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'Boy Meets World' recap: Morgan kills Santa!

Editors’ Note: As our excitement for the spinoff series Girl Meets World grows, 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 10 | “Santa’s Little Helper” | Aired Dec 10, 1993

In the past nine episodes of Boy Meets World, there have been hints that Shawn Hunter’s family wasn’t as ideal as Cory’s. He’s always spending time at Cory’s house. He never really talks about his parents (whatever happened to that sister of his?) and no one seems to care when he gets into trouble. The issue has never been at the forefront of any episode until episode 10, which focuses on Shawn’s family situation and Morgan’s incidental attempted murder of Santa Clause.

The episode opens, as so many do, in Mr. Feeny’s classroom, where the story’s themes are foreshadowed. The class is begrudgingly reading A Christmas Carol (which Feeny has been reading aloud to the class—gosh, that must have been a few days). When Topanga is asked to switch positions with the mischievous Cory, she channels him psychologically, noting, “I am a hyperactive, underachieving 11-year-old boy.”

She finds switching seats with him physically much easier to do.

Later, Minkus is collecting money for Feeny’s Christmas gift at lunch. The only person yet to give is Shawn, who has been putting it off for days while privately telling Cory about how many Christmas gifts he’s expecting. That night, Alan puts a cramp in Shawn’s story by telling Cory the truth: Shawn’s father has lost his job and Shawn isn’t expecting a big Christmas. Shawn has been hiding this from his best friend.

It’s then that the story focuses on giving itself. While Cory naively offers Shawn an official NBA basketball he was going to get for Christmas, his younger sister is seeking her own presents when she visits the local mall Santa. Neither party gets what they want. Shawn rejects Cory’s gift (“I’d rather have nothing for Christmas than your lousy charity,” he says), while Morgan has a traumatizing experience in the mall when Santa has a heart attack right in front of her.

“He grabbed his chest, yelled ‘Rudolph’ and fell over,” Amy says.

Morgan believes that she killed Santa (and locks herself in the bathroom), while Cory believes that he’s done a great thing—only to be corrected by the wise Mr. Feeny.

In school, Cory and Shawn spend less time together, and Minkus asks Shawn about his donation. When Minkus notes that Shawn’s time is up and he won’t be included on Feeny’s card if he doesn’t give, Shawn hesitates. “The entire sixth grade of Jefferson Elementary is going to know you’re a deadbeat.” (First, why does Minkus think they go to Jefferson Elementary, and second, when did he become such a jerk?) Cory ultimately offers Minkus the money (the money he’s been “saving up for a month”), saying that he owed Shawn that amount.

When Shawn realizes that he’s listed on Feeny’s card (which comes along with the gift of a dictionary) despite not chipping in, he stops Minkus in the hall to thank him. Minkus notes that Cory gave him the money, leading this duo to have a warm moment together, with each wishing the other, “Merry Christmas.” Shawn goes back to visit Cory and the two best friends are reunited. Meanwhile, after a harsh visit from Santa’s angry elf, Morgan recognizes that she didn’t kill Santa (a few presents and a last-minute visit by Feeny as Santa help assuage her concerns).

But the real highlight of the episode comes when, after Shawn is reunited with Cory, he leaves the Matthews home, stating, “When I got friends, I can get through anything.” So true.

Life lesson: When you have friends, you can get through even a present-less Christmas.

Memorable quote: “Then how come he called me a demon child?” —Morgan telling her parents why she thinks Santa’s elf was mad at her after Santa had a heart attack

Note: Shockingly, Minkus calls the school the wrong name in this episode, referring to it as Jefferson Elementary.

What did you think of the tenth episode of Boy Meets World? Do you think that Minkus was trying to come off as a jerk or just sticking to closely to the rules?

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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