It's been 25 years since Boy Meets World premiered on ABC. Since then the wholesome series about a boy enduring the trials of adolescence has become essential viewing for kids and adults alike. Created by Michael Jacobs and April Kelly in 1993, the series followed Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) as he learned life's important lessons alongside his best friend Shawn (Rider Strong), childhood sweetheart Topanga (Danielle Fishel), older brother Eric (Will Friedle), younger sister Morgan (Lily Gibson and Lindsay Ridgeway) and beloved mentor Mr. Feeny (William Daniels).
It took several seasons for the show to noticeably click with audiences, but it eventually became a staple in ABC's legendary TGIF lineup. After a successful seven-season run that gave us the infamous Feeny Call and one of the greatest bromances of all time (Corey and Shawn forever!), the series wrapped in 2000. However, thanks to its availability on streaming platforms like Hulu and its younger-skewing spin-off Girl Meets World, which ran on Disney Channel for three seasons, the show's popularity has only grown since going off the air. According to Fishel, Boy Meets World's enduring legacy can also be attributed to its honest approach to universal issues.
"It was a super grounded show directed at kids but [it] didn't feel like anybody was being talked down to," she told TV Guide of the show's legacy during New York Comic Con, where the cast gathered for a reunion panel. "I think it endures because those are life lessons and experiences that no matter what decade you grow up in, you go through that. They are universal experiences. So, every person can find something they can relate to even if they don't relate to every aspect. I think it stands the test of time."
"I think everyone could see a bit of themselves in one or many of the characters," added Savage. "That's what I'm most proud of about the show, was that the characters were people you could relate to and who you wanted to hang out with. They kinda felt like your friends and family."
For Friedle, the series represents a different era of television, a unique time before social media was the dominant form of communication. "It's now only one generation removed from all the social media stuff, so you can go back and watch a life that wasn't that long ago where it wasn't about Twitter and cell phones and Facebook. It wasn't about that. It was just about the life that was happening right here, so I think there's something special to that," he explained.
Recognizing just how special Boy Meets World was, Savage says he isn't sure that magic could be recreated with a reboot. "It's a much different culture now. I don't know if Boy Meets World — I hope it would be accepted — but I don't know if a new Boy Meets World would be made today," said Savage.
"It would require a certain amount of risk on the part of the network that would air it," added Fishel.
But if a Boy Meets World reboot ever made its way to television today, Friedle thinks the new iteration would have a nostalgic feel to it. "It would look like a throwback sitcom," he said. "It would look like an '80s family sitcom where it was just nice families living together, learning together, loving together."
Of course, a new iteration would have to be updated for today's issues, which Fishel says include "online bullying, people not knowing how to communicate face to face because they're so used to communicating behind a screen, stuff like that that we didn't deal with in the '90s because we weren't faced with it yet."
"I'd like to say that the show would be very much the same; it would just have a whole new wealth of issues and things to draw on," she said.
Boy Meets World is available to stream on Hulu.