Airing on ABC from 1993 to 2000, Boy Meets World tells the stories and life-lessons of Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), a young kid who’s growing up and learning the meaning of life as he goes. The show also features his teacher and neighbor, George Feeny (William Daniels), best friend Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), brother Eric (Will Friedle), and love interest Topanga (Danielle Fishel), in addition to Cory’s father Alan (William Russ), mother Amy (Betsy Randle), and sister Morgan (Lily Nicksay).
Boy Meets World was a part of ABC’s TGIF programming block which aired between 8-10 p.m. on Friday nights and featured similar light-hearted sitcoms also aimed toward a family audience. The show made Savage, Strong, Friedle, and Fishel stars and quickly became one of the network’s most popular shows with ratings that reached almost 12 million viewers.
In 2013, the show’s spinoff Girl Meets World began following Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard), the daughter of Cory and Topanga. It ran for three seasons on the Disney Channel.
Here’s how to stream Boy Meets World online right now, and all of the information you could ever want about the show, its creators, cast, and more:
How to Stream ‘Boy Meets World’ – Exclusively on Disney+
Boy Meets World is one of the fan-favorite Disney original TV shows of the ’90s that will is streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream Boy Meets World and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Boy Meets”
- 5. Tap on Boy Meets World
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘Boy Meets World’: Overview
Release Date: September 24, 1993 – May 5, 2000
Creators: Michael Jacobs, April Kelly
Starring: Ben Savage, William Daniels, Rider Strong, Will Friedle, Danielle Fishel, William Russ, Betsy Randle, Lily Nicksay, Trina McGee-Davis, Maitland Ward, Anthony Tyler Quinn, Alex Désert, and Matthew Lawrence
Synopsis: A young boy with two siblings tests his various theories about life as he endures the trials of growing alongside a good friend.
How Long Is ‘Boy Meets World’?
Boy Meets World ran for seven seasons total comprising of 158 episodes. The half-hour comedy’s episodes range from 23-27 minutes long sans commercials.
‘Boy Meets World’ Plot
Boy Meets World centers around Cory Matthews (Savage) and his social issues and relationships as he grows up from junior high through college. His childhood sweetheart, Topanga (Fishel), and best friend, Shawn (Strong), along with Cory’s parents (Russ, Randle) and older brother (Friedle), all help him navigate the tough coming-of-age years and help create a balance in his life. Cory seeks guidance from his neighbor and school teacher, Mr. Feeney (Daniels), who gives advice that often relates to his classroom studies (and the episode’s plot of the week). Cory and Topanga deal with a range of issues that grow more serious as the show ages including sex, jealousy, and proving their relationship and love to their families. While still in college, the couple eventually marries.
‘Boy Meets World’ Cast
Ben Savage as Corey Matthews
Corey is the show’s main protagonist who goes through real-life scenarios and learns the meaning of life along the way. His real-life brother is Fred Savage of The Wonder Years fame. Ben and Fred starred alongside each other in the 1989 film Little Monsters.
William Daniels as Mr. Feeny
Feeny is Cory and the rest of the gang’s teacher who gives them many life lessons throughout the course of the series. He’s also the Matthews’ next-door neighbor who later becomes principal of the kids’ school. Daniels has an extensive career in film and TV having starring in The Blue Lagoon, The Graduate, and Knight Rider, and Grey’s Anatomy. From 1982-1988 he starred as Dr. Mark Craig in St. Elsewhere.
Rider Strong as Shawn Hunter
Strong plays Rider, Cory’s childhood best friend who comes from a troubled family. When his family issues come to a head, Shawn lives with the Matthews for a little while. Later in the series his teacher, Jonathan Turner, becomes his legal guardian. Aside from Boy Meets World, Strong is well known for roles in Cabin Fever and Kim Possible.
Danielle Fishel as Topanga Lawrence
Topanga is Cory’s high school sweetheart and later wife. When the series first starts, she’s a strange young girl and sort of an outcast. Throughout the series she develops into an attractive popular girl who’s also extremely smart and academically successful. Fishel starred along with Savage in the series spinoff Girl Meets World.
Will Friedle as Eric Matthews
Eric is Cory’s ditzy, wild, and crazy older brother. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, but Cory looks up to him regardless. Aside from the show, Friedle did a lot of voice acting, lending his vocal chops to shows like Transformers, Thundercats, and Batman Beyond.
Betsy Randle as Amy Matthews
Randle plays Cory and Eric’s mother, Amy. She starts the series as a real estate agent and eventually became an art gallery worker toward the end of the show. The actress had recurring roles on shows like Home Improvement and Charmed.
William Russ as Alan Matthews
Alan is the boy’s father. He has a quick temper but helps keep his children in line, despite occasionally apologizing for his anger. He also served as a father figure to Shawn in his times of need. Russ has starred in many movies like American History X, The Right Stuff, and Wanted: Dead Or Alive.
Lindsay Ridgeway as Morgan Matthews
Ridgeway plays Morgan, Cory and Eric’s little sister in Seasons 3-7. Before that, Morgan is portrayed by Lily Gibson.
‘Boy Meets World’ Ratings
Boy Meets World received its highest ratings during its fifth season when 11.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the Matthews family. The series’ lowest-rated season was its first where it was still watched by 8.4 million people. Over the course of seven years, the show remained fairly consistently ratings-wise; by its final season, it bowed out gracefully with nearly 9 million fans still watching weekly.
‘Boy Meets World’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
“Although Boy Meets World doesn’t quite live up to its talented casts’ potential, it’s still a comforting show filled with sharp, warm moments,” reads Rotten Tomatoes‘ critics consensus for the Michael Jacobs show. While the show definitely has a soft, gooey center, it was still prime content for families in the ’90s looking for wholesome content to share together.
“Perhaps what made Boy Meets World brilliant was its very simplicity, a rarity among other higher-concept ’90s shows, particularly ones geared at younger demographics,” wrote Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast. Fallon also wrote about viewers’ connection to the Cory and Topanga relationship. “We were so invested in the relationship that each time Cory and Topanga’s relationship took a step forward, our hearts came that much closer to exploding, like we were all Grinches, they were the Whos, and every Friday night was Christmas morning.”
Jill Murphy of Common Sense Media wrote about the show as a safe space for kids growing up, writing, “Boy Meets World allows kids to explore realistic situations from the safety of their couches.”
Though, perhaps the most succinct and accurate description of the show came from Tom Shales of the Washington Post: “Sharp without being nasty and warm without being mushy.”
‘Boy Meets World’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
1. Cory Was Supposed To Have Two Best Friends
In the first three episodes of Boy Meets World, Cory has a second friend in addition to Shawn. The original plan was to feature the youngsters as a group rather than a duo. Despite producers continually adding new characters, none of them actually stuck. The cast called the extra cafeteria chair the “death chair” because they knew those actors wouldn’t return in future episodes. Once the Season 1 episode “Cory’s Alternative Friends” introduced Topanga, the notion of another BFF for the show’s protagonist was indeed dead.
2. The Character of Mr. Turner Disappeared
Mr. Turner, Cory, Shawn, and Topanga’s teacher, had a far more laidback approach to teaching than his colleague, Mr. Feeny. The students easily identified with the younger, hipper, Harley-enthusiast that was Jonathan Turner. From Season 2 to the middle of Season 4, Shawn lived with Turner after his family situation grew perilous. Turner eventually became Shawn’s legal guardian but after a gnarly motorcycle accident, the character never appeared on the show again. Shawn’s father returned to the series shortly after.
During a graduation episode in the following season, classmate Minkus mentions Turner saying that the two of them had been on “the other side of the school.” (Uhhh…k.) Even though Turner wouldn’t appear on Boy Meets World ever again, he did show up on the spinoff, Girl Meets World, for three episodes.
3. Danielle Fishel Wasn’t the Original Topanga
When the show first started, Topanga was played by another actress who didn’t work out. On Fishel’s first day, she played the part very upbeat and peppy. After rehearsal, co-creator Michael Jacobs had a meeting with Fishel to discuss that he wanted the character to be mellow and calm. The two went through the script line by line. Fishel was so worried that she lost the part that she stayed up all night re-running her lines.
“Michael started the notes session off with me again. My heart stopped beating regularly, and my palms got sweaty: ‘Danielle, yesterday I gave you an enormous amount of notes. I did that because I believed you were capable of handling them,’ he said in front of all the writers and producers and my fellow actors,” recalled Fishel. “Then he stood up. I panicked. Was he going to fire me, slam his script on the ground, and storm out of there? ‘However, with your performance today, you exceeded my expectations,’ he concluded. He started clapping, and all the writers stood up and clapped next to him. Michael wasn’t going to fire me. He believed in me. He gave me a freaking standing ovation.”
4. Rider Strong Hated Shawn’s Signature Haircut
Though Shawn’s haircut became a signature style of the ’90s, Strong hated the haircut and was prevented from cutting it going forward. “I hated my hair. I came to the audition with that hairstyle, got the part, and the director Michael Jacobs never let me cut it from there on out,” Strong said. “A bunch of girls at a sleepover told me to wear my hair like that—parted down the center—and I was 12, so I listened. It was my version of Christian Slater. But my hair is wavy and they would straighten it on the show and it would take forever. I wanted to cut my hair so bad, but the only time I got to was when we found out the show was going to be canceled.”
5. The Show Featured Tons of Now-Famous Guest Stars
In the Season 5 episode “And Then There Was Shawn,” Will Friedle’s then-girlfriend Jennifer Love Hewitt joined the cast for an episode that spoofed Scream and other slasher movies. Her character’s name was Jennifer Love Fefferman. The episode quickly became a favorite among the cast who “could barely get through the scenes,” according to Friedle. “We were laughing so hard.”
Hewitt wasn’t the only star to appear on Boy Meets World. Future Parks and Recreation star Adam Scott played school bully Griff Hawkins in Season 2. Freaks and Geeks star Linda Cardellini guest-starred in multiple episodes and almost broke up Cory and Topanga. The same year that Clueless came out, Brittany Murphy played Trini for two episodes. Future Buffy co-stars also appeared, including Charisma Carpenter and Julie Benz.
Blake Sennett, the lead guitarist for Rilo Kiley and frontman of The Elected, appeared on the show going by the name Blake Soper. Like Scott, he played another school bully: Joseph “Joey the Rat” Epstein. His first appearance was in Season 2 and he popped up periodically until the Season 5 episode “Graduation.”
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