These are the characters that appear in ''Series/FamilyMatters''.


[[folder:Steve Urkel]]
-> Portrayed by Jaleel White

* AbusiveParents: [[TheGhost His parents]] were implied to be this.
* {{Adorkable}}: He is smart but clumsy.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: How he was seen and treated for most of the series.
* AndStarring: In the last seasons.
* AnnoyingLaugh: "Ah heh-heh-heh *snort**snort*!"
* {{Badass}}: Despite his nerdiness, Steve demonstrates incredible skills and even on occasion great sportsmanship, such as when he was substituted in during a basketball game and the handily wiped the floor with the opposing team.
* BadassBookworm: As Bruce Lee Urkel, an alter-ego created by Steve via a celebrity sample potion called Bruce Juice.
* BettyAndVeronica:
** The Archie to Myra's Betty and Laura's Veronica.
** He's also ''always'' the Betty to Laura's admirer/boyfriend of the week's Veronica. Over and over and over again.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Steve is a nice, easygoing person. If you push him to far though, he'll either tell you off, embarrass you, or give you a beatdown as Bruce Lee.
* BlackAndNerdy: Smart enough to create certain things such as a robot, a jetpack, and a transformation chamber.
* BreakoutCharacter: The irksome Steve was introduced as a single gag character in the episode "Laura's First Date" (aired December 15, 1989), meant to highlight just how bad an idea it was for the well-meaning Carl to find his dateless daughter Laura a date for a junior high dance at the last minute. By the end of the first season, Steve was appearing in every episode, and when the first episode of Season 2 aired in September 1990, Jaleel White was given billing alongside the rest of the cast. Eventually, he would end up as the real star of the show, with the Winslows becoming supporting characters.
* BunglingInventor: Some of his inventions work just fine. Others, not so much.
* ButtMonkey: As a result of his nerdy and clumsy behavior.
* CatchPhrase: Several. "Did I do thaaat?", "You love me, don't you?" etc. In later seasons, they changed it up: "Look what you did."
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Ultimately achieves this with Laura.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: PlayedForLaughs. He's just so incompetent, inept, and prone to disaster that the amount of destruction he causes occasionally borders on the epic. In a nightmare sequence of Laura, Steve builds a fully-fuctioning nuclear weapon and inadvertently detonates it by uttering the code word "buttercup", blowing half of Chicago completely off the map and killing millions. As always, all Steve can say in light of his actions is "Did I do that?"
* DeadpanSnarker: Sometimes, especially in later seasons. The dumber somebody interacting with Steve is, the more likely it is to get him going. Needless to say, Waldo is guaranteed to bring it out of him during any interaction between the two.
* {{Determinator}}: Nothing will stop Steve from achieving a goal.
* DitzyGenius: Despite being a brilliant scientist and TeenGenius, he's clumsy, has NoSocialSkills and is a general nuisance and walking disaster.
* DoggedNiceGuy: Towards Laura.
* DropInCharacter: Steve was this before he moved in with the Winslows.
* ExtravertedNerd: Former [[TropeNamer trope namer]].
* {{Flanderization}}: Of him and the entire show. Before he was able to turn science into magic, this was just a mundane sitcom. In many ways, though, the character himself is an inversion. Later episodes portray him as less physically weak (he plays basketball), and less socially oblivious.
* GadgeteerGenius: His {{Flanderization}} in later seasons takes this UpToEleven. He becomes a MadScientist able to create a time traveling machine and many other crazy inventions in which he can clone, teleport, and shrink himself.
* {{Geek}}: Steve was this because he was a nerd.
* GeekPhysique: He had this in the earlier seasons.
* HiddenDepths: He's a good basketball player.
* HonoraryUncle: To Richie. Richie grows out of calling him "Uncle Steve", but keeps looking up to him.
* HopelessSuitor: For most of the series, he was for Laura.
* TheKlutz: Bordering on [[LethalKlutz lethal klutz]], though he got better in later seasons.
* LastNameBasis: Occasionally.
* LethallyStupid: He often causes disasters without meaning to, much to Carl's dismay.
* LovableNerd: He has a kind heart and is willing to help anyone.
* MadScientist: He occasionally even laughs like one.
* TheMillstone: Pretty much in every episode, especially in early seasons.
* NerdGlasses: He wore a pair.
* NiceGuy: He'll help anyone even if they bullied him beforehand.
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: Subverted in that many of Steve's inventions that we see ''are'' the prototypes, and Steve hasn't worked all the bugs out yet. HilarityEnsues.
* ParentalNeglect: The reason for his attachment to the Winslows.
* PhraseCatcher: "Go home, Steve!" "But..." "Go home, go home, go home!" "[[ScrewThisImOuttaHere I don't have to take this. I'm going home.]]"
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: In Season 2.
* ProudToBeAGeek: Ultimately, this is how Steve feels.
* RejectionAffection: Steve spends the entire run of this sitcom aggressively trying to win Laura's affections even though she is repulsed by him. [[spoiler: His perseverance pays off in the end.]]
* ScienceHero: He became this as the series went on.
* SexierAlterEgo: Stefan Urquelle.
* ShowStopper: Due to his popularity.
* SingleTargetSexuality: He is a Laura-sexual for most of the series, though he does get another girlfriend later in the series who ironically turns out to be Steve-sexual.
* SpearCounterpart: One episode has Laura's guardian angel subjecting her to a DreamSequence where she becomes Laura Urkel, Steve's DistaffCounterpart. Steve himself becomes Steve Winslow, essentially a male Laura.
* SpotlightStealingSquad: Due to the fact that he's the breakout character.
* StalkerWithACrush: Towards Laura.
* TeenGenius: Steve created a lot stuff in the series.
* TheThingThatWouldNotLeave: Just ask the Winslows.
* TookALevelInBadass: Every time he went into his transformation booth to gain the personality, fighting skills and even the accent and hairstyle of Bruce Lee.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Cheese.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With most of the Winslows.
* WackyGuy: Because of his clumsiness and inventions.
* WolverinePublicity

[[folder:Carl Winslow]]
-> Portrayed by Reginald [=VelJohnson=]

* ActionDad: Justified because he's a cop.
* {{Acrofatic}}: Carl's remarkably fast, despite his spare tire. Just look at any occasion when he chases Steve.
* {{Badass}}: He has taken down crooks and has verbally defended his family (and Steve) several times and helped to diffuse a bomb. This is understandable because he's a cop.
* BerserkButton: Steve, mostly. More specifically, whenever Steve's clumsiness ends up wrecking his property or physically injuring him.
* BigEater
* BumblingDad: Zigzagged. While he's very good at his job and is a loving and attentive father, nine times out of ten, his attempts at home maintenance turn out to be a disaster even when Steve isn't involved.
* ButtMonkey:
** Often on the receiving ends of Steve's antics.
** His mother, Estelle, makes more than a few sarcastic comments about her son's weight, too.
* CantLiveWithThemCantLiveWithoutThem: His general view of Steve. For all the times that Steve's damaged his person or his property, and otherwise driven him nuts, Carl realizes that Steve still looks up to him as a father figure, and has also helped the Winslows out multiple times.
* CursedWithAwesome: When Myra messed with the transformation chamber that turned Steve into Stefan, she ended up turning Carl into a nerdy "Urkelized" version of himself. Stefan tries to fix the chamber, but he's having trouble since he's not as smart as he is when he's Steve. Fortunately, being turned into a nerd made Carl a scientific genius, and so he fixed the chamber himself before being turned back to normal.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DoomItYourself: Carl's a top notch police officer. Unfortunately, when he starts trying to build or repair things around the house, things don't go so well. Occasionally subverted when he's paired up with Steve, as his attempt at building a shelf turns out just fine while Steve comes up with something that looks more like a post-modern art project.
* GoodParents: He loves his children, and Steve, very much.
* HappilyMarried: To Harriette.
* NoIndoorVoice: When he gets especially angry, he screams at the top of his lungs.
* PapaWolf: To his own kids, obviously, but he even gets like this for Steve, too.
* ParentalSubstitute: Seen this way by Steve. He eventually accepts this role.
* PoliceAreUseless: Subverted.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Due to the fact that he's a cop.
* ScaryBlackMan: Whenever one of Steve's mishaps pushes him too far, he ends up chasing after Steve while bellowing like a rogue elephant.
* StoutStrength: More than one crook has learned the hard way that Carl's pretty strong underneath his fat.
* TeamDad
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: According to his mother, it's donuts. Then again, he ''is'' a cop.
* UnfortunateName: Actually unfortunate initials: Carl Otis Winslow.

[[folder:Harriette Winslow]]
-> Portrayed by Jo Marie Payton (1989–1997), Judyann Elder (season 9)

* TheArtifact: After Steve became the undisputed main character, more and more members of the Winslow family got phased out. Unlike Laura, Eddie, and Carl, Harriette lacked any dynamic and comedic relationship with Steve leaving her as the odd man out.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: While Harriette is a nice person, she has no problem telling somebody off.
* GoodParents: Along with Carl.
* HappilyMarried: To Carl.
* MamaBear
* OnlySaneWoman: One of the most levelheaded characters.
* OutOfFocus: Originally the character ''for whom the series was developed for in the first place'', Harriette was [[SpotlightStealingSquad completely eclipsed by Steve's shadow]].
* SassyBlackWoman
* TeamMom
* WomenAreWiser: She tends to win most of her arguments with Carl.

[[folder:Edward "Eddie" Winslow]]
-> Portrayed by Darius [=McCrary=]

* BerserkButton: Degrading sex jokes about women, and guys bragging about who they scored with, both make Eddie really mad. That goes double for anyone who brags about having sex with his little sister.
* BigManOnCampus
* BookDumb
* ButtMonkey: In the early seasons, the rest of his family didn't treat him that well...
* TheCasanova
* CharacterDevelopment: He becomes more responsible in later seasons.
* DumbassTeenageSon: Mostly in the beginning.
* FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling: The Foolish to Laura's Responsible.
* GentleGiant
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Waldo, starting season 3. He eventually becomes this with Steve as well, though during the early years, he thought of him as annoying like Laura and Carl.
* HormoneAddledTeenager
* LadyKillerInLove: When he starts dating Greta.
* LovableJock
* MySisterIsOffLimits: Subverted in that Eddie doesn't typically care who Laura dates. The sole exception is when one of Laura's dates brags about sleeping with her, which pisses Eddie off.
* NamedAfterSomebodyFamous: He is named after English kings.
* NeverMyFault: Does this a lot with the problems he starts. He does often get called out for it, though.
* OddFriendship: With Steve and Waldo.
* OverlyLongName: Edward Arthur James Winslow.
* ScaryBlackMan: Eddie's generally an easygoing {{nice guy}}, but he's also a very big man. Anyone who pushes one of his {{berserk button}}s quickly comes to regret it.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Manly Man to Waldo's Sensitive Guy.
* TheSlacker
* SmallNameBigEgo: At his worst.
* StraightMan: When he is with Waldo.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Steve.

[[folder:Laura Winslow]]
-> Portrayed by Kellie Shanygne Williams

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Almost all of her potential suitors who serve as {{romantic false lead}}s are unlikable jerks.
* AllGuysWantCheerleaders: Laura is a cheerleader and an insanely popular DudeMagnet.
* BettyAndVeronica:
** Much to her dismay, she was the Veronica to Myra's Betty for Steve's Archie.
** She's also ''always'' the Archie to Steve's Betty and her admirer/boyfriend of the week's Veronica. Over and over and over again.
* TheBGrade
* CantLiveWithThemCantLiveWithoutThem: Anytime Steve focuses his attention on another girl, she shows shades of this to various degrees.
* TheCheerleader: Played with. She can be shallow at times, and bitchy towards Steve especially in the beginning, but she's also very goodhearted, smart and responsible.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DistaffCounterpart: One Christmas episode has Laura meet her guardian angel. He subjects her to a dream sequence to show her what she puts Steve through. She becomes Laura Urkel, essentially a female version of Steve. Steve becomes her spear counterpart as Eddie's brother.
* DudeMagnet
* FirstGirlWins: Becomes Steve's fiancée.
* FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling: The Responsible to Eddie's Foolish.
* GiveGeeksAChance: In the last season, she eventually learns to love Steve and agrees to marry him.
* GoGetterGirl
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Maxine.
* HormoneAddledTeenager
* HypocriticalHeartwarming: She blasts anyone who dares to badmouth Urkel, despite the fact that she herself can't stand him most of the time.
* InformedAttractiveness: Steve regards her as the most beautiful girl in the world, as do several of the other boys who show interest in her. She ''is'' pretty, but not that much more so than other girls in the series.
* IvyLeagueForEveryone: Subverted. She gains admittance, but her parents can't afford it.
* LittleMissSnarker: In Season 1, the pre-Steve days, Laura serves mainly as this.
* LovesMyAlterEgo: She loved and fawned over Stefan, Steve's SexierAlterEgo.
* SassyBlackWoman: Almost as much as her mother.
* TookALevelInKindness: Especially towards Steve. She wasn't very nice to him in the early seasons.
* {{Tsundere}}: To Steve. Initially a type A, then evolving into a type B.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Steve for most of the series and, eventually with Myra too (until the last season).

[[folder:Judy Winslow]]
-> Portrayed by Jaimee Foxworth (Valerie Jones in the pilot)

* ADayInTheLimelight: Judy never really gets a day in the limelight, only a few subplots.
** In "Fast Eddie Winslow", she must write a book report about ''Swiss Family Robinson'' after she doesn't read the book.
** In "Ice Station Winslow", she feels ignored by her family because of her younger cousin Richie.
** In "A Thought in the Dark", she ruins Harriette's dress and begs Carl to cover for her.[[note]]And despite being one of the few Judy subplots, she only appears in one scene.[[/note]]
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Probably one of the most infamous examples of this along with the trope namer. She disappears after Season 4, without explanation. Afterwards, the other characters act as if she never existed and Harriette and Carl only had two kids (Eddie and Laura).
* FlatCharacter: Her character never really had much to do. Season 1, the pre-Steve days, was her most prominent season: she provided comic relief by saying "cute" things, and was Laura's sidekick in several episodes. In Seasons 2 and 3, she's often paired with Richie, and aside from two small subplots, she usually has one or two lines, or sometimes none at all. In Season 4, her character appears in only 9 of 24 episodes.
* GirlishPigtails: Judy wore her hair in braided pigtails in Seasons 1 through 3. In her final season, she wore her hair down, including in her opening title credit.
* OutOfFocus: After Steve is introduced, she becomes a background character; in Seasons 2, 3, and especially 4, she is given very few lines (usually in scenes involving the entire family), until her character is completely eliminated in Season 5.
* SassyBlackGirl: Mainly in Season 1 her character would give sass mainly to her older siblings.

[[folder:Estelle Winslow]]
-> Portrayed by Rosetta [=LeNoire=]

* BadassGrandma: A [[RunningGag running gag]], possibly the most badass character in the show.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Estelle may be a kind old lady, but she is more than capable of taking care of herself. For example, she threw a criminal on the ground when he tried to attack her.
* TheBusCameBack: Occasionally in the last two seasons.
* CatchPhrase: [[SarcasmMode "Way to go, Carl!"]]
* CoolOldLady: Estelle is a very active old lady.
* DeadpanSnarker: In addition to berating her son whenever he screws up, Estelle could always be counted on to make cracks about Carl's weight and fondness for donuts.
* DecemberDecemberRomance: With Fletcher.
* {{Determinator}}: As a little girl, she went to a whites only library in hopes of being given a library card every day for ''six months'' before the librarian finally relented and the library became integrated.
* FanOfTheUnderdog: She's the only one who genuinely liked Steve from the beginning.
* IWasQuiteALooker: Estelle showed a picture of what she looked like during World War II in the middle of a presentation in Eddie's history class.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Estelle is a badass.
* PutOnABus: After Season 7.
* SassyBlackWoman

[[folder:Rachel Crawford]]
-> Portrayed by Telma Hopkins

* AndStarring: "And Telma Hopkins as Rachel".
* TheBusCameBack: Makes occasional guest appearances in Season 6 and 9.
* CoolAunt
* NiceHat: She often wears hats.
* OutOfFocus: In Season 4, her role was much smaller. After this season, she was...
* PutOnABus: Ironically, since her son Richie apparently still lived with the Winslows.
* TookALevelInBadass: She tightrope walked on a clothesline several stories in the air (in heels) to save a drunk Steve from plummeting to his death.
* WidowWoman: Her husband died before the series started.

[[folder:Richie Crawford]]
-> Portrayed by Joseph & Julius Wright (Season 1), Bryton [=McClure=] (Season 2-9)

* TheBusCameBack: In some episodes, after being PutOnABus.
* CheerfulChild
* ChildrenAreInnocent
* DisappearedDad: He lives with his mother Rachel and her family. His father is a PosthumousCharacter.
* PutOnABus: Yes, even Richie eventually, after Season 7.
* SacredHospitality: Will take in strangers without a second thought. Maybe he's paying Carl's kindness forward.
* SoapOperaRapidAgingSyndrome: In Season 2, he was recast as a four year old kid.
* TookALevelInBadass: In "Karate Kids".

[[folder:Waldo Geraldo Faldo]]
-> Portrayed by Shawn Harrison

* AscendedExtra: Seen as an extra in a Season 1 episode where he was credited as "Guy in Towel".
* BetaCouple: With Maxine.
* BumblingSidekick: Initially he was this to Willie, the school bully and a minor villain. Starting in season 3 he becomes this to Eddie.
* BunnyEarsLawyer
* CatchPhrase: "Cool", "No prob, Bob!" and "Sup".
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}
* CrazyJealousGuy: Sometimes, towards Maxine.
* TheDitz: Sometimes you have to wonder just how Waldo made to high school...
* DumbIsGood
* GeniusDitz: He's an excellent cook.
* HeelFaceTurn: Sort of. Was originally introduced in Season 2 as the sidekick to the school bully, Willie, who picked on Steve, until he presumably stopped hanging out with him, after being arrested. Afterwards, he was rewritten as a [[DumbIsGood good guy]] and one of Eddie and Steve's best friends.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Eddie.
* HiddenDepths: See GeniusDitz. Also, despite being generally an idiot, he has shown a strong sense of morality in more than one episode.
* KindheartedSimpleton: One of the most innocent and good-natured characters (except in his early appearances, see HeelFaceTurn).
* {{Malaproper}}
* NiceGuy
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: In Season 4.
* PutOnABus: After Season 7.
* RepetitiveName
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Sensitive Guy to Eddie's Manly Man.
* StrawLoser:
** [[BookDumb Eddie]] isn't the smartest person in the world but next to Waldo he looks like a genius.
** Waldo is also there to show that Steve isn't Eddie's only friend who is a loser. Eddie's friendship with Steve makes more sense because all his bad qualities can be seen as not that bad when you consider that his other best friend is kind of dumb.
* SupremeChef: After he discovers his talent for cooking.
* WackyGuy

[[folder:Myra Monkhouse]]
-> Portrayed by Michelle Thomas

* AlliterativeName
* AscendedExtra: Like Steve, she was supposed to be a one shot character.
* AxCrazy: In the last season.
* BettyAndVeronica: The Betty to Laura's Veronica for Steve's Archie. But again, Myra was the only one actually interested in him (at first).
* BigBad: In the later seasons, she began starting most of the trouble for Steve and Laura.
* BlackAndNerdy
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: The Myra introduced in Season 4 and the Myra we end up with in Season 9 are practically two separate character. Upon introduction, Myra is simply [[NiceGuy a Nice Gal]] who just so happens to [[GiveGeeksAChance really like Steve.]] By Season 5, now a main character, Myra became something of a SeeminglyWholesomeFiftiesGirl who started taking a shared interest in Steve's hobbies and was [[ClingyJealousGirl jealous of Laura.]] By the latter seasons, [[DerailingLoveInterests she goes completely off the rails]] by having her room into a shrine of Steve where [[StalkerWithACrush she monitors his every move.]]
* ClingyJealousGirl: Especially in seasons 5 and 9.
* CuteAndPsycho: Let's face it. The girl ''was'' batshit-insane.
* DerailingLoveInterests
* DistaffCounterpart: Was originally supposed to be one for Steve, just less clumsy and more attractive.
* FaceHeelTurn: In the seasons where she and Steve were a steady couple, Myra was on friendly terms with the main cast and she even formed an OddFriendship with Laura. By the last season, after her breakup with Steve, she becomes a villain and an AxCrazy PsychoExGirlfriend trying to destroy Steve's relationship with Laura.
* {{Flanderization}}: She went from a perky girl who has a crush on Steve to a borderline AxCrazy {{Yandere}}.
* GenkiGirl
* HollywoodNerd
* LoveMakesYouCrazy
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: To Steve.
* NerdsAreSexy: Definitely. While not a DudeMagnet like Laura, she's considered beautiful in-universe and out.
* RomanticFalseLead: Though in season 7 and 8 she's treated like a legitimate love interest. But Steve was meant to be with his first love Laura.
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: In Season 6.
* PsychoExGirlfriend: In the last few seasons.
* SingleTargetSexuality: Totally and absolutely Steve-sexual.
* StalkerWithACrush: And how.
* TeenGenius
* VitriolicBestBuds: Eventually she becomes this with Laura (until the final season).
* {{Yandere}}

[[folder:Maxine Johnson]]
-> Portrayed by Cherie Johnson

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Before Waldo, she dated several jerks in early seasons.
* BetaCouple: With Waldo for most of the series.
* BookDumb
* TheCheerleader: Played with. Like Laura, she was one in high school, and while Max is generally a good girl, she's definitely not as smart as Laura.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Laura.
* ParentalNeglect: It's revealed that she has neglectful parents who don't care about her at all.
* PopularIsDumb: She's almost as popular as her friend Laura. And unlike Laura, she's a poor student.
* RecurringCharacter: Despite appearing from Season 2 to Season 9, she never had a PromotionToOpeningTitles.
* SatelliteCharacter: To Laura and Waldo.

[[folder:Jerry Jamal "3J" Jameson]]
-> Portrayed by Orlando Brown

* AlliterativeName: Jerry Jamal Jameson
* CousinOliver
* HappilyAdopted
* {{Kidanova}}
* MaliciousMisnaming: 3J calls Steve "Urkie" until he teaches him to read.
* NeverLearnedToRead: Although Steve catches on to this early.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: In Season 8.
* TagalongKid
* TookALevelInBadass: In "Karate Kids".
* WillTheyOrWontThey: In a different sense; the functional difference between fostering 3J and adopting him outright is that [[spoiler: the former leaves open the possibility that 3J's biological mother, to whom he unknowingly spoke, will come back for him and take him home. There is no further resolution to this]].
* WiseBeyondTheirYears

[[folder:Stefan Urquelle]]
-> Portrayed by Jaleel White

* TheAce
* BornAsAnAdult: Well, he's Steve's clone (originally alter ego).
* ChekhovsGunman: He makes a single appearence in Season 5, when Steve changes his DNA as a plan to become cool. Later he turns into Stefan several times and in Season 7, thanks to Steve's cloning machine, Steve and Stefan become two different characters.
* TheCharmer
* ChickMagnet
* DidNotGetTheGirl: Laura chose Steve over him in the final season.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Originally, in his very first appearance. Later, less so.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Towards Laura, eventually.
* LoveTriangle: Yes, with Steve and Laura.
* SexierAlterEgo

[[folder:Myrtle Urkel]]
-> Portrayed by Jaleel White

* AbhorrentAdmirer: To Eddie.
* ChekhovsGun: She first appears in a Season 2 episode. After several years, she comes back as a recurring character.
* ClingyJealousGirl
* DistaffCounterpart: To Steve.
* {{Meganekko}}
* SouthernBelle
* StalkerWithACrush: On Eddie.