Characters: Family Matters
These are the characters that appear in Family Matters
- Abusive Parents: His parents were implied to be this.
- All of the Other Reindeer
- And Starring: In the last seasons.
- Annoying Laugh: "Ah heh-heh-heh *snort**snort*!"
- Badass: As Bruce Lee Urkel, an alter-ego created by Steve via a celebrity sample potion called Bruce Juice.
- Betty and Veronica: 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.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Black and Nerdy
- Breakout Character: And how.
- Bungling Inventor: Some of his inventions work just fine. Others, not so much.
- Butt Monkey
- Catch Phrase: Several. "Did I do thaaat?", "You love me, don't you?" etc.
- In later seasons, they changed it up: "Look what you did."
- Deadpan Snarker: 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.
- Ditzy Genius: Despite being a brilliant scientist and Teen Genius, he's clumsy, has No Social Skills and is a general nuisance and walking disaster.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Towards Laura.
- Drop-In Character
- Extraverted Nerd: Former 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.
- Gadgeteer Genius: His Flanderization in later seasons takes this Up to Eleven. He becomes a Mad Scientist able to create a time traveling machine and many other crazy inventions in which he can clone, teleport, and shrink himself.
- Geek Physique
- Hidden Depths: He's a good basketball player.
- Honorary Uncle: To Richie. Richie grows out of calling him "Uncle Steve", but keeps looking up to him.
- Hopeless Suitor: For most of the series.
- The Klutz: Bordering on lethal klutz, though he got better in later seasons.
- Last Name Basis
- Lethally Stupid: He often causes disasters without meaning to, much to Carl's dismay.
- Lovable Nerd
- Mad Scientist: He occasionally even laughs like one.
- The Millstone / Spanner in the Works: Pretty much in every episode, especially in early seasons.
- Nerd Glasses
- Nice Guy
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Subverted in that many of Steve's inventions that we see are the prototypes, and Steve hasn't worked all the bugs out yet. Hilarity Ensues.
- Parental Neglect: The reason for his attachment to the Winslows.
- Phrase Catcher: "Go home, Steve!" "But..." "Go home, go home, go home!" "I don't have to take this. I'm going home."
- Promotion to Opening Titles: In Season 2.
- Proud to Be a Geek
- Rejection Affection: Steve spends the entire run of this sitcom aggressively trying to win Laura's affections even though she is repulsed by him. His perseverance pays off in the end.
- Science Hero
- Sexier Alter Ego: Stefan Urquelle.
- Show Stopper
- Single-Target Sexuality: 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.
- Spear Counterpart: One episode has Laura's guardian angel subjecting her to a Dream Sequence where she becomes Laura Urkel, Steve's Distaff Counterpart. Steve himself becomes Steve Winslow, essentially a male Laura.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad
- Stalker with a Crush: Towards Laura.
- Teen Genius
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Just ask the Winslows.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cheese.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Laura.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With most of the Winslows.
- Wacky Guy
- Wolverine Publicity
- 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
- Happily Married: To Harriette.
- 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
- 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.
Edward "Eddie" Winslow
- Berserk Button: 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.
- Big Man on Campus
- Book Dumb
- Butt Monkey: In the early seasons, the rest of his family didn't treat him that well...
- The Casanova
- Character Development: He becomes more responsible in later seasons.
- Dumbass Teenage Son: Mostly in the beginning.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish to Laura's Responsible.
- Gentle Giant
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: 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.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager
- Lady Killer In Love: When he starts dating Greta.
- Lovable Jock
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: 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.
- Named After Somebody Famous: He is named after English kings.
- Odd Friendship: With Steve and Waldo.
- Overly Long Name: Edward Arthur James Winslow.
- Scary Black Man: Eddie's generally an easygoing nice guy, but he's also a very big man. Anyone who pushes one of his berserk buttons quickly comes to regret it.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Waldo's Sensitive Guy.
- The Slacker
- Small Name, Big Ego: At his worst.
- Straight Man: When he is with Waldo.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Steve.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Almost all of her potential suitors who serve as romantic false leads are unlikable jerks.
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Laura is a cheerleader and an insanely popular Dude Magnet.
- Betty and Veronica: 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.
- The B Grade
- Can't Live with Them, Can't Live without Them: Anytime Steve focuses his attention on another girl, she shows shades of this to various degrees.
- The Cheerleader: 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.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Distaff Counterpart: 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.
- Dude Magnet
- First Girl Wins
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible to Eddie's Foolish.
- Give Geeks a Chance: In the last season, she eventually learns to love Steve and agrees to marry him.
- Go-Getter Girl
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Maxine.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: She blasts anyone who dares to badmouth Urkel, despite the fact that she herself can't stand him most of the time.
- Informed Attractiveness: Steve regards her as the most beautiful girl in the world, as do several of the other boys who show interest in her.
- Ivy League for Everyone: Subverted. She gains admittance, but her parents can't afford it.
- Little Miss Snarker: In Season 1, the pre-Steve days, Laura serves mainly as this.
- Loves My Alter Ego: She loved and fawned over Stefan, Steve's Sexier Alter Ego.
- Sassy Black Girl
- Took a Level in Kindness: 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.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Steve for most of the series and, eventually with Myra too (until the last season).
- 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
- 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.
Waldo Geraldo Faldo
- Ascended Extra: Seen as an extra in a Season 1 episode where he was credited as "Guy in Towel".
- Beta Couple: With Maxine.
- Bumbling Sidekick: Initially he was this to Willie, the school bully and a minor villain. Starting in season 3 he becomes this to Eddie.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Catch Phrase: "Cool", "No prob, Bob!" and "Sup".
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Sometimes, towards Maxine.
- The Ditz
- Dumb Is Good
- Heel-Face Turn: 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 good guy and one of Eddie and Steve's best friends.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Eddie.
- Hidden Depths: See Genius Ditz. Also, despite being generally an idiot, he has shown a strong sense of morality in more than one episode.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: One of the most innocent and good-natured characters (except in his early appearances, see Heel-Face Turn).
- Nice Guy
- Promotion to Opening Titles: In Season 4.
- Put on a Bus: After Season 7.
- Repetitive Name
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Eddie's Manly Man.
- Straw Loser: 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.
- Supreme Chef: After he discovers his talent for cooking.
- Too Dumb to Live: Sometimes you have to wonder just how Waldo made to high school...
- Wacky Guy
Jerry Jamal "3J" Jameson