- In "Killer Bees", Cory enters a district-wide geography bee purely to win the prize at the end. Though he puts his all into preparing for it, he is soundly thrashed by the other competitors. When Cory apologizes to Mr. Feeny for losing the contest, Mr. Feeny assures Cory that watching him live up to his potential for once, and seeing him gain a genuine appreciation for a subject that he took no interest in before, was worth far more to him than winning another tournament. To drive his point home, he tacks Cory's latest geography test (which earned an "A") on the board next to all the tournament certificates, proudly proclaiming "We won."
- In "Teacher's Bet", Cory is trying to teach the class and failing. He then shocks Shawn with the idea that in another time and place, he might be killed just for being part Italian. Shawn subsequently gets a B instead of his usual C on the test on The Diary of Anne Frank.
- In "The Fugitive," Cory finds a soaking wet and scared Shawn in his room.Shawn: The cops are after me. Maybe even the FBI. You're not involved...unless you want to be.
- In "A Long Walk to Pittsburgh", Eric catches Shawn kissing Topanga. It turns out to be innocent because her family's moving, but before that is discovered we get a nice glimpse of Big Brother Eric when he slams Shawn into a wall:"You think you can do something that causes Cory pain, you're not gonna get pain back? You don't know what's going on."
- Also from "A Long Walk to Pittsburgh", this exchange:George Feeny: I believe that when you find love, you hold on to it and cherish it because there is nothing finer, and it may never come again.Prudence Curtis: [steps forward] Prudence Curtis, I'm Topanga's aunt.Feeny: [steps forward as well] George Feeny, I'm Topanga's teacher.Curtis: Well, I don't know that I appreciate what you are teaching these children, sir. To plant wild ideas about true love in young undeveloped minds is as irresponsible as my sister and brother-in-law ripping her from the only environment she's ever known. At this... delicate time.Feeny: Madam, if you choose to question my opinions, then you disregard 38 years in the public school system, where I have borne the responsibility of those opinions for 30,000 students. None held in higher regard than Mr. Matthews and Ms. Lawrence.Cory Matthews: [sits up excitedly] You like me?Feeny: Stay out of this.
Cory: (regarding he and Topanga having a long distance relationship) Maybe I'm just kidding myself.Feeny: Oh, well, now For as long as I've known you, whenever you've been faced with adversity, you have always risen to the occasion. Now, I have no reason to believe that you won't again.
- From the first part of the episode:
- From "Resurrection."Nurse: [Stopping Shawn as he, Cory & Topanga head into the ICU to see Joshua] Oh, I'm sorry, it's family only.Alan: He is family.
- "Pickett Fences" follows up the downer "The Honeymoon is Over" with Cory and Topanga still living in the nightmarish married couples dorm. When Cory and Topanga finally get smart and decide to fix the place up, Alan and Amy are of course very proud of them for realizing that the point of marriage is to make their own life instead of relying on others, Alan even saying he would never take that away from them by letting them take an easy way out.
- "Santa's Little Helpers" (Doubles as a Tear Jerker and one of Will Friedle's finest performances):Eric: * sitting alone in the snow* ..."I want to make the happiness of the entire world my responsibility." What an idiot, what am I supposed to do? I made all those little kids smile, took care of everybody that came to see me... No disrespect, but why would you send me that little boy? Why doesn't that nice little boy have parents? Why doesn't that nice little boy have parents? Why did you send me that little kid? ...And why do I only come to you when I need something? I guess you shouldn't have to take care of everything, right? I can take care of this. I can be responsible for the happiness of one little boy.
- Eric taking Tommy home with him so he can spend Christmas with the Matthews family.
- When Mr. Feeny decides to retire and move to Wyoming, Eric assumes he's going to Hawaii and shows up with a surfboard to tag along. After a moment's annoyance, Feeny gently explains to Eric where Wyoming is and how he is looking forward to retiring to life in a peaceful, quiet place. Eric nods appreciatively, then clears his throat nervously and asks with heartbreaking candor:Eric: "Mr. Feeny? If I'm really really quiet... will you stay?"
- Cory and Morgan rarely interacted, but there is the first season episode "Risky Business" where Cory leaves Morgan alone and panics when he comes home to find the window broken and Morgan gone, thinking she's been kidnapped. Then he and Morgan have a nice little talk in the treehouse.
- In "Friendly Persuasion", the entirety of Cory and Angela's interaction. Cory insisting on being a friend to Angela even though she kept pushing him away. Cory's more scared of losing her friendship than he is of entering the co-ed bathrooms. Also Angela telling him that she pretended to want to break-up with Shawn because she didn't want Shawn to be unhappy or keep him from discovering himself. Until then, Angela played it very cool with her emotions and it's ironic that she only shows how much she loves Shawn after they've broken up.
- Eric finally getting into college at the end of season four, even the audience cheered.
- The finale has Jack & Shawn sharing a moment, after Jack remarks that he doesn't care that his step-father's cutting him off (Jack decided to go into the Peace Corps rather than work for his step-father) because "Money doesn't make you rich, life does. Our father taught us that."
- A second one comes when Ghost!Chet appears between his two boys, and remarks "I never said that, that's stupid! MONEY makes you rich!" But upon hearing Jack remark about going into the Peace Corp, he looks up and says "That's the sort of thing they like up here", before proudly looking at his boys. He then grabs Rachel's ass.
- Eric throughout "Seven the Hard Way." The rest of the group is letting current, very bitter disagreements drive them apart, but Eric remains resolute in forcing everyone to work things out and stay together. This is brought to the fore by him imagining what things would be like if he fails, where his future-self has one philosophy: "Lose one friend. Lose all friends. Lose yourself." When asked why he didn't write any more than that, Eric replies, "Nothing else seemed important."
- Another one follows shortly after this scene where Mr. Feeny turns to Eric and says "You were always one of my most interesting students, Mr Squirrels."
- And after his flash-forward Imagine Spot, he manages to help settle everyone's issues when Rachel tries to leave by running after her, throwing her over his shoulder and carrying her back, and then sitting on her until everyone makes up.
- Eric again in "Can I Help to Cheer You?" Eric's young orphan friend Tommy has been adopted, but will have to move to California. Tommy would rather stay with Eric and vice-versa. However, Eric realizes Tommy would be better off in California. When Tommy begs to stay with him, Eric lies about not wanting Tommy. It's a Tear Jerker for Eric, but also a CMOH, as it shows how much he has grown up and how willing he is to put his own happiness aside for someone else. Even better,15 years later, in Girl Meets World, Tommy resurfaces during Eric's campaign to become a senator to help him win and show everyone how Eric chose to do the right thing rather than think just about himself.
- The end of "The Psychotic Episode". Cory's been having dreams about killing Shawn so Feeny suggests finishing the dream (he always woke up as he was killing Shawn). He ends up the entirity of the group by throwing them down the elevator shaftnote . Lauren, Cory's only other major love interest, shows up as a representation of his past and every opportunity he will never have again, and willingly falls down the shaft. Immediately after, Topanga shows up in a wedding dress. When he wakes up, he tells Shawn he's afraid about things changing after he gets married.
- In the episode where Shawn uses Feeny's house as a B&B, Feeny tries to get a couple who haven't checked out yet to leave his room, believing they are a young couple. They are revealed to be around Feeny's age. "I was young once! Maybe I still am..."
- The romance between Mr. Feeny and Dean Bolander. Watching William Daniels and Bonnie Bartlett (one of Hollywood's most successful marriages in Real Life) blush and fumble around each other like high schoolers is unbelievably sweet.
- And the very apparent shipping of the couple by Cory & the rest of the group.
- Their marriage vows in "State of the Unions" are just the cutest, sweetest thing in the whole world, not to mention a tremendous testament to the power of love and lifelong commitment.Feeny: Quietly, I have searched for love for most of my life. And now that we begin this marriage of our spirits, I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have found it.Lila: My only sadness is that I found you so late in life — that we've lived our lives spending more days apart than together.Feeny: But you've given me your love and friendship, and I promise that I'll make up for that lost time.Lila: For marriage is based on those things, but — friendship most of all.
- Cory asking Topanga to be his girlfriend in the season 3 premiere.
- Shawn telling Cory his half-brother Eddie is "only blood" and that Cory is his real family.
- Mr. Turner offering to take Shawn in while his parents were on the road chasing and running from each other.
- Shawn wishing Minkus a Merry Christmas in season one. Keep in mind what their relationship usually is.
- The finale, when the class sits in Mr. Feeny's room and asks him to teach them one more time.Mr. Feeny: Do good.
Topanga: Don't you mean 'do well'?
Mr. Feeny: No.
- The very last line of the series. "I love you all. Class dismissed."
- Topanga's family moves from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. In the next episode, she shows up on Cory's front porch in the rain. If that's not love...
- And then Cory's speech to his parents about what he thinks love is.Cory: All I understood was that she was the girl I sat up every night thinking about, and when I'm with her I feel happy to be alive. Like I can do anything. Even talk to you like this. So that's, that's what I feel is love, Mom... When I'm better because she's here.
- And then Cory's speech to his parents about what he thinks love is.
- The Group Hug between Cory, Shawn, Topanga and Minkus in the graduation episode.
- After Shawn turns up drunk at Alan's birthday party in "Family Trees" following Chet's death, and the midst of a Heroic Blue Screen of Death over the fact that he doesn't have any parents, Alan & Amy promptly offer to adopt him, citing that he's pretty much family anyway. He turns them down because he doesn't want to disrepect Chet's memory, although he does ask Alan to yell at him like he does to Cory & Eric.
- The fact that, as soon as Alan says it, Amy corrects him - not because he's wrong, but because he hasn't included her in his words, so he changes "I" to "we" in the adoption request, something Amy wholeheartedly agrees with.
- We see in Girl Meets World that Shawn has stopped drinking altogether, even at Christmas. He knows he's not a nice drunk, and Alan's words got through to him in the end.
- The fact that, as soon as Alan says it, Amy corrects him - not because he's wrong, but because he hasn't included her in his words, so he changes "I" to "we" in the adoption request, something Amy wholeheartedly agrees with.
- Shawn's speech to the sickly baby Joshua in "Resurrection" doubles as this and a Tear Jerker. Even more so in hindsight after the events of Girl Meets World involving Shawn and Josh Shawn ends up marrying Katy Hart, mother of Maya Hart, and adopting Maya as his own daughter. Maya, in turn, has feelings for Josh, and although she's younger, Josh has feelings for her as well, resulting in them playing the long game together, which thus would make Josh, Shawn's son-in-law. Care to re-watch that speech again?
- "Sometimes the things we complain most about are the things we care most about. Unfortunately, sometimes we don't realize this until it's too late."
- "Lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself."
- Topanga's sudden proposal to Cory at the end of "Graduation," which, in itself, she did out of fear they'd go their separate ways after high school. Then, Cory ceremoniously proposes to her later- although there's no spontaneity involved in it and it seems a little pointless now.
- In "Janitor Dad," Chet gets a job as the school janitor to provide for the family. An embarrassed Shawn eventually asks him if he's okay picking up other people's trash.Chet: Well, it has this amazing benefits package.
Shawn: What benefits are there to being a janitor?
Chet: Well, for one thing, after bein' on the road a year away from my son, what better benefit than a job that lets me be near him?
- After getting over his embarrassment, Shawn takes Chet's mop and cleans up a mess himself.Chet: Um, you don't have to that, Shawn.
Shawn: I know I don't, and I know you don't, either.
- After getting over his embarrassment, Shawn takes Chet's mop and cleans up a mess himself.
- Tommy telling Eric in "Resurrection" that he wants to go & see Joshua in the hospital, since if Joshua is Eric's little brother, that means that he's Tommy's little brother too. The look on Will Friedle's face after that line pretty much sums it up.
- Cory telling Topanga "I remember everything you say. It's important to me," after he mentions something she said years ago.
- Chet & Jack meeting for the first time since Jack was a little kid, with Chet being so proud that he has a son in college.
- In the Grand Finale, Eric muses that after he moves to New York he'll be able to be anyone he wants to be. Topanga proceeds to sincerely tell him that she wants him to be Eric.
- Eric, deciding to demonstrate his lucky penny, asks a member of the football team if "As an athlete on the football team, is it distracting being gay?". There's a pause, as the scene seems set-up for him to try & attack Eric only for Jack to take the abuse... Only he happily thanks Eric for outing him since he's been holding it for so long, before turning to his teammaters & admitting that he's gay. And then the rest of the team say it's no big deal - They're all gay.
- From the same episode, Shawn insists that Cory go home and talk to Topanga after they have their first married fight, because Shawn has seen his parents constantly walking away angry break up their marriage. Then Eric comes up, tells Cory he loves him, hugs him and gives him his lucky penny.
- Season 4's Thanksgiving episode, "Turkey Day", which revolved around the class differences between the Hunter & Matthews families as the Hunters host the Matthews & both parents lack of comfort in the situation, only to realise it shouldn't matter when they see the kids sitting down & having dinner with Frankie & Herman Stecchino.
- From "Career Day" in season 2: "I was thinking I was the son of a grocer, but who I really am is...the son of my father."
- Very similarly in an early season 1 episode, Cory realizes that his father never stops working even after coming home from his job, fixing Cory's mistakes, and even a wiped out Eric (who works at the supermarket) wonders how Alan does it. Cory's response? Trading his overpriced water gun for two smaller ones so he can invite his father back into childhood and have some fun.
- And then of course, the famous hug scene.
"A judgment I made a long time ago is that Shawn Hunter is the best friend that my kid ever had, and I will kill to protect Shawn Hunter from people like you."
- That episode also has multiple instances of people rallying to protect Shawn and convince him to leave the cult. Amy tells Shawn they love him, Feeny tells the cult leader he can't have Shawn, and Alan has this heartwarmingly badass line:
- From "Easy Street", the scene in which Shawn rather shyly presents Cory with an expensive engraved watch, overjoyed at being able to afford a decent Christmas present for his best friend for once. Also, the entirety of the extended scene between Cory and Shawn at the end outside in the snow where Cory begs Shawn to come home, Shawn breaks down and confesses how afraid he is of wasting his life, and they simply discuss the spiraling-out-of-control situation and try to wrap their minds around the issues presenting themselves. Especially this part, in reference to the Robert Frost poem "The Road Less Traveled", which Cory mentioned earlier in the context of making huge, all-important, defining, life-changing choices:Shawn: Well...two roads diverge in a wood — and I choose the one that leads back to your house.
- Alan sending 60+ telegrams to baseball player Jim Abbott to get him to come talk to Cory about chasing your dreams after Feeny (probably unintentionally) ruins Cory's aspirations of becoming a Phillies center-fielder...and it works!
- "She's Having My Baby-Back Ribs." Everyone telling Topanga that she isn't fat and that she's perfect the way she is is heartwarming by itself, but what's really moving about this episode is Cory's reaction when Shawn mistakenly tells him that Topanga's pregnant, and the way his parents react to it as well. At first, he's understandably scared, and goes to seek advice from them. Mr. Matthews is a little angry but quickly calms down, and he and Mrs. Matthews talk to Cory about how wonderful raising a child would be for him and Topanga, along with the responsibility that comes with being a parent. Cory then tells them how happy and excited he is for Topanga and himself, and goes home to celebrate with her (but she isn't actually pregnant, of course). Not only does this scene show how good Mr. and Mrs. Matthews are as parents, but it shows just how supportive and loving Cory is to his wife.
- Eric hijacking a wedding described as the social event of the year to give Cory and Topanga an amazing wedding.
- The whole series counts. Just seeing all these characters grow up together and mature, from childhood to adulthood.
- Eric making "a big courtroom drama" out of Cory's hearing in "Everybody Loves Stuart" is mostly a Funny Moment but it becomes touching when he admits that it's "because I love my brother and want to help." Cory's quiet gratitude makes it even better.
- In "Hogs and Kisses," Angela talking Cory down from spiraling and self-sabotaging because Shawn and Topanga kissed for a movie.Cory: You're an amazing person, Angela. Thanks for talking me down.
Cory: No one will trust anyone they caught in such a compromising position.Topanga: There you are. We've been looking all over for you. Shawn, I've found him. He's in bed with Angela.Shawn: Awww, they look so cute together!Cory: I can explain!Topanga and Shawn: (exchange looks and jump on the bed screaming like a couple of kids).
- The next moment when Topanga and Shawn find Cory and Angela in bed hugging.
- In "Sister Theresa", Cory starts a relationship with a girl who turns out to be the sister of bully Harley Kiner, who has a reputation as "fast". Harley's rather perturbed to find this out, which leads to him and Cory having a serious talk about brotherly influence and Harley admitting he'd be cool with Cory dating Theresa.
- After Cory & Topanga run away to elope, Shawn is the only one to support the idea whilst Cory's parents & Angela expresses their displeasure at the idea, until Eric outright states that he thinks they should get married because Cory's never going to find another woman like Topanga. Later, after everyone has calmed down, Eric says that they need to support Cory & Topanga & accept their marriage, otherwise they'll just wind up pushing them out of their lives in the same way they've just pushed them to elope. Whilst both moments are tinged with the goofiness that had become Eric's trademark by that point in the show, it's effective display of how much he loves his brother.
- When Cory and Topanga get back together at Epcot in the end of "Happiest Show on Earth":Topanga: It was like you were not gonna give up no matter what.Cory: Look, how many times do I have to tell you I'm sorry?Topanga: No. No. Now it's my turn to tell you I'm sorry. I mean, I never realized these things came from your heart. Until now.(she kisses him)Cory: Wait, wait. I'm really confused.Topanga: So am I.Cory: So what's going on? I mean, are we friends or what?Topanga: Or what.(They kiss then, Cory stops)Cory: What are we doing?Topanga: I don't know. I mean, we did break up for a reason, right?Cory: Yeah, we did.Topanga: And that reason was?Cory: So we could get back together.(They kiss again as the Fountain of Nations goes up)
- In "Brotherly Shove", which is about Cory and Eric's destroyed relationship, Cory brings up how Eric got him and Topanga arrested on their wedding night. Topanga on the other hand tells Cory all she remembers is Eric giving them the best wedding ever. It's really sweet to see that rather than the royal screw-up Cory sees him as, Topanga sees Eric as someone who will always come through for people he cares about, even if he and his methods are crazy.
- From the same episode, when Cory gets attacked by a guy whose wife he insult, Eric immediately jumps to his defense and attacks the guy. Even the guy being completely unaffected and sending Eric to the hospital doesn't ruin it.
- In the season 7 episode Family Trees, after Shawn finds out the women he grew up with isn't his real mother, Alan without even thinking about it, offers to adopt him right out. He ends up not taking the offer, but the fact that Alan would make this offer in a flash is heartwarming.
- Despite being a thorn in his side for the whole series, whenever Feeny is talking about Eric, when he's not in earshot, he's always had nothing but nice things to say about him like being one of the smartest people he's met or that while he's eccentric, most creative people are.
- In Cult Fiction, Mr Mack calls Alan judgemental. During his No Holds Barred verbal beatdown of Mr Mack, Alan declares "a judgement I made a long time ago, is that Shawn Hunter is the best friend that my kid ever had. And I will kill to protect Shawn Hunter from people like you." Other than telling Mr Mack to stick it where the sun doesn't shine, Alan is saying that, yes, he is judgemental - from a father's point of view. He judged that Shawn was a good person, someone to be protected and not taken advantage of, and he's damn well going to protect him.
- While doubling as a Tear Jerker (as it comes off the end of a rant about how he never got to really know him in 15 years of living together), in "Brother, Brother", Cory makes a point of sincerely wishing Eric good luck with his life.
- Similarly, after Eric learns that he didn't get into college, Cory tries cheering him up and saying he can try again if he takes summer classes. Instead, Eric decides to go on that two month long road trip he was talking about all episode... first thing tomorrow.Cory: Why wait?Eric: I gotta wait for you to go home and pack.
- In the following episode, "You Can Go Home Again", Cory is complaining about how Eric is putting off going home, stating how he has "a life waiting for [him]", which he then goes on to clarify that he didn't mean that as an insult to Eric, who assures Cory that he knows.
- Similarly, after Eric learns that he didn't get into college, Cory tries cheering him up and saying he can try again if he takes summer classes. Instead, Eric decides to go on that two month long road trip he was talking about all episode... first thing tomorrow.
- In "State of the Unions," Eric gives money to a nice organ grinder with a monkey that shares his name so that the monkey's girlfriend can come to Philadelphia. Jack chews him out and the cheerful Eric starts to get stricter and meaner to the Student Union until Little Eric scampers over and stands on his shoulder. His face instantly lights up even before the organ grinder shows up with the money he owed him as well as Isabella, Little Eric's girlfriend. It turns out that Mr. Feeny wanted Eric and Jack to learn from each other with the former's good heart and the latter's determination and will.
- "You're a good boy. Don't ever change."
- The episode "Fishing For Virna", begins with Cory, along with his older brother, little sister, and dad all rushing out of the house, without sitting down to eat and say thank you to his mom first thing in the morning. Cory ends up spending the episode doing a favor for his friend Shawn, whose mother is across the street in a motel, delivering messages from him and his dad. The next morning, everyone rushes out in their usual hurry, except for Cory, who sits down at the table with his mother, and before eating breakfast says "Mom, thanks for making me breakfast" to his clearly surprised mother.
- In "Road Trip," Cory and Shawn help four truckstop girls (Nobody's Angel) pursue a music career, despite their father's objections.
- Their performance of "I Can't Help Myself" can be sweet.
Heartwarming / Boy Meets World