|“||When you take responsibility for the things you do, that's when you finally begin to grow.||”|
—Cory to his class
Riley lies to her parents so that she and Maya can sneak off to attend a college party, and Maya is forced to face the truth about her crush.
During breakfast, Maya bursts into the Matthews' house to inform them that Cory's brother Joshua is on his way up. Still harboring a crush on him, Maya tries to plan out a strategy of keeping her cool when he walks through the door. Joshua finally arrives and shows an unopened letter from NYU that he wanted to open in front of Cory. Maya feigns aloofness as she and Riley head out the door to school, but when Joshua mentions he is intrigued by Maya's new-found maturity, Maya again bursts through the door and, jumping on Joshua's back, grabs the letter and reads aloud that he has been accepted to NYU for the fall semester. As Riley and Maya are again heading out the door, Joshua reveals that his friend invited him to a dorm party that night. Stopping short, Maya instead beckons Riley to the bay window, where Maya reveals her intention to sneak off and go to the party herself. Riley warns her that her conscience will bother her, but when Maya says she has no conscience, Riley decides to be her conscience and go with her to the party, but Maya thinks Riley doesn't have the nerve.
In class, Cory discusses the effects of a lie on the human soul. He uses Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" as an example of how one's conscience can get the better of them when trying to conceal a lie. Cory then asks the class how strong their respective consciences are and Riley begins to panic, but quickly cheers up when Maya reminds her "We haven't done anything yet."
That evening at dinner, Riley quietly begs Maya to let her go to the party with her; grudgingly, Maya decides to give her a trial run to see how she handles dishonesty. Noticing that Cory is meticulous about how many tater tots everyone has on their plate, Maya distracts him, grabs one of his tots and puts it on Riley's plate. Riley then witnesses the stolen tater tot morph into an imagined manifestation of her own conscience. Quickly getting cold feet, Riley decides she's not hungry and offers it to anyone else, but Maya orders her to eat it. Riley asks the Tot what will happen if she eats it; the Tot replies that it becomes part of her soul haunting her forever. Maya then forces Riley to eat the stolen tot, much to her inner despair.
Later at the Bay Window, Maya plots a diversion: she stuffs pillows under Riley's bed covers to make it look as though Riley is there and sound asleep. The two then sneak out through the window, but not before Riley is again haunted by the Tot. Later that night, Auggie sneaks into Riley's room and asks if he can sleep in her bed with her, but discovers that Riley isn't there. When Topanga checks in on them, Auggie covers for Riley to Topanga's satisfaction.
Maya and Riley make their way to the dorm, only to notice that Joshua and his friend are already getting acquainted with two dorm girls named Jasmine and Charlotte. Discouraged, Maya is about to leave when Riley pushes her into the dorm room. Joshua is mortified, but Jasmine and Charlotte are both intrigued. Riley reveals that Maya likes Joshua so much that she was willing to come down to see him, afraid that she would lose him to someone else. The girls both admit that they've never attempted what Maya has done, and Maya reveals that she thought that her stunt would motivate Joshua to take her more seriously and that they would come to some kind of understanding. Joshua claims that Maya knows little about him, but Maya counters with her observation of Joshua's closeness to Auggie, and that Joshua drove all the way to New York from Philadelphia just to open his NYU acceptance letter in Cory's presence not yet knowing if he was even accepted. Maya also says that even though he wants to stay there with the girls, she knows Joshua will walk her and Riley home. When Jasmine threatens to tell every girl on campus that he belongs to "the bravest girl I ever met" and that she'll personally see to it that nobody dates him while he's there, Joshua leaves the party to walk Maya and Riley home.
The next day at school, Riley asks Cory what happened to the "Tell-Tale Heart" guy; Farkle answers that he "freaked out from a guilty conscience". Cory says that if you do something wrong, your conscience tries to get you to take responsibility for it. When you do, that's when you begin to grow. Hearing this, Maya has a realization of her own conscience, and is immediately visited by the Tot that previously only Riley could see.
That evening in the bay window, Riley is wanting to tell Cory and Topanga about what she did, but they come into the room and reveal that they already know. At first Riley thought Joshua told them, but it was actually Maya who confessed; when asked why, Maya replies "I thought it was the grown-up thing to do". Cory and Topanga ground Riley for two weeks, which she accepts. When Auggie comes in to say good night, Cory and Topanga ground him for one week for not telling them that Riley snuck out. The Tot reappears to Maya and beckons her home to tell her mother about some of the other things she has done. Carrying the Tot on her shoulder, Maya leaves saying "See you guys in a year".
- Rowan Blanchard as Riley Matthews
- Ben Savage as Cory Matthews
- Sabrina Carpenter as Maya Hart
- August Maturo as Auggie Matthews
- Corey Fogelmanis as Farkle Minkus
- Danielle Fishel as Topanga Matthews
- Madison McLaughlin as Jasmine
- Cynthy Wu as Charlotte
- Tajh Bellow as Andrew
- Sigi Gradwohl as Harriet (Gamma Gamma Girl)
- Randi Barnes as The Tell-Tale Tater Tot (uncredited)
Riley: Maya, it's nothing you're doing. It's the age difference.
Maya: Three years older. Your dad married your mom and he's like twenty years older.
Cory: We're exactly the same age.
Josh: Get off me you little ferret!
Riley: Hold on to your dignity, woman!
Auggie: Too late for that.
Tot: Boom boom!
Maya: (pretending to read from Josh's letter) "We regret to inform you that you will be spending the next 4 years in New York with Maya!!"
Maya: I'm going to that party.
Riley: Ooh, you're going to sneak out? But he said it could go 'til ten o'clock.
Maya: No, it starts at ten.
Riley: It starts at ten?! Whoever heard of such a thing??
Josh: You're not so little anymore Maya, I guess I should stop looking at you like that.
Maya:Thanks, it means a lot to me.
Jasmine: [To Maya] It's not the big gestures we do for other people that help us grow up.
Charlotte: But the small choices you make for yourself.
Jasmine: (to Josh) If you don't sit down I'm going to tell every girl on campus that you belong... to the bravest girl that I have ever met. And we'll make sure that no one goes out with you the whole time you're here.
Topanga: Riley, we're happy you liked your college experience.
Cory: And we're sad to have to give you a grounding experience. Two weeks.
Tot: It should be three.
- Peyton Meyer (Lucas Friar) doesn't appear in this episode.
- The title refers to the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe.
- Mr. Feeny taught Cory (and Topanga and Minkus) about the "The Tell-Tale Heart" in the BMW episode "The Fugitive," from the first season.
- Josh's first, and only, appearance in season 2.
- Maya mentions her mom.
- Farkle confesses he faked his nap times in Kindergarten, and wonders how Maya can sleep anywhere, however, in the GMW pilot episode, Farkle actually took a short nap in class, and even had a mask prepared for sleeping purposes.
- The Tot is visible only to Riley at first, but then manifests itself to Maya and Auggie (who both respond with "What the--").
- Second episode directed by Ben Savage.
- In real life, the NYU Violets have not fielded a collegiate football team since 1952.
- Third appearance of Zay.
- Producer Mark Blutman has tweeted that female GMW writer Randi Barnes voiced the Tot.
- Josh wants to impress Cory.
- This is the first time Zay appears without Lucas.
- This is the first episode to air after the week long season opener.
- This is the first episode when Riley gets grounded.
- July 9, 2015 (Canada)
- November 13, 2015 (UK)
- December 12, 2015 (Hungary)
- December 18, 2015 (The Netherlands and Belgium)
- January 2, 2016 (Romania)
- January 12, 2016 (Latin America and Brazil)
- January 22, 2016 (Spain and Portugal)
- January 25, 2016 (Israel)
- February 14, 2016 (Italy)
- February 19, 2016 (Poland)
- September 27, 2016 (Philippines)
| The image gallery for Girl Meets the Tell-Tale-Tot may be viewed here.
| To view the Girl Meets the Tell-Tale-Tot transcript, click here.