By: Dani Kessel
For many people who grew up in the 90s, Boy Meets World was a staple on the television. This show told the story of Cory Matthews, his best friend Shawn, and his quirky love-interest Topanga, as they navigate the highs and lows of growing up. The plots touch on things as lighthearted as an Earth Day project to serious matters like cheating and drinking. The show was never afraid to teach big lessons; a large part of that was thanks to Mr. Feeny. From the first episode to the very last episode, Mr. Feeny filled the role of a teacher, a mentor, a principal, a professor, a friend, and a neighbor. His wisdom, hope, and love were packed into his lessons.
We can all soak up the goodness from these 10 Mr. Feeny quotes.
- “There is no model household. There are no model parents. A family is a living, breathing thing that requires constant adjustments and change.”
Despite the idyllic image of families that many old tv shows portrayed, families are extremely complex and messy. They come in all shapes and sizes. Notice how he says parents and not gendered labels. This quote acknowledges families of different genders, races, ethnicities, classes, and backgrounds. The quote transcends barriers and allows us to look internally to see how our family dynamics function.
- “You don’t have to be blood to be family.”
When Mr. Feeny said this to Shawn, it offered a big hug to every child who didn’t have a good blood-family life. It offered a place of acceptance for those who had to cut off their blood-family or didn’t have them, to begin with. Mr. Feeny is absolutely right. Family is more than just a blood connection. Family is people who you would fight for who would fight for you. It is people who accept the person you are and help you grow.
- “We live in a random and chaotic universe.”
This is entirely accurate. Our world is unpredictable and messy. Chaos is everywhere we turn, and we really can’t predict the curveballs that will barrel in our direction.
- “Unfortunately, we live in a society where they tell us we have to look a certain way, so we’re all under pressure to live up to unrealistic expectations.”
To every person who looks in the mirror and sees their flaws, to every person who struggles with an eating disorder, to every person who hates themselves because they don’t see folks like themselves in the media, this quote hits home. We are told how we’re supposed to look if we want to be attractive. It just isn’t healthy to strive for these expectations, and the weight can crush us.
- “To me, a real hero is someone who does the right thing when the right thing is not the easy thing to do.”
This quote should reach every single person on the planet. When faced with the decision between what’s right and what’s easy, we should always do what’s right. We need to use our voices to lift up others and stand up against injustices. The world will only get better when we focus on what’s right.
- “If you let people’s perception of you dictate your behavior, you will never grow as a person.”
We cannot make everyone else happy. Trying to please everyone around us will only stifle our own growth. That’s the point Mr. Feeny is making. It’s better to focus on what’s important to us, our morals, our choices. Self-reflection will help us become better people. Absorption of others’ perceptions will just make the process more difficult.
- “See, it’s not enough to leave school and just desire to succeed in this cold, cruel world. Because then you’ve simply become a part of it. You must also have the desire to change it. And, to change it, you’ll need your fine mind and his good heart.”
As we grow and experience harsh realities, we learn that changing the world is hella difficult. It doesn’t happen overnight. Still, any single person can start a snowball effect with our choices. We all have to use the desire for change, the goodness inside of us, and the intelligence in our brains to make a difference. We cannot be content with the status quo when the status quo upholds injustice and negativity.
- “I can do whatever I want. I have the megaphone.”
This isn’t a serious lesson, but it sure is comical. The person with the megaphone holds the power. Though, I suppose this could be used as a metaphor; the person with the loudest voice has the power? I’m not sure. That might be a stretch. But, either way, Mr. Feeny has the megaphone so his word is the law.
- “Friendship for example is a real gift. It’s given with no expectations and no gratitude needed, not between real friends.”
Family and friendship are overarching themes across the seasons of Boy Meets World. This Mr. Feeny quote is provided early into the series, and it holds true from beginning to end. We frequently see moments where one character does something for another character simply because they care. There aren’t expectations of reciprocation or “thank you”s. It just is out of the goodness of their heart. Friendship is unlike anything else; it truly is a gift.
- “Believe in yourself. Dream. Try. Do good.”
William Daniels (the actor who played Mr. Feeny) said this was his favorite quote from his whole time in the role. It’s mine too. I’ve wanted this quote as a tattoo for a very long time. Mr. Feeny’s words come as a final message to his students who he loved and guided as well as the people who grew up watching Boy Meets World. It’s particularly heartwrenching when Topanga asks if he means “do well” since she believes he made a grammatical error. But he tearily corrects her. “No. I mean, “Do good.” Mr. Feeny wants us all to go out and do good in the world. *cue sobs in my chest*
I’m grateful for the profound impact that Boy Meets World and Mr. Feeny had on my development as a human being. I know this show was meaningful for so many people.
Thanks to April Kelly (producer), Michael Jacobs (producer), William Daniels (Mr. Feeny), and a brilliant team of writers, we developed more compassion, empathy, patience, and a desire to be the best versions of ourselves. This is how a show changes lives and perspectives. Mr. Feeny would be proud.
Thanks for taking the time to read all the way through. We appreciate all the dedicated readers of Girl on the Go. What television shows had a profound impact on your life perspectives? Tell us in the comments section! Did you enjoy the article? If so, give us a like and maybe a share.