Family Matters

Watch Family Matters

  • TV-G
  • 1989
  • 9 Seasons
  • 6.6  (29,708)

Family Matters was a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1989 to 1998. The show followed the lives of the middle-class Winslow family, primarily through the eyes of Carl Winslow (Reginald VelJohnson), a Chicago police officer, and his wife Harriette (Jo Marie Payton), who worked at a department store.

The Winslow family consisted of three children: Eddie (Darius McCrary), the oldest son, who was often seen hanging out with his best friend, Waldo (Shawn Harrison); Laura (Kellie Shanygne Williams), the middle child and only daughter, who struggled with popularity and schoolwork; and Judy (Jaimee Foxworth), the youngest child and often forgotten member of the family.

Carl's mother, Estelle (Rosetta LeNoire), lived with the family and provided support and occasional comic relief. Additionally, Harriette's sister Rachel (Telma Hopkins) and her son Richie (Bryton James) became recurring characters in later seasons.

However, the breakout star of the show was Jaleel White, who played the Winslows' nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel. In the second season, Urkel was introduced as a one-time character, but his popularity with audiences led to him becoming a series regular. Urkel had a crush on Laura and often caused unintentional chaos in the Winslows' home with his quirky inventions and catchphrase "Did I do that?".

The show tackled a variety of issues that were relevant to families in the 1990s, such as peer pressure, teenage sexuality, racism, and gun violence. The show also featured a predominantly African-American cast, which was rare for sitcoms at the time.

Despite its popularity, the show faced some behind-the-scenes drama. Jo Marie Payton left the show to star in her own sitcom, and was replaced by Judyann Elder as Harriette's sister Rachel. Jaimee Foxworth was written off the show after the fourth season due to her character's limited storyline, and the show's focus shifted more towards Urkel and his wacky antics.

In its final season, the show was briefly re-branded as "Family Matters: The New Generation" and introduced two new characters: 3J (Orlando Brown), a troubled youth who the Winslows take in, and Myra (Michelle Thomas), Steve Urkel's girlfriend. However, the changes were not well-received, and the show was cancelled after nine seasons.

Overall, Family Matters was a classic sitcom that blended family drama and comedy in a way that resonated with audiences. Its characters, especially Steve Urkel, have become iconic in popular culture and continue to be referenced and parodied in media today.

In conclusion, Family Matters was a beloved sitcom that followed the Winslow family and their nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel. It tackled important issues that were relevant to families in the 1990s and featured a predominantly African-American cast. Despite facing some behind-the-scenes drama and later changes that were not well-received, the show remains a pop culture staple and a nostalgic favorite for many.

Family Matters is a series that is currently running and has 9 seasons (215 episodes). The series first aired on September 20, 1989.

Family Matters
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Lost in Space, Pt. 2
22. Lost in Space, Pt. 2
July 17, 1998
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.
Lost in Space, Pt. 1
21. Lost in Space, Pt. 1
July 10, 1998
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.
Pop Goes the Question
20. Pop Goes the Question
July 3, 1998
Steve and Stefan both propose to Laura. Who will she choose? Who will she risk losing forever?
Don't Make Me Over
19. Don't Make Me Over
June 26, 1998
Myrtle still wants Eddie. Unfortunately for her, he doesn't want her. Laura and Maxine decide to give Myrtle a makeover.
Throw Urkel From the Train
18. Throw Urkel From the Train
June 18, 1998
Maxine gets a new boyfriend. He is rich, but Laura doesn't like him that much.
17. Polkapalooza
June 12, 1998
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.
Whose Man Is It Anyway?
16. Whose Man Is It Anyway?
June 5, 1998
Greta and Myrtle fight for Eddie's affections. In the meantime, 3J wants to know who his real mother is.
Crazier for You (2)
15. Crazier for You (2)
January 30, 1998
Steve finds out that Myra's not only been spying on him, but also dressing like Laura. In the meantime, Harriette finds out a terrible secret about her wedding ring.
Crazy for You (1)
14. Crazy for You (1)
January 23, 1998
Myra and Stefan team up to ruin Steve's date with Laura. In the meantime, Eddie trains with Carl to become a cop.
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
13. Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
January 16, 1998
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.
Grill of My Dreams
12. Grill of My Dreams
January 9, 1998
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.
Deck the Malls
11. Deck the Malls
December 19, 1997
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.
Original Gangsta Dawg
10. Original Gangsta Dawg
December 5, 1997
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.
A Pain in Harassment
9. A Pain in Harassment
November 28, 1997
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.
Trading Places
8. Trading Places
November 7, 1997
Steve and Stefan switch lives, but it's not as easy as it looks. In the meantime, Eddie shoots every waking moment of Carl's life on a camera.
Stevil II: This Time He's Not Alone
7. Stevil II: This Time He's Not Alone
October 31, 1997
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?
A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read
6. A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read
October 24, 1997
Steve does an experiment which allows him to read minds. In the meantime, Carl has been made the leader of the Junior Woodsmen.
Who's Afraid of the Big Black Book?
5. Who's Afraid of the Big Black Book?
October 17, 1997
Carl is upset that the commissioner didn't give him the title of police captain. In the meantime, Eddie is celebrating his 21st birthday.
Drinking and Jiving
4. Drinking and Jiving
October 10, 1997
Laura drinks beer, and another, and another, and so on until she's heavily drunk. That night, she and Steve share a kiss. In the meantime, Carl and Harriette share their different anniversary plans with Eddie. When they tell each other, they get into an argument. It's up to Eddie to make things right.
Dumb Belle of the Ball
3. Dumb Belle of the Ball
October 3, 1997
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.
They Shoot Ducks, Don't They?
2. They Shoot Ducks, Don't They?
September 26, 1997
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.
Out With the Old
1. Out With the Old
September 19, 1997
Steve gets a makeover for a kissing auction from Laura's sorority. In the meantime, Carl feels degraded by Harriette's success at her job. He gets another part-time job, but it's not doing much for him.
Where to Watch Family Matters
Family Matters is available for streaming on the ABC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Family Matters on demand at Max, Amazon Prime, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, TBS, Microsoft Movies & TV, Sling, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 20, 1989
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (29,708)