crackpot theories

Is Mr. Feeny a Ghost on Girl Meets World?

Photo: Maya Robinson

Mr. Feeny, he of Boy Meets World and subsequent Facebook meme “Feeny’s Birthday!!!” fame, made an appearance during the last few seconds of Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World. He was there, and then he instantly disappeared into the subway mist. It was almost like … he’d become a ghost. In fact, we’re gonna take a bold stance and say that Mr. Feeny, played to acclaim by William Daniels, really is a ghost. Here is our evidence.

Last known sightings (on Boy Meets World):
When Boy Meets World wrapped its final episode 14 years ago, Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) remarked that Mr. Feeny would always be with the characters, no matter where they went. Some fans think Feeny’s final words on Boy Meets World were definitive proof that he’d only serve as a spiritual mentor for Cory going forward: “I love you all … class dismissed,” he said to an empty classroom. Go ahead. Let the tears spill.

The ghostly appearance on Girl Meets World:
When Cory looks behind him in the pilot’s final scene — after having spent 22 minutes learning how to be a parent — he sees Mr. Feeny, who offers words of encouragement: “Well done, Mr. Matthews.” When Cory looks back, moments later, Feeny is gone. This seems like a good time to explore some logistical issues: On Girl Meets World, the Matthews Family lives in New York City, a quick enough Amtrak ride from the original series’ Philadelphia setting for Mr. Feeny to pop up for a visit. But would Mr. Feeny really take an expensive train ride just to say four words? Isn’t it more likely that he is a ghost?

The writer’s-room conspiracy:
Shortly after the first Girl Meets World episode aired, fans reached out to people involved with the show on Twitter to see if Feeny was, in fact, a ghost. “Not at all!!” responded writer Mark Blutman, who’s worked on both BMW and GMW and seems as trusty a source as any. But maybe he is living with the same delusion that Cory is? Maybe he’s not ready to accept that Mr. Feeny is in his 80s and definitely not spry enough to yell “Well done, Mr. Matthews” and then sprint away?

More ghost action to come:
In an interview after the pilot aired, BMW and GMW creator Michael Jacobs said Daniels had filmed an additional scene in which Feeny had a larger role. It was left on the cutting-room floor — probably because there’s only so much ghost action you can fit into a 22-minute family sitcom — but Jacobs hinted that it might makes its way into another episode this season. Keep your eye out for spooky older gentlemen with unearthly wisdom. We can solve this mystery.

Is Mr. Feeny a Ghost on Girl Meets World?