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Boy Meets World's Death Chair Explained

ABC's beloved family sitcom "Boy Meets World" was a staple of the '90s, running for a lengthy seven seasons. The show endeared itself to millions of teenagers across the country who grew up alongside Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) and the rest of his friends. Well, friend is perhaps more accurate, as Cory's only true lifelong friend is Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong) — who stays by his side through all the ups and downs of high school and well into the later seasons of the series. By that point even longtime fans of "Boy Meets World" couldn't stand Cory anymore.

Obviously, Cory is also shown to be very close with Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel), his high school sweetheart and later wife, as well as his elder brother Eric (Will Friedle). That said, it often seems like Cory has no friends at all outside of the series' core cast of characters, a problem which lasted throughout the entire series and even into Cory's adulthood, if sequel show "Girl Meets World" is any indication. Indeed, Cory's suspicious lack of friends was apparently not lost on the cast of "Boy Meets World" either, as they began a running gag about it that related to the so-called "death chair."

Boy Meets World's cast nicknamed the third cafeteria seat the 'death chair'

During a 2013 reunion panel for "Boy Meets World," Rider Strong revealed that the producers of the series always intended for Cory Matthews to have more than one best friend, but they could never seem to get it right. Strong said that there was a stretch of about three to four episodes at the start of the series where Cory and Shawn would be sitting with a new kid in the cafeteria each week — which led to the cast nicknaming the third cafeteria seat the "death chair" because "whoever sat in it wouldn't be back next week."

On a recent episode of the podcast "Pod Meets World," Strong and co-stars Danielle Fishel and Will Friedle actually interviewed one of the short-lived residents of this so-called "death chair:" Marty York, who is best known for playing Yeah-Yeah in "The Sandlot," and who briefly played Larry on "Boy Meets World." York admitted that being fired from the series after only three episodes really stung him, and he was convinced for years that it was because he messed up on a single line — though the podcast hosts reassured him that the "death chair" and the producers were entirely to blame for his abrupt release from the show. Considering the fact that the "death chair" really only made an impact through a few key episodes at the beginning of the series, the fact that the cast members still have a nickname for it all these years later is truly remarkable.