Late Monday, Entertainment Weekly reported that the titular character in Disney’s Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World, had been cast. Eleven year-old Rowan Blanchard will play Riley Matthews, world-meeting girl and daughter of Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel). Blanchard isn’t exactly an unknown—she’s had roles in The Back-Up Plan and the regrettably titled Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D—but fans of the original series are unlikely to be familiar with her work.
While it’s exciting news that the show’s lead has been cast, a more integral question has yet to be answered: Which version of her parents will young Riley most closely resemble? Here are five options, ranked from least to most preferable:
5. “Responsible” Topanga (High School/College Years)
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the person that Topanaga became for most of Boy Meets World‘s run—she was smart, attractive, caring and responsible (with a few notable exceptions). That’s fine for an adult (and supporting character), but it sure wouldn’t be much fun to watch an 11-year-old kid behaving like that.
4. “Old Man” Cory (College Years)
As was the case for most of the show’s male characters during their time at the fictional Pennbrook University, Cory quickly became a parody of himself at college. The sarcastic (though rather amusing) pre-pubescent brat became a crotchety old man at the age of 19. While Cory’s new persona fit in remarkably well with the wackiness of the college years, it likely wouldn’t be the best route to go with his young daughter.
3. “Whipersnapper” Cory (Middle School Year)
Lots of fans might not remember this, but at one time, Cory was one of the show’s smartest characters. He may have frequently been wrong or misguided, but was undeniably precocious and often wise beyond his years, mocking his older brother Eric (Will Friedle) and teaching both his parents and his teacher Mr. Feeny (William Daniels) life lessons that aren’t normally delivered by a 12-year-old. Of course, young Cory was also prone to vast amounts of troublemaking, usually with his best friend and partner-in-crime Shawn (Rider Strong). Showrunner Michael Jacobs—who also created the original BMW—could do worse with Riley.
2. “Bizarre” Topanga (Middle School Year)
In the first season of Boy Meets World, Fishel was not a series regular, which gave the writers a lot of leeway with her character. Topanga became simply “that girl” in Cory’s class. You know, the one who believed she could communicate with the spirits, refused to ever have her hair cut and called her parents “Jedediah and Chloe.” There’s pretty much no way the producers will let Girl Meets World’s main character be that girl, but it sure would be fun if they did.
1. “Lesson-learning” Cory (High School Years)
Cory during his years at John Adams High is, with little question, one of the most honest portrayals of a high schooler in television. Smart enough to get by but not gifted enough to excel, cool enough to have friends but not nearly enough to be considered popular, Cory was average in all the ways that his contemporaries could relate to. Many of the most memorable Boy Meets World episodes came from the high school years, when Cory was learning what it meant to have relationships—with his friends, with his parents, with girls—and how to make that awkward transition from carefree child to semi-responsible adult. He might not have been as quick-witted as he was in middle school or as laugh-out-loud funny as he would become in college, but he seemed to grow in some small, barely perceptible way in every episode. And all the while, he managed to remain likable. Young Riley should be so lucky.