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'Boy Meets World' #TBT recap: Eric's dating advice

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 2 | Episode 2 | “Pairing Off” | Aired Sept 30, 1994

Mr. Feeny, it turns out, is a man who takes romance seriously. In “Pairing Off,” the second episode in the second season of Boy Meets World, he calmly lets two high school students make out in his hallway. Cory asks Feeny, who is the sitting principal of the high school, if he will intervene. No, Feeny states, the students both get good grades and are thus allowed to engage in public displays of affection.

Will the same principle apply to me, Cory asks. “With your grades, Mr. Matthews, you can’t even shake hands,” Feeny replies.

So begins this episode, dedicated as it is to young people pairing off with their potential mates. Seeing romance bloom around him as individuals get paired off into couples, Cory has no one to turn to, except for Topanga. He knows Topanga well, so he asks her to be a couple with him for the sake of convenience. “I think you and I should spare a lot of uncoolness and walk through life together,” he says. She promptly rejects the offer (calling him “my dear little butthead” in the process).

Cory is left single in a world of couples.

During his health class (in which Shawn attempts to flirt with the visiting professor), Cory tells the substitute teacher about how little he knows about romance. He does know about the reproductive system, though, he says, presenting his cynical thoughts on his own birth.

Cory’s romantic life is still hopeless, but Shawn shows him the secret method he uses to attract the opposite sex: the hair flip. Shawn can attract a girl’s attention from 30 feet away with it but alas, Cory’s hair doesn’t flip (Topanga, seeing him scratching his head furiously in frustration at not being able to pull off the flip, assumes that the “dear little butthead” has lice.)

At home, Cory wants to avoid the subject of romance, but can’t when he hears noises upstairs when his house should’ve been empty. He walks in on Eric and a girl named Rebecca making out on his parents’ bed. Oh my. Before Eric and Rebecca go any further, though, she storms out the door, leaving Eric upset and Cory with the upper hand. Cory says he won’t tell his parents about Eric’s bedroom activities if Eric teaches him about girls. Eric agrees.

Eric’s idea, simply enough, is to pick a girl (any girl!) and stare at her until she starts to notice you. Unfortunately, the only girl paying attention to Eric these days is Amy—his mother—who finds Rebecca’s earring on her bed. Alan and Amy approach Eric about it and Cory quickly interjects, noting his newfound fondness for his brother. “He taught me how to get what I want from a girl,” Cory says helpfully. Cory admits that he’s scored a date using Eric’s advice—with a girl whose name eludes him. Amy and Alan are still furious, but Eric manages to survive their anger.

The following day, Cory’s first date has arrived. Now, though, he knows—because of Amy’s advice—that he shouldn’t treat women the same way that Eric does. Cory tells the girl he was supposed to go out with (it turns out that Wendy is her name) that he might not be ready for an official date. She agrees. They both decide to just spend some time talking to one another.

With Mr. Feeny’s rule firmly in place, Cory and Wendy start their relationship slowly, knowing that it could grow into something, but appreciating the time needed to take it there.

Life lesson: Romantic relationships should be built slowly. But more important, never leave a girl’s earrings in your parents’ bed.

Memorable quote: “I have you. I have you by your ovaries” —Cory blackmailing his brother and threatening to tell their parents about Eric’s make-out session

Note: Despite her decision to kiss Cory in season 1, Topanga is completely turned off by the idea of dating him in this episode. It’s possible that she would’ve agreed to date him if his approach didn’t leave so much to be desired, though.

What did you think of this episode? Were you surprised by how clueless Cory was when his parents were yelling at Eric about having a girl in their bed? Did Shawn’s flirtation with the visiting health professor remind you of Pacey’s romance with his professor on Dawson’s Creek?

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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