Speaking to PEOPLE ahead of Valentine's Day, the stars named their picks for the sitcom's most quintessentially romantic moments

By Jen Juneau
February 12, 2021 03:00 PM
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Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel as Cory and Topanga on Boy Meets World
| Credit: Walt Disney Television/Getty

The lasting love between Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence will not soon be forgotten for fans of Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World.

Chatting with PEOPLE to promote the release of Panera Bread's new "Forever Flatbreads" short film, Danielle Fishel and Ben Savage — who starred as Topanga and Cory, respectively, in the '90s coming-of-age sitcom and its 2010s spinoff sequel — dish on what they consider the most quintessential romantic moments between their onscreen counterparts.

"The first thing that just popped up to me was Disney World episode," says Savage, 40. "But I think it's because we all had such a good time being there."

Fishel, 39, agrees, telling PEOPLE she thinks the "really fun" season 3 installment — titled "The Happiest Show on Earth" and featuring an iconic scene where the young couple gets back together as they kiss in front of a fountain at Epcot, following a series of failed but hilarious attempts by Cory to get Topanga's attention — was filmed when she and Savage were at the "perfect age."

"But then, one of my favorite romantic moments is at the end of the 'Starry Night' episode," Fishel adds. "When Cory says to Shawn, 'What an interesting feeling it is,' and Shawn says, 'To know that it's over?' And Cory says, 'No, to be the only person who knows that it's not.'"

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Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel as Cory and Topanga on Boy Meets World
| Credit: Walt Disney Television/Getty
Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel as Cory and Topanga on Boy Meets World
| Credit: Walt Disney Television/Getty

As for the biggest love lessons fans can learn from their characters, Savage says he admires the way Cory and Topanga "really followed their hearts" — like in season 4's two-part episode "A Long Walk to Pittsburgh", when Topanga decides to stay in Philadelphia with Cory and live with her aunt (played by Olivia Hussey), as opposed to relocating to Pittsburgh with her parents and finishing high school five hours away.

"That's easier said than done," he says of following one's heart. "It's not an easy thing to do, and obviously it requires sacrifice — but I think, in the end, that's what makes people happy."

For Fishel, another poignant example is Topanga's controversial decision to give up going to Yale to be with Cory in college, proposing to him at their high school graduation. (They later marry near the end of the series.)

"I think one of the lessons from Cory and Topanga is that regardless of whether people agree with your decision, each relationship is its own story, and it's personal to those two people," she says. "You only know the story of your relationship if you're in it."

Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel as Cory and Topanga on Boy Meets World
| Credit: Walt Disney Television/Getty
Cast of Boy Meets World
| Credit: Touchstone TV/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

To this day, Fishel and Savage remain close with several of their Boy Meets World castmates, including many who reprised their respective roles on Girl Meets World, like Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter), Will Friedle (Eric Matthews) and William Daniels (Mr. Feeny).

"For the most part, we all are [still] friends," says Fishel, shouting out Betsy Randle and William Russ, who played Cory's parents. "And Bill Daniels is on Twitter and Instagram."

Boy Meets World premiered in 1993 on ABC and ran for seven seasons until 2000. In 2014, Girl Meets World picked up where the story left off, running for three seasons and chronicling the lives of Cory — now a teacher, not entirely unlike Mr. Feeny — and Topanga, now a lawyer, in New York City with their two children: Riley (the "Girl" in the show's title) and Auggie.

"The cool thing about this cast," says Savage, "is that it doesn't matter how long it's been. I feel like whenever we all get together, it's like no time has passed at all."

Danielle Fishel and Ben Savage in Panera's "Forever Flatbreads"
| Credit: Panera Bread
Danielle Fishel and Ben Savage in Panera's "Forever Flatbreads"
| Credit: Panera Bread

Created in part to advertise Panera's 50 percent off promo code for any flatbread, from now until Feb. 16, "Forever Flatbreads" (directed by Savage's older brother, Fred Savage) sees the former costars channel some of the most iconic romantic comedies as they navigate one of the most relatable conflicts a couple can face: the last slice of pizza.

And despite owning her own bakery nowadays, as shown on Girl Meets World, Topanga would probably be at Panera today, says Fishel. Because despite the fact that "she makes a very good living as an attorney, I also know she loves a good deal," the actress jokes.

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Of whether we'll ever see Cory and Topanga on screen together again, Savage teases, "never say never," to which Fishel adds that she'd be totally on board "with the right project that let us all have a good time, but also stretch some acting muscles and maybe producing muscles."

"I don't think there's any reason any of us would ever say no to that opportunity," she says. "We all really enjoy working with each other, and we have a great amount of respect for each other. So there would be no reason to say no to something like that."

Panera's TGIF promo — a nod to the '90s TV lineup that included Boy Meets World, but this time standing for Thank God It's Flatbread — gives customers 50 percent off all flatbreads with the code "TGIF" on the Panera app from now through Feb. 16.