The BEST Episodes of Family Matters

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2020

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.

The Substitute Son

#1 - The Substitute Son

Season 6 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 3, 1995

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 8.47
30 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Fred Fox, Jr., Jim Geoghan, Reginald VelJohnson

#2 - Nunsense

Season 5 - Episode 22 - Aired Apr 29, 1994

Urkel fears that his rejection has sent Myra to join a nunnery, so he enlists Eddie and Waldo to dress in habits and join him in a search for her at the convent.

star 8.35
20 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Sara V. Finney, Vida Spears
Good Cop, Bad Cop

#3 - Good Cop, Bad Cop

Season 5 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 21, 1994

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
Teacher's Pet

#4 - Teacher's Pet

Season 7 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 20, 1995

An English class full of unruly hooligans gives substitute teacher Urkel a pain - along with a creative scheme to get through to his defiant charges. Steve's English teacher, Mr. Donald Ludke, needs to take two days off so he appoints Steve as the substitute teacher. The first day, everyone but Laura and Myra ignores Steve, and two bullies, Kissel and Robbins, play tricks on him. But the second day, Steve uses his transformation machine to become Stefan Urquelle, who humiliates Kissel and takes charge of the class. Then Stefan teaches Robbins a love poem that helps Robbins get a date. Meanwhile, Harriette berates Carl for not helping with the housework. He hires a sexy maid, Tawny, further angering Harriette. The next day, she terminates Tawny and hires a muscular male servant, Geoffrey, to teach Carl a lesson. Carl agrees to help Harriette more often.

star 8.24
33 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Stephen Langford
Number One with a Bullet

#5 - Number One with a Bullet

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 23, 1992

Carl and Urkel are hospital roommates and Urkel, as usual, is a pain -until he gets the opportunity to save Carl's hide.

star 8.24
38 votes
Directors: Gary Menteer
Writers: Fred Fox, Jr.
The Naked and the Nerdy

#6 - The Naked and the Nerdy

Season 7 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 29, 1995

Steve and Laura have an accidental encounter in their birthday suits; Hariette unwraps an expensive gift she thinks Carl bought her for her anniversary. While they both get ready to take a shower, Steve and Laura accidentally see each other naked in the bathroom-a traumatic experience for both of them. Meanwhile, Carl's neighbor, Larry Johnson, asks Carl to hold onto an expensive diamond bracelet because Larry's wife is a snoop. But when Harriette finds it, she thinks Carl bought it for her anniversary gift, and he has some explaining to do.

star 8.18
39 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Stephen Langford
Midterm Crisis

#7 - Midterm Crisis

Season 6 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 6, 1995

Carl loses points with Capt. Savage by telling him the truth about the woman he loves; and Eddie and Urkel cook u p a lie about Waldo's midterm baking project, which they devoured.

star 8.17
30 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Stephen Langford
We're Going to Disney World (1)

#8 - We're Going to Disney World (1)

Season 6 - Episode 22 - Aired Apr 28, 1995

Steve is a finalist in an Innoventions contest at Walt Disney World. He invites the Winslow family whom all are thrilled about going except for Carl who is too concerned about leaving work behind. Myra is unable to be with her Steve as well. Steve's entry in the contest is none other than his transformation chamber which he will used to transform into Stephan. Much to Laura's excitement he does at the contest but before Stephan is asked to go back into the transformation chamber and change back into Steve (to prove he's not faking it) Laura messes with the machine while no one is looking. When he does go in Stephan believes that there was a malfunction affected by the shipping of his machine. The judges decide to postpone the results of the contest for three more days while Stephan and Laura spend some time together in the happiest place on earth. Meanwhile to save money, Eddie and Waldo decide to drive down to Disney World but they encounter chaos along the way. Laura begins to

star 8.14
56 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Jim Geoghan
My Uncle Hero

#9 - My Uncle Hero

Season 6 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 3, 1995

Suspicions mount for Myra as Urkel and Laura put their heads together to plan a surprise birthday party for her. Meanwhile across town, Richie hopes to impress his classmates on a field trip to Carl's office at the police station.

star 8.08
25 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Gary M. Goodrich
Talk's Cheap

#10 - Talk's Cheap

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 17, 1995

Waldo persuades Steve, Myra and Laura to appear on a talk show to discuss romance. Waldo convinces Steve, Myra and Laura to appear on a talk show to discuss unfulfilling romances. Everyone is surprised when Myrtle comes on and talks about her unrequited love for Eddie. Meanwhile, Harriette tries to inspire passion in a reluctant Carl.

star 8.07
29 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Fred Fox, Jr., Jim Geoghan
Rock Enroll

#11 - Rock Enroll

Season 5 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 7, 1994

Eddie changes his mind about college at a concert fund-raiser after singer Shanice performs a song he wrote; and Urkel has no luck rallying friends to celebrate his birthday, but soon finds that Laura is his biggest cheerleader.

star 8.04
25 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Sara V. Finney, Vida Spears
The Gun

#12 - The Gun

Season 6 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 10, 1995

Gritty episode in the style of NYPD Blue, where Laura is robbed by female gang members and considers purchasing a gun to ward off future trouble.

star 8.03
30 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Gary Menteer, Joseph Cvar
Par For the Course

#13 - Par For the Course

Season 6 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 4, 1994

Duffer Carl is reluctant to stand up to his cheating boss during a round of golf, but Harriette isn't reluctant to go looking for Laura when she misses her curfew.

star 8.02
58 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Gary M. Goodrich
Struck By Lightning

#14 - Struck By Lightning

Season 7 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 24, 1995

Laura and Myra's friendship turns stormy as they compete for the same sales job at Ferguson's; a rainstorm renders Urkel a "human lightning rod" and he refuses to go outside after being struck by lightning three times. Luckily, he finds out the cause: His "boss sauce" that he uses in his transformation machine contains a huge amount of iron. Meanwhile, Laura and Myra compete for the same sales job at a department store.

star 7.96
28 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Pop Goes the Question

#15 - Pop Goes the Question

Season 9 - Episode 20 - Aired Jul 3, 1998

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 7.86
94 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: David W. Duclon, Gary Menteer

#16 - Bugged

Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 13, 1995

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 7.85
59 votes
Directors: Richard Correll

#17 - Stevil

Season 8 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 25, 1996

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

star 7.85
65 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Fred Rubin, Gregory Thomas Garcia
Life of the Party

#18 - Life of the Party

Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 8, 1991

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

star 7.85
78 votes
Directors: Gary Menteer
Writers: Janet Lynne Jackson
Dumb Belle of the Ball

#19 - Dumb Belle of the Ball

Season 9 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 3, 1997

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 7.80
85 votes
Paradise Bluff

#20 - Paradise Bluff

Season 6 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 18, 1994

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 7.75
53 votes
To Be or Not to Be (2)

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

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 30, 1994

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

star 7.75
64 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Fred Fox, Jr.
An Unlikely Match

#22 - An Unlikely Match

Season 6 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 20, 1995

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 7.75
55 votes
Directors: John Tracy
My Bodyguard

#23 - My Bodyguard

Season 6 - Episode 19 - Aired Mar 17, 1995

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 7.73
55 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Felicia D. Henderson
Tender Kisses

#24 - Tender Kisses

Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 5, 1993

Eddie gets more than he bargained for when he and his pals sneak into R&B singer Tracie Spencer's hotel room in search of tickets to her concert; and Carl is in for a big surprise when he discovers Harriette's diary.

star 7.71
68 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Fred Fox, Jr., Jim Geoghan
Tips For a Better Life

#25 - Tips For a Better Life

Season 7 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 9, 1996

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 7.70
54 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: David W. Duclon, Gary Menteer