Ranking Boy Meets World Seasons (From Best to Worst)

Boy Meets World aired for seven seasons, spanning from 1993 to 2000. Determining which season was the best and which was the worst requires an in-depth analysis of the show’s history and its impact on 90s culture.

Before compiling the rankings, Circa98 watched every episode of every season and performed comprehensive research into the series.

Circa98 also considered information from the Pod Meets World podcast, which features cast and writer interviews.

Below, Circa 98 examines the best Boy Meets World Seasons ranked 1 to 7.

1) Season 3

With most television series, there is an inflection point when everything comes together, and the show hits its stride. At this point, the characters make sense; they establish immeasurable chemistry, and the show’s identity fully manifests.

For various reasons, Season 3 is the peak of Boy Meets World’s formative years. During this season, the show’s three main characters (Cory, Shawn, and Topanga) hit the pinnacle of their adolescence.

Season 3 also represents Eric Matthews’ apex, an elusive juncture that predates his decline into absurdity but succeeds his awkward naivety. The third season explores more profound elements of Eric’s character, accentuating a layer of nuance.

Perhaps more importantly, Mr. Feeny maintains a believable influence over the younger characters. Additional elders like Jonathan Turner and Eli Williams impart esteemed wisdom to these still coming-of-age individuals.

Season 3 encapsulates the sweet spot of converging timelines between the younger characters and their adult influences.

Best Episodes

  • Stormy Weather
  • City Slackers
  • Truth and Consequences

Best Characters

  • Shawn Hunter
  • Eli Williams,
  • Jonathon Turner
  • Eric Matthews

2) Season 2

While unrecognizable from its Season 1 predecessor, Boy Meets World’s second season initiates the series’ essential three-year run. Sure, some of its aspirations were too ambitious, but such growing pains facilitated the series’ maturation.

Season 2 departs significantly from the initial season, resulting in an almost entirely different show. Luckily for viewers, the departure was for the best (although the Pod Meets World hosts vehemently disagree). 

Stripped away were formulaic production methods that resembled many of the sitcoms from that era, and in their place came more appealing presentations. While the 50s grease motifs threw various onlookers, the vibes tracked for most.

Though Boy Meets World’s second season flirted with the ideals of B-movie slapstick comedy, it combined its hubris with surprisingly authentic drama and a genuine ethos that remained comfortably under-the-top

The show’s transition was visceral as Season 1 mainstay Minkus was replaced with more exaggerated versions of the nerd archetype. While some have criticized his removal, Minkus’s presence in the Season 2 setting would have been humiliating.

Pod Meets World criticized the changes that occurred in Season 2, arguing that the new characters were over-the-top tropes and exhibited exaggerated qualities based on 1950s retro culture. Perhaps they’re right, but it made for better episodes.

They also argue that replacing Minkus with other “nerd” archetypes was a disservice to the series. However, they never seem to consider how the audience would react to Minkus suffering the demeaning bullying of his replacements.

Since the audience already formed a connection with the Minkus character, it’s unlikely they would have felt comfortable with him being hit in the face with a door or physically assaulted by Frankie Stecchino.

As for the recurring cast, the 2nd season also represented a redefinition of Cory and Topanga’s relationship that would be exaggerated consistently in each succeeding season. Luckily, it’s tame enough in Season 2 to avoid ridicule.

Meanwhile, Mr. Feeny joins John Adams High School as the acting principal, creating a convenient way to keep him connected to Cory’s journey. While it’s easy to criticize in retrospect, this was only the series’s first offense at the time.

Most viewers willingly suspended their disbelief of this circumstance but would later endure more absurd plots designed to preserve Feeny’s connection. By Season 6, the writers had Mr. Feeny teaching those same students in college.

Despite such concessions, Season 2 was highly entertaining and introduced viewers to series legends like Mr. Turner, Harley Keiner, Joey “The Rat” Epstein, and Frankie Stecchino.

Most importantly, Season 2 was Shawn Hunter’s emergence as the principal character, giving viewers a glance directly into his complexities. Shawn’s mysteriousness spawned ongoing intrigue for the coming seasons.

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

Season 5 introduces viewers to the essential characters of Angela Moore and Jack Hunter while further pandering to its new target audience of TRL-watching teenagers.

The viewers’ interests increasingly mirrored those of their on-screen counterparts, with Cory Matthews filming an MTV Real World-style documentary about Shawn, Jack, and Eric.

Although the injection of youthful energy produced more expansive storylines, the show seemed confused by its simultaneous desire to be wholesome and hip. They were never going to be edgy enough for MTV but targeted its audience anyway.

Just as Seasons 2-4 were dramatically separate from Season 1, Seasons 5-7 define a new series era. Except for the ever-present George Feeny, adult influences have been creatively neutered.

As a result, much of the show’s collective consciousness is handed to the coming of agers who sometimes seem ill-equipped to handle it. Many fans longed for the insights of Mr. Turner, who disappeared from the series without explanation.

For example, Topanga’s decision to propose to Cory in the season finale is one of the most criticized storylines of the series, as it cost her a better future at Yale University.

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 indeed transitioned Boy Meets World into the Seventeen magazine demographic by slowly phasing out adult influences. However, the results produced mixed emotions for long-time fans of the show.

Since the fourth season predates the arrivals of Angela and Jack, the series sits in something of a no-mans-land with established characters existing in an unfamiliar context.

Despite its awkwardness, Season 4 still produced several of the most memorable Boy Meets World episodes. For example, Shawn joins a cult and Cory and Topanga dance to Sweet 16 inside a WWF wrestling ring.

On the flip side, the fourth season introduces some of the most absurd storylines imaginable. Alan Matthews quits his job as grocery store manager to work full-time at a camping store, and Eric inexplicably appears on MTV’s Singled Out.

Overall, Season 4 is much like the age phase of its characters: awkward, uncertain, and often nonsensical. Yet, despite its rough edges, the season does enough to keep its viewers engaged and entertained.

Editor’s Note: Season 4 is considered the best Boy Meets World season by a large segment of the show’s fanbase.

Best Episodes

  • Shallow Boy
  • An Affair to Forget
  • Cult Fiction

Best Characters

  • Shawn Hunter
  • Eric Matthews
  • Topanga Lawrence
  • George Feeny

5) Season 7

As Boy Meets World’s Swan Song, the final season benefits from the emotional goodbyes and nostalgic reflections that come with the conclusion of any long-time series.

These implicit circumstances facilitate great television, and that’s what the final episodes provide to viewers. Still, the writers deserve credit for a grand finale that satisfied its most invested loyalists and stands the test of time two decades later.

While the final taste was pleasant, more than a few low points proceeded it. Episodes like Brotherly Shove and For Love and Apartments remind you just how lousy television can be.

Luckily, such pitfalls are balanced out by all-time classic episodes, including The War, Seven The Hard Way, and Angela’s Ashes. 

The Boy Meets World characters’ stories had been told by the final season, and it was time for the show to move on. Fans can look back and concede that the writers did their best to provide a satisfactory ending.

Best Episodes

  • The War
  • Seven The Hard Way
  • Angela’s Ashes

Best Characters

  • Shawn Hunter
  • Angela Moore
  • Rachel Maguire
  • George Feeny

6) Season 6

Unlike the final season, Season 6 lacked the built-in advantages of a series’ conclusion. Instead, viewers were left with increasingly unrealistic plot points and several characters of dwindling appeal.

If Season 5 was Boy Meets World’s peak, its downward turn was sudden and steep. Of course, most sitcoms deteriorate after the show’s main characters get engaged, but this problem seemed to impact Boy Meets World even more harshly. 

It didn’t help that the writers did nothing to supplement their main characters. Instead, Eric became a parody of himself, growing increasingly preposterous with each episode, to the point of jeopardizing the series’ legacy.

Meanwhile, the plot points took an increasing number of liberties that shamelessly insulted viewers’ intelligence. For example, George Feeny was now instructing the same college students he’d previously taught in grammar school.

While sitcom viewers are generally flexible in suspending their disbelief, Boy Meets World’s flagrant gestures tested this notion and became a bridge too far for fans needing some sense of realism. 

Despite flaws, the show remained decidedly watchable — 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 polarizing for 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 believe it was the worst. 

As you can tell from our rankings, Circa98 believes it’s the worst season. Such designation confirms that Season 1 was essentially a different show than the rest of the series. 

Nothing in the initial season resembles the rest of the series, including how it was filmed and written. For example, the intro sequence clearly illustrates how far removed it was from subsequent seasons.

Shawn’s character is intermittent and undefined, while Cory seems over-the-top with his theatrics. In addition, Topanga is written as an almost entirely different character than what she would become.

To its credit, the first season’s production value feels superior to the rest of the series, though its entertainment value fails to follow suit. It should also be noted that the Pod Meets World hosts viewed this season more favorably than others.

Still, when fans go back and watch Boy Meets World in 2024, Season 1 is the least likely they will binge-watch.

Best Episodes

  • Father Knows Less
  • Cory’s Alternative Friends
  • The Fugitive

Best Characters

  • Shawn Hunter
  • Alan Matthews
  • Amy Matthews
  • George Feeny

9 thoughts on “Ranking Boy Meets World Seasons (From Best to Worst)”

  1. Season 5 is probably my favorite because of the ep where they Eric went to Hollywood for acting and the horror episode. There was also the ep were Cory and Shawn tested drinking which was also good. I really love that season.

    Reply
  2. Shawn and Cory didnt skip from 5th to 9th grade. They went from sixth into the 7th which is considered junior high. In many high schools it was common for junior high(7-8-9) to be integrated into highschool.

    Reply
    • You are correct it should be 6th grade. But they graduate in only 4 years (Seasons 2,3,4,5) and enter college in Season 6. So they were only in High School for 4 years despite being in 6th grade during Season 1.

      Reply

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