|Season 1, Episode 8|
November 19, 1993
"I note an escalating tendency for you to make humorous comments about the things I'm teaching, Mr. Matthews. You are making my job very difficult."
"We both know it's not very hard to teach sixth grade, so I always thought you secretly liked that I make it a little more challenging."
"Oh, so that's it. My job is easy."
"Well, you know, same stuff every year. The only thing that changes is the students."
"You know, I always thought you had the easy job, just sitting in class, listening."
"Are you kidding? Thirty-five hours a week in here with you? Major homework every night? It never stops, Mr. Feeny." [...]
"Why don't we trade jobs for the rest of the week? [...] You may teach one of my classes until Friday, at which point you will administer a test that I have prepared. [...] You'll be having the easy job: giving the test. And if more students than normal pass, you win. And if more students fail, I win."
"Teacher's Bet" is the eighth episode of season one of Boy Meets World, and the eighth of the overall series. It first aired on November 19, 1993. The episode was written by April Kelly, and directed by David Trainer.
Shawn comes into the cafeteria with an article about Barry Bonds. Minkus is shocked to hear that a baseball player is paid millions of dollars when Mr. Feeny only gets $40,000 a year. Shawn and Cory think that's a gross over compensation of salary for a job that never changes, and in fact thinks Mr. Feeny is as predictable and unchanging as his course work.
The lesson of the week is prejudice, from slavery in the south to Nazi Germany. After one too many cracks, Mr. Feeny calls Cory aside after class and tells him he's making teaching difficult. Cory thinks he just makes Mr. Feeny's otherwise dull and easy job more interesting and with that, Mr. Feeny makes a bet with Cory. Teach the class for one week and if more kids than normal pass the test, Cory wins 1/5 of Mr. Feeny's weekly paycheck. And if less kids pass, Mr. Feeny gets Cory's brand new bike.
Eric brings home his new friend, Linda, and Morgan takes a liking to her, especially when she gets a Japanese lantern as a gift from Linda. While Amy hustles them into the kitchen to eat, Cory and his dad get home and Cory excitedly tells them both about the bet. His parents are less than enthused about Cory possibly losing his new bicycle since he's not exactly a stellar student. His first day of teaching, Cory introduces himself to the class as "Hey Dude", eliminates the dress code, and assigns Minkus to get a life. When he returns, convinced he's the greatest teacher ever, his dad tamps down his good mood by asking for details on the bet. It turns out that since Mr. Feeny grades on a curve, he'd score highest on the test (that he wrote) and more kids would fail.
The next day, Cory tries to get his act together by employing the help of Shawn but Shawn would rather play poker. Topanga opts to sit on a yoga cushion instead of her desk and Minkus brings in a space hopper. He takes attendance amid a flurry of paper balls and sees George Feeny walk in wearing a baseball jersey. Cory doesn't get far before he gives up. At home, while reading the assigned book, 'The Diary of Anne Frank', he witnesses eric comfort a crying Linda after someone called her a racial slur at the mall. He's surprised this kind of prejudiced still exists, in his town, and is determined when he goes back to class.
Cory starts his class with his first hand example but still, no one pays attention. Mr. Feeny sees that he's trying to make a connection and just as Cory gives up, he calls Shawn a horrible name and gets everyone's attention. He makes Shawn and the other stunned students think about what he said and why it's not okay. Cory makes a passionate speech against prejudice, tying it into the assigned book. In the end, the same number of students pass as usual (with Shawn doing better than usual) and the bet is called a draw. Cory comes away with a new appreciation for teaching.
The post-credits tag lightens up the mood with a happier Linda having made the cheerleader squad and stopping by to show off some new cheers (that are familiar to former cheerleader Amy).
- 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
- Lindsay Price as Linda
Mr. Feeny: I note an escalating tendency for you to make humorous comments about the things I'm teaching, Mr Matthews. You're making my job very difficult.
Cory: Well, we both know it's not very hard to teach sixth grade, so I always thought you secretly liked that I made it a little more challenging.
Linda: So. You think I'm a new girlfriend, do you?
Morgan: Uh huh.
Eric: Uh guys, can we talk about, like, *anything* else?
Linda: Are there any old girlfriends?
Alan: Why does Feeny want that bike?
Amy: Alan, obviously this is one of those Mr. Feeny lesson things.
Alan: Well, what if the lesson is "I want that bike!"
Cory: You guys know that rule about no baseball caps in class? History! (Topanga raises her hand) Yeah, Topanga.
Topanga: If we're going to eliminate the cap rule, can we also discard the dress code in its entirety?
Cory: Why? You're not thinking about showing up, like, naked tomorrow, are you?
Shawn: Did you hear what he called me?!
Mr. Feeny: I heard what he called you.
Shawn: Well, what are you gonna do about it?!
Mr. Feeny: He's the teacher. What are you gonna do about it?
Shawn: I'm gonna knock his head off! (he shoves Cory)
Cory: What if you couldn't?! What if you couldn't do anything about it?
Cory: What if you lived in a country where I could kill you just because of your mom's last name?
Shawn: Cory what are you talking about?
Cory: A fifteen year old girl is dead! Doesn't anybody care?