Remember the original Boy Meets World before it was co-opted into a Disney tween show that makes me feel unnecessarily old? It was a great show about growing up with your friends and your teacher who taught you every grade ever. For most of the show’s seven year run, the story lines realistically dealt with the issues kids face while they are becoming young adults. But no sitcom of the late twentieth century was totally immune to the very special episode formula. Every episode of Boy Meets World had a great life lesson, but only some episodes have the magic and schmaltz to be very special episodes. Once upon a time, Boy Meets World taught us all a valuable lesson about alcohol. The “boy” of BMW,Corey, and his long-time girlfriend, Topanga, have broken up. I can’t remember why they went their separate ways, but Corey is so devastated by his inability to non-awkwardly interact with Topanga at a party that he ends up drinking alone. He spends an hour and a half in the bathroom with a pint of whiskey and consumes a surprisingly small amount of it. After his best friend, Shawn, discovers him drunk and alone in a stranger’s bathroom, they decide to finish the bottle together.
Now to even the casual sitcom viewer, it is obvious that the boys are swiftly descending down the slippery slope that is teenage drinking. Corey and Shawn leave the party and pay a random man to buy them alcohol. Then, with cavalier disregard for open container laws, they enjoy a couple of beers on the sidewalk right in front of the corner store where they just bribed that dude…I don’t think they’ve had enough alcohol to be behaving this stupidly, especially since Shawn had the dexterity to walk around on his hands acrobat style like 90 seconds prior. They get arrested, of course, and Corey’s dad bails them both out of jail. Corey’s dad totally blames Shawn for everything because he’s from the wrong side of the tracks. This is super terrible on his part since he’s known Shawn for at least five years and Shawn has pretty much never done anything to warrant this “bad boy” treatment. Corey does not let Shawn take the blame, and instead confesses that he’s lost his heart and has no life. This is probably the point where you should connect your kid with a mental health professional (“the more you know”), but instead his dad just apologizes to Shawn for being such a dick.
Having learned the error of their ways, Shawn and Corey promise each other that they will never drink again, but Shawn quickly breaks that promise. Shawn, who is now apparently an alcoholic, learns from his half-brother, Jack, that their father was an alcoholic and was abusive. Shawn literally lunges at Jack for saying this, which maybe proves his brother’s point. Then Topanga and Shawn’s girlfriend, Angela, arrive and that’s where Shawn’s behavior hits a fever pitch. Shawn aggressively pushes Angela into the door when she tries to get him to stop drinking which definitely proves his brother’s point. Even though everyone just called Shawn an alcoholic, he decides to never drink again. He is totally without any signs of withdrawal and manages to quit cold turkey! This is especially impressive because Shawn also has not obtained any new coping skills since the beginning of this thirty minute episode. But you know, all it really tacks to break a habit is a stern talking to from your friends.
Very Special Lesson: If you get drunk once and you’re from a broken home, you will become an aggressive alcoholic like your dad. If you come form a middle class two parent family, you’ll have one drunken night in high school and never drink again even if you did give an entire speech full of red flags about your inability to handle a breakup.
Further Reading on the new Boy Meets World spin off Girl Meets World: