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Ranking Boy Meets World Seasons (1-7)

Boy Meets World aired 7 seasons which spanned from 1993-2000. Which season was the best? What about the worst? We thought it would be best to put things into context and provide explanations. Circa 98 examines the best Boy Meets World Seasons ranked 1 to 7.

1| Season 3

Like most television series or any type of ongoing production, there comes a time when everything comes together and the show hits its stride. The characters make sense, they have good chemistry, and the show’s identity is now clearly formed. Season 3 is the peak of Boy Meets World’s second iteration which we consider the best iteration (Seasons 2-4). Cory, Shawn, and Topanga are at the pinnacle of their adolescence which allows for the show’s ethical landscape to fit neatly onto the television canvas. Mr. Feeny still has believable influence over these young people while other characters like Johnathon Turner and Eli Williams impart elderly wisdom on these still coming of age individuals. Season 3 also represents the apex of Eric Matthews as it predates his absurd stupidity but digs deeper than the surface-based high school pretty boy he portrayed in earlier seasons. 

Best Episodes: Stormy Weather, City Slackers, Truth and Consequences

Best Characters: Shawn Hunter, Eli Williams, Jonathon Turner, Eric Matthews

2| Season 2

Season 2 is a big departure from the initial season and is in many ways an entirely different show. Stripped away were formulaic production methods that resembled many of the sitcoms from that era and in their place were cheaper-feeling but more authentic-seeming presentations. As Boy Meets World’s second iteration bordered on the ideals of B-move slapstick comedy, it combined with surprisingly authentic drama and genuine ethos that remained comfortably under the top. The transition was shamelessly enhanced by continuity issues that had the young trio entering high school after 5th grade. It also represented a renegotiation of Cory and Topanga’s relationship that would go on to be embellished consistently in each succeeding season. Despite such annoyances, Season 2 was clearly entertaining and our first introduction to series’ legend Mr. Turner. In many ways, Season 2 was Shawn Hunter’s coming out party as the top character as it allowed viewers to glance directly into his complexities and build his ongoing intrigue.

Best Episodes: Breaking Up Is Really, Really Hard to Do, Career Day, Home

Best Characters: Shawn Hunter, Jonathon Turner, Kat Tompkins, George Feeny

3| Season 5

Some would argue that Season 4 should be in this spot, but Season 5 is actually the superior season for a variety of reasons. First, it is our introduction to Angela Moore who had never previously appeared in the series. Since she is one of the best Boy Meets World characters of all time, it makes the season more enjoyable than its predecessor. Season 5 also introduces us to Jack Hunter who adds a new dynamic to the characters of Shawn and Eric. While Season 5 is undoubtedly enjoyable, it also signifies a shift in the series ethos. Just as Seasons 2-4 were dramatically separate from Season 1, Seasons 5-7 are also their own era of the series. Aside from the ever-present George Feeny, adult influences have been creatively neutered and the coming of agers are now the show’s collective consciousness. While some more expansive storylines could manifest as a result of this, the show seemed confused by its simultaneous desire to be wholesome and hip. Cory and Shawn’s drunken mishap was perhaps one of the more realistic storylines in the series’ history and felt more honest than usual for a 90s sitcom.

Best Episodes: If You Can’t Be with the One You Love…, Heartbreak Cory, I Love You, Donna Karan: Part 1

Best Characters: Shawn Hunter, Angela Moore, Cory Matthews, George Feeny

4| Season 4

Season 4 certainly transitioned Boy Meets World into Seventeen magazine excerpt material which was both good and bad for fans of the show. The adults started to be phased out in this season but it also predated the arrival of Angela and Jack leaving viewers in somewhat of a limbo period. Despite its awkwardness, Season 4 still had some of the most memorable episodes. After all, Shawn joins a cult, Alan Matthews leaves his grocery store position to run an outdoors store and Eric dates a folk-singer turned rock star. Perhaps, best of all is the Sweet 16 episode which shows Cory and Shawn attending a WWF wrestling event on the same night of Topanga’s sixteenth birthday party. 

Best Episodes: Shallow Boy, An Affair to Forget,  Cult Fiction

Best Characters: Shawn Hunter, Eric Matthews, Topanga Lawrence George Feeny

5| Season 7

The final season of Boy Meets World has some built-in advantages seeing that you get the finale and all the goodbyes. These circumstances facilitate great television, and that’s exactly what the final episodes provided to its viewers. There were certainly some low points, however, especially when you rewatch episodes like Brotherly Shove which seem like they should have been thrown out completely. Low points like this are balanced out by all-time classic episodes including The War, Seven The Hard Way, and Angela’s Ashes. Overall, the Boy Meets World characters seemed done in the sense that every story had been told. With that being said, we could have watched Shawn & Angela forever.

Best Episodes: The War, Seven The Hard Way, Angela’s Ashes

Best Characters: Shawn Hunter, Angela Moore, Rachel Maguire, George Feeny

6| Season 6

Season 6 will go down as one of the worst seasons, and perhaps the worst season for many of the show’s die-hard fans. Boy Meets World had reached its peak in Season 5, and the downward turn was sudden and steep. Most sitcoms deteriorate after the show’s main characters get married (see Fraiser) but it hit Boy Meets World even more harshly. It didn’t help that Eric became a parody of himself and that George Feeny teaching college students who he taught in grammar school became a bridge too far for fans needing some sense of realism. Despite all of these flaws, the show remained decidedly watchable which is a credit to its overall foundation and the strength of its character development.

Best Episodes: Everybody Loves Stuart, We’ll Have a Good Time Then, The Psychotic Episode

Best Characters: Shawn Hunter, Angela Moore, Rachel Maguire, George Feeny

7| Season 1

The initial season of Boy Meets World is a polarizing topic for many of the show’s fans and critics. You can generally separate people into two categories, people who think it was the best season, and people who think it was the worst. Circa 98 clearly believes it’s the worst season, but such designation confirms that season 1 was essentially a different show than the rest of the series. From the intro, to how it was filmed, to how it was written, nothing resembles the rest of the series. This is made definitively clear by the show’s writers skipping Cory, Shawn, and Topanga through several school years by the time Season 2 arrives. Ultimately, Circa 98 doesn’t enjoy watching season 1 anymore and finds it the least entertaining to go back and watch in 2020.

Best Episodes: Father Knows Less, Cory’s Alternative Friends, The Fugitive

Best Characters: Shawn Hunter, Alan Matthews, Amy Matthews, George Feeny

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