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The Boy Meets World Prank That Fans Think Went Way Too Far

In the late '80s and 1990s, ABC's TGIF programming block entertained millions of kids, tweens, and their parents. For two hours every Friday night, family-friendly shows like "Full House," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," and "Family Matters" dominated American households. "Boy Meets World" joined the lineup in 1993, premiering to a massive audience of 16.5 million (via The Guardian). Intrigued by the star power of "The Wonder Years" star Fred Savage, ABC enlisted his younger brother, Ben, to helm "Boy Meets World" for what would end up being seven seasons.

The series follows Corey (Savage), Topanga (Danielle Fishel), and Shawn (Rider Strong) as they grow from precocious sixth graders into fully realized young adults. Like "Beverly Hills, 90210" before it and countless other series, "Boy Meets World" had the unenviable task of transitioning from high school to college.

With the series' college years came new challenges, new relationships, and more mature content. Some of the gang's hijinks, however, remained downright immature, like their Season 7 prank war. Here's the prank that fans think went too far.

In the Boy Meets World prank wars, the bear was a bridge too far

In the Season 7 episode "The War," a simple stolen parking spot divides the group in two for an all-out prank war. Corey and Shawn set the stage for high-caliber pranks by somehow sneaking Rachel's (Maitland Ward) Volkswagen into her room in the middle of the night. In retaliation, Rachel, Jack (Matthew Lawrence), and Angela (Trina McGee) glue their opponents to their seats, cover them in honey, and sic a bear on them.

For many "Boy Meets World" fans, the bear incident jumped the shark. In the r/boymeetsworld subreddit, u/SybariticLegerity wrote that while the prank is presented as a light-hearted joke, it's tantamount to "attempted manslaughter." Everyone's blase reaction also makes the prank feely oddly surreal. "The bear took me way out of the story," u/SybariticLegerity concluded, and u/viviwrldfroggie wholeheartedly agreed: " "They literally had a bear that could've done something bad to the kids and NO ONE mentioned how serious it could've been." Even Mr. Feeny (William Daniels), normally a voice of reason, laughs at his honey-soaked students after the fact.

The prank war comes to an abrupt end when Sean and Corey retaliate by plastering risque photos of Rachel on the walls of the Pennbrook Student Union. Their actions, essentially a form of revenge porn, are treated with appropriate disgust by characters and fans alike. Still, u/SybariticLegerity wrote that "it kind of pales in comparison" to exposing one's classmates to a dangerous predator. The bear prank — and the tepid response to it — makes the whole episode feel cartoonish, undermining the gravity of the following scene.

While "The War" is just one example of a great sitcom grasping at straws in the lead-up to its cancellation, the fact that fans are still debating about it online points to the series' resonance. "It's unbelievable...how it's still going and people still love it," Will Friedle, who played Eric, told CinemaBlend. "We're so honored that we were able to be a part of something that really, truly mattered to people."