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“The Father”
Season 1, Episode 11
Air date

December 17, 1993

Written by

Bill Lawrence

Directed by

David Trainer

Amy: I understand that neither one of you is willing to give up a couple of hours on a Saturday for something your father's really looking forward to doing. [...] Look, if this was a husband/wife softball game believe me, I'd be there. But it's not, thank God. It's a father/son game.
Eric: Look, we're just asking you to get us off the hook.
Amy: No. This is your hook and you're gonna hang on it like the worms you are.
Amy and Eric

"The Father/Son Game" is the eleventh episode of season one of Boy Meets World, and the eleventh of the overall series. It first aired on December 17, 1993. The episode was written by Bill Lawrence, and directed by David Trainer.


This section needs a rewrite

It's a bright, Friday morning at the Matthews house. Morgan woke up early to eat all the marshmallow bits from the cereal box, Eric tries to get a later curfew for his date that night (with no success), and Cory is just looking forward to the weekend. Alan gets down to the breakfast table, completely excited for the upcoming annual softball game with Eric and Cory. It's apparent, by their tone and posture, that they do not share their father's enthusiasm for the sporting event.

Mr. Feeny's class begin their morning by saying the Pledge of Allegiance, save for Topanga. When Cory makes a crack about her getting in trouble, Mr. Feeny turns it around and assigns him and Topanga as opponents for that day's debate: Pledge vs Protest. Topanga defends the right to protest, claiming you shouldn't do something just because it's tradition. Cory thinks it's not worth protesting something that only takes a few seconds out of the day and makes the higher ups happy. When Topanga calls him out on not even knowing what the pledge means or what he's saying, Cory blusters and gives a rambling patriotic speech (with background help from Shawn) until he's saved by the bell. During lunch, Cory gripes about going to the game when he could be enjoying his precious free time. Shawn barely listens as he dumps salt and pudding all over Minkus' unattended hamburger. Unfortunately (for Shawn), Minkus figures it out and tricks Shawn into eating the tainted hamburger. And unfortunately for Cory, when he gets home, he sees his father practicing for the game and feels too guilty to tell him he doesn't want to go.

Eric and Cory try to convince their mother to help get them out of it but she refuses to let them off the hook that easily. She leaves with Morgan on an errand, giving the two boys precious minutes to come up with an excuse. Eric thinks their dad would be okay if only one of them goes and he volunteers Cory. Both threaten to reveal secrets about each other to their dad if forced to go. When they rush downstairs with excuses in hand, their father cuts them off and says the game was cancelled because it "couldn't generate enough interest." Monday morning comes around and Topanga tells Cory that the game was not, in fact, cancelled and her father's book store beat his father's supermarket. Cory realizes that his dad made up the excuse because he didn't want to play alone.

Back home, they tell their mom what happened and she tells them she knew. When they plead again for her help, she just tells them to learn a lesson from the whole thing and that their father will get over it and so should they. Cory and Eric can't get over it so they call Leonard Spinelli, Alan's emotionally neurotic assistant manger, to bring over some food from the grocery store. They throw Alan a barbecue to make up for missing the Saturday softball game. Lenny manages to guilt himself an invitation and though their dad claims he's having fun, Cory and Eric know that a measly barbecue can't make up for a game Alan wanted that only came once a year. The debate wraps up in Cory's class and he can better argue it by thinking about his father. He says that if you care about something, like a country or a father, you should show your allegiance (defined as loyalty or devotion) and respect their traditions.

Cory and Eric finally manage to make it up to their father by proposing a rematch against the hippie bookstore, and they promise they'll be there to take back the title. In the end-credits tag, the Matthews arrive, happy that they beat the hippie bookstore. Though Alan, hobbling on his baseball bat and clearly worn out, is not so happy to learn the bookstore wants to play another game next week for a best two out of three.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast

  • Willie Garson as Lenny Spinelli


Cory: Friday! I love Friday! Soon I'm gonna be home for the whole weekend.
Amy: Friday. I hate Friday. Soon you're gonna be home for the whole weekend.

Mr. Feeny: Do you think it's weird to engage in social protest?
Cory: I think it's weird to pick on me when she didn't say the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr, Feeny: Well, Mr. Matthews, it seems that you and Miss Lawrence have opposing positions for this morning's debate.
Cory: Uh oh.
Minkus: You been set up, bud.

Cory: Time out, tooth boy. Why do I have to go?
Eric: Look, Cory, I'd go. But what if dad and I started talking about golf? Talked about how someone broke his driver in the backyard hitting rocks with it.
Cory: You wouldn't!
Eric: I would.
Cory: You wouldn't!
Eric: I would.
Cory: Okay. Fine, I'm gonna go. But wait! What if dad starts joking around about how nervous he is that you're getting your driver's license next year? I'd have to calm him down by saying "Eric's driven your car around the block a thousand times and nothing's ever happened."
Eric: You wouldn't!
Cory: I would!
Eric: You wouldn't!
Cory: I would!
Eric: You wouldn't!
Cory: What're you, new?

Lenny: (to Eric) Mr. Matthews? (to Cory) Mr. Matthews? Leonard Spinelli. I work for your father at the grocery store.
Eric: Uh, we know you you are, Lenny. We're the ones that called you.
Lenny: Yeah, I know. And it was a rare treat! But, but since you never called me before I thought I'd give you one last chance to make sure you got the right guy.

Mr. Feeny: So then, you believe that you should respect the traditions of that government or group or person?
Cory: Yeah. I should've.
Mr. Feeny: Or teacher?
(The bell rings and all the students rush to get their bags and leave, including Cory)
Cory: (walking back in) Or teacher.