These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Boy Meets World
Critical Research Failure: in A Kiss is More than a Kiss, Eric unwittingly buys a degree from a diploma mill when he thought he was applying to college. But major diploma mills selling to Americans since the 1980s have been designed to make the buyer at least somewhat complicit with process, because defrauding customers would give the government cause to go after their operations themselves, regardless of how much they have toed the line elsewhere. While it certainly fits Eric that he ignored all the fine print when firing off his large number of applications, Eli William's description of these operations was an inaccurate description of their go-to MO.
Wandering down this road that we call life, is what we're doing.
It's good to know that my friends will always, stand by me.
When this boy meets world...
Don't download the version of the song that is up on iTunes. You will be disappointed.
Also good, if a lot shorter: the season four theme (also used for earlier seasons in syndication), which was an instrumental that played over the cast cruising in Eric's car.
"Eric Matthews: Good Looking Guy", anyone?
What? No love for "The Curtains Are On Fire?"
"He's a loser freak, loser freak! He's a maladjusted loser freak! He's a woman-hating, maladjusted loser freak!...And he doesn't like girls, 'cause he's afraid of them, afraid of them! I think he likes boys if you know what I'm saying!
"You're shallow, you're shallow, you're shallow. Look at that shallow boy!"
"Welcome to John Adams High! Where you are gonna die! That's right... fall right this way!"
"Here's a knife, here's a gun! There'll be fun for everyone! Death is... on the menu toniiiiight!"
Ensemble Darkhorse: Mr. Turner is ironically a retroactive one. He was introduced as a gambit to entice older viewers to tune in. It didn't work, and Turner eventually got phased out of the show. Despite that, he still remains one of the most popular characters of the series with the main fanbase, who eventually grew up to become the college-age demographic the showrunners were trying to target. It probably helps that Cory himself fits a similar mold to him in the spinoff series as he is a relatively new teacher.
In a season 1 episode, Shawn goes on a fishing trip with Alan in Cory's stead. Cory accuses Shawn of stealing his dad, Shawn calls Alan "dad" just to troll Cory and the whole thing is played for laughs. Cut to season 2's finale, and the gag takes on a sadder tone. Then when we get to season 6...hoo boy.
In the episode "Turkey Day", when Shawn suggests having Thanksgiving dinner with the Matthews and his mother supports the idea, Chet says, "Over my big, dead body."Ouch.
He Really Can Act: All of the cast got the chance to show off their dramatic chops but the best example is probably Will Friedle. Because his character was often the silliest his emotional scenes had the most impact.
Not to mention in "Eric Hollywood," he makes a pretty decent Romeo.
In one episode in season two Eric refers to his lucky towel as "towelie". Especially since after South Park came on several years later the show started making a bunch of references to it.
Cory's last name is Matthews and Topanga's last name is Lawrence. In the fifth season Shawn met his half brother Jack, who is played by Matthew Lawrence. Talk about a coincidence.
On that same line, Will Friedle's middle name is Alan, the same as the Matthews patriarch.
In the season 1 episode "Teacher's Bet", Cory trades places with Mr. Feeny for a week and realizes being a teacher is hard work. Guess what career path he's chosen in the sequel?
Eric breaks up with one of his Girl of the Week who is a musician, she gets really popular by writing breakup songs about their relationship. A certain artist would later become quite infamous for this.
In "Easy Street," Shawn gets a job working at the docks and claims to have unloaded "the same Turkish freighter that brought in the Outbreak monkey!" He the rubs his hands on Cory's face and says he's taking him down with him. This is a lot funnier if you've seen Cabin Fever.
Jerkass Woobie: Jack, in "No Such Thing As A Sure Thing." True, it's his douche-season, but you can't help but feel sorry for the guy as you watch him struggle with his gambling addiction, even if it is Played for Laughs.
On the flip side, Cory and Shawn blowing up a sexy (but not exceptionally revealing) picture of her as putting it all over the campus was treated in show as when the war went too far, when Rachel had previously sicced a wild bear on them. To many, if not most, attempted murder trumps embarrassment.
Crossed when the bullies vandalize Mr. Feeny's house, and later threaten to do the same at the school. All because they didn't want to study.
In-universe, Cory & Shawn blowing up a revealing picture of Rachel & putting it on display in the Student Union was considered this, as before that they had merely been in a escalating prank war.
Of course, objectively, the Moral Event Horizon of the prank war was when Rachel, Jack & Angela stuck Cory, Topanga and Shawn in a room with a bear. As Cory rightfully points out, they could have been killed.
Nightmare Fuel: The Psychotic Episode, full stop. As if Cory's nightmares about killing Shawn weren't bad enough, we have Eric's subplot with the crazy roommate keeping the stuffed corpses of his dead family members around...and it's implied he killed all his previous roommates! Yeah, it's no wonder the Disney Channel's not too keen on this episode.
Recycled Script: The show wasn't that shy about it, sometimes teaching the same lesson different ways.
Shawn and Cory learn how hard it is to be a girl in "Chick Like Me" and Jack and Eric learn the very same lesson years later in "What a Drag."
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 & 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).
This show had a whole lot of this. Marla Sokoloff, Nikki Cox, Keri Russell, Mena Suvari, Brittany Murphy, Charisma Carpenter, Julie Benz, Shane West, Kristanna Loken, Maggie Lawson, Linda Cardellini, and Nia Vardalos, Elisabeth Harnois all had small parts on the show before becoming more well known for other roles.
Seasonal Rot: Season 7. It had a few good episode and some very memorable moments (i.e. "Plays With Squirrels"), but it was not very good overall. It had many wacky and cartoonish plotlines that didn't fit with the series, tons of Mood Whiplash between the wacky plotlines and serious plotlines, Flanderization up the wazoo, especially with Eric who went from being ditzy to being mentally insane, and just not as many laughs to be had. Fortunately, this was the final season and the finale ended the series on a good note.
Strawman Has a Point: At least in regards to "The War" & "Seven The Hard Way" - It was her reserved parking spot due to her position as R.A. & Shawn deciding to poke her with a stick.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Season 7's "She's Having My Baby Back Ribs" was written after criticisms over Danielle Fishel's slight weight gain over the past few seasons, and can be summed up as both "Nobody's perfect, so don't focus on slight flaws & focus on the positives instead." & the quote from Mr Feeny below.
Mr Feeny: Unfortunately, we live in a society where we have to look a certain way, so we're all under pressure to live up to unrealistic expectations.
Vindicated by History: In the episode "Picket Fences" Cory tries to buy a starter home for him and Topanga so they can leave their ramshackle apartment despite barely having any money. The realtor draws up a special mortgage plan for them so they can buy the house but the plan requires signatures from the parents, and Mr. and Mrs. Matthews refuse to sign it because they don't think Cory and Topanga will be able to make the payments. The moral of the episode is that you need to work to earn what you buy and not rely on others for help. This episode aired in 1999, many years before the late 2000s economic recession which was caused in part by this kind of financial behavior: young couples buying homes they couldn't afford through subprime mortgage payments.
Eric, a LOT of bad stuff just keeps happening to the poor guy and no one ever takes him seriously. Not even himself.
Cory could sometimes be this in the show's early seasons, particularly a first-season episode where his status as middle child and only making second string on the basketball team make him feel worthless and unloved.