“You Can Go Home Again”
|Season 4, Episode 1|
September 20, 1996
Cory and Eric are coming to the close of their road trip, having traveled to every part of the country they could. However, only three hours from home, Eric pulls into Pottstown, home of the World's Largest Yogurt Cup, ostensibly to get Cory a new pair of pants because he refuses to wear dirty pants or underwear. Although Cory wants nothing more to go home and see Topanga, whom he is reminded of by everything he sees, Eric insists they stay for the sprinkle parade.
Back at home, Shawn and Topanga arrive at the Matthews' home to await Cory's homecoming. Alan is alarmed at Shawn's insistence that he be allowed to take a hot bath while Alan and Amy leave to accept Alan's Grocer of the Year award (there is seepage at the trailer park), and forbids Shawn from using his bathtub. Regardless, Shawn takes a bath as soon as they leave.
Meanwhile, Eric hits on Irene, the pretty waitress at the Pottstown coffee shop/gift shop/motel. She is flattered that a city man like him would be romantically interested in a small-town girl like her, and doesn't help Cory, whom Eric has told her is a hitchhiker, when he insists that they leave. After he catches the sprinkle parade, which involved sprinkles being poured on the audience, he grabs the car keys and threatens to drive home alone, license be damned. Eric, however, easily tricks him into hand the keys over, and he leaves to hitchhike. Eric's new girlfriend assures him Cory can't go far because everybody that could give him a ride are there at the coffee shop.
Back in Philadelphia, Alan and Amy arrive home with a golden shopping cart award to find Shawn in Alan's robe. On his way out, Shawn warns them not to take a bath because the tub is now disgusting. When Alan asks for his robe back, Shawn snaps that he's naked without it; Alan tells him to keep it.
Once Shawn's gone, Amy puts the award up on the mantelpiece. Alan, however, is annoyed by it. Being the manager of a grocery store at his age was not part of the plan at all. He gets huffy and doesn't open up to his wife until after they've been sitting outside on the bench together for a while.
A bit later, Mr. Feeny comes out and joins them. Although he claims to not have been listening, when Alan asks him if he hates his job, he replies that the only job he hated was when he worked at a supermarket. "I'm certainly glad I had the sense to get out of that after about a day..." Feeny explains that he has been teaching for nearly forty years because he enjoys it, and if it ever stops being fun he'd consult his family and friends to find something new. Alan thanks him for the advice.
Meanwhile, the only one Cory can find that would give him a lift is an Amish man in a horse-drawn carriage offering to take him as far as "that farmhouse there." He returns to the coffee shop, where Eric has been enjoying the delicious pea soup and pie. "I was three hours from home," smiles the man next to Eric as he eats the pie. When Eric hears the coffee shop might shut down because of poor business, he shares his experience with tourist trap advertisement along the highway. The townspeople are delighted by the thought, and tell Eric that he could be very successful if he stays in Pottstown, Cory arriving in time to hear Eric agree.
Cory takes Eric off to the side to try to convince him to come home. Eric, however, has become enchanted with the idea of being king of Pottstown, when back home he's just be a loser who couldn't get into college. While Eric buys soup and pie for everyone, Cory angrily calls home on the payphone.
Three hours later, as Cory shares a huge pie with the man who was also three hours from home, Alan arrives to bring Eric back. However, Eric insists on staying with Irene and the guys. Alan takes him aside and asks what this is really about. After a moment, Eric opens up to him, saying that he knows he could make a life at Pottstown. Alan compares Eric settling for Pottstown to him settling for working in a supermarket, saying that he doesn't and will never grow to love it, and will eventually hate himself for settling. Eric expresses a fear of going home, but Alan convinces him he'll have the support of his family.
The next day, Shawn and Topanga join the Matthews at breakfast to meet Cory. Morgan asks Topanga if she and Cory will kiss, and Topanga tells her that it's none of her business, but right on the lips. Shawn, however, believes that Cory will have no time for kissing with all the catching up he and Shawn will have to do. When Cory comes down, Shawn spreads his arms for a hug, but Cory ducks under his arm and hugs Topanga. He and Shawn share a short conversation before kissing Topanga. Even so, Shawn tries to brag to Topanga that he was right, but she has more important things to do than talk with Shawn.
- In reality, Pottstown is a small city, not a little hick-town as portrayed here.
- When Feeny, Alan, and Amy face the camera while sitting on the bench, Feeny wonders what they're looking at.