The Best Episodes of Family Matters
Last Updated: May 16, 2019
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.
#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.
#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.
#4 - 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.
#7 - 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.
#8 - 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.
#9 - 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.
#10 - 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.
#12 - 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.
#15 - 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.
#19 - 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.
#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.
#21 - 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.
#22 - 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.
#23 - 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.
#24 - Do the Right Thing
Season 2 - Episode 16
Carl finds a diamond bracelet and wrestles with doing the right thing, as does Steve, who holds in his hands the academic fate of his romantic rival Todd, who needs Steve's tutoring skills.