Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Boy Meets World

Fourteen years ago, we said goodbye to one of the most influential TV series on millennials. In the current era in which nostalgia is not only cool, but more importantly, profitable, the folks from Boy Meets World decided it would be the perfect time to bring back the beloved series. Except they were super smart about it and instead of doing a whole reboot, it’s a spin-off with BMW’s main star, Cory and his oddly-named soulmate/wife/best friend Topanga and their two kids, specifically tween daughter Riley who like young Cory, is trying to find her place in the world.

Before the highly-anticipated series premieres on Friday, it’s only appropriate that we look back at the past, at a time when jeans were high-waisted, the hair was teased, and leather jacket made teachers look cool (where ARE you Mr. Turner?). While we know that people like Mr. Feeny, Mr. & Mrs. Matthews, and Uncle Shawn are heading to Girl Meets World, here are some unexpected guest stars of BMW that mostly likely won’t be reprising their roles.

Marla Sokoloff as Paige

{Season 1, Episode 4}

Just before Marla appeared as Gia, the bad influence on Stephanie Judith Tanner on Full House, she had a small role on BMW as a classmate who calls Cory overhears her call him a total “Brillo Head”, a term that sticks out in my mind when I think about this show for some reason. Cory gets the courage to confront her about calling him that, except she wasn’t talking about him in the first place, but rather her friend’s brother instead.

Keri Russell as Jessica

{Season 1, Episode 7}

dem jeans doe

Pre-Felicity (but with all the same hair to rival Topanga’s), Keri played Mr. Feeny’s niece who had a brief fling with Eric. That is until Cory pointed out Eric was “swapping spit with a Feeny”.

Rue McClanahan as Bernice Matthews

{Season 1, Episode 7}

In an alternate universe, Blanche Deveraux is the Matthews’ kids’ grandmother. And she wears fringe. God bless America.

Lindsay Price as Linda

{Season 1, Episode 8}

Lindsay Price is supposed to be 15 and 3/4 in this episode, but looks like a grown ass woman wearing one of those sweater vests that is like what you would wear to an ugly Christmas sweater party. Except sans Christmas decorations. Anyways, she plays a love interest for Eric who gets called something racist while she’s at the mall. It’s one of those deeper, more moral-centric episodes of the series, and Cory gives a passionate speech about Linda and Anne Frank in class. Gotta love this program.

Shane West as Nick

{Season 3, Episode 14}

It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when Cory and Topanga were ever not together – and in those episodes, we try to forget – but apparently Topanga even got the chance to date a kid named Nick, played by A Walk to Remember favorite, Shane West. Topanga and Cory run into Nick while they’re shopping for Christmas presents at the mall and turns out he’s working at Macy’s. But really, why is this teen boy working at Macy’s is my question.

Larissa Olyenik as Dana Pruitt

{Season 3, Episode 15 & 16}

Larisa was able to escape the Secret World of Nickelodeon and head over to Disney, leaving Alex Mack behind and stepping into the shoes of Dana Pruitt. She’s one of Cory & Shawn’s classmates, who Shawn asks out on a date, but since it’s clear all he wants to do on said date is make out with her, she declines a second date. Turns out she’s then interested in Cory who’s a “nice guy” and ended up not even kissing him at all, because he’s “boyfriend material” and wanted to take things slow. Meanwhile, Shawn got all jealous and pours his heart out to Dana who agrees to go on another date with him. They date for another episode until things get weird when Dana’s mom AND aunt date Mr. Turner (who is technically Shawn’s guardian at the moment). Yikes. Fun fact: Rider Strong and Larisa appeared as Gavroche & Cossette in a San Francisco production of Les Mis together in 1989!

Danny Strong as Arthur

{Season 3, Episode 15}

In the same episode as Alex Mack’s appearance, comes Danny Strong, who has since become an award-winning multi-hyphenate, but to me will forever be Doyle McMaster/Mr. Paris Gellar on Gilmore Girls. In BMW, he played a rival to Eric when the two compete for an internship at the local news station. Surprise, surprise (no really, a total surprise), Eric beats him to it.

Mena Suvari as Laura/Hilary

{Season 2, Episode 16; Season 3, Episode 12}

Mena is a double agent in BMW, first appearing as a girl who’s into Eric, and the second time she plays a girl checking people in at the door to a dance and thinks Cory is Shawn, who already as a reputation as a ladies’ man at this school on the other side of town. Needless to say, it’s not surprising this was her first professional acting role.

Adam Scott as Griff Hawkins

{Seasons 2 & 3}

Adam Scott easily wins the best guest star role award, just because he is Adam Scott. The funny thing about him in this show is that when I watched it as a tween, I remember thinking he was way too serious and seemed like too much of an “adult actor” on a kids show that it was oddly unsettling. Fast forward years later when I find out that the kid who fills in for the man in charge, Harley Kleiner, was no other than Human Disaster Ben Wyatt I flipped out. If anyone should make an appearance on GMW, it needs to be Adam Scott. Come on, Adam. Do it for your kids.

Brittany Murphy as Trini

{Season 3 , Episode 9}

Don’t be confused by her name – she’s not the yellow power ranger (although, RIP to both of them :\ ) Britt plays a classmate who needs a partner for one of their projects, and since Topanga is out sick, and Mr. Feeny split Cory and Shawn apart, Cory’s in need of a partner. And instead of choosing sweet, awkward Trini, he goes for super popular hot girl Missy. Check minus, Cory Matthews.

Charisma Carpenter

{Season 3, Episode 10}

This is the episode where they get stuck on a subway train on New Year’s Eve – and don’t get that confused with the episode of Full House where they get stuck on a subway train on the way to Uncle Jesse’s graduation, because lawd certainly knows I did. In the clip above Charisma Carpenter doesn’t have any lines, however you know who does- Wesley Jonathan. C-I-T-Y you can see why/these guys/the neat guys/smart and streetwise. Anyone? Anyone?

Andrew Keegan

{Season 3, Episode 21}

Remember the heartthrobs of the 90s and how both Rider Strong and Andrew Keegan were always in those pullout posters in Teen Beat? Well I can’t even imaging what it was like when they were on the same show together, even if it was for but a fleeting moment. Andrew played Ronnie “Lips” Watterman, who along with Topanga and this chick Kristen win an essay contest that wins them a trip down to Disney. And yes, this is the episode (again, not to be confused with the FH ep where DJ can’t stop seeing Steve everywhere) where Cory follows Topanga down to Florida to declare his love for her.

Candace Cameron Bure as Millie

{Season 5, Episode 5}

Speaking of Deej Tanner, immediately after FH ended, Candace got married and died her hair bleach blonde and then ended up back on the TGIF lineup on BMW as a crazy neighbor to Jack and Eric. Also, she’s a witch. Naturally. I wonder what her brother Kirk Cameron had to say about this.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

{Seasons 5, Episode 17}

Obviously, if you’re a BMW fan, you know this episode is probably not only the greatest in the entire series, but one of the most 22 minutes of television ever. How can you deny the screams of Jennifer Love Fefferman and the ultimate story of loyalty and friendship??

Linda Cardellini as the bitch who kissed Cory Lauren

{Season 5 }

First of all, I’d like to point out that I did not make the above meme, someone else clearly has the same thoughts as many BMW experts who also watch Mad Men. Linda obviously played the infamous Lauren in the ski trip episode, kissing Cory and ultimately the reason why he and Topanga broke up. Listen, Linda. You can be Freaks and Geeks me, Scooby Doo, even ER me, but you will forever be the bitch who broke up one of TV’s greatest couples. I mean, they clearly got back together, but still.

Fred Savage

{Season 6, Episode 7}

It was inevitable to have Ben Savage’s brother be on the show, right? Well I always found it interesting that the one time he’s on it, he plays skeezy college professor Stuart,. who hits on Topanga then instantly denies it. When confronted about he by Cory, the usually level-headed Mr. Matthews pushes Stuart through a glass door and he has to “go on trial” in front of the Dean – who subsequently only suspends Cory for one day. Peace out Ben Savage.

Nia Vardalos as Mrs. Gallagher

{Season 6, Episode 18}

Remember the time Eric befriended a small tot named Tommy who basically begs Eric to adopt him so he doesn’t have to live with foster parents in California. Eric seriously considers it and talks to the adoption center worker, played by Nia Vardalos. In a shocking moment of clarity, Eric realizes it’s the wrong thing to do and has to break this kid’s heart.

Marcia Cross as Rihannon Lawrence

{Season 7}

I appreciate that Topanga’s mom’s name is Rihannon – it totally fits with their hippie vibe. However I always thought Marcia Cross herself was an odd choice of casting, even though she joined later in the series, since the original Mrs. Lawrence was busy, I guess? I mean Topanga’s dad was played by three different actors, including one of The Monkees.

 

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