What Happened to Harley Keiner in Boy Meets World?

Harley Keiner appears in nine Boy Meets World episodes spanning Seasons 2 and 3. Harley’s reputation precedes him as the bully and kingpin of John Adams High School and several years older than the other seniors. 

Within the series’ plot, Harley is held back from graduation several times because he fails to attend class and frequently causes mayhem throughout the school. As a result, students are terrified of Harley, especially first-and-second-year students.

In Season 2, Episode 20, Pop Quiz, Joey The Rat is seen reading a letter from Harley Keiner describing his presence at a reform school. We can assume he was expelled for trying to destroy Mr. Turner’s motorcycle in the previous episode.

Despite his banishment to a reform school, Harley briefly returns to John Adams High School in Season 3, Episode 4: He Said, She Said, which would prove to be his final appearance on Boy Meets World.

Harley confronts Joey and Frankie’s new leader, Griff Hawkins, before their dispute is resolved by Joey and Frankie renouncing their status as lackeys. As a result, Harley and Griff go their separate ways without the spat turning physical.

Who is Harley Keiner?

Harvey Keiner, aka Harley, is a bully at John Adams High School in Seasons 2 and 3 of Boy Meets World. In addition, Harley is the leader of a gang that includes Frankie “The Enforcer” Stechinno and Joey “The Rat” Epstein.

Harley Keiner’s look resembles The Fonz from Happy Days and reflects 60’s and 70’s era fashion and demeanor. While Harley regularly harasses students and disobeys faculty, he also showcases a softer side that endears him to viewers.

How is Harley First Introduced in Boy Meets World?

We first meet Harley in Season 2, Episode 1: Back 2 School. Cory Matthews hatches a plan to befriend Harley on his first day of high school in order to avoid the standard ridicule associated with incoming 7th graders. 

When Cory initially approaches him, Harely finds the proposal humorous and renames Cory Johnny Baboon. However, they are both cited for loitering in the hallways, which results in Harley being published with detention.

Naturally, the older bully blames Cory for his punishment and promises to beat him up after school. Luckily for Cory, Eric and Mr. Turner show up to prevent a physical confrontation from ensuing.

Harley Keiner Family Members

Harley Keiner has one sister that appears in Season 2, Episode 10: Sister Theresa. Her name is Theresa Keiner, but she goes by T.K. 

Theresa Keiner (T.K)

Theresa Keiner, aka T.K., is Harley’s younger sister who appears in one episode, Season 2, Episode 10: Sister Theresa. During the episode, Theresa takes a liking to Cory after he demonstrates politeness toward her in the hallways. 

However, after aggressively pursuing Cory Matthews, T.K.s reputation as promiscuous comes to the attention of Harley, her older brother. After learning about their family dynamics, it becomes clear that Harley is her parental figure.

Harley Keiner Friends

Harley’s best friends are his lackeys, Frankie Stecchino and Joey Epstein. Frankie serves as the enforcer when Harley runs into potential physical altercations. Conversely, Joey serves as a slick talker and instigator for various confrontations.

Frankie Stecchino

Frankie Stecchino acts as Harley’s bodyguard and is known as “The Enforcer.” He follows Harley around the John Adams High School hallways and performs whatever actions Harley demands.

Joey Epstein

Joey Epstein is the slick talker of Harley’s gang and often perturbs Harley and others. Harley threatens to dismiss Joey from the gang on several occasions. However, Harley also uses him to run errands and devise illegal schemes.


Gloria is Harley’s girlfriend, whom Frankie pursues during Season 2. Like Harley, Gloria wears retro clothing and possesses a demeanor reminiscent of Grease-era movie tropes. Harley ultimately steps aside so that she can date Frankie instead.

Cory Matthews

Cory and Harley form an unlikely friendship that ebbs and flows throughout Season 2. Harley often refers to Cory as “Johnny Baboon” and encourages him to date his sister, Theresa. However, he also frequently threatens to harm Cory.

Shawn Hunter

Shawn briefly joins Harley’s gang during Season 2 before Cory and Mr. Turner convince him to reconsider. Harley sets Shawn’s gang initiation, which is to take a baseball bat to Mr. Turner’s motorcycle in the faculty parking lot.

Though Shawn is motivated to join the gang, he hesitates to destroy Mr Turner’s Harley Davidson. Before he can make a final decision, Cory and Turner break up the gathering and convince Shawn to leave the gang.

Who Plays Harley Keiner on Boy Meets World?

Danny McNulty plays Harley Keiner in eight of the character’s nine episodes. However, a different actor, Kenny Johnston, plays Harley in one episode, Season 2, Episode 19: Wrong Side of The Tracks.

Why Did They Replace Harley on Boy Meets World?

Danny McNulty was replaced for a single episode after the actor suffered a mental health incident during the episode’s table read. McNulty hinted in 2015 that the incident stemmed from his bipolar condition,

McNulty confirms this story in his Pod Meets World podcast appearance while providing more details on the incident and subsequent mental health challenges. The actor also outlines the series of events that led to his return in Season 3.

You can support McNulty directly by purchasing a Harley T-shirt from the Pod Meets World merch website.

Why Did Harley Leave Boy Meets World?

Harley leaves Boy Meets World during Season 2 because he’s sent to a reform school after attempting to destroy Mr. Turner’s motorcycle. However, he briefly returns during Season 3 before permanently exiting the series.

When Harley returns to John Adams High School, he learns that he was replaced by Griff Hawkins. Harley plans to beat up Griff to win back his lackeys, Joey and Frankie. However, both decide to quit the gang instead, resolving the dispute.

Griff remarks that he and Harley have “nothing to fight about anymore” before wishing him luck with “the whole retro thing.” Both gang leaders exit the school, and neither is ever seen again.

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