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Hello, niche.
—Eric


"Eric and Riley" is the avuncular relationship pairing between Eric Matthews and his niece Riley Matthews in Girl Meets World.


History

Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels

Riley & Mr. Squirrels

Meeting Mr. Squirrels

When Riley and Maya have an argument which strains their friendship to the breaking point, Cory calls in the one person he knows that can mend the rift, his older brother, Riley's uncle Eric. However, she fails to recognize the outlandish figure standing there proclaiming that he "has been summoned,"  when she answers the door, even going as far as to scream "Stranger!" and blowing an emergency whistle at him--which he promptly answers by blowing a whistle of his own--before slamming the door on his face.
Niche Hug

Niche Hug

The commotion draws her parents to the room, and when asked what wrong, Riley can only exclaim, "Caveman!"  While Topanga does acknowledge that Riley may have a point in her assessment, her parents reveal it is only her Uncle Eric, and her mother reminds her to observe the same rules for visiting the zoo, while in her uncle's presence.  Cory opens the door and welcomes his older brother in.  Eric hugs everybody, but is most excited to reunite with "cousin,' Auggie His nephew asks why he is dressed so strangely, and the adults explain that Eric has become the duly elected mayor of St. Upidtown, a small village close to the border of New York state and the province of Quebec, and found that to
Getting Started

Getting Started

fit in better with his constituents, he adopted a version of their general look.  He easily demonstrates whisking off his false facial hair and shaggy wig, but not without wailing in pain after he does so. Shortly, the entire Matthews family and Maya (whom Eric can never seem to call by her proper name) convene in Riley's room, and Eric begins his attempt to counsel the estranged friends.  However, when he discovers the root cause of the conflict is that Riley failed to stick up for Maya when fellow student, Lucas Friaar, called her "a short stack of pancakes", a sentiment Riley did not approve of, but did not deny. 
Trying To Fix Riley

Trying To Bring Riley Down to Size

Eric states he can't fix that, but Cory urges him to try.  Stymied, Eric first sees if he can affect a physical solution, by stretching out Maya's neck to be taller, however upon failing, Eric truculently tells her to "stay a hobbit."  He then tries to tackle the problem from the other side, and tries to squish Riley to Maya's size, but is met with another failure.  Maya admits she doesn't think she will grow any more.  Eric confesses that he doesn't think he will either, and wipes away errant tears in Maya's hair.
Outside Audience

Eric Needs An Outside Audience

The next day, Cory invites Eric to his History class to demonstrate how caring, compassionate people can end wars.  Riley is hesitant, but her father assures that her Uncle Eric has things well in control.  He has the entire class exit the room into the hallway.  Outside, he gets Maya to admit she "fired the first shot," by constantly teasing Lucas, until he finally felt compelled to strike back.
Fallen Maya

Maya Demonstrates Superklutziness

But what made Maya angry was that right or wrong, Riley was not supporting her no matter what.  Maya reveals that one of their classmates has dubbed Riley a "Superklutz"  (which she comically demonstrates by flipping over the hallway bench) and  although everybody considered it true, Maya had seen to it that Riley never heard about it.  When Eric asks why she went to all that trouble, Maya states it was because she wanted to spare the feelings of her best friend.   Seeing his friends confront unpleasant truths about themselves, Farkle confesses that his ambition to rule the world may stem from his sometimes feeling like he is "Squeaky the Mouse," which has only become more pronounced since the arrival of Lucas in his life, and he berates his best friend for being a "Freak."
Ever Thing Of Ruling The World

Ever Think Of Ruling The World?

Lucas attempts to commiserate with the group by implying he has his own problems, but is promptly told to "Shut up," by the trio.  The Matthews brothers assure the kids that dealing with such feelings, is merely part of growing up.  Eric reveals his strength lies in handling personal issues not political ones. The next day at Topanga's, the reunited friends encounter Eric now dressed in his "mayoral robes," as he prepares to return to St. Upidtown. Riley says his town is lucky to have him. Impressed by his people skills, Farkle asks if Eric has ever considered ruling the world. While Cory points out there are safeguards in the political system designed to prevent such unqualified campaigns, Eric seems to be carefully mulling over the possibility.


Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels Goes to Washington

Girl Meets Semi-Formal

Similarities and Differences

Similarities

  • Both tend to looks at life in a fanciful way.
  • They both have brown hair and brown eyes (although Eric's was blonde/dirty blonde when he was younger).
  • They are both gullible.

Differences

  • Eric is male, while Riley is female.
  • Eric is (legally, anyways) an adult, while Riley is not.
  • Eric was born and raised in Philadelphia; Riley was born and raised in New York City.

Quotes

Stranger!
—Riley upon meeting Plays With Squirrels

Trivia

  • He has apparently shown Riley how to do the "Feeny call."
  • Their first onscreen meeting is during Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels.
  • He refers to Riley as his "niche".
  • He calls her "Little Pangers".
  • He and Riley are 23 years apart.

Gallery

Girl Meets World Logo
The image gallery for Eric and Riley may be viewed here.


References

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