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Family Matters centers around the lives of the Winslow family and their friends and neighbors. This a comedy which is about an African American family living in Chicago. The head of the Winslow family is Carl, an overworked police officer who enjoys relaxing at home. His wife Harriet is a strong minded woman who often needles Carl into doing projects around the house he would rather not do. The family also consists of a son named Eddie and a daughter named Laura. For the most part, the kids experience the normal lives of teenagers, with the exception of occasional interference from their nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel.

The character of Steve Urkel is played by Jaleel White, who soon steals center focus from the rest of the family. Steve's nerdiness not only adds to the slapstick style antics between him and Carl, but also enhances the unusual circumstances the teens often find themselves in. Steve is the same age as Laura and has a crush on her from the very beginning. In his efforts to try and woo the love of his life he often ends up embarrassing Laura and causing catastrophic events to occur. While Steve is awkward and socially inept, he is extremely smart. There are several episodes where his intelligence does pay off by helping someone get out of a bad situation.

While Steve Urkel seems to rub most of the Winslow family members the wrong way, he is always welcomed into their home. Other characters which add to the stories include Harriet's mother, who eventually moves in with them, as well as her sister Rachel, played by Thelma Hopkins. The stories are designed to bring humor to the viewers while also showing life as it unfolds in a big city like Chicago. Some of the stories revolve around what happens in school, while others take place within the house. The show takes a lighthearted look at what it's like to have an extended family living underneath one roof.

ABC
9 Seasons, 215 Episodes - Canceled
September 22, 1989
Comedy
6.6/10
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Family Matters Full Episode Guide

  • Eddie's job as a cop takes a turn for the worse. In the meantime, the spacecraft that Steve is in gets punctured by a satellite. It's up to him to fix it so he can get home.

  • Steve becomes a student astronaut for the testing of his invention: artificial gravity. In the meantime, Harriette is worried about Eddie's job as a cop.

  • Steve and Stefan both propose to Laura. Who will she choose? Who will she risk losing forever?

  • Myrtle still wants Eddie. Unfortunately for her, he doesn't want her. Laura and Maxine decide to give Myrtle a makeover.

  • Maxine gets a new boyfriend. He is rich, but Laura doesn't like him that much.

  • Eddie gets a new apartment. He invites Carl; he starts freeloading off of Eddie. In the meantime, Steve and Laura go to a polka fest. Laura is amazed to discover that Steve is a big part of the polka community.

  • Greta and Myrtle fight for Eddie's affections. In the meantime, 3J wants to know who his real mother is.

  • Myra and Stefan team up to ruin Steve's date with Laura. In the meantime, Eddie trains with Carl to become a cop.

  • Myra breaks up with Steve. This breaks his heart, but he decides to go chase Laura again. Myra then realizes she made a mistake, so she decides to go after Steve again. In the meantime, Eddie quits school and decides to become a cop like Carl.

  • Steve becomes a chef at a Japanese steakhouse. Meanwhile, Carl takes care of the commissioner's parrot. The parrot says some offensive words about the commissioner influenced by Carl.

  • Steve becomes a gift wrapper. This means spending less time with Myra. In the meantime, Carl plays Santa and Laura plays an elf at the mall. Also, Richie wants to spend Christmas with his mother. Unfortunately, she isn't with him.

  • Steve's cousin O.G.D. comes to visit the Winslows. He makes a bad impression by trying to put the moves on Laura; he is also a bad influence on 3J; he also has arguments with Carl.

  • Steve gets a shot to win a million dollars for a basketball shot. In the meantime, Harriette's new boss is very obnoxious to all of the workers. When she protests against him, she ends up getting fired. She must now fight the system.

  • Stevil the dummy returns! But this time he brings someone named Carlsbad. Together, they take over the souls of Steve and Carl; they cause mayhem throughout the house. Can the real Carl and Steve fight the power of these evil dummies?

  • Steve does an experiment which allows him to read minds. In the meantime, Carl has been made the leader of the Junior Woodsmen.

  • Carl is upset that the commissioner didn't give him the title of police captain. In the meantime, Eddie is celebrating his 21st birthday.

  • Myrtle returns for a debutante ball; she asks Eddie to take her. Later, Myrtle gets hit by a truck. In the meantime, Laura wears some attractive clothes that Carl disapproves of.

  • Steve tags along with Carl and the commissioner to take pictures of ducks with his camera. In the meantime, Laura "borrows" Harriette's earrings so she can look good at a club.

  • Steve once again uses his time machine. This time, it sends him and Carl to a pirate ship.

  • Carl's brother Frank gets in trouble with the law. He goes to the Winslow household for help.

  • Aunt Oona returns, but has put on a couple of pounds. She wants to get rid of them using Steve's invention: the fat compressioner.

  • Eddie gets himself into a lot of trouble dating an older woman. In the meantime, Carl's homeowner insurance increases a lot because of Steve. Steve feels upset, but Carl is able to "compromise" with the insurance agent.

  • Carl makes extremely sexist jokes about women and poker. Harriette decides to play to prove him wrong. In the meantime, Steve takes Eddie's job at the ballpark while Eddie's away. Unfortunately, Steve loses Eddie's job.

  • Eddie wants to win a prize on a game show, but he needs to make himself smarter. He uses Steve's transformation chamber to become a "nerd."

  • Steve tells three stories about romance. They include Richie, Eddie, and Carl.

  • Myrtle Urkel comes back for a beauty pageant. She tries to sabotage other contestants so she can surely win.

  • Steve invents a time machine; he takes Carl back to the 70's. Carl decides to change his future; he adjusts it so he becomes rich.

  • Laura develops a crush on the same guy Maxine does. This puts their friendship on the rocks.

  • Laura wants to join a sorority, but the sorority likes picking on Steve. Laura is reluctant to do it.

  • Laura breaks up with Curtis after Stefan returns. In the meantime, Steve and Carl try to find a Christmas tree, but end up getting lost in the woods.

  • Steve and Carl are summoned for jury duty. For their case, Steve believes that the defendant is innocent; others believe the defendant is guilty. Steve must convince them before they make a terrible mistake.

  • Steve makes a type of gunpowder that reacts to music, but Myra accidentally uses it for Carl's boss's dinner.

  • Eddie gets a nightmare about being married to Myrtle Urkel...

  • Stefan and Laura's relationship gets better over a concert.

  • Steve becomes the playground supervisor, but has trouble with some gangsters there. Later, they come back for revenge and hurt 3J. Steve and the boys go to fight back by use of the transformation chamber.

  • Steve has a dummy that looks just like him. Later, the dummy comes alive; it wants to kill Steve.

  • Greta gets a part-time job. This means spending less time with Eddie.

  • 3J moves into the Winslow household, but the Winslows start taking him for granted. After learning about this, 3J runs away. In the meantime, could Laura be outgrowing Stefan?

  • Steve goes to college and begins to settle down. He then remembers Myra and his family, whom he misses dearly.

  • After Carl finds out about Steve being held hostage, he springs into action and goes to rescue him...

  • Steve, Stefan, and the Winslows travel to Paris. Steve develops a crush on his associate Nicole; Stefan becomes a model; Eddie has to work through vacation.

Most Popular Family Matters Episodes

  • Season 9 Episode 20 Pop Goes the Question 7/03/1998
  • Season 9 Episode 14 Crazy for You (1) 1/23/1998
  • Season 9 Episode 22 Lost in Space, Pt. 2 7/17/1998
  • Season 8 Episode 9 Home Again 11/08/1996
  • Season 9 Episode 13 Breaking Up Is Hard to Do 1/16/1998

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Family Matters Video Clips & Extras

Family Matters Crazy For You Clip (02:20)