Things In Boy Meets World That Only Adults Notice

Boy Meets World is one of the most beloved TV shows of the '90s. Just ask any millennial about Cory and Topanga's memorable relationship, Shawn's iconic hair style, or Eric's unforgettable Feeny call and you're sure to get a complete account of the series. 


The show, which ran from 1993 to 2000, was a coming-of-age classic about goofy boy-next-door Cory Matthews, his intelligent classmate who steals his heart Topanga Lawrence, and his best friend Shawn Hunter, the bad boy who's always looking out for him. The show follows these characters — plus their friends, families, and even their teachers — through all the tough times as they grow up. Boy Meets World was perfect for young audiences who experienced the same challenges, triumphs, and heartbreak the characters went through, but there were lots of details about the show that kids might have missed. Here's what only adults notice in the hit series Boy Meets World.

Topanga's personality changes drastically throughout Boy Meets World's run

In the early days of Boy Meets World, the character Topanga Lawrence, played by Danielle Fishel, is an eccentric flower child with lots of confidence (and lots of crimped hair.) When she and Cory are preparing for a class project in the Season 1 episode "Cory's Alternative Friends," she prepares a presentation for them, complete with spoken word poetry, interpretive movements, and lipstick all over her face. She's completely different from Cory, but that's part of her charm.


But later on, her personality suddenly changes. She drops the hippie persona and focuses much more on her education and her impressive academic accomplishments.

Maybe her personality changes because, over the years, she grows up and the character's interests shift. Or maybe the change is due more to the fact that the Boy Meets World writers might have wanted to make Topanga less of a foil character to Cory and Shawn and more of a traditional love interest for Cory.

Eric suddenly becomes dumb in later seasons of Boy Meets World

The personality and intelligence level of Cory's older brother, Eric, changes throughout the seasons of Boy Meets World. In early episodes, Eric Matthews is a mischievous older brother who's mostly interested in girls and dating, but he does also focus on school and seems to be, overall, pretty grounded. But in later seasons, he's presented as dumb and goofy, such as in one episode when he shares that he thinks his ability to read people is a "fifth sense."


It's unclear if this change is meant to display another side to Eric or if the change was done simply for the show to have more opportunities for wacky jokes. The change is drastic, but it fortunately fits well with the show's pace in later seasons. In the beginning, a more mischievous but knowledgeable older brother made sense for Cory's story and character development, but later on, a goofy, comical character is probably just what the show needed.

Cory's little sister, Morgan, is played by two different people on Boy Meets World

Along with older brother Eric Matthews, Boy Meets World's Cory also has a little sister, Morgan. At the beginning of the series, Morgan is a quirky, clever young girl played by Lily Nicksay (now Lily Gibson), but the character undergoes a big change after Season 2. That's when Nicksay was replaced with a different child actress, Lindsay Ridgeway. In the show, Ridgeway looks similar to Nicksay, with long blonde hair, so many viewers may not have even noticed the switch. But Ridgeway brings a much different feel to the role of Morgan. While Nicksay was sweet and a little shy, Ridgeway's interpretation of Morgan is a little more sure of herself with a bigger personality.


Ridgeway brings some maturity to the role. She memorably sings in the talent show and hires a replacement for Eric. Meanwhile, Nicksay had just as many noteworthy scenes, like when she calls 911 during a water-gun fight or when she practices her nonexistent bow-tying skills. Still, it's jarring to see Morgan suddenly look different in Season 3.

The actors who play Topanga's parents keep changing on Boy Meets World

In long-running shows, it's fairly common to see parts played by multiple actors. There was the casting change for Laurie Foreman on That '70s Show, a switcheroo for Darrin Stevens on Bewitched, and a complicated back-and-forth switch-off with the actors who played Becky Connor on Roseanne. But it's not common that a role goes through quite as many actors as Topanga's parents did.


Marcia Cross played Rhiannon Lawrence and Mark Harelik played Jedediah Lawrence for three episodes of Boy Meets World in a storyline that surrounds the characters' divorce. Before that, though, Peter Tork portrayed Jedediah for two episodes and Michael McKean played Topanga's father for just one episode. Meanwhile, Annette O'Toole may have been the first to play Rhiannon, but she only appeared for one episode in Season 6.

It's also worth noting that Topanga's sister, Nebula, was just played by one person, Krystee Clark, but she was only featured in one episode, "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not." Where'd she go?

Some actors in Boy Meets World were used more than once

Some actors on Boy Meets World played multiple parts throughout the series. Krystee Clark, who played Topanga's sister Nebula, also appeared as a girl named Valerie in the Season 2 episode "The Wrong Side of the Tracks." Meanwhile, Willie Garson, who is now known for his roles in Sex and the City and White Collar, apparently couldn't get enough of Boy Meets World. He appeared in three roles: Leonard Spinelli, Mervyn, and The Minister. Mena Suvari, who later appeared in American Beauty and American Pie, played a character named Laura in a 1995 episode and then came back soon after to play another character called Hilary in 1996. John O'Hurley and Micky Dolenz also played multiple roles throughout the show.


While it may sound confusing to see actors play multiple parts, the Boy Meets World team was apparently comfortable with it. And odds are most viewers didn't even notice. It's only as adults we're able to take note of the familiar stars.

Minkus and Mr. Turner just disappear on Boy Meets World

Any Boy Meets World fan will remember Stuart Minkus, the brainy kid who sat near Cory and Shawn in Mr. Feeny's class. He was known for his constant desire to earn straight A's and to get Topanga's attention. But he mysteriously disappeared after Season 1. Similarly, Mr. Turner, the cool younger teacher who acted as a father figure for Shawn, vanished from the show after a dramatic motorcycle accident. Viewers never see Mr. Turner again. At least, not until he appeared in the spin-off Girl Meets World.


And while young viewers might not have noticed this inconsistency, focusing instead on new characters and the many exciting plot points in the show, the writers clearly realized the issue. At the end of Cory, Shawn, and Topanga's senior year of high school, Minkus reappears, explaining that he hadn't been seen in years because he was "just in the other part of the school." He then calls out to Mr. Turner, apparently seeing him on this mysterious "other" side of school.

The main characters mysteriously skip grades in Boy Meets World

Boy Meets World viewers watch Cory, Shawn, and Topanga grow up throughout the show. In the first episode of Season 1, Cory is a mere 11 years old, but we watch him go on to attend high school, to graduate, and to go to college. The show, however, only lasted for seven seasons, so the writers of Boy Meets World must have had the characters skip some school years somewhere in that time.


In Season 2's first episode, "Back 2 School," Cory begins high school, telling his mom that he's not nervous about the first day of school. "I know my place," he explains. "I understand where I am in the high school universe." Apparently 7th grade is the first year of high school for their district because Cory and Shawn go to the 7th grade dance in that same season in the episode "Band on the Run." 

But then, in the Season 5 premiere "Brothers," Cory and Shawn begin their senior year. In the Season 5 finale, "Graduation," they graduate from high school, and, by Season 6, they're in college. How'd that happen?

Ben Savage's famous brother makes an appearance in Boy Meets World

Ben Savage is known for his starring role on Boy Meets World, but he's not the only celebrity in his family. His brother, Fred Savage, starred in The Wonder Years as Kevin Arnold. Amazingly, the brothers both starred in a hit coming-of-age show with a memorable best friend and noteworthy childhood sweetheart love story. What are the odds?


But these brothers have another thing in common: They were both in a Season 6 episode of Boy Meets World titled "Everybody Loves Stuart." In this episode, a young professor, played by Fred Savage, makes a move on Topanga. He tells her, "I'm your teacher and I think you're attractive," and, "I think about you and I'd like to see you more than just on Tuesdays and Thursdays." Cory ends up hitting the professor, and he gets suspended from college for a day — and put on probation for the rest of the term — as a result. While Fred doesn't appear in any other episodes of the show, his character is definitely a memorable one.

Cory is kind of the worst to Topanga in Boy Meets World

Cory is the main character of Boy Meets World, and the show revolves around his friendships, education, and love life. While, at first, Cory may seem like the goofy, lovable boy next door, perhaps only adults can notice that Cory is kind of the worst. For one, he doesn't treat Topanga very well. When Cory tells her she's gorgeous in one episode, she says, "I know guys go out with girls because of how they look, but you go out with me because of who I am inside." It would be a sweet moment... if Cory and Shawn didn't respond with laughter. How rude!


Later, when the two are graduating and Topanga is called up on stage as the valedictorian, Cory won't even clap for her, and, when she later tries to talk to him, he shushes her.

In another episode, Cory is jealous of Topanga's success, saying, "You shove your stupid grades in my face," instead of supporting her. He also says, "I used to be able to do a lot of things before I married you. Congratulations, you've killed my spirit." How incredibly mean!

Boy Meets World was cast perfectly

The cast of Boy Meets World is pretty incredible. Not only are the roles perfectly cast, with Ben Savage rocking the lead role, Danielle Fishel playing the iconic Topanga, and the legendary William Daniels as the wise Mr. Feeny, but there's also some great guest stars. I Know What You Did Last Summer's Jennifer Love Hewitt appeared in one episode, while Brittany Murphy played Trini on the show the same year Clueless came out. Full House's Candace Cameron also appeared on the show, playing a witch in a Halloween episode.


Additionally, the show featured some great actors before they were famous. Parks and Recreation actor Adam Scott played school bully Griff Hawkins. Brokeback Mountain and Dead to Me's Linda Cardellini played Lauren, the girl who kissed Cory when they were on vacation at a ski resort. Julie Benz of Dexter fame played Eric's date Bianca in a Season 3 episode, and Keri Russell played Feeny's niece Jessica long before she starred in Felicity.

Boy Meets World features a lot of dirty jokes

For a show intended for a young audience, Boy Meets World has a lot of dirty jokes. In one Season 5 episode, the students find themselves trapped in the school after hours and running from a murderer in "And Then There Was Shawn." When they try to figure out what would happen next in a horror movie, Shawn says, "Virgins never die." After hearing this, Jack and Eric say that they're doomed, while Cory tells Topanga, "All right, thanks for saving me." Shawn chimes in with, "I'll get as sick as you can get without actually dying." That probably went over kids' heads, but it was still pretty suggestive.


In another episode, Eric is on the phone when he tells a girl to wear a turtleneck, admitting to his mom, "Okay, I sucked a neck." And later, when Cory and Topanga are planning their wedding, Cory is sexually frustrated, saying, "We have been in a relationship for 17 years, and do you know what I've gotten in all of that time? Let me touch something!" While these jokes were pretty funny, they might not have been so appropriate for young viewers.

Boy Meets World deals with sex a lot for a kids show

When you were a kid, we bet you didn't notice how much Boy Meets World talked about sex. In the episode "Prom-ises, Prom-ises," Shawn and Cory get ready to leave for their senior prom. While talking about the evening, Shawn says it is "the night we leave as boys and come back men." It's clear that they're talking about having sex for the first time with their girlfriends. Later in the episode, Cory and Topanga check into a hotel room, but the timing doesn't feel right to Topanga and she is conflicted about having sex with Cory. She says, "Cory I want to, that's why we're here. I'll do whatever you think is right. I'm just so confused."


In the end, Cory and Topanga wait until after they're married. "I have been waiting for this moment my entire life," Cory says. It's sweet that they decide to have sex on their own terms when they're both absolutely ready, but the show does put a surprising amount of focus on sex and abstinence for a series geared toward young viewers.

Boy Meets World gives a lot of good relationship advice

While a lot of the show focuses on sex, Boy Meets World also focuses on relationships in general... and the advice the show gives is surprisingly valuable. Of course, there's the lesson on not feeling pressured into having sex, but there are also lessons on choosing a mate in general. In one episode, Cory wants a girlfriend and says, "I want someone I know, someone who knows me, someone who we know each other." And while he's only really interested in having a girlfriend because he wants to be cool, he's giving viewers some pretty solid advice about how to start a relationship. 


The show also talks candidly about the pains of breakups when Cory spirals after he and Topanga split. And it shows how scary it can be to be vulnerable and share one's true feelings. This is demonstrated in the scene when Topanga tells Cory she loves him. This focus on relationships gives the show a certain depth and maturity.

Boy Meets World is actually very educational

Boy Meets World is known for its comedy, but the show also teaches young viewers life lessons. In one episode, Topanga gives Shawn a harsh but important lesson on women. She says, "You don't understand women. You don't what we are, you don't know how we feel, and you don't know what we think. You see us as dating objects, and the faster we are, the more you want us. And until you can grow up and see beyond that, no matter how many girls you go out with, you will always be lonely." 


But the show explores lessons beyond relationships like irresponsible drinking. Cory and Shawn are caught drinking after Cory steals alcohol from the liquor cabinet. They end up urinating on a police car and get arrested. "So, how's it feel to put one over on your parents?" Cory's dad, Alan, asks. "You feel good?" Cory responds with a timid, "No." It's clear his drinking caused him embarrassment and shame. It was an important lesson that young viewers probably saw as simply another one of Cory and Shawn's crazy adventures, but adults knew the show was educating those watching.