BMW – 119, “Kid Gloves”; March 25, 1994

So, in a few previous recaps, I’ve mentioned how the audience goes totally insane for some things. In a way, it’s nice, because it means there’s an actual live audience and not just a stock recording of laughter and applause. But sometimes the audience for Boy Meets World is just… over the top. Perhaps you recall me being completely puzzled when the audience goes crazy when Cory says that he watches Beavis and Butthead – and then being even more bewildered when the same thing happens a few episodes later. There’s the audience being all “wooooooh!” when Alan and Amy kiss rather chastely in one episode. There’s a lot of weird things like that.

But this episode has what I feel is the creepiest instance of the audience reacting to something on screen. I believe I have actually mentioned exactly what they’re reacting to in some other recap, but I can’t remember which one.

That said, it doesn’t ruin the whole episode, but it’s been a year since I’ve seen this episode and it still weirds me out.

And especially with the random google searches people are doing for “young boys french kissing” and “young boy exposing himself” that are leading to this blog for some reason, well… it doesn’t make me feel any better.

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So we begin with Feeny telling the class they have to choose something from a list of “exciting” extracurricular activities. There’s a vocabulary club, and a scuba club, and debate team. The only four class members with names – Cory, Shawn, Topanga, and Minkus – decide to go for scuba club, forgetting that technically basketball is an extracurricular activity and Shawn, Cory, and Minkus were all on the team for an episode.

Feeny asks everyone – and by that I mean the four class members with names – if they know what “scuba” stands for, because it’s actually an acronym. Cory and Shawn both give weird answers, so Feeny goes to Minkus. But Minkus refuses to answer. He doesn’t want to know everything, he doesn’t want to be the smart one anymore!

This change of heart lasts for like 5 seconds, however, and Minkus then correctly says that “SCUBA” stands for “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus”. I’m a bit disappointed that Minkus decided to be smart after all, after only a few seconds, but I like that we didn’t have a whole episode where he decides to be a normal kid and then in the last 3 minutes he gets jealous of some other kid and decides to just explode with information and go back to being the smart kid – this being something I think is a big cliche despite not being able to name a show where an episode like this actually happens.

After the opening theme, we get our establishing shot of the Matthews home, and the camera zooms in on the rightmost window on the second floor. The next image after that is Cory and Eric sleeping in their room, which would mean that the rightmost window on the second floor on the front of the house is the window in Cory and Eric’s room – except the one set of windows we see in their room is obviously in the BACK of the house. I mean, two episodes ago had Feeny spotting Shawn climbing into that window from Feeny’s backyard – Feeny backyard which faces the Matthews’ backyard, which is… in the back of their house.

I’m being awfully tangent-y again in this recap.

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So Alan sneaks into the boys’ room while their both asleep and puts a small box on Cory’s forehead. Eric wakes up for no apparent reason and repeatedly tells Cory that he has a box on his forehead, but Cory will not be woken. Then Eric pulls out a megaphone and tells Cory not to wake up because there’s definitely not a box on his forehead. Cory finally wakes up to this, and tells Eric not to be such a liar, because there’s totally a box on his head.

It turns out it’s Cory’s birthday, and the little box is his “becoming a man” gift from Alan. It’s a necklace.

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I like that there’s literally no mention of it being Cory’s birthday outside of this scene. No party, no one mentions it at school, none of his family wish him a happy birthday… is it really his birthday at all?? Of course, that’s what comes of being an adult – maybe one person will give you a present or wish you a happy birthday, but mostly no one cares.

Cory’s disappointed, because Eric got a buck knife for his “becoming a man” birthday, and Cory got a necklace. Eric tells him to act happy about it, and when Cory suggests he pretend he just never found the gift, Eric points out that it was on his face, so that might be difficult to pass off as a convincing story.

Downstairs, Alan is all excited for Cory to totally love him for the awesome gift. Cory downstairs and he’s just in a hurry to get his scuba diving club permission slip, and when Alan says something to him, Cory’s just like “uh… yeah, hi. Thanks for the gift.”

Alan is of course disappointed that Cory didn’t run to him in joy and hug all the breath out of his lungs, but then Amy points out that Alan hasn’t bothered to explain the significance of the necklace, and if he doesn’t tell Cory that he won that boxing glove necklace (yeah, it’s a necklace with a little silver boxing glove charm on it), how is Cory supposed to be enthusiastic about it?

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Cory leaves and Morgan comes downstairs, asking for her present. Her parents explain that, since she’s a big girl now, that means she’s old enough to understand that she doesn’t get a present when it’s someone else’s birthday. And speaking of Morgan being a big girl, it looks like she had a small growth spurt since the last episode, but maybe it’s just the outfit she’s wearing.

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So at the school, a bunch of 11 year olds are milling around the cafeteria in bathrobes. Cory has a mask on and is doing a bad Darth Vader impression. Shawn has snorkeling gear, because he used to go snorkeling in his bathtub all the time when he was younger.

Cory rips off his bathrobe and declares himself “Scuba Boy”, and the audience cheers.

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Why are his swim trunks pulled up to his belly button?

Yeah. This is the scene I was referring to. He’s 12. Calm down, audience.

Shawn calls Cory the “whitest white boy” he’s ever seen. Shawn then takes his over-shirt thing off (being the only one in the room not wearing a bathrobe over his swimsuit), to reveal how pumped up he is.

How long have they been selling shirts like that, anyway?
How long have they been selling shirts like that, anyway?

Cory asks him why he still has a shirt on, and instead of going into an episode about body dysmorphia in males, Shawn basically just says that without his shirt he’s as white and flabby as Cory. And then the audience cheers. Again, he’s only 12. Also, both Cory and Shawn have on necklaces – although Shawn’s is one of those cool ones and not silver with a little glove charm on the end. The scuba club instructor should probably tell them that they need to remove all loose jewelry before going into the pool, but I know that’s not going to happen, because part of the episode’s plot hinges on that.

Topanga and Minkus come in.

Topanga's bathrobe is awesome.
Topanga’s bathrobe is awesome.

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Topanga tells Cory and Shawn it’s not nice to ridicule other people’s bodies, because we’re all perfect in the eyes of Mother Nature or something. Not sure how Topanga heard them considering she only walked in at the end of their conversation, but Topanga has Powers, so I’ll buy it. Shawn disagrees with Topanga, saying that Minkus is no model of the perfect body, and then Minkus takes off his bathrobe.

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Haha, look at this kid. Wearing a wetsuit to… go diving… I don’t know a lot about scuba diving myself, but I’m pretty sure it’s standard fair to use a wetsuit, even if you’re just an 11 year old in a diving class using a swimming pool.

Shawn asks Topanga if she’s got a wetsuit on too, and she takes off her bathrobe to reveal she is actually wearing a swimsuit. The audience doesn’t cheer this time, but they whistle and go “whooooo!” SHE’S 12 YEARS OLD. STOP IT. THAT’S CREEPY.

She does have an awfully cute swimsuit, though. It’s got a neat pattern to it, at least from what I can see through my awful video quality.

No really, why is Cory's swimsuit pulled up so high? I'm not saying it should be lower, but... it just seems awfully high up.
No really, why is Cory’s swimsuit pulled up so high? I’m not saying it should be lower, but… it just seems awfully high up. Edit as of June 2015: This is the most clicked-on photo in this blog. YA’LL ARE CREEPY.

Shawn and Cory are left kind of speechless. Topanga stands there, expecting them to make fun of her like they did with Minkus, but… nope. Cory asks Shawn if he’s got anything (twice!), and after the second time, Shawn tells Cory that it’s just a girl in a bathing suit, nothing interesting about it, now go ahead and insult her!

Cory refuses, and says from now on he’s going to insult Shawn instead. You see, I can enjoy Cory and Shawn and Minkus being totally wowed by Topanga’s bathing suit body, because they’re all the same age, and not a bunch of faceless off-screen people who may range in age from 15 to 50 for all I know cheering and whooping for the bathing suit bods of a bunch of preteens. I just really find the audience in this episode alternatively baffling and creepy.

Minkus comes over and tells Topanga she’s beautiful, and Topanga’s Superficial Side thanks him, and they go to look at some scuba masks. This baffles Cory and Shawn – why would Minkus… be nice… to a girl? Despite being the shortest and nerdiest of the group, Minkus sure knows what’s up.

Shawn fiddles with some random diving equipment and Minkus tells him he can’t do that, he has to wait for the Diving Master. Cory and Shawn wonder who the Diving Master is, but they don’t really care, as long as they get out of school and away from Feeny. I’m sure you can guess what that means.

FEENY!
FEENY!

Back at the house, Eric is explaining to some girl named Donna that “Vicki” is just a pet name he uses for her, like “honey” or “kitten”. Cory comes in and tells Eric that scuba is really cool, and Eric notices that he doesn’t have his necklace. Cory figures he just left it at the pool and isn’t too concerned. Then Alan comes in. It occurred to him that he hadn’t really explained the significance of the gloves, and tells Cory and Eric all about them.

WHERE DID ERIC'S RIGHT HAND GO??
WHERE DID ERIC’S RIGHT HAND GO??

When he was in the Navy, he was on the boxing team. He was pretty good, if he says so himself. The silver boxing gloves were a prize for coming in second – not second in a match like Cory believes, but second in his weight division in the entire United States Navy. So now of course Cory feels super bad.

Cory calls around town, asking if anyone found the gloves or took them a pawn shop or something. No one has found anything like them, so Cory has to retrace his steps to when he last had it. Remember how I said it’s stupid to leave loose necklaces and other jewelry on while swimming or diving in a pool? Yeah. Anyway, Cory tells Eric to tell their parents that he’s having dinner with Shawn that night, to cover for him while he looks for the necklace.

So at dinner, Eric brain farts before remembering what Cory told him to tell their parents. And then Shawn shows up. Looking for Cory.

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Eric tells Shawn that of course Cory isn’t here, he’s at Shawn’s house, having dinner. Shawn catches on, unconvincingly, and says that he came over for some reason, and asks Eric what that reason might be. Eric comes up with the idea that Cory must’ve sent Shawn over to see what the Matthews were having for dinner so he could determine if he made the right choice in eating at the Hunter home or not. Shawn asks why Cory wouldn’t have just called, and Morgan tells the two of them that they’re pathetic. Shawn basically agrees, says he remembers that he doesn’t really live here and doesn’t have to stay to answer any questions, and makes a quick exit.

Eric tells his parents that he really doesn’t know where Cory is, and Amy is worried, because it’s after dark already. Alan says he’s worried too, about how Cory is going to survive in the adult world if he can’t come up with a better excuse.

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A new establishing shot! That we’ll never see again.

There’s a splash sound effect while the camera’s still on the establishing shot, and a POV scene with Cory swimming in the school pool. He spots a tennis racket, a toy sting ray, a key, and a not-Barbie doll tied to a brick.

There's a shot almost identical to this during the stills gallery during the end credits, coincidentally - I take these screenshots while I'm watching so I don't know what still images will show up during the credits.
There’s a shot almost identical to this during the stills gallery during the end credits, coincidentally – I take these screenshots while I’m watching so I don’t know what still images will show up during the credits.

Yeah. Suddenly, garbled, watery cries of “Mr. Matthews!” can be heard, and Cory surfaces, to be chastised by Mr. Feeny.

There's also a shot almost identical to THIS during the end credits.
There’s also a shot almost identical to THIS during the end credits.

Mr. Feeny asks if he actually learned anything at the diving class. Doesn’t he remember that it’s dangerous to go diving alone? There’s not even a life guard on duty! Never mind the fact that Cory was technically trespassing, since it was past school hours and he had no reason to be there. Feeny won’t give Cory time to explain, and sends him home. Why is it Feeny is the only person ever at the school after hours? It made sense in the episode where Shawn blew up the mailbox, because Feeny had forgotten something in his classroom and he wanted it for the weekend, but why was he at the pool?

Actually, Feeny says they’re at the YMCA, which makes this even MORE confusing – how did Cory sneak into the indoor pool without anyone noticing? Why was Mr. Feeny there after hours? If the pool was actually still open, how was it there was no life guard or no other people in the pool? [Some pools do have hours when there’s no life guard on duty, but I don’t know if the YMCA does]

Cory comes home and confesses he lost the necklace, and basically grounds himself and goes upstairs. Then Feeny rings the doorbell for the front door, instead of the back door, the sole reason being that Amy and Alan were already in the living room and it made more sense to have Feeny come in the front rather than have everyone move into the kitchen and have him come in the back way.

You are getting sleeeeeepy.
You are getting sleeeeeepy.

Feeny just came over to give Cory his necklace. The audience goes “ah, ohhhh” and like one person claps. Cory gets excited and hugs Feeny, and the two of them agree to never speak of it again. Cory then realizes the hypocrisy – it’s not okay for Cory to go diving alone, but it’s fine for Feeny? But Feeny actually found the necklace in the pool filter, so he didn’t go diving at all. So there.

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Cory gives the necklace back to Alan, and tells him he doesn’t deserve it, not yet. He tells Alan not to give it back to him until the most important day of his (Cory’s) life. Alan asks him when that will be, and Cory says “Whenever you decide to give them back to me.” The audience goes “awww”. I think the audience in this episode were supposed to see Full House but got lost on the way (although admittedly, that last line was kind of nice).

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She seemed really disinterested in the horse during this scene.

During the credits, Alan tells Morgan to keep this a complete secret from Amy – he bought Morgan a present, a toy horse. Morgan loves it, and then asks Alan if he won it while he was in the Navy. When Alan says he didn’t, Morgan asks why the horse is special. Alan explains that it’s special because he loves Morgan and wanted to get something nice for her so he went out to a store and bought it. Then Morgan asks if he won the horse while he was in the Navy. After a pause, Alan just says yes.

So the moral of this episode is to always leave your valuables and jewelry off your person while diving in the pool. And you should always explain the significance of meaningful jewelry and other items to your children before you give them the items so your kids don’t act like idiots and lose or destroy them.

There was definitely something weird with this audience. I hope it was actually just full of 12 and 13 year olds, which would make them cheering for shirtless 12 year olds a lot less creepy and off-putting. I mean, the kids are actually good-looking preteens, and those were well-designed swimsuits, but you definitely cross a line when you react that enthusiastically to underage children wearing swimsuits and 90-stastic sandals in a school cafeteria.

I didn’t mention the sandals, but they were totally 90s-tastic. They’re the kind where there’s a velcro strip over the end of your foot right before your toes start, and one strip that goes around your ankle. They probably still make sandals like that, but I haven’t seen any in a while.

Oh also, I decided to start including the original airdate in the post titles. It makes it look more like the titles of Quantum Leap episodes, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

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