7 Reasons 'Girl Meets World's Cory Matthews Is TV's Best Father

Way back in the '90s, when I was happily crushing on Boy Meets World 's Cory Matthews, I never imagined I would one day watch Cory become a dad. When the show ended in 2000, I thought that was the last I would ever see of the character — Cory and Topanga move to New York and live happily ever after in off-screen limbo for all eternity. Then Girl Meets World appeared on the scene, with Cory and Topanga all grown up with two kids of their own. Seeing Cory — a character who was 12 the first time he appeared onscreen — as a father was initially a surreal experience, but, in the two years since Girl Meets World premiered, I have come to embrace Cory Matthews the dad and accept that Cory is the best dad currently on TV.

In retrospect, it shouldn't have been surprising that Cory would make such a great father. He had amazing parents to learn from, and, even as a kid, he was an old soul. Cory was always looking out for Shawn while they were growing up, and he was often the voice of reason for his friends. As an adult, he has maintained his lovable, goofball personality, but the part of him that is wise and reliable has been amplified. Cory isn't just an amazing father to Riley and Auggie; he is a father figure to Riley's entire friend group. Cory's dad skills are off the charts. That 12-year-old kid who was trying so hard to figure life out on Boy Meets World is now one of TV's shining examples of what a father should be, and here's how he got there.

1. He Guides His Kids, But He Doesn't Give Them All The Answers

Cory is a protective father, but he resists the urge to coddle his kids. He has shown over and over that the best way to teach Riley is by letting her find her own way to the answer. The moment when Riley asked him whether she should quit trying out for the cheerleading team was a shining example of him gently guiding her in the right direction without explicitly telling her what to do.

2. He Gladly Takes On The Role Of Father For Maya

Maya is more than just Riley's best friend. She is a part of the Matthews' family, and Cory always makes that clear to her. Whether he is pushing her toward forgiving herself for the guilt she feels over her biological father leaving or just showing up for her art show, Cory is there for Maya without question. The fact that he goes out of his way to make sure Maya never has to feel like she's missing out on having a father figure in her life speaks volumes about the kind of man he is.

3. He Makes Sure His Kids Understand The Importance Of Family

Cory values traditions. Even though Riley is growing up, he doesn't want her to pull away from her family. Rather than disbanding rituals like game night because his daughter is growing up, Cory does some growing up himself and includes Riley and Auggie's friends. It is vital for kids to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, and that's what Cory gives Riley and Auggie by showing them that he and Topanga always have time for them.

4. He Shows His Kids How To Find Joy In The Small Things

The best dads are not always dispensing advice and being paragons of serious adulthood. They have fun with their kids too, just like Cory does. Cory has remained silly and goofy, and he encourages Riley and Auggie to embrace that part of themselves too.

5. He Hides Life Lessons In History Lessons

Even when he goes to work, Cory is never off dad duty. Every history lesson is a life lesson he wants to impart on his daughter and her classmates. This may not be the most practical way to teach history, but it is a clever way to get in extra fathering.

6. He's Protective In The Best Way Possible

If Cory could stop Riley's heart from getting broken or Auggie from ever being afraid, he would, but he knows he can't, so he doesn't limit them. Sure, he gives Lucas a hard time, but that's what parents do when their kids are thinking about dating. At the end of the day, he checks under Auggie's bed for monsters, and he buys Riley ice cream, but he doesn't shield his kids from the world. He's just there when the world tries to knock them down.

7. He Learned From The Best

Is it any wonder Cory grew up be such an amazing father when you remember his dad is Alan Matthews, TV's other best dad. Alan supported his kids with tough love when they needed it, he joked with them, he loved Shawn like he was his own son — Cory is everything Alan was, and Riley and Auggie are lucky to have him as their father.

In conclusion, Cory Matthews is the actual best dad ever. (At least since Alan Matthews.)

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