Family Matters (1989–1998)

TV Series  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family
6.5
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Reviews: 88 user | 7 critic

Long-running "Perfect Strangers" spin-off series centering on the Winslow family and their pesky next-door neighbor, ultra-nerd Steve Urkel.

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Title: Family Matters (1989–1998)

Family Matters (1989–1998) on IMDb 6.5/10

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9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1998   1997   1996   1995   1994   1993   … See all »
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 8 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Carl Otis Winslow / ... (215 episodes, 1989-1998)
...
 Laura Lee Winslow (215 episodes, 1989-1998)
...
 Edward 'Eddie' James Arthur Winslow / ... (208 episodes, 1989-1998)
...
 Steven Quincy Urkel / ... (204 episodes, 1989-1998)
...
 Harriette Winslow (200 episodes, 1989-1997)
...
 Estelle 'Mother' Winslow / ... (157 episodes, 1989-1997)
...
 Richie Crawford (142 episodes, 1990-1997)
Shawn Harrison ...
 Waldo Geraldo Faldo / ... (103 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Judy Winslow (96 episodes, 1989-1995)
...
 Rachel Crawford (92 episodes, 1989-1997)
Edit

Storyline

The Winslow family is a pretty normal family except for one thing, their neighbor Stephen Urkel. A genius and klutz Steve makes some really weird inventions while driving the Winslow's insane. Written by Katie <Katie185@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

22 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alle unter einem Dach  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(215 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carl's full name is Carl Otis Winslow. See more »

Goofs

In the first episode, outside of the front door is a little hallway leading outside. From the second episode on, the hallway was a porch. See more »

Quotes

Steve Urkel: My uncle, Elijah Urkel, has been struck by lightning four times. At a party, once, he clamped cables to his earlobes and jump-started a Volkswagen. Then there's in the summer, when we use him as a human bug zapper. He's usually knee deep in dead mosquitoes. And then there was the time we went camping and we were in dyer need of a generator and we just plugged the toaster into Uncle Elijah and the Pop Tarts were flying.
[Notices no one is there anymore]
Steve Urkel: Well, I thought it was a good story.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 30 Rock: The Beginning of the End (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

As Days Go By
Written by Jesse Frederick & Bennett Salvay
Performed by Jesse Frederick
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The development of a cultural icon.
24 July 2004 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

Like it or not, 'Family Matters' did produce a cultural icon. People everywhere knew who you were talking about when you mentioned the name 'Urkle,' the accident-prone next door neighbor who wore red framed glasses, suspenders, highwater pants, and had a passion for cheese and an admiration for Laura Winslow. Funny, too, that his becoming a regular on the show was by mere accident, since they only wrote Steve in for one episode. Like all cultural icons, it will be the one that actor Jaleel White will be forever associated.

'Family Matters' was a terrific comedy series, save the last one or two seasons where the situations became pretty desperate as an aging Jaleel White likely got tired (and too old) to play the hapless nerd character, and wanted to just be normal Steve (which he could because in the show he invented a machine where he often played a Dr. Steve and Mr. Urkle type towards the end of the series). It was also one of the few pleasant black comedies on television then and now, as few these days seem to offer anything more than insulting stereotypes and idiotic characters. The Winslows were a loving family (and one that didn't speak in ebonics just because they're black) who faced difficult problems in their lives and so forth. The show addressed issues of racial pride, of prejudice, of love, your typical family values.

The Winslow family consisted of the sometimes impulsive Carl (VelJohnson), the father; Harriet the intelligent mother (Judyann Elder); the oldest son, Eddie (McCrary); the oldest daughter, Laura (Kellie Shanygne Williams); the youngest sister Judy (Jaimee Foxworth), who appeared occasionally before disappearing altogether; and later, they added a little fellow named Ritche (Bryton McClure). There was also Mother Winslow (LaNoire); and of course, Steve Urkel.

Urkle did compete a few years later with Waldo (Shawn Harrison), Eddie's friend, because like all television comedy series, they need an idiot character. Urkel did create many misadventures because he never seemed to pay attention to what he was doing, but he was no idiot. Or, at least not the way Waldo was. He was a pretty funny guy for the while he was on the show.

And they were a pretty funny family, especially in the moments between Carl Winslow (Reginald VelJohnson), the father of the household, and his dufus friend, Urkel, which went on for some time the way Dennis the Menace often got on the nerves of George Wilson. Likewise, Urkel found it easy to annoy many of those in the Winslow household, namely the object of his affection: Laura, who squirmed around the hopeless dork, but finally managed to look past his faults (basically, just his appearance and awkward manner).

It was a pleasant show that ran in the TGIF line-up for quite some time, with other family comedy series that generated an audience and developed into series in a way that ABC may never again be able to reproduce. Everyone on the show was terrific, although my favorite, wasn't Urkel, but the lovely Rossetta LeNoire who played Mother (Estelle) Winslow. She was always such a pleasant character, and gave such a great performance.

If you ever get to see the reruns of the show, which do appear on network television every now and again, I would recommend watching it. It was a pretty good family series for it's day. And one that produced a cultural icon.


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Why is there never a story about Judy Winslow? danielpants97-240-504594
who would you be annoyed at more Steve or Waldo? admirdemondo
Alternate ending shawn_cool_great
Family Matters or the Cosby Show? sexykitten0814
Did they really need to replace Harriet? BGEditor11
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