With all of the hype surrounding the new show Girl Meets World, I’ve been reminiscing a lot about its parent, Boy Meets World. For me, BMW epitomizes what I thought my life was going to be like in high school and college. Cory, Shawn, Eric, and Topanga were going to be my best friends. Mr. Feeny was my ideal teacher. It was my favorite show as a kid, and, honestly, I still list it as one of my favorite shows as an adult. It was perfect in its cheesy, 90s-esque morality tales and innocent sense of humor. It scares me that this new version will do the exact opposite of the creators’ goal: instead of capturing that 90s magic, it’s going to diminish my love for this classic.
There are so many episodes that I love and still reference to this day, so how did I narrow it down to just five? It came down to this: what episodes are the most memorable to me now, 13ish years after the show was on air? And this is what I found (in chronological order):
Season 1, Episode 4: “Cory’s Alternative Friends”
Obviously, I had to include this episode. Who doesn’t remember the moment when Topanga pushes Cory against the lockers in John Adams High and gives him his first kiss? Plus, this was back in the days of Weird Topanga. This is the episode where she does that interpretive — let’s call it “dance” — to the poem she makes Cory recite. The one where she draws on her face with lipstick. Also, I can’t help but love that adorable nerd Stuart Minkus.
Side note: Shawn mentions a sister, Stacy, in this episode. I know we never meet Stacy, but is she ever even mentioned again?
Side note 2: That “tough guy” at the end of the episode that tries to break through the handcuffed chain of Cory and the weird kids? That’s Val from Brink! Aka one of my all time favorite Disney Channel original movies.
Best Quote: “If it’s important to you, then it’s beautiful.”-Topanga
Season 3, Episode 1: “My Best Friend’s Girl”
In the saga that is the relationship between Cory and Topanga, this is a classic — the episode where they officially start dating for the first time. It’s movie night for the film club, and everyone is going. The main story of Shawn asking out Topanga, to Cory’s frustration, is the catalyst to getting Cory to finally confess his love for Topanga. But it is this episode’s B-story that I really love. Frankie (Mr. Brown) and Joey the Rat (Mr. Blue) are two of my favorite characters from BMW. And nothing is better than dumb Eric. Seriously, his character went from cool big brother to total idiot in just a couple seasons. And I love it.
Side note: Brittany Murphy, as Trini, Topanga’s best friend? That’s the 90s Brittany Murphy that I loved.
Side note 2: When Eli and Mr. Turner are talking about the “Gentlemen’s Code of Dating” in this episode, I couldn’t help but think of Neil Patrick Harris’s Barney Stintson’s “Bro Code” on How I Met Your Mother. Fantastic.
Best Quote: “Look, Topanga, if I had to dream up the perfect woman, she wouldn’t even come close to you.”-Cory
Season 5, Episode 17: “And Then There Was Shawn”
For some reason, this episode, more than any other, has stuck with me over the years. Is it because I love Halloween so much? Is it because I will forever have a crush on Jack Hunter? Or maybe it’s the South Park references? Is it the “virgins never die” conversation the characters have? Or the awesome mash-up of The Breakfast Club and Scream that is this episode? It’s all of these things, and so, so much more.
Side note: All I have to say is “Jennifer Love Fefferman.”
Best Quote: “He can’t do that! It’s against the Geneva Detention Convention!”-Cory
Season 5, Episode 24: “Graduation”
I really love Season 5. So many good episodes, but this one is a classic. It makes me really nostalgic for the end of high school. I love that Minkus makes a triumphant return in this episode. I also love that Frankie and Joey define themselves as “the Shawn and Cory of the underworld.” Shawn’s emotional graduation speech is perfectly counterbalanced by Eric’s ridiculous interruption to convince Mr. Feeny not to retire. And, of course, Topanga proposes to Cory in the middle of graduation. It is an iconic moment to all those who love BMW, and had to be included on this list.
Side note: Cory attempts to let chickens loose in the hallway as a senior prank. A couple of kids in my graduating class tried to do that too. It had pretty much the same result as Cory’s.
Best Quote: “Sometimes the things you complain most about are the things you care most about.”-Mr. Feeny
Season 7: Episode 22&23: “Brave New World”
I am cheating and picking two episodes for this one. I am rationalizing this by saying the amount of new material in these episodes probably makes up only one. Most of these episodes consist of flashbacks to past episodes, but that’s okay with me. Anything that has a montage of “Feeny calls” is a success in my mind. This is the perfect good-bye episode. All of the characters we had grown to love over the past seven years make an appearance (except Angela, who left a couple episodes earlier). And, of course, there is that final scene in the classroom with Cory, Eric, Shawn, Topanga, and Mr. Feeny. I’m going to start crying now just thinking about it.
Side Note: Cory’s little brother Joshua is so cute. I always thought they should have brought back BMW with him as the main character. I guess Cory and Topanga’s daughter works too.
Best Quotes: “Money doesn’t make ya rich! Life makes ya rich!” – Shawn’s impression of Chet
“Boy meets world. Now I get it.”- Cory
“Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good.” – Mr. Feeny “Don’t you mean ‘do well?’” – Topanga “No, I mean ‘do good.’” – Mr. Feeny
“I love you all. Class dismissed.” – Mr. Feeny