Family Matters (1989–1998)

TV Series  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family
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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)

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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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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 / ... (107 episodes, 1990-1996)
 Judy Winslow (96 episodes, 1989-1995)
 Rachel Crawford (94 episodes, 1989-1997)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Family


TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

22 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alle unter einem Dach  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(215 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


Although the interiors of the Winslow house were stage sets, the exterior of the house was taken from a real-life house located on Wrightwood Ave in Chicago, and (as of 2009) still exists as it appears during the series run. See more »


In the Winslows' home, guests would always walk out the front door and then to the left, but in the picture that is shown as the Winslows' home, there is no walkway to the left. There are a few stairs outside that lead up to the front door, but walking to the left after exiting through the front door would only lead into a wall. See more »


Harriette: How's the book?
Judy Winslow: Boring. Look how big and thick it is!
Harriette: [Reading] Swiss Family Robinson!
Judy Winslow: Who wants to read about cheese?
See more »


Referenced in Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Pot-Un-Lucky (2015) See more »


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

A fun show the first few seasons, but eventually it really went down hill
19 August 2002 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

You know the funny thing about "Family Matters" is that I'm not sure if anyone knows the title of this show, lol, I mean, it just became about Steve Urkel. One of the ultimate characters of the 90's, the kid who made it so cool to act like a nerd. I know Jaleel White hates his type cast now, but he has to admit that not too many actors can do what he has accomplished by creating an icon. No one could ever forget that famous line "Did I do that?" or Urkel's attire or his voice.

The first season was pretty basic, it was a just a typical family sit com, also a spin off of Perfect Strangers, we are learning about Harriet, the elevator operator and her loving family. Harriet is the mom and loving wife who is abrasive but extremely loving. Carl, her husband and the father, he's a Chicago police officer and is very hot tempered but also has a good heart. Mother Winslow, Carl's mom who has moved in with the family and is one "hip" grannie. Rachel, Harriet's sister, who has moved in with her baby, Richie, since her husband passed away. Eddie, who is the eldest son, he's not the sharpest tool in the box, but tries his best anyways. Laura, the second oldest, she's the smart goodie two shoes of the bunch and is extremely popular at school. Judy, the youngest, and the snappiest little girl. Richie, Rachel's son, who is the hot little guy and dancer of the group. And Steve Urkel, the nerd next door who quickly turns into one of the Winslow's.

Since the first season was pretty basic and unoriginal, there was only one thing that kept viewers watching and that was Steve Urkel. His crush on Laura, his attire, his voice, his kind heart, his clumsiness, everything about him screamed good ratings. As the seasons progressed, the show became more and more about him, so much to the point where he actually moves in with the Winslow's. The show had a lot of laughs in the beginning and was a lot of fun to watch, I still watch it to this day, I'll admit.

There are some flaws along with the show though, they quickly killed off characters that had potential and not to mention the actual family members, like Judy and Rachel. They left the show, Rachel had some reason where she left to help a family member, but she leaves Richie, her son, with the family. Judy just seemed to be a person that they HAD to add into the story, so they just never bothered with her again. The show also got to be unbelievable where they would put Steve in life threatening situations almost every episode. Then they also over did it with Steve eventually turning him from popular into annoying.

The main thing that kept the series running was the love story between Steve and Laura, she keeps rejecting him throughout the series. I know there are a lot of Laura haters out there, but I liked her character, she wasn't a bad person, she didn't treat Steve kindly all the time, but they became good friends and I thought she was a good person. I didn't like how the series ended, but I think they were just rushing at that point to end it since Jaleel was getting sick of his character.

Whole point being is this was one of the high lights of T.G.I.F.-Friday's night line up. I remember this being after Full House and how much Steve and Carl would make me laugh. The show is a pleasure to watch, just they should have quit while the writers were ahead. Replacing Harriet with a different actress and changing the whole point of what the original story was wasn't cool in my book. But here we are almost 20 years later and still talking about the show, that's gotta say something.

53 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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