Boy Meets World – 109, “Class Pre-Union”

I was hoping they’d have Boy Meets World on Netflix Instant so I could get some better-quality screenshots for once, but alas.

I would also like to apologize for any strange errors or typos I make in this entry. I’ve been catching most of them, but if it’s not spelled wrong there’s no guarantee I’ll actually see it. What I mean is, I’ve been replacing words with other words. Like I wrote “written” where I meant to write “rid” before. Like I said, strange errors. So if you see something like, I would be pleased if you commented pointing out that I said “cat” where I clearly meant to say “continental”, or something to that effect. Thank you.

We begin with Cory filming himself and the family for an expose on the plight of the middle child for Eye Witness Cory.

Morgan’s going to a birthday party in a new dress, and a gold necklace Amy lent her, while Cory was grounded for dialing random numbers in Saskatchewan the previous night. The scene ends with Cory breaking the camera. Believe it or not, this is all actually relevant to the following episode.

At school, George Washington and King George are having a debate.

Cory Matthews-Washington complains about this little debate, like he usually complains about the assignments, because everyone already knows how things went down anyway, and who cares about a bunch of old dead guys anyway? He also asks if every boring guy in history was named George.
George Feeny is not amused.

Since Cory’s way more interested in the future, Feeny gives the assignment for everyone to create a history for themselves they would have at their 20th high school reunion – a pre-union, as Minkus calls it (ding! title!) Feeny says it’s a way for them to avoid their mistakes before they’ve even made them. I have to say, this is sort of an intriguing assignment. Whoever comes up with all the stuff Feeny does every episode should’ve been an actual teacher instead of a writer or creative consultant or whatever.

Also of note: Feeny says that this would be the graduating class of 2000. We hit a big continuity snag later when they all graduate high school in 1998 and are in their second year of college in 2000, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Actually I don’t have much else to say on the subject, so never mind.

We also have Minkus asking if he can bring his wife to the pre-union. Shawn understandably questions who or what would possibly marry Minkus, and Minkus says it will be Topanga. This is the first time we see that Minkus likes Topanga. It would’ve been really interesting if Minkus had stayed on the show after the first season, as Cory and Topanga’s feelings developed more. Would Minkus have moved on, or would be the classic, cliche, sitcom-love-rival? I could see him still being romantically interested in her, but maybe slowly growing out of through the seasons, and being there whenever Cory does or says something really stupid to be like “Really? You picked that guy over me?”

Anyway, everyone int he class goes “OOOOooooOOOOhhh!!” and Topanga says while she’s flattered, she’s not sure she even recognizes the institution of marriage. Minkus is like “I can change that, babe” (not a direct quote) and raises his eyebrows seductively.

At long, Cory, Shawn, and Larry – who I swore was named Michael before I rewatched the scene – are discussing what they’re going to be for their pre-union. Larry, who I thought was crazy-shirt-kid from the pilot episode but isn’t, wants to be a 6th-grade teacher in an attempt to kiss Feeny’s behind.

Shawn’s going to be a tire salesman like his dad, and Cory’s going to be a center-fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. Larry and Shawn find this totally hilarious because Cory made 31 errors in Little League the previous year. The extend of my knowledge of baseball could be written on the back of my hand, so I’ll just take their word for it that it’s so laughable that Cory sees himself as a baseball player.

Cory doesn’t let their mocking get him down, though, because he says you can be anything you want as this pre-union thing, so why be something boring? Shawn and Larry agree and then they all bark.

I’m not even kidding. It’s just like that thing Tim Allen always did on Home Improvement. I don’t understand why that’s an indication of being a man, but then again, I am a woman.

At home, Amy is helping Cory put together some props for his whole baseball getup for the pre-union. He’s even making his own baseball card! Then Morgan comes in with this multicolored necklace on, and Amy says it’s very pretty.

Morgan says she traded Amy’s gold necklace for this plastic thing, because the plastic one is pretty.
Amy goes to call the mother of the girl Morgan traded necklaces with.

Question: How did Amy not notice Morgan didn’t have the gold necklace when they came back from the party? I’m not sure I would let my 5 year old go to a birthday party for another 5 year old with my gold necklace anyway, and even if I did I would sure make sure we had it before she left!

Morgan says a trade-back will be impossible because she and the other girl said “black, black, no trades back.” Then when Amy calls the other mother, the mother says the same thing. I’m partly scandalized that an adult would say such a thing, but then again, free gold jewelry is free gold jewelry.

At the preunion, Minkus explains to Feeny about how he bought out Microsoft and became the largest software producer in the world. Feeny points out that taking over an entire company is no easy task, and then Minkus explains just how he did it. Feeny is impressed and gives him an A for his well-thought out project. Minkus also mentions that he and his wife Topanga have just had their third child, Rainbow Einstein Minkus. I don’t know about someone named Topanga calling their kid Rainbow. It’s just so… common. Perhaps Andromeda, or Niagara, or even Nimbus, but Rainbow? Paah. But maybe the older kids have names like the ones I mentioned.

Also that one girl in pink in that picture above. What is going on there?

Shawn and Larry showed up as a tire salesman and 6th grade teacher, respectively, despite their agreement to be men and choose what they really wanted to do. Shawn even gave himself a fake gut because his dad, uncle, and grandpa are all fat.

Topanga has become President of the United States. She says it’s really not as impressive as it sounds, since not as many people want the job anymore now that she’s gotten rid of the military and eliminated nuclear weapons. She’s wearing a toga because everyone wears togas, because it eliminates the hostile competition that fashion creates. Feeny comments on how peaceful Topanga’s society must be, and Topanga says it’s because all men have been moved underground and are used solely as breeding stock.

Larry goes to talk to Feeny, and is somehow dressed exactly like Feeny, down to the mustache. I could buy that they have the same-colored suit on, but even the tie and vest are the same! Was Larry spying on Feeny to see how he’d get dressed that morning? Was this just a coincidence? Is Larry’s locker full of suits, vests, and ties of 20 different colors in case the outfit he was wearing was the exact one Feeny had on?

Are all of the students in this class dressed this way the entire school day? Even at lunch? What about gym class?

…Anyway, Feeny is not impressed, says every year he has students who dress up like teachers to kiss-up – which is weird because it sounded like this assignment was created entirely based on Cory’s complaint about how the past is boring so I’d assumed this was the first year this assignment was given – ans asks Larry to define tenure and curriculum, and then fails him for being such a loser – I mean, poser.

Cory jumps over to explain to Feeny about his awesome life as a baseball player and LOOK ON THE WALL.

Holy crap, there’s a fire extinguisher on the wall. I mean… I can’t remember if my 6th grade classes had fire extinguishers, but who thinks to put one on a set like that? No, like, I’m actually really impressed by whoever designed this classroom set. They’ve got the various posters up, the corkboard, the old tv on the rolling cart, a fire extinguisher, and there’s a cabinet in the back of the room that’s got tons of old textbooks on it. This is possibly the most believable classroom set I’ve ever seen on a tv show that wasn’t filmed inside an actual school or on a set that was built to resemble an actual school.

…So Cory talks about how great and famous he is as a baseball player, and he even has a cereal named after him!

I’m guessing this has more to do with them not being allowed to show an actual Wheaties box onscreen, because it would make more sense that he would be on a Wheaties box than have his own cereal.

Cory explains that he’s been playing baseball ever since 11th grade, and he never graduated high school because who needs a high school diploma when you’re getting $6 million a year? Feeny says that, adjusting for inflation, that $6 million is nothing compared to other players. It’s true that, with inflation, $6 million isn’t as much money in 2020 as it was in 1993, but Cory has still made more money than I have in the years since I graduated high school.

Cory says he totally has investments so it’s cool that he doesn’t make as much money as the other guys. Feeny asks who handles the investments, and how much they get paid. Cory doesn’t care about any of that stuff, but he has a baseball card with his batting average on it!

Mr. Feeny points out that Cory hasn’t thought of anything practical about being a baseball player – who manages his money and affairs, what skills he would possibly have after he retires – and gives him an Incomplete on his assignment. Cory says he can’t give him an Incomplete, because it’s like saying his future is incomplete.

…I sort of think that was the point, Cory. Feeny’s saying you haven’t though things through, so your future is incomplete. The point of the assignment was to fix mistakes before you even make them. And…Feeny pointed out some mistakes. I don’t see the big deal, Cory.

At the house, Cory takes down a poster of some baseball player and closes the curtains because his future is not bright at all. Halfway through the episode, we finally see Eric, who thinks in about three years he can save up enough for a vintage mustang. He says maybe their dad can help him out, and Cory gives him the same sort of interview Feeny gave him to see if he’s really thought of everything.

Alan comes into the room and he and Cory talk. Alan says he used to have a dream of building bridges (instead, he is a grocery store manager), and now he has a dream of having a kid who plays on the Phillies (instead, he has a son who made 31 errors in the previous Little League season). Alan has confidence in Cory, but Cory doesn’t have confidence in Cory.

The girl who Morgan traded necklaces with comes over with her mom, and the little girl – whose name is Stephanie – goes to join Morgan in the kitchen. Stephanie’s mother says she’s not giving the gold necklace back because Stephanie’s so attached to it, and totally not because it’s a gold necklace. Amy says she completely understands and had no intention of asking for the necklace.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Morgan is surrounded by tempting double-chocolate brownies, a diamond crown, and a My Little Pony.

In the living room, Amy asks if Stephanie’s mother works, to which she says she doesn’t have to work because her husband is a successful attorney.

Then Stephanie comes in.

She traded her dress, hat, and the necklace for a brownie and the tiara. She traded her mom’s car for the pony. Amy echoes Stephanie’s mom’s earlier words, “It’s not the value of the car, it’s Morgan’s attachment to it.” Man, don’t ever mess with Morgan and Amy Matthews. They’ll mess you up.

Also they never bring this up again, so I think it’s canon that Morgan has her own car now.

An undetermined amount of time later, Eric is on the couch telling someone about how some girl just totally cornered him against his locker. Cory runs in from the kitchen and takes the phone from him and dials Shawn, telling Eric to just call the person later. Eric says he doesn’t even know who he was talking to, and somehow Cory able to dial a new number without hanging up the phone first. Cory tells Shawn to call everyone and come to his house, because Jim Abbott is in his kitchen. Eric totally doesn’t believe that “one of the best pitchers in major league baseball is in our house”. That would sort of be a weird thing to make up. I mean, it would be one thing to just call Shawn and tell him that Jim Abbott was there, but if he was lying, why would tell Shawn to bring people to his house to see him?

It doesn’t matter that much because it wasn’t a lie anyway.

Jim Abbott looks a little like Dave Coulier in this picture.

Cory and Eric are dumbstruck, even though I assumed Cory had already see Jim Abbott because… well, how else would he had have known he was in the kitchen?

Jim Abbott gives Cory a talk about how he was just like Cory, having a teacher who said he would never make it in the major leagues, but his teacher also made him apply to a college so he would have a backup in case he didn’t make it. He also says the reason he’s here is partly due to the 63 telegrams Alan sent him. Were they really still sending telegrams in 1993? I don’t think I’ve heard any television character use a telegram as a primary means of communication if their show didn’t take place in the 1950s. And heck, I’ve seen plenty of shows that were filmed and took place in the 1950s that still used telephones.

So right then, Shawn and bunch of other guys burst in through the Matthews’ side door. This is sort of weird. I don’t think anyone ever comes through that door in another episode. Also, Minkus brought a basketball. Minkus has a more advanced knowledge of Jim Abbott than I do. I only figure out he was a baseball player from the context of the episode and because Eric said he was a pitcher.

Later that day, Cory and Feeny have a conversation, with Cory saying he’s still totally gonna be a baseball player, but he’s also going to graduate and play college baseball before he goes pro. Feeny says Cory did better than he expected, and Cory asks if Feeny is going to change his Incomplete to an A, but instead Feeny just gives Cory back all of the balls that bounced into his yard over time. So I guess Cory’s just never going to get a complete grade in that class.

At the end of the episode, the camera from the pre-credits scene is magically fixed, and also we find out that Amy doesn’t care that Alan didn’t become a bridge engineer. Good for them.

Also, apparently Topanga is in all of the remaining season 1 episodes. Hooray!

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