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.
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. However, she proved so popular after her first few appearances 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.
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 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.
Despite having hundreds of kids sign up to audition for the part of Shawn, Rider Strong was the first, and last, actor that producer Michael Jacobs saw.
John Adams High School, where much of the show is filmed, was also used in sitcoms and movies like The Wonder Years (1988), Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Pretty in Pink (1986), and Transformers (2007).
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.
Even though Jack Hunter is Shawn's older brother in seasons 5-7, Matthew Lawrence (Jack) is actually 2 months younger than Rider Strong (Shawn).
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.
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.
Several times throughout the show's seasons, the back story of how Cory and Topanga first met frequently changed. Their first meeting happened at several different ages and places.
At the time, Angela's interracial relationship with Shawn was a relative rarity for a major network television show that targeted young people.
A 2011 article in The New York Times listed Boy Meets World (1993) as one of the most iconic sitcoms of the 1990s.
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".
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)
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.
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).
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"
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).
The series launched the careers of many future stars, including Ethan Suplee and Adam Scott.
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.
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.
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).
The rules posted in the John Adams High School cafeteria are no loud talking, no reading, and no shooting.
Betsy Randle joked that Will Friedle took advantage of situations that required him to kiss on camera. His on-camera conquests included guest stars Keri Russell, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Kristanna Loken.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Trina McGee made her series debut in Season 5 when she was 28 years old and married to Courtland Davis. Her character Angela was in the same grade level, and therefore presumed to be around the same age, as Cory, Shawn, and Topanga. However, in real life, McGee is 10 years older than Rider Strong (Shawn), 11 years older than Ben Savage (Cory), and 12 years older than Danielle Fishel (Topanga).
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.
In the episode in which Topanga has a crush on Eric, she introduces her sister Nebula. After that episode, Nebula is never heard from or mentioned again by any of the characters, including Topanga.
Members of the original Boy Meets World (1993) cast held a 2013 ATX Television Festival reunion 20 years after the show's debut on ABC. Attending the Austin reunion was Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Matthew Lawrence, Betsy Randle, Lily Gibson, Trina McGee, and Maitland Ward.
The names that Cory says that he and Topanga will name their children are Chewbacca and Plankton.
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)
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.
Anthony Tyler Quinn originally auditioned for the role of Cory's father. However, the writers thought he was too young for the role. William Russ was eventually chosen.
While Angela's other half, Shawn, may have won the part on his first try, Trina McGee had to audition five times before they said yes.
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.
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.
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 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 Larisa Oleynik, who starred on The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994), on which the real-life Dayna was a recurring character.
As of 2020, Boy Meets World (1993) remains only 1 out of 6 former TGIF sitcoms to have had its entire series released on DVD in Region 1 (i.e. the United States and Canada). Perfect Strangers (1986), Full House (1987), Family Matters (1989), Dinosaurs (1991), and Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996) are the only other former TGIF shows to have had a full series 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.
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.
The final theme, written and performed by Phil Rosenthal, of the band Twenty Cent Crush, remained for seasons five through seven.
Two "Boy Meets World" episodes appeared on "TV Guide's" best holiday-themed episodes: "Santa's Little Helper" (110) and "Turkey Day" (410).
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".
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.
Of all the shows that have ever aired on TGIF, ABC's popular Friday night sitcom block throughout the 1990s, Boy Meets World (1993) remains the only one to have lasted longer than 2 seasons that remained on Friday nights on ABC during its entire series run. All other long-running TGIF sitcoms at one point or another either started their run on other nights, premiered on Friday nights and later moved to another night, or eventually changed TV networks.
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.
Shawn and Angela's interracial relationship was not only new for a children's show but for a prime time sitcom. Rider Strong said he was glad to have "changed the landscape".
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 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.
The final two seasons were more adult-oriented once Corey, Shawn, and Topanga entered college. These episodes had mild swearing, use of alcohol and brief mention of drug use. These episodes were heavily edited when aired on the Disney Channel but were shown in full on ABC Family.
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).
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.
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).
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.
According to Will Friedle, there were plans as early as 2006-07 of a Boy Meets World spinoff, but Danielle Fishel's real-life arrest for drunk driving put plans on hold and Friedle was to be a main character. Plans were scrapped until a few years later with the spinoff Girl Meets World and Friedle had already lost interest but agreed to make a cameo.
Will Friedle recalled said recently in an interview that he, Jason Marsden, Rider Strong, and Ben Savage attended a California Angels game at Anaheim Stadium and sat in the "cheap seats" and nobody even recognized them.
The Mr. Turner character was written out of the series after being in a motorcycle accident. In reality Anthony Tyler Quinn said he was ready to move on to other projects though he later admitted he regretted it as he said he enjoyed being on the spinoff Girls Meets World.
Starting with season 3, Eric's intelligence decreased more and more throughout the remainder of the series, due to the amount of laughs his character got in regards to his stupidity as the series progressed. This eventually made Eric more prominently featured as a main character with his own story arcs in future episodes. The regression of his intelligence started after Eric kept getting injured while trying to study for finals in a late episode of season 2. Late in season 5, Jack points this out by saying "He's getting worse."
Will Friedle disagreed with the changing of Eric's personality, or how the character was dumbed down, beginning in season 3 and admitted that eventually he wanted to leave the show because of it.
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.
During the two part "War" Will Friedle recalled that during a dream sequence of Eric sleeping there was to be a scene with Eric, Shawn, Corey, and Jack play Russian Roulette in Vietnam as a nod to the Deer Hunter. The scene was filmed with Eric pulling the trigger and waking up but Friedle says Disney immediately had the scene taken out as it was considered to violent for a kids show. Friedle also said he liked the "darker" episodes where Eric is more of a serious character and less of a bumbling fool.
Will Friedle recalls how Blake Sennett (Joey the Rat) had held up production as he and Rider Strong were smoking cigarettes between takes. Strong quit smoking years later and credits Sennett for getting hooked on cigarettes.
Will Friedle was to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at Wrigley Field in 2000 but plans were cancelled when he had already committed to working on a new show called "Kim Possible". Ironically enough William Russ (Alan Matthews) was asked to be Friedle's replacement and he meekly agreed and did commentary for the bottom of the 7th inning on WGN.
Will Friedle said that Rider Strong (Shawn) is a very private person and likes his privacy and it took a long time for him to actually open up to the other cast members.
Throughout the series Mr. Feeny is listed as being from England and served in World War II, while at other times he's described as being from Boston. Eric (Will Friedle) usually bugs him about being from England while other times Corey and Shawn rib him about being from Boston and listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford records.
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.
Through the last few seasons of the show, Eric makes several pop-culture references to South Park (1997).
In the episode entitled 'And then there was Shawn' Jennifer Love Hewitt guest stars. Will Fridle was dating her at the time
If auditions went according to the original plans, the cast would have been Harry Barandes as Eric, and Anthony Tyler Quinn as Alan.
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.
In the episode A Very Topanga Christmas in Sean,Jack,and Eric's apartment sitting on top of the refrigerator is a drawn picture of a menorah this was prehaps done cause Ben Savage in real life is Jewish
"Sixteen Candles" was filmed at the Pond in Anaheim during a real life WWF house show. Extra security was provided to the actors as well as camera crew.
When the series re-aired on Disney, seasons 1-5 used the opening credits to season 4 instead of the original credits of the respective 4 seasons. When the series aired on ABC, the first three episodes opening theme was the instrumental version of Dan Seal's "I'm Gonna Get Closer To You" but ABC and Disney didn't want to pay royalties to the record company.
Although quite popular in the first season, the Stuart Minkus character was dropped entirely as now Shawn and Corey were to be the victims of bullying and ridicule.
Jonathan Turner lays down strict laws for Shawn in order to live with him. Turner tells Shawn not to drink but Turner throughout the series can be seen drinking wine or the occasional Rolling Rock, Coors, or Miller High Life.
Ben Savage was chastised by Michael Jacobs for coming to the set wearing a Yankees hat on a day they were to shoot stills. Savage was then given a Philadelphia Phillies jersey and cap to wear in the pilot but only deleted scenes show Cory wearing both the Phillies cap and jersey.
The episode "The Last Temptation of Cory" was a nod to the film "The Last Temptation of Christ". Ironically enough show creator Michael Jacobs, Rider Strong (Shawn) and Ben Savage (Cory) are all professed atheists despite Savage being Jewish.
Michael Bower was considered for the part of Frankie but Disney changed their minds because he had previously been on a Nickelodeon show "Salute Your Shorts" and Disney at the time didn't want anyone who had been on a rival network. Ironically enough a year later they hired Bower's Salute Your Shorts co-star Blake Sennett for the role of Joey the Rat.
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).
Show producers demanded Will Friedle and Rider Strong to shave off of their facial hair during the later seasons but Friedle was already ready to move on from the series as was Strong.
Ethan Suplee (Frankie) was heavily criticized by several media outlets and Weight watchers claiming he "Paid to have surgery" to lose weight because he had the money to have it done rather than do it naturally.
The main cast, Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Will Friedle, and Danielle Fishel were 13, 14, 19, and 12 at the start of the show.
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.
Jonathan Turner's answering machine message is "Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens. Cory, Shawn, and Mr. Feeney constantly give him grief about it.
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"
Seven years before the series began, William Daniels (George Feeny) and William Russ (Alan Matthews) worked together when Russ played Patrick O'Casey, the first heart bypass patient of Daniels' character Dr. Mark Craig at St. Eligius, in St. Elsewhere: Time Heals: Part 1 (1986).
In the early seasons Corey is a huge Phillies/Flyers/Eagles/76ers fan but once he and Topanga become a serious item, he forgets all about sports and in later when he's in High School he has a Los Angeles Dodgers hat and pennant in his room. No serious life long Philadelphia native would ever have another city's teams memorabilia in his room.
The series takes place in Philadelphia. The only actor from Pennsylvania is Matthew Lawrence, who is from a Philadelphia suburb.
The original pilot was to be called "Brother's Keeper". This was done as a nod to Miami Vice and ironically enough Alan (William Russ) appeared on Miami Vice.