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Image Credit: Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter in "Boy Meets World"

'Boy Meets World' #TBT recap: Boy genius

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 to 2000, reminding us why we fell in love with Cory Matthews, Topanga Lawrence and Shawn Hunter in the first place.

Season 1 | Episode 6 | “Boys II Mensa” | Aired Oct 29, 1993

Halloween is coming up in episode 6 of Boy Meets World, comedically entitled “Boys II Mensa.” The episode opens in Mr. Feeny’s classroom, where the ever jovial Cory Matthews is trying on a clown nose in preparation for the holiday. Cory has received C on a test alongside his new classmate, Rick Lewis (where do these “new” friends come from every week, and where do they disappear to?), and Feeny makes a disparaging comment about Cory’s grade (but not Rick’s). Cory wonders why he’s always picked on; Feeny responds that Cory isn’t living up to his full potential, while Rick is.

That encounter leads to this episode about disguises we all put on, sometimes for Halloween and sometimes for other reasons.

The clown nose is only the first disguise Cory wears in this episode. After he and Shawn (who scores detention after an art class because “he’s one of the greats”), the duo find the answers to an upcoming IQ exam in the trash. (Why the answers to an IQ exam are thrown out in perfect condition is a question that never gets answered.)

Cory steals the answers and cheats on the test, making him — and not Mr. Minkus — the highest scorer in the class.

Everyone can see that Cory cheated, but there’s no evidence, so Mr. Feeny’s and Cory’s parents play along with the charade. “It’s Halloween, and this year, you’re going as a genius,” Shawn says, not recognizing the doubt in everyone’s eyes. Mr. Feeny brings Cory down to the cafeteria, hoping that Cory tells the truth about the exam. Cory never relents, even though Feeny says that Cory could be sent to another school for smarter students if he continues lying.

When Feeny leaves the room, he notes, “Don’t you love Halloween? No one is who they seem to be.”

In the secondary storyline, Eric takes Morgan shopping for a new Halloween costume, and the duo settle on her becoming a zombie. “The undead are cool,” Morgan notes when revealing the costume to her surprised parents. Neither of their children is wearing an appropriate costume (Cory as a genius and Morgan as a zombie), but neither parent seems particularly troubled by the situation. In fact, they seemingly encourage their children to make their own, often questionable decisions.

Both storylines come to a head when a condescending state education representative visits the Matthews’ home to give Cory a follow-up exam. Sneering at Alan’s job as a grocery store manager and Amy’s position as a homemaker and a real estate saleswoman (who knew!), she has nothing nice to say about Cory’s “regular” family. Her expectations fall apart when Morgan answers a word-association problem with the word “booger” while Cory suffers through his exam.

At first, she believes that Cory is hiding his intelligence. But she soon recognizes her mistake and leaves the house.

Cory finally faces the truth in front of Mr. Feeny, but offers the forgiving professor a consolation prize: his clown nose. “I figure as long as I’m gonna give up being the class genius, I’ll give up being the class clown too.” He then has a realization that audiences had way back at the beginning.

Mr. Feeny is cool.

“I’m cool … God help me,” Feeny says as the episode ends.

Life lesson: When Halloween arrives, make sure you wear a costume that others will recognize as a disguise.

Memorable Quote: “These kids make Minkus look like Fabio.” — Cory about his would-be classmates in the special school for the academically gifted

Note: The title of the episode, of course, refers to the band “Boys II Men,” a band that turned out to be less timeless than the show that borrowed its name for an episode title.

What did you think of the sixth episode of Boy Meets World? Where has Topanga gone to since her introduction in episode 4? If you didn’t know the show’s evolution, she could easily be mistaken for one of Cory’s earlier classmates who was never seen again …

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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