If you’re one of my amazing fans who devour every word I write,you’ll know I love the Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World. What you may not know is Farkle Minkus (Corey Fogelmanis) is my favorite character on it. When the show was announced and I learned Stuart Minkus’ son was going to be one of the leads, I didn’t expect to like him; I hated Minkus on Boy Meets World and wasn’t all that upset when he disappeared (and that hate is totally not Lee Norris' fault; I blame the writers fully for making Stuart so dang unlikable).
So imagine my surprise when I found the wannabe dictator to be endearing. As out there as he is – he wants to rule the world but, really, who doesn’t? – he somehow remains down-to-earth and relatable. Gotta hand it to Corey Fogelmanis; it’s not an easy thing to make people care about a character that, in less capable hands, could’ve turned into a pathetic caricature. Luckily, what we have is a fully formed, realistic portrayal of a boy searching for his real self.
When we first met Farkle, he was a perfectly normal… Farkle. He was himself to the extreme and didn’t care what others thought about his Farkleness. But in time, that changed. In Girl Meets Flaws (S01E13) Farkle is the victim of bullying and decides invisibility is better than being a target. This is something so many go through and, while in the real world things don’t always work out, Farkle had his friends at his back – including Lucas Friar (Peyton Meyer) – and he was able to return to class.
The same cannot be said of Girl Meets Yearbook (S02E12) where Farkle his hurt when he learns he’s being mocked behind his back for being named "Most Likely to Be Farkle" and decided to make a major change; he becomes Donnie Barnes, regular guy. He changes not only his fashion style (from turtle necks and colorful pants to a more “normal” look), his friends become
worried. They tried to change him back, insisting they loved him as he was, but Farkle has no interest in being his old self and is determined to figure out who he really is. As of Girl Meets Texas Part 3 (S02EE22), he had not reverted to his former self. Again, what Farkle goes through is totally relatable; he doubts who he always believed he was and begins the difficult and scary process of discovering himself again. Who can’t understand that? Some people spend years trying to figure it all out and seeing someone on screen going through the same thing can be reassuring.
In Girl Meets I Am Farkle (S02E15) – formally known as Girl Meets Farkle and Girl Meets Normal - Farkle finds out he may have autism – Asperger's syndrome, specifically – and prepares for the possible changes ahead while staying positive, except for the realization he might never understand love and asked his friends to make sure that didn’t happen. Before he learns if he has it, he bonds with Isadora Smackle (Cecilia Balagot), his arch nemesis, who ends up showing him compassion and understanding, something he wants to return when he realizes she has Asperger's syndrome and he doesn’t. They’re still dating, by the way.
Personally, I was a bit disappointed Farkle didn’t have it; imagine how great it would’ve been to see a lead character deal with that. While Smackle does, she’s not always there. Something tells me Corey Fogelmanis could’ve handled it. A missed opportunity, I think.
It’s not just Farkle’s questioning of who and what he is; it’s his utter devotion to his friends that makes him such a good character. In Girl Meets Farkle's Choice (S01E19), Riley (Rowan Blanchard) and Maya (Sabrina Carpenter) are harassed by bullies. Farkle, though he knew he could easily be hurt, stood up for them.
Farkle is a kind and caring individual who puts his friends first and is a great example for kids to learn from. Yes, he had designs to take over the world but that doesn’t detract from the good guy he really is. And a huge part of why he comes across as such is because Corey Fogelmanis is such a talented actor. He makes acting look easy as he effortlessly takes Farkle though the ups and downs life (ie the writers) throw at him. Even at Farkle’s most… Farkly, Fogelmanis brings a sweet humanity to the role that keeps you rooting for the world’s future leader. He does his job so well that you might even scream at the television when Maya takes the teasing too far or Riley overtly shows her feeling to Lucas (Farkle’s best friend) right in front of him. While they are there for him when he needs them, Farkle’s friends do have a habit of taking him for granted.
But because Farkle is so understanding, he accepts it without complaint and continues being a true friend to all of them. And that is the root of what makes Farkle the best of the group. He really is the best kind of friend and one everyone would do well to have.