Teachers often leave a lasting impression on their students, but it is rare for one teacher to inspire an entire generation. William Daniels' Mr. Feeny just had that magic touch (and the advantage of being on TV every week). In a recent interview with Buzzfeed, Daniels revealed his favorite Mr. Feeny quote, and his choice is sure to touch the heart of every Boy Meets World fan.
For seven seasons, the Matthews boys, Shawn, and Topanga had the privilege of sitting in Mr. Feeny's classroom and absorbing his life lessons. All around the world, '90s kids were doing the same thing. Sure, he was a fictional educator, but Mr. Feeny taught young viewers how to own their mistakes, the wisdom of following their hearts, and the importance of being true to themselves. His advice resonated beyond the TV screen and stayed with Boy Meets World fans long after they had grown up.
It's only fitting that Daniels favorite Mr. Feeny quote came from his big goodbye to his students. Daniels told Buzzfeed,
"I spoke to the class and I said to them, "Dream, try, and do good." Boy, I was close to tears, frankly — it had been seven seasons. But that was it, that is what I'll always remember, yes."
The 90-year-old actor is not alone. That beautiful scene is one no true Boy Meets World fan could ever forget. Not only were all the characters crying, I am willing to bet most of the viewers at home were too.
The best teachers are the ones who inspire, who care deeply, and never give up on their students. Mr. Feeny did all of those things, and he did them for some kids who may not have had the benefit of growing up with the best real life examples. In his last scene with the children he had taught from middle school straight through to college, he took the opportunity to offer them a simple, but powerful message.
He wasn't just telling Eric, Cory, Topanga, and Shawn to — "dream, try, and do good" — he was telling every child who grew up watching Boy Meets World to do the same.
It's not at all surprising Daniels still remembers his final moments as Mr. Feeny (at least in the original series) so well. The seasoned actor went into the role determined to represent teachers in the best light. During his interview, he revealed he initially quit after the show's first table read because he thought the script's intention was to mock teachers, and he wanted no part of that.
Series creator Michael Jacobs assured Daniels that Mr. Feeny was meant to do the exact opposite. The character was actually based on one of Jacobs' own teachers who went on to also become his mentor. Thank goodness he was able to convince Daniels to return to the role because an entire generation of children would have been lost without Mr. Feeny's guidance.
Thanks to him, '90s kids everywhere are still dreaming, trying, and doing their best to do good — and they will never stop crying over Mr. Feeny's emotional farewell scene to his class.