25 Inimitable Men 4/25
George Feeny (Boy Meets World)
At some point in all our lives we all wished we had a teacher like Mr. Feeny, and maybe we were fortunate enough to know one in our time. George Feeny is a character unlike any other — a character who’s managed to inspire us in ways no other TV figure could have. In a way, he was a mentor for us all — “Believe in yourselves, dream, try, do good” has become a motto we follow as well. But apart from how he’s inspired us off-screen, it’s how he’s behaved on-screen that’s made the character incomparable. George Feeny wasn’t just a teacher, but he was the kind of friend young people don’t realize they could ever have or need. The kind of friend who’s in more ways a mentor, but one who sets an example for a what a friend should be — kind, loyal, accepting, and encouraging. As human beings, we learn a great deal of truth from our families, but when we’re challenged to be brighter in school, there’s a different kind of growth that takes place. And for a number of students in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia’s fictional school of John Adams High, Mr. Feeny served as inimitable inspiration.
25 Nearest and Dearest 7/25
Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter (Boy Meets World)
There are best friends and then there are these two. Years later, and they’re still the most incredible depiction of best friends to exist. Boy Meets World is an incomparable series, and it has been from the moment we all watched it when we were kids. But upon looking back, I’ve often remembered this friendship most fondly — perhaps even more than Cory and Topanga’s. Which don’t get me wrong, I love them with every fiber of my being and they’re featured in the 25 Love Stories portion of this little project, too. However, the way Shawn and Cory accepted and loved one another has left me in awe. Loyalty is the key to maintaining any relationship, and theirs was always steadfast — taking care of one another in the darkest times and having the best of times together. But also, today, it’d feel a bit like I was cheating if I also didn’t pay homage to Riley Matthews and Maya Hart’s — who’ve created their own little sisterhood mirroring Shawn and Cory’s beautifully.
25 Love Stories 20/25
Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence (Boy Meets World)
For as much as I hate the childhood best friends to lovers storyline, I’d be absolutely ridiculous if I didn’t adore Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence for everything that they are. Boy Meets World has set our expectations for love far too high since we were kids, but the reality is, while not everyone marries their first love, Cory and Topanga embody a healthy, wonderful relationship at its absolute finest. And contrary to Cory’s belief in later seasons, the two weren’t in love from the sandbox — now that’s unrealistic. Like most kids in middle school, they explored possibilities of a relationship, but they couldn’t fully understand the depths of what made love enchanting and remarkable. Nevertheless, when they finally gave their developing crushes a go, Cory and Topanga grew together in ways not many kids do: although they aren’t similar in character, at the core where it matters, their morals align.