On September 24, 1993, “Boy Meets World” premiered on ABC.
If that sentence made you feel old, take a quick moment to use your retinol and also maybe start exploring how to make a will.
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Done? Welcome back. The family sitcom starred Ben Savage as Cory Matthews, an average American boy just trying to make it through the day with the help of mischievous best friend Shawn (Rider Strong), childhood sweetheart Topanga (Danielle Fishel), sweet if slightly insane older brother Eric (Will Friedle), and wise mentor George Feeny (William Daniels). “Boy Meets World” ran for seven seasons on ABC and enjoyed exuberant reruns in syndication on Disney Channel and ABC Family.
30 years since its debut, the show created by Michael Jacobs and April Kelly might be more popular than ever, thanks to Strong, Fishel, and Friedle recapping the series on “Pod Meets World,” which recently hit 20 million downloads across platforms. An iHeart representative told IndieWire in 2022 that the “Boy Meets World” podcast regularly gets seven-figure downloads, so the milestone is not unexpected, even if it’s still huge. The podcast has prompted the former stars, now in their 40s, to dig into an endless vault of stories and emotions from their time on set — while watching the series they starred in largely for the first time.
To celebrate three decades of the series, IndieWire had to pick the best episodes, which proved to be the hardest thing I’ve done in my career if not my life. I perused other lists and gained nothing, except the disturbing knowledge that too many people stand by “Cult Fiction” (u ok buddy?). My editor gently informed me that perhaps I am too fond of weird episodes involving time travel, psychotic dreams, and lycanthropy, to which I say: If it’s good enough for Phyllis Diller, it’s good enough for me!
Some classic bits didn’t make the cut because the episodes around them weren’t necessarily strong enough, so if you’re wondering why you don’t see Danny McNulty’s spectacular work as Harley Keiner, “Undahpants!” or “They want you to take the rolls!” — that’s why. You also won’t find a lot of Cory/Topanga-heavy episodes here, and that’s because they cute but they crazy. Some picks were influenced by the cast’s assessment on the podcast, while others relied on sheer gut instinct (I don’t spend much time on Season 6 and 7 when I rewatch, and it shows). To quote the German exchange student Ludwig (Justin Thomson) in Season 2’s “On the Air” (not on this list), “You may call up with your requests — I don’t take them.”
Here (in order of air date) are the 18 best episodes of “Boy Meets World.”
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