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Boy Meets World: "If You Can't Be With The One You Love"

Season 5 Episode 18
Airdate: March 6, 1998

Boycott the Caf name: "Shawn is a Big Drunk"
Issue of the Week: Alcohol

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Shawn hates that they have to study feudalism in history class. "Feudalism," rants Shawn. "I'm beyond bored. I'm angry." So much so he punches locker. Shawn hates school so much. It's his senior year and he just can't take it anymore and HE'S AN ANIMAL.

Cory, on the other hand, is crying all the time. He and Topanga recently broke up for the 5 millionth time in the show's history, and Cory is having a difficult time dealing, which has given him a reputation as a downer. This is why he was not invited to a party Kimberly Sushmen is throwing to celebrate her nose job. Shawn was invited but told not to bring his butt buddy with him.

Cory understands. "I don't want to be around me either," mopes Cory. "I'm done with me."

Oh no, suicide episode!

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Cory crashes Kim's party and becomes the life of the party, regaling the teens with story and dance! He's laughing and loving and living it up! Topanga is also at the party and kind of pissed that Cory is happy.

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Cory is so affable because he is drunk. Shawn checks up on him after he has been in the bathroom hour and a half. Dude, he was pooping. Oh no, I kid, I guess Cory was drinking or just talking to the mirror the whole time. Cory shows his buddy the pint of whiskey that Cory says "was given to me when I stole it from my father." They both have to state that the booze tastes and smells foul, because this is an anti-drinking episode and they producers want kids to know this. What I find so perplexing is that it's their senior year of high school but only one person brought alcohol to a party. No matter how crazy this show has been, that one scene is the one I have the most problem with. At this episode shows kids that the fun drunk kid is always the most popular person at a party. This is factual accurate which surprises me that the show includes that because Boy Meets World was never big on facts or accuracy.

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Cory and Shawn finish off that pint and stumble down the street drunk. I suppose they spent the rest of the party even more drunk and had a ball. They also peed on a police car. "Normally I can't go when another guy is standing right next to me," Cory tells Shawn.

They get a hobo to buy them six pack and act drunk outside the store. Shawn does a handstand, which impresses the machine that makes audience sounds. You know how when guys get drunk, they often get really friendly with each other? Well, Cory and Shawn get gay for each other. Cory admits that Topanga wasn't for him, and that Shawn is really "the one."

Before they are about go get naked together, the boys are busted by the cops. Philadelphia may be billed as the "City of Brotherly Love" but not in that way! Ha ha ha ha ha. Instead of jail, they are sent to Cory's house, where his dad gives the boys an angry lecture about the perils of drinking. Dad blames Shawn for this, since Shawn is the bad kid who is always getting his son into trouble. Shawn takes the rap, but then Cory confesses that he was the one who got the alcohol. Cory's dad admits that Shawn isn't so bad and he misjudged the young man.

OK, episode over. Hey, we're only at the 15 minute mark. I guess this was a Boy Meets World short.

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Wait, there's more episode. It's history class, but Shawn will have none of it! He causes a ruckus by calling serfdom boring. Mr. Feeny doesn't like that remark, but too bad Shawn was just telling it like it is.

Topanga is all like, why don't you calm down? But Shawn fired backs with "Why don't you stop being so crazy and sit on Cory's lap?" Thank you! Finally somebody said what viewers had been asking for since 1993. Feeny kicks Shawn out of class. Shawn plays it cool and leaves, but says, "But only because you asked me so nicely." Cory asks for permission to leave with Shawn and Mr. Feeny lets him skip class because...I don't know why. Mr. Feeny knows this is his last year of teaching and has basically checked out.

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Cory and Shawn go to the place Shawn is living in. I forget who he's living with in this episode. He tends to have a new father figure and place to stay each season or so. Cory learns that Shawn has been drinking all week. That's pretty awesome that no one noticed. I guess Shawn must have been making a scene in class all week and people were all like "Oh that's our Shawn. What a rascal!"

Shawn's big brother he's known for six months does not like this. He tells his little brother that their dad was an abusive alcoholic and their family is prone to alcoholism. Shawn is angry that his brother insulted the dad Shawn doesn't even like all that much, and they fight on the couch. Topanga and Angela (Shawn's girlfriend) come to the apartment. I guess they skipped school too. They all want to help Shawn quit alcohol and Cory is like, "I'm never going to drink again because I'm a flake" but Shawn does this Jack Nicholson impression (or at least how a drunk guy would try to do Jack Nicholson) about how booze makes him happy. Then, he pushes Angela into the door. WHOA!

That was the wake up call Shawn needed to quit drinking and seek counseling. Though considering that he was drunk all week without anyone noticing and he and Cory were able to slam that whiskey without throwing up, I think Shawn kicks ass at drinking. He has the alcohol tolerance of a 50 year old gold prospector. I don't understand that analogy either. I like how when Shawn is drunk, he still acts pretty much exactly like he always does when he is sober. No wonder no one noticed. Anyway, Shawn apologizes to everyone and all is well. Angela even takes him back the next day. Wow, you can really get away with a lot with her.

Grade: A-

It felt like the writers were going to end the episode right after the boys were caught by the police and sent to Cory's home and the boys learned the danger of alcohol and Cory's dad finally learned that Shawn isn't so bad. The End. But the script came up short so the writers were like "Fuck, let's have Shawn be a drunk for the rest of the episode." It was glorious.

By Billie Green 05/22/10