Characters: Family Matters

These are the characters that appear in Family Matters.

Steve Urkel

Carl Winslow

  • 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.
  • Berserk Button: Steve, mostly. More specifically, whenever Steve's clumsiness ends up wrecking his property or physically injuring him.
  • Big Eater
  • Bumbling Dad: 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.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • 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.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: 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.
  • Cursed with Awesome: 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Doom It Yourself: 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.
  • Foil: To Steve.
  • Good Parents: He loves his children, and Steve, very much.
  • Happily Married: To Harriette.
  • No Indoor Voice: When he gets especially angry, he screams at the top of his lungs.
  • Papa Wolf: To his own kids, obviously, but he even gets like this for Steve, too.
  • Parental Substitute: Seen this way by Steve. He eventually accepts this role.
  • Police Are Useless: Subverted.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Due to the fact that he's a cop.
  • Scary Black Man: Whenever one of Steve's mishaps pushes him too far, he ends up chasing after Steve while bellowing like a rogue elephant.
  • Stout Strength: More than one crook has learned the hard way that Carl's pretty strong underneath his fat.
  • Team Dad
  • Trademark Favorite Food: According to his mother, it's donuts. Then again, he is a cop.
  • Unfortunate Name: Actually unfortunate initials: Carl Otis Winslow.

Harriette Winslow

Edward "Eddie" Winslow

Laura Winslow

Judy Winslow

  • A Day in the Limelight: 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 
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: 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).
  • Flat Character: 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.
  • Girlish Pigtails: 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.
  • Out of Focus: 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.
  • Sassy Black Girl: Mainly in Season 1 her character would give sass mainly to her older siblings.

Estelle Winslow

Rachel Crawford

  • And Starring: "And Telma Hopkins as Rachel".
  • The Bus Came Back: Makes occasional guest appearances in Season 6 and 9.
  • Cool Aunt
  • Nice Hat: She often wears hats.
  • Out of Focus: In Season 4, her role was much smaller. After this season, she was...
  • Put on a Bus: Ironically, since her son Richie apparently still lived with the Winslows.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She tightrope walked on a clothesline several stories in the air (in heels) to save a drunk Steve from plummeting to his death.
  • Widow Woman: Her husband died before the series started.

Richie Crawford

Waldo Geraldo Faldo

Myra Monkhouse

Maxine Johnson

Jerry Jamal "3J" Jameson

Stefan Urquelle

Myrtle Urkel