Trivia / Boy Meets World

  • Actor Allusion: Several:
    • Cory incorrectly refers to Ricky, the guy Topanga kissed during their second break-up as a soap opera actor, not a artist. His actor Jonathan Jackson was best known for playing Lucky Spencer on the soap opera General Hospital
    • 'John Adams High School' is a nod to William Daniels, who played John Adams in 1776.
    • In "Boy Meets Real World", Mr. Feeny says that The Graduate is a great film. Mr Feeny's actor William Daniels was also in The Graduate. In another episode, when Cory is looking for his father's silver glove necklace, Cory is seen scuba diving similar to Benjamin in The Graduate, with the same POV shot of William Daniels.
    • In "The Truth About Honesty", while telling his date increasingly obvious lies, Eric eventually culminates by declaring that he's Batman. This was a Throw It In! line Will Friedle improvised in celebration of realizing his life-long dream of working in animation, upon being cast as the new Batman in Batman Beyond. The scene even closes by playing a Batman-esque piece of music (reused from "And Then There Was Shawn").
    • In "Rave On", Topanga calls Frankie, played by Ethan Suplee, a "mallrat". Suplee was in the film Mallrats which came out a month before the episode aired.
      • At the end of "Rave On", the band manager, played by Dave Madden, tells the guys who played at the rave that he used to be the manager for a family act, alluding to his role on The Partridge Family.
    • Jennifer Love Hewitt appeared in a horror-themed episode, playing Jennifer Love Fefferman (AKA Feffy), an expy of her character from I Know What You Did Last Summer, and there is also a bait-and-switch allusion to Hewitt's show Party of Five:
    Jack: I like that one with the hotty hot hot from Party of Five.
    Feffy: Neve Campbell?
    Eric: Duh!
    • Also, she was dating Will Friedle at the time, and Eric showed interest in her romantically in that episode.
    • They also appeared as love interests in Trojan War.
    • The episode "A Long Walk to Pittsburgh" features Topanga's aunt Prudence, who according to Topanga "has never been in love, never been married, and wouldn't even know who Romeo and Juliet were". Said aunt was played by Olivia Hussey, who played Juliet in the 1968 film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.
  • Billing Displacement: Gradually happened over the course of the series, as the new additions to the cast were added to the roster in the order they joined the shownote . By Season 6, this meant that Betsy Randle was billed prior to everyone except Ben Savage and William Daniels, and Lindsay Ridgeway was billed prior to Maitland Ward and Trina McGee, despite their severely reduced roles in the final seasons.
  • The Cameo: Ted Lange and Bernie Kopell as themselves as celebrities Jack hired to make the frat he and Eric started seem more credible.
    • Mankind and Mr. Socko show up with no explanation to referee the match between the girls and the guys over the apartment in "For Love and Apartments".
  • Classically Trained Extra: William Daniels, a renowned film, theater and dramatic television actor, playing the put-upon sitcom neighbor. He admitted he was initially not interested in the role because he thought it would be mocking teachers, the creators understood his concern and Mr. Feeny instead became a legendary character who had more screen time with the kids than with their own parents.
  • The Danza: Jason Marsden as... Jason Marsden. An odd example of the trope in that Marsden is an entirely peripheral character (Eric's best friend, back in the years when Eric was still relatively sane). Marsden was obviously only there because he and Will Friedle are best friends in Real Life and, needing a best friend character for Eric, the writers decided to just have Jason do it.
  • Dawson Casting: 28-year-old Trina McGee as high school senior Angela Moore. Averted by everyone else in the main cast. At the start of the show the actors were, on average, two years older than their characters but the character's ages were bumped up by two years at some point in show's run. By the end of the series, Danielle Fishel was actually playing older than she was.
    • Parodied in the "Kid Gets Acquainted with the Universe." episode with the Morgan expy being played by a woman who was much older, who was still being played by Morgan's other Darrin, a still-preteen Lindsay Ridgeway.
  • Directed by Cast Member: William Russ (Alan Matthews) directed several episodes in seasons 5-7.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In the third season finale "Brother Brother" Betsy Randle (Amy Matthews) and Lindsay Ridgeway (Morgan) were not told that Will Friedle would be returning with the rest of the cast for season 4 until after the scene where Eric says goodbye to his family.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: According to Word of God this is how Topanga got her name. One of the writers was on his car phone and drove past a sign for Topanga, California while they were trying to think of a name for the character.
  • Old Shame: Not for the show itself, but Rider Strong is not proud of the 90s-style curtained hair he wore for most of the show's run. He's very quick to make fun of it though, referring to it as "Muppet hair".
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Morgan's original actress Lily Nicksay was swapped out for Lindsay Ridgeway between the second and third seasons. The latter doesn't show up until midway through the third, delivering the classic line "That was the longest time-out I ever had." Surprisingly, despite the show's tendency to play with the fourth wall, the change in actress is never acknowledged - the scene would have played out exactly the same if it were Lily Nicksay coming down the stairs.
    • Harley was also replaced for a single episode. The character was then Put on a Bus, but the original actor returned for one more episode the next season.
    • Topanga's parents also went through several sets of very different actors (three for her father and two for her mother). The contrast is pretty evident when Jedidiah goes from being Peter Tork to Michael McKean.
  • The Other Marty: Originally, another actor played Eric in the pilot but he was the same height as Ben Savage so Will Friedle was cast and his parts were reshot.
    • Marla Sokolof was originally cast as Topanga in "Cory's Alternative Friends" with Danielle Fishel set to play the role of Becky. The parts were switched and the rest is history.
  • Quote Source: Threesome Subtext
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Husband-and-wife team William Daniels (Mr. Feeny) and Bonnie Bartlett (Lila Bolander, the Dean of Pennbrook who ends up marrying him).
    • Similarly Topanga's parents were played by the husband-and-wife Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole for one episode, although their characters' situation is reversed from the above in that the episode portrays their marriage's disintegration.
    • Ben Savage's brother Fred Savage appears in the episode "Everybody Loves Stuart" as a creepy lecherous college teacher.
  • Recycled Script: The show wasn't that shy about it, sometimes teaching the same lesson in different ways.
    • The plot of "A character crossdresses to hit on a guy." is used in both "Chick Like Me" and "What A Drag". Though in the former it was for a school project and in the latter Jack and Eric did it to avoid getting pounded by a guy they almost got arrested
    • Both Eric and Shawn go on road trips of self-discovery (Eric when he doesn't make it into college, Shawn after his father passes away) with Cory along for the ride. Eventually they get to the point where Cory is ready to go home, but they're afraid to. They end differently though - Eric realises that he has to return to real life, whilst Shawn learns of how proudly Chet spoke of Shawn from another patron at a truck stop and opts to continue on his journey alone, although Chet's spirit appears sat next to Shawn in the final scene of the episode.
    • Cory and Shawn both have nightmare episodes about them killing all their friends so that Cory and Topanga can be together.
    • Whole storylines have been recycled: "Shawn gets his first serious girlfriend" was done twice, once in season three and again in season five; "Cory and Topanga break up" was done three times, in seasons three, five, and seven.
    • In "Kid Gets Acquainted With The Universe" this is lampshaded, with Ben Sandwich screaming "How can I learn so much every week and still be so stupid!?" at the writers. Then they lampshade that at the end of the episode, when Will Friedle, playing "himself", flips out at Ben Savage for changing a punchline. He storms off, and then enter Rider Strong as Shawn, telling Cory "I blew up another mailbox" (a reference to a first-season episode).
  • Recycled Set:
    • With just a light remodel Mr. Turner's apartment from seasons 2 and 3 becomes Jack and Eric's apartment for season 5-7
    • For a little while Mr Turner and Mr Feeny had the same classroom, just flipped around with a few different props. Likewise, the school hallway from seasons 2-4 is almost exactly the same as the Senior hallway from season 5 but shot from a different angle. These examples would be justified, in that the school's interior would adhere to a strict uniform design.
    • Possibly lampshaded by Shawn after he and Cory wake up in Turner's class with Feeny in the room.
    Cory: " Shawn... Shawn, it's both of them"
    Shawn: "Oh no, now I don't know what class I slept through."
    • Restaurants tend to be reused as well. The restaurant in "You Can Go Home Again" is basically reused in "Road Trip". Chubbie's (the local hangout) is used for pretty much anywhere groups of teens hang out. This is lampshaded in "Things Change", as the restaurant is changed into a pirate-themed family restaurant in the course of one scene.
    • In "If You Can't Be With the One You Love," the Matthews' family home is used for another student's house when the gang attends a party there. The change consists of different furniture, a change in lighting and fabric hung over the Matthews family photos.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Charisma Carpenter, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, appeared as a caterer in the episode "Train of Fools".
  • The Wiki Rule: The Boy Meets World Wiki.
  • Throw It In!: The crazier Eric got, the more Will Friedle started to improvise and mix things up. Most of the time, it worked as Eric is the ONLY funny thing in some of the more serious episodes and in a lot of ways was the funniest character in the show.
    • Most obvious is his stirring rendition of Ooh, Child in "Angela's Ashes." Trina McGee doesn't even try to keep it together and you can hear the rest of the cast snickering over the laugh track.
    • The foodfight from "Hogs and Kisses" is something that obviously got out of hand waay too quickly, but was too funny to tell the actors to stop.
    • In "The Provider" a singed and smoking Eric shows up at Cory's door to ask for his lucky penny back (don't ask, just watch the episode). Rather than take it with his hand he makes Cory put it in his mouth and then walks over to the (non-ringing) telephone and says "Hello?" Ben Savage immediately loses it.
    • Another one, from the episode "Angela's Men": The tag seems to be a typical scene wrapping up the episode's events, but it soon becomes clear none of the actors were able to make it through the scene without breaking, so instead it turns into a blooper reel showing all their attempts. Again, Will Friedle was largely responsible.
  • You Look Familiar: Julius Carry previously played a college professor in "Fraternity Row." This is especially jarring in that he spent most of his interactions in that episode with Shawn.