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Danielle Fishel On The Moment She Realized Topanga Was Going To Be A Regular

For kids and teens who grew up watching "Boy Meets World," actor Danielle Fishel is essentially inseparable from her role as Topanga on the ABC sitcom. Fishel first appears in a limited capacity during Season 1, before joining the show's full-time cast in Season 2 and remaining a series staple until its conclusion. Topanga, notably, is titular boy Cory (Ben Savage)'s primary love interest, and remains so throughout the show's entirety.

Fishel herself is tethered to Topanga even in the present day. For example, in July of 2022, Fishel recreated a dance Topanga performs to a poem in a well-known episode of "Boy Meets World," in order to help promote a rewatch podcast she co-hosts titled "Pod Meets World."

That said, the time Fishel spent working on "Boy Meets World" wasn't always glamorous. On one episode of "Pod Meets World," she went into detail about her early days on set. Fishel characterized one early "Boy Meets World" experience as terrifying. Of course, acting on a popular sitcom seems to have granted her certain perks as well, like a time Fishel got to wear a pair of Lucille Ball's shoes.

On another episode of "Pod Meets World," Fishel spoke about an altogether positive moment on the set of "Boy Meets World," recounting just when it was clear Topanga would become a series regular.

Cory's parents acknowledging Topanga was a turning point for her character's longevity

About 32:40 into the November 30 episode of "Pod Meets World," which recaps the "Boy Meets World" episode "Boy Meets Girl," Danielle Fishel begins describing a scene in which Cory's mom Amy (Betsy Randle) shares that she thinks Cory looks excited for an upcoming date with Topanga. Shawn Hunter actor Rider Strong then points out that this is the first time Cory's parents acknowledge Topanga's existence.

Then, at the 35:37 mark, third co-host Will Friedle suggests that this is the precise moment in which Topanga becomes a part of the larger story. He goes on to explain that the fact Cory's parents show they're plenty familiar with Topanga, rather than treating her like someone new or someone who will only appear briefly in Cory's life, serves to legitimize her place in the series' bigger picture.

At the 36:14 mark, Fishelle adds, "It felt very much like, oh, I'm in the Matthews' family universe, not just the Cory-Shawn school universe." Friedle elaborates that he found this to be a sign that the "Boy Meets World" producers were hinting at larger plans for Topanga should the show be picked up for more seasons after its first. Of course, that was indeed the case, hence why Fishel remains so closely associated with the role of Topanga to this day.