Ben Savage, who is set to make a big splash on TV later on this year with the premier of Girl Meets World, has been a staple of television audiences since the 1990s. Savage, who starred as Cory Matthews in the incredibly popular family show, Boy Meets World, was the central part of most episodes of the show—but there are some episodes which stand out from the rest as being particularly emotional, moving and well-acted by Savage and the rest of the Boy Meets World cast.
One of the best episodes of Ben Savage’s early run on Boy Meets World is Teacher’s Bet, which was part of the show’s first season.
In this early episode, Cory and his teacher Mr. Feeny make a bet with each other regarding the easy nature of being a student vs. being a teacher, after Cory laments that Feeny’s job is “so easy” because all students need to do is “read the book, pass the test.” Cory quickly realizes that his idea of a good teacher—someone who lets his students do whatever they want because all they need to do is “read the book”—is not all that effective and he struggles to find a way to reach his classmates and win the bet.
After talking with his father, Cory decides to sit down and read the material he is meant to be teaching, which happens to be the Diary of Anne Frank. Shortly after, Cory witness’s modern day prejudice against his brother’s girlfriend and, at his next attempt at teaching class, tries to convey the importance of the material to his classmates. He ends up delivering a compassionate speech to his peers about prejudice, about standing up for each other, and the danger of not caring and not listening when something bad is going on around you.
Although just a young actor at the time, Savage was able to add a lot to the characterization of Cory in this episode—who goes from cocky and uncaring student to someone a little older and a little wiser; not only because of the knowledge that teaching is hard, but his newfound respect for the application of “history” in real life. And that is what makes Teacher’s Bet one of the best episodes of Ben Savage’s run as Cory Matthews in the original Boy Meets World. Binge watch Boy Meets World over and over if you purchase an internet plan from Time Warner Cable.