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The Boy Meets World Cast Kept This Running Gag Going For Seven Years

During its seven-season network run, there really wasn't a program on the air quite like "Boy Meets World." Yes, the teen-centric sitcom was nothing if not family-friendly, but on occasion, the series deftly ventured into heavy narrative territory, covering subjects like abuse, underage drinking, and sexual harassment. Along the way, "Boy Meets World" became an anchor for ABC — and remained so through its 2000 series finale. In the years since, it's remained surprisingly popular, with original fans of the show not only enjoying it via syndication and streaming binges but also sharing it with their own children.

These days, fans are also revisiting the '90s hit with the podcast "Pod Meets World." The Ben Savage-less podcast (via Us Weekly) finds other original cast members Danielle Fishel (Topanga Lawrence), Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter), and Will Friedle (Eric Matthews) rewatching episodes from the series' heyday and candidly chatting about things that were happening both on- and off-screen. The chatter was particularly candid when the crew came to the fourth episode of the series' inaugural season, a clear favorite among them.

Titled "Cory's Alternative Friends," the Season 1 episode is, of course, particularly notable in "Boy Meets World" canon because it marks the first appearance of Fishel's fan-favorite character and her famed interpretive dance routine. It seems, however, that it also spawned a running gag between the castmates that lasted the entire run of the series.

The term 'optical flip' apparently became part of the cast's life on and off screen

Rider Strong was the one who reminded his old castmates of the fact when talk about the episode's script began, noting, "I think this might've been the origin of us saying 'optical flip.'" Danielle Fishel and Will Friedle were quick to agree as Strong went on to explain that the term refers to a popular editing technique of the era in which the frame literally flips, marking a scene transition. The technique was used frequently on "Boy Meets World," so it's hardly surprising it appeared in a shooting script for the show.

"This became our in-joke," Strong offered of the term. "We knew our service for the end of the scene was to tee up the optical flip." Per Strong, that in-joke ran through the entirety of the show's seven-season run. As the conversation continued, it became clear the gag also extended beyond the set of "Boy Meets World" — Strong claimed that the cast hilariously applied the term to events off the set as well: "We'd say it about everything in our personal lives, not just when we were rehearsing. Maybe one of us would be telling a story, and we'd just be like, 'optical flip.'"

Given how long the "Boy Meets World" cast worked together, it's easy to imagine this was just one of many in-jokes developed over the years. But given the laughter we hear, it's clear this was also a pretty special one.