It was a typical morning in the Matthews Apartment, Topanga’s making breakfast when Riley walks in and asks why she didn’t wake her. She sits next to Maya and explains to Topanga that today is Electives Day in school, and the girls want to get to school early so they can get the good classes. Topanga tells her that she tried to wake her up thrice, Maya tried to wake her as well, but Riley thought it was in a dream she was having. Topanga asks the girls what kind of electives they’re hoping for, Riley explains that they’re trying to get out of them, the electives are service courses, and the girls aren’t interested in both working and going to school, and wonders who would want to do that for a living, enter Cory, who puts on a show with Topanga about him working and going to school at the same time, and her doing everything all the time. Topanga explains that she held down two part-time jobs while going to law school, but the girls ignore the lessons Cory and Topanga were trying to explain to them. As the girls head off, Topanga asks Riley to put her dishes in the sink, but she tells her she’ll do it later (we all know this is going) as she leaves. Topanga heads off too, until she realizes that she forgot Auggie (who does not appear in this episode or the next one).
In class, Cory starts a new lesson on The Great Depression, He asks Riley and Maya if they know what it was, neither of them knew what it was, so he calls Farkle out to explain it to the class. Farkle explains that, when the stock market crash in 1929, a lot people lost their jobs, their money, and their comfortable lifestyle and became know as “The Forgotten” (Roll Credits!). Cory goes on to explain that the working class, became discarded and forgotten. Cory asks Riley and asks if there’s anyone that cares about her that goes underappreciated, she looks at Maya and apologizes for underappreciated. After that oversight, Cory fakes the bell ring so he could get out of the classroom.
In the cafeteria, Riley and Maya talk about electives, as they grab their lunch, they make fun of the mashed potatoes. Geralyn Thompson, The lunch lady tells them that she made it herself, but they don’t seem to care. While the girls go to sit with Lucas and Farkle, who are making a mashed potato volcano, Cory grabs his lunch and eats it in line, Geralyn tells him to stop, Cory tells her he feels sorry for whoever gets her for their elective. Cory walks up to the kids asks if they actually eats the food, they answer no. Maya pokes the potato volcano, which causes it to erupt gravy. The bell rings, everyone clears out, but Cory has the kids stay behind. Because of their mess, and underappreciation towards Geralyn and the school’s janitor, Harvey “Harley” Keiner, Cory assigns the kids their electives, Riley and Maya will work in the cafeteria with Geralyn, while Lucas and Farkle work with Harley.
Later that day, the girls report to the kitchen, Geralyn gives them their assignment: to peel potatoes, place them in a pot, and to do nothing else. As she leaves the kitchen, she tells the girls, that they’re just working here for a grade, but the kitchen and cafeteria is her life and she cares very much about it, The girls (officially) introduce themselves to Geralyn, but Geralyn knows a lot about them, she knows Riley loves Fishstick Friday and always gives Maya extra food to take home. When Geralyn leaves, Maya notices some shelves containing several spices, Maya grabs two containers and pours them in the Mashed Potatoes, despite Riley telling not to.
Out in the hallway, the boys are mopping the floor, while Harley watches. Lucas points out that he never notices the floors being dirty, Harley explains that, there are two types of janitors: Ninja and Showboat, he’s the former. As Harley picks up some paper a kid dropped on the floor, Lucas asks if that happens a lot, Harley tells him it happens all the time. Lucas and Farkle are starting to get the picture, as for our heroines…
They’re at the apartment, napping on the couch together. Topanga comes in carrying her briefcase, coat, and a bag of groceries. She asks the girls to help her with the rest of the groceries, but due to working for 45 minutes are to exhausted to do anything. Topanga notices the table still wasn’t cleared since this morning, but her and Maya continue complaining about working in the kitchen. Topanga asks them one more time, and even tells them other people had a hard day too, so they brought up, the boys’ day with Harley. Annoyed with their bad work ethic, she goes to get the groceries herself. When she leaves, Riley remembers the lesson on The forgotten, and realizes that they’ve been discarding Topanga, and Geralyn.
The next day, Riley and Maya prepare for their last day of work, Maya wonders when they’ll be paid, Riley tells her that the children’s smiles are enough of a reward. Geralyn tells them that this isn’t a job to get praised for. Riley point out that yesterday was the hardest she ever worked in her entire life, Geralyn believes her. Geralyn preps the girls for the hard part of the day, to “scoop and plop (say it)” the potatoes for the kids, then (in a kind of frantic voice) when the kids are done eating they’ll return the plates, via conveyor belt, the girls must clear whatever’s left, rinse, and place on another conveyor belt where they’ll be thoroughly cleaned for the next day (HALLELUJAH!! (SAY IT!!)). The bell rings, Riley still doubts its going to be as bad as Geralyn describes this. the kids run into the cafeteria screaming and getting in line, as do the girls as they prepare the kids’ meals. After the break, Riley just served the last of the potatoes, they feel relieved, until they start to understand Geralyn a lot more, as they realize none of the kids that they go to school with thanked them, smiled, or even knew their names. Just as they think all was said and done, Geralyn points out that, their work has only begun, as the first dish comes in though the conveyor belt, Riley cleans it off and continues to laugh this entire day off, and then a mountain of dishes come down the belt, with Riley screaming for Maya. Later on, Riley and Maya, now properly exhausted successfully washed all the dishes, Geralyn tells them get cleaned up. But, because they don’t want to be seen by other people, they decide to go on the conveyor belt, and get cleaned up in the washer. But Geralyn stops them, since she grew attached to them. Harley, Farkle, and Lucas walk in, just as Lucas tells the girls about their day, until Harley’s janitor senses were tingling, they all hear everyone in the school throwing up. Geralyn tastes the potatoes, and figures out Maya didn’t follow the directions. At home, the girls sit in Riley’s room and finally realize how difficult Geralyn’s job is.
The next day, the kids along with their respective mentors give their reports on The Forgotten, Riley and Maya take the lead, Maya points to Geralyn and asks if anyone know who she is, Sarah addresses her as the lunchroom lady, but Cory and Geralyn correct her, and it’s here we finally learn her (nick)name (“Three Taco”) Sarah. Riley introduces her and tells the class that she knows everyone’s names, worked at the school for 20 years, and takes pride of her kitchen, her cooking, and the students. Lucas and Farkle (both still shaken after the puke storm) take over, and explain that Harley’s a good man, and that it takes a ninja to keep the school clean. Cory closes out the lesson, telling the class, to tell the people going out of their way to work the people they care about “Thank You”. The boys thank Harley, and the girls thank Geralyn and give her a hug.
Later that night, Riley’s waiting for Topanga to come in, she does and Riley grabs her coat and briefcase, and tells her she loves her. She sits Topanga down on the couch and rubs her back, Topanga wonders what was going on, Riley explains that she never knew how easy she had it until working in the cafeteria, and finally thanks her for everything she does around the house. She thanks Cory too, but did so as an afterthought.
The next day, the girls grab their lunch and says thanks to Geralyn, Riley asks her how’s she doing, she tell her she’s fine, and even does their “Stop it” routine. The girls sit with the boys, Harley comes up and offers to take their plates, but tell him not to, and throws it away themselves. Cory walks up to the four and gives a speech about teachers being underappreciated, the speech apparently took hours to say, since once he finished, the students were gone. Harley walks up to him and acknowledges his respect towards him, but throws him out so he can clean.
Were back to outstanding again! Not to say that the previous episodes were bad just not up to par as the first eight. So, let’s start with the main attraction of this episode: Harley, he was really great in this episode, you can tell he’s not the same old greaser-esque bully you saw in Boy Meets World (more than one), his personality is different, his behavior is different. In fact when Cory asked Harley if he felt bad when kids make messes, he says to Cory, “I actually deserve what I get” this shows how much he’s matured since breaking out of reform school and disappearing after season 3. We’ll look into his backstory in the next episode. Then there’s Geralyn, I liked Geralyn, she’s woman who’s really devoted to her work and students. She kind of similar to a character from the fourth season of Boy Meets World, her name was Brenda, she was also a cafeteria worker that cared about her student, even claiming that they were her own children, and of coure they both know about Cory’s love for mashed potatoes. Sadly she died in that same episode, and Cory had to learn that same lesson the kids learned the hard way. There was also one joke in the show that really stood out to me and that was, earlier in the episode when, Cory walks up to the kids and asks if they even eat any of the food, and they tell him no. It’s funny cause it reminded me of something the hosts of the GMW Podcast mentioned in their first and third episodes. So that Girl Meets The Forgotten, next time Girl Meets World tackles it’s first serious issue.