'Boy Meets World' Did Eric Dirty and There's a Fan Theory That Explains Why

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Mar. 23 2021, Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

Will Friedle from 'Boy Meets World'
Source: ABC

Over the years, there have been different theories and questions surrounding Boy Meets World and its central characters. And now, according to TikTok, there's one theory that some people have slept on. It's not new by any means but it's one about Eric that hasn't been delved into enough to give it the merit it deserves.

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The theory about Eric from Boy Meets World rests on the issue many take with how his character changed from a ladies' man, sort-of teen "hunk," into the comic relief of the show. Maybe it was what Boy Meets World needed and that's why the writers decided to change him up in later seasons. Or, if you trust this theory, maybe Cory is the one to blame for the change.

eric boy meets world
Source: ABC
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The TikTok theory about Eric from 'Boy Meets World' explains a lot.

A user on TikTok shared a theory that has made the rounds on the internet before about Eric's change in personality toward the end of Boy Meets World. As we all know, when he was in high school and Cory was in middle school, Eric would periodically date different girls and even neglect his little brother because of his relationships. For all intents and purposes, Cory looked up to him for this and other reasons.

According to the theory, as Cory grew older, his perception of his older brother changed, and, as viewers, so did ours. The theory says that Boy Meets World is all about seeing the world through Cory's eyes. When he was younger, we saw Eric the way he did — as cool, confident, and virtually perfect. As Cory got older, we saw a change in Eric and saw him the way Cory grew to see him as well — a not-so-smart, sometimes bumbling idiot.

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It definitely makes sense if you agree that the show is supposed to be Cory's perception of the world and those around him. However, if you aren't ready to hop on that train, you might chalk it up to the Boy Meets World writers just needing someone to be funny to combat Cory and Topanga's wildly serious relationship and Shawn's familial troubles.

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There's also something called "Flanderization" on TV shows.

If your thoughts on the theory fall somewhere in the middle, then you might be one of the many who simply believe in the "Flanderization" theory that lots of '90s TV shows employed in their time. The idea is that a show will take a character's features, or flaws, and exaggerate them over time until the character has nothing but those traits.

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So, if Boy Meets World took Eric's silly side and amplified that over time, of course you'd get the Flanderized version of him by the time Cory hit high school. 

The term itself stems from Ned Flanders of The Simpsons. He was originally a God-fearing neighbor who, over time, became a religious zealot and pushover, almost ignorant to the ways in which Homer takes advantage of him.

Another example of Flanderization on TV is Joey on Friends. He started off as the typical hot young struggling actor of the group. But  over time, he became the show's comic relief as its lovable idiot. We might all adore Joey for this very reason, but it's a clear case of Flanderization that you can't really ignore.

Whether the TikTok theory about Eric is really why Boy Meets World changed the character or not, though, he's also a beloved TV character many would still die for.

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