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'Boy Meets World' #TBT recap: When Grandma rolls into town

Editors’ Note: As our excitement for the spinoff series Girl Meets World continues after last week’s premiere, 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 7 | “Grandma was a Rolling Stone” | Aired Nov 12, 1993

In the pilot episode of Boy Meets World, Cory faced disappointment when his older brother, Eric, opted to invite a cute girl from school to the Phillies game rather than take him. In episode 7 of the series, Cory is still facing familial disappointments and Eric is still chasing girls, but both seem to have improved in their respective roles.

As the episode begins, Cory and Shawn are collecting snails in Mr. Feeny’s backyard for an upcoming fishing trip with Alan. When Alan sees this, he says that fish don’t eat snails. “Gee, I guess I was mistaken,” Feeny says with a devilish smile on his face. Alan and Feeny then take their turns practicing with the fishing pole, with Feeny’s practice leading to the long beginning of a story from 1956 (which Alan heartily mocks, only to recognize that he’s on his way to becoming an older man like Feeny himself).

The trip is all set, but then Cory’s Winnebago-driving grandmother, Bernice (Rue McClanahan), arrives in town offering trips and presents galore. She gives Morgan a shrunken head (oh, the joy of grandmothers), presents Eric with a bullwhip and hands Cory a Cal Ripken Jr. card, which she promises she’ll help him get signed in Baltimore a few days later.

When the time arrives for the trip to Baltimore, though, Bernice is nowhere to be found. Cory’s grandmother was there to take Eric to the auto show and to take Morgan out shopping. But when the middle child needs her, she’s gone. Cory, once again, finds himself disappointed in a family member.

In the short seven episodes of this series so far, Cory has been jilted by his older brother (episode 1), left by his father (episode 3), and now he’s abandoned by his grandmother. It’s tough being a middle child.

It looks like things couldn’t get any worse—but they do.

Not only has Alan still gone out fishing, but he’s taken Shawn with him (Cory forgot to cancel their plans). Cory is left in the kitchen making dozens and dozens of muffins with his ever-patient mother all day long.

In the secondary storyline, Feeny’s niece Jessica (played by guest star Keri Russell) visits town with her uncle. Before she arrived, Eric wanted nothing to do with her. But when he glimpses her beauty, he uses his little sister, Morgan, to help get him a date. It turns out that he’s been using Morgan to attract female attention at the mall for a while, so she’s become an old pro. She’s now capable of using it for her advantage, and she uses her power here wisely—earning a trip to the carnival, a stuffed giraffe and Eric’s sunglasses as she sings Eric’s praises. As the night ends, Eric and Jessica make out before they are interrupted by the returning “father-son” duo of Alan and Shawn.

When the episode ends, Bernice returns to apologize to Cory for leaving him, but he’s already gotten over his disappointment. Alan had informed his son that Bernice has done this before (she once didn’t sign his permission slip, so he couldn’t go to a museum with his school). However, she always makes it up to them (she eventually took Alan to Cape Canaveral to watch a spaceship launch).

Sure, Cory’s grandmother disappointed him, but he’s left with a Cal Ripken Jr. card—not a bad consolation prize. Right before Bernice leaves, Cory tells her how much that card means to him. Bernice promises to make her mistake up to him next time, but Cory seems content with his card and with having a grandmother who always wants to make her moments with him unforgettable.

Life Lesson: People show love in different ways (as Alan says). Plus, being a middle child stinks.

Memorable Quote: “Have you talked to the boy?” —Feeny, responding to Bernice’s question about why she doesn’t give Cory straight As on his report card

Note: For the second episode in a row, the show’s title references a musical group.

What did you think of the seventh episode of Boy Meets World? Were you surprised to see Keri Russell guest-starring on the show? Didn’t you think that Bernice and Mr. Feeny could have started dating if she hung around for a while?

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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