5. The last appearance of Shawn’s sister is also the first credited appearance of Danielle Fishel’s Topanga. Initially, the producers cast another actress in the role but felt she wasn’t “working out.” Fishel acted in the pilot as a guest star but was given the part on the spot after reading for the producers. Fishel’s Topanga would prove so popular with audiences that they bumped her up to a principal character from a “wacky” supporting role — what she was intended to be. Because of this, her hippie-ness had to be toned down to make Topanga appear more “normal.”
6. Topanga’s name didn’t come out of nowhere — because you can’t just make up a name that great. Topanga was named after California’s famed Topanga Canyon, a bohemian gathering point known for music festivals like Topanga Earth Day and Topganda Days Festival. Woody Guthrie lived there at one time — as does Aunt Sarah, the bohemian sister of Ruth Fisher on Six Feet Under. One of the writers from BMW was trapped in traffic near Topanga Canyon and decided its name and vibe would be perfect for the “unique” character.