|“||You know what, Shawnie? I always thought that Topanga was the one person I could never live without. But she's gone. And you're here. And I'm alive! So it must be you.||”|
Cornelius "Cory" A. Matthews is the main protagonist and title character of Boy Meets World. Cory is introduced as a witty, sports fan with average interests but later he becomes a neurotic, but funny young man with a strong moral code. Throughout the series, we learn that the most important things to Cory are his love for his family, his best friend Shawn, and his girlfriend and future wife Topanga.
Cory Matthews is introduced as a sarcastic, baseball-loving slacker who has butted heads many times with his no-nonsense teacher, Mr. Feeny. The first season is characterized by many episodes where Cory seems to do something callous or dismissive, then ends up learning a lesson from his actions. Often enough, what he's learning in Mr. Feeny's class applied to his home life and vice versa. Cory understands his parents more and respects them for all that they do for him. His relationship with his older brother Eric Matthews becomes confusing as Eric's constant obsession with girls is foreign to Cory and he becomes more protective of his little sister, Morgan.
Though he hangs out with a group of friends, seemingly on rotation, in the first season, the one constant is Shawn Hunter, who would later on take the role of his sole best friend. Shawn is his partner in crime, joining in on the wisecracks in the back row of Mr. Feeny's classroom. Two other reoccurring characters are Stuart Minkus and Topanga Lawrence. Both of them are smart outcasts, whom Cory and Shawn poke fun at. While his relationship with nerdy Minkus remains the same, Cory gets over his "girls are gross" phase and develops some sort of affection for Topanga by the end of the season.
During the second season, Cory and Shawn start high school and meet Mr. Turner, an unconventional English teacher that helps Cory out and provides advice as he grows into adolescence. Cory is obsessed with being popular at his new high school and manages to get into several predicaments including dating his bully's sister and playing in a band despite not knowing how to play a single instrument. Throughout it all, Shawn is there to help or in some cases make things worse.
Cory tries at some points to begin a relationship with Topanga but is still immature and naive about romance (he does not want to be left out of the dating game). Sensing this, Topanga is wary of his advances, and despite the mutual attraction, the two do not date. There's subtle jealousy, casual dating with other people, and a brief misunderstanding where the school thinks Cory slept with Topanga but the two remain friends. Shawn's family and background are explored a little more and even cause some tension between him and Cory when Shawn is pulled in towards a rougher crowd. Cory is there for Shawn, even when his parents leave him. Shawn briefly lives with Cory and his parents but soon figures it's not the right fit for him so he moves in with Mr. Turner.
The third season has Cory finally admitting he likes Topanga and wants to date her. Though it takes some intervention from Shawn, Cory tells Topanga how he feels and they become a couple. Their relationship lasts for a while, weathering Topanga's fear of a serious commitment and Shawn's jealousy that Cory is choosing his girlfriend over his best friend. Unfortunately, the two find themselves in a rut and decide it would be best to break up while they are still able to keep their friendship. They get back together a few months later, when Cory and Shawn follow her to Disney World to win her back. Cory endures several tests of character this season - everything from being credited with a great deed which he did not deserve, to being insistently pursued by another girl while he is with Topanga.
At the same time, Shawn also endures some hardships, feeling abandoned by his father and on occasion his best friend. We learn about his trailer park family and his wish to have a loving relationship instead of jumping around from girl to girl. Shawn rescues Cory from his tougher relatives, considering Cory as his real family. In turn, Cory goes looking for Shawn's father to convince him to come home for Shawn. What hasn't been touched on much is Cory's relationship with his older brother, Eric. In the season finale, it all comes to a head and Cory reveals that he feels estranged from Eric and refuses to celebrate his brother's pre-college summer road trip. After some words from his parents, Eric invites Cory on the summer road trip so they can bond as brothers.
The fourth season kicks off with an enlightening road trip that was supposed to end. Cory and Eric talk about Eric's fears of life after high school and in the end, Eric returns home to study harder and try to re-apply to college. Despite the road trip, Eric's life is still compartmentalized from Cory's except for some occasional talks at home, and the finale where they take a trip to a beach college, and talk about Cory being hit on by another girl (and Eric trying to get into a party college). There are several times when Cory feels insecure about his looks, likening himself to Mr. Potato Head or a piece of celery.
A particularly important moment is when Topanga cuts her hair and becomes even prettier than before. Despite it all, Topanga assures him she loves him for who he is; a statement that's tested when her parents decide to move to Pittsburgh. Topanga eventually runs back to Philadelphia to be with Cory, and though Cory's parents don't agree with what she did, everyone seems pleased that Topanga is allowed to stay with her Aunt Prudence until she graduates. Shawn's mother briefly returns, but then leaves again under unknown circumstances. Cory is there when Shawn decides to join a cult, (embracing him tightly and assuring him he cares for Shawn). Then he's there as Shawn loses another person; Mr. Turner gets into a severe motorcycle accident in which he almost dies. Though he recovers, he's never seen on the series again, though he is mentioned to be working "off-screen".
The fifth season is college season... for Eric. Cory is pleased to get his own room and helps Eric find a new roommate, at Pennbrook University. The roommate turns out to be Jack Hunter, Shawn’s long lost half-brother. Though Shawn hates rich boy Jack at first (because Jack never checked to see if Shawn and his dad were doing okay), he eventually comes around (Jack never received any of Shawn's letters) and even moves into his apartment with Eric. Early in the season, Cory and Topanga help Shawn find a mystery girl he falls in love with, simply due to the contents of her purse. Shawn finds Angela Moore, and realizes he wants with her what Cory has with Topanga. The quartet enjoy many romantic moments, and even some problems (like the boys being jealous of the girls dancing with co-workers).
It all comes crashing down when Cory sprains his ankle at the school ski trip. He befriends ski lodge worker, Lauren, and the two kiss. When Shawn finds out, he urges Cory to lie to Topanga about it. Unfortunately she finds out and they break up. The multi-episode arc finds Cory, upset about the break-up, resorting to drinking and later going out with Lauren. He puts Shawn in a tough spot, making him subconsciously choose between him and Topanga (he chooses Cory but decides Topanga is still his friend too). In a popular Halloween episode, Shawn reveals just how much their break-up has affected him and Cory apologizes. Topanga forgives Cory after sharing a kiss with an old friend from grade school and realizing no kiss means more than the ones she shares with Cory.
Once reunited, Cory and Topanga attend prom together, where they are named King and Queen. On prom night, Cory's mother, Amy, announces that she is pregnant. Mr. Feeny decides to retire at the end of the school year and Topanga is accepted to Yale. With all these changes, Cory is worried but at graduation Topanga tells Cory that she decided not to go to Yale because she wants to be with him — and she proposes to him just as their classmates throw their mortarboards.
The sixth season picks up where last season left off; Cory accepts Topanga's proposal but his parents aren't pleased. They think he's foolish and too young to get married and he tries to elope with Topanga. However, she makes him see reason, wanting a wedding with all her friends and family there, so they decide to have a long engagement. Now, everyone is in college with Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Angela joining Jack and Eric at Pennbrook. Rachel McGuire, a new student from Texas, moves in with Eric and Jack, causing tension as both boys have crushes on her. Cory struggles with enjoying college life and being seen as an "old man" because he's engaged. He freaks out when he loses his ring at a party but later on, he has nightmares about killing Shawn (which led to killing his friends for Topanga). Near the end of the season, he's afraid that things will change when he gets married and it seems he's right.
Angela and Shawn break up due to his claim that they should meet new people. Cory's optimistic views on romance have him trying to get his best friend back together with his girlfriend but Angela rebuffs him, claiming he doesn't know her that well. This season he resolves to get to know Angela and keep her secret that despite the breakup she still has feelings for Shawn. At the same time, Topanga keeps quiet about Shawn still being in love with Angela. Mr. Feeny returns to take some classes and is offered a teaching job at the university. During their freshman year, Stuart, one of their professors, (played by Ben Savage's brother Fred Savage) makes inappropriate sexual advances towards Topanga, and Cory gets mad enough to physically retaliate. Cory is suspended, but for only one day; the Dean (Lila Bolander) believes that Stuart had crossed the line. This is the first of many moments where Cory realizes he's not a kid anymore.
A wedding is in the works in the season finale; that of Mr. Feeny and Dean Bolander, who developed feelings for each other over the course of the season. They have a small, intimate ceremony at Cory's house and Topanga finds out her parents have been fighting and are beyond reconcile. This has Topanga shaken as she always looked to her parents as proof of a perfect marriage. Cory quietly postpones their summer wedding and sits beside a crying Topanga, unsure of what will happen.
The seventh and final season begins with a breakup (the fourth one for Cory and Topanga). Topanga's parents are divorced and she's disillusioned on love. Angela supports her decision, refusing to be with Shawn. The girls move in with Rachel, kicking out Eric and Jack. Cory tries to set things right by trying to get Topanga's parents back together but realizes he's out of his element when he finds out Topanga's father was kicked out and is in love with another woman. Cory realizes that sometimes love can die. He plans a date with another girl and it takes this, along with advice from Angela and her mother, for Topanga to get back together with Cory.
With Cory and Topanga back together, and Angela back together with Shawn, the wedding planning for Cory and Topanga begins in earnest. There's a lot of follies and mishaps that occur during their planning, including an argument between Cory and Eric over who should be his best man. Cory chooses his best friend over his older brother because his older brother has gotten progressively dumber and starts at least two fires right in front of Cory. Though Eric isn't chosen, he schemes for his little brother to have his wedding reception at the lavish Philadelphia Hotel. Shawn, who's been increasingly upset at Cory throughout the whole wedding planning, ultimately admits that he is no longer Cory’s best friend, and gives him away to Topanga. After a touching wedding and a lavish honeymoon, Cory and Topanga return and find they have to live in a shabby apartment for married couples on campus. They struggle for a while, wondering why their parents refuse to help them, but eventually realize they're capable of doing things on their own as a married couple and this is what being an adult is all about.
There's some bickering midway through the season, where Eric is the one who feels estranged and slighted from Cory. They get into a fight, even ending up at the hospital but by the end, they reach some sort of understanding. Cory tries to be there for Shawn as he goes through another bout of self-pity and he tries to advise Shawn when Angela reveals she wants to leave to Europe with her father. In the series finale, Cory is blindsided by Topanga getting an internship at a law firm in New York City but ultimately decides to support her and move to New York with her. He extends the invitation to Shawn, and Eric also tags along (since Jack and Rachel, are joining the Peace Corps). The final scene has Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Eric meeting with Mr. Feeny in their old sixth grade classroom, with each one telling him how important he is in their life.
After moving to New York, Cory and Topanga have two children: a daughter named Riley, and a son named August (Auggie) . By the time the sequel series Girl Meets World begins he is a history teacher at John Quincy Adams Middle School and later moves up to Abigail Adams High School when Riley becomes a freshman. While he is an excellent father to Riley and Auggie, he also accepts that he is a father figure to Riley's best friend Maya (who is later adopted by Shawn after marrying her mother), and a mentor to them and their friends, including Farkle Minkus (son of Stuart Minkus), Lucas Friar, and Isaiah 'Zay' Babineaux .
- Son of Amy Matthews and Alan Matthews
- Younger brother of Eric Matthews
- Older brother of Morgan Matthews and Joshua Matthews
- Best friend of Shawn Hunter
- Good Friend of Jack Hunter, Angela Moore, Rachel McGuire, Stuart Minkus, and Harley Keiner
- One-time nemesis of Harley Keiner (later to become friends) and Griffin Hawkins
- Friend of Frankie Stecchino, Joey Epstein, and Jennifer Bassett
- Close friend/Boyfriend/Husband to Topanga Lawrence
- Student of George Feeny, Jonathan Turner, and Eli Williams
- Father of Riley and Auggie Matthews.
- Father figure/mentor to Maya Hart.
- Teacher/mentor to Farkle Minkus, Lucas Friar, Zay Babineaux, and Isadora Smackle.
- Grandpa Cory (Breaking Up Is Really, Really Hard to Do)
- Brad Pitt (I Was A Teenage Spy)
- Cora (Chick Like Me)
- Young Cory (It's Not You... It's Me)
- WWII Cory (No Guts, No Cory)
- Christmas Future Cory (A Very Topanga Christmas)
- Ben Sandwich (Eric Hollywood)
- Killer Cory (The Psychotic Episode)
- Future Cory (Seven the Hard Way)
- Rory (As Time Goes By)
- "Cake" (An Affair to Forget)
- Cornelius is his real name (which is revealed only in the final episode) though he's nicknamed Cory. It has been stated that even Topanga does not know this and Shawn is assumed to not know this either.
- Cory loves Backgammon; he even calls it his middle name.
- Cory is left-handed.
- Cory was the only person not to live in the apartment Jack bought in season 5.
- During season 1, Cory went through a phase where he'd call himself "[Blank]-Boy!" and pose like a superhero (For example: "Remember, I'm your accomplice. I'm Accomplice-Boy!" in The Fugitive or "Shawn, back me up! I wanted to use the lid! I was Lid-Boy!" from I Dream of Feeny)
- Cory has a great dislike of wool. The reasons given for this vary; he says once that he has an allergy for it but later just complains that it chafes. Interestingly enough, on the DVD commentary, Ben Savage talks about how uncomfortable the sheets felt in the prop beds, and how he and Will Friedle (who plays Eric), didn't like sleeping in the beds.
- There are a few comparisons between Mr. Williams and Cory and Mr. Turner and Shawn, respectively. For example in The Pink Flamingo Kid, it is shown that both Cory and Mr. Williams cannot sweep their hands through their hair and in My Best Friend's Girl, Shawn asked Cory's girl (Topanga) out just like Mr. Turner apparently did to Mr. Williams as well.
- Cory is very insecure about his curly brown hair. This is pointed out in at least 4 different episodes, notably Cory's Alternative Friends (where he tries to straighten it but fails miserably), Pairing Off (Where he is jealous of Shawn's hair since stroking it attracts girls to him), The Pink Flamingo Kid (Where Shawn brags to Cory about his hair, annoying Mr. Williams as mentioned above), and Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow (Where Cory, still insecure about his hair, requires Topanga's help to realize it is not a big deal).
- Cory once appeared in an episode of "Maybe This Time", another show by Michael Jacobs, (to watch click here) in which, while listening to Shawn's trepidation over setting both the gym and cafeteria of Adams High ablaze, the pair meta-interacted with the main young female lead, Gracie, across her television set. Later they are called back to their own show by the voice of Mr. Feeny ("How does he always find us?").
|Cory Matthews • Shawn Hunter • Topanga Lawrence • Eric Matthews • Jack Hunter • Angela Moore • Rachel McGuire • George Feeny • Alan Matthews • Amy Matthews • Morgan Matthews • Jonathan Turner • Eli Williams • Stuart Minkus|