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 When this boy meets world, boy meets world

Wandering down this road that we call life, is what we're doing.

It's good to know that my friends will always, stand by me.

When this boy meets world...

    • Don't download the version of the song that is up on iTunes. You will be disappointed.
    • Also good, if a lot shorter: the season four theme (also used for earlier seasons in syndication), which was an instrumental that played over the cast cruising in Eric's car.
    • "Eric Matthews: Good Looking Guy", anyone?
    • What? No love for "The Curtains Are On Fire?"
    • "He's a loser freak, loser freak! He's a maladjusted loser freak! He's a woman-hating, maladjusted loser freak!...And he doesn't like girls, 'cause he's afraid of them, afraid of them! I think he likes boys if you know what I'm saying.
    • "You're shallow, you're shallow, you're shallow. Look at that shallow boy!"
    • "Welcome to John Adams High! Where you are gonna die! That's right... fall right this way!"
      • "Here's a knife, here's a gun! There'll be fun for everyone! Death is... on the menu toniiiiight!"
  • Fridge Brilliance: In "And Then There Was Shawn," Shawn declares that virgins never die. Cory, Topanga and Shawn are all revealed to be virgins. Who are the only three to make it through the episode?
    • Due to a Time Skip the characters move from middle school to high school between the first and second seasons. Topanga's character changes, and this is her just growing up between the years. Her weirdness is even Lampshaded in a season six episode when Cory wishes she was still the weird girl he fell in love with.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the episode "Picket Fences" Cory tries to buy a starter home for him and Topanga so they can leave their ramshackle apartment despite barely having any money. The realtor draws up a special mortgage plan for them so they can buy the house but the plan requires signatures from the parents, and Mr. and Mrs. Matthews refuse to sign it because they don't think Cory and Topanga will be able to make the payments. The moral of the episode is that you need to work to earn what you buy and not rely on others for help. This episode aired in 1999, many years before the late 2000s economic recession which was caused in part by this kind of financial behavior: young couples buying homes they couldn't afford through subprime mortgage payments.
  • He Really Can Act: All of the cast got the chance to show off their dramatic chops but the best example is probably Will Friedle. Because his character was often the silliest his emotional scenes had the most impact.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In one episode in season two Eric refers to his lucky towel as "towelie". Especially since after South Park came on several years later the show started making a bunch of references to it.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Jack, in "No Such Thing As A Sure Thing." True, it's his douche-season, but you can't help but feel sorry for the guy as you watch him struggle with his gambling addiction, even if it is Played for Laughs.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "UNDAPANTS!!!!"
    • FEENAY! FEE-HEE-HEE-HEENAY!
  • Periphery Demographic: An interesting example, in that the producers were clearly trying to attract one (namely, young adult males), as the plethora of parental bonuses, bringing on old actors (though they often played against type), references to Beavis and Butthead and later South Park, the endless Lampshade Hanging and winks to the audience, and the entire existence of Mr. Williams and plotlines revolving around he and Mr. Turner all demonstrate... but they weren't really successful. Today, the show is fondly remembered by the actual target audience, Generation Y, as one of the most clever and creative shows to ever be part of the TGIF block. Of course, it's also popular with younger audiences who have seen reruns. But it never really caught on with the Gen-X hipster types.
  • Recycled Script: The show wasn't that shy about it, sometimes teaching the same lesson different ways. Shawn and Cory learn how hard it is to be a girl in "Chick Like Me" and Jack and Eric learn the very same lesson years later in "What a Drag."
    • Both Eric and Shawn go on road trips of self-discovery (Eric when he doesn't make it into college, Shawn after his father passes away) with Cory along for the ride. Eventually they get to the point where Cory is ready to go home, but they're afraid to.
    • They end differently though - Eric realises that he has to return to real life, whilst Shawn learns of how proudly Chet spoke of Shawn from another patron at a truck stop & opts to continue on his journey alone, although Chet's spirit appears sat next to Shawn in the final scene of the episode.
    • Whole storylines have been recycled: "Shawn gets his first serious girlfriend" was done twice, once in season three and again in season five; "Cory and Topanga break up" was done three times, in seasons three, five, and seven.
    • In "Kid Gets Acquainted With The Universe" this is lampshaded, with Ben Savage Sandwich screaming "How can I learn so much every week and still be so stupid!?" at the writers. Then they lampshade that at the end of the episode, when Will Friedle, playing "himself", flips out at Ben Savage for changing a punchline. He storms off, and then enter Rider Strong as Shawn, telling Cory "I blew up another mailbox" (a reference to a first-season episode).
  • Retroactive Recognition: Griff Hawkins was played by Adam Scott, who became more well known in the late 2000s because of his roles in works such as Step Brothers and Parks and Recreation.
    • This show had a whole lot of this. Marla Sokoloff, Nikki Cox, Keri Russell, Mena Suvari, Brittany Murphy, Charisma Carpenter, Julie Benz, Shane West, Kristanna Loken, Maggie Lawson, Linda Cardellini, and Nia Vardalos all had small parts on the show before becoming more well known for other roles.
    • Will Friedle went on to a fairly prolific voice-over career. Some people are no doubt still surprised to learn that "Cory's goofy older brother" became Terry McGinnis, among others.
    • Ethan Suplee was one of the high school enforcers. Today, he's likely better known as the big guy from Remember the Titans or Earl's brother.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 7. It had a few good episode and some very memorable moments (i.e. "Playswithsquirrels"), but it was not very good overall. It had many wacky and cartoonish plotlines that didn't fit with the series, tons of Mood Whiplash between the wacky plotlines and serious plotlines, Flanderization up the wazoo, especially with Eric who went from being ditzy to being mentally insane, and just not as many laughs to be had. Fortunately, this was the final season and the finale ended the series on a good note.
  • The Scrappy: While Rachel wasn't all that popular before, she earned ire from fanbase at start of season 7 for pretty much kicking Jack and Eric out of their apartment which she was brought into, leaving them homeless. From there until season's finish she never really recovered popularity because she came off as a self-centered bitch.
  • Tear Jerker: Now has its own page.
  • Wangst: Shawn had a lot of bad things happen to him over the course of the series, but even then he got quite whiny sometimes in the later seasons, especially over his relationship with Angela in season six. He gets over it, though.
  • The Woobie:
    • Shawn. After Character Development and Break the Cutie, it seems pretty reasonable that he'll join a cult in one episode to make himself happier.
    • Eric, a LOT of bad stuff just keeps happening to the poor guy and no one ever takes him seriously. Not even himself.
    • Cory could sometimes be this in the show's early seasons, particularly a first-season episode where his status as middle child and only making second string on the basketball team make him feel worthless and unloved.
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