|“||I'm afraid of getting hurt, okay? I've seen the pain on my father's face every time a woman walks out because he's not good enough.||”|
Shawn Patrick Hunter is the deuteragonist of Boy Meets World and Cory's best friend. His rebellious attitude and popularity is often used as a foil to Cory's awkwardness and neurotics.
Though best friends, Shawn and Cory are almost complete opposites of one another. Outwardly, Shawn is a rebel, giving him more of a "bad boy" reputation and a popularity boost; he is occasionally given to stormy emotional outbursts, but his closest friends know that these are due mainly to his familial circumstances, having lived much of his life with little or no parental guidance.
Beginning in his middle school years Shawn is a skirt-chaser, usually never staying in a relationship longer than two weeks. While Cory is jealous of Shawn's prowess with girls, Shawn is likewise envious of Cory's burgeoning relationship with Topanga.
Shawn often did poorly in grade school but during college he developed an affinity for prose and poetry. After graduating high school, Shawn (with Cory and Topanga) enrolls at Pennbrook University where Mr. Feeny also moves up to becoming a professor.
Out of all of the characters in the series, Shawn endured the most in the way of loss:
- Aside from his tenuous relationships and ultimately getting left by Angela, Shawn was abandoned twice by Virna, whom he later found out was not his biological mother; in Season 7 Shawn was informed that his actual mother, who worked as a stripper, deserted him and Chet immediately after Shawn was born.
- A near-loss that Shawn took hard was when Jonathan Turner was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident.
- Cory's marriage to Topanga was also a painful moment for Shawn in that he knew that his friendship with Cory would never be the same again, but he was equally hurt by the fact that Cory felt the same way but refused to talk about it. In his anger he stepped away from being Best Man with Eric taking his place, but as the wedding began Shawn arrived with the rings, but his anger boiled over, and he and Cory very nearly come to blows at the altar.
- The most painful loss of all for Shawn was the death of his father Chet, whom he longed to be closer to; though Chet left Shawn to fend for himself multiple times he always returned, only to leave yet again. After suffering a heart attack which put him in the hospital, Chet began making plans to stay for good, but died when he again went into cardiac arrest. Following his death, Chet occasionally returns as a spirit guide (whom only Shawn can see) to give counsel at the most pivotal and important moments in Shawn's life. (Chet does this once in Girl Meets World when Maya Hart's mother Katy asks Shawn out on a date.)
To his credit, Shawn's hard luck has served to make him stronger in the long run. In Angela's Men, Mr. Feeny remarked to Sgt. Moore that Shawn has overcome every obstacle that life has thrown at him, and that he has "grown up to be one of the finest young men I know".
In the first season, Shawn is shown to be best friends with Cory. The subject of his family is marginally touched upon, focusing mainly on the difficulty of his father being laid off and therefore unable to afford Christmas presents or even lunch money for Shawn.
Entering seventh grade, Shawn gains a reputation around school for being a player and becomes one of the most popular boys in his class. Shawn's mother, Virna, abandons him and leaves him homeless. His father, Chet, takes off after her, leaving Shawn alone. Shawn moves in with the Matthews, but doesn't take well to following their rules, and runs away. This gets him in trouble with the law, as he was planning on vandalizing the school. The cops drop him off with his teacher, Jonathan Turner, who lets him stay the night. Back at the Matthews home, it's revealed that Chet will not be returning for a while. Alan and Amy tell Chet that they can't take care of Shawn forever. Shawn overhears, and feeling unwanted by everyone, he decides to run away. Jonathan then offers for Shawn to come and live with him, and Shawn accepts.
Shawn adapts well to living with Mr. Turner, and having a constant authority figure in his life. But as time passes, he begins to feel like a guest in his home, and runs away to go to Europe for self discovery. Cory talks him out of it, and while Shawn agrees, he still feels lonely, his loneliness stemming from the fact that Cory is spending more and more time with Topanga. In an attempt to get rid of the feeling, he buys a pet pig to replace Cory as his best friend, but Topanga is outraged and demands that Shawn return the pig. He is hesitant, but in the end, Shawn realizes it's the right thing to do. Topanga confesses that she does care about him and would like to be his friend. Throughout the season, Shawn dates more girls, until a nice girl stands up to him and dumps him. Shawn is in shock, and Cory and Topanga tell him that he needs to commit to one girl, which he attempts, but initially fails. In the season finale, Chet returns, and asks Shawn to move back in with him. Shawn, thinking his home life is finally repaired, is overjoyed and agrees to return.
Shawn and Cory discover that Shawn's mom, Virna is back in town, and try to convince her to move back in. She tells them that she will, only if Chet changes his behavior, and he promises to do so. Shawn's depression is finally lifted, his family back together. However, when his father gets a job as the school janitor, and Shawn gets bullied because of it, it creates more problems. He goes to talk to his mother, and she tells him that she is proud of Chet. Shawn accepts this, but Chet quits to keep from embarrassing him. Even though Virna has promised to stay, she leaves her family again for unexplained reasons. Shawn is affected by this and starts feeling like a failure, so he joins a cult to try to 'feel' something. But when Mr. Turner goes into a coma, Shawn is forced to re-evaluate himself, and leaves the cult.
In the season premiere, Shawn meets new Pennbroke student Jack Hunter, whom Shawn learns is his half-brother through Chet; Shawn does not take well to this revelation, but Cory convinces him to try to get along with Jack since he is Eric's roommate. Following this, Chet kicks Shawn out of the trailer home and demands that he go and live with Jack. Sometime during this, Chet skips town again, leaving an underage Shawn on his own yet again. After Topanga mentions to Shawn that he needs to start getting serious, he and Cory find the purse of an unnamed girl. Shawn sets out on a mission to find her; the purse's contents vaguely reveal the girl's interests and Shawn realizes that he wants an intellectual as well as a physical relationship. When he finds out that the purse belongs to Angela Moore, the two become a couple for the majority of season 5. When they later get into a fight, Shawn starts drowning his sorrows in alcohol and pushes Angela in anger. He apologizes, and their friendship is resolved. They break up for a short time while when a group of Shawn's ex-girlfriends tie him up out of revenge. He tells them that he didn't mean to hurt them like he did, and while Angela is impressed, it doesn't help their relationship. The two get back together sometime before prom. Shawn worries that he will not graduate high school, and when Topanga helps him study, he earns just enough points to graduate. At graduation, Topanga, the class valedictorian, defers to Shawn allowing him to address the assembly; in his brief speech he admits to all the times he screwed up, he then acknowledges that he could have done better in school and ends by apologizing.
Shawn becomes scared of his serious relationship with Angela and breaks up with her. Cory and Topanga try to get them back together once learning that they are still in love with each other. Shawn's father Chet comes back to town and promises to stay but Shawn can't bring himself to believe him because he has broken that same promise many times before. During a heated argument with Shawn, Chet suffers a heart attack and is rushed to the hospital. Shawn and Chet reconcile, but then Chet suffers another heart attack which turns out to be fatal. Days later, while cleaning out his dad's trailer, Shawn finds a letter to Chet from Jack's stepfather and discovers that Chet went to him for help to pay for Shawn's college fund; Shawn is outraged because he is not one to receive charity, but eventually realizes that Jack's stepfather was only trying to help. Shawn then decides to go on a road trip and takes Cory along with him, the two stop at a truck stop where Chet frequently stopped at and discovers that his dad was proud of him and talked about him a lot. Shawn then reveals that he will not be returning and convinces Cory to let him go, Shawn is then visited by the ghost of his dad and Chet tells Shawn that he will always be with him and Shawn drives off to his uncertain future. A few days later, Shawn returns when Cory's younger brother Joshua is born premature and may not survive, Shawn tells Joshua about all the good things in life: Family and Friends.
Shawn has anxiety about Cory and Topanga getting married, as he believes his friendship with Cory won't be the same. After receiving a letter from his mom, Virna, he finds out that she is not his biological mother. He arrempts to use the internet to find out the identity of his real mother, but when he comes up empty Shawn is disappointed and again gets drunk. He shows up to Alan's birthday party intoxicated and gets emotional, saying that he doesn't have parents. Alan offers to adopt Shawn, but Shawn refuses and leaves. He goes to the graveyard, and has a conversation with the ghost of his dad. He tells Shawn that his real mother was a stripper, and left right after Shawn was born. Shawn goes back to the Matthews house, and says that he can't be adopted. Angela has an opportunity to go away for a long time, to spend time with her father. Shawn feels as though it would be too hard for him if she left, so he thinks of asking Angela to marry him. But when he realizes how much Angela wants to leave to spend time with her father, he decides against proposing and lets her go. At the end of the series, he moves to New York, with Cory, Topanga, and Eric.
Shawn moved to New York City with Cory, Topanga and Eric; when Cory and Topanga had their daughter Riley, Shawn was the first person to hold her after her parents. He left New York the same day Riley was born and went on to become a writer and photographer for a travel website called "Hit The Road".
Initially, Shawn was not close to Riley and often avoided talking to her or even looking at her, but when Riley confronts him as to why, he explained that he felt left behind by Cory and Topanga's progression with their family, and Riley correctly figured out that Shawn couldn't bring himself to look at her because it reminded him too much of what he still did not have in his own life. With this revelation Shawn and Riley grew much closer, and with Riley's prompting, Shawn formed a kinship with Riley's best friend, Maya, and the two realized they have much in common; like Shawn, Maya also had a rough upbringing and neglectful parents. Shawn later befriends Maya's mother Katy as they both share a sense of abandonment in relationships, but Shawn remained reticent about getting into a relationship as he still had unresolved feelings for Angela. When Angela paid Shawn a surprise visit she revealed she is now married, and she then encourages Shawn to begin a relationship with Katy, which (also with Chet's prompting) he does after Katy asks him out on a date. Shawn and Katy later marry, and by the final episode of Girl Meets World, Shawn adopts Maya.
- Son of Chet Hunter.
- Half-brother to Jack Hunter.
- Step-son of Virna Hunter (nee Cordini)
- Step brother to Eddie via The Pink Flamingo Kid (Eddie is Virna's son)
- Brother of Stacy Hunter (character no longer exists) via "Cory's Alternative Friends"
- Nephew of Mike Hunter
- Grandson of Gertie Hunter
- Biological son of an unknown stripper.
- Best friend to Cory Matthews
- Best friend of Topanga Lawrence-Matthews
- Friend and ex-boyfriend of Angela Moore
- Informal uncle to Riley and Auggie Matthews
- Stepfather/adoptive father to Maya Hart
- Married to Katy Hart
- Cory: Who are you, and what are you doing in my seat?
Shawn: His name is Andy.
Cory: Who's Andy?
Shawn: He's my new...
Cory: [anxiously] Best friend?
Shawn: [reluctantly] Friend. Cory, we agreed that were gonna go out and meet new people.
Cory: [on the verge of crying] Am I not making you happy?
Shawn: [heartfelt] No, Cory, it's... it's not you. Okay? It's me. And right now, I just need my space.
Cory: [panicking] But we're still friends?
Shawn: [gravely] Right now, I don't know what we are. Give me my space.
- "I'm afraid of getting hurt okay? I've seen the pain on my father's face every time a woman walks out because he's not good enough."
- Well that's what someone does when their best friend takes a gun and stabs them in the back right in front of their own eyes!
- Cory: Shawn!
Shawn: Cory? Is that you?
Cory: No, it's the audio-book section you moron!
- Angela: Well, is anyone of us safe?
Shawn: Yeah, Virgins! Virgins never die!
Cory: [Turns to Topanga] All right! Thanks for saving me.
Eric: [proud of himself] I'm dead.
Jack: I'm dead.
Shawn: I'll get as sick as you can get without actually dying.
Angela: Feeny, he's dead.
Eric, Shawn and Jack: [sing-songy] Go, Feeny! Go, Feeny! Go, Feeny!
- Shawn: [everybody hears the squeaking of the janitor's approaching cart] Don-don't say it, don't!
Cory: The janitor's the killer!
Shawn: And that's the end of the janitor!
- Shawn: (In a British accent) And the honesty game just got a little more interesting!
- Shawn: [after finding out they have to take a test] I even read the book!
Shawn: That's right, my head still hurts!
- Shawn: Use a mirror babe.
- Cory: Shawn what does your father do for a living? Shawn: Shhh! I wanna find out!
- Shawn: (To Cory and Topanga) You two made my life a living hell.
- Attended Jefferson Elementary with Cory, Topanga Lawrence, and Stuart Minkus.
- Blew up a mail box with a cherry bomb; his first known encounter with the law.
- Graduated from John Adams High with his friends, maintained his friendship with Cory and Topanga.
- Lived with Mr. Turner while his father searched the country for his mother.
- Dated a lot of girls in high school, including Dana Pruitt, Jennifer Bassett, and ultimately Angela.
- Was reunited with his half-brother, Jack, in season 5.
- Moved in with Jack and Eric Matthews in his senior year of high school.
- Went to Pennbrook with Cory, Angela, and Topanga. Broke up with Angela shortly thereafter.
- He and Angela had on-and-off feelings for each other, creating a roller coaster relationship during season 6 and season 7.
- Went on the road for two days after his father passed away, but later came back when Cory's younger brother Joshua Gabriel Matthews was born..
- Was heartbroken when Angela moved to Europe with her father (supposedly for a year)
- Moved to New York City with Cory, Topanga, and Eric.
- Guest star on Girl Meets World, starting with Girl Meets Home For the Holidays, and continuing on into later episodes.
- Married Katy Hart, becoming the step-father of Maya Hart.
- Grandpa Shawn (Breaking Up is Really, Really, Really Hard to Do)
- Shawnzie Hunterelli (I Was a Teenage Spy)
- Veronica Wasboiski (Chick Like Me)
- Young Shawn (It's Not You... It's Me)
- Killer Shawn (And Then There Was Shawn)
- Schneider (Eric Hollywood)
- Future Shawn (Seven the Hard Way)
- Isaac "Goodshot" Kelly (As Time Goes By)
- Frog Shawn (The Witches of Pennbrook)
- Shawn seems to have a sweet tooth. He states in "Singled Out" that he was watching CNN because they suckered him in with a story on cake. He also attended Feeny's class for studying on SAT because he promised there would be cake and when he does attend the class, he can be seen eating cake and he stated he gained 15 pounds from the class but passed.
- Shawn is a recurring character on Girl Meets World.
- Rider Strong (Shawn) actually hated his famous "Boy Meets World" haircut, but producer Michael Jacobs would not let him change it. However, near the end of the series, Shawn has a shorter haircut and a beard. In the sequel series, Shawn continues to have a beard (but much thicker).
- It is revealed in Career Day that Shawn doesn't know what his dad does for a living.
- Shawn's middle name is Patrick.
- Shawn was born in Ohio.
- Shawn lived in Oklahoma before the start of the series.
- Shawn has trouble understanding his teachers in the earlier seasons of Boy Meets World, and he explains it is because he hears a strange buzzing sound whenever adults speak.
- Shawn once appeared in an episode of Maybe This Time, another show by Michael Jacobs, (to watch click here ) in which, while sharing his trepidation's with Cory 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 ("Busted.")
- He kept a pet pig named "Little Cory" throughout high school
- He has the contact information for Cory's Aunt Sheila (who allegedly "looks like an elephant") in his "little black book," but this could have really been for Cory's cousin Wanda. Shawn is shown to be an excellent poet, as seen from the episode Poetic License: An Ode to Holden Caulfield.
- Shawn speaks at least five languages: English; "womanese," although he's only conversational in the episode "Torn Between Two Lovers (Feeling Like a Fool)"; French, in "What I Meant to Say," he says he's an idiot savant; Dutch, in "B & B's B'n B," to the Timmers; Italian, in "Easy Street," to Mr. Fontaine and Mr. Martini.
- Shawn and his family once lived in a house only two blocks away from the Matthews. But after Chet was laid off, the family relocated to the trailer park where the rest of the Hunter clan lived.
- George Feeny mentions that Shawn's favorite band is the Counting Crows.