Dr. Sorrell: Boy Meets World’s Wacky Science Teacher

Dr. Sorrell was a science teacher at John Adams High School before George Feeny unceremoniously fired him. Though he quit before Feeny could officially terminate him, his transgressions include accepting bribes from students, attending inappropriate class trips to the casino, and forging student-athletes grades.

As one of the more arrogant Boy Meets World characters, he is best known for his role in the Season 3 episode, Hometown Hero when he assigns a lab report that results in Cory accidentally setting fire to the school.

Dr. Sorrell’s Introduction to Boy Meets World

We first see Dr. Sorrell in the opening scene of Hometown Hero in Season 3, Episode 5. He asks students to hand in their lab reports by the end of the day, much to the surprise of Cory and Shawn, who never did the assignment.

Tommy, the school quarterback, also failed to do the project but got a pass because of his status as a star athlete. When Cory and Shawn ask for an extension, Sorrell laughingly declines.

Reviewing Dr. Sorrell’s Episodes

Dr. Sorrell appears in two Boy Meets World Episodes in Season 3, Hometown Hero (Episode 5) and The Grass is Always Greener (Episode 12).

Hometown Hero (S3E5)

After Mr. Sorrell reminds his class of an assigned lab report, Cory and Shawn break into the school to hand it in after hours. Unfortunately, Cory accidentally sets fire to a trash can in the science lab during the break-in but puts it out before any significant damage occurs.

Janitor Bud anoints Cory as a hero after seeing him running out of the school after putting out the fire. Sorrell treats Cory differently, too, and gives him an A on his paper even though it’s barely legible after burning. Once Cory admits to starting the fire, the chemistry teacher starts treating him like a nobody, once again.

The Grass is Always Greener (S3E12)

Dr. Sorrell plays poker with some of the John Adams High School faculty after-hours when Eric Matthews interrupts their game. Eric had forgotten his books and was surprised to see many of his teachers playing poker after hours.

When Eric begs to join, Feeny reluctantly agrees to deal him into the game. However, when Eric asks Mr. Sorrell why he doesn’t play for money, the teacher implies he doesn’t need extra cash since he accepts bribes from students. By the end of the game, George Feeny threatens to fire him, but he quits first.

Top 5 Dr. Sorrell Moments in Boy Meets World

1) He Lets The High School QB Skip His Assignment

When Tommy, the star QB, tells Dr. Sorrell that he can’t hand in the paper, the teacher replies that it’s no problem and he can hand it in after football season.

When Tommy explains that he also plays basketball, Sorrell tells him to not worry about handing in the paper at all.

However, the chemistry teacher is not as lenient with his non-athlete students as he rebukes Cory and Shawn, who ask for a short extension on the assignment.

2) He Treats Cory Differently After The Fire Incident

After Janitor Bud anoints Cory a hero for saving the school from a fire, Dr. Sorrell starts treating Cory similar to the star athletes.

He awards Cory an A even though his paper was barely legible after burning in the fire. He also starts scheduling sushi lunches with Cory despite previously not knowing his name.

Once Cory comes clean about starting the fire, the teacher returns to treating him like dirt.

3) He Plays Poker With Feeny, Turner & Eli

Dr. Sorrell engages in a friendly poker game with Mr. Feeny, Mr. Turner, and Mr. Williams. The teachers play for fun and don’t bet money on the games, which would violate school policy.

However, Sorrell openly admits to breaking other school policies in front of principal George Feeny. 

4) He Tries To Exploit Eric For Gambling Purposes

When Sorrell learns of Eric’s ability to count cards, he asks Eric to come to a science fair in Atlantic City, which of course, would not be an actual science fair but instead a way for Sorrell to exploit his student to win money. The science teacher often openly admits to breaking faculty rules in front of the school principal.

5) He Quits After Feeny Threatens To Fire Him

Dr. Sorrell quits his position at John Adams High School after Principal George Feeny threatened to fire him for violating various conduct policies.

Feeny takes particular exception to Sorrell’s plan to conduct a science fair in Atlantic City at a casino. When Feeny explains that he won’t have a member of the faculty engaging in such sketchy behavior, Sorrell quits.

Jim Jansen’s Portrayal of Dr. Sorrell

Jim Jansen was a well-respected actor before joining Boy Meets World, having appeared on Who’s The Boss, Matlock, and Weird Science, among other series.

His portrayal of Dr. Sorrell was comedic and eccentric, though it elicited mixed reviews from viewers.

After Boy Meets World. Jansen went on to appear on critically acclaimed shows like Mad Men and Parks and Recreation.

Leave a Comment