This is a very real episode about the struggles of being married and on your own. Cory and Topanga realize that they have nowhere to live–mostly because Eric and Jack screw them over. No one will help. Their parents won’t give them a place to live–which is understandable. But they also don’t meet them half way and offer them any sort of advice. But in the end, it’s nice to see that this all brings Cory and Topanga closer.
Topanga: Our water’s brown.
Cory: And you hafta chew it.
104. 306 This Little Piggy
In the first silly episode of the series, Shawn finds a pig at the trailer park and takes it home. Topanga, being slightly irritating, demands that he turn in the pig to animal control. Cory is caught between his best friend and his girlfriend and doesn’t know how to handle it. Meanwhile, Eric tries to convince Mr. Feeny to use his position to get him into Yale. This one establishes Shawn and Topanga’s friendship for the first time. Richard Karn makes an awesome cameo as well.
Cory: I am just a big fat stupid head.
103. 101 Pilot
The very first episode sets the tone nicely for the rest of the series. While many shows have pilots that are much different from the rest of the episodes, this one isn’t far off. Cory’s first lesson is about love and its importance in the world. It establishes a great deal of depth with its characters in just one episode, along with Cory’s respect for Mr. Feeny. It never even borders on cheesy like the occasional episode may do, but it isn’t without its plot holes either. It’s funny, but earnest. And Ben Savage exudes so much confidence in his role as Cory.
Mr. Feeny: There is no greater aspiration than to have love in our lives, Mr. Matthews…And those who don’t know it will sit in detention for the rest of their lives.
102. 710 Pickett Fences
It’s crazy which episodes mean more to you as you get older. You relate to them differently. Whereas, when you were a kid watching the show, they meant very little to you. In this one, Cory and Topanga still struggle with their living situation and attempt to buy a house, hoping their parents will help. When their parents refuse to, Cory and Topanga get bitter and decide to show them that they can do it on their own. While not the funniest of episodes, it’s packed with sentiment about living on your own and bonding over the simplicity of your lives.
Jack: I’ll get to it when I’m good and ready, so shut your cake hole, Irene!
101. 705 You Light Up My Union
I like this episode. Maybe it’s because we finally get the first good episode of the 7th season. Or maybe because Feeny teaches his first lesson since forever. Eric and Jack both get a job at the student union, but Eric gives the company’s money away to an organ grinder at the bank. Jack gets furious and convinces Eric to change his ways–which he does–and it’s entertaining. This episode also features Cory and Shawn invading Rachel’s privacy in the apartment–an issue that doesn’t really get resolved and is uncharacteristic of both of them.
Jack: Hey, how’d it go at the bank?
Eric: So good!
Jack: Great, give me the deposit slip.
Eric: Don’t actually have one.
Eric: Because I didn’t deposit the money.
Eric: Because I did something better with it.
Eric: Because I gave it to a monkey!
100. 521 Honesty Night
Cory and Topanga forget to tell Shawn that they’re back together, so they pretend to be broken up again so that he can put them back together for the second time. It’s a silly premise, but holds some nice lessons for those teenagers in love: You don’t have to break up just because you fight. The bright spot? Eric starts his word-a-day calendar and bothers everyone, turning a marginal episode into a memorable one.
Eric: Salutations, my didactic friend.
99. 509 How to Succeed in Business
Shawn gets a promotion during his and Cory’s internship at an ad agency. Cory gets jealous because he always expected that he would be the one to make it in the business world before Shawn does. It’s a reality check for him. Cory comes off as a little whiney throughout the whole ordeal, but it wraps up really nicely between him and Shawn. The best part of the episode is Mrs. Matthews enrolling in Eric’s creative writing class in college.
Eric: You can’t do that, Amy.
Mrs. Matthews: Why are you calling me Amy?
Eric: Because that’s your human name.
98. 415 Chick Like Me
After reading the book, “Black Like Me,” Shawn and Cory decide to dress up like girls so that they can better understand them. The episode gets its point across nicely, although tends to become a bit too polemic. The comedy is top notch, and Cory and Shawn are great. It might be the beginning of Shawn’s sensitive phase.
Shawn: I should’ve worn a pantsuit.
97. 510 Last Tango In Philly
This episode may bother you or not–depending on your stance on the topic. The theme of the episode is “men are idiots.” It’s supposed to be funny that the men aren’t listening to their women, but the women seem to be understanding just as little where their men are coming from. Topanga and Angela want to go dancing, but Cory and Shawn aren’t really feeling it. Little do the guys know that they would get jealous of the handsome coworkers that took their girlfriends out–mostly because their girlfriends didn’t mention it at the time. To me it’s more frustrating than anything. I totally see it from the guys’ point of view. They decided not to go dancing without knowing that the girls would substitute them with other guys–which, by the way, they do on purpose to make their boyfriends jealous. So instead of just deciding to go dancing next time, Cory and Shawn attempt to make the girls jealous back. It backfires, obviously, but it’s totally the response most men would have. The alternative? Perhaps finding a different mate altogether, rather than someone who purposefully makes you jealous and then gets upset when you act upon it. So that may constitute men as being “idiots”, but I much rather be an idiot that mean. While I’m not a fan of the premise, there are some classic lines in this episode and it’s actually very funny–which is why it’s higher on the list than it probably should be.
Shawn: I don’t trust anyone with that many zippers on their pants!
96. 720 As Time Goes By
Maybe I shouldn’t like this episode as much as I do, but it’s better than the other high-concept episodes we’ve gotten this series. It’s much less corny and a nice escape from a less-than-perfect season. Topanga is studying and nagging at Cory about watching too much TV. She then enters into a black-and-white film noir set in the 40s. It’s an interesting concept for an episode, and actually quite enjoyable. Eric is entertaining as the narrating detective of the whole bit, and each character is an alternate version of him or herself.
Eric: He had a point. Maybe that’s why he wore a hat.
95. 414 Wheels
This is an episode I wish I had taken more to heart when I was 16. It’s about rushing to be an adult–as many episodes are. But this one may be a microcosm of what the rest of the show stands for. It’s funny and contains a beautiful message without ever feeling forced. The first half is full of painful awkwardness as Alan has a hard time letting Cory take the car and go on a road trip after he gets his license. But a great last half makes this episode good. Plus, it features a great cameo by Dan Lauria.
Judge Lam: It’s a speed trap.
94. 204 Me and Mr. Joad
Cory and Shawn make a deal with Mr. Turner that if they read “The Grapes of Wrath” they won’t have to take a test on it. However, Mr. Feeny steps in and makes the class take the test anyway, resulting in Cory organizing a walk-out. It’s a funny episode, but the Eric storyline is more frustrating than anything, as we deal with perhaps the most annoying character in the series–his manipulative girlfriend, Desiree. Luckily, this is her 2nd and final episode.
Shawn: You can’t do that.
Mr. Feeny: I can do whatever I want–I have the megaphone.
93. 512 Raging Cory
This is an episode about both Cory and Eric wanting a relationship with their father that the other one has. Amidst a few awkward moments, it’s pretty deep and has some bright spots. It’s the jumping off point you would want for both sons’ relationship with their father–especially Eric’s. However, it’s never built upon in the future and soon everyone starts to treat Eric as a special needs child. Shawn and Jack have a subplot that is great in its own right. Jack temporarily rooms with Shawn and tries to adjust to Shawn’s ridiculous sleeping habits.
Eric [on the phone]: Hello, Philly General, have any middle-aged men been admitted this afternoon with basketball injuries? That many, huh?
92. 412 Easy Street
In this Christmas episode, Cory gets a job working for two old guys in a coffee shop who keep slipping him money to run favors for them. When Shawn informs him that he’s working for the mob, Cory quits. And Shawn takes the now-open job. There’s a pretty interesting and gripping storyline, although not the funniest episode in the series. But Buddy Hackett and Soupy Sales have great cameos.
Shawn: You’re working for the mob.
Cory: But the nice mob.
Shawn: Yeah, yeah, the nice mob.
91. 220 Pop Quiz
A lot happens in this episode without quite actually happening. It’s funny, but just not all that significant. Cory and Shawn accidentally find out about a pop quiz in Mr. Turner’s class, so they study ahead of time to prepare. Meanwhile, with Harley Keiner off to reform school, Joey and Frankie are in desperate need to be somebody’s lackey. They try to be Eric’s, hilariously dressing up like him and following him around uninvitedly. But they soon discover a new student, Griff, and realize they’re a match made in heaven. As a side note, Cory is beginning his awkward phase.
Shawn: They can put a man on the moon, but you still gotta read.
90. 219 Wrong Side of the Tracks
This episode is slightly shorter on laughs, but has a good message. Shawn doesn’t want to be friends with Cory anymore because they were brought up differently. Shawn feels that he should be hanging around with lowlives just because he lives in a trailerpark. It’s a turning point where Cory and Shawn enter another tier in their friendship.
Eric: Jason, I don’t skate…at all.
Jason: Come on, Canadians skate, how hard could it be.
89. 209 Fear Strikes Out
Cory doesn’t know what to do at a make-out party, so everyone at school makes fun of him. The episode tends to move a little slowly at times, but has some great scenes, highlighting with Frankie Stecchino reading poetry.
Cory: Harley, you go to poetry readings??
Harley Keiner: What, you don’t think i’m a sensitive guy? I should slap you around for that.
88. 111 The Father-Son Game
Here’s a great example of how subtlety can still make a great episode. Cory and Eric feel guilty when they bail on their dad for the annual father-son softball game. Meanwhile, Cory and Topanga have an ongoing debate in class about the importance of tradition and saying the pledge of allegiance–which is by far the more philosophical matter. But luckily, it’s the one they stressed the least, as not every episode has to hyper focus on some paramount theme. This episode has its fair share of classic quotes.
Favorite line: Eric: It’s like “The Gift of the Magi,” except we didn’t get him anything.
87. 218 By Hook or By Crook
This episode has the writers going totally away from Cory and Shawn for once. The whole episode is pretty much about Eric, as his tutor keeps giving him the answers to the tests because she likes him. There’s a small subplot about Mr. Turner as well. The experiment works for the most part and really begins Eric and Mr. Feeny’s long relationship. It’s short on jokes, showing how important Cory is to the mix. However, it’s well-written and the cast does great with the material they’re given.
Shawn: Look, this guy’s my teacher, you take good care of him, okay?
Uncle Mike: Like family.
86. 122 I Dream of Feeny
When Cory wishes Mr. Feeny sick so he won’t have to take a geography test, he fears that his power of will is what landed his teacher in the hospital. He starts seeing Feeny everywhere and dreaming that he died. There are some great moments between Cory and Mr. Feeny. And it’s a solid way to wrap up the first season.
New Teacher: Do you have a problem with Beowulf?
Cory: Yeah, my problem is nobody cares. I don’t need this. When am i gonna need this. No one has ever needed this…And on a completely side issue, who names their baby, “Hrothgar”??
85. 305 Hometown Hero
Cory breaks into the school in the middle of the night and accidentally starts a fire. He then puts it out and pulls the fire alarm. Everyone in town thinks he’s a hero and Cory finally feels like he’s somebody important. While this episode is filled with a couple of holes, it’s still pretty entertaining. Eric is finally becoming a full-fledged idiot and accepting that role.
Shawn: Quick! Rub off your DNA!
84. 715 The War, Part 1
Okay, this is a hard episode to grade fairly. It’s extremely funny, but it’s frustrating in other aspects. The gang has divided up into a civil war: Cory, Topanga, and Shawn versus Rachel, Angela, and Jack (Eric is neutral). The catalyst for the fight is when Shawn parks in Rachel’s RA parking spot. It escalates from there, to the point where Cory, Topanga, and Shawn almost get killed by a bear. But it isn’t considered going “too far” until they plaster in the Union a picture of Rachel covered by a fur blanket. It’s hardly the least covered she’s been in the two seasons she’s been on the show, but somehow it’s more wrong than the others almost being killed by a bear. Nevertheless, Cory, Shawn, and Eric are really funny in this one–and Feeny has some good moments too.
Cory: Oh great, the butt!
83. 309 The Last Temptation of Cory
Cory and Topanga’s relationship is going really well, except that Cory now has “the scent” which makes other girls want him because they know they can’t have him. So a girl at school keeps trying to seduce Cory while Topanga is home sick. Meanwhile, one of my favorite Eric stories happens. He buys an autographed picture of Teddy “Beanbag” Bagwell.
Cory: If I’m not here by 9 o’clock then we must be at war!
82. 616 My Baby Valentine
The new baby Matthews is born, but prior to that, Cory throws his mom a hilariously disastrous baby shower. Also, Eric finds out that Jack and Rachel are in a relationship with each other. There’s a lot of awkwardness in this episode and there are a couple plot holes, but it’s also one of the funniest episodes of the 6th season.
Topanga: Sometimes things come up!
Cory: I hate that things come up!
81. 618 Can I Help to Cheer You?
Eric realizes that he won’t be able to adopt Tommy, so he has to say goodbye when a family from California wants to adopt him. It’s one of the saddest episodes of the series. The jokes mostly come from the Cory storyline where a man offers him one million dollars to marry his daughter.
Amy: Oh, Alan, you’re saying you’re going along with this? The kid just pulled a shirt out of his fly!
80. 307 Truth and Consequences
Cory gets Janitor Bud fired by doing a school news story showing him skipping out early from work. Janitor Bud is one of the most underused characters in the 2nd and 3rd seasons. This one features the classic “Janitor’s Curse” bit and highlights with Eric being researched for his unusual sleep activity.
Eric: I’ve been sleeping since I was 5.
79. 617 Resurrection
With Cory’s new little brother in the hospital, he’s looking for Topanga to help him feel better, but she’s having a hard time finding her old self. Eric moves out of the apartment and Shawn returns home from his road trip self-discovery. Although the episode is about Cory and Topanga, there’s emphasis on the one between Cory and Shawn as well.
Mr. Feeny [to Cory]: Who talks like you?!
78. 612 Cutting the Cord
Alan is dealing with his midlife crisis, while Shawn is dealing with his depression after breaking up with Angela. Eric is brilliant at his mom’s lamaze classes, and Cory and Topanga have a standout karaoke scene. It’s entertaining, but the episode doesn’t really get us anywhere in the series.
Eric: Oh look at that! You wobble like a weeble!
77. 320 I Never Sang for My Legal Guardian
Mr. Turner is finally getting around to filling out Shawn’s adoption papers, but Shawn is offended that it’s taken him so long. Shawn spends much of the episode being a whiney and spoiled brat. In fact, everyone’s performances seem kinda off in this one. But it’s an important episode, nonetheless, as Chet Hunter returns and Shawn finally moves out of Turner’s place. It’s a bittersweet end because we love the Shawn/Turner friendship, but at least his dad is back. However, we’d gladly take the former, since we hardly see both Turner and Chet for the remainder of the series anyway, so keeping the one character (Turner) who actually was a mainstay in the 2nd and 3rd seasons would’ve been nice. But sadly the show went in another direction. On a side note, the Eric B-plot is pretty entertaining.
Shawn: Good news, Cor.
Cory: Shawn, there’s no such thing as good news before I’ve had my Grape Nuts.
76. 203 Notorious
When Shawn pulls a prank in the school newspaper, Cory is forced to cover for him. It’s pretty deep and offers a new sincere side to Mr. Feeny. Also, it’s the first episode of Janitor Bud.
Desiree [shaking hands with Eric]: Desiree Emilyne Hollinger Beaumont. But you may call me Desiree.
Eric: Eric Matthews. You may call me Desiree.
75. 304 He Said, She Said
Shawn decides he wants to run away and start life on his own. It’s not quite as eye-opening as it wants to be, due to the fact that it’s only one of the more minor stunts Shawn tries to pull. Everybody shines in this episode and gets pretty balanced screen time. But sadly, it’s also Harley Keiner’s final appearance.
Shawn: My dad always talks about the three B’s: Babes, Bucks, and Brewskies.
74. 313 New Friends and Old
Cory and Shawn become Frankie’s new friends after Joey gets suspended, but they only seem to be interested in making others fear them by association. In an original twist, Shawn is the one who gets a clear head about it all, and they both realize that Frankie is more than just an intimidating giant.
Frankie: Mr. Feeny, you told me hanging with a better crowd would make me a better person. And yet, here I wander, like the Israelites in the days of Yul Brynner.
73. 422 Learning to Fly
Eric takes a tour of Beach State–a party college on a beach–and thinks it’s where he wants to go to school because it’s a sure thing. Cory and Shawn accompany him on his trip and a sorority girl has the hots for Cory. He realizes that Topanga lied to him when she said she wasn’t allowed to go with him on the trip. It’s a great way to wrap up a season, and Eric probably gives Cory his best advice of the series.
Eric: Thank you, Mr. Feeny! Thank you for everything!
Mr. Feeny: Well, it’s what I do.
72. 301 My Best Friend’s Girl
When Cory keeps getting cold feet when trying to ask out Topanga, Shawn decides to ask her out instead. It’s revealed that Shawn planned the whole scheme with Topanga’s best friend, Trini, in order to set up Cory and Topanga. Which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you watch it for yourself. This episode is a really good one. And it would be higher on the list if it weren’t for one little thing: Topanga wasn’t in on the set-up. Would she have eventually kissed Cory’s best friend? And even if she had been in on it, it still wouldn’t make sense. I get what this episode is trying to do, but it’s all very upsetting. However, it’s just too funny to put lower on the list. Plus, the end result is what we’ve all been waiting for.
Mr. Turner: That’s right, pal, your butt’s in home room before that first bell rings or TV no way, snacks no way, dates no way…okay?
71. 119 Kid Gloves
It becomes more and more obvious with each episode that this series is only just getting started. As the episodes get better and better, the story lines feel more organic and less forced. In this one, Cory loses a necklace that his dad gives him from his days in the Navy. It’s not anything big, but it’s a simple episode of great quality.
Mr. Feeny: Can anyone tell me what the acronym, “SCUBA,” is? Mr. Matthews?
Mr. Feeny: Scuba duba. Mr. Matthews, I have obviously failed you on so many levels….Come on. Someone take a stab at it. Mr. Hunter, you haven’t spoken since the fourth grade. S-C-U-B-A. What does it stand for?
Shawn: Something’s creepy under boat Andy.
Mr. Feeny: Mr. Matthews was closer with “duba”.
70. 613 We’ll Have a Good Time Then
This episode is depressing. It’s even harder to watch if you know what happens. Shawn’s dad comes back into town, but Shawn is having a problem believing that he’s here to stay. All of his built-up emotions come pouring out. It’s great to finally see Chet after a long absence, but it’s sad that this is his final “true” appearance.
Chet: What is she, 6’7″?? Man, she could eat a pie off your head!
69. 112 Once In Love With Amy
It’s like the writers are trying to tell us that no matter what, Mr. and Mrs. Matthews will always be together. It’s said subtly, but that’s the point. They don’t want us over thinking it. It’s just supposed to be some sort of subconscious notion that we know will always exist in this series. Their marriage is the example for Cory and Topanga in their future together, and it’s first established here. Cory and Eric discover that their mom may be sneaking off every Wednesday night with another man, so the boys do some detective work to figure out what’s going on. As subtext, there’s a math problem Mr. Feeny gives the class that proves this show’s forward-thinking about education back in 1994. It’s also noted that this episode has possibly the strangest credits scene at the end.
Mr. Feeny: In the course of your education you have been taught to look for the right answer, but you also must know that in life, many times, the right answer is that there isn’t one.
68. 106 Boys II Mensa
One of my favorite first season episodes. Not just because it surrounds Halloween (I have a soft spot for Halloween-themed sitcom episodes) but because it’s deceptively deep. Cory cheats on the IQ test to gain Mr. Feeny’s respect, but regrets it once he finds out they’re sending him to a special school for geniuses. The ironic thing about it all is that Shawn, who is notably not as bright as Cory, is the brains behind Cory’s schemes throughout the whole episode. While Cory thinks like an average 6th grader, Shawn’s street-smart skill set proves that, in some ways, he may be smarter than we all realize (this gets much more elaborated in future seasons).
Cory: I called you up to say, “Goodbye.” Or as geniuses say, “Goodbye” in Latin.
67. 503 It’s Not You…It’s Me
Shawn gets mad at Cory after he realizes that Cory is applying to colleges that Shawn won’t get into. This episode proves that we’re off to a smooth start in this new season, free of the sappier tone of the previous–even during a deeper episode.
Eric: You got pictures?
Eric: Then you got nothin’.
66. 205 The Uninvited
Cory is faced with a tough decision after he gets invited to a party that Shawn isn’t invited to. Meanwhile, we have the first subplot involving Alan without it having to do with any of the kids. The episode is short on jokes, but we get some great scenes with Harley Keiner and his cohorts.
Cory: So you think I’m a geek?
Shawn: Of course not.
Cory: So you think I’m cool?
Shawn: Of course not.
65. 420 Security Guy
Eric gets fired by his parents at the shop and becomes a security guard. You watch his relationship really reach the next level with his parents, and he’s got some great banter back and forth with Feeny. However, we hope that this season-long struggle of Eric figuring out what to do with his life is soon coming to a close.
Cory: What’s this? It’s a list of colleges.
Shawn: Yes, that is where I want you and Topanga to go. Even if I’m not going to school, the three of us should still be together.
Cory: Okay, “University of Italy”…good ol’ U of Its!
64. 118 It’s a Wonderful Night
This is one of the funniest episodes of the first season. When Mr. Feeny is stuck babysitting Cory, Shawn, and Morgan, Eric is off driving around with his friend, tricking his parents into thinking he has his license. It’s chaotic and nearly farcical. Feeny has some rare moments with Morgan, which are priceless. The classic lines are spread throughout.
Jason: I am so proud to be the best friend of the first guy in history to fail his driver’s test before it started!
Eric: The DMV guy waved me forward. I pulled up, like, two inches!
Jason: That was not the DMV guy. That was the father of the kid ahead of you.
Eric: How am I supposed to know that? I’m at the DMV. I assume the guy waving me forward is the DMV guy.
Jason: Eric, DMV guys are cops. They don’t usually wave you forward with a can of beer.
63. 520 Starry Night
This one should probably be higher up on the list because it’s probably the most important episode in the series, but it’s not because some of it is annoying. Topanga goes out with another guy, Ricky, and he kisses her. She realizes that a kiss can, in fact, mean nothing, confirming her feelings for Cory. This guy Ricky is so obnoxious, talking in a constant creepy whisper the whole time, saying overly corny things that no one actually says. And Angela, on the other hand, is also annoying, making it seem like she’s encouraging Topanga to move on, after flirting with Ricky herself. However, all of this is supposed to happen, since Topanga and Cory are finally back together again in the end.
Cory: This is just a painting.
Topanga: This is a masterpiece.
Cory: We’re a masterpiece.
62. 614 Getting Hitched
After being beaten by Eric and Rachel at the Fiancée Game, Cory and Topanga decide to live together for a few days. They learn all sorts of new things about each other. Meanwhile, Shawn and Jack clean out Chet’s trailer following his death, but Jack keeps his feelings bottled up inside for Shawn’s sake. It’s a really funny episode, and part of a fairly decent 6th season run.
Cory: What do you think of my silk pajamas, huh? They cost me two thousand dollars!
61. 416 A Long Walk to Pittsburgh (Part 1)
This is where the show tends to get a little soapy at times. And although it doesn’t quite figure out how to balance emotion with laughs properly here, it doesn’t do a terrible job. It tries to make us laugh, and succeeds at times, but we don’t necessarily want to. This episode is too depressing. Topanga tells Cory that she’s moving to Pittsburgh, and by the end of the episode, she leaves. We also see a nice new side to Eric that we haven’t seen before.
Eric: It smells good out here. What is that? Trees?
60. 120 The Play’s the Thing
Cory quits the school play after getting the lead role of Hamlet and Feeny refuses to modernize it. In the process, he learns about responsibility and that sometimes you must take the hard route and do things you don’t want to do. It’s a lesson ahead of its time, as today’s adolescents are becoming less and less willing to do things if they are difficult.
Shawn: If they disobey me like that again, I’m gonna sit on ’em.
59. 117 The Fugitive
This one sets the tone for Cory and Shawn’s roles for the whole series, establishing Shawn as the rebel and Cory as the good guy. After Shawn blows up a mailbox, he hides in Cory’s bedroom and convinces Cory to cover for him. It’s more than just a sappy lesson learned in the end–it’s real. Cory’s parents start questioning Shawn’s influence, but accept that perhaps Cory’s influence on him is more important. There’s a little silliness in the whole hiding-in-the-bedroom situation, but the 2nd half is the real highlight.
Mr. Feeny: Well, I guess the room is empty–what a perfect time to set fire to my desk.
58. 213 Cyrano
In the ways of Cyrano de Bergerac, Cory and Shawn help Frankie Stecchino get Harley Keiner’s girlfriend to fall for him. It’s one of the few episodes surrounding Harley and his lackeys. The highlight is seeing Eric reacting to Harley and Frankie in his own home.
Shawn: I don’t wanna die before I know what “woo” is!
57. 504 Fraternity Row
Shawn starts auditing college classes and ditching his actual high school classes. The highlight is when Eric and Jack start their own fraternity called Magnum Pi. Ted Lange and Bernie Kopell guest star. And Paul Gleason as the school’s dean is perfect.
Dean Borak: Ever since Kinkos opened, everybody’s flyer crazy!
56. 615 Road Trip
Shawn goes on a road trip with Cory to find himself. But Cory soon finds out that Shawn’s not planning on coming back home. It’s a meaningful episode, and Cory is just brilliant. Shawn is still depressed, but he’s acting more mature about it now.
Cory: You just wait until Feeny hears about this one!
55. 417 A Long Walk to Pittsburgh (Part 2)
This episode is about love. More specifically, love at 16. It’s hard when you know something about yourself and everyone around you is telling you that you’re wrong. They try pulling you and your lover apart–telling you that you should see other people. Isn’t that your own decision to make? This episode is very emotional and a great conclusion to Part 1. Eric’s jokes get a little forced at the wrong times, but it doesn’t completely ruin the impact of this episode and what it says about Cory and Topanga’s relationship–a good model for any young couple.
Cory: You hung up the phone on Topanga!
Shawn: I hung up on nobody, Cory! The phone has to ring for somebody to be on it.
Cory: Not when you’re in love.
Shawn: Or nuts!
54. 110 Santa’s Little Helper
This marks a turning point in Cory and Shawn’s relationship and solidifies their series-long friendship. It’s the Christmas episode and Cory finds out that Shawn’s dad just got laid off, so he gives him one of his presents. Shawn gets mad and says that he doesn’t want a hand-out, prompting Cory to figure out how to ensure Shawn has a good Christmas. It has a great balance of earnestness and comedy. It also gives us the first sign of Cory’s disdain for wool.
Shawn: You have five bucks?!?!
Cory: I’ve been saving up for a month!
53. 410 Turkey Day
Cory has the idea to bring his family over to Shawn’s for Thanksgiving at the trailer park. Tensions fly as the two different social classes aren’t too fond of each other. It’s a powerful episode without ever getting too corny. There are some great lines to go along with some deliberately and painfully awkward moments.
Alan: Son, you won’t realize this ’til you grow up, but being right is not necessarily enough to change the way people feel.
52. 208 Band on the Run
Cory and Shawn start a band to meet chicks, but there’s one problem: they don’t know how to play any instruments. They get backed into a corner and wind up getting booked to play at the school dance–which is one of the funniest scenes all season. It’s the prime example of the classic Cory and Shawn shenanigans that we all love. There’s a pretty entertaining audition montage as well, and a nice subplot involving the Topanga-Cory relationship.
Cory: No matter what happens, no matter how cute the girl is, no matter what she’s wearing, we never ever play a note. And why is that, Shawn??
Shawn: Cuz we don’t know how!
51. 721 Angela’s Ashes
In Angela’s last episode, her father asks her to move to Europe with him for a year. Unsure of what to do, Shawn confides in Cory, who tells him to make her stay. It’s a well-written episode and says more about Shawn than almost any other. He gives maybe his best performance of the series. It’s a hard ending to watch, but it’s so powerful. It might be the only drama-based episode where the lack of humor doesn’t seem obvious.
Cory: Are you nutsy-fakin’?!?!
50. 502 Boy Meets Real World
Cory is filming a documentary a la Real World for school. It’s about the new roommates, Eric, Shawn and Jack and how they get along. Tensions rise when Shawn and Jack get caught in the midst of a love triangle. There are some great lines and it’s an episode that furthers along the Shawn/Jack brother relationship with some nice moments. And you gotta love Fake Eric. However, much like Eric’s future as a weatherman, Cory’s talents as a filmmaker get forgotten about by the show’s writers.
Cory: All through my life, everyone’s always asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up, young whippersnapper?”
Topanga: Who talks like that??
Cory: Crazy people!
49. 604 Friendly Persuasion
Angela and Shawn break up, and Cory won’t leave Angela alone because she doesn’t think of him as a friend. Also, Feeny comes out of retirement and takes a class with Eric, Jack, and Rachel. It’s a classic. Plus, we get a new evolution of the Feeny Call.
Eric: I have closed that chapter in my life and I’ve opened up a new one. And do you know what I call that chapter, Jack? Chapter five.
48. 108 Teacher’s Bet
It’s an important episode and a turning point in Cory’s adolescence. Mr. Feeny lets Cory teach social studies for a whole week because of a bet they make. As the classroom gets out of hand, Cory realizes that what he’s teaching is actually of great importance. He learns about prejudice and unfairness in the world, becoming passionate about it. If anyone’s watched the reboot show, Girl Meets World, you will see that Cory, in fact, becomes a teacher as an adult. You can trace those roots back to this very episode, along with everything else Feeny’s inspired throughout the series.
Mr. Feeny: Hey Dude! Sorry I’m late. I was chillin’ with my homies.
47. 406 Janitor Dad
Shawn’s dad finally gets a job, but it’s as a janitor at school. Kids are making fun of Shawn, so he has to decide whether or not he wants Mr. Feeny to let his dad go. It’s a nice episode between Shawn and his dad, with a really powerful ending.
Chet: Now, Virna, sugar pie honey bunch, don’t you go chewing my leg off over a minor financial fracas. [turns to Shawn and Cory] That’s your new vocabulary word for today, boys: “fracas.”
46. 314 A Kiss is More Than a Kiss
Cory starts dating around again after he and Topanga break up, and he can’t seem to kiss any other girl. But when he sees Topanga kissing another guy, he gets really hurt. Although it echoes most of the notions pinned to the episode two before it, it’s a really entertaining episode. Meanwhile, Eric thinks he got into Boris College. It’s also the first episode of the new Morgan.
Cory: Maybe I’m dreaming. Pinch me…Not on the butt!
45. 402 Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow
It’s a good episode regarding superficiality and the awkward changes most of us go through in adolescence and our teenage years. Cory is uncomfortable with what he looks like, so Topanga proves to him that looks don’t matter by cutting off her hair. Little does she know that she was fine saying those things when she was comfortable with her appearance–which she no longer is. Meanwhile, Eric has the idea of being a TV detective.
Eric: Book ’em, good lookin’.
44. 707 It’s About Time
Even though this is the episode where Cory and Topanga get married, it’s mostly about Cory and Shawn. Truth be told, their relationship history is perhaps even more compelling than Cory and Topanga’s. The story in this one revolves around how Cory and Shawn will no longer be best friends after the wedding, and they’re both having a hard time accepting that. It’s a fairly deep issue to cover, and one that’s pretty much unique to this sitcom alone. On top of that, it’s full of some big laughs and it’s the culmination of 6 seasons of build-up between Cory and Topanga.
Eric: Come on, give me the job! I’m your brother! We both came out of our daddy’s womb!
43. 411 An Affair to Forget
Shawn’s new girlfriend tells him that he can’t hang out with Cory anymore, so Cory and Shawn go behind her back to hang out. The highlight of the episode–and perhaps the season–comes from Eric’s attempt at performing a one-man-show. It’s some of his best in the entire series.
Eric: 1984. I poo-poo on a bus. Nobody likes me.
42. 302 The Double Lie
When Shawn thinks Mr. Turner’s out of town, he takes his date back to his apartment–only to find Mr. Turner with his date on the couch. It takes Mr. Turner and Shawn’s relationship to the next level, and we begin Eric’s difficult journey to graduating. Everyone shines in this classic episode.
Cory: That’s Veronica Watson, for crying out loud!
41. 403 I Ain’t Gonna Spray Lettuce No More
Alan quits his job at the grocery store and the whole family stresses about their fate. Eric is also trying to decide whether or not to go back to high school. This is one of the few times in the later seasons where we see an Alan-centered episode.
Eric: Dad, you can’t quit! I can’t support this family! I am not a monkey!!
40. 223 Home
Shawn is overstaying his welcome at the Matthews’ house, so Mr. Turner offers to take him in full-time. Shawn and Turner’s chemistry is ridiculously good, and we can’t wait for what’s to come. This episode shows signs that this series is really starting to have direction.
Eric: Ahh, oxygen. Good ol’ H2O.
39. 121 Boy Meets Girl
Cory goes on his first “date” with Topanga to keep up with Shawn who’s already gone on his first date. If nothing else, this episode really peers into the depth of Topanga and opens up her character, showing how sweet and perfect she is for Cory. It’s an important episode, but on top of that, it’s pretty funny. Not only is it about Cory and Topanga’s relationship, but also Cory and Shawn’s friendship.
Mr. Feeny: This film is meant to help you understand the metamorphosis your bodies will soon be going through.
Cory: How?! That movie’s a hundred years old. The telegram boy was played by George Burns!
38. 508 Chasing Angela (Part 2)
Wrapping up the purse scenario, Shawn professes his love for Angela. She’s unsure if she’s ready for the commitment at first, but Cory and Topanga make both of them realize that they want a serious relationship, too. Cory and Topanga’s ridiculous argument is the highlight of the whole episode.
Topanga: That’s it! That’s it! I have had it! I don’t want to put the Sweet’N Low in my purse!
37. 523 Things Change
Cory is having a crisis because everything in his life is changing. He finally realizes that he has no control over the world, but learns that it’s how he deals with the changes that’s most important. It’s an important episode for the transition into the college seasons. Although, the saddest part is seeing Chubbie’s go away forever.
Eric: Duckies rule!!!!
36. 321 The Happiest Show on Earth
Okay, so this episode might grate on some people, and if it wasn’t set on location it would be much farther down the list. Cory chases Topanga all the way to Disney World to tell her that he still loves her. Topanga is frustratingly callous towards Cory, turning an easy fix into a multiple day ordeal. But at least she admits to being wrong in the end. It’s one of the best Disney World episodes in ’90s sitcom history, and an eminent one as far as this series goes, as Cory and Topanga finally get back together. A highlight is Eric covering for Cory by carrying around a life-sized doll that looks just like him. Also, there’s an awesome Step By Step crossover, for those who have seen the episode from that series.
Dana: What’s a Topanga?
35. 601 His Answer, Part 1
Cory and Topanga run away to get married after their family and friends tell them it’s a bad idea. It’s a good episode to start the season with. Eric is growing into his new level of stupid. Also, we’re introduced to Eric and Jack’s new roommate, Rachel.
Judge: This must be the bride with the nutty name.
Judge: Topanga. That’s silly. This is my wife, Bafoofta.
34. 214 I Am Not A Crook
Cory runs for class president and makes outlandish promises to his classmates. A rift is caused between him and Shawn–his campaign manager. It’s a deceptively powerful episode and shows our society’s unwillingness to forgive mistakes, expecting all candidates to be idol-worthy. It speaks of how campaigns are all about name calling and finger pointing. At one point Feeny talks to Mr. Turner about aspiring for the younger generation to do better. This was 1995.
Shawn: I should’ve been more sensitive to our female brothers.
33. 207 Wake Up Little Cory
It’s the biggest issue the show’s covered so far. Cory and Topanga fall asleep at school while working on a school project and everyone thinks they slept together. It’s a strong concept for 7th graders to face, but yet, it’s an unfortunate reality of adolescence. And if Cory were older, he wouldn’t be so stupid as to fuel these rumors in the first place. But ultimately he makes the right decision, and this goes down as an important episode. Also, it just may be Topanga’s best episode.
Joey the Rat: Hey hey hey, Matthews, what the heck ya doin’ here?
Cory: Oh, we’re makin’ a documentary. it’s about what everybody thinks about love and stuff
Joey the Rat: Yeah, that’s cool, what’s it about??
32. 501 Brothers
Cory’s senior year begins and he thinks he has his room all to himself, but Eric informs him that he’s moving back home. It’s a great way to kick off a new, more mature phase of the show. We get introduced to Jack, Shawn’s half-brother and Eric’s new best friend, and we get a more Friends-inspired opening theme. While the show does make adjustments to try and match its contemporary, it keeps its goofy spirit in the process.
Cory: Eric, why are you doing this to me?! Why are you home?!?!
Eric: …I don’t know.
31. 215 Breaking Up Is Really Really Hard to Do
Cory gets stuck in a clingy relationship with Wendy–who buys him socks and talks about their three future children. He looks at Shawn, who has dated tons of girls, and isn’t sure he’s ready to throw in the towel and commit for the rest of his life just yet. There’s the diner scene where Cory and Shawn are old men, which is one of the classic bits of this series. A great episode.
Cory: They want you to take the rolls!
30. 210 Sister Theresa
With this episode, we can see that we’ve reached a point in the series where we’re moving away from every episode being overly sentimental. Which is a good thing. They don’t always need to be. In this one, Cory’s new girlfriend is Harley Keiner’s sister, TK. He likes her, but she happens to be very clingy. On the other hand, he can’t break up with her for fear of her brother. It further develops the relationship between Cory and Harley. But it’s sad that this is the only episode with TK.
Harley: It’s the pressures,you know? The demands of my day. I mean, I’m so busy collecting lunch money and dunking kids’ heads into toilets. I hardly have time for my sister anymore.
29. 717 She’s Having My Baby Back Ribs
In a season full of below par episodes, this one may be the best. It has the spirit of episodes of yore–and the classic lines, too. Topanga thinks she’s getting fat, so she goes on a diet. But Cory and everyone else think that her strange behavior is because she’s pregnant. It’s a clever story during a time when the writers seem to be running out of ideas.
Eric: I’m not fat, I’m pregnant.
28. 421 Cult Fiction
Woah. This show just got real. Shawn joins a cult and Cory is trying to confront him for the first time about his spiritual beliefs. It’s a really deep episode and it gets intense. There are quite a few solid jokes, but it’s impactful more than anything else. Unfortunately, it’s Mr. Turner’s final appearance of this series.
Eric: Which one of you brainwashed nuts validates parking?!
27. 602 Her Answer, Part 2
A lot happens in this episode. Everyone thinks that Cory and Topanga eloped, when in fact, Topanga gets cold feet and decides she wants to wait. After a blow-up at the “wedding reception,” Amy finally admits that she’s jealous of Topanga. Cory and Topanga have an entertaining argument, and the ending is just amazing as well.
Cory: Now, don’t leave me up here in my wedding dress!
26. 318 Life Lessons
Mr. Feeny has set up a ridiculously hard finals schedule, so some kids begin revolting by vandalizing his house and the school. Feeny contemplates retiring. It marks a real turning point in establishing Mr. Feeny’s importance in the main characters’ lives.
Cory: Do you remember back when I was a kid and I ate all that dirt and you were good enough to call poison control?
Mr. Feeny: I wanted my dirt back.
25. 222 Career Day
We finally meet Shawn’s dad for the first time. One of the best and most underused characters in the entire series. You can’t look away while he’s on screen. Like a fireworks finale, or a car crash. He’s in only a handful of episodes, but his existence affects the entire Shawn story arc innumerably. In this episode, Shawn’s mom leaves town and he gets abandoned at a hotel while his dad goes and searches for her.
Chet Hunter: It’s “Corky,” right?
24. 317 The Pink Flamingo Kid
This episode features Shawn and Cory’s only physical fight. Cory wants to report Shawn’s brother for stealing computers, but Shawn won’t let him. They get into an uncharacteristic brawl, but the result is a big step forward in their relationship. Meanwhile, almost all of the humor comes from Eric helping Mr. Feeny taking old junk to appraisers. It’s also discovered that Eric calls himself “Kyle”.
Mr. Feeny: Mr. Hunter, you don’t have to be blood to be family.
23. 611 Santa’s Little Helpers
Eric is a mall Santa during Christmas time, and has the idea to buy actual gifts for the kids who sit on his lap. Until one boy asks for his parents back. It’s funny and it’s heartfelt, and Eric is amazing. Meanwhile, Cory tries to get Shawn and Angela back together, which is entertaining in its own right.
Amy: Eric, it’s Christmas Eve!
Alan: Hey, we were gonna spend this together as a family.
Eric: I’mmmm Santa!
22. 310 Train of Fools
You gotta get sentimental about New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately it’s the only episode featuring the holiday in the series, but it’s a good one. After a series of unfortunate events on New Year’s Eve, Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Eric wind up taking the subway into the city. After the train breaks down, they’re forced to make the best out of their situation. Eric and Cory do some nice bonding in this classic episode.
Cory: What is it with you tonight, Topanga?? Did you swallow Sandy Duncan?!?!
21. 519 Eric Hollywood
Eric gets discovered as an actor and is invited to come to Hollywood to star on an ABC show called “Kid Gets Acquainted With Universe,” which basically parallels the happenings of Boy Meets World. Meta to the max. Everything about it is awesome–including all the actors playing exaggerated versions of themselves. This shows a new side to the cast–one which we will never get to see again. But for 30 minutes, it’s amazing.
Eric: I have finally found my niece!
Mr. Matthews: You mean “niche”.
20. 104 Cory’s Alternative Friends
This is the first episode featuring Topanga. Cory plays a great straight-man to her weirdness. She really rounds out the dynamic of the cast and fills in that missing piece from the first three episodes.
Cory: You’re gonna be one o those girls who doesn’t shave her legs, aren’t you?
Topanga: I haven’t decided yet.
19. 115 Model Family
The best thing about this episode is that it doesn’t try to be overly sentimental. In this one, Mr. Feeny teaches Cory and the gang about the difference between a scripted saccharine family, like the Cleavers in Leave It To Beaver, and a real family with real problems. It throws in a few refreshing meta references throughout. The writers also have another go at an Eric-storyline, and actually got the hang of it this time. He gets “discovered” at the mall to be a model. Eric also gets a friend (Jason) and we finally get a change of scenery that isn’t school or home. This episode feels a lot better fit for maybe the 2nd or 3rd season. And Alan proves once again why he’s the season one MVP.
Cory: I guess it’s easy to sound smart when you have the best writers in Hollywood writing everything you say.
Mr. Feeny: I wouldn’t know.
18. 513 The Eskimo
Halfway into the 5th season, the series has seemed to steer away from its strongest episodes–ones taking place in the classroom. Feeny teaching them. It’s leaping too quickly to be something it’s not.
But here, it gets back to what it does best. Feeny finally loses his cool and tells Shawn that he has to come up with tickets to the Super Bowl, or else he gets an F. Cory has to help him and Topanga has to butt-out or else they both fail as well (all these years later, I’m still unsure how Feeny would know if Topanga truly butts-out or not). Shawn thinks going to college is impossible, so Feeny shows him something that’s seemingly even more impossible. It’s really an awesome episode. But we still never find out how Shawn got the tickets.
Feeny: Life is a lot tougher than school, my dears.
17. 303 What I Meant To Say
Cory tells Topanga that he loves her for the first time and she freaks out and breaks up with him. It’s the first of several break ups between the two. It also marks the first of only a few times we ever see Topanga’s childhood home. The episode isn’t about Shawn, but he’s the definite standout. Also, Eli gets hired at John Adams High.
Shawn: I’m an idiot savant. You didn’t know that??
16. 312 The Grass is Always Greener
It’s perhaps one of the most important episodes in the Cory/Topanga saga. They break up for the 2nd time. But it’s why they break up that makes it significant. This is the break-up that precedes each of them dating around and ultimately solidifying their love for one other. Neither of them want it, but it needs to happen. It’s also a really funny episode, chock full of great lines.
Cory: Oh, stop being such a wisenheimer…who said that???
15. 517 And Then There Was Shawn
It’s a classic Halloween episode. An ode to slasher films–especially the ones popular in the mid-to-late ’90s. The gang is in detention and one by one everyone starts getting killed, yet no one knows who’s doing it. It’s an awesome episode–both unique and hilarious. And pretty creepy.
Cory: He can’t do that! It’s against the Geneva Detention Convention!
14. 217 On the Air
It seems like this is the very beginning of Eric’s journey to stupidity. He orders a magazine for every letter of the alphabet because he believes he’ll win $10 million from Robin Leach (long story). Meanwhile, Cory and Shawn start a pirate radio station at school in order to be cool. It’s not terribly preachy, which is the best thing about the 2nd season. It’s also a really funny episode with a lot of farcical moments.
Shawn: Don’t…move…maybe…he doesn’t…see us.
13. 507 I Love You, Donna Karan (Part 1)
It’s the purse episode. A classic. It’s a great concept for an episode. Shawn finds a lost purse and peruses through it, realizing that he’s in love with its owner–although he doesn’t know who she is. Whoever it is, she’s making him a better person already. It’s a huge step in Shawn’s development and one of the most important episodes in his storyline. It’s also Angela’s first appearance.
Jack: Who ya talkin’ to??
Eric: Uhh, Mr. Feeny. The British guy on our couch right there.
Mr. Feeny: I’m from Boston, you boob.
12. 516 Torn Between Two Lovers (Feeling Like a Fool)
This might be one of the best Eric story lines in the entire series. He becomes a substitute teacher for Feeny’s citizenship class. He acts so ridiculous, yet the outcome is deep. You wish you could have seen more of it. However, it was only a small part amidst the Cory and Topanga drama–which actually made some significant headway here, as Cory goes out with Lauren, only to make it more clear that he doesn’t want to be with anyone else besides Topanga. It’s a weird thought, considering their perfect relationship, but only goes to show that even the most perfect relationships have their issues. Cory gives his best dramatic performance of the series, in a scene that’s so well-written that it almost singlehandedly puts this show in a category of its own. Gives me goosebumps.
Rajiv: I’m my country I was a nuclear physicist.
Eric: Yeah, but see, everybody here starts with a clean slate. And as your proctologist I’m gonna show you something.
11. 308 Rave On
When 3/4 of the Monkees appear in an episode, you know it’s gotta be good. And it’s truly one of the season’s best. It’s not overly corny, but not too silly either. Cory and Eric plan a rave for the same night as their parents’ anniversary, so they decide to have both parties at once.
Cory: It’s Reg! Reginald Fairfield!
10. 522 Prom-ises, Prom-ises
It’s the prom episode and Cory and Topanga are deciding whether or not they want to “go all the way.” Meanwhile, Cory’s parents discover that they’re going to have another baby. Hilarity ensues as his parents are checked into the hotel room right next to Cory and Topanga’s. The episode is really about remembering your prom for what it is, instead of worrying about what’s supposed to happen afterwards. Very funny, and Eric is perfect here.
Cory: Eric! Emergency! Listen, I need your credit card! Don’t ask me why! I just need it!
Eric: Okay, okay! Um, but it might be maxed out, I just bought some gum.
For the sake of sanity, I’m counting this two-parter as one. After all, they aired the same night. So many shows end on awkward notes. But it’s just not in Boy Meets World’s character to do this. Here, the characters actually leave. They go out into the real world. The show is about growing up, and they finally do just that. In the finale, Cory and Topanga are moving to New York for Topanga’s new job. The episode pretty much just consists of them saying goodbye to everyone. Oh yeah, and it’s filled with clips from the entire series. Each character is given their own little tribute. It’s nice to see, but part of me wishes they had done this during the penultimate episode instead. Out of the 45 minute episode, about half of it is a montage. The 2nd “part” is much better than the first. It gets extremely emotional during the final scene–which is perhaps the best of the series. A great farewell, and we don’t get cheated out of a proper goodbye to our characters. We get fulfilling closure.
Mr. Feeny: I love you all. Class dismissed.
8. 524 Graduation
I love everything about this episode. How Minkus resurfaces after 4 seasons, how Shawn gives the valedictorian speech, how Eric crashes Cory’s graduation and sings to Mr. Feeny, and how Topanga proposes to Cory. A few other cool Easter eggs are included as well. It kicks off the final 2 seasons and beautifully wraps up the first 5. 5 great seasons where Cory and gang grow so much. In college, they don’t necessarily grow the same way. It’s these adolescent years that really mold them all into who they become. This show really knows how to write season finales, and this one is proof of that.
Topanga: Cory, I know what I want to do with my life.
Cory: Shh, Shawn’s speaking in public. This will never happen again in our lives.
7. 405 Shallow Boy
Eric befriends a female busker, Corinna, outside of his and his dad’s store. She only plays perky songs that get on everyone’s nerves, but after he dumps her, she becomes a national sensation with her angst-filled Alanis Morissette-type of music. Eric is amazing in his scenes with Corinna and really showcases his comedic talents without ever being overly-stupid. Meanwhile, Cory is also brilliant as he disappoints Topanga with his apparent lack of parenting skills. It’s one of those times where both A and B story lines are equally amazing.
Eric: Can I handle that? Yeah, I can handle that…or fail to do so.
6. 413 B & B’s B ‘N’ B
In this episode, we get the first real look inside Mr. Feeny’s home. Cory and Shawn open up a bed and breakfast in his house after he goes out of town. Hilarity ensues and several new one-off characters are created for this episode. It also unofficially establishes Eric and Feeny’s lifelong friendship, taking them beyond teacher-student. It’s a simple premise, but a lot of fun and very well-written.
Mrs. Timmer: We are the Timmers!
5. 202 Pairing Off
The series of events that takes place in this episode proves that the season premiere wasn’t a fluke. The show is getting good. And this one perfectly represents the charm of the 2nd season. The comedy holds up very well and the subject matter is maturing along with the show–but nothing feels forced. Cory has trouble figuring out how to get a girl to say, “Hi.” He goes to his brother for advice, but it turns out to be very misdirected. This might be the most consistently funny episode of the entire series. Everyone shines. Including Amy, in perhaps her best episode.
Mr. Turner: So we find, in Fielding’s novel, the character Tom Jones is absolutely irresistible to women. Isn’t that right, Matthews?
Cory [who’s not paying attention]: Uh, yeah that’s right.
Mr. Turner: What’s right?
Cory: What you just said.
Mr. Turner: What’d I just say?
Cory: You weren’t listening either?
Mr. Turner: Matthews, keep your head facing this way. Shawn, tell your buddy what I was saying.
Shawn: Uh, he was saying, “Matthews, you’re not listenin’.”
4. 201 Back to School
It’s one of the all-time great episodes. Departing from the hatchling first season and arriving in a new, more mature second season is already a huge upswing. Although much of the unique comedy style carries over, Cory’s world gets much bigger as he enters into high school. He transitions well into his not-so-cute-anymore phase and the show becomes much cooler, with the help of a gang of new and amazing characters–including the crowd favorite, Mr. Turner. And thus begins the more school-focused seasons–where the show hits its peak.
Joey the Rat [to Frankie]: Hey, look! It’s the kid from when you was gay!
3. 311 City Slackers
In one of the best episodes of the series, Cory and Shawn steal the key to Feeny’s cabin in the mountains. There, they learn more about Feeny than they bargained for. It’s a new step forward in Shawn’s relationship with his teacher–territory not yet breached until now. This one has the best of both worlds. It’s funny and sentimental. But the comedic highlight of the episode is the never-ending pool game between Eric and Frankie, where they play for 15 straight hours without sinking a single shot.
Girl: You’re cute. Are you a jock?
Eric: I’ve worn them.
2. 404 Fishing For Virna
This is such a well crafted episode. So much goes on, yet it ties together beautifully. Shawn spots his estranged mother across the highway in a motel room window and commissions Cory to act as his messenger. Meanwhile, Brenda, the lunchroom lady passes away and Cory deals with how to say goodbye, learning to appreciate people before they’re gone. Amidst the ponderosity is the show’s refreshing humor, with jokes that never fall short. I could gush forever about this episode, but it’s a perfect microcosm of what this show is about. With Cory at the epicenter of it all, he keeps the episode glued together with his perfect timing and authentic sincerity. We get to see one of the show’s most beloved, yet underused, characters in Chet Hunter. And we also get some good scenes with Frankie and his brother.
Cory: Eight lanes and not one stinkin’ island! I mean, you gotta be Moses to get across that highway!
1. 322 Brother Brother
It could have been any of these in the top 10, but I’ve discerned that Brother Brother is number 1 on the list. It’s not the funniest (that merit would go to Pairing Off), although it has some amazing moments. But it gives us what we’ve longed for the entire series–bonding between Cory and Eric. Many of us can relate to the angst of having a summer where all our friends have gone away leaving us behind at home. That’s what Cory is facing in this awesome season finale. Topanga and Shawn are leaving for the summer, leaving him alone. But Eric is also leaving–for college–which seems to bother Cory the most, since he feels like he never got to know him all that well. It’s the most important episode in Cory and Eric’s relationship and really the first time their aloofness with one another is addressed. There are some awkward moments between the two of them, but the tension only makes the ending that much sweeter.
Eric: Looks like I’m gonna end up with my first choice. That’s North Southwestern San Diego State.
Mr. Feeny: Ah yes, ol’ N.S.W.S.D.S…U.
Season 1 MVP: Alan
Season 2 MVP: Cory/Shawn
Season 3 MVP: Cory/Shawn/Eric
Season 4 MVP: Cory/Eric
Season 5 MVP: Eric
Season 6 MVP: Cory
Season 7 MVP: Eric
So there you have it! Sorry again if I offended anyone by my list. Let me know in the comments what your top 3 or 5 or 10 or 100 episodes are!
I love you all. Class dismissed.