Join me in a time capsule that takes us back to the end of the last millennium – and the first few months of the new millennium – as we explore the best episodes of Boy Meets World.
Last time we analyzed the greatest episodes of the first four seasons.
Continue below to see my favorites from the fifth, sixth, and seventh seasons.
Heartbreak Cory (Season 5)
This episode will always be recognized as the one where it seemed Cory’s and Topanga’s relationship would forever be ruptured. Enter Lauren, the Linda Cardellini character who makes advances on Cory as the gang enjoys a ski retreat. After Cory sprains his ankle, the teenager spends all night talking with Lauren and they form a connection – one that causes Cory to question if he can have feelings for another woman. Unfortunately, viewers could not see past this being only a character, as Cardellini received much hate mail for breaking into the lovebirds’ nest. But this episode was memorable for its palpable tension and uncontrollable laughter, as seen in this clip below, where Cory cannot stay calm.
Starry Night (Season 5)
As Cardellini’s Lauren hits on Cory, in this episode we see Jonathan Jackson‘s artsy Ricky enchant Topanaga. He poses a viable threat, as he possesses the sensitivity, charm and intelligence Topanga seeks. But he is no Cory. What will Topanga do? The episode, named after the painting that the teenagers bond over, continues the tense storyline that has building to an explosion of emotions. Yet Topanga and Cory handle their feelings in such an authentic and adult manner (demonstrated in the clip below) that encourages viewers to cheer with glee and say, “awww.”
Graduation (Season 5)
The end of the fifth season culminates in an extraordinary ceremony that symbolizes the evolution of these characters: graduation. Topanga has been granted the opportunity to deliver the valedictorian speech, but she chooses to hand the honor to another deserving individual. Come on over, Shawn! There are many reasons why I think so highly of this sitcom, and what I gravitate most strongly to is its unabashed honesty. It can stray silly at times, and is absolutely hilarious when it accomplishes that mood, but I love how the show tells the truth. Shawn has struggled, and he uses this chance as not a platform to give a standard speech, but to be true to himself. “I could’ve done better,” he says. I would argue nobody could have done better. Props to you, Shawn.
Ain’t College Great (Season 6)
Can everything become funnier and more serious at the same time in college? World tell us that this can happen. Rachel (Maitland Ward) comes into the picture, driving Jack (Matthew Lawrence) and Eric to battle over their new roommate, who they understandably adore. Poor Rachel has had her plans upended recently and she does not want to leave the apartment. Let’s see how Jack and Eric lift Rachel’s mood. “If you two were one guy I would be in real trouble,” Rachel says after Jack and Eric comfort her in different ways. These amusing exchanges carry across the following two seasons as Rachel dates each of them to varying results.
Hogs and Kisses (Season 6)
After Topanga and Shawn are cast in a promotional film and asked to kiss, Cory feels roused up. He suggests the two go out on a date. Uh oh, here comes trouble. Cory tends to blow things out of proportions – I suppose that’s one of his many unforgiving characteristics – and this is no exception. This episode also documents the never-ending struggles between Jack and Eric, fighting for Rachel’s affection. Check out how Cory “convinces” Shawn and Topanga to explore their feelings in the clip below.
Bee True (Season 6)
I think this falls into the “silly episode” category. The clip below begins with a Mafia-style conversation featuring Cory, Shawn and Eric, focused around helping Mr. Feeny share his romantic feelings toward Dean Bolander. The guys just want to help out their favorite teacher, who needs to hit the books on how to make an overture. Yes, the scenes are ridiculous and the characters show self-awareness in the absurdity of everything. Their tongues seem firmly planted in their cheeks in true “BMW” style. When crazy, Cupid-like Eric interrupts his teacher during a lecture, Feeny exclaims, “Eric, you’re not even in this class!” Eric just hams up this scene, showing his ceaseless dedication in assisting his out-of-touch professor.
It’s About Time (Season 7)
Can you feel the love tonight? I certainly can, as all of the seasons have been leading up to this moment when Cory and Topanga exchange their vows. The “wedding episode” included a number of sticky circumstances for the pair, such as Cory weighing over who should be his best man (Eric vs. Shawn) and the ceremony shifting to a different location. All works out in the end, as most everything does on Boy Meets World, and the lovely nuptials culminate the up-and-down relationship between Cory and Topanga.
What A Drag! (Season 7)
When all else fails, dress up as a woman. That seems to be a formula in this show, as the Chick Like Me episode exemplified earlier in the show’s run. Now we find Eric embracing his feminine side, who he calls “Olga” and later re-names to “Chantelle Du Bois, I’m a little French girl.” The reason behind this cross-dressing experiment is to avoid a goon on campus bothering Eric and Jack. That does not matter much. What counts is witnessing absurdity on screen, thanks again to Eric. Will Friedle digs up comedic gold with these instances, and he’s even more fantastic showing his dramatic side in more grounded episodes. How can you not laugh while watching this scene?
Seven The Hard Way (Part 2) (Season 7)
“Color me insane,” Eric – otherwise known as “Plays with Squirrels” – says in this episode, which features an imaginary flash-forward featuring the characters. After the college kids up the ante with their pranks, causing them to question their relationships, Feeny aims to rectify the situation. But it appears to have been moot. The characters have scorched their friendships – forever. Bring in the weird sequence, envisioning Feeny’s retirement. Here we find future Eric as a hippie with more depth than what meets the long beard and lollipop hanging from his hair. He has written “The Secret of Life.” “Lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself,” are the few words inside the tome. But they have meaning. And so does this episode.
Brave New World: Part 1 and Brave New World: Part 2 (Season 7)
I ask you this question. How could I not have included the finale episodes – essentially one long episode – to conclude the list? These are among the finest pieces ever crafted during the series’ run, concluding seven seasons of learning, loving, and laughing. The first clip compiles many of Eric’s “Feeny calls” that elicit his neighbor’s attention and frustration. The second comes from the very last scene, set in the old high school classroom, where Mr. Feeny bids adieu to his students and offers a few pieces of valuable advice. Tell me that you did not cry watching Feeny state his final thoughts after Cory, Topanga, Eric, and Shawn head off to experience the next stages of their lives. Remember that last quote? “I love you all. Class dismissed.”
What are your thoughts of my choices? Any notable omissions? Share your thoughts!
This is Brett Nachman, signing off. Follow me on Twitter for alerts of new editions of Disney In Depth, Thursdays on Geeks of Doom!