The BEST Episodes of Family Matters

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2019

Network: ABC (US)

Family Matters is an American sitcom about a middle-class African American family living in Chicago. The series was spun off from Perfect Strangers and revolves around the Winslow family. Midway through the first season, the show introduced the Winslows' nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel (played by Jaleel White), who quickly became its breakout character and eventually a main character.

Twinkle Toes Faldo

#1 - Twinkle Toes Faldo

Season 7 - Episode 20

Eddie and Urkel don't tap dance around the fact that Waldo is a klutz on the basketball court, so Waldo takes tap dancing lessons to improve his agility. Elsewhere, getting accepted to Harvard means the world to Laura, until she l earns her parents can't pay the tuition.

star 8.71
24 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Felicia D. Henderson

#2 - Bugged

Season 7 - Episode 3

Steve has a secret crush on Agnes fellow bug collector. Steve meets a gorgeous bug collector, Agnes Pritzker, on the Internet and invites her over to trade insect specimens. Steve fantasizes about kissing her and feels so guilty that he confides in Laura. Laura tells him to confess to his girlfriend, Myra, if it bothers him so much. Steve worries about Myra's reaction, but when he tells her about his thoughts of cheating on her, she says it's okay to fantasize, just not to act on it. Meanwhile, Harriette insists that Carl allow her boss, Nick Neidermeyer (Orbach), to play poker with him and his buddies in their weekly game. Nick wins repeatedly, makes obnoxious jokes and acts rudely. But Carl and the others endure it so Harriette doesn't get in trouble at work. Finally, at the next game, Harriette confronts Nick about his behavior and finds out that he will be transferred to a lower division and has no power over her anymore. Carl and Harriette throw Nick out of the house.

star 8.66
29 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Paradise Bluff

#3 - Paradise Bluff

Season 6 - Episode 9

Urkel's life flashes before him atop Paradise Bluff, where Myra hands him an ultimatum; and Harriette rates her mate and finds Carl needs to spice up his technique - at barbecuing.

star 8.54
24 votes

#4 - Stevil

Season 8 - Episode 7

Ventriloquist Steve's look-alike dummy comes alive on Halloween.

star 8.52
33 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Gregory Thomas Garcia, Fred Rubin
Pop Goes the Question

#5 - Pop Goes the Question

Season 9 - Episode 20

Armed with flowers and diamond rings, Urkel and Stephan each pop "the big question" to an unsuspecting Laura. Aware that Stephan is Carl's personal favorite and seems to be the logical choice, Laura is torn between the two men. While Urkel decides that stepping aside and moving all the way to Russia is the gentlemanly thing to do, Laura struggles with her dilemma -- choose the man she wants to marry or risk losing him forever.

star 8.49
37 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: David W. Duclon, Gary Menteer
Dumb Belle of the Ball

#6 - Dumb Belle of the Ball

Season 9 - Episode 3

When Myrtle ends up hospitalized after saving Eddie from being hit by an oncoming car, he promises to take her to the debutante ball. Myrtle is thrilled when her Prince Charming, Eddie Winslow - "the gravy on her biscuits," escorts her to the Biloxi Debutante Ball. Meanwhile, Laura disappoints Carl when she goes to the Sizzle Club in a skimpy dress after agreeing to change into something less revealing.

star 8.46
28 votes
An Unlikely Match

#7 - An Unlikely Match

Season 6 - Episode 13

Urkel sets an example of forgiveness after getting harassed by a gang of ruffians at school - when he discovers the ringleader has leukemia, he organizes a bone marrow drive; and a police-auction bargain overshadows Carl's good judgment.

star 8.46
26 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Tips For a Better Life

#8 - Tips For a Better Life

Season 7 - Episode 16

Carl issues an ultimatum concerning Eddie's recent drinking habits; meanwhile at the local cafe, female fans become intoxicated by the jazz styling of the ultra cool Stefan Urquette. Eddie, now a member of a fraternity at college but living at home, starts drinking alcohol excessively. Carl demands that if Eddie comes home drunk again, he must move out. After the next incident, Carl tells Eddie to move in with Waldo. But Waldo surprisingly refuses, saying that Eddie becomes obnoxious when he is drunk. Eddie realizes that his father is right; he shouldn't drink alcohol until he is old enough to be responsible. Carl lets him live at home. To earn money to pay for damaging the Winslow house with one of his inventions, Steve plays jazz piano in a local club - after transforming into the suave Stefan Urquelle. The highlight of his show is when Laura sings a love song with his accompaniment, followed by a passionate kiss.

star 8.43
23 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Gary Menteer, David W. Duclon
My Bodyguard

#9 - My Bodyguard

Season 6 - Episode 19

After failing to foil a robbery, Carl is assigned to protect Urkel, who stopped the thief; the boss's daughter comes on to Eddie.

star 8.42
26 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Felicia D. Henderson
Fa La La La Laagghh!

#10 - Fa La La La Laagghh!

Season 7 - Episode 11

Carl's bah-humbug attitude toward Urkel's rooftop Christmas decorations changes once he learns that winning a decorating contest could bring the Winslows a sackful of holiday cheer. Meanwhile, Harriette is saddened because Laura and Eddie seem to be too busy to participate in family Christmas activities.

star 8.42
24 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Meg Deloatch
The Substitute Son

#11 - The Substitute Son

Season 6 - Episode 14

The transformation machine turns Urkel into a karate master who defends Laura's honor at a rough longshoreman's bar; Waldo becomes Carl's substitute son when Eddie starts taking his father for granted.

star 8.41
29 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Fred Fox, Jr., Jim Geoghan, Reginald VelJohnson
My Broken-Hearted Valentine

#12 - My Broken-Hearted Valentine

Season 3 - Episode 18

Lonely and depressed after breaking up with Ted, Laura grants Urkel a few bittersweet hours of bliss as her valentine; Gwendolyn charms Richie with "yucky goo-goo stuff"; and Harriette and Carl search for admirable qualities in each other.

star 8.41
39 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Gary Menteer
Dream Date

#13 - Dream Date

Season 7 - Episode 22

The school prom brings one disaster after another for Laura. First, her date cancels; then she's parked with a dateless Urkel at the dance. The group "Immature" performs.

star 8.35
26 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Fred Fox, Jr., Jim Geoghan
Life of the Party

#14 - Life of the Party

Season 2 - Episode 18

At a rooftop party, some kids spike Steve's punch; and Rachel must talk him down from the ledge.

star 8.34
50 votes
Directors: Gary Menteer
Writers: Janet Lynne Jackson
Food, Lies and Videotape

#15 - Food, Lies and Videotape

Season 3 - Episode 17

Urkel enrolls in a home economics class with Laura, thinking it'll be a piece of cake, but he soon learns he less than an A-student.

star 8.33
36 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Stephen Langford
My Big Brother

#16 - My Big Brother

Season 7 - Episode 18

Urkel volunteers as a Big Brother to a touch street kid who's mastered pick pocketing skills but harbors a secret about his reading ability. Through a charity, Steve becomes a mentor for a tough but charming inner-city nine-year-old, 3J. While tutoring him, Steve discovers that, although 3J is smart, he is illiterate. At first, 3J rejects Steve's help, preferring to survive with his natural talents as always. But Steve excites him about the wonderful worlds of imagination one can find in books, and 3J decides to make his life better by learning to read. Meanwhile, Carl finds Harriette's secret savings account book. He is upset that she hid it from him. But later, he regrets arguing with her when she gives him an expensive gift for which she was secretly saving money.

star 8.32
22 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Fred Rubin
A-Camping We Will Go

#17 - A-Camping We Will Go

Season 5 - Episode 21

Urkel tags along on Carl's camping trip in Minnesota and an irritated Carl stubbornly refuses to listen to know- it-all Urkel's words of warning about bears and geysers; Harriette seeks a job.

star 8.32
22 votes
Lost in Space (2)

#18 - Lost in Space (2)

Season 9 - Episode 22

Urkel has to come to the rescue when a wandering satellite punctures the spacecraft in which he's traveling, preventing him and a team of astronauts from re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. With the two other astronauts on board unconscious, it's up to Urkel to repair the ship -- from the outside. Meanwhile, as Carl tries to help Harriette understand her son's need to be a police officer, Eddie's meter maid duty takes a dangerous turn. Urkel releases the satellite but starts floating away and was really in peril, but was able to use the satellite's thrusters to make it back to the spacecraft and return home to Laura.

star 8.32
41 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Timothy Stack, Gary M. Goodrich
She's Back

#19 - She's Back

Season 7 - Episode 6

Jaleel White has a dual role as Myrtle, Urkel's visiting cousin from Biloxi - who shows plenty of moxie when she squares off with Greta for Eddie's affections. The Winslows breathe a sigh of relief when Steve goes away to visit his parents in Russia. Unfortunately, Steve's Southern belle cousin, Myrtle Urkel, appears to pursue her true love - Eddie.

star 8.30
30 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Jim Geoghan
Love and Kisses

#20 - Love and Kisses

Season 3 - Episode 20

Hoping to win Laura, Urkel strikes a deal with R&B singer Johnny Gill: his treasured baseball card in exchange for serenading her; Carl and Harriette discover that their honeymoon love nest is of the outdoor type.

star 8.29
34 votes
Directors: John Tracy

#21 - Polkapalooza

Season 9 - Episode 17

Eddie gets a new apartment but Carl overstays his welcome. Meanwhile, Laura goes to the biggest polka fest with Steve only to find out he has done a lot in the community through polka, and has become more attracted to him.

star 8.29
34 votes
To Be or Not to Be (2)

#22 - To Be or Not to Be (2)

Season 6 - Episode 2

After a vengeful Myra tampers with Urkel's transformation chamber, Carl steps into it and steps out as an Urkel-like nerd.

star 8.29
35 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Fred Fox, Jr.
What's Up Doc?

#23 - What's Up Doc?

Season 6 - Episode 21

After six years of Urkel-agony, the Winslows finally admit themselves into therapy where we look into the history of the chaotic effects that Steve has had on the Winslows. In the end, Steve begins to realize the damage he has done but Harriet defends his case by explaining the good things Urkel has done for the Winslows that overpowers the bad (including the two times that Steve has saved Carl's life). On the way out, Urkel causes more damage to the therapist's office than he did coming in.

star 8.29
21 votes
Rumor Has It

#24 - Rumor Has It

Season 4 - Episode 5

As rumors begin to fly that Ted has "scored" with Laura, Urkel must warn her that the guy she's dating means to boost his rep by ruining hers.

star 8.28
32 votes
Directors: Gary Menteer
Writers: Gary M. Goodrich
Good Cop, Bad Cop

#25 - Good Cop, Bad Cop

Season 5 - Episode 15

Carl refuses to accept Eddie's story that he got pulled over for speeding "because he was a black in a white person's neighborhood" ... until the portly cop finds out the ugly truth. Meanwhile, Urkel tells Richie that he has nothing to fear when going to the dentist, but the nerd soon regrets his move when he has cavities of his own that need filling.

star 8.28
29 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Sara V. Finney, Vida Spears