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Brothers · Boy Meets Real World · It's Not You... It's Me · Fraternity Row · The Witches of Pennbrook · No Guts, No Cory · I Love You, Donna Karan · Chasing Angela · How to Succeed in Business · Last Tango in Philly · A Very Topanga Christmas · Raging Cory · The Eskimo · Heartbreak Cory · First Girlfriends Club · Torn Between Two Lovers (Feeling Like a Fool) · And Then There Was Shawn · If You Can't Be With the One You Love... · Eric Hollywood · Starry Night · Honesty Night · Prom-ises, Prom-ises · Things Change · Graduation


Graduation
Season No. 5
Episode No. 24
Original Airdate May 15, 1998
Written by Bob Tischler and Matthew Nelson
Directed by Alan Myerson
Guest starring Ethan Suplee as Frankie Stecchino, Blake Soper as Joey Epstein, Lee Norris as Stuart Minkus

Synopsis

Excited about graduating from John Adams High, Cory attempts to get Shawn equally excited by telling him how it's their last chance to talk to  good old friends. Even though they can't think of anyone like that, they end up conversing with Frankie, Joey, and Minkus, none of whom they've seen for some time. Cory fails to excite Shawn, who can't wait to get out of high school. When he comes home to Jack with a caricature of Shawn and a banner, Shawn quickly is upset, pointing out (after they wrestle) that he's trying to get him in touch with his feelings, not Shawn's. In fact, Shawn isn't even willing to write a paper about his feelings during the final week of school that Feeny assigns, even though it is for no credit.

Lulu

Eric sings a farewell.

Cory has other issues, as well. Topanga seems set on attending Pennbrook with Cory, but Cory feels guilty about it. He gives her some information to read and tells her to really think about it, because he doesn't want to be the reason to blow off Yale. Topanga seeks Feeny for advice. He simply tells her, "Unless you have a very good reason for not going to Yale, you should go." Suddenly, Eric bursts in through the window, determined to prevent Feeny from retiring. Feeny quickly sends him away, as he exits clumbsily through the window. Cory deals with it, for he is depressed but genuinely feels that Topanga deserves to go to Yale.

In their last class, everyone leaves exactly as the bell rings, even though Feeny is in mid-sentence. Cory, Shawn, and Topanga stay, though. They say they have time and want to hear him. Feeny simply wanted to say he'd miss them, but they ask him if they're why he's retiring. He says he's retiring because of what they did for him, not to him. Even though he complained, he says, sometimes you complain about what you care about the most. He then asks Shawn how is paper is coming.

Topangaproposes

Topanga proposes to Cory.

At the graduation ceremony, Topanga opts not to give her valedictorian speech (which she had been working endlessly on), but let Shawn read a speech instead. He says that he had hated it at the school, even though it was his home. But now he feels like he'll miss it, and he feels guilty because he could have done better. Just as Shawn's speech end, Eric pops up among the students. He begins to sing To Sir, With Love to try to convince Feeny to stay. Nevertheless, the graduation ceremony continues. Just as the last name is announced, and all of the students stand up, Topanga asks Cory to marry her.

Shawn's Speech

"I attended John Adams High School sporadically during the last four years, I barely have a C average, that’s why I’m here. Mr. Feeny asked us to write about what we were feeling this week and, of course, I was feeling like I always do, I couldn’t wait to get out of here. But now, high school is over. And just when I’m finally free, I find myself sneaking back into this place and sitting in the hall, thinking about my friends and all the time we spent here. And you, Mr. Feeny. I started thinking about you. And how you’ve always told us what to do without ever telling us what to do. You taught us about life. I was thinking about how much this place has been my home. And how many times I screwed up when I was here. How I could’ve done better. I could’ve done better. That’s um… That’s what I wrote. That’s how I feel. I’m sorry. I could’ve done better. Congratulations to those who did."

Trivia

  • The Good-Looking Guy theme song (from "Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow") plays as Eric exits Feeny's office through the window.
  • Cory puts chickens in the hallway as his senior prank.
  • Shawn decides to go straight from high school to a full-time job because he disliked high school so much that he can't see himself enjoying college. In an earlier episode of the same season, "Fraternity Row" (1997), Shawn takes a college course and loves it so much that he considers dropping out of high school to go to college.
  • Shawn says he attended John Adams for the last 4 years, although the school was initially a grades 7-12 high school as seen in the second season, where he and Cory first start there at age 12. However, somewhere along the series, both Cory, Shawn and Topanga age by 2 years, skip 2 years of high school education without any actual time passing, and John Adams became a 4 year high school.
  • This is the final appearance of Frankie, Joey, and Minkus. Minkus, who had previously not been seen since the first season (1993-1994) would reappear 16 years later in 2014 in the 7th episode of Girl Meets World, "Girl Meets Maya's Mother". Frankie and Joey's old leader, Harvey "Harley" Keiner, appears later in the 12th episode "Girl Meets the Forgotten" as the janitor at John Quincy Adams Middle School. Although Joey doesn't make any physical appearances, in the 13th episode "Girl Meets Flaws", Minkus' son Farkle wins an award called "The Joseph T.R (The Rat) Epstein Confidence Award"

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Transcript Available

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