Family Matters

ABC (ended 1998)



User Score: 105

out of 10
User Rating
1,704 votes

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Show Summary

A perfect spin-off from Perfect Strangers: Family Matters focused on Harriet Winslow (the elevator operator from the Chronicle) and her family of sorts. Carl Winslow, her husband, was a dutiful cop, and a gruff and lovable father to three kids: Eddie Winslow, the rebel son; Laura Winslow, the smart-aleck daughter; and cute little Judy Winslow. They had opened their home to Harriet's sister, Rachel Crawford and her little baby son Richie, and in the very first episode, Carl had to open his home to his cool and streetwise mother, Estelle Winslow, whether he wanted to or not.

Everything was going along just fine until one day, Steve Urkel, the inventive nerd, barged into their home and eventually, into their hearts. Steve had a killer crush on Laura, but she would never give him the time of day. Steve Urkel was intended to be a one-shot appearance, but his popularity with the fans won him the number-one spot as America's favorite nerd.

As the show went on, the characters and the stories evolved. Richie grew from a little baby into a rambunctious and impressionable little boy. The stories started revolving around Steve and his incredible inventions, which became the greatest sight gags on the show. In almost every episode, Steve ends up breaking furniture, windows, and Carl's patience. Eddie and Laura each had best buddies to hang out with: Eddie had dim-witted yet lovable Waldo Geraldo Faldo,and Laura had faithful and true-blue gal pal Maxine. The greatest mystery of Family Matters is Judy and Rachel's sudden disappearances from the show, but Rachel made guest appearances whenever possible.

To stop Steve from chasing her, Laura matched him up with perky-yet-pushy Myra Monkhouse. Steve loved Myra physically, but his emotions will always go to Laura. Eddie had his share of steady girlfriends, and even he had an Urkel chasing him- Myrtle May Urkel, Steve's cousin from Biloxi (Jaleel White also). Every so often, Steve uses one of his inventions to turn himself into debonair, irresistable lover Stefan Urquelle or karate hero Bruce Lee to draw Laura closer to him, much to Myra's chagrin.

At the end of season 6, the Winslows welcomed Steve into their home when Steve's family went to Russia. Pretty soon, Richie hung out with 3J, a tough, streetwise kid always running from the children's home. The Winslows then adopted 3J as one of their kids, as they did with Steve.

In the final season, Family Matters - along with Step by Step - moved to CBS, and Steve slowly matured from the annoying nerd that he used to be. This was when Laura started falling in love with Steve, and Myra got kicked to the curb, but she vowed to get her "Stevie-kins" back. Also, the original Harriette, JoMarie Peyton, had left the show in mid-season and Judyann Elder took her role. Steve and Laura got engaged, but they never had a wedding because CBS dropped the ax on the show. But, nevertheless, Family Matters had a great successful run and is one of the longest running African-American comedies ever. In Germany the show is known as Alle unter einem Dach ("Under One Roof").
In Spain it is known as Cosas de casa.
In France it is known as La Vie de famille ("Life of the Family").
In Italy it is known as Otto sotto un tetto ("Eight Under One Roof").
In Sweden it is known as R�kna med br�k.

In Croatia it is known as ''Pod istim krovom''

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  • Shawn Harrison

    Shawn Harrison

    Waldo Faldo (seasons 4-7; recurring in seasons 2-3)

    Jo Marie Payton

    Jo Marie Payton

    Harriette Winslow

    Orlando Brown

    Orlando Brown

    3J (seasons 8-9)

    Rosetta LeNoire

    Rosetta LeNoire

    Estelle "Mother" Winslow (seasons 1-8)

    Jaleel White

    Jaleel White

    Steve Urkel (seasons 2-9; recurring in season 1)

    Michelle Thomas

    Michelle Thomas

    Myra Monkhouse (seasons 6-9; recurring in seasons 4-5)

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    Fan Reviews (110)

    • Not really funny.

      This show is so unfunny, bland, and forgettable. Well, Urkel is memorable but still unfunny.
    • One of the greatest shows in the world

      My favorite characters on the show are: Urkel, Carl, Eddie, 3J, Waldo and Estelle. The show was really great (and funny) to be honest, but I wish they had end the series with Laura marrying Steve, but that's okay, things can't always be your way. I love the show so much, I wish I can still see it.
    • One of the 90`s best shows ever

      I ally love this show. It has the softness of Full House but also seems to show the dysfunctional part of the life in a family more clearly. The characters are memorable and the jokes are enough to make me laugh hard. If you never seen this show before, then watch it cause it`s worth it.
    • Hidey-ho, Winslows!

      Steve Urkel was very funny! He was a clumsy, cheese-and-science-and-Laura loving nerd. He wanted Laura to love him but she didn't want any part of him in the earlier seasons. In the episode "Drinking and Jiving" she kissed Steve on his black eye and on the lips! That's when she started to like lot! I love Myrtle too only because she was a sassy Urkel and would always get in fights with Eddie's girlfriend Greta!moreless
    • funny show!

      Family Matters would definitely be classified as one of the best Family-oriented show! It wasn't sentimental or irritating like some of the other family shows aired in the television. How I wish this show didn't end because I think "Family Matters" is way better that any TGIF TV shows aired before! I really do miss watching it so much! It happens that one day I saw a web site selling it - memorylanedvd . com . I tried to purchase one because I've been looking for this DVD copy for a very long time. I was glad when I checked the discs, it was good. Neat packaging and nice quality. As I do not have much time to catch the re-runs, I will have to watch this show during the weekends. Family Matters is a show that gives simple fun to everyone, truly enjoyable!moreless

    More Info About This Show




    90s, nerdy neighbor, child stars, Classics, surviving high school