Girl Meets World set out to show Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard) and her friends following in the footsteps of her father Cory (Boy Meets World star Ben Savage) and his friends.
Over the course of three seasons, the Disney Channel series managed to tackle some tough topics its predecessor had (bullying, peer pressure, relationships), as well as a few it hadn’t (STEM education for girls, autism, arts education) — amidst episodes featuring talking tater tots and paint fights.
Following the announcement earlier this week that the Emmy-nominated series is coming to an end, here’s a look back at some of the show’s best moments so far:
1. Friends Before Boyfriends
First crushes can be a big deal, but when Riley discovers Maya might also have feelings for the Lucas, she steps aside to give her best friend a shot at happiness. Meanwhile, Maya doesn’t want to act on her feelings because she’s afraid of jeopardizing her friendship with Riley — and Lucas hesitates for the same reason. In a landscape of teen shows focused on romantic relationships, it was great to see these characters choose friendship instead.
2. When They Visited Mr. Feeny
There’s a reason Mr. Feeny ranks as one of the best TV teachers. Not only did he advise, guide, and mentor his former students into their adult lives, but Cory follows in his footsteps as a history teacher who also graduates to high school with his students. And as his return on Girl Meets World indicates, he’s taught Cory, Shawn, and Topanga all they need to know.
3. Eric Matthews’s Political Career
He may not have made the deadline to run for President of the United States, but Eric Matthews manages to win America’s hearts as he returns to dispense much-needed advice as Plays With Squirrels. What’s more, his run for senator gave the show a chance to delve into the political system — and how kids like Riley and her friends can make a difference.
4. Girl Meets… Girlhood
Some of the show’s best moments are when it eschews stereotypical portrayals of relationships between girls; where there could be jealousy or meanness, there’s friendship and support — be it the cheerleading team backing up Riley as one of their own or Topanga’s friendship with Maya’s mom Katy.
5. Shawn’s Wedding
From the moment Shawn and Maya met, many fans wanted to see him become her father. Well, in its third season, the show finally delivered on that, giving viewers a chance to see both characters take one of the biggest steps of their lives as they officially called each other “family.” An added bonus was having Mr. Feeny officiate.
6. The Return of Tommy
Girl Meets World is no stranger to reunions; it’s brought back Stuart Minkus, Shawn’s brother Jack, their old teacher Mr. Turner, and even Cory’s former bully Harley. But the show proved that it could make deep cuts like the best of them when it brought back Tommy, the kid Eric once almost adopted, to support his former “Big Brother” with his political campaign.
7. Bringing Back the Feeny Call
Two words: “Feeny. Fee-hee-hee-hee-nay.”
8. Riley Meets Cory and Topanga
Part of Riley’s journey on the show involves examining her own parents’ decisions when they were her age — enough so that an entire episode was dedicated to it. In a magical moment, “Girl Meets Cory and Topanga” transported the younger Matthews to one of the most iconic moments in her parents’ lives, allowing her to literally witness just how similar she and her mother are.
9. The Tell-Tale Tot
As much as the show tends to do smaller, more subtle storylines, it can also go big and wild. One zany episode saw Riley haunted by a talking tater tot that is a manifestation of her guilt.
Girl Meets World‘s final episodes air Friday, and Jan. 13 and Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. ET on the Disney Channel.