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Shawn From 'Boy Meets World' Had The Most Depressing Backstory In All Of TGIF Programming

Updated November 5, 2019 8.1k views15 items

If you grew up watching Boy Meets World and/or are currently checking out its spin-off, Girl Meets World, then you already know that poor Shawn has had it rough. From the earliest 1993 episodes of Boy Meets World, Shawn Hunter just can't catch a break. The rebellious best friend of Cory Matthews, it seems like Shawn is always being abandoned, getting into trouble, or trying to understand why he hasn't been all that great at functional relationships with anyone except his best friend, Cory. 

Here you'll find a collection of evidence that shows that Shawn has one of the most depressing backstories of all time. From problems at school to his intimacy issues, Shawn always seems to be grappling with one issue or another. Considering how much he had to go through growing up, however, you may just end up marveling at the fact that he turned out as well as he did.    

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  • He Almost Loses His Guardian, Mr. Turner

    Photo: ABC

    By Season 4, episode 21, Shawn has bounced around to several temporary homes, including a stay with his teacher, Mr. Turner. Though he's doing the whole rebellion thing, Shawn is shocked when he discovers that Turner has been in a horrible motorcycle accident and rushes to the hospital to pray over his body.

    Fortunately, Shawn's prayers seem to be answered and Turner lives, even though this episode is the last we ever see of him in Boy Meets World. References to his recovery are dropped later in the series, but it's not until years later in Girl Meets World that Turner finally shows back up and explains that he took a principal job at another school. 

  • He Finds Out He Has Not One But Two Secret Brothers

    Photo: ABC

    Season 5 opens with a big surprise for Shawn, in the form of his long lost half-brother Jack. In the episode, aptly named "Brothers," it's revealed that Jack is Chet's older son, who Shawn initially resents. Shawn complains that Jack grew up in a fancy home and feels like he's shunned Chet and the rest of the family for his entire life. It's later revealed that Jack's mom left Chet because he was an abusive alcoholic when they were together. Shawn's other siblings include Eddie, who is briefly introduced in the episode "The Pink Flamingo Kid."

    Shawn grows up thinking that Eddie, who lives with his mom, Virna, in the trailer park, is his brother. Later on in the series, however, it's revealed that Eddie is a half-brother, due to the fact that Virna doesn't turn out to be Shawn's biological mom. Shawn also apparently has a sister named Stacy, but she's only referred to in Season 1, episode 4 and is never mentioned again.   

  • He Can't Afford College - But A Secret Changes That

    Photo: ABC

    After Chet's passing, Shawn discovers another horrible truth when cleaning out his dad's old trailer. As it turns out, Chet had asked Jack's dad for help with money so he could send Shawn to college. This outrages Shawn, who has always been horrified at the prospect of taking charity from anyone, no matter how bad things got.

    This once more throws his plans for the future into disarray and it's only after a tantrum that Shawn comes to realize that Jack's dad was only trying to help. Ultimately, he pulls it together and ends up going to college at Pennbrook with Cory and Topanga. 

  • His Trust Issues Hinder His Relationship With Angela

    Photo: ABC

    As Shawn himself finally admits, "I'm afraid of getting hurt, okay? I've seen the pain on my father's face every time a woman walks out because he's not good enough.” Due to his shaky upbringing and his dad's horrible track record with women, Shawn definitely has some intimacy issues to work out. He remains charismatic throughout most of his teen years until finally meeting Angela in his senior year of high school. It's then that Shawn finally settles into the closest thing he's had to a long term relationship up to that point. Things go downhill fast in Season 6, however, when Shawn decides he wants to play the field in college and breaks up with Angela.

    The only problem is that they're both still in love with each other. They reunite in Season 7 but ultimately part when Angela decides to spend some time in Europe with her father. They don't meet again until years later in Girl Meets World when Angela reveals that she ended up marrying someone else.