“Cory's Alternative Friends”
|Season 1, Episode 4|
October 15, 1993
"Why do you care so much what other people think? When people laugh at you, they're depleting their own karmic reservoir."
"You're going to be one of those girls who doesn't shave her legs, aren't you?"
"I haven't decided yet."
"Do you actually try to be weird?"
"I don't think I'm weird. I think I'm unique. [...] The earth is crying for you, Cory."
"I'd rather have the earth crying than my friends laughing. People make fun of you, Topanga."
"I couldn't take it. I just want to blend in."
"Cory's Alternative Friends" is the fourth episode of season one of Boy Meets World, and the fourth of the overall series. It first aired on October 15, 1993. The episode was written by Patricia Forrester, and directed by David Trainer.
Cory and Shawn do a presentation on air pollution that doesn't go over very well with Mr Feeny. He blames himself for letting them chose their own partners and assigns them new ones: Shawn is partnered with Stuart Minkus and Cory is with Topanga Lawrence. Cory is less than thrilled to be partnered with the "totally strange" girl but Mr Feeny is firm on his choice.
At lunch, Cory overhears some girls badmouthing a "total Brillo head" and thinks they're talking about him. Feeling self-conscious he asks Shawn's opinion but doesn't get much help there. Topanga stops by his table to confirm plans that she's coming over to his house and to ask that they sign a petition on behalf of the librarian. Apparently the elderly librarian is being forced to retire but Cory and Shawn couldn't care less. After Topanga leaves, they talk about her and Minkus sitting at the "weirdo table" at lunch then come up with a possible solution for Cory's hair problem. Shawn will call his sister to get what she uses to straighten her hair.
After school, Topanga and Cory meet up to work on their report but can't seem to agree how to present it. Cory wants to do a quick, in and out presentation while Topanga is leaning towards performance art. After performing her eponymous "Donut in the Sky" poem, Cory and Topanga talk about fitting in vs. being true to yourself. Topanga doesn't care that people make fun of her and thinks Cory does a good job of blending in, except for his red baseball cap. That's when Shawn arrives with his sister's hair supplies. After tricking Topanga into leaving, the two boys head upstairs and set out to straighten Cory's hair but things go horribly wrong when he leaves the chemicals in his hair for too long. With unnaturally smooth and hardened hair, Cory gets no real advice from his parents and brother. He refuses to go to school but it's not up to him.
Everyone at school laughs at Cory's new hair, except for Topanga. That's why he finds himself sitting at her table during lunch. The so-called "weirdo table" have trouble getting their petition signed and Cory thinks it's because they don't know anything about their fellow classmates. While the weirdo kids like watching Crossfire or Angela Lansbury, Cory's old friends prefer Beavis and Butthead. He believes in order for them to get signatures, they need to get people's attention. Topanga and her friends are intrigued and thus they hatch a plan. After school, Cory puts curlers in his hair in an attempt to look normal again but that looks worse than his previous hair; even Topanga and the "weirdos" laugh.
Despite his hair, Cory doesn't let his new friends down. They handcuff themselves and form a chain blocking the exit hall of the school at the end of the day. They're met with hostility at first but Cory convinces his fellow classmates that it's better to petition the old, senile librarian to stay than to allow the school board to hire some new, young, potentially strict librarian. With the task accomplished, Minkus and the other "weirdos" uncuff themselves and leave. Topanga and Cory are left, still handcuffed to their lockers and share their first kiss, much to Cory's shock and embarrassment.
In the end, Cory's hair returns to normal and he finds out the girls who were supposedly badmouthing his hair were actually talking about another boy. Though he goes back to having lunch with his old buddies, he and Topanga share a look (and Topanga shows off her new red baseball cap).
- Ben Savage as Cory Matthews
- Rider Strong as Shawn Hunter
- Will Friedle as Eric Matthews
- William Daniels as George Feeny
- Lee Norris as Stuart Minkus
- Lily Nicksay as Morgan Matthews
- Betsy Randle as Amy Matthews
- William Russ as Alan Matthews
- Marla Sokoloff as Paige
- Megan Parlen as Barbara
- Katie Jane Johnston as Hillary
- Matthew Bartilson as Darren
- Marty York as Larry
- Sam Horrigan as Student #1
- Chris Owen as Ned
Cory: What do you think of my hair?
Shawn: Guys don't ask guys that question.
Cory: Would this classify as a "Brillo head"?
Shawn: Nah. (feels Cory's hair) You're more like a Nerf head.
Cory (reading Topanga's poem):
Sun. The only. The one.
Doughnut in the sky.
Space. Big gaping place.
Without. Within. Our skin.
Doughnut in the sky.
Humpback whale. So pale.
Exhaust. Is all lost?
Doughnut in the sky.
Cory: Do you actually try to be weird?
Topanga: I don't think I'm weird. I think I'm unique. Jedediah and Chloe say that every time you're not true to yourself, the earth weeps.
Cory: Do they say that in their native Martian?
Topanga: The earth is crying for you, Cory.
Cory: I'd rather the earth crying than my friends laughing. People make fun of you, Topanga.
Cory: I couldn't take it. I just want to blend in.
Eric: Doesn't really matter mom, his hair's gonna fall out.
Amy: Eric, stop it.
Eric: What? I'm just saying. Kid at school tried the same thing. (slaps hands together) Bald as a cue ball! She looks terrible.
Alan: I just hope your hair doesn't fall out.
Alan: Well, honey a guy at work, Mike, put this kind of stuff in his hair. (slaps hands together) Bald as a cue ball!
- This episode marks the first appearance of Topanga Lawrence.
- Topanga says that her mother's name is Chloe. However, in later episodes her mother's name is Rhiannon.
- Two scenes were used as flashbacks on the sequel/spin-off Girl Meets World; one in Girl Meets Popular and another in Girl Meets Brother.
- Shawn mentions having a sister, Stacy Hunter, in this episode. This is never seen nor referred to again. (Rider Strong revealed in 2013 why Shawn has a sister named Stacy who never is mentioned after this episode. Another young actor, playing Cory and Shawn's friend, who would have had Stacey as an older sister, was fired just prior to filming and so Rider Strong was given all of those lines.)
- The sequel/spin-off Girl Meets World has an episode called "Girl Meets Cory and Topanga", in which Riley Matthews and Maya Hart are digitally inserted into footage from this episode, with them witnessing Cory and Topanga as 11-year-olds.