Sitcoms based around a child are often faced with the daunting challenge of how to handle the inevitable aging of their star. Some absurdly try to hide the fact or even ignore it, but one particular show took a refreshingly new approach – let the kid grow up and follow him on his course into adulthood. As a result, Boy Meets World managed to remain both fresh and popular through its entire run.
Debuting on ABC in 1993, Boy Meets World focused on the life of a mischievous and intellectual 11-year old lad named Cory Matthews (played by Ben Savage, younger brother of Wonder Years star, Fred Savage.) Cory’s life included all of the trials and tribulations that most kids his age face, but he also had the unique challenge of residing next door to his teacher, Mr. Feeny. As a result, Mr. Feeny was always ready to impart extra-curricular advice, not to mention act as a foil against Cory’s never-ending mischievous streak, regularly fueled by his best friend and co-conspirator, Shawn Hunter.
The rest of the Matthews clan included his parents, Alan and Amy, his popular older brother Eric and younger sister Morgan. At school, Cory regularly fended off a trio of bullies, Harley, Frankie and Joey, and eventually became attracted to a girl named Topanga Lawrence. Her screen time would increase substantially over the years, as audiences watched their relationship develop through middle school, high school, and eventually college. And in 1999, the two finally tied the knot. As the series progressed, Mr. Feeny stopped teaching Cory in the classroom, eventually replaced by another nemesis, Dean Borak. Still, Feeny remained a mentor and confidante throughout the show and even developed his own love interest along the way.
Over seven seasons, Boy Meets World followed the growth of a young tyke from middle school to marriage, from puberty to the contemplation of parenthood, and television audiences remained loyal every step of the way. Finally, in 2000, the saga of Cory Matthews came to an end in a flashback-filled finale, leaving boy (and girl) to meet the world of adulthood.
If you were a regular viewer of Boy Meets World, we would love to hear your reflections and memories in our comments section, as we tip our hats to this 90s sitcom that dared to be different.