For kids who grew up in the ’90s, “Boy Meets World” was a Friday night favourite on TGIF’s weekly lineup. Watching Cory and Topanga grow up and fall in love is still just as fun now as it was back then.
But even if you’ve seen every episode, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes details that you might not know about “Boy Meets World.” Read on to find out some seriously surprising facts about the show.
Danielle Fishel almost didn’t play Topanga.
It’s hard to imagine “Boy Meets World” without Danielle Fishel as Topanga, but it almost happened. In her memoir, Fishel wrote that another girl was originally cast in the role, but during the episode where Topanga was introduced, the director changed his mind. Even though Fishel thought the original actress was very talented, she didn’t stick – and that was her moment to shine.
“On set the next day, she wasn’t there. They had let her go, and the executive producer, Michael Jacobs, needed to find a new girl to play Topanga,” Fishel wrote, according to Blind Gossip. “To this day, I don’t know why Michael gave me another opportunity to audition for Topanga, although I suspect it was because it was easier than having to do a whole new casting call, but he did.”
Fishel won the role, and the rest is history.
Fans decided Cory and Topanga’s fate.
Cory and Topanga did get married young, but they’d been going strong as a couple for so long. And while many fans rooted for them on their wedding day, it almost didn’t happen. ABC didn’t like the idea of them tying the knot so young, so they left it up to the fans to decide.
“ABC actually did an Internet poll for if they should get married. Michael Jacobs, the creator of the show, pushed for that,” Rider Strong said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “Because he said that we were going to get them married, and ABC was like, ‘You can’t do it. They’re too young.’ And he said, ‘Put it out on the Internet and do a poll.’ And they did and people wanted them to get married.”
When the cast were still kids, they did their schoolwork together.
Filming “Boy Meets World” meant that the cast couldn’t go to a traditional school, so instead, they had to learn at work. Originally, Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong, and Ben Savage had their own tutors, but eventually, they ended up merging together while they had their on-set lessons during filming.
“When we started the show, we had little sectioned off areas for each one of us to try to focus and work with our own individual teachers, but it always ended up being more like a regular school classroom with all of us chiming in and learning little bits of what everyone else was learning,” Fishel told Parade in 2010.
Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel actually went on a date once.
In the same interview, Fishel revealed that their onscreen relationship made things a little confusing for her and Savage, so they decided to see if they had any chemistry in real life.
“When we were 16, after four years of kissing and playing boyfriend and girlfriend, we were like, ‘Hey, do we really like each other or do we just pretend we like each other five days a week?’ So we went out to dinner one time,” Fishel said. “It wasn’t like a real date or anything, we were just like, ‘Maybe we should hang out outside of work and see if we really like each other.’ We just ended up joking like we always did, like brother and sister, and realised at the end of our dinner date that we’re more like family.”
William Daniels is apparently a lot like Mr. Feeny in real life.
Mr. Feeny was known for his wisdom on the show, and as it turns out, William Daniels, the actor who played him, was a lot like his character.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of socialising off set, but we revered the character and the man,” Savage said in an interview with Collider. “When he’d come on set, we’d talk, we’d listen and we’d absorb, and then he would vanish, like some sort of magical person that just pops into your life. He was like a mystic. He always taught us things, and there was so much to absorb from him. We got what we could out of it.”
There are only three episodes in the entire series where Cory and Shawn don’t share a scene.
According to IMDB, those episodes are “By Hook or By Crook,” “Stormy Weather,” and “The Witches of Pennbrook.”
Cory was supposed to have two male best friends.
The legendary BFFs of the show weren’t just supposed to be Cory and Shawn – originally, there was supposed to be a third male friend, but unfortunately, none of the actors that were hired panned out. At the “Boy Meets World” reunion panel at ATX Festival in 2013, the cast revealed that Shawn was given the lines of the actor who didn’t make the cut, and after that, it was just him and Cory for life.
Bigger Eric storylines meant that Ben Savage was busy and needed time off work.
At New York Comic Con earlier this year, Will Friedle revealed that if there was ever an Eric-centric episode, it was because Savage was busy doing schoolwork, and that’s why there are so few of them.
“Occasionally there was a touching thing with Eric,” Friedle said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “But if you saw a touching episode with Eric, it meant that was the week Ben had his SATs. Like, sometimes people tell me they love the episode with Tommy. Yeah, Ben was taking a test.”
The tears in the series finale are real.
At the same panel, Savage said that the scene where the cast says goodbye to Mr. Feeny and he tells them “class dismissed” for the last time was actually done in one take, and everyone was crying at the thought of the show finally ending.
“When Mr. Feeny said ‘class dismissed,’ which still gets me, and then we wrapped, this huge wave of emotion went over me,” he said.
Rider Strong stole Shawn’s leather jacket after filming.
Shawn was almost never seen without his leather jacket, and apparently, Strong loved it so much that he stole it when filming wrapped. According to what Strong told CNN, Disney wouldn’t let them take anything for the set, so he bought a different leather jacket and swapped them out on the last day of filming. Unfortunately, the jacket was later stolen out of his car.
And he hated Shawn’s hairstyle.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Strong revealed that he wasn’t into all the maintenance that came with Shawn’s signature hairstyle.
“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. 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,” he said. “It was my version of Christina 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.”
For more great stories, head to
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.