Shawn Hunter

Shawn Hunter

    Boy Meets World
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... in a very tumultuous household. Shawn was born to a stripper who left him and his father shortly after his birth. His father got remarried to a woman named Virna, who also abandoned Shawn numerous times during his childhood. As a result of their flighty ways, Shawn was raised mostly by other relatives.

Living… with his teacher, Jonathan Turner. After Shawn was abandoned yet again and left homeless, he moved in with his best friend Cory Matthews. Shawn didn’t take well to the rules of the Matthews household and ran away, eventually getting in trouble with the law. Mr. Turner, sympathizing with Shawn’s situation, decided to take him in. For once, Shawn felt like he’d found someone who understood him.

Profession… high school student. In stark contrast to his home life, Shawn enjoys his status as the most popular kid in school. By seventh grade, he’d already gained a reputation for being a player and heartbreaker. His social status can cause tension with his best friend Cory, who becomes jealous of all the attention Shawn gets. Popularity doesn’t translate into grades though, and Shawn habitually neglects his studies, to the disappointment of his teachers who are convinced he’s actually very bright.

Interests... his pet pig. After living with Mr. Turner for a time, he began to feel like a permanent guest, and felt he was overstaying his welcome. He considered running away to Europe to find himself, but even that wouldn’t have stopped his loneliness. His pet pig solved a lot of his immediate problems, but caused a host of new ones. Aside from his pet, his interests tend to be consistent with his “bad boy” image – he likes leather, girls and the occasional underage drink whenever he can score it.

Relationship Status... single. Shawn’s love life is infamously rocky. For a time he moved through girls very quickly, until one nice girl dumped him and left him in shock. Cory and Topanga told him he needed to stop fooling around and commit but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it — until he met Angela. Angela was his equal on every level and forced him to grow up, but not without a struggle. Despite their clear connection, the relationship was a ticking time bomb, and eventually they decided to be friends.

Challenge… transcending his troubled past. Shawn’s happiness has been directly tied to the state of his home life. His stepmother and father waver between being committed to providing Shawn a stable household and abandoning him for their own selfish reasons. It’s difficult for Shawn to cope because the door never fully closes. He’s quick to forgive and yet he’s let down over and over again. He’s embarrassed and numbed by it, to the point where he joins a cult in an effort to “feel something.”

Personality… contemptuous of most authority, after being let down by his elders for most of his life. He has a fear of abandonment and a difficulty letting others in. He wants the approval of others and equates popularity with self-worth, assuming that his bad boy image is directly tied to people respecting him. He is vulnerable to feelings of worthlessness, facing more loss than most of his peers. He’s developed a thick exterior but underneath he still yearns for love and acceptance.


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