Danny McNulty, the original Harley Keiner, was replaced by Kenny Johnston 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.
Harley’s Introduction to 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’s Family Members
Harley Keiner has one sister who 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 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 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.
Harley’s Final Episode in Boy Meets World
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.
Harley Keiner’s Boy Meets World Legacy
Harley remains one of the most famous guest characters in the Boy Meets World series, and most fans revere him. While people still talk about his sudden replacement during Season 2, they primarily look back at his run with fondness.