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Main Characters

Cory A. Matthews (Ben Savage)

The main protagonist of the series - a neurotic everyman from suburban Philadelphia who grows from young boy to married man over the course of the series.

Shawn Patrick Hunter (Rider Strong)

Cory's lifelong best friend, a Street Smart but Book Dumb kid from a broken home who grew up in a trailer park. While Cory relied on Shawn to help him with girls and navigate the high school social scene, Shawn relied on Cory to bail him out of trouble and provide stability in his turbulent life.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Cory often calls him "Shawnie".
  • Attractive Bent Gender: When crossdressing, less than a minute after showing up at school, 'Veronica' had a date with a male classmate. And even after groping 'her', the guy still didn't notice anything wrong. Even Cory, who convinced him to do it, calls him a babe.
  • Flanderization: But then it went the other way.
  • Hair Flip: He had one of those 90's curtained hairstyles that required him to constantly brush it out of his face. He got a haircut in the later seasons, though.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Cory.
  • Kidanova: Till he grew up and became The Charmer
  • The Matchmaker
  • Parental Abandonment
  • Pretty Boy: Pretty enough to pass very convincingly as a girl. He grew out a beard later in the series run, though.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Many of his outfits in the earlier seasons were like this, which looked unkempt and mismatched even by early 90s grunge standards (though he was from a poor family). His outfits became more normal as the show went on.
  • Shipper on Deck: The prospect of Cory and Topanga not being together sends him into an existential crisis.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome
  • Technical Virgin: As of the middle of his senior year[1]; he reveals this when he and the others are discussing the Sex Equals Death trope.
    • By Freshman year of college there are hints that this is no longer true (Cory references being the only virgin amongst a group of guys that includes Shawn) and by Sophomore year it's made flat-out clear he and Angela are sleeping together.
  • Troubled but Cute
  • Two First Names
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Only ever does it once onscreen, but admits to having thought about it before, even having a preferred name for his female alter-ego 'Veronica'.
    • He seems to have kept doing it offscreen because several years later, in the last season, Eric and Jack decide to crossdress as a way to avoid a gang that were after them and they turned to Shawn for advice. Afterward, he advises Jack on toning down his overcompensating masculinity.

Topanga Lawrence-Matthews (Danielle Fishel)

Cory's girlfriend (and later wife) for the majority of the series. Though she began as a classic Granola Girl, she morphed in to a perfectionist Hollywood Nerd (of the pretty variety) fairly early on and generally was the superego on Cory's shoulder in comparison to Shawn's id.

Eric Randall Matthews (Will Friedle)

Cory's older brother, by turns a fun, charismatic ladies man and a lovable (but seriously deranged) Cloudcuckoolander. Though Eric struggled academically, he was usually portrayed as being immensely intelligent deep down and filled with hidden potential and complexity, causing him to be frequently underestimated by friends and family.

George Hamilton Feeny (William Daniels)

Cory's teacher turned principal turned college professor, and next-door neighbor to the Matthews family. Though a mentor to everyone on the show, he formed a particularly special bond with Cory and Eric, helping them navigate the tricky journey from adolescence to adulthood.

Alan and Amy Matthews (William Russ and Betsy Randle)

Cory's parents.

Morgan Matthews (Lily Nicksay (Seasons 1-2), Lindsay Ridgeway (Seasons 3-7))

Cory's little sister.

Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris)

Cory and Shawn's nerdy classmate in the first season.

Later Additions

Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn)

Cory, Shawn and Topanga's high school English teacher, who becomes Shawn's guardian for a period of time after Shawn's parents abandon him.

Eli Williams (Alex Desert)

Mr. Turner's best friend who gets hired as a media arts teacher at John Adams High.

  • Black Best Friend: For Mr. Turner.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He was introduced in the third season as a main cast member (The Other Wiki says the focus on him and Turner in that season was an attempt to appeal to young college graduates) and was dropped immediately afterwards without even a single mention (aside from a clip with him in it appearing in the final episode).
  • Remember the New Guy?: He was pretty much tossed into the show in the third season.

Jack Hunter (Matthew Lawrence)

Shawn's estranged half-brother who reconnects with Shawn when he come to Philadelphia to go to college, and becomes Eric's best friend and roommate.

  • Formerly Fat: Season 7's "She's Having My Baby Back Ribs" reveals that he used to be called "Jumbo Jack" in high school, which is why he goes to the gym so much and is obsessed with his looks.
  • The Generic Guy: Cory, Shawn and Eric really pretty much had the market cornered on the comedy, and so Jack was often just there to look pretty and react to strange things. His personality would shift based on what the story called for.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Eric.
  • Long Lost Sibling: Shawn's
  • Straight Man: To Eric.
  • Took a Level In Jerkass

Angela Sheneneh Moore (Trina McGee-Davis)

Shawn's first serious girlfriend, who becomes Topanga's best friend and a member of their group.

Rachel Kimberly McGuire (Maitland Ward)

Eric and Jack's neighbor who they take in after her ex-boyfriend kicks her out.

  • Heroes Want Redheads: Attracts the affections of Eric, Jack and Chet.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Especially in her early appearances (where it was pretty much her entire character) where she would often wander around in a tiny bathrobe, and in "Hogs and Kisses," they even managed to sneak in some Foot Focus.
  • One Head Taller: Gender-inverted. She is quite a bit taller than all the guys, something Jack was insecure about at first.

Recurring Characters

Harley Keiner, Frankie "The Enforcer" Stechino and Joey "The Rat" Epstein (Danny McNulty, Ethan Suplee, and Blake Sopler)

A group of bullies at John Adams High.

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Frankie really is a nice guy so long as he's not provoked.
  • The Bully
  • Character Development: In the third season, when forced to choose between Harley and Griff, Frankie and Joey have an "epiphany," choosing instead to move on. Frankie then makes several appearances in which he becomes a friend to Cory and Shawn (although Joey doesn't do as well and winds up acting as more of a con man). They then disappear until the graduation episode, which ignores their previous development by showing their preparing to become criminals.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Harley's actual name is "Harvey."
  • Gang of Bullies
  • Hidden Depths: All of them a far more affable and actually smarter that they normally act. Griff and Harley acted downrigth sophisticated, Frankie was a Gentle Giant and Joey proved himself much more insigthful that first glance may tell you
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Harley
  • Promotion to Parent: Harley looked after his younger sister Theresa.
  • Put on a Bus: Harley is eventually sent away to reform school around the end of the second season, although he briefly returns in a third season episode.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Frankie loves poetry. LOVES IT. Got a problem with that? No? Good.

"Vader" Stecchino (Vader)

Frankie's Wrestler father.

Chet Hunter (Blake Clark)

Shawn and Jack's father.

Lila Bolander (Bonnie Bartlett)

A dean at Pennbrook University who develops a relationship with Mr. Feeny.

Joshua Gabriel Matthews

The youngest Matthews child, who is born midway through season six.

Sergeant Alvin Moore (Julius Carry)

Angela's father.

Notes

  1. "And Then There Was Shawn" from mid-season 5. Note that this is after having been in a serious relationship with Angela, though they had broken up at the time
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