4-15 Chick Like Me
Summary by: Laura
Orginal Air Date: 1997-01-31
Writer: Steve Hibbert
Director: Jeff McCracken
Capsule Summary: Shawn's a girl! Shawn's a girl!
Extendo Summary: The episode opens with some age-old philosophical battle of the sexes action. Topanga consoles friend Debbie after a date with a shallow boy who just wanted to make out. The girls decide that in general, girls and guys have very different ideas of what a date should be. Debbie and Shawn argue about whether girls give clear enough signals that a date is going well (that is, that kissing should ensue), and whether, in turn, boys listen to girls at all. The argument ends with Debbie deciding that she's done with dates with boys. It's left to conjecture whether that means she's done with dating, or she's just going go lesbian.
Meanwhile, everyone is down on Cory for writing a trivial, humorous newspaper column instead of tackling issues. Why is everyone so down on humor on a sit-com?
After Mr. Feeny (the English teacher now; what happened to Mr. Turner, who was just teaching them poetry in 4-9?) introduces the book Black Like Me, Shawn has the great idea that Cory should go undercover as a girl in order to discover the female point of view, which he can then report in his next newspaper article.
Cory and Shawn buy some girls' clothes and recruit Topanga's assistance in transforming Cory into a girl. But Cory's looks and manners are unsatisfactorily manly. Shawn tries to show him what to do, since from his years of study of girls, he's become something of an expert. Such an expert is he, in fact, that Cory and Topanga decide that he should be the one to go undercover.
When Shawn, aka Veronica Wasboyski, makes his debut at school, looking extraordinarily convincing and attractive (though a bit larger than life), he attracts the attentions of the school's boys--including Debbie's ex-date, Gary, who asks Shawn out for Saturday night.
On the date, Whatsisname gets a little too friendly, and ignores Shawn's pleas to stop. Shawn finally gets fed up after the boy tries to feel up his butt at the foosball table, and Shawn yells at him--only to have the boy accuse Shawn of being a lesbian. A good swift punch in the mouth teaches the boy his lesson, and Shawn walks off arm in arm with Cory (who is dressed as a female waitress named Cora) and Topanga.
Later, when Cory's article runs, it's a big hit, and Shawn claims to have learned a lot from the experience. Debbie asks him out.
Meanwhile, at the outdoorsy store, Lonnie can't get a date. Supposedly, she is too forward in her advances to successfully attract men (though the man who rejects her seems to have more a problem with her choice of things to do for fun--eel-grabbin'--than with her forwardness). Eric uses a hunting analogy to tell her she's scaring off potential dates. Eric offers himself to Lonnie as a dummy on which to practice her dating techniques. But when she finally gets it and learns to be coy, Eric regrets his tutelage--because now Lonnie will be restraining herself, and Eric misses her old titillating friendliness.
"See, this is why I write my funny column. To take us away from the drudgery of interesting conversation." --Cory
- Questioning your sexuality.
- Alan: "What'd you do at school today?"
Alan: "Wait a minute. Every day, I ask you what happened in school, and every day, you say nothing. Well, we all know something happened at school, and I want to know what it is!"
Cory: "I decided to be a girl."
Alan (backing off): "You've taught me a very valuable lesson there, Son."
- Topanga's reaction to Cory's decision to become a girl? "Not in that dress you're not."
- Cory adorably pleads, "Make Cory pret-ty."
- Shawn needs a girly name.
Cory: "How about Janet?"
Shawn: "No, no, no, not Janet."
Cory: "What possible difference could it make?"
Topanga: "Cory!" (to Shawn) "You've thought about this before, haven't you?"
- Mr. Feeny walks by the Topanga-Cory-Shawn/Veronica trio. "Good morning Ms. Lawrence, Mr. Matthews, Mr. Hunter..." He does a double take before returning to tell Shawn "if there's anything you want to talk about, my door's always open."
- Lonnie: "That is the nicest shirt." (Eric nods encouragingly.) "I'd like to get one just like that for my brother Buck. Who makes that?"
Eric (incredulous grin): "Some shirt guy."
- From a table at Chubbie's, Topanga looks on, gaping-mouthed, as Cory impersonates a waitress in order to keep tabs on Shawn's date.
- Gary: "I'll have the usual. One double chili burger, and a chocolate milkshake. Two straws."
Shawn: "I'll have the same. And a steak."
Oh, for gay!
- After Cory complains his dress makes him look fat, Shawn tells him, "Fat is the least of your problems, baby." He knows he's a boy still, right? Is it Shawn's habit to call Cory "baby"?
- Cory: "Shawn, I don't want you to take this wrong way, but you're kind of a babe."
Shawn (proudly): "Really?"
Cory: "Yeah. You want me to like, carry your books for you?"
Shawn: "I get that? Yeah, thanks."
The pair approaches Topanga at her locker.
Topanga: "Why are you carrying his books?"
Cory: "Well, we're trying to create the illusion that Shawn's a girl, so I thought this would help."
Topanga: "You never carry my books."
Cory: "Well, look at him!"
Cory grins idiotically and looks Shawn up and down as the audience "whooo"s.
- Gary: "Any time you want to talk, I'm here to listen."
Shawn: "Thanks, that's... that's nice, Gary." (gazes into his eyes; snaps out of it) "I gotta have some food."
Interesting: They must have shot the Veronica scenes first, because Shawn's eyebrows seem unusually delicate and girlish even in his pre-transformation scenes.
Episode Themes: Cory and Shawn Hijinks
Rating: 5. This is one of my favorite episodes, partly because Shawn is such a cute girl. Episodes like this run the risk of dating quickly, and something that might have been funny in 1997 might seem totally un-PC by today's standards. But I think this episode manages to pull it off admirably. The kids' attitudes towards cross-dressing are laid-back and free of social stigma; Topanga is not in the least fazed by her boyfriend's desire to cross-dress, and Shawn seems to genuinely enjoy being a girl for a little while. Negative reaction from the adults is minimal. Alan reacts with displeasure when he discovers Cory's plans, but his reaction is not unbelievable, and it's generally ignored by everyone else; and Amy thinks the experience will be educational for Cory. Feeny is a little disturbed by the events, but he's old. By showing every member of the younger generation completely on board with the situation, the show reveals a progressive attitude, rather than making a spectacle of cross-dressers.Back | Back to Season 4 Episode Guide | Next