Boy Meets World was one of the shows we loved. Many of us grew up watching it, and could totally relate to Cory, Shawn, Topanga, and more as they made all those funny discoveries about growing up. Many of these lessons were spoon-fed to us, but that’s just how Disney/ABC rolls. We had to suffer through some cheesiness but we eventually arrived at some hilarious scenes.
Disney went on to make the sequel, Girl Meets World, for a whole ‘nother generation to adopt. Disney creates great characters that are safe and likable, even while the actors are quite young. Another thing Disney does well is make HUGE mistakes.
Disney and other networks who pump out sitcom scripts as fast as possible often fail to do their research. These writers don’t have time to watch every episode and memorize every action. Sometimes, plots can be vague enough where mistakes aren’t noticeable. But other times, the script invents characters; or the studio can even step in and replace the actors. That’s where we come in. Because pointing out a sitcom’s goofs is often just as funny as the sitcom itself.
15. Disappearing Sister
So Shawn was the rebel kid, right? Always getting Cory into sticky situations and just barely getting out in one piece. Of course, by the end of the episode, he realizes his mistakes and swears to learn from them, but there’s always more lessons to learn in the next show. You could count on life lessons showing up. But oddly enough, you couldn’t count on family members. In the episode where Cory messes up his hair, Shawn has a plan to fix it. He calls up his sister, Stacy, who gives them advice. Stacy knows everything about hair, since she’s a girl, and it’s the mid-1990’s. You would think that Stacy could offer other advice for the next problem that arose. Nope, sorry. Stacy only appears in that one episode. Then poof! She’s gone, never to be seen again.
14. Disappearing Sister (Again)
Wait a second, didn’t we just do this entry? Well, yes we did. Glad you’re paying such close attention, but guess what? This time, it’s not Shawn’s sister who goes missing; it’s Topanga’s. Yes, Topanga also had a sister named Nebula who disappeared into the ether of sitcom contradiction-land. Too bad the sister disappeared after just one showing. She could have had some real influence on Topanga. Or maybe Shawn could have taken her for a date or two. Maybe Topanga’s sister could have gotten into big trouble and then Topanga could have learned from her mistakes. Instead, the only life lesson to be learned was to not disappear. Stay here as long as you can, but don’t be surprised if you vanish.
13. Disappearing Brother
Wait a second, seriously? How many living relatives can possibly disappear from one show? This isn’t just a kid in the classroom; these are family members who are written in and then dissolved into nothingness. How many more can there be? Having a family member vanish is a cheap shot. Some writer threw in a crap secondary character with a weak plot line, and the only way to give them strength and importance was to make them a family member. It’s a writer trick. Kind of like how Disney makes every princess the part of a dysfunctional family. Harry Potter is the same way. These characters are orphans or survivors, so we automatically feel sympathy for them. In this Boy Meets World example, Shawn has a poor troublesome half-brother in a trailer park. Oh, it’s so hard not to be wealthy (sob, cry, life lesson). Too bad the character, Eddie, dissolved after one episode. That’s good though, since he was annoying.
12. Time Warping Bother
Time has got to be one of the most difficult concepts to grasp on a sitcom. You are always going to have issues. But one of the most annoying instances, again, is when it involves a family member. Remember when Cory went to college and his folks had a baby? Well, the next thing you know, the kid is like four years old and Cory is still new at school. We can understand that you can’t have an infant on the set of these shows. There’s way too much dialog, and the baby starts crying; plus, they can only work for like a half hour at a time, the parents have to be present, and so on. Most shows age their babies fast; it’s a common plot hole. But aging four years in the span of four weeks!? That is too much too fast. What’s worse is that they had to introduce a new child character. That’s always the kiss of death for a show. Full House, The Cosby Show, The Office and many more have introduced a child character in the later years, in a desperate attempt to revive an ailing narrative.
11. Mom One-Eighty
Okay, so we realize that much of this show has to do with people learning about themselves and evolving. They make decisions and follow uncharted paths. But you can’t have the character do a total one-eighty. That’s where we draw the line. People don’t change that much in life. It just doesn’t happen. What is more likely is that the writers got lazy and spat out some conflict that totally contradicted the character’s past. Take for example Cory’s mom, Amy Mathews. This woman has a successful career in real estate in the beginning. Then, she worked at an art museum. But later on, she admits that she is sad because she has always been a stay-at-home mom. What? But she had nice jobs?! Then she goes out and takes a creative writing course to try to set a new course. Okay, somebody obviously didn’t watch the show, and then wrote in some mommy conflict that had no continuity whatsoever. Oh, well. It happens.
10. Forgetful Cory
Ah, yes, good old Mr. Feeny. He was so wise and caring, wasn’t he? He was an old-school type of teacher that doesn’t actually exist in reality, but we loved him anyway. He was like the ultimate fantasy teacher. Well, not the “ultimate” fantasy. That would probably involve a big bust and a short skirt for most dudes, but if that attractive element is taken out of the equation, then Mr. Feeny was perfect…and so knowledgeable too. In the pilot, he taught Corey all about Romeo and Juliet. There are some great one-liners in there about love and what kids think about love. It’s a memorable episode and one that launched the show into a great seven-season run. But then, you can’t bring the Romeo and Juliet thing back and let Cory be oblivious to it. A few episode down the road, Cory is surprised that Romeo and Juliet die. But he already learned this story! And even if you’re a complete idiot, you remember that (SPOILER alert) the couple dies in the end. That’s the whole point. It’s the tragedy of all tragedies. Cory does have memory issues, though. This wasn’t his only oversight.
9. Topanga Tattoo
All right, we all know who Topanga is. She is hot. Off screen, she posed for Maxim. She has a nice rack; a nice bod all around, really. Beautiful. This is all common knowledge. Danielle Fishel dated Lance Bass before he came out of the closet. She had her rebellious moments, but never let on that Topanga would do such things. Well, reality caught up with sitcom world in one episode when Topanga wore pig tails. She had never worn pig tales before, which resulted in a tattoo reveal. Now, how in the world could goody-goody Topanga have a tattoo? Granted, this is more of a costume department oops than a script error, but either way, it’s a plot hole. After all, how can Topanga have a tattoo and this wasn’t featured in an episode? It almost feels like the fans were ripped off. Topanga got drunk one night, got inked, and we missed that episode entirely. Bummer.
8. Riley’s Name
So, there was an episode that showed what the Boy Meets World cast would be doing in the future. This is a very common plot line, which has occurred in every show from Saved by the Bell to The Simpsons. It’s a cheap shot, really, a writer’s easy way out when the creative juices aren’t flowing so well. The funny thing is that Girl Meets World was the future, and it contradicted the future dream. For instance, Cory and Topanga were married in the dream episode, but they only had one kid, not two like in Girl Meets World. Also, the name of their daughter was Beverly Glen, not Riley. Sure, this was just Cory’s brother Eric’s dream, which means nothing really. But wouldn’t it have been really cool if they had used the correct name? Girl Meets World has slyly attempted to explain many of the continuity errors of Boy Meets World, but in this case, it helped create one.
7. One Actor, Three Characters
One actor playing multiple characters is nothing new. But it’s different when they try to sneak them in. It’s okay if it’s obvious. Take the Nutty Professor as an example. Eddie Murphy plays the entire family of obese and hilarious mom, dad, brother, and grandpa, whoever. Or, he does it before that in Coming to America. Mike Myers does multiple roles in Austin Powers, and the results are hilarious. But come on, Boy Meets World? Can’t you find somebody else to play these secondary roles? There are literally millions of actors in LA, but you found one dude to play three characters? How insulting. Willie Garson played an applicant at the Matthew’s grocery store, he plays an insurance salesman, and he also plays the pastor who marries Cory and Topanga. Sometimes, it’s funny to see actors reappear in different roles, but this guy seems too random to be cool.
6. One Character, Three Actors
Okay, we flipped the script on this entry. Now, instead of one actor playing three dudes, we have one dude who was played by three different actors. It may be okay if you did this with the high school gym teacher or something, but to replace a main character’s dad? Three times? That’s a little too much. Topanga’s dad was played by three men. One was Peter Tork. That dude was actually the bass player for the Beatles copycat boy band called The Monkees. They had their own sitcom for a while, which was very Brady Bunch or Disney sitcom type of stuff. Another dad was Michael McKean. This guy is a B-list comedy legend. He starred in a number of Christopher Guest movies, was once a cast member of Saturday Night Live, and was also one of the boyfriends in the classic sitcom Laverne and Shirley. Dad number three was Mark Harelik. This dude wasn’t ever a big star by any means, but he has appeared in a ton of minor roles over the years. Furthermore, the three guys look nothing alike.
5. Two Topanga Moms
While we’re on the topic of multiple parents, let’s not forget to mention Topanga’s mom. She, too, was played by multiple actresses. You may recognize Marcia Cross, the gorgeous red-head who had a great run later on Desperate Housewives. Then, there was also Annette O’Toole, an actress who has co-starred with famous leads like Gary Busey, Nick Nolte, and Martin Short, but who never reached that higher level of stardom. What’s even stranger about this character is that not only were there two different actresses, but there were also two different names. In one episode, Topanga’s mom is referred to as Chloe, but in another, her name is Rhiannon. So, wait a minute, two different actors AND names? Are these supposed to be two different people? So, Topanga got a tattoo, lost her sis, her dad got remarried, and we didn’t get an episode out of any of it? Double bummer.
4. Skipping Grades?
This is a continuity error that many fans struggle to grasp. Where are the years? What grades are these people in at any given moment? If you research this topic, your head will start spinning, and it won’t stop for hours. Some people say that they skipped eighth and eleventh grade. Others say those grades were mentioned in other seasons, but they just didn’t get an entire season devoted to one certain grade. Others say that Cory and the gang never saw tenth grade or ninth. It’s all very confusing and distracting. That’s where the show made a major writing error. Numbers and letters don’t mix. They should have never directly addressed any grade. Just make it school, with classes, teachers, and lessons. Don’t talk about age or years. Be more vague on all the numbers. Details are not your friend. Just leave it all out or else you are bound to mess it up eventually.
3. Sisters Swapped
We sneaked in one more actor swap, just because it drives us nutty. This was a pretty big role. We’re talking about Morgan Mathews, the comic-relief little sister of Cory, who suddenly morphed into another actress. What drives us nuts is that they even wrote in a one-liner about it. Cory sees her walk in and goes, “Morgan, long time no see.” And then Morgan is like, “Yeah, that was the longest time-out I’ve ever had.” Come on, you guys, you can’t just change actors on us and expect us to laugh it off with some witty comment. We could maybe excuse one casting change, or even two or three, but this is too many to count. The line must be drawn somewhere. And it doesn’t end there. Remember Angela, Shawn’s girlfriend? Well, her dad also played a professor when Shawn sneaked onto the college campus. What is going on here? The casting flubs are just too much, people. Really.
2. The Mr. Turner Wreck
This may be one of the funniest and most completely resolved loose ends on the list. Mr. Turner was a cool dude, a comic book-loving teacher, who Shawn loved. But then, an accident occurred. Mr. Turner wound up wrecking his motorcycle and was all wrapped up in bandages at the hospital. Shawn went to visit him and was so distraught that he prayed that the poor guy would survive. That was it, though. We never heard from the character again. Did he die from his injuries? Did he recover? Did he appear unrecognizable afterwards, assume a new evil identity, and fight Batman? We had no idea. The character just dissolved into a mystery. In the end, however, Girl Meets World solved the riddle. Mr. Turner made an appearance. His life was great. He fell in love with his nurse, married her, and became a superintendent of schools in New York. He is good buds with Cory and even hired him on as a teacher. How nice. A little too nice, but resolved at least.
1. A Web Of Lies
Sometimes, people fall in love with these shows and they start believing that everything really happened. That’s why they’re mystified when the show skips a grade or horrified when a character disappears. The fans get too serious and can’t understand why a character would contradict themselves so completely. But let’s get real, folks. This is fiction. Either that, or it is real, and the characters are all liars. Like when Cory’s dad, Alan, says he’s a Navy man, but then later, he says he was in the coast guard. He says his birthday is in June, but then it’s at Christmas. Or when Topanga is freaking out about flying for the first time, but she obviously flew to Disney World several episodes prior. Or when Corey says he fell in love with Topanga years ago and that they met as toddlers, although they barely knew each other at all in sixth grade when the show started. These sitcoms are full of plot holes and in a way, it’s more fun to believe every last one. The characters are flawed idiots lying their way through life, and maybe that’s why they’re so relatable.
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