Boy Meets World Cast Discusses Topanga's Personality Change, And Danielle Fishel Reveals A Key BTS Detail About The Shift

Any Boy Meets World devotee would notice some subtle changes in some characters over the course of the series. Some personalities were more gradual, and others saw a drastic shift between seasons. While this didn't receive much attention during the original run, Topanga Lawrence’s personality change has been a topic of discussion on and off over the years. Fans weren’t the only ones who noticed the change as the Boy Meets World cast zoomed in on the change-up. They discussed Topanga’s personality change, and Danielle Fishel revealed a key behind-the-scenes detail about the shift.

In Season 1, Topanga Lawrence was the quirky hippie girl who provided a challenge for Cory Matthews. Things changed in Season 2, as the opposites were set on a course to become Mr. and Mrs. Matthews. Fishel opened up about the personality shift while discussing the BMW episode “Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?” on the Pod Meets World podcast. Upon seeing her character, she referenced Shawn Hunter’s Season 2 premiere remark to Topanga. The former child star said that she saw a major shift between episodes one and five. The Boy Meets World alum admitted not noticing the change until she saw Topanga’s outfit, saying:

I think I just noticed because the last time I remember seeing myself on the show that such a topic of conversation that I was now specifically paying attention to it. [I thought to myself] ‘Do I look older? Do I look more mature?' And in this particular outfit, I was like ‘Yes.’ I feel as though the difference between where I was in Season 1 and where I am now in Season 2. I have definitely matured. I just noticed it in this episode whereas I didn’t notice it as much in the first episode.

Fishel wasn’t the only one who paid attention to the change, as Will Friedle commented he missed the character’s quirkiness. Rider Strong added he felt like Cory Matthews' eventual wife was “flattened as a character” despite seeing flashes of Season 1 Topanga. They missed the dynamic personality she displayed in the first season. Surprisingly, the Girl Meets World actress spilled that she didn’t get a heads-up about the dramatic shift:

I don’t remember anyone ever talking to me about the fact that there was going to be a Topanga change in personality. I don’t think that was ever brought up like ‘This is an actual move that we’re doing.’

Changing the character’s direction wasn’t discussed with her as the second season of Boy Meets World was being written. Considering she brought the character to life, it seems unfathomable that no one on the staff asked for her opinion. However, the cast was fairly young, and their thoughts weren’t necessarily sought out by the writers’ room. The Topanga Lawrence actress divulged having a conversation at some point with someone on the production staff about the personality change. However, the talk didn’t translate to her having a say about Season 2 Topanga. She said:

I don’t remember then or maybe it was later in the season of Boy Meets World. But I do remember there eventually being a conversation with either Michael [Jacobs] or someone else on the production [or] writing staff where it was very much ‘We wanted to get away from the idea that Topanga was so weird that Cory wouldn’t find her interesting or have anything in common.’ But, looking back, we made that decision years ago because we wanted to make you more normal. But I don’t remember anybody really talking to me about it in Season 2. ‘Hey, so you know we’re going to get away from that.’ But I miss it, and I don’t necessarily remember missing it while I was doing it.

Much like Fishel, Friedle recalled not having a say in his character’s direction. Strong’s experience was quite different from his two co-hosts, as he remembered talking with the writers about Shawn Hunter, especially series writer Jeff Sherman. Strong recalled being close enough with Sherman for the latter to tell him about his character’s stories and pitched ideas. He mentioned forming a connection with the writing staff.

The saga surrounding Topanga Lawrence has been unraveling in recent months. The BMW alum divulged the harsh criticisms she received early on, former co-star Ben Savage being her first kiss and the origin of her character’s unique name. The Season 2 shift can be seen if you binge Boy Meets World with a Disney+ subscription. To hear more stories about the cast’s experience on the classic TGIF sitcom, check out Danielle Fishel, Will Friedle, and Rider Strong on Pod Meets World weekly through iHeartRadio.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).