The episodes "Heartbreak Cory" and "Torn Between Two Lovers". So Cory spends the day hanging out with another girl and they forge a close friendship. Why does Shawn comment on this like it's such a huge scandal, and why does Cory let him make it seem that way to the point where he feels the need to lie to Topanga? And when Lauren falls for Cory and kisses him, why is it his fault? The only thing he really did wrong was not explain everything to Topanga, and despite the Flanderization that happened over the years she's not so unreasonable that she'd hate him forever just because Lauren kissed him. Surely after all these years she realizes Cory loves her and only her forever and ever amen. Lauren's feelings for him don't change that. Then in "Torn" she thinks she needs to test him by saying he should date Lauren? WHY? Cory clearly doesn't love Lauren like he does Topanga. I think these episodes were feeding into the stereotype that a male and a female are incapable of ever being just friends and that if Cory connects with another girl he's not related to, there must be romantic, passionate sparks between them. Lauren's feelings aside, what she had with Cory was clearly a case of Platonic Life Partners.
The problem is that Cory began questionning if he had feelings for Lauren, and needed to see if there was anything there. As stated when Topanga breaks up with Cory, it was a Secret Test of Character - Cory having to see if there was anything with Lauren showed that he wasn't really in love with Topanga, when she had shown that her feelings were genuine by running away from home & turning up at Cory's doorstep after they were separated by her parents moving away.
I think the thing that bothers most people is that the Secret Test of Character is a no-win scenario for Corey. Topanga tells him he needs to go on a date with Lauren to sort out his feelings (something that he brings up when she breaks up with him). If he obeys she breaks up with him because he doubted his feelings for Topanga and thus wasn't "really" in love with her. If he doesn't then she breaks up with him because he doesn't listen to her and refuses sort out his feelings.
Topanga can be an embarrassing name, too. They actually make fun of the fact that Cory doesn't like his first name, and his wife's name is Topanga, a few times throughout the series.
"The First Girlfriends Club." Pretty much the entire thing, three of Shawn's exes team up to show Angela what a dirtbag he is, except one of them was a mutual break-up from very early in high school (they broke up after Mr. Turner started dating her mom and things got weird), and the other one dumped him! As for the third girl, he only dated her once, and that was years ago.
This troper absolutely hates that episode, especially the fact that it featured Jennifer Basset as one of the jilted exes. The same girl who demanded Shawn stop seeing his best friend in order for her to go out with him, and she acts surprised that he chose his lifelong friend over her. Shawn may have been a player in the past and I can understand the girls being scared he might hurt Angela, or feeling hurt themselves, but they went too far.
That was the entire point - they're so consumed by this belief that Shawn's a remorseless casanova, that they ignore that the only reason he's standing Angela up is that they've handcuffed him to a pipe.
To be fair, with the possible exception of Alex Mack, the FGC are painted as pretty damn crazy and are called on it in-universe by Angela. The problem is that Shawn tends to believe the worst in himself to a ridiculous extent and takes everything that they say at face value.
In season one, Shawn mentions a sister named Stacey. However, she's never heard of again. It still bugs me, especially after Jack comes in into the picture. I just decided that Stacey got away from the Hunters, but it's still annoying. Then again, Nebula Lawrence (Topanga's sister) appeared once and was also never heard from again.
Nebula is mentioned a few times before and after her on-screen appearance though, and considering that Shawn's first half-brother apparently struck out on his own I'm amusing Stacey did the same.
I choose to believe that the first season takes place in an alternate universe to the following six seasons. These two universes share a broad-strokes background, but differ in certain details like offscreen siblings and Cory and Topanga's constant romance. I suspect that Minkus's inadvertent discovery of time travel in season one is somehow responsible for these divergences.
Remember that Shawn has at least two half-brothers and nearly everyone at the trailer park is part of some kind of Tangled Family Tree.
It's mentioned in an interview with Rider Strong that they cut out a character who had a sibling named Stacey and gave their lines to Shawn.
What bugs me is that Mr. Feeny was a teacher for forty years and a college professor yet he is never referred to as Professor Feeny or Dr. Feeny.
Old habits. The core cast spent eighteen years calling him Mr. Feeny, and when Rachel and Jack were introduced to him he was still Mr. Feeny. It would simply feel odd calling him something else after all that time, even if it was proper.
This troper had several professors in college who had not earned their doctorates and went by "Mr."
In a second-season episode, Mr. Turner decides that if his entire class can hold an informed and productive discussion on The Grapes of Wrath, he wouldn't test them on it. They would've already demonstrated their knowledge in the discussion, after all. The "Just Bugs Me" comes on three levels. 1) Mr. Feeny declares this to be nonsensical hippie trash, despite it actually being a fairly common practice. Hell, Feeny's used it himself before this episode. 2) Feeny forces Turner into going back on his word and catching the kids off-guard by giving them the test anyway. Out of the blue. Without telling the kids ahead of time. 3) Feeny has the absolute gall to blame Turner when his class calls BS on the sudden switch. And the worst part of it all is that Turner's method actually worked. Even Shawn, of all people, actually read the book for once and came prepared to discuss. The kids only rioted when they realized they'd been played for saps, which was Feeny's own doing, not Turner's. Nonetheless, Feeny's made out to be the sensible, responsible good guy of the episode.
He's not. He's portrayed as being in the wrong, until Cory & Shawn go on strike over the test.
How are the Matthews so wealthy? Amy is unemployed, Alan manages a grocery store, and they have three kids.
Amy wasn't unemployed in the beginning, she was a real estate agent and Alan was the manager at a large chain grocery store. They were never depicted as Pottery Barn Poor but there were some episodes where they had to cut back on some luxuries like an expensive road trip to the shore, but overall it was due to being smart with their money and years of careful saving. After Alan quit his job at the grocery store they bought and operated a succesful sporting goods store where Alan, Eric, and Amy worked. They were never depicted as extremely wealthy (except for Shawn calling them "rich," but he lives in the trailer park) but upper-middle class.
The Matthews family aren't wealthy. Shawn says they are, but he immediately asserts thay indoor plumbing = rich as far as he's concerned.
They never specify how long Alan was in the Navy, or the circumstances of him leaving the service. It's entirely possibly that he is receiving retirement/disability payments in conjuntion with his time in.
Is Pennbrook supposed to be a public school? Why is Amy taking a creative writing class there, of all places?
I always figured Pennbrook was supposed to be a semi-private university. Pennsylvania has those, like Temple or University of Pittsburgh. The state funds the university but not to the level that they would a state university like Penn State or Rutgers, and in return they get more autonomy.
"The Last Temptation of Cory." Cory was essentially sexually assaulted by Missy Robinson. She cornered him in a closet, refused to let him leave, and kissed him. He very clearly did not kiss back, and when she asked if he liked it, he turned her down, saying that he was in love with Topanga. And yet this is his fault? This is even more egregious than the Lauren example.
In fairness, Missy Robinson's a tiny girl. She didn't make him not leave, and she didn't force him to accept her kiss. If Cory had more firmly shut her down, it wouldn't have happened. That said, Topanga really wasn't even mad. The whole thing was worked out via a short conversation.
This troper agrees that Cory could have been more assertive and stopped Missy if he so chose. But I also see a major case of double standard here. Missy's behavior was very similar to that of Gary's toward "Veronica" (Shawn) in "Chick Like Me," with aggressive touching and persistence despite the character's repeated verbal refusal; yet Gary is portrayed as a jerk and Missy is played for laughs.
If Shawn is supposed to be an alcoholic, why is he seen drinking a glass of wine no problem in "Seven the Hard Way?"
I'd say he's more borderline alcoholic. His little brush with drinking didn't last very long, so it's possible he still allows himself a drink now and then in social situations, and the real issue is when he drinks too much - and he's generally able to keep a handle on that.
Non-alchoholic wine, for everyone driving.
Shawn's not an alcoholic, but he has the potential to be, which is why everyone freaks out when he shows up visibly drunk in "Family Trees." A beer or a glass of wine every now and then is fine socially, but when he drinks to excess it's a bad thing (as it would be for anyone who does so, but it's just Shawn's schtick).
There's also a difference in the first time he drinks compared to the second time he's seen drinking. The first time he drinks, he's much younger and doesn't see the problem to it; despite Cory having pointed out that Shawn was completely hung over, and STILL drinking. The second time, he's shown much more responsible with the alcohol. As the editor above said: excess is bad, but when reasonable and responsible, there is little problem to alcohol.
Wasn't this during Eric's dream sequence anyway? So it didn't really happen?
In 4.08 "Dangerous Secret", Cory tries to initiate sex for the first time. Topanga makes it clear she doesn't want it, and Cory stops. Then she's so mad at him she doesn't talk to him. What gives? Cory stopped when Topanga said stop, so what did he do wrong? Sure, Cory made it seem like he wanted to keep up with Shawn, but she started getting mad before she knew that.
Cory had made the decision that they should lose their virginities to each other on his own, rather than discuss it with Topanga, so she felt like he was trying to pressure her into having sex. The implication he was only doing it because he wanted to keep up with Shawn was just what sealed it.
Why did Shawn and Cory make such a big deal about "not being best friends anymore" on Cory's wedding day? I can see freaking out because getting married is a big change, but why does getting married cancel out a lifelong bromance-OR the fact that Shawn is one of Topanga's best friends, too? Not to mention how in subsequent episodes, Cory and Shawn are still acting like BF Fs. Cory even picks him AND Topanga to help him with the garage in one of the final episodes. So really, the whole drama was a moot point.
Rule of Funny - Shawn acts like a jilted lover when it looks like Cory & Topanga are leaving him behind by moving to New York in the Grand Finale later on in the season. It's just part of the gag that Cory & Shawn are practically a couple.
In "What A Drag!", Jack and Eric bust "Crazy Luther" for planning to throw a rave in the Student Union. They call the cops, cops come and Eric proceeds to tell off "Crazy Luther" But Jack says they actually have no reason to arrest him and his cohorts because Jack and Eric called the cops before he through the rave. But, wouldn't the fact that they broke into the Student Union and had a bunch of supplies that were clearly to be used for some sort of party being set up be enough cause to arrest? Breaking and Entering, hello?
While it's normal for a character's parents or family members to change actors over the course of a long running series, why did Topanga's parents not only change actors during a story arc, but with ones that look nothing like the previous actor? Did they not care at all?
There are a lot of reasons. The story arc took place over the end of one season and the beginning of the next, as I recall. The actors could have been unavailable, they might be too expensive for the current budget for the planned season, or any number of other things. And casting for physical resemblance to previous actors is pretty low on the priority list.
Why was Cory so obsessed with seeing a picture of Angela naked? And on top of that, why didn't Topanga of all people not react to this at all??
Because it was about the context, not the content. He doesn't actually want to see sexy pictures of Angela, he's just offended he wasn't offered the chance. Topanga doesn't get mad because she understands that, just as Angela doesn't kick his ass for it. Everyone was actually perfectly in character.
Do the events of The Eskimo bug anyone else? Ok, putting aside the drastic single episode change in Feeny's behavior, I'm fairly sure it isn't legal to place your student's final grade on an assignment that is not only irrelevant to the class, but borderline impossible. And where were Cory's parents during all this? I'm sure they would have a few things to say to Feeny if Corey failed the class not because of his, admittedly lack of, work but because of an impossible challenge, and before you say he wasn't allowed to tell anyone that was Topanga's challenge, Corey could attempt to stop it any time he wanted.
Granted, I haven't seen that episode in forever, but the point of the assignment was to show Corey that he couldn't always help his friends (which he tells Feeny at the end of the episode, and Feeny accepts) and show Shawn that he could do the impossible if he set his mind to it (because he had thought getting into college was impossible, if I remember correctly). Feeny was giving them lessons on how to succeed in LIFE, not just school, and I think the Matthews would've been okay with that. I don't remember the point of Topanga's assignment, though...
Topanga's lesson was more or less not to be so obsessive over grades from what I remember.