BMW – 303, “What I Meant to Say”; Oct. 13, 1995


We begin at Chubbie’s, with Cory teaching Topanga how to play pool, as a chance to be… CLOSE to her. He gets excited and makes a spectacular miss, and suggests they play darts instead – because games with flying projectiles are always sensible to play when you keep messing up your shot because you’re excited. And wouldn’t you know it, the dart flies out of the backroom and hits someone who sounds a lot like Shawn.

Cory and Topanga then give up on games and talk about their relationship. It’s going well, because they’ve been such great friends for so long, despite the fact that he thought she was clinically insane in season 1 and only really spoke to her in season 2 when he needed a date for something. Topanga asks if he’s feeling what she’s feeling, and Cory says he is, then tells tell her he loves her.

...dialing... dialing... dialing...
…dialing… dialing… dialing…

After a minute of silence, Topanga says she has to go, and leaves. Sad guitar riff plays while Cory looks dejected.

The next day at school, Shawn limps into scene. He says it was the weirdest thing, he was just getting a burger at Chubbie’s, and then a dart hits him in the butt! Cory nervously agrees that’s weird, and then Shawn asks how his date went last night. Cory explains that it mostly went well, except for the whole “told her he loves her and she leaves in a panic” thing. Eric and Eric’s girlfriend of the episode conveniently arrive on scene, and the girlfriend thinks that’s adorable. This, however, puts Eric in a panic, because now he’ll have to tell her that he loves her as well. I don’t get it. Cory and Topanga have been dating for precisely one episode, and we’ve never seen the girl Eric’s with before. Clearly it’s not that serious a relationship.

Well, anyway, that guy Turner is friends with (wait, have we seen him before? He wasn’t in last episode and I wrote up all the other episodes like 3 months ago, I can’t remember) walks down the hall with a cup of coffee. Feeny is yelling at him to stop.


Feeny says that’s his coffee. The guy says he put money in and out came the cup and the coffee, so it’s his. Feeny asks just how much money he put in, and he says he put in a nickel. Apparently it didn’t strike him as odd that he only had to pay a nickel for coffee on a machine that probably was clearly marked that you had to put in $1.

And Feeny says, “Yes, precisely a nickel!” as if to imply that in another situation “I put in a nickel” means he could’ve put in half a nickel or something. I mean, most vending machines don’t take pennies and there’s no such thing as a four-cent or seven-cent piece, so of course he put in EXACTLY one nickel when he said he put in a nickel. Oy. Well, Feeny had put in exactly 75 cents and had turned around to get more change, when new guy swoops in with his nickel. So apparently this is eighty-cent coffee. Oh, the ’90s. What a time to be alive. Also it seems like they probably would’ve just had a pot of coffee in the teacher’s lounge instead of a machine. The only place I’ve ever seen coffee vending machines is in gas stations and rest areas on the highway.

Turner shows up and tries to tell his friend to cool it, because that interview he’s supposed to have with Feeny, well… Friend guy won’t let him finish and says as soon as he gets to the interview he’s going to tell Feeny he’s got a little mustached man running around, “power tripping.” He smiles and looks around, expecting someone to laugh at his joke, and realizes when no one laughs, that it must be Feeny he stole coffee from. No explanation for why he’s having a job interview in the middle of the school day instead of before or after school, or why he didn’t just go straight to Feeny’s office for the interview instead of going to the cafeteria (which I’m sure is where the coffee vending machine is) first.

Cory walks into the hallway with a bouquet of flowers to give to Topanga. Then Shawn tackles him. Cory says he’s just trying to fix things with Topanga, and Shawn says “Not with these!” He then takes the bouquet and gives it to the first guy who goes past.


He looks confused at first, then smiles. He’s touched.

Shawn explains that Cory has given Topanga all the power now, by confessing his love, and says he’s whipped. Shawn tells him to make a list of things he’d like to do, without influence from Topanga, and Cory suggests antiquing as one of his activities, the joke being that’s the sort of thing guys don’t normally want to do, nevermind that antiquing is not something most teenagers regardless of gender are interested in. I’m not even sure what exactly it is. I mean, it’s just going out to buy old furniture, right? It sounds more like making new stuff look old, but I don’t think that’s what it is.

Turner’s friend, whose name is Eli, apparently, is upset because he’s sure he didn’t get the job. But Feeny shows up and says he’s hired because he shows a lot of passion and they could use someone who’s lived through the subject matter. I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean. Presumably most of the teachers at the school have lived through some sort of historic event, even if they weren’t physically at some rally or march or whatever. And Feeny is the history teacher, so…

Cory finds Shawn in the cafeteria. Shawn is speaking French.

This comes up exactly once more, and for exactly no reason.
This comes up exactly once more, and for exactly no reason.

Shawn is apparently an idiot savant. Cory says “cool”, then says he’s got great news – he’s got the power back! Topanga wants to meet him later! Topanga shows up almost immediately and asks if they can talk alone. This involves Shawn leaving and them standing in the cafeteria which is neither alone nor private. Topanga breaks up with Cory without offering any explanation.

Later in the classroom, Cory is bummed. Shawn suggests they reenact that last date so he can tell exactly what went wrong. They hold hands, and Shawn asks “Cory, how do you feel about me?” Cory says “…I love you.” And then one of the funniest scenes happens.

Guy and crowd of students overhearing Cory's confession of love.
Guy and crowd of students overhearing Cory’s confession of love.
Cory and Shawn should've shut the door.
Cory and Shawn should’ve shut the door.
Guy is betrayed, throws down bouquet of flowers in angry, and storms off.
Guy is betrayed, throws down bouquet of flowers in angry, and storms off.

Shawn asks what Topanga did after that, and Cory explains she just left. Shawn says that’s great, it’s the final piece of the puzzle! Cory assumes Shawn can now fix things, but Shawn says there’s nothing he can do. The bell rings, class files in, Topanga and Cory give each other sad looks.

Then Turner and Eli come in. Turner makes Shawn and Cory stand up, and asks Shawn who is best friend is. Shawn, in military recruit style, answers “You are, sir!” Turner than asks Cory who his best friend is, and Cory answers it’s Shawn, of course. Turner than asks “And what do we do with people who mess with our best friends?”, and Cory replies “…We kill ’em.”

So Turner introduces Eli as his best friend, and makes him give a speech to the students. I wonder if he’s going to make Eli give a speech to ALL of his own classes, instead of letting Eli just go home, or what. Eli says something about lies in the media. I remember in at least one later episode he’s in charge of some sort of video project, so that just makes Feeny’s comment about them needing a teacher of that subject who’s lived through his subject matter, even more confusing.

On the subject of truth and lies, Cory stands up to make a speech about his situation with Topanga, but gets embarrassed early on and just sits back down.

Later, Cory shows up late to dinner. He sits down to explain why he’s feeling down to his mother, and, well…

Cory: See, last night, I was out with Topanga. We were having a really nice time, so I figured, why not go for it?
Amy: *in disbelief* ‘Go for it?’ Cory, wh-what are you saying?
Cory: I went too far with Topanga.
Amy: *assuming the worst* Oh my God… How did this happen?
Cory: She looked so pretty, Mom, and there we were, all alone, in the back room at Chubbie’s…
Amy: *accidentally crushes mug in her hand*
Cory: Mom! No, no, that’s not what happened!
Amy: All right, then.

Cory explains he just told Topanga he loved her, and then Eric and Eric’s Girlfriend come in, having just gotten back from Pottery Barn. They bought a ceramic cat. Eric threatens to make Cory eat the ceramic cat.

Later at Chubbie’s, Shawn tries to get Topanga off Cory’s mind, but Cory can’t stop thinking about her, even imagining Shawn is Topanga. Shawn speaks French again, saying “It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” Cory doesn’t understand, since he doesn’t know French. Shawn apparently doesn’t know what he said either, because he only speaks French, he doesn’t understand it. This is possibly the weirdest gag I’ve ever seen on a show before.

Turner and Eli enter Chubbie’s. Eli’s unsure, because it’s greasy and full of teenagers, but Turner says it’ll be fine. They spot Cory, sitting alone and sad. Turner wonders if they should go ask what’s wrong, and Eli’s like “Oh yeah, I’ll just go over there and ask him what’s wrong, give him advice, and then I’ll have a little 14 year old best friend?” Turner’s like “Yeah, fine” and leaves. And then Eli goes over to Cory, asks what’s wrong, and gives him some advice.


The outside of Topanga’s house!

Cory climbs in through her bedroom window, just like Shawn climbs in through Cory’s window. Although the window seems to be in basically the same place, the rooms look different enough I’m not actually sure if Topanga’s room is just a redressed Cory/Eric’s room. You know how sometimes you watch tv shows and you can just tell it’s the exact same set, but with different furniture? Like pretty much all of the Saved By the Bell sets?

Topanga’s room is interesting. She’s got little things that say “Earth” and “peace”, I think there’s seashells on her window curtains. But she has this stuffed dog with sunglasses on, and a collage of boy band-looking guys. Also she has a really cool overhead lamp.

It’s the lamp on the upper right. You can’t really see it, though.

Anyway, Cory says, since they’ve broken up, he’s come to get his stuff back. So he takes his jean jacket. Topanga’s very nervous her parents will hear, so tells Cory to leave now that he has his stuff. He says he hasn’t gotten everything back yet, and she tells him he did get everything back because I guess since they’ve only been dating for like two episodes they haven’t been able to do that huge exchange of personal belongings TV couples always seem to do. Is that a real thing, by the way? I never dated anyone in high school, so I don’t know if it’s normal for high school couples to share all the stuff tv couples always do.

Cory says he hasn’t gotten the feelings he gave back. Topanga doesn’t know what he’s talking about, so Cory goes on to say that he told her his feelings and gave her these thoughts and whatever, and she didn’t give anything back.

He goes to leave, and Topanga says she was scared. He told her he loves her, and she didn’t know how to respond, how to feel, how to react. She asks him how he knew – after all, they’re only 14. He says he knew when they were little and catching fireflies and she had like 20 in her jar and he had 1, and Eric came outside and said “Cory loves Topanga!” to which Cory replied “Yeuch! I hate her!” And that’s how he knew he loved her. When they were 6.

Topanga still doesn’t really understand how he could’ve known that when they were young. She doesn’t know what it means now. Cory says he always knew he wanted to take care of her and stuff, which is sort of weird when you think about season 1. Topanga says if that’s what “I love you means”, then she loves Cory too. Except she says “So that’s what ‘I love you’ means” right after Cory says he’s just going to take his jean jacket and leave, so it sounds like she’s asking if leaving with a jean jacket means “I love you.”

Ah, the old ‘oversized sweater and plaid shorts over tights of a highly saturated color’ look. Bonus points because she has giant socks on as well.

In the credits scene, Eric sits his girlfriend down and tries to tell her that saying “I love you” only leads to disaster. He brings up how Cory said it to Topanga, and they don’t even speak anymore! So right on cue, Cory and Topanga exit the house, Cory telling Eric to tell their parents he’s walking Topanga home – and he’s gonna take the long route!


Girlfriend of the Episode declares her love for Eric, and Eric tries to declare his for her, but he can’t remember her last name. I can’t even remember her first name and I literally just heard it a minute ago, so I don’t blame Eric.

So, this episode. I’m one of those “you’re too young to know what love is!!!! *rage face*” types, so I don’t approve of 14 year olds saying they’re in love, but I like the explanation this episode gave for what being in love means. I think “love means wanting to take care of someone” is a great definition that fits pretty much all kinds of love except for “love of television show” because that wouldn’t make much sense.

Hopefully we can see Topanga in more episodes in the future now?

I didn’t bother with a plaid or jeans count this episode. There was only a couple of both.


2 thoughts on “BMW – 303, “What I Meant to Say”; Oct. 13, 1995

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