Gosh, the holidays sure do pull at the heartstrings, don't they? Everyone's drunk with nostalgia, pining for a long-gone youth, taking out their rose-colored glasses and staring wide-eyed at a distant past. Nothing bottled the '90s quite like Boy Meets World, a favorite draught of iconic television to take a pull from now and then. But there's more to the show than met the eye. Did you know...
Who the HECK is that kid sitting to Cory's right? Nobody, that's who. Cory was supposed to have an additional BFF to Shawn, but the character just didn't catch on. So the creators killed him off. They named that empty cafeteria the "death chair." Hollywood is cut throat.
Willie Garson is a many of many faces. On the show he played three characters over the course of the series. In the first season, he embodies Leonard Spinelli, assistant manager of the supermarket run by the Matthews paterfamilias. Down the road, he plays Mervyn — customer at a local hardware store. And finally, in season seven, he plays the minister who marries Cory and Topanga. What variation!
Showrunner Michael Jacobs wanted Cory and Topanga to get married by the end of the series. But network ABC thought that the actors portraying the characters, who were in their 20s at the time, were way too young. (Considering Millennials today are marrying later and later, if at all, the network might have had a point were the show produced today.) Jacobs took an Internet poll, and it looked like fans really wanted to see the two characters legally wedded. Why? Well the institution of marriage bore much more symbolic value back then.
Perhaps the most recognizable element to Boy Meets World is Shawn's hair. Moses couldn't have done a better job at parting those locks. So it might surprise you that Strong hated the haircut. After he got the part, the showrunner never let him change it.
Cory and Topanga's first kiss is memorialized on silicon, and what a kiss it was. Celebrated across the country for its candor and youthful innocence. For actor Ben Savage, it really was the actor's first kiss. Talk about method. Who knows how having your first kiss be a public one affected his psyche after!
The show definitely tried to be profound, but when it really took a stab at the hot button issues, Disney shut it down. Three episodes of the series were banned from airing because they dealt with premarital sex and underage drinking. You know, the stuff that people should actually be discussing cogently.
Kid viewers may not have known it, but William Daniels was a freaking legend. And the showrunner made sure to make sly references to his illustrious career throughout the series. It alluded to the movie The Graduate, in which Daniels plays Dustin Hoffman's father, and the school is named after the Found Father John Adams whom Daniels portrayed in 1776.
Topanga is named after Topanga Canyon in California. It's got a funky vibe and a unique atmosphere — just like Topanga the character. One of the writers on the show was stuck in traffic in the area and decided the place would be a great name for a character. So hip.
Initially, Topanga was only supposed to play a minor role on the show, drawn on as an agent of antagonism to move the plot and generate conflict. But she totally killed the role, and audience response was overwhelmingly positive. So the writers expanded her role and purpose, and she became, like, the character.
Like Seinfeld, Boy Meets World was a breeding ground for soon-to-be celebs. Nia Vardalos from My Big Fat Greek Wedding is in it. Adam Scott was in it. Mena Suvari, Brittany Murphy...The list goes on and on.
For some reason, Boy Meets World skipped grades eight through eleven. This may have been to lessen the gap between the actors and the characters they played. Ben Savage, when the show started, was two years older than his character. Hollywood magic was at work!
Listen closely to the dialogue: the origin story of how Topanga and Cory first met is always changing. In that way, their romance took on a mythic quality, enlarged and embroidered by rumor. It's not important how the characters met, but that they met. Their journey took them so far.