Over the course of seven seasons, Boy Meets World had a revolving door of recurring and guest actors who popped up at John Adams High. Notable stars made cameos, with Keri Russell, Linda Cardellini, and Adam Scott crossing paths with Cory Matthews and his crew. But one recurring star that left an impression was Step by Step star Jason Marsden. He played Eric Matthews’ best friend Jason during the teen sitcom’s Seasons 1 and 2. But like so many TV characters, the former child star disappeared without any mention as he was replaced with a new BFF for the eldest Matthews son. While leaving the show wasn’t a major deal, he did recall what it was like being on set after being excluded from a pivotal BMW episode.
With real life mirroring the TV show, Marsden was best friends with Eric Matthews actor Will Friedle. So, not appearing on the show was a bit baffling to him. He opened up about being on the ABC sitcom while guesting on Friedle’s podcast Pod Meets World. The renowned voice actor spoke about his experience in the series. Despite not appearing in the comedy anymore, he was a constant presence on the set as he hung out with the BMW cast all the time. At the time, the former child star had a recurring role on fellow TGIF sitcom Step by Step. Both shows were filmed in the same lot. The sitcom veteran wasn’t offended by not being asked back, but one episode got him in his feelings. Marsden said about not appearing in a pivotal season finale:
What really hurt the most was when they brought back everybody for the final episode [Season 5 finale “Graduation”] and did little cameos except for me. And how do I know because I was there watching it live. It would’ve been nice [to be asked back], but it was fine.
The Season 5 finale saw Cory, Shawn, and their friends graduate from John Adam High. A key component of the episode was the endless cameos from previous BMW stars. While Mr. Turner was mentioned, only Lee Norris’s Stuart Minkus returned after going MIA following Season 1. But having Marsden be on set and not have him appear in the graduation episode was a slap-in-the-face to the actor as his character and Eric got into multiple hijinks during the first two seasons. Still, it may have made sense given the TV actor only appeared in nine episodes. Of course, this isn't the first time a Boy Meets World alum was left out of a finale episode.
There were still some unanswered questions about Marsden’s absence from the coming-of-age comedy. Friedle and co-host Rider Strong were puzzled as to why he never appeared on the ABC sitcom again. As the hired talent, the Rich Halke actor was clueless about not appearing in more episodes after Season 2. He theorized it might’ve been because his agent asked for more money. Around Season 3, the teen sitcom changed producers. He felt like the new producers didn’t like him for some reason.
But his lack of BMW appearances might’ve been tied to his busy schedule as the Boy Meets World alum booked the movie White Squall around Season 2. Following his co-starring role with Jeff Bridges, he began appearing as Rich Halke on Step by Step and DJ’s stuck-up rich beau Nelson Burkhard on another TGIF staple Full House. Danielle Fishel suggested that his busy schedule might’ve led to him being written out after Season 2. Marsden claimed he was still available to play Eric’s best friend since he was always hanging around the set.
But things worked out for Jason Marsden as he remained a staple of 1990s TV with roles on The Secret World of Alex Mack and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. If fans want to revisit his time on Boy Meets World, they can stream every season with a Disney+ subscription. To get more behind-the-scenes stories like this and why Danielle Fishel’s character was named Topanga, catch Pod Meets World hosted by Fishel, Will Friedle, and Rider Strong through iHeartRadio.