Despite having hundreds of kids sign up to audition for the part of Shawn, Rider Strong was the first actor that Producer Michael Jacobs saw, and the last.
The episodes Boy Meets World: Prom-ises, Prom-ises (1998), Boy Meets World: If You Can't Be with the One You Love... (1998) and Boy Meets World: The Truth About Honesty (1999) were banned from airing on Disney Channel due to their frank discussion about pre-marital sex and teen drinking.
Even though Jack Hunter is Shawn's older brother in seasons 5-7, in reality Matthew Lawrence (Jack) is 2 months younger than Rider Strong (Shawn).
Rider Strong claimed that he loved the leather jacket he wore on the show so much that he didn't want to return it to Disney when the series was over. He took it with him to New York when he went to school but it was stolen out of his car in Brooklyn. Instead of giving it back, he switched it out with another jacket and Disney had no idea.
The character of Topanga was originally just a fringe character, a kind of hippie new-age girl intended as a foil to the main characters. But she proved so popular that the producers expanded her character to become more mainstream and, eventually, a main player in the series and the love interest of Cory Matthews.
Danielle Fishel claims that producer Michael Jacobs named her character after Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles. Jacobs was driving past that location, when production called and asked for a name for the character. Jacobs admitted that if he drove any further when the call came, he would have named the character Canoga.
At the time, Angela's interracial relationship with Shawn was a relative rarity for a major network television show that targeted young people.
In episode 19, "Kid Gloves", we see Cory scuba diving in the school pool from his point of view, and then come up to the surface to see Mr. Feeny looking down on him. This mimicks a scene in The Graduate (1967) in which Dustin Hoffman's character comes up from scuba diving to see his father looking down on him who, like Mr. Feeny, is also played by William Daniels.
John Adams High School, where much of the show is filmed, was also used in sitcoms and movies like, The Wonder Years, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pretty In Pink, and Transformers.
In the first season, the creators and writers of the show wanted to give Cory a second best friend along with Shawn but none of the child actors they tried stuck. The various child actors they tried always had the same assigned chair at the end of the table on the John Adams Middle School cafeteria set. Because of the revolving door of child actors the show went through trying to fill that role, the cast came to jokingly refer to that chair as "the death chair".
Occurring around the fifth season of the show, Rider Strong wanted to quit simply because he wanted to go to college. Michael Jacobs told him that they could work out a schedule so that he can go to college, and he did.
According to a 2013 article in People magazine, Shawn and Cory's friendship is one of the best in the history of television.
In the beginning of the show, Shawn mentions he has a sister who helped with the straightening of Cory's hair in one of the episodes. However, later on in the series, Shawn doesn't have a sister. In interviews, Rider Strong explained that those lines were supposed to be attributed to one of the many kids they attempted to make Cory's second best friend but was fired in the filming process. In the haste to get the episode filmed, the writers just gave those lines to Shawn.
In the series finale, Cory talks to his little brother Joshua, played by Daniel Jacobs. Earlier in the season, Daniel Jacobs played the little boy standing in the hallway when Topanga and Cory move into their apartment in "The Honeymoon is Over"
Boy Meets World is the only TGIF-era sitcom to have run in syndication continuously since its series end date. (Disney Channel, ABC Family, MTV)
Several times throughout the years they mention how Cory and Topanga first met, but it's never the same story. Their first meeting happened at several different ages and places.
A 2011 article in The New York Times listed Boy Meets World as one of the most iconic sitcoms of the 90's.
Harry Barandes was originally cast as Eric Matthews, and Matt McCoy was originally cast as Alan Matthews, but after the pilot was shot, their scenes were replaced by Will Friedle and William Russ, who both lasted for duration of the series. A VHS tape of the original version exists.
Ben Savage and Rider Strong reached the point when they learned their lines so quickly, and were able to read each other so well, they felt like they could not make a mistake.
The series launched the careers of many future stars, including Ethan Suplee, and Adam Scott.
Throughout the first season, the writers were attempting to establish Cory as having two male best friends. Ultimately, they were unsuccessful. This is why each episode during that time featured a different friend until the introduction of Topanga in Boy Meets World: Cory's Alternative Friends (1993).
The syndication of "Boy Meets World" was so successful that ABC Family started to air it twice during its daytime and evening schedule (2014). MTV2 also airs the show on weekends (2014). A June 2014 prime-time airing of the show on Disney Channel registered 1.825 million viewers according to a report. Now, Teen Nick airs 2 episodes starting at 10pm. (2016-present).
During the seven seasons of Boy Meets World, Willie Garson appears as three different characters. He plays Leonard Spinelli, Mervyn, and the minister who marries Topanga and Cory.
As an in-joke that refers to the film 1776 (1972), the high school is named John Adams High. William Daniels played John Adams in the film, and originated the role on Broadway. He plays George Feeny here.
The rules posted in the John Adams High School cafeteria are no loud talking, no reading, and no shooting.
In numerous episodes, the boys' bathroom changes and is used as Feeny's office, the guidance counselor's office, a classroom, and the girls' bathroom.
In the episode in which Topanga runs away from home, her Aunt Prudence comes to collect her. She tells Cory that her aunt has never been in love and wouldn't even know who Romeo and Juliet are. Her aunt is played by Olivia Hussey, who played Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (1968).
In the episode in which Topanga has a crush on Eric, she introduces her sister Nebula. After that episode, she is never heard from or mentioned again, by any of the characters.
Character's full names: Cornelius "Cory" A. Matthews, Eric Randall Matthews, Shawn Patrick Hunter, George Hamilton Feeny, Francis Albert Stecchino Jr. Topanga says that she has a "weird middle name," despite her first name being Topanga.
Anthony Tyler Quinn originally auditioned for the role of Cory's father on the hit sitcom. Writers thought he was too young for the role, and William Russ was eventually chosen.
In an episode of Boy Meets World, Ben Savage's (Cory Matthews) brother, Fred Savage plays a professor named Stuart when Cory is in college.
Betsy Randle joked that Will Friedle took advantage of situations that required him to kiss on camera. His conquests on camera included star Kristanna Loken and Jennifer Love Hewitt and Keri Russel.
The plot was originally thrust toward a kid living next to his school principal, but it evolved into a kid getting through life with the help of a teacher, his family, and his friends.
Ben Savage (Cory Matthews), Danielle Fishel (Topanga Lawrence-Matthews), William Daniels (George Feeny), Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter), William Russ (Alan Matthews), Betsy Randle (Amy Matthews), Lee Norris (Stuart Minkus), Danny McNulty (Harley Keiner), Will Friedle (Eric Matthews), Trina McGee (Angela Moore), J.B. Gaynor (Tommy / T.J. Murphy), Anthony Tyler Quinn (Jonathan Turner), Matthew Lawrence (Jack Hunter) and Kristanna Loken (Jennifer Bassett) are the only actors to play the same character in both this series and Girl Meets World (2014).
The names that Cory says that he and Topanga will name their children are Chewbacca and Plankton.
Cast held a 2013 ATX Television festival reunion 20 years after the show debut on ABC. Attending the Austin reunion was Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Matthew Lawrence, Betsy Randle, Lily Nicksay, Trina McGee, and Maitland Ward.
There are only three episodes in which Ben Savage (Cory Matthews) and Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter), who both appeared in all 158 episodes, do not share a scene: Boy Meets World: By Hook or by Crook (1995), Boy Meets World: Stormy Weather (1996) and Boy Meets World: The Witches of Pennbrook (1997)
The real ages of all the characters who end up in college together (Cory, Eric, Topanga, Shawn, and Jack) differ from just a few years apart between each other except Angela, played by Trina McGee, who is actually the oldest of them all. However, in the show Eric and Jack are supposedly seniors in college while Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Angela get into college at the same time, which states that they're all probably the same age. Trina McGee is in fact 10 years older than Rider Strong and seven years older than Will Friedle, who plays Eric, while Jack (Matthew Lawrence) and Cory (Ben Savage) are actually the same age in real life.
Having aired on Disney Channel from 2000 to 2007 (as well as a brief return in 2014), the show is the network's longest-lasting syndicated program as of 2015.
While some characters in the series are portrayed by different actors (such as Topanga's parents), some actors portray multiple characters. Herschel Sparber first appears in episode 2.10 (Sister Theresa) as a delivery guy who delivers gifts from TK to Cory. He then appears later that season as Shawn's Uncle Mike in "By Hook or by Crook," and then later makes his last appearance as Uncle Mike in Season 3 ("The Pink Flamingo Kid"). Julius Carry first makes his appearance in season 5 as a college professor of a class that Shawn is taking while still in high school but then reappears as Angela's father first in season 6 and then later in season 7. Thirdly, Phil Leeds makes three appearances as a minor character, first in the season 4 premiere as the guy at the truck stop who says, "I was only three hours from home"; secondly as the game show announcer on an episode later in season 4 (the only episode where his character's name is not Phil); and, lastly, he appears in season 5 as the manager of the mail room in which Cory and Shawn work. Also, Willie Garson appears first twice as Leonard Spinelli, Alan's assistance manager, then as Mervyn, who applies for a job at the store Alan opens, and lastly, as the minister who marries Cory and Topanga. He later appears as Topanga's boss in Girl Meets World.
Topanga's father, Jedediah Lawrence, was played by three different actors: first Peter Tork, then Michael McKean, and finally Mark Harelik. Her mother, Rhiannon Lawrence, was played by two different actresses: Annette O'Toole and Marcia Cross.
While Angela's other half, Shawn, may have won the part on the first try, Trina McGee had to audition five times before they said yes.
In the episode "Rave On!" (3.09), Topanga (Danielle Fishel) calls Frankie (Ethan Suplee) a mallrat when he sends the band away. This is a reference to Suplee's role in Kevin Smith's 1995 film "Mallrats".
As of 2016, World, Boy Meets remains only one out of four former TGIF sitcoms to have had its entire series released on DVD. 'Full House (TV Series 1987-1995)', 'Dinosaurs (TV Series 1991-1994)', and 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' are the only other TGIF shows to have seen a full DVD release.
In the season 3 episode titled "Pink Flamingo Kid," it is revealed that Shawn had a brother named Eddie living at the trailer park. After this episode, Eddie is never seen or mentioned again. Later on in season 5, we get introduced to Jack, Shawn's half brother played by Matthew Lawrence.
The character 'Dana Pruitt' was a tribute to actress Dayna Price, who was an avid fan of the show and frequently visited the set in addition to her two guest appearances. Coincidentally, the role of 'Dana' was played by 'Larissa Oleynik', who starred on The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994)', on which the real-life Dayna was a recurring character.
Two "Boy Meets World" episodes appeared on "TV Guide's" best holiday-themed episodes: "Santa's Little Helper" (110) and "Turkey Day" (410).
The final theme, written and performed by Phil Rosenthal, of the band Twenty Cent Crush, remained for seasons five through seven.
Stuart Minkus, played by Lee Norris was discontinued as a main character after the first season, despite being one of the more popular characters on the show, as the writers were unsure how to incorporate him into the series. He guest starred in the fifth season finale, to show that he was still a student with Cory, Shawn and Topanga. He also appeared in the spin-off Girl Meets World (2014).
The Matthews house and the John Adams High School sets were used in the pilot episode of Smart Guy (1997): Smart Guy: Pilot (1997).
In her memoir, Danielle Fishel claims that the other person who was asked to read for the role of Topanga after the original actress was fired was Marla Sokoloff.
In the Season 5 episode "Boy Meets Real World", when Cory is recording Shawn for the video assignment; Shawn is seen holding a Slinky toy. Blake Clark, who plays Shawn's dad, voices Slinky Dog in Toy Story 3 (2010).
Of all the shows that have ever aired on TGIF, ABC's Friday night sitcom block throughout the 1990's, "Boy Meets World" is the only sitcom to have lasted longer than 2 seasons that remained on Friday nights on ABC during its entire series run. All other TGIF sitcoms at one point or another either started their run on other nights, began on Friday nights and moved to another night, or eventually changed TV networks.
Blake Soper (now Blake Sennett) who played Joey "The Rat" Epstein in many episodes, later went on to co-front the very successful Los Angeles band Rilo Kiley (with fellow child actor Jenny Lewis (Troop Beverly Hills (1989) among other projects), as well as his own breakaway band the Elected.
Jeff McCracken directed more episodes than anyone else. He helmed a total of 51 episodes from 1995-2000. This is almost a third of the series.
Ben Savage (Cory Matthews) and Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter) are the only actors to appear in all 158 episodes of the series. In second place is Will Friedle (Eric Matthews), who appears in every episode except for Boy Meets World: Sixteen Candles and Four-Hundred-Pound Men (1996), Boy Meets World: Heartbreak Cory (1998), Boy Meets World: If You Can't Be with the One You Love... (1998) and Boy Meets World: Starry Night (1998).
Topanga refers to her mum as 'Chloe' in the episodes Cory's Alternative Friends and Boy Meets Girl. Cory then referred to her mum as 'Miriam' in season 3. Later on in the episode 'State of Unions' Topanga's mother is called 'Rhiannon' which sticks throughout the whole series. In the spinoff "Girl Meets World" Topagna's maternal grandmother name is revealed to be Rosie.
Topanga's "hippie" traits were phased out as the character grew up, as it got harder for Danielle Fishel to portray these characteristics as she went through puberty.
If auditions went according to the original plans, the cast would have been Harry Barandes as Eric, and Anthony Tyler Quinn as Alan.
Blake Soper was already in his early twenties when he played Joey The Rat. Soper stated one of his reasons for getting out of acting was because he was always typecast as a high school kid.
In season 1 episode 9 (Class Preunion), Mr. Feeny tells the 6th graders they are the graduating class of 2000. In season 5 they graduate as the class of 1998.
Ironically, the actor who plays Shawn's brother Jack is named Matthew Lawrence, a combination of Cory and Topanga's last names on the show: Matthews and Lawrence.
Cory, Shawn, and Topanga skip 9th and 10th grade. In season 1 they are in 6th grade, in season 2 they are in 7th grade, in season 3 they are in 8th grade, in season 4 they are 11th grade, in season 5 they are in 12th grade, and in seasons 6-7 they are in college.
Through the last few seasons of the show, Eric makes references to Comedy Central's South Park.
Prior to filming the final season, Will Friedle was asked to shave off his beard in order to have a much younger look. Friedle said on an MTV interview in 2000 he was ready to move with his career prior to the final season being filmed.
The pilot episode is also sometimes called "Brother's Keeper". In syndication in most foreign markets the pilot is referred to as "Brother's Keeper" a nod to the first episode title of Miami Vice.
The Matthews' kitchen set is in all 7 seasons. In season 1 it is white with a trim of wallpaper at the top of the walls. From season 2 on it is fully wallpapered and the wall up the stairs is green.
Shawn's name was not mentioned in dialogue until the fourth episode Boy Meets World: Cory's Alternative Friends (1993).
Although she is frequently mentioned throughout the series, Shawn's mother Virna only appears in three episodes: Boy Meets World: Fishing for Virna (1996), Boy Meets World: Janitor Dad (1996) and Boy Meets World: Turkey Day (1996).
In the episode entitled 'And then there was Shawn' Jennifer Love Hewitt guest stars. Will Fridle was dating her at the time
The final episode of S2 the white board in the Matthews kitchen reads "dad call work" and "Cory call Charlie" in S3 E1 the board still says "Cory call Charlie"