Everyone had their “show” as a kid. For most of us, it was Saved By The Bell or Full House. We’d go home after school, tune into SNICK, or toss on TGIF and soak in the life lessons that television had to offer us.
But for me? It was Boy Meets World. It was a show that I’d watch start-to-finish back then, and a show that I can watch start-to-finish even today. Hell, I even own a couple of the seasons on DVD even though I don’t own a DVD player.
Whether we had a crush on Angela, wanted to be Eric, or just wanted to grab a burger and some pool at Chubbie’s, we all know Boy Meets World more than we know some of our closest family members and friends.
But much like every parent has a favorite child, we all need to have our favorite characters. Which is why it was of the utmost importance to rank every last recurring character.
13. Topanga Lawrence
Topanga Lawrence was the fucking worst. Her whole “hippie” schtick in the early seasons was more insufferable than the fact that she later proposed to Cory in Season 5. Her and Minkus were the little piece-of-shits that we all hated as kids who would sit in the front of class, ask if homework was due, and then would piggyback on each other when the rest of the class would misbehave.
And then her character trajectory? Woof. What producer was like, “You know what this show needs? A stern, bitchy alpha-female who spoils all of Cory and Shawn’s fun until the end of time?” The last thing I wanted when I was chilling on my couch in my Umbros and Peace Frog shirt was to see Topanga nagging Cory in their weird-ass massive college dorm room.
Not to mention she was overrated in the looks department. I’ll say it because no one else will: Cory could have done better.
12. Amy Matthews
Snooze City, Population: Mrs. Matthews. I don’t know what it is with these Matthews boys, but they sure underachieved when it came to the women they married. Sure, she wasn’t awful on the eyes, but she was no Carol Foster-Lambert from Step By Step.
To say that Amy brought nothing to the show would be an understatement. She was a necessary filler character, which I can’t fault her for. All she did was coddle the kids and randomly buy a sporting goods store that Alan ended up having to take over. Yes, that whole situation panned out pretty well, but what’s the flipside? She blindly purchases an outdoor store and the family goes bankrupt and has to move to the slums of Philly?
Come on. Use your head, Amy.
11. Stuart Minkus
Nerd Alert. Hey Minkus — why don’t you spend a little less time hitting the books and having a crush on Topanga and spend a little more time watching Cory and Shawn be the bad boys of John Adams High? If you really wanted to impress Topanga, you should’ve wore hemp shirts and used patchouli oil.
But no, look what happened. You sucked so much that they wrote you out of the show after a season. And despite the fact that you made a brief cameo during graduation, everyone hated you so much that it felt like you were in the show way more than you actually were.
I still can’t believe you were in Gone Girl, dude. When I realized that your mousy-ass mug was playing the cop, I almost spit out my whiskey-coke that I snuck in.
10. Rachel McGuire
If I’m going to have a childhood crush on someone with the last name McGuire, her name is going to be Lizzie and she’s going to sing the theme song to Laguna Beach. When Rachel came in as Eric and Jack’s college roommate in Season 6, I was all like, “About time daddy gets some eye candy on this show.” But the more I watched, the more I realized that her role as the redheaded vixen was somewhat unjustified.
Lanky, so goofy that it fell out of the “cute” category, and someone that potentially broke the gruesome twosome of Eric and Jack apart? Nah, not for me. Imagine how much tail those two would’ve pulled at Chubbie’s had they not been fawning over her episode after episode.
And if you Google her now, she looks like a worn out Vegas club dancer who got stuffed full of collagen. Her Instagram makes her look like a desperate Jessica Rabbit version of her former self.
9. Morgan Matthews
It’s unfair of me to classify Morgan as one singular character because she was actually played by two separate actresses as she progressed. But that was her downfall. The First Morgan (Lily Nicksay) was phenomenal. She played the part perfectly: cute, innocent, and had the perfect one-liner to drop on everyone when we needed it most.
But then in Season 4, we transitioned into the New Morgan (Lindsay Ridgeway) and she became an attitude-filled pre-teen that was the complete opposite of the First Morgan. Sure, kids grow up. But just like how they switched Aunt Viv in Fresh Prince, flip-flopping beloved actresses mid-series is just never a good idea.
8. Jack Hunter
Jack was the dude we all wanted Eric Matthews to turn into. Motivated, smart, good looking. The guy was a triple threat. But while Eric could have panned out to be a total baller, what we got out of Jack was a somewhat underwhelming bore.
As Shawn’s half-brother (Rest In Peace, Chet), we got to see the struggling brotherhood bond between the two. I know it’s a pretty unpopular opinion, but I was never a huge fan of the storyline involving Shawn’s family, so the drawn out and unrealistic entrance of his normal-ass half-brother didn’t do a whole hell of a lot for me.
Why couldn’t Jack be the rich bro they all met when they went to college? Why did Jack have to fall in love with Roommate Rachel? Why couldn’t Jack be the stud we all wanted him to be? Instead, they just replaced Old Eric Matthews with him to let New Eric Matthews get weird AF. See here:
What could’ve been, guys.
7. Angela Moore
You know what? If someone had to take the dragon that was Shawn Hunter, I’m glad it was Angela. Girl had edge. Everyone knows that Shawn Hunter doesn’t date chicks for over two weeks, but Angela? She was special to Shawn.
Was it a little creepy that Shawn fell in love with her by way of a purse that he found where he creepily built a relationship with the items in said purse? Yeah, it’s 1,000% creepy. It’s like a blind date, but you know, without another human.
She wasn’t a major character, and it was blatantly obvious that some studio head was all like, “Hey, we need some diversity up in here,” but everyone loved Angela because she humanized Shawn from being a girl-hungry horn ball into a relatable character that showed feelings. Plus, we were all a little scared he’d end up with some trailer-trash, so she was a refreshing upgrade.
6. Eric Matthews
In the beginning, Eric was the man. Hooking up with all the chicks at John Adams High? That was Eric’s job. Hazing a young Cory who needed to be put into place from time to time? Eric. Killer hair? Eric.
The scenes where Mr. Feeny would guide Eric through life (like when he wanted to drop out of college to be a weather man after working at the station for a week) were next-level touching. I felt like Mr. Feeny was speaking directly to a young me. But, for whatever reason, the Boy Meets World writers turned him into a goofball who had spiky hair and a goatee. I mean, just look:
I love Eric Matthews to death. I love him like a brother. But I just wanted more because Eric Matthews deserved more.
5. Alan Matthews
A chiseled man’s man, Alan Matthews was a salt-of-the-earth motherfucker. Oh, you want to own and manage a grocery store? Perfect, I just started looking up to you as a hardworking, blue collar, self-made man. You want to take Cory out of school to hit up a Phillies game? Can’t wait to do that with my son. You used to be in a band but soon realized you were washed up when you tried to get them back together? That’s how I feel every weekend when I go out.
He always seemed to strut around with an undone collar, a baseball glove, and a head full of some of the most luscious locks that ’90s television had ever seen. He put out the vibe that he could throw a baseball 95 miles-per-hour after rolling up his sleeves and re-stocking the produce at his grocery store.
Oh, and he almost beat the fuck out of that pussy little mock-turtleneck-wearing cult leader that tried to brainwash Shawn.
If you weren’t chanting “Alan! Alan! Alan!” after that, then don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.
4. Jonathan Turner
Bachelors rejoice, Mr. Turner was a fucking dude. Leather jackets, bachelor pad, a Bro Mentor for Cory and Shawn in their homeroom, and an English teacher to boot? Game over. He was the polar opposite of Mr. Feeny (not that Mr. Feeny needed a polar opposite). Just take a look at the first time he met the crew:
What. A. Badass.
Like, remember when Turner was putting the screws to Miss Tomkins and everyone knew it? That’s the kind of shit that gets you fired in the real world, guys. But not Mr. Turner. He did what he wanted, even when Mr. Feeny would warn him to be careful with his loose lifestyle.
Sure, he rode a Harley and got in a crash that almost ended his life, but who didn’t want to be Mr. Turner as a kid? I know I did.
3. Cory Matthews
Cory, Cory, Cory. You were our friend, our menace, and one of our favorites. Sure, you were cooler when you hated girls and loved baseball, but we all grow up and find the one we love (I won’t resent you for choosing Topanga even though she sucked).
You were the slacker we all strived to be. I wore oversized t-shirts and faded jeans because of you, Cory. I wanted to be you, Cory. When you cheated on Topanga on that ski trip? I was fist pumping for you, man. When you were harboring Shawn after he put that cherry bomb in the mailbox? I was jealous of your Rebel Without A Cause attitude.
Did you get somewhat emotionally unstable as the seasons wore on? Yeah, you did. But that didn’t mean we loved you any less. Had the show not chronicled your journey through life, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.
But, like, seriously, you should consider getting back with that chick from the ski trip. She was an absolute smoke.
2. Mr. Feeny
Much like Gordon Bombay was the guiding light that we all needed as kids, Mr. Feeny taught us all invaluable lessons without us feeling like we were actually learning. Sure, Cory and Shawn acted out against him. Sure, he rolled his eyes every time Eric would give out his “Feeny!” screams to get his attention. And yes, we were all deathly afraid of him when Shawn and Cory decided to set up a bed & breakfast in his house when he was away for the weekend. But at the end of the day, he was beloved.
When Mr. Feeny said, “I love you all. Class dismissed,” and the final credits rolled to end Boy Meets World, we all had a tear in our eye and a chill in our spine because he delivered it in the most perfect way that only Mr. Feeny could. His short, concise life lessons were unrivaled:
“You don’t have to be blood to be family.”
“There is no greater aspiration than to have love in our lives.”
“Believe in yourselves, dream, try. Do good.”
He dared us all to be better people, and for that, he deserves our utmost respect.
1. Shawn Hunter
We wanted Cory’s carefree attitude. We wanted Eric’s perfect butt-cut. We wanted Mr. Turner’s leather jacket. But at the end of the day? We all just really wanted to be Cory’s best friend, Shawn fuckin’ Hunter.
Did I love the storyline of Shawn’s troubled family? No, but it taught me that I never wanted to go through the same issues myself. Did I agree with every decision Shawn made (again, the cherry bomb in the mailbox, Shawn. What were you thinking?!)? Of course, not. Did I want to struggle with the depression and confusion that Shawn always seemed to encounter? Absolutely not. But Shawn went through the most troubles so that we, as viewers, didn’t have to.
Everyone loved Shawn, even to the point where Cory and Topanga forced him to move to New York with them at the end of the series. He was the Pacey to everyone’s Dawson, the Sam to everyone’s Clarissa. Shawn’s ebb and flow added a level to the show that would have otherwise come off as a goofy, surface-level dramatic comedy with no true substance.
Oh, and he too had some top-notch lettuce up top too. Maybe the real winner of Boy Meets World was everyone’s hair. .