Boy Meets World (1993-2000): 1×08 “Teacher’s Bet”

Episode: Teacher’s Bet (1×08)
Production Code: B610
Director: David Trainer
Teleplay: April Kelly
Main Cast: Ben Savage, William Daniels, William Russ, Betsy Randle, Will Friedle, Lee Norris, Rider Strong, Lily Nicksay
Guest Cast: Danielle Fishel, Lindsay Price
Original Air Date: November 19, 1993

Teaser

It's cool that Cory reads the newspaper.  Even if it is just the sports section.

It’s cool that Cory reads the newspaper. Even if it is just the sports section.

In the cafeteria, Shawn brings over a newspaper article on “the $43 million dollar man,” Barry Bonds.  Minkus, standing nearby, asks why he’s called that, and Shawn explains it’s because of his six-year contract for that much.  Minkus figures out that it amounts to $7.16 million/yr.  Well shoot, I know it’s a different sport from basketball and all, but Ersan Ilyasova is due for $7.9 mil this year.  (Who?  Exactly.)  Bonds’ contract doesn’t seem like anything to me, relatively speaking.  Cory points out that Bonds is a premier baseball player.  Ah, the 90s were such an innocent time, when a boy could idolize a baseball player without the possibility of steroids crossing his mind!  (I realize that Bonds has never actually been found guilty of doing so.  I am accusing him of nothing.)  Minkus observes that Mr. Feeny is a premier teacher, who makes only $40k/yr.  This is pretty much on target  for a Pennsylvania elementary teacher’s salary in 1993-94.  For curiosity’s sake, I looked up what Mr. Feeny would be paid in the 2010s.  Not bad, in my opinion.  Apparently PA pays its teachers better than in some places, though.  Anyway, Mr. Feeny’s salary is news to Shawn and Cory, and Shawn expresses his disapproval, as he thinks it’s too much money.  Cory rhetorically asks Minkus if spelling and history ever change, and posits that Mr. Feeny doesn’t have to change because Sixth Grade is constant.  To prove his point, Cory predicts that, within the next five seconds, Mr. Feeny would walk into the cafeteria, drink at the fountain, flick the water his mustache, walk to the coffee machine, and say, “Good morning, Mr. Matthews.  I trust you’ve done the homework.”  Mr. Feeny walks into the cafeteria and does each of these things.  Cory replies that he did do the homework, and he and Mr. Feeny say in unison, “But my little sister ate it.”  Mr. Feeny rolls his eyes at Cory’s predictable self.

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Boy Meets World (1993-2000): 1×07 “Grandma Was a Rolling Stone”

Episode: Grandma Was a Rolling Stone (1×07)
Production Code: B609
Director: David Trainer
Teleplay: Ed Decter, John J. Strauss
Main Cast: Ben Savage, William Daniels, William Russ, Betsy Randle, Will Friedle, Lee Norris (credit only), Rider Strong, Lily Nicksay
Guest Cast: Rue McClanahan, Keri Russell
Original Air Date: November 12, 1993

Teaser

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Cory and Shawn are working in Mr. Feeny’s yard.  Alan comes outside and asks what they are up to.  Cory explains that they are hunting for snails to use as fishing bait on Sunday.  Alan pointedly says that fish don’t eat snails.  Mr. Feeny guiltily says that he made a mistake.  Cory shames Mr. Feeny for manipulating innocent minds, although he doesn’t seem to mind much.  The boys hop the fence to the Matthews’ side, and Alan starts demonstrating proper fishing technique to them.

Never forget the magic words: "Heeere, fishy, fishy, fishy, fishy!"

Never omit the magic words: “Heeere, fishy, fishy, fishy, fishy!”

Alan’s hook snags on one of Mr. Feeny’s flowerpots, making it topple over.  Mr. Feeny, surprisingly, is not upset at this, and asks to give it a shot.  Alan hands the fishing rod over to him, and Mr. Feeny casts the hook perfectly into a bucket sitting in the Matthews’ yard.  Satsified, Mr. Feeny says that it’s just like riding a bike.  Cory expresses his surprise that Mr. Feeny is a fisherman.  This provides Mr. Feeny with an opportunity to tell an old fishing story (1956, small-mouth bass, Louisiana Delta).  Alan half-heartedly says that this tale is incredibly interesting.  Well, I’m interested!  Mr. Feeny is using language that is quite descriptive and vivid.  Plus, his fishing story is already at least 5x as interesting as Moby Dick is.  Okay, okay, fine!  It’s more like 5000x.  Cory asks why Eric won’t be going along on this year’s fishing trip.  Alan explains that Eric’s discovered girls, and once Cory starts liking girls, he’ll take Morgan instead.  He calls it an “endless cycle of fishing.”  Cory asks what he’ll do after Morgan gets too old.  Alan says he’ll then be a fellow in a fishing hat who tells a lot of dull stories.  He looks over the fence to his gardening neighbor, and experiences shortness of breath.  Cory, concerned, asks if he just frightened himself.  Alan says he did.

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Boy Meets World (1993-2000): 1×06 “Boys II Mensa”

Episode: Boys II Mensa (1×06)
Production Code: B607
Director: David Trainer
Teleplay: Janette Kotichas Burleigh
Main Cast: Ben Savage, William Daniels, William Russ, Betsy Randle, Will Friedle, Lee Norris, Rider Strong, Lily Nicksay
Guest Cast: Jane Carr, Marty York, Sam Horrigan, Dusty Gould
Original Air Date: October 29, 1993

Teaser

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Way to be literal, Cor!

Mr. Feeny is handing back class assignments.  This time, it’s book reports, and I can only hope that most of the class did theirs on Peter Rabbit.  While Mr. Feeny is talking to the class, Cory is wearing a clown nose and pulling grotesque faces.  Mr. Feeny calls him out by using a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer quip, as Cory grins sheepishly.  Cory says it’s the wrong holiday for that, as Halloween is will be here soon.  He explains that he was experimenting with the clown nose as a potential costume.  Mr. Feeny decides to go the Shaming route of discipline and says Cory must wear the nose for the remainder of the morning.  As the students giggle at their exchange, Mr. Feeny resumes handing back papers.  Minkus’ featured a haiku with the subject being Captain Ahab’s preoccupation with Moby Dick.  Ugghh.  I’m having unpleasant flashbacks to Junior Year, right about now.  Minkus emotively recites his haiku:

“The calm, blue ocean
Sun lights up the monster’s eye
He sees me–whale food.”

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He should submit his work to Dot’s Poetry Corner.

Mr. Feeny gives his appraisal: “It works on so many levels.”  Shawn calls Minkus a “brown noser,” and Minkus calls Shawn a “troglodyte.”  Mr. Feeny hands Cory’s assignment back, saying it wasn’t one of Cory’s finest achievements.  Cory looks at the paper, then asks Mr. Feeny why, although he and “Rick” both got “C’s,” “Rick” got good feedback but Cory got negative feedback.  Mr. Feeny asks “Bozo” to approach the “center ring.”  At the front of the room, Mr. Feeny quietly tells Cory that “Mr. Lewis” put in a lot of work just to get the “C,” earning his respect.  He says Cory diverts his resources into class clowning instead.  Cory asks why Mr. Feeny picks on him so much, and never on, say, Minkus.  Incredulous at the completely stupid question (yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question, and this is a prime example), Mr. Feeny reminds him that Minkus would earn higher than an “A,” if possible.  Cory mutters that he supposes that is how Minkus gets away with everything, as he returns to his desk.  Mr. Feeny asks what Minkus gets away with.  I should point out that every single student is intently studying during this entire, loud, interesting, two-way conversation.  And that is how you know you’re  on a TV show, folks!  Cory asks why he gets detention for throwing paper airplanes (as he demonstrates his prototypical triangle-shaped model), when Minkus doesn’t.  Camera cut to Minkus, who has fashioned a bi-plane (I think it’s called, anyway), complete with propeller.  Cory soberly says, “I withdraw the question.”

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I think that paper airplane design is precisely what was used in the Flying Down to Rio finale.

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Boy Meets World (1993-2000): 1×05 “Killer Bee”

Episode: Killer Bee (1×05)
Director: David Trainer
Teleplay: Susan Estelle Jansen
Main Cast: Ben Savage, William Daniels, William Russ, Betsy Randle, Will Friedle, Lee Norris, Rider Strong, Lily Nicksay
Guest Cast: DeJuan Guy, Nikki Cox,  Gisele MacKenzie, Branelle Dahl, Laurel Diskin, Tom Kelly, Thomas Wilson Brown
Original Air Date: October 22, 1993

Teaser

Mr. Feeny is announcing who earned the highest geography grade.  Before he can get the name out, Cory loudly interrupts, saying it must be Minkus.  And, it was Minkus, who tells Mr. Feeny that the quiz’s bonus question was tricky.  Shawn throws a wad of paper at Minkus’ head.  Mr. Feeny hands back the assignments.  Cory’s indignant that he got a “C” because he studied for this exam, for once, and wants to know why.  Mr. Feeny points out that “East Germany,” one of Cory’s answers, no longer exists.  Two episodes in a row where Cory sucks at geography, now.  Cory asks if this occurred while baseball season was happening.  Cory says that his textbook has East Germany adjacent to West Germany.  Mr. Feeny agrees, because the textbook also says that Alaska and Hawaii will make excellent states in the future.  Oh gosh, so apparently I wasn’t the only 90s kid learning about The Soviet Union from “current” maps, after all!  Mr. Feeny explains that the Board of Education is not in a financial position to regularly update textbooks.  Cory wants to know how he’s supposed to stay up-to-date.  Mr. Feeny suggests watching the news and increasing classroom involvement.  He reminds the class that he gives them mimeographs (!), and suggests that the students refrain from using them as paper airplanes.  Shawn sails one into Minkus’ head.  Cory asks what the point of learning geography is if it’s constantly changing, and he compares it to math (2 + 2 is constant), science (Earth orbiting the Sun), and history (Lincoln gets shot).  Mr. Feeny wryly says, “Lincoln got off easy.”

Shawn is a regular Curt Schilling!

Shawn’s a regular Curt Schilling!

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Boy Meets World (1993-2000): 1×04 “Cory’s Alternative Friends”

Episode: Cory’s Alternative Friends (1×04)
Director: David Trainer
Teleplay: Patricia Forrester
Main Cast: Ben Savage, William Daniels, William Russ, Betsy Randle, Will Friedle, Lee Norris, Rider Strong, Lily Nicksay
Guest Cast: Danielle Fishel, Marla Sokoloff, Megan Parlen, Katie Jane Johnston, Matthew Bartilson, Marty York, Chris Owen, Sam Horrigan
Original Air Date: October 15, 1993

Teaser

Marla Sokoloff (her character’s name is “Paige” but that’s in no way as memorable as “Marla Sokoloff”) and… using process of elimination on the guest star list, I think it’s supposed to be “Hillary,” but they never say her name onscreen.  So, “Hillary” it is.  The girls are concluding a class presentation promoting biodegradable products.  Said presentation involves dropping a fish into a beaker containing “lake water” and pulling it out seconds later…with nothing left but bones.  Scary!  Mr. Feeny compliments the girls’ hard work, and calls up Cory and Shawn to present.

An excellent example of 90s environmentalism.

An excellent example of 90s environmentalism.

The boys high-five each other as they walk up to the front.  Shawn pulls down the classroom’s rollup map, and Cory announces that their topic will be the effects of air pollution on everyday life.  Mr. Feeny comments that he likes their topic.  The boys unfold pointers, and Shawn uses his to indicate “Denver”… which appears to be located in the Gulf of Mexico.  Cory points to “Philadelphia,” which is apparently located in Iowa.  The boys rattle off random geography-type facts related to each location, news magazine-style.  Then, they turn the discussion towards Mile High Stadium (home of the Colorado Rockies, who had the highest run percentage) and Veteran’s Stadium (home of the Philadelphia Phillies).  They conclude their presentation by saying that if Philadelphia would clean up its smog, the Phillies’ run percentage would become as high as the Rockies are able to achieve due to their cleaner air.  This seems like a topic the stat geeks should explore.  And then write meaningless blog and forum posts about their “findings.”   Ahem.  (Disclaimer: I don’t really hate stat geeks and think they’re quite useful and their findings are often quite interesting.  Seriously.)

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It is a good thing those two never made it to the map round on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.

Cory asks Mr. Feeny if he enjoyed their presentation.  Mr. Feeny didn’t and takes partial blame.  He announces that the class would redo the assignment, and he would choose the partners.  I don’t understand why Marla and Hillary would have to redo their project, because they did a great job.  He pairs Shawn with Minkus.  Both of them literally facepalm at this news.

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Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2000): 1×04 “Terrible Things”

SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH (1996-2000) Logo Time

Episode: Terrible Things (1×04)
Director: Gary Halvorson
Teleplay: Jon Sherman
Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, Nick Bakay, Nate Richert, Jenna Leigh Green, Michelle Beaudoin, Paul Fieg
Guest Stars: Penn Jillette, Tom McGowan, Sara Van Horn, Milo Ventimiglia, Marvin C. Jones II, James D. Fields
Original Air Date: October 18, 1996

Cold Open

Sabrina, wearing a black-on-black short sleeved turtleneck/miniskirt jumper ensemble, encounters Libby in the school hall–wearing the exact same über-90s outfit.  Sabrina flees to the bathroom as fast as her clompy black heeled boots allow, and uses magic to change her outfit to a lace-front blue top and patterned brown bellbottoms.  She confidently walks to her locker, and Jenny greets her… wearing the same blue/brown ensemble.  Jenny, naturally, approves of Sabrina’s outfit.

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Claudia: I look at the first outfit, and I see Marcia Brady.  I look at the second outfit, and I see David Cassidy.

Geoffrey: I don’t really like either outfit.  The first one is marginally better, but that second one, yowza.

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Boy Meets World (1993-2000): 1×03 “Father Knows Less”

Episode: Father Knows Less (1×03)
Director: David Trainer
Teleplay: April Kelly
Main Cast: Ben Savage, William Daniels, William Russ, Betsy Randle, Will Friedle, Lee Norris, Rider Strong, Lily Nicksay
Guest Cast: Willie Garson, Thomas Brown IV
Original Air Date: October 8, 1993

Teaser

They should have made bundt sandwiches instead.

They should have made bundt sandwiches instead.

In the Matthews kitchen, Alan is packing his sack lunch, as Cory mimics his actions exactly.  Cory exposits to Morgan that he Alan are going to see the Blue Angels do formations.

Lenny's picture is in the dictionary, right next to the "nebbish" entry.

Lenny’s picture is in the dictionary, right next to the “nebbish” entry.

Meanwhile, in the living room, Eric is on the giant cordless phone, trying to convince Heather that a turtleneck will conceal…something.  Amy overhears this conversation as she walks into the room, so Eric must confess that he gave Heather a hickey.  He’s saved from a lecture by the doorbell.  The nebbish visitor introduces himself as Leonard Spinelli, Alan’s assistant manager at the grocery store.  Amy rolls her eyes at the introduction and says, “You’ve had dinner here maybe twenty times!”  Poor Lenny says that he’s always unsure if he’s made an impression.  She leads him into the kitchen, where he apologizes for interrupting the family on a Sunday… then he pauses and introduces himself to Cory, who of course already knew who he was.  Finally getting to the point, Lenny informs Alan that the store’s Perrier shelf fell down into the produce and Alka-seltzer aisles.  Alan apologizes to Cory for having to cancel their plans, and promises to make it up to him.  And thus commences, what is it now?  The 2nd son-and-his-dad episode in a row?  Plus the pilot had a small subplot tucked in there.  Oh well.

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