Boy Meets World ran from 1993 to 2000, and in that time, we saw an entire childhood take place in front of our eyes. Even though the years haven’t been kind to the filming quality in the early years, the content holds up extraordinarily well. The show had an enormous following when it was on the air and even now, it captivates audiences watching reruns or binge-watching it on stream. It’s proven to be timeless. Some of the issues might seem a little silly, but even contemporary shows have that problem. The stars of the show–Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Danielle Fishel, Will Friedle–will forever be linked to the characters they played. They each struggled to do anything outside of BMW because it was such a hit. Watching it now is like experiencing a nostalgic explosion. It’s a true ’90s show if ever there was one. As you can tell, like most people, we love this show. We also have a love for finding out unknown details from major shows, the things about the cast, the crew, and the content that most people have never heard about. So we asked ourselves, why not combine two of our loves?
We’ll be honest, Boy Meets World wasn’t very scandalous. Unlike many of their contemporaries, the crew on BMW were pretty well-behaved. There wasn’t a whole lot of drama behind the scenes, but there is plenty of stuff that you probably didn’t know about the show, stuff that might make you think about it differently the next time you flip it on. With such a huge following during the show’s run and even today, it doesn’t seem possible that there are things you don’t know about BMW, but there are. Some things have come out in the years since the show aired, whether through cast members or the network, while others have been teased out by dedicated fans. These secrets might just be things you overlooked, but everything on this list is the stuff that the showrunners tried to keep from you. Although much of it is harmless, this is a Boy Meets World fan goldmine. We’re blowing the lid off their entire operation.
Fine. That’s a touch dramatic, but here are 15 Secrets They Hid From You About Boy Meets World.
15. What Happened To Harley Keiner?
Remember Harley Keiner? He was the leather-jacketed, Marlon Brando-type bully. Well, there was an episode in season two when the actor who played the Harley, Danny McNulty, disappeared. Then, all of a sudden, in his place was this new guy, Kenny Johnston. It was only for one episode, though; the one where they try to recruit Shawn into their posse, pressuring him to bust up Mr. Turner’s bike. But it was very noticeable. It’s not that the new Harley was bad; we just missed old Harley. Was he gone for good? Well, no. The next season, the original Harley was back. So what happened? According to McNulty, he had had a bipolar breakdown while shooting the episode prior, so they replaced him and explained that he was sent to reformatory school. Later, when McNulty was better, he returned for one last appearance saying that he had broken out.
14. High School And Junior High
When Cory goes to high school, we’re led to believe that he’s gone through some big change. Everything around him looks different. The school seems a lot bigger. It’s a different world, or is it? Things are certainly changed, but there’s a familiarity to it all. The reason is because the schools were exactly the same. All the camera crew did was change the direction they pointed the camera. Basically, we were just looking at a mirror image of what we already knew. Those sly tricksters.
13. Shawn And Eric
Every single episode of Boy Meets World had both Cory and Shawn in it. These two best friends were the stars of the show, so that makes sense. Cory’s brother, Eric, got plenty of time on screen as well; some of it by himself, some of it with Cory. But Eric rarely got to share the screen with Shawn. That seems weird, but the reasoning is pretty simple, especially when you learn that Will Friedle (Eric) and Rider Strong (Shawn) were best friends. In fact, they still remain best friends to this day. It was because they were such good friends and so ridiculously silly together that the showrunners never allowed them to shoot together. Friedle said, “They never let Rider and I do scenes together because we would look at each other and start laughing, so I think over seven years, we had, like, five scenes together.”
12. Where’s Mr. Feeny’s Office?
We know that the showrunners of Boy Meets World ran a tightly-budgeted ship. The sets were never very elaborate and things would be reused whenever they could slip it by the audience. More on that later. But one thing confused viewers for a long time. Where exactly was Mr. Feeny’s office? Well, this is a trick question because it changed all the time. At least, the function of the room beside the payphone changed all the time. In some episodes, the room beside the phone was Feeny’s office. In others, that room was the boys’ washroom. It was also the girls’ washroom. It was also the guidance counselor’s office. It was even a classroom at one point. You would be forgiven for being confused.
11. The Graduate
Okay, so maybe this wasn’t a secret that the team behind Boy Meets World was actively trying to keep from you, but it is something that you may not know. Although the show included a few references to its actor’s previous roles, one stood out above the rest. In the 19th episode of season one, “Kid Gloves,” Cory loses a necklace his father gave him in the pool during SCUBA lessons. He sneaks in at night to retrieve the necklace. While decked out in the SCUBA gear, Cory gets in the pool. When he emerges, the camera switches to a POV shot, and we see Feeny reaching out to him. What’s really happening here is pretty neat. The scene is essentially a recreation of a scene from The Graduate. William Daniels, the actor who played Feeny, also played Dustin Hoffman‘s father in that film. In the pool scene from that movie, Hoffman emerges from the pool in SCUBA gear, and Daniels reaches out in the same way he does in BMW. The only difference is that in the movie he pulled him back in.
10. Willie Garson’s Many Roles
In Boy Meets World, there are a few characters who take on multiple, albeit tiny, roles. But Willie Garson, the actor best known for playing Stanford Blatch on the Sex and the City series and films, played three different characters on Boy Meets World, and each of them were pretty memorable. OK, maybe only two were memorable, but the point still stands. The first character he played was Leonard Spinelli, Cory’s father’s right-hand man at the supermarket. The second time we saw him was as Mervyn, an applicant for a sales position at Alan’s store. It’s interesting because Alan doesn’t seem to recognize him. Garson returns at the end of that same episode as a customer, which is confusing because he’s only credited as Mervyn. Finally, Garson returned as the minister who marries Topanga and Cory. Once again, no one seemed to notice that this creep has been following them around their entire lives.
9. The Cafeteria
The cafeteria in Boy Meets World is a strange and mysterious place. Early on, in middle school, the kids spent plenty of time in the cafeteria. Cory would often hang out with Shawn and some other random friends. But each week, one of these random kids would disappear. People started noticing this trend of disappearing lunch friends, and it led them to dub the cafeteria chair as “the death chair.” Then, when they got to high school, the cafeteria had a strange and somewhat dark sign. But this was the mid-90s, things were different then. The sign in the cafeteria read, “no loud talking, no reading, and no shooting.”
8. Topanga’s Parents
Plenty of characters came and went on the show. Actors changed and character names did too, but this is acceptable when it happens to periphery characters. Even though Topanga’s parents were never part of the main story, they were still her parents. We can’t consider them throwaway characters, can we? You would think there would be some consistency there but there wasn’t. Oh no. Her dad, Jebediah, was played by three different actors—Peter Tork, Michael McKean, and Mark Harelik. Her mother, was played by two—Annette O’Toole and Marcia Cross. Even worse than that, Topanga’s mom had three different names. At first, she was Chloe. Later, Cory called her Miriam in season 3. After that, her mom’s name changed to Rhiannon. We thought it was done for until Girl Meets World came out, and the name changed again. This time, it was Rosey. It’s all rather confusing.
7. The Banned Episodes
There were times when Boy Meets World dabbled with some heavy material. You know who doesn’t like heavy material? The Disney Channel. They can’t have kids walking around openly talking about stuff real kids talk about. That’s why they banned three episodes, “Prom-ises Prom-ises,” “If You Can’t Be With The One You Love…,” and “The Truth About Honesty.” If you want to know why, well, we’ll tell you. “Prom-ises Prom-ises” is all about what happens after prom. The guys all discuss their plans for the after-party and their hopes and fears of the sexy time to follow. “If You Can’t Be With The One You Love…” is all about drinking. It features Cory and Shawn getting sloppy wasted. In “The Truth About Honesty,” the gang plays the honesty game. Shawn and Angela make out for most of the episode, and Topanga shows Cory her butt. We don’t see it, but he does. Crazy stuff!
6. Age Differences
Whenever you’re dealing with high school kids in TV shows, there are bound to be age differences. Luke Perry was 39 when he was playing a high schooler on Beverly Hills, 90210, Ben McKenzie was kicking 30’s door down on The O.C., and that girl from Pretty Little Liars is still playing a high school student and she’s about 50. We get it and we accept it, but it’s still fun to point it out when it’s ridiculous. In the early days of Boy Meets World, the outliers were there. Danny McNulty was old, but he was supposed to be old. He had failed senior year three times. Blake Soper was surprising, though. Soper played Joey “the Rat.” He would later become a famous musician. One of the reasons he left acting in the first place was because they always cast him as a teenager, and he was about five years older than the oldest kids on set. He got sick of it and left the industry. A few years after, Trina McGee played Shawn’s girlfriend, Angela Moore. In real life, McGee was 10 years older than Rider Strong. She looked good for her age. Still does.
5. Disappearing Siblings
As we all know by now, people disappeared often on Boy Meets World. They were friends until they weren’t. This happened to family too. We know that Cory’s sister, Morgan, disappeared for a while and came back as a different actress. But there was also Topanga’s sister, Nebula. She was around for one episode to flirt with Eric. In fact, the actress who played Nebula, Krystee Clark, also played that ice skater who went on a date with Eric earlier in the show. Well, after this one appearance, Topanga’s sister was never heard from again. They even said Topanga was an only child after that. Shawn also had a brother. No, not that one. Another one. We meet Shawn’s main brother, Jack, in the later years, but there’s one episode early on in which Shawn has another brother, Eddie. He disappears too.
4. The Guys’ Apartment
When you first see the guys’ apartment in Boy Meets World, you get a serious case of déjà-vu. While the entire set is almost certainly a remade version of Mr. Turner’s apartment from earlier on, there are several items that seem eerily familiar. First is the fish tank. It’s the same one from Turner’s place. The stove is the same one from Shawn’s trailer. Finally, the stools in the kitchen are from Chubbies Corner. Now, there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this, but we assume that the set dressers just tried to pull a fast one on us.
3. Buckle Up
In season four, the intro becomes the one where Eric is driving everyone somewhere. They pick up Cory in a convertible, and he jumps in. Now, let’s just pay attention to what’s happening. First of all, not one single person in this vehicle is wearing a seatbelt. At one point, the car is driving down the road, both Cory and Topanga are sitting on the top of the back seats. Yeah, that’s dangerous, but it’s not that bad. Take a look at Shawn in the passenger seat, though. He’s sitting on the freaking door. That’s not even the worst part. Check out the driver, Eric. While driving, he’s sitting on top of the front seat. He’s not even touching the wheel! We also have to wonder about the car. This isn’t Eric’s car. You know whose car this is? Topanga’s parents. Why is Eric driving it? Weird.
2. Forgotten Times
As we’ve discussed, Boy Meets World is a show that doesn’t necessarily believe in continuity. There are plenty of errors throughout with characters, but there are also some very questionable timelines. Take Cory and Mr. Feeny, for instance. At one point, Cory says that Mr. Feeny has been teaching him since he was in the first grade. No, Cory, he has not. In the first season, you were in grade six. They would change this again once they realized the mistake. Cory also forgets when he first met Topanga, mixing up when they first met and when his feelings changed about her. They also skipped some school years in there.
1. Cory Matthews Quits Baseball
In the first season, Cory Matthews had one single goal—to become a famous baseball player, preferably playing for the Philadelphia Phillies. There is at least one mention of baseball in every episode early on. Cory’s obsession with the sport gets a little out of control in the episode “Class Pre-Union.” The class gets an assignment from Feeny to pretend that they are going to their 20th high school reunion. Cory figures that he will be a famous baseball player by then, so he runs with it. Feeny gives him an incomplete grade and this crushes Cory. He starts to tear down his baseball posters and discards all his souvenirs. Now, we’re led to believe that things get better when Major League Baseball pitcher, Jim Abbott, comes to visit Cory and gives him some advice. But it’s not all better. Not quite. Two episodes later, Cory ditches the father-son baseball game. Eventually, he plays in the game after he sees how it hurt his dad, but baseball is no longer a love of his. From then on out, we never hear about baseball again from Cory. The poor kid had his dreams shattered.
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