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The Real Reason Mr. Turner Disappeared On Boy Meets World

For those who indulged in small screen delights in the early '90s, there were certain narrative elements that popped up in virtually every TV series. For instance, any cop show on television had a no-nonsense veteran detective whose methods were less than above board (see Dennis Franz's Det. Sipowicz in NYPD Blue). Likewise, every medical drama found at least one wide-eyed young resident destined to learn the ins and outs of medicine the hard way (see Noah Wyle's Dr. Carter on ER). Of course, if shows that featured whip-smart youths trying learn the ways of the world were on your radar, you almost always found those kids interacting with a down-to-Earth, cooler-than-cool young teacher desperately trying to reach his students on a personal level.

And if that sort of story was indeed your bag, you no doubt remember the big-hearted, street-wise teacher Mr. Turner on Boy Meets World. Played with an endearingly edgy openness by Anthony Tyler Quinn, the motorcycle riding Mr. Turner essentially played spirit guide (alongside William Daniels' Mr. Feeny) to Cory (Ben Savage), Topanga (Danielle Fishel), and Shawn (Rider Strong) over the show's first three seasons, even becoming Shawn's legal guardian at one point in the action. But after the character was nearly killed in a season 3 motorcycle accident (via the brilliant Cult Fiction episode), he was never seen again. 

After years of speculation, the actor who played Mr. Turner on Boy Meets World has finally offered some insight as to why the character disappeared. As reported by Yahoo! News, in a candid 2013 Twitter Q&A, Quinn answered an inquisitive fan's query about his departure by initially dodging the question, stating "Not sure I can answer that in only 95 characters." He later offered, "Sometimes they make changes, and can't figure out how to explain them."

Mr. Turner found his way back into the fold for Girl Meets World

At least from Quinn's perspective, it sounds like Mr. Turner was possibly the victim of Boy Meets World's creative team simply not knowing where to take Mr. Turner after his near-death experience. As you'll recall, the emotional episode found Shawn falling into the clutches of a youth cult, and found Mr. Turner and the gang trying desperately to pull him out. In the end, it was Mr. Turner's accident that finally brought Shawn back from the brink. That is, of course, why it seemed such an odd time for Mr. Turner to go M.I.A.

Still, that episode also came as Shawn, Cory, and Topanga were eyeing their own exit from the school in which Mr. Turner taught them (via graduation, of course). So it's possible that the series' writers just opted to take the character out of the picture before the gang trotted off to college. It's also possible they were running out of interesting things to do with Mr. Turner who, by that point, had really gone above and beyond what any teacher could've been expected to for his students — even in the magical realm of TV Land. 

As it happens, Quinn's own work schedule may have contributed to his Boy Meets World exit, with the actor landing the lead role in Fox's short-lived comedy Ask Harriett at around the same time. Quinn has continued to keep himself more than busy in the years since leaving Boy Meets World, appearing in dozens of small screen programs from Melrose Place to Dexter. Also, Quinn was able to clear his schedule and reprise his role as Mr. Turner (sans mullet) for a three-episode arc when the Boy Meets World revival series Girl Meets World made its way to the Disney Channel.