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'Boy Meets World' #TBT recap: Cory becomes a man (kind of)

Editors’ Note: As our love for spin-off series Girl Meets World grows, John Hanlon recaps 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 19 | “Kid Gloves” | Aired Mar 25, 1994

What do a tennis racket, a Barbie doll taped to a brick, and a stingray have in common? If you guessed that they can all be found at the bottom of a YMCA pool in Philadelphia, you would be absolutely right. At least, those are the items found at the bottom of the pool when Cory dives into it late at night during episode 19 of Boy Meets World.

In this episode, Mr. Feeny offers the students a variety of extracurricular activities that the Philadelphia Board of Education has approved for the city’s students. Both Cory and Shawn are actually excited by one of the options: scuba diving.

The duo is ready to get started, and Topanga—wearing a one-piece that neither of the two boys can mock (hormones!)—and Minkus are along for the scuba class.

In what would become a pattern for this series, Mr. Feeny is there to guide them wherever they may be. It turns out that Mr. Feeny is a certified dive master and will be teaching the students.

Wherever the students go, Feeny is always ready for it. Elementary school. Check. High school. Check. College? Check. He can literally do anything, including scuba dive.

All is well with the scuba class until Cory misplaces an important piece of jewelry recently given to him on his 12th birthday. On that day (which Alan refers to as the birthday when Cory becomes a man), Alan had placed a box on Cory’s head while he was sleeping. The box contained a necklace with boxing-glove medallions on it. Cory thought little of the gift when he received it—assuming they were mittens, not boxing gloves—and misplaced it during scuba class.

Of course, Cory didn’t know what the medallions meant to his father until after the class. Alan explains to both Eric and Cory that he had won those medallions boxing in the United States Navy. He had been the runner-up in his weight division in the entire Navy. As soon as Cory finds out about the significance of the necklace, he sneaks back into the Y late at night—against Feeny’s specific rules about diving alone—and searches for the necklace (finding only the items listed above).

Feeny finds him at the YMCA and pulls him out of the pool (how Feeny knew he was there is anyone’s guess). Cory returns home, only to find his parents anxiously waiting for him (Eric had informed them that Cory was at Shawn’s house but when Shawn arrived at the house asking for Cory, their jig was up). Cory confesses his mistake to his parents, and Alan tells him that the gloves aren’t that important to him anymore.

His children are what matters to him now. That’s why they were so worried.

Feeny arrives after finding the boxing pendants in the pool’s filter, and Cory returns them to his father. “Give them back to me on the most important day of my life,” he says. Alan notes, “When will that be?” and Cory sensitively responds, “Whatever day you give ’em back.”

Life lesson: First, the YMCA should clean out its pools more often. Second, gifts aren’t as important as the relationships they represent.

Memorable quote: “You are the whitest white boy I have ever seen.” —Shawn’s remark when he sees Cory shirtless

Note: This episode creates some backstory for both Alan and Mr. Feeny, revealing that Alan was a boxer in the United States Navy and that Mr. Feeny is an expert at everything.

What did you think of this episode? Did you remember Feeny teaching a scuba class on the show? Is there anything he can’t do?

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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