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'Boy Meets World' recap: Minkus arrives on the scene

Editors’ Note: As our excitement for the upcoming spinoff series Girl Meets World builds, John Hanlon will recap the original series that ran from 1993–2000, reminding us why we fell in love with Cory Matthews, Topanga Lawrence and Shawn Hunter in the first place.

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “On the Fence” | Aired Oct 1, 1993

“Say you could pick any superhero to be your dad. Who would you choose?”

That Cory Matthews question opens the second episode of Boy Meets World as Cory sits in the school cafeteria with his friends, Shawn and Ellis (DeJuan Guy). After a brief discussion, Cory makes his decision: “I’d like to have Superman for a dad.” His desire, he eventually realizes, might be closer to reality than he ever imagined.

After his superhero discussion, talk turns to the upcoming water war — a neighborhood squirt gun battle. Shawn and Ellis are both armed with water guns for the battle. (Ellis, it should be noted, only appears in one other episode. He joins Nicholas — who only appeared in the pilot episode — as another friend of Cory and Shawn who mysteriously disappears.) Along with the duo, the nerdy Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris) — who makes his first appearance here — is prepared for the battle with a massive water gun of his own.

When challenged to such a battle, Minkus paraphrases Clint Eastwood, noting, “Go ahead. Make me wet.”

Cory, of course, can’t afford a water gun, and asks his parents for the money. His mother Amy is shocked by the price tag — “$49.95 plus tax,” Cory says — and refuses to give him the money. Alan, who spends much of the episode fixing things around the house, agrees with his wife, stating that maybe Cory can get a squirt gun for Christmas. (“Hey, great. A water gun in December. I’ll be the little boy spreading pneumonia,” Cory retorts.)

The whole ordeal leads Cory to his older brother, Eric, who works at the grocery store their father manages. Eric makes his own money and can buy whatever he wants, Cory learns. Cory sees an opportunity. He asks Mr. Feeny for a job, and Feeny offers to pay him for painting his green window shutters. Cory completes the assignment, but inadvertently gets green paint all over the family’s white fence (which the shutters were leaning against) in the process.

His father quickly sees the mistake and tasks Cory with repainting the fence.

When the water war begins later, Cory tricks Shawn and Ellis into helping him paint the fence. He argues (like Tom Sawyer once did) that painting a fence is actually a lot of fun. Minkus picks up on the literary reference (the Mark Twain book was on the summer reading list, he says), but also helps out. When the trio tires of painting (and Cory’s sour attitude), Cory is left holding the paintbrush until his father swoops in to finish the job.

He wants to let Cory enjoy his childhood — i.e., the water war — while he can.

In the end, Cory goes to the water battle — “the water war to end all water wars,” he calls it — and finds Eric lying in bed afterward, tired after his shift at the store. Cory looks out the window at his father — who worked a longer shift than Eric — still working as he repaints the rest of the fence.

“Superman’s my dad,” Cory admits.

In the final scene, Cory surprises his father with a water gun of his own. Cory traded in his large water gun for two smaller ones. So for a moment, Alan becomes a kid again, as the family has a water war of its own in the kitchen and the backyard. While Feeny is left to defend his flowers from the water war, Morgan is left in the kitchen calling  911 and telling the operator that her parents are outside fighting, adding, “They just shot the neighbor,” as Feeny gets drenched.

Life lesson: If sunlight can go through open shutters, so can paint. Also, it’s OK to be a kid … while you can.

Memorable Quote: “What a major freakoid that Ed Poe must’ve been, huh?” — Cory talking to Mr. Feeny about a recently submitted homework assignment about Edgar Allen Poe

Note: This is the second episode in a row that features story elements tied in to a literary classic. The first episode featured Romeo & Juliet prominently, while this one includes plot elements taken directly out of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer.

What did you think of the second episode of Boy Meets World? Do you think Cory actually read the summer reading list, or was he just trying to get his friends to paint the fence for him?

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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