|“||There comes a time when the right thing to do is to leave the friends you know, see what's out there, and face a new world.||”|
Still weighing her big decision, a stressed-out Topanga gathers her family and close friends in the living room, where Shawn reveals some major news.
Arriving at school, Maya asks Riley if Topanga has decided whether or not she'll accept the London job, but Riley believes that they both will find out at the same time. Maya is convinced that this is the end of their friendship as they know it, but when Riley tries to reassure Maya that they will still be best friends no matter what, Maya reminds her of Kerri Abelson, their third best friend from years ago and that their friendship with Kerri fell apart when Kerri moved across the street. Riley is now convinced that it's the end for their friendship and the two let out a long scream before entering Cory's class. When Riley remarks on everyone else looking so forlorn, Farkle points to the chalkboard, upon which is written "Belgium 1831".
Cory finally tells the class about the Netherlands, a kingdom of nations that thought they would stay together forever, until Belgium decided in 1831 that it wanted its independence. Knowing that Cory's lessons always managed to tie into what his students were going through at the time, and desperately wanting to avoid the subject, Farkle and Maya both persuade Smackle to stand up and ask Cory a series of disconnected questions in the hope that he will change the topic, but this time it doesn't work.
When Cory begins by saying that Belgium decided it wanted autonomy, Farkle deduces that the subject of Belgium 1831 is a parallel to what they will be going through once they graduate high school, but then Cory points out that sometimes things happen earlier than they're meant to. When Zay asks what happens next, Cory replies that they simply do their best, leave their good mark and hope that people will remember them fondly. Riley turns to her classmates and says that she did her best and hopes that everyone there will remember her fondly; one of the girls says she will, and when Riley asks who she is she replies she is Kerri Abelson.
At home, Topanga tries to comfort Auggie saying that he'll be just fine no matter where they are, but then he mentions he is worried about Ava, at which point Ava bursts through the door calling herself Twiggy, wearing a 60s-style dress, and says (in a British accent) that she plans to accompany the Matthews if they do decide to go to England.
Back at school, Cory asks the class if it's tougher to leave something you love, or to stay where you are and risk missing an opportunity; Zay answers that it depends on what you're leaving behind, but Lucas adds that it's also important to know what's waiting for you wherever you're going. Recalling the good times they had when she, Maya and Farkle visited Texas, Riley remarks that Lucas and Zay were right to love their home state, and Lucas adds they he and Zay have both had a great time in New York.
When Farkle asks what happened after Belgium became independent, Maya guesses that the United Kingdom of the Netherlands fell apart. She then adds that nobody has to be smart to see what's coming for them, and then points out that Farkle has always been the smart one of the bunch, citing he has always wanted to know about Belgium 1831 ever since it first went up on the board, and that it's always been Farkle who has loved her and Riley and the others and wanted to protect them. Maya promptly gets up and kisses Farkle on the cheek, which causes him to faint (after which Maya apologizes to Smackle). Cory then tells Riley that Topanga will seek out the advice of everyone close to her, and that she will make the right decision, and then intones that no matter what her decision is, they will go with her.
Cory, Riley and Maya all arrive at home. Stopping outside the door, Cory reassures Riley that Topanga will listen to everyone close to her and make the right decision, adding that she's probably doing it right now; the three go inside and find Eric, Jonathan Turner, Joshua, Minkus, Alan and Amy, Harley, Katy and Shawn, Mr. Feeny, and, in a surrealistic twist, two Morgans (both of the actresses who played Morgan in Boy Meets World) there along with Topanga. Cory says that it's been a long time since they've all been together, and so Topanga decides they're going to take them one at a time:
- Shawn and Katy go first; Shawn says that as much as he'd hate to see them go, he recalls when they first came to New York, stating that if it weren't for that he wouldn't have met Katy. Shawn and Katy then reveal to Maya that he has decided to adopt her (Turner admits regret over not adopting Shawn, and Cory reveals that Alan and Amy would have adopted him, but he preferred to "stay a street urchin"). Maya and Riley are overjoyed at the news, and after acclimating herself to calling Shawn "daddy", Maya apologizes to him and Katy for everything that she's going to do, and then quickly adds that she's going to London with the Matthews.
- Alan and Amy are next; Alan simply says that he knows they're good people and they will make the best decision, and then Amy laments over how they first moved from Philadelphia to New York, and now they're considering moving across the ocean taking her grandchildren further away.
- Auggie begs Morgan (#1) to not let Cory and Topanga take him away to London; Morgan says she knows how Auggie feels being the youngest one in the family (until Joshua was born later), but she assures him that his parents are indeed listening, and that life knows that in order to be the best person one can be, sometimes it's good to stay, but sometimes you gotta go (at this point Morgan #1 tags with Morgan #2 and they switch). Morgan (#2) tells Auggie to trust his parents- they'll make the right decision for him.
- Mr. Feeny insists they don't need him for this decision, but Cory and Topanga, knowing full well that he always gave the best advice, press him for his input. Alluding to Shakespeare and Dickens, Feeny believes that Cory and Topanga will flourish in England just as they've flourished in New York. Topanga believes that Feeny is telling them they should go, and Feeny reminds her that he advised her to go to Yale, but after getting a "better offer" she turned it down and enrolled at Pennbrook to be with Cory.
- Finally, Eric (limping after supposedly being injured in the subway) tells Topanga that her heart will tell her what to do, and implores her to listen to her heart and then go and find her favorite quiet place. Without another word, Topanga walks out to think things over.
Later at Topanga's, Smackle admits that, while studying molecular structure with Farkle, she saw a correlation between the changing of a particular molecular structure when something is added or removed, and the changing of people when other people are added or removed; in other words, if Riley were to leave, the rest of them wouldn't be the same anymore. Smackle identified it as sadness and began to cry, mainly because nothing else had made her feel so sad before; she then thanks Riley for those feelings and gives her a hug. Zay then tells Riley that he'll make sure that Lucas will be all right and that he never forgets her, and Riley then remarks to Zay that their circle of friends was incomplete until he showed up.
Maya then reminds them all that the decision has not yet been made, and that she believes that Riley won't be going because Riley is irreplaceable, that nobody cares about her the way Riley does. But when Joshua walks in and joins them Maya makes the observation that life is trying to replace Riley, and only then it hits Maya that Riley may actually be leaving. Lucas quietly gets up to walk outside, but beckons Riley to join him. Sitting on the steps, Lucas tells Riley that no matter what happens in his life, Riley will always be his first girlfriend. Moments later, Maya walks outside and calls Riley to the Bay Window for what could be the final time.
Auggie is sitting in the Bay Window with Ava before the girls arrive. Ava sadly informs Auggie that her mother said she can't go to London with them, which Auggie expected. Auggie is still convinced that kids have to live with their parents' decisions and that there's nothing they can do, but then Ava adds that they can hope that their parents' decisions are the right ones. Auggie and Ava walk out hand-in-hand while Riley and Maya take their turn; Maya sadly says goodbye to Riley and the two tearfully embrace.
That evening, Cory, Riley, Maya and Auggie walk into a closed and darkened Topanga's, where they find Topanga sitting alone and thinking. They ask if she's made a decision, which she has, but before she announces it she talks about the fact that there were many reasons to move to London, but only one reason to stay; she brings up all the times she saw Riley and Maya sitting in the Bay Window and was reminded of how she wanted a place just like it, a place where she could make important decisions of her own. She then remarks that she could run the London office, and maybe someday run the New York office, but the one place she loves running is the bakery, where Riley, Maya and all their friends come in and plan the next steps of their own lives. Topanga declares the bakery to be her bay window and she's not leaving it; she has decided that they're staying in New York, and Riley and Maya let out another long scream, this time a scream of joy.
The next day at school, Cory asks the class what they've learned from Belgium 1831; Farkle answers that there comes a time when the right thing to do is to leave the friends you've known for a long time and see what's out there and face a new world. When asked what he has to say about that, Farkle erases "Belgium 1831" from the chalkboard and replies, "Not yet."
Later, Riley and Maya and the gang are all at Topanga's with Joshua, Shawn and Katy. Cory tells them they'll all go many places, and is reminded of when he, Topanga, Shawn and Eric all left Philadelphia to move to New York, and what Cory said to little Joshua right before they left (using footage from the final episode of Boy Meets World). The grownups all remind the teens that they're going to learn from the world every day, that they're going to make mistakes, but they're also going to make good friends, and even though the world goes out of its way to teach hard lessons, it's also the same world that gives them their friends and their families. Cory then tells them that after they've met the world for awhile, the best thing for them to do is to find out just where they belong. Riley and Maya promise to one another that time and distance will have no power over their friendship and that they will remain together for as long as they live.
- Rowan Blanchard as Riley Matthews
- Ben Savage as Cory Matthews
- Sabrina Carpenter as Maya Hart
- Peyton Meyer as Lucas Friar
- August Maturo as Auggie Matthews
- Corey Fogelmanis as Farkle Minkus
- Danielle Fishel as Topanga Matthews
- Rider Strong as Shawn Hunter
- Will Friedle as Eric Matthews
- Uriah Shelton as Joshua Matthews
- Danny McNulty as Harley Keiner
- Lee Norris as Stuart Minkus
- Cheryl Texiera as Katy Hart
- Amir Mitchell-Townes as Zay Babineaux
- Cecilia Balagot as Isadora Smackle
- Ava Kolker as Ava Morgenstern
Special Guest Star
- Anthony Tyler Quinn as Jonathan Turner (third appearance)
- William Russ as Alan Matthews (second appearance)
- Betsy Randle as Amy Matthews (second appearance)
- Lily Nicksay as Morgan Matthews 1 (first and only appearance)
- Lindsay Ridgeway as Morgan Matthews 2 (first and only appearance)
- Madison Kerbeck as Kerri Abelson
- Daniel Jacobs as Customer (uncredited)
Cory: Riley, I know your mother. I know she'll seek out the advice of everyone close to her. I know she'll listen to what we have to say. And I know her decision will be the right one.
Riley: No matter what it is?
Cory: No matter what it is. We go with her.
Shawn: All right, look. As much as I'd hate it if you guys went anywhere, when we left Philadelphia to come to New York, that worked. If we didn't do that, I never would have met Katy. If we didn't do that, I wouldn't be happy. We wouldn't have Maya.
Maya: Oh, guys, I'm not actually your daughter though-
Katy: I'll never forget when we first saw you in the hospital delivery room.
Maya: [to Shawn] You wanna adopt me?
Maya: I don't know how I feel about this.
Riley and Maya: Yay!
Jon: You know, Maya, I talked with Shawn and your mom about this. I always regretted that I never adopted Shawn.
Cory: Well, you know, my parents tried to adopt Shawn, but he preferred to stay a street urchin.
Maya: I'm Maya Hunter. [gets up to hug Shawn and her mother] Da--Dad--Daddy...Dad...Daddy...Dad. Hey, Dad?
Maya: I'm sorry.
Shawn: For what?
Maya: For everything I'm gonna do. Oh, and I'm going to London with them.
Alan: We can only give you a parent's advice. We raised you to be good people and we know that you will make your best decision.
Amy: But then you leave. You leave for college, you leave for New York, and now you're gonna fly across the ocean and take away my grandchildren.
Auggie: Tell them not to take us away, Aunt Morgan.
Morgan #1: I know what it's like to be the youngest one in the family. You think nobody is listening to you or your ideas, but they are. You're very important, and they'll take everything you say into consideration.
Auggie: How can I be sure that everything is gonna be okay?
Morgan #1: Because life knows that in order to be the best person you can be, sometimes it's good to stay..sometimes, you gotta go.
[gives a high-five to Morgan #2 who takes her place]
Morgan #2: I was once the youngest, just like you.
Auggie: Is there gonna be another me?!
Riley: Too late. Just you.
Morgan #2: Just know that your parents are gonna make the right decision for you. They always do. Trust them. They'll listen to you. Being the youngest is really important. You're the one they hold on to.
Morgan #1: Or not.
Feeny: You don't need me for this.
Cory: Of course we do. You've always given us our best advice. What do you got for us now?
Feeny: London...the city of Shakespeare and Dickens. I think you'll flourish there just as you've flourished here.
Topanga: You're telling us to go.
Feeny: I told you to go to Yale, too. Why didn't you?
Topanga: I got a better offer.
Feeny: And now you have another. And I'm sure you'll choose wisely, because you were always the best test-taker.
Cory: What about me?
Feeny: Don't listen to him.
Eric: Okay, so what's the problem?
Riley: Mom got a job offer in England.
Eric: What?! Who's gonna play Topanga? Wait a second, I can play Topanga.
Eric: Err-ich! Perfect.
Topanga: Are you gonna surprise us with incredible advice out of your idiot mouth or not?
Eric: I am, yes. Thank you. Now, listen, when I was elected Senator in two-thousand-aught-fifteen, I've come to realize that what might be a clear decision for some is not so clear to me. Look...listen to your heart. Your heart is what's gonna tell you what to do. And then go and find your favorite quiet place. Mine is under the ocean.
Zay: Hey, Riley.
Riley: Hey, Zay.
Zay: Just wanna let you know that I'll make sure Lucas is okay.
Riley: You will?
Zay: Oh, I'll walk him and feed him and make sure he never forgets about you.
Lucas: I will never forget about her.
Zay: That's a good boy! Good boy!
Riley: Thank you, Zay. Want to know something?
Riley: Our circle of friends was never complete until you showed up.
Farkle: I've loved you since the first grade.
Riley: I know.
Farkle: I always will. Wherever you are.
Riley: Thank you, Farkle, but maybe you shouldn't say that in front of Smackle.
Isadora: Riley, explain the role of uranium in nuclear fission.
Riley: Uh, I don't know.
Isadora: [sarcastically] Yeah, you're a threat.
Lucas: No matter whatever happens to me in my whole life, you will always be my first girlfriend. Years from now, whenever anybody asks me, "Who was your first girlfriend?", I will always answer "Riley Matthews".
RIley: And I will always answer "Lucas Friar". I hope that you get to be a veterinarian someday.
Lucas: And I hope that wherever you are, you get to keep being Riley.
- The working title was called "Ilha das Flores" which translates to Island of Flowers in Portuguese.
- This episode marks Morgan Matthews' first (and only) appearance on Girl Meets World.
- Maya says the last line in the series: "Done."
- Cory's lesson on "Belgium 1831" is loosely based on the Belgian Revolution , which began in August of 1830 with an uprising in the southern provinces of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and ended the following July with said provinces seceding from the Netherlands to form an independent kingdom now known as Belgium.
- Daniel Jacobs (Michael Jacobs' son), who played young Joshua in the final episode of Boy Meets World, makes a cameo as a customer at Topanga's.
- This is the first time Shawn and Jonathan have been seen together since Cult Fiction, which aired in 1997.
- Harley Keiner and Stuart Minkus had a scene together for the episode, but for reasons unknown it was edited out.
- Ava's outfit (when she first walked through the door speaking in a British accent) was a dress inspired by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, and was also based on the cubist works of artist Piet Mondrian.
- Flashbacks to the Boy Meets World finale "Brave New World" are used.
- This is the series finale due to the show's cancellation.
- Shawn adopts Maya, which Riley mentioned would have to happen for Shawn to officially be Maya's father, in Girl Meets I Do. This is the culmination of Riley's "Master Plan" for Shawn to become Maya's dad.
| The image gallery for Girl Meets Goodbye may be viewed here.
| To view the Girl Meets Goodbye transcript, click here.